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Richmont Graduate University Names Bob Rodgers New President

Effective immediately, Robert G. (Bob) Rodgers, Jr. has been named President by the Richmont Graduate University Board of Trustees.

“Richmont is a highly respected university with excellent academic programs and a strong reputation and legacy,” said Rodgers. “We have incredible students, dedicated and gifted faculty and staff, and we are positioned to grow substantially in both the School of Counseling and the School of Ministry. I look forward to seeing Richmont’s students and staff transform lives and communities in even greater measure going forward.”

A former university trustee and donor, Rodgers joined the staff in 2010 in order to lead the university’s development efforts. He has served as Richmont’s Executive Vice President since 2011. As Executive Vice President, Rodgers has also held the position of COO, overseeing of the day-to-day operations of the university.

Before joining Richmont’s staff, Rodgers’ was the Founder and President of Quantum Search and has more than 24 years in leadership development, consulting and executive search in the not-for-profit, healthcare and general corporate arenas. He also previously served as Vice President of a nationwide restaurant company, with oversight responsibilities for 20,000+ associates in 21states.

“We are so fortunate to have found such a strong leader who already understands and believes in the mission of Richmont,” said Board Chair Jan Linder. “His presence provides exactly what we need at this strategically important time in our history.”

As an academic institution, Richmont currently hosts two campuses in Atlanta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Richmont offers master’s-level training in professional counseling to help individuals, families and groups successfully confront life’s challenges. The mission of Richmont Graduate University is to provide Christ-centered education and research that advances God’s work of healing, restoration, and transformation in the lives of individuals, churches and communities. Presently, students have the opportunity to pursue master’s degrees in: Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Ministry, and Christian Psychological Studies as well as specializations in addictions, child and adolescent therapy, sex therapy, spirituality and counseling, and trauma counseling.

Additionally, in order to tangibly serve Richmont’s campus communities, the university hosts a network of Hope Counseling Centers throughout metro Atlanta, as well as the Henegar/CBI Counseling and Richmont Community Counseling Centers in Chattanooga. These centers offer counseling/mental health services to children, adults, families and groups of all walks of life, regardless of their insurance status.

For more information please contact: Jennifer Cooper
President’s Office

WRCB Interviews Richmont Counselor about Boston Marathon Tragedy

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) – All eyes have been on Boston. Details continue emerging with each passing hour. For many of us, even hundreds of miles away in the Tennessee Valley, the images are emotional to watch.

From the Colorado movie theater massacre, to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and now bombs exploding at the Boston Marathon, over the last several months, we’ve seen a lot of terrifying scenes unfold in our country.      
Local mental health professionals say just because they haven’t happened here, doesn’t mean we’re not affected.

“I think the worst lies we can tell ourselves is just because we weren’t there, that means we shouldn’t feel hurt or we should just get over it. This pain is real,” Mental Health Counselor Edward Doreau said.

Doreau is a Boston native and marathon runner. In 2009, he crossed that same finish line. 

“It’s an incredible feeling to finish and I think that’s why the terrorists probably targeted the finish line. They’re going after an American icon,” he said.

Shortly after the bombings, Doreau’s brother called from Boston to assure him his family and friends were unharmed.

“It was good to hear with the news that my friends who’d run the Boston Marathon were alright,” Doreau said.

But he says it’s likely even those of us with no ties to Boston are shaken.

“Traumatic incidents of national and global scale, they affect everybody,” he said.

He says the first feeling is typically of disbelief, but in the days following, may experience anxiety, nightmares and muscle tension. 

“An excessive alertness. When something traumatic happens, we feel shaken up by it and want to be constantly on your guard against something else happening,” Doreau said.

He says it’s the same reactions he’s treated people for following other recent national tragedies.

To read more and watch the video, Click Here.

Trent Gilbert to present at SACAC

Atlanta, Georgia – (April 2, 2013)

This April, Trent Gilbert, Vice President for Enrollment at Richmont Graduate University, and Tyler Peterson, Associate Provost of Enrollment Management at Auburn University at Montgomery, will co-present a seminar at the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling’s (SACAC) annual conference.  Their workshop, “Distilling the Campus Visit Experience,” is based on real-world experiences and will help admissions counselors learn how to successfully host visitors on campus.

“Our session at SACAC will be a great opportunity to continue to share the importance of the overall experience that a prospective student has while interacting on their campus visit,” said Peterson. “Trent Gilbert has been one of the frontrunners of this philosophy in higher education, and the schools that are taking his advice are seeing success. It is important that we look outside of higher education for ideas, and a lot of companies are providing great experiences for their customers, and the experience we offer our students should be just as strong.”

As an affiliate of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), SACAC represents approximately 1,500 members throughout the Southeast in order to “…to promote high professional standards in the college admission process by exchanging ideas, sharing common goals and preparing counselors to serve students in the transition from high school to college.” This year, Richmont will be one of 95 universities in attendance at the 2013 conference.

“SACAC always provides great opportunities to share successes and failures as well as to learn how other schools are overcoming the challenges facing admission offices today,” said Gilbert. “Tyler and I believe higher education admission departments could use some fresh ideas, so it will be a fun opportunity for us to present on ways that ideas from the “outside world” can be utilized.”

Special Event on June 14th: Introduction to DSM-5: An Overview

William F. Doverspike, Ph.D. has published articles and presented workshops on various DSM classifications systems. He is the author of the Multiaxial Diagnostic Inventory-Revised Version, a criterion-referenced diagnostic screening instrument that evolved out of his work with differential diagnostic assessment. He holds board certification Diplomats in Clinical Psychology (ABPP) and Neuropsychology (ABPN). He maintains a practice at the Atlanta Counseling Center.

He teaches Psychopathology as an Adjuct Professor at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, and he teaches Professional Ethics as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University.

The workshop will consist of an overview of empirical research and organizing principles that have contributed to the development of the DSM-5. There will be some discussion of changes in organization and content that have been announced by the American Psychiatric Association. DSM and DSM-5 are registered trademarks of the American Psychiatric Association. The American Psychiatric Association is not affiliated with nor endorses this seminar.

Participants in the workshop will be able to:
·  Explain some of the controversies surrounding development of the DSM-5.
·  Distinguish between categorical and dimensional models of mental disorders.
·  List some disorders that have been added to or removed from the DSM-5.
·  Identify DSM-5 disorders that are commonly encountered in clinical practice.
·  Differentiate between personality trait domains and personality trait facets.

Where: Richmont Graduate University – Atlanta Campus
When: 1:00-4:00 PM Friday June 14, 2013

Follow the link to sign up:

Christie Simons to Present Thesis in Honolulu

Atlanta, Georgia – (March 5, 2013)

This August, master’s student, Christie Simons, will represent Richmont Graduate University at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Honolulu, Hawaii. Simons plans to present her thesis, “CARM and Social Support for Pediatric Oncology Patients,” which discusses correlations between completion of Cognitive Adaptation Remediation and Management (CARM) therapy (among other types of social support) and the health related quality of life for pediatric oncology patients.

Working alongside Dr. Robert Butler, the creator of CARM, Simons conducted studies with cancer patients (ages 8-17) to ‘determine if those patients who have completed CARM report higher health related quality of life as determined by the Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM Measurement Model (PedsQL). While Simons is currently in the process of finalizing her research, she anticipates that the data will show that patients who have completed CARM express increased quality of life.

Ever since childhood, when a neighbor was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Simons has been interested in work amongst pediatric oncology patients. As she explored this patient population, she noticed a distinct lack of research and written material regarding therapy and pediatric oncology patients. Joining forces with Hatch’s House of Hope in Chattanooga, TN, Simons was thrilled to find a non-profit organization offering free therapy to pediatric oncology patients.

“I think this topic is timely because there’s a lack of research and available therapy for pediatric oncology patients,” said Simons. “Even though HATCH’s is giving this therapy for free they’re never fully booked. I’d like to bring greater awareness to the need and the growing availability of resources.”

Having previously presented research at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s (SEPA) conference, Simons is now looking forward to presenting and representing Richmont on a national level at this year’s APA conference.

Richmont Dean, Dr. Keny Felix, Featured at Counseling & Pastoral Care Symposium at Mercer University

Atlanta, Georgia – (February 8, 2013)

Dean of the School of Counseling and Licensed Professional Counselor, Dr. Keny Felix, represented Richmont Graduate University at this year’s Counseling and Pastoral Care Symposium at Mercer University.

Dr. Felix, alongside Rabbi Scott Sekulow of Temple Beth Adonai, served as a keynote speaker at the event, hosted by Charles O’Connor, M.S., LPC, Mercer Ph.D. Counseling Student, and Dr. Kenyon Knapp, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and Associate Professor of Counseling.  Dr. Felix presented on addressing spirituality and religion in counseling. Rabbi Sekulow spoke on diversity and pastoral care. Mercer graduate Jumie Duduyemi, LAPC, and Yvette Gates, LPC and doctoral student at Mercer, also presented, speaking on issues related to providing church-based professional counseling services.

 “Religion and spirituality are an integral part of our society today, so it behooves us as professional counselors to be adequately prepared to address issues related to spirituality and religion when working with clients who are so inclined.” said Dr. Felix.

Dr. Felix noted, according to research, the majority of adults in the U.S. express some sort of religious beliefs. Furthermore, many individuals turn to their communities of faith in times of distress or use spiritual styles of coping. Research has shown a relationship between spirituality and wellness.

“To not address issues related to spirituality and religion when they are an integral part of a client’s life is being insensitive as a counselor and fails to reflect competence,” said Dr. Felix. “A client’s spirituality and religious beliefs and practices must be considered when assessing, diagnosing, and selecting appropriate treatments. This was a wonderful symposium as it provided a forum to address these issues and more.”

CBI Counseling Center Welcomes Three New Counselors to its Clinical Staff

Chattanooga, Tennessee – (February 19, 2013)


The CBI Counseling Center, a part of Richmont Graduate University, is pleased to announce the additions of three new counselors to its clinical staff.

  • Ed Doreau, MA, joins the staff after moving to Chattanooga only a couple of years ago from Massachusetts. His professional work focuses on the needs of teenage males as well as helping individuals struggling with addictions. He also has training in Motivational Interviewing, a mode of therapy seen as particularly helpful with addictions.
  •  Willie “Bo” Walker, LCSW, has worked in mental health in Chattanooga for about 30 years, and brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to his counseling practice at CBI.  He is competent to work with a variety of counseling issues and with a variety of populations, working primarily from a cognitive-behavioral model of counseling.
  • Yohunnah Woods-Moton, M.A., is a native Chattanoogan and graduate of Richmont Graduate University. She is trained in several forms of therapy, including Motivational Enhancement Therapy. She works with children and parents, but also sees adults and focuses on issues of domestic violence, addiction, and emotional disorders.

“We are thrilled to add more outstanding people to our staff to meet the growing need for quality clinicians at CBI Counseling Center,” said CBI Director, Dr. Tim Sisemore. “These three broaden and deepen our staff to meet this need.  Bo is a seasoned clinician and well-respected member of mental health service community, Ed brings expertise and sensitivity to underserved populations in adolescents and addictions, and Yohunnah offers clients a warm, caring approach to a variety of problems, particularly regarding children where she has specialized training. I am most grateful for the superior quality of clinicians we have gathered here.”

For more than 30 years, CBI has offered a broad range of counseling and psychological services to the Chattanooga community. Pursuing the highest professional standards, CBI remains true to the Christian tradition of faith and caring. On average, licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, counselors, and insured student interns provide approximately 1,400 client sessions per month.

“Based on the number of monthly client sessions, it is apparent that each CBI counselor seeks to serve all persons with compassion and sensitivity to their uniqueness while assisting them in meeting life’s challenges,” said Richmont President, Bob Rodgers. “We are glad to have these three highly-qualified individuals serving on the CBI team.”

All three counselors are currently taking new clients. Scheduling information can be obtained by calling 423-756-2894 or by visiting: Open five days a week, the counseling center’s physical address is: 1815 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404.

Faculty Member and Student to Present Research at the Christian Association for Psychological Studies 2013 International Conference

Atlanta, Georgia – (February 22, 2013)

Associate Professor of Counseling and Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Dan Sartor, and master’s student, Beth Leonard, will represent Richmont Graduate University at this year’s Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) annual conference in Portland, Oregon.

Under Sartor’s direction, Leonard has pursued thesis work regarding the attachments people have with God and how this influences their attachments with other people. Where some world religions believe wellbeing is acquired through mindfulness and meditation, Leonard’s work is uncovering how the group practice of a meditative reading of the Scriptures, historically known as the “Lectio Divina,”  might form significantly healthier relational attachments among individuals and within the participants’ sense of attachment to God.

“There’s a growing body of research that has linked certain meditative practices to personal and relational well-being,” said Sartor. “We are examining whether or not the Christian-specific practices of the Lectio Divina and centering prayer contribute in the same manner to personal well-being and relational well-being as perceived through the lense of attachment theory.”

While research is still underway, Leonard’s work is broadly applicable to the process of psychology as she is using both church populations and clinical populations to determine the ways in which people experience God and how their personal wellbeing and interpersonal relationships are affected.

“The manualized group process we are employing is designed to help people more fully connect how they perceive God implicitly, or in their heart and emotions, with their head or Biblical knowledge of God,” said Leonard. “When that happens they can experience Him in more positive, intimate and securely-attached ways as opposed to negative, shame-based ways. A fascinating aspect of this study is examining the correlation between healing in attachments to people and to God, and investigating what role Christian meditative practices play in that process.”

Therefore, the CAPS conference is an exciting opportunity for both Sartor and Leonard to present the study’s preliminary findings.

“We are excited to contribute to the dialogue in academic and clinical circles regarding healthy spiritual practices that contribute to the well-being of individuals and society at large,” said Sartor.

Richmont Represented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Conference

Assistant Professor of Counseling and Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Dr. Mary Plisco, and master’s student, Katie Rider, will each represent Richmont Graduate University at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s (SEPA) annual conference in March 2013. Both Plisco and Rider submitted presentation proposals last fall and were selected to present their research at the 2013 conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year, Plisco will present research in the clinical counseling portion of the conference regarding anxiety disorders in children and the development of the therapeutic relationship.

Similarly, Rider will present her senior thesis, “The Anorexia-Religion Connection: Views of God’s Grace and Religious Coping Style and Predictors of the Severity of Anorectic Symptomology,” which offers empirical data regarding anorexic patients and their views of God’s grace and their religious coping styles.

In preparation for the SEPA conference Rider said, “I’m excited to present this research because it empirically demonstrates the importance and value of incorporating religion, and Christian religious themes in particular, into the anorexia treatment process. It’s a privilege to represent Richmont as well as to have the opportunity to highlight spiritually informed research.”  

According to SEPA’s web site, they represent the “…largest psychological organization in the southeast and one of largest in the United States.” Seeking to “…advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare…” SEPA’s mission is “…to stimulate the exchange of scientific and professional ideas across the diverse areas of psychological inquiry and application.”

Richmont Graduate University to Host a Reception Honoring Dr. Jeffrey Terrell

Richmont Graduate University to Host a Reception Honoring Dr. Jeffrey Terrell

The Board of Trustees at Richmont Graduate University gladly invite alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff to join in celebrating Dr. Jeff Terrell’s 14 years of faithful service to the university on February 28, 2013 from 6:30-8 p.m.

“We are thankful for all Dr. Terrell has done during his years at Richmont Graduate University,” said Board Chair Jan Linder. “Some of the outstanding accomplishments made during his presidency include: his compelling vision, his unwavering commitment to Richmont’s mission, his aggressive plan to achieve accreditation, and his ensuring that the school would maintain the highest possible academic standards. We look forward to a time of celebration with Dr. Terrell and honoring his legacy.”

Reflecting on his tenure at Richmont, Dr. Terrell said, “The past fourteen years of work together has been the most meaningful professional achievement of my life. I am grateful for the leadership lessons the Lord has taught me and for the opportunities the trustees have provided me as President … I hope to see Richmont Graduate University flourishing and growing to ever-brighter heights in the years ahead.”

In order to honor Dr. Terrell, an open evening of fellowship and commemoration will be hosted at the university during which heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served and dress will be business casual.

Date: February 28, 2013 Location: Richmont Graduate University

Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m. 2055 Mt. Paran Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

In order to anticipate an appropriate number of guests, please consider sending a courtesy RSVP email to Jennifer Cooper at: or call: 404-835-6117.