Michael M. Kocet is Professor and Department Chair of the Counselor Education Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Kocet earned his Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Arkansas and completed a graduate certificate in dispute resolution at University Massachusetts Boston. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MA), a Board Certified Counselor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. His professional areas of interest include: ethical issues in counseling; counseling LGBTQ+ clients; grief counseling, and is author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on ethics, LGBTQ and diversity issues. He is the editor of the book, "Counseling Gay Men, Adolescents, and Boys: A Guide for Helping Professionals and Educators" published by Routledge Press and is co-author of the text Ethical Decision Making for the 21st Century Counselor by SAGE Press. Dr. Kocet is a Fellow of the American Counseling Association, the highest award given by the counseling profession in recognition of lifetime contributions to the profession. He served as member of the American Counseling Association Ethics Committee (2001-2007) and chaired the American Counseling Association Ethics Code Revision Taskforce (2002-2005). He is Past President and former ACA Governing Council Representative of the Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE) (formerly ALGBTIC). Dr. Kocet served as a board trustee for five years for the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC). He served on the Minority Fellows Program Advisory Council through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Dr. Kocet currently serves on the American Counseling Association Foundation Board, the ACA Governance and Board Operations Committee, and the AADA Grief Competencies Task Force. Dr. Kocet is active in community service, providing pro bono counseling at the Center on Halsted, an LGBTQ Community Center in Chicago. He also served as a volunteer grief therapist for Comfort Zone Camp, the nation's largest bereavement camp for children, ages 7-17. He has presented at local, state, and national conferences in counseling and student affairs and is sought out as a national speaker and consultant on ethics, diversity, LGBTQ+ issues, spirituality, and grief counseling.
Dr. Suzanne Degges-White is the chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. She earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is also a licensed counselor who has worked in community agencies, medical settings, and in private practice. Dr. Degges-White’s academic research explores transitions and development over the lifespan with a strong focus on human relationships and social support. She has written four books on relationships, including friendships and family relationships, and edited eight books on professional counseling. Dr. Degges-White is on the editorial board of multiple journals and past editor of Adultspan Journal. She is also an invited blogger for Psychology Today (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections). She’s been a guest on “Good Morning, America” and is a frequent guest on FOX32 television, WGN, and national and international podcasts and radio programs, including Axios and PBS. She’s also been interviewed for stories in the New York Times, the BBC, NPR, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), Time, Huffington Post, and Vox.com along with a variety of popular media outlets.
Jordan Westcott, MS, NCC is a queer scholar and Ph.D. candidate in Counselor Education at Virginia Tech. Through qualitative and quantitative approaches, Westcott explores structural factors that facilitate and inhibit LGBTQIA+ health equity and the role of counselors in advancing LGBTQIA+ health and wellness through research and practice. She also explores these topics at the intersections of disability and aging. She is currently investigating how barriers to accessing health services impact older sexual minority women with disabilities.
Dr. Gerard Lawson is a Professor in the School of Education at Virginia Tech, and was the 66th President of the American Counseling Association, having served in that office from July 2017-June 2018. Gerard is also past-president of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) and past-president of the Virginia Counselors Association. Gerard earned his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, in Human Development, his Master’s in Counseling from Longwood College, and doctorate in Counselor Education from the College of William and Mary, all in Virginia. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner, a National Certified Counselor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor.
Gerard has been a disaster mental health volunteer with the American Red Cross since 2002, and has supported numerous national, state, and local disasters. He was instrumental in helping to coordinate the counseling response to the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, and he is the author of Virginia Tech’s Disaster Behavioral Health Plan. He has helped many institutions prepare for crisis response, and works frequently with counselors who have responded, providing debriefing and supportive services. His focus is on building resilience in the individuals (including counselors) and communities that are affected by disasters. His published work includes articles exploring the experiences of professional counselors and clinicians in the aftermath of natural disasters such as the Gulf Coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita and traumatic events such as the shootings at Virginia Tech. He was the chair of the ACA Taskforce on Crisis Response Planning and has authored several articles on counselor wellness and resilience, particularly when working in disaster mental health.
Since joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, Dr. Lawson has published his research in prestigious journals including the Journal of Counseling and Development, Counselor Education and Supervision, and The Clinical Supervisor. He has presented at national and international conferences on a range of topics including counselor wellness, crisis response and resilience, and clinical supervision. Gerard is the Principle Investigator on $1.6 million in grants from the National Institutes of Justice, to explore influences on the School to Prison Pipeline. He has been involved in training and consulting across the country to help keep kids in the classroom, and out of the courtroom.
Dr. Lawson was awarded the inaugural Martin Ritchie Award for Advocacy in 2015, in 2017 he was awarded the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Land-Grant Scholar Award, and in 2019 he was among the inaugural recipients of the ACES Legacy Awards. He is an American Counseling Association fellow, one of the highest professional recognitions in the counseling profession.
Victoria E. Kress, Distinguished Professor, Ph.D./LPCC-S, NCC, CCMHC is the director of the clinical mental health and addictions counseling programs at Youngstown State University. She served as a governor appointed member of the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has been the recipient of over 45 professional and community service awards, most of which for her advocacy, leadership, scholarship, community service, and mentorship initiatives. She has also received awards for her work with people who have intellectual disabilities, for empowering girls in her community, for her sexual assault prevention efforts, and for her child abuse advocacy work. She has published over 130 refereed articles and book chapters, and she has co-authored 5 books on counseling youth and adults. She has been recognized in a number of publications as the top producer/publisher in counseling journals over the past two decades. She served as the associate editor of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, and as an editorial board member for many counseling journals. She is a past president of Chi Sigma Iota International, the Association for Humanistic Counseling, the Ohio Counseling Association, and the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision; she is a past ACA Midwest Region Chair; and she is also a member of the American Counseling Association’s governing council. She has volunteered and worked in Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, and Tanzania, promoting mental health awareness and training, and the professionalization of counseling.
Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Ph.D., is Commonwealth Professor Emeritus working from the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds a Faculty Affiliate appointment at the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University (Human Flourishing Program). He continues to be active in research and speaking around the world. He is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Virginia. He has published over 45 books and around 500 articles and scholarly chapters (H-index 76), mostly on forgiveness, humility, positive psychology, marriage, family, and religion and spirituality. He developed the REACH Forgiveness model (see www.EvWorthington-forgiveness.com for free resources) being tested currently in a global grant-funded randomized controlled trials in 5 countries (six sites), and he has developed numerous other positive psychological interventions.
Jane E. Rheineck, Ph.D., LPC, NCC is a Professor and Ph.D. Program Director at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Rheineck has been a Counselor Educator since 2005 after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Rheineck has taught master's and doctoral level courses that focus on clinical practice and training, professional identity and ethics, women’s career issues, multicultural and social justice in counseling, leadership and advocacy, and counseling with the LGBTQ+ community.
Dr. Rheineck has an ongoing program of research and scholarship that focuses on various LGBTQ+ issues in counseling. Dr. Rheineck is the author or co-author of several articles published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, ADULTSPAN, and the Wisconsin Counseling Journal. She has also published several book chapters with her work on lesbian health issues being nationally recognized in the field of LGBTQ+ counseling practices. Dr. Rheineck’s scholarly work also includes over 40 presentations, most of which are at the national level.
Dr. Rheineck’s service is broad. She serves on the ACA Governing Council representing The Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE), ACA’s Executive Committee, and the Gender Equity Task Force. Other national contributions include, but are not limited to serving the American Counseling Association as Treasurer, Past President of SAIGE and The Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA).
Dr. Rheineck is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Wisconsin. She has a clinical background that reflects a broad range of experiences, including adolescent inpatient residential treatment, outpatient counseling with adults, and mental health counseling as a school-based mental health counselor. In addition to her clinical background, Dr. Rheineck has experience in higher education/student affairs, emphasizing student development and counseling.
Dr. Matthew Fullen is an Associate Professor in Virginia Tech’s counselor education program. Dr. Fullen's research, teaching, and advocacy focus on the mental health needs of older adults, with an emphasis on addressing gaps in Medicare mental health policy, preventing suicide in later life, and developing programs to enhance resilience & wellness among older adults. Dr. Fullen currently serves as Medicare research consultant to the American Counseling Association, and he is a recipient of the American Counseling Association’s Top Research Award for his study in the Journal of Counseling & Development on Medicare reimbursement challenges faced by counseling professionals. Due to his research on the Medicare mental health coverage gap, he was recently invited by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to serve on the Expert Advisory Panel on Older Adult Suicide Prevention. Dr. Fullen has received research grant funding from both public and private entities, including the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as well as The Mather Institute.
Dr. Kelly Duncan series as the ACES Executive Director. She has been involved in the profession of counseling for over 30 years and has worked as a counselor educator since 2003. Dr. Duncan had the privilege of serving as a counselor educator at three universities, coordinated a university counselor training clinic, and was a dean of a School of Education prior to joining the ACES staff. She was the executive director of a state counseling branch for 15 years. Her background in counseling and association management allows her to meld her skills in her current role.
Since coming to ACES, Duncan has worked to highlight the work of the association more visibly and to facilitate collaborations between ACES and other counseling affiliate groups. Promoting professional counselor identity and advocating for counselor educators and supervisors has been one of her focus areas in the past year.
Past professional leadership experiences include secretary of NCACES, chair of the ACA Midwest Region, and two terms as the Midwest Region representative to the ACA Governing Council. She’s been the chair of several ACA task forces and committees. In her home state, she received appointments from three different governors to serve as a member of the South Dakota Board of Education for almost 20 years.
Christian D. Chan (he, him, his), PhD, NCC is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and Educational Development at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Past-President of the Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA), and a proud Queer Person of Color. As a scholar-activist, his interests revolve around intersectionality; effects of oppression and trauma, especially race-based trauma, on counseling, career, and educational pathways; social justice and activism; and communication/socialization of cultural factors in couple, family, and group modalities. Dedicated to mentorship for leaders and scholars, he has actively contributed to over 75 peer-reviewed publications in journals, books, and edited volumes and has conducted over 145 refereed presentations at the national, regional, and state levels. He currently serves as Associate Editor for Teaching and Supervision in Counseling.