College of Education > News and Publications > 2016: 01-03 news > Faculty member receives national research award

Faculty member receives national research award

Julia Bryan, associate professor of counselor education, has been awarded the 2016 Extended Research Award by the American Counseling Association for research contributions made throughout her career.

Julia Bryan
Julia Bryan
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Julia Bryan, associate professor of counselor education, has been awarded the 2016 Extended Research Award by the American Counseling Association for research contributions made throughout her career. The annual award recognizes a scholar whose research has had a significant impact on the counseling profession for at least 10 years.

“Early in my career, I often wondered if anyone would ever read my research,” Bryan said. “This award confirms that people are indeed reading it and that it is making an impact in the field of school counseling. I am truly grateful to my peers for this recognition.”

A native of Barbados, Bryan has always been committed to helping others. Her research challenges the traditional perspective of school counseling and focuses on the importance of schools, families and communities joining together to help students succeed.

“As a teacher and school counselor in Barbados, I was passionate about helping children and making a difference in their lives,” she said. “I would conduct numerous home visits and reach out to parents and community members to find ways to support students. I really wanted to see my students succeed, to be resilient.”

It is that same passion that continues to drive Bryan in her current teaching and research endeavors at Penn State.

“I want to teach so that my students become passionate about helping children in schools succeed, especially those who deal with the challenges of poverty,” she said. “I want to produce research that motivates school counselors to more effectively tackle and remove barriers and open doors for their own students, especially students with the odds against them.”

Bryan is currently investigating the effect of school counseling programs on college readiness and access, but said she will continue to research methods to remove the personal and systemic barriers for children, and promote greater access and equity for students.

“My work is only valuable if it changes the perspectives and practices of counselors and educators, and helps to make their practice and school systems more beneficial to students,” she said.

Bryan will be presented with the Extended Research Award on April 2 at the 2016 ACA Annual Conference’s gala ceremony in Montreal.

By Jessica Buterbaugh (February 2016)