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Richmont Confers Degrees on 83 Students in the Largest Graduating Class to Date

Atlanta, Georgia – (May 13, 2013)

On Saturday, May 11, the Board of Trustees at Richmont Graduate University conferred Master’s degrees on 83 candidates. As the university’s largest graduating class to date, 46 students received their Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, 31 received their Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, and 4 received a Master of Science in Christian Psychological Studies. An honorary doctorate celebrating Hugh Huffaker’s generous gifts of time, talent and treasure was also awarded. Additionally, one degree was awarded posthumously for Richmont student, Shelley Byers, who passed away earlier this year.

“The day was a beautiful celebration of God’s faithfulness, the devotion of the graduates, and the love and support of all the family and friends who were there,” said Richmont’s Dean of Students, Dr. DeAnne Terrell. “Our goal is always to bring God glory throughout the ceremony and our hearts are full of gratitude for the great things He has done.

In addition to honoring this year’s graduates, Richmont named Elizabeth Dial as 2013’s Distinguished Alumna. A Nationally Certified Licensed Professional Counselor, Dial now uses her Richmont training in private practice at Serenity Counseling & Consulting, as a staff psychotherapist for the North Georgia Health District and as a contracted trainer through Emory University’s SEATEC program.

Similarly, Moose Lutes, Richmont’s Director of Financial Aid, received this year’s Peterson Award for the commitment and service he has shown to the university that has consistently exceeded his job demands and institutional expectations.

The university was also pleased to host Dr. Timothy Irwin as this year’s graduation speaker. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Irwin is an acclaimed author on leadership, a managing partner of IrwinInc., and a trusted consultant for some of the nation’s most successful companies including SunTrust Banks, Chick-fil-A, IBM, Gerber Products Company, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, The Coca-Cola Company, and Turner Broadcasting Systems. His leadership guidance has also been featured on Fox News, via the Catalyst conference, and in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Investor’s Business Daily.

Speaking to Richmont’s newest graduates, Dr. Irwin encouraged students from Proverbs 4:23 and offered them several practical steps to take in avoiding the pitfalls that could disqualify them from leading, including: adopting a practice of frequent and rigorous self awareness; handling power with great care; speaking the truth of scripture into their lives; and creating a personal board of advisors. Overall, he graciously reminded students that their hearts are the core of their being and, even with all their excellent training, they should not get caught up in self-importance, but rather serve with humility.

Reflecting on the day, Dr. Keny Felix, Dean of the School of Counseling said, “Graduation is one of our most exciting times of the year. It is the culmination of years of diligent work on the part of students as they prepare to enter the field as counselors and marriage and family therapists or serve through various forms of ministry. We are certainly proud of the Class of 2013 and give God the glory for the privilege of witnessing his transformation in their lives during their tenure at Richmont. We are also grateful for the family members and friends who saw them through this season of their lives.”

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.”

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.