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Staff Spotlight – Dr. Nelson Soto

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Dr. Nelson Soto

Each month, faculty and staff are recognized for their enormous contribution to Union. In the words of President Sublett, “Only people make a difference in an organization and only people are important in our lives.”

Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University, is in the spotlight. The spotlight is also on National Hispanic Heritage Month and Union’s commitment to diversity. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Union will highlight the students, staff and faculty of Hispanic heritage with features, social media posts, and more.

Union is proud to serve a 26% Hispanic adult learner population and to be the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division web page.

Learn more about Nelson and his bond with diversity in the Q&A below.

Q. What excites you about being a part of higher education?

A. I learn something new every day. The higher education profession encourages learning and critical thinking. Where else can a person get paid to learn?

Q. What attracted you to become a part of the Union family?

A. Union is personal to me. I was raised by a strong single mom. She moved to this country from Puerto Rico when she was 18. My sister and I speak Spanish because my mom wanted us to respect our roots and heritage. She worked herself up the career ladder without a college degree. Her employer offered tuition benefits but she was afraid. As my sister and I became older, we encouraged her to go to college, but her fear was larger than her dream.

That is why Union’s mission of a college degree for adult learners is so precious to me. In many ways, I am doing for others what I couldn’t do for my mom.

Q. If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?

A. I have a heart for marginalized populations. A leadership role in an institution that makes policy and provides resources to vulnerable populations would be attractive to me.

Q. What surprises people about you?

A. As an administrator, I have to make difficult decisions and I know I often come across as stern and serious. But away from work, I am a teddy bear. I am a dedicated husband and father. That is my real self.

Q. What is your favorite book, and why?

A. The Bible. I don’t know of another book that offers peace and everlasting loves, shows us how to live and be a good human being, self-help, help for others, and hope all in one context.

Learn more about Union’s commitment to diversity, by clicking on the button below.

Alumni Spotlight – Kenneth Smith, MS, MA, LPC

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Kenneth Smith

Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” monthly series. Learn how our Union Institute & University (UI&U) graduates are living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment.

Featured this month: Kenneth Smith

Education: UI&U graduate of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

Profession: Ken is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been approved by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. He is in practice at the Spirit of Peace Clinical Counseling in Columbus, Ohio. Ken is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Ohio Counseling Association.

In addition to his UI&U M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, he also holds a Master of Science focused on behavioral and experimental psychology, a B.S. Agr. in Animal Science and a B.A. in History from The Ohio State University. His prior work experience includes review and assessment for over 350 businesses in 45 states and three Canadian provinces. Ken’s prior M.S. work focused primarily on pain and stress. His M.A. work focuses on treating shame and guilt in psychological and personality issues.

He was recently published in the September 2017 issue of Counseling Today on Understanding Adult Autism.

Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

A. My degree has allowed me to pursue a career that I am finding rewarding. Additionally, the work done at Union allows me to excel in the counseling field by allowing the work I did there to inform my practice and find a counseling home at Spirit of Peace Clinical Counseling in Columbus Ohio.

Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

A. There are two qualities I admire most about Union. The first is the flexibility of the courses, which allowed me to work while getting my degree. Second, the program at Union really does respect thought, religious, and intellectual diversity, a feature that based on my observations is greatly lacking in many other academic counseling programs.

Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?

A. Make sure your research follows a common theme in all your classes, so to make a robust capstone paper!

Q. What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?

A. Being published in the September 2017 issue of Counseling Today on Understanding Adult Autism (or as I wanted to title it Understanding Personality Features of Autism, Asperger’s, and Nerds (PFANNs)).

Q. What is your passion away from work?

A. My first passion is understanding, learning about, and living the Catholic faith. Other interests include cooking, gardening, theater, travel, philosophy, animal behavior, and slaughterhouses/food production.

Stay engaged with the UI&U alumni by clicking below.

Constitution Day: A Birthday Celebration of Our American Government

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We the people of Union Institute & University are celebrating Constitution Day 2017! September 17, 2017 will mark the 229th anniversary of our nation’s founding document. It was signed September 17, 1787 at the Philadelphia Convention by 39 delegates.

On September 17, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. We encourage all Americans to observe this important day in our nation’s history by attending local events in your area. Celebrate Constitution Day through activities, learning, parades and demonstrations of our Love for the United State of America and the Blessings of Freedom Our Founding Fathers secured for us. Learn more on how to celebrate Constitution Day – (Link: http://www.constitutionday.com/)

Who are our Founding Fathers?

Baldwin, Abraham, GA
Bassett, Richard, DE
Bedford, Gunning, Jr., DE
Blair, John, VA
Blount, William, NC
Brearley, David, NJ
Broom, Jacob, DE
Butler, Pierce, SC
Carroll, Daniel, MD
Clymer, George, PA
Dayton, Jonathan, NJ
Dickinson, John, DE
Few, William, GA
Fitzsimons, Thomas, PA
Franklin, Benjamin, PA
Gilman, Nicholas, NH
Gorham, Nathaniel, MA
Hamilton, Alexander, NY
Ingersoll, Jared, PA
Jefferson, Thomas, VA

Jenifer, Daniel St Thomas, MD
Johnson, William Samuel, CT
King, Rufus, MA
Langdon, John, NH
Livingston, William, NJ
Madison, James, VA
McHenry, James, MD
Mifflin, Thomas, PA
Morris, Gouverneur, PA
Morris, Robert, PA
Paterson, William, NJ
Pinckney, C. Cotesworth, SC
Pinckney, Charles, SC
Read, George, DE
Rutledge, John, SC
Sherman, Roger, CT
Spaight, Richard Dobbs, NC
Washington, George, VA
Williamson, Hugh, NC
Wilson, James, PA

Click below to learn how a degree from Union can fulfill your dreams!

Union Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

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Union Institute & University is recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15, 2017 by highlighting the university’s commitment to diversity.

“Diversity of thought and academic pursuits are the cornerstones of Union’s mission. Each individual is valued for who he or she is as a person,” said Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University.

Union serves a 26% Hispanic adult learner population. It is the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division web page. A  HIS is defined as a university where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment.

In addition, Union is active in Hispanic Chamber of Commerce associations across the nation.

“Union is a beacon of light for adults to further their education,” said Dr. Soto. “Very few places of higher education offer the scholar-practitioner model of academics and real world application. Our curriculum interweaves social connectedness to identify solutions to difficult questions. Union’s faculty is the underpinning of social justice,” said Dr. Soto.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Union will highlight the students, staff and faculty of Hispanic heritage with features, social media posts, and more. In addition, Hispanic Heritage Month posters have been placed at all five academic centers in celebration of the month.

National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. (Source National Heritage Month)

Be part of Union’s commitment to diversity!

Faculty spotlight – Dr. Covia Boyd and Dr. Melissa Naslund

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Each month, faculty and staff are recognized for their enormous contribution to Union. In the words of President Sublett, “Only people make a difference in an organization and only people are important in our lives.”

This month UI&U is highlighting National Recovery Month. In recognition of the UI&U Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, faculty members Dr. Covia Boyd and Dr. Melissa Naslund are in the spotlight.

Q. What excites you about being a part of higher education?

A. Covia – The adult learner excites me. The tenacity and perseverance of adult learners is to be appreciated. Kids learn naturally. Adult learners are working one and maybe more jobs, raising a family and going back to college. I am always excited and grateful when I have a part in an adult learner’s life, the mom or dad who understands a concept that they have been struggling with and took the time and effort to learn, that is exciting.

Melissa – I am excited by the energy, passion, and continued growth focus of higher education. A career in higher education has allowed me to build strong relationships with colleagues and students who share my same passion for helping people grow and heal. I also love that I get to spend my working hours growing my expertise and sharing my knowledge of the field of counseling through consultation, teaching, and research.

Q. What attracted you to become a part of the Union family?

A. Covia – I have great respect for Dr. Brown Beatty, the Director of the UI&U Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She was my accountability partner during our dissertation process and I know she is a person of her word. When the opportunity came to work together, I knew it would be a great experience.

Melissa – Union Institute and University was a perfect next step in my academic career. The Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program is a strong program that is at the cusp of achieving CACREP accreditation. With the strong history of the program and the exciting future ahead, joining the Union CMHC team was a no-brainer. Additionally, I have found the Union family to be exactly like my real family, they expect greatness and provide the resources needed to succeed.

Q. If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?

A. Covia – A life of service to others is my ultimate goal. I am in divinity school and plan to be a pastor.

Melissa – I have said in the past that I would love if someone would pay me to spread happiness around the world or just a small town somewhere in the midwest. I would love to walk around town handing out flowers while telling people how special and important they are. I feel like I get to do a little of this each day. As a mom, I get the honor of speaking life and encouragement into my children each day. As a counselor/faculty, I get to assist people in achieving their goals by encouraging them to dig deep and work hard for the things they want.

Q. What surprises people about you?

A. Covia – I am who I am. I don’t hold back.

Melissa – Nothing, I am an open book, and I wear my thoughts and feelings on my sleeve. Maybe that is what surprises people about me. People, especially my students have a strong schema developed about how a professor should be, and I am very different from most people’s schemas. When I first started teaching, I went through a period where I thought I needed to be more serious, maybe even artificial, but I have learned (just as a learned when becoming a counselor) that the best way to be is authentic. Honestly, I believe the most effective counselors and teachers (although they all are very different in personality and practice) are the ones who have learned to “just be themselves” and leave room for the people around them to do the same.

Q. What is your favorite book, and why?

A. Covia – I have three. First, The Most Dangerous Game. I read this book in middle school and the theme has always stayed with me because it is thought provoking. Second, The Lost Symbol. I like this book because it is fast paced and thrilling. I couldn’t put it down. Third is the Bible. The Bible is a guideline for life. I believe it is divinely inspired and tells us how to live.

Melissa – I have many favorite books. I very much appreciate Carl Rogers On Becoming a Person and all of Brené Brown’s work on shame, vulnerability, and courage. However, I would have to say my favorite book right now is Icky Sticky Ducking by Steve Smallman and Tim Warnes. I love this book because it highlights to me that no matter how perfect something seems, a little dirt and some spontaneity can always make it better.

Covia Boyd

Melissa Naslund

To learn more about Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program visit the link below or call us today at 800-861-6400.

Alumni Spotlight – Dr. Stevanne Auerbach

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Dr. Stevanne Auerbach

Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” monthly series. Learn how our UI&U graduates are living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment.

Featured this month: Dr. Stevanne Auerbach

Education: UI&U Ph.D. graduate (1973)

Profession: Dr. Auerbach, also known as Dr. Toy, is an expert on children’s play, educational toys, games, and related products. She is the author of 16 books for parents, professionals, and children. The 4th edition of Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys has been published in 12 countries and soon in Japan.

Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

A. Union changed my life. I was working as a program specialist in education for the federal government, and was the first woman to receive a long-term training fellowship that launched my doctoral studies. Life was never the same.

The learning trajectory of Union was revolutionary at the time and has proven itself to be a viable one for many self-directed learners like me who thrive and evolve in an independent program, and who are personally more creative in an open-ended structure.

When I look back not only at the work I did, but at everything else I am very satisfied that it was the best decision I ever made. I graduated with a BA from Queens College, completed an MA at George Washington University, and enrolled for classes at the University of Maryland, but the experiences were vastly different at Union.

Since graduation, I have been widely published in books and many hundreds of articles, established unique expertise, and have provided a variety of beneficial services that have contributed to many in my chosen fields.

Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

A. To sum it up, Union means to me: Unlimited potential, Notable experiences, Independent learning, Open-ended learning, and Networking.

Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?

A. Be open to and respect others, as we learn and grow from our interactions with those we encounter; each person has value, history, and experiences to share. We gain knowledge from the combination of books, research, experiences, relationships of family, friends, strangers, and from our peers of all ages and backgrounds, as well as our successes and failures. I gained a great deal from maintaining a journal during the entire program, and while it was challenging to maintain, years later I drew from it to prepare chapter eight – California Dreaming, about Union in my novel/personal memoire, The Contest.

Q. What would you say have been your greatest accomplishments?

A. Hard to pinpoint so allow me to briefly clarify the turning points: While working for the federal government I am proud that I approved the first federal funding grant for the Children’s Television Workshop, “Sesame Street,” when I worked for then, Commissioner of Education, Dr. James E. Allan.

I also worked to establish the first childcare center for children of federal employees, in the Office of Education (now DOE) which served as the model for the entire federal government. After I worked to plan and develop a national $2.5 million R&D Program in childcare for the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of the President. I facilitated plans for the Day Care Forum for the 1970 White House Conference on Children where child care rose to top priority. I testified on “the need for childcare” to a congressional committee for the first comprehensive child care legislation approved by bi-partisan vote, but sadly later the bill was vetoed by then President Nixon.

In 1986, I founded and directed the San Francisco International Toy Museum, the world’s first interactive toy museum. More than 50,000 children visited and played in this unique hands-on museum between1986 and 1990, when the Loma Prieta earthquake forced it to shut its doors. New toys for children to play with, as well as learning with the historical collectibles, were a mainstay of this unique museum.

Since 1990 I created Dr. Toy™ Best Product Award Program evaluating children’s play and educational toys and related products. Based on my training and experience I select outstanding educationally oriented, skill building, and eco-friendly products from both large and small companies around the world for recognition. Millions of parents, teachers, and toy buyers use Dr. Toy’s guidance in making their toy, play and learning selections.

Now as I wish to create a legacy I have been working to recreate the International Toy Museum. If anyone has an interest in toys, play and learning please contact me.

Q. What is your passion away from work?

A. I am passionate about butterflies and have been since childhood. My Butterfly Collection: On the Wings of the Butterfly has recently been published and has been described as a personal journey about butterflies, the need to protect them,  the resources they depend on to survive plus a selection of art and writing that reflects their beauty. We are working to create a documentary about the collection.

About Dr. Stevanne Auerbach

Dr. Auerbach, Dr. Toy, is a leading professional on children’s play and educational toys and related products. She is the creator of Dr. Toy’s Best Products Award Programs.

She is the author of 16 books for parents, professionals, and children including Dr. Toy’s Smart Play Smart Toys, Toys for a Lifetime, The Toy Chest, The Whole Child and Choosing Child Care. She has written hundreds of articles about play and toys for national and regional magazines, newspapers, and websites such as Family Circle, Huffington Post, Sears Toy Shop, Pearson Family Education, Club Mom, Playthings Magazine, King Features Syndicate, and others.

Her latest book is The Butterfly Collection: On the Wings of the Butterfly, a personal journey about butterflies, the need to protect them, and resources they depend on to survive. She is dedicated to the protection of butterflies, flowers and Milkweed they depend on, as well as expanding awareness of the art of the butterfly around the world. She has the largest collection of butterfly artifacts. Stevanne espouses “The health of the planet rests on the wings of the butterfly.” (Source Amazon.com)

Read more about Dr. Auerbach and her remarkable accomplishments in this profile by The Authors Guild.

Visit our Alumni page to learn how you can stay engaged with the UI&U alumni by clicking on the button below.

Student Spotlight: Yolanda Villa

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Reverend Yolanda Villa

September is National Recovery Month. In recognition of this effort to increase awareness of and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and celebrate the journey towards effectively coping and recovering, we are featuring Reverend Yolanda Villa, a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

Union offers a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that prepares graduates for certification or licensure as a professional counselor or clinical mental health counselor and a certificate in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling program that is designed to train and prepare professionals for a career in counseling individuals with substances use and abuse problems.

Read how Reverend Villa, an ordained pastor, plans to use her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to continue her journey to transform lives and communities.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. I want to offer counseling, teach and consult.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. I am an ordained pastor by first professional vocation. I served in local church ministry for more than 20 years. In that role, all clergy were required to take continuing educational courses around sexual misconduct and other ethical issues. The conference I am a part of provided that training and trainer conference-wide.  For several years one of your alumni was the presenter for those trainings. She was an ordained minister within the same denomination (however, she was part of a different conference).  I was impressed with the material she presented and how she presented it. I appreciated the way in which she integrated her theological training into an ethical clinical approach. She had also written a couple of books that I found to be exceptional around issues of sexual misconduct in the Church.

When I inquired about her training, I learned that she was a graduate of Union.

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. I chose Union because of its accreditations, the online-hybrid model (I knew I needed some face to face contact with a community), but also, the flexibility of being able to do a lot of the coursework online. Union offered all of that.

But more importantly, I remembered the experience of being a recipient of the work of one of the school’s graduates.  I wanted to be trained and educated, where she had been trained and educated.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. I am laughing at this question. I recall being 20 something, there was not a whole lot you could tell me then. I also have a 20 something. We always laugh when I am trying to make a point and I say to her:  “ Now remember daughter I have been around the block a few times, you haven’t gotten there yet, I think I know a little more on this one….)

My grandmother is 102-years-old. She never had the choices I had, and most definitely did not have the choices my children have. “20 somethings” should take advantage of our present day realities. As an African-American female my children (and in the future), my grandchildren have choices and will have choices unimaginable for doing the things in life they desire. How exciting is that!

Now, to your question, recently, in an article in the Counselor Today magazine I read a quote by Steve Jobs. He said:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

[We are in an age where you have choices you don’t have to settle]

I would add one additional caveat to that advice.  On the surface, it seems small, but it turns out to be humongous in life.  I would add, but, work is not all of life.  Find other things to love and balance it all out.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. There have been several influencers in my life. When I earned my Master of Divinity degree to be an ordained clergywoman, there was a seminary professor, by the name of Dr. Emilie Townes, who was an incredible influence.  I felt like for the first time, I had someone who encouraged me in my writing. She was someone who looked past the inadequacies of my education from elementary through high school and encouraged my voice.  There have also been a couple of educators from Union that have influenced my life.  One of them is Dr. Brown-Beatty.  She pushes hard and gives a lot. Throughout my life, I look for persons who will push me to the next level of who I am, and what I am capable of doing.  She also does an excellent job of choosing textbooks for the classes she teaches.

I am an avid reader.  I read across all disciplines. Thus, some of the persons that have influenced me have been writers that I return to over and over again.  Within the program there are educators who have written textbooks I return to repeatedly even when I am taking other classes (you should see a couple of them, they are hard bound textbooks and the backs and ribs of the books are already worn out and broken, and I haven’t quite finished the degree).  Because a lot of our work depends on the written and media resources we use, I appreciate instructors who take their time in choosing solid engaging resources for instruction.

Finally, my immediate family – my 102-year-old grandmother, my mother and my three adult daughters are continuous influencers in my life.  I love my relationship with them. I carry this impression of them on my heart.  So, when it seems like the way is hard – images of them rise to my consciousness and I am inspired to push on.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling by clicking on the button below or call us today at 800-861-6400.

Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Linwood Rumney

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Dr. Linwood Rumney

Each month, faculty and staff are recognized for their enormous contribution to Union. In the words of President Sublett, “Only people make a difference in an organization and only people are important in our lives.”

This month Dr. Linwood Rumney is recognized. Dr. Rumney is winner of the 17th Annual Gival Press Poetry Award for Abandoned Earth. His poems and nonfiction essays have appeared in many publications including the North American Review and Crab Orchard Review. His translations of Aloysius Bertrand, an early practitioner of the modern prose poem in French, have appeared in Arts & Letters and Hayden’s Ferry Review. His fellowships include the American Antiquarian Society, The Writers’ Room of Boston, and the St. Botolph Club, as well as a residency from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. He recently completed his Ph.D. as a Charles Phelps Taft Dissertation Fellow at UC. Dr. Rumney played a prominent role in the founding of Union’s new Live Reading Series.

Q. What excites you about being a part of higher education?

For me, the most exciting part of being part of higher education is the opportunities for growth it provides. Students, of course, get to explore a wide range of material and, if things are going as they should, are being challenged to think in new ways and to investigate their assumptions. But, I think those opportunities are also there for teachers. At the very least, I learn a lot from students, and they always help me refine my thinking about subjects I think I understand well.

Q. What attracted you to become a part of the Union family?

Working at Union appealed to me because of its model of access and because of the diversity of its undergraduate population. In the first year of working here, I’ve had students who are 19-years old and others who are 70-years young. Union’s undergraduate student body is truly diverse. It’s a real privilege to see people who could probably never physically cross paths interact and to be part of that community.

Q. If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?

I would probably be some kind of physicist, most likely an astronomer. I almost took enough courses in physics as an undergrad to declare that as my minor, and I am even listed as a contributing author on a research paper on laser spectroscopy because of work I did as a summer intern in a lab my freshman year of college. I almost wept when it was recently announced that Cassini, the spacecraft that has brought us so many stunning pictures of Saturn and its moons, is running out of fuel and will soon plunge into the planet’s atmosphere.

Q. What surprises people about you?

I think people are usually surprised by my willingness to try out a wide variety of new things and how obsessive I can become. About four years ago I started translating a 19th-century French poet even though I didn’t have much of a background in French. I’ve published many of these translations in journals and presented at a few conferences about translation since. About three years ago I started strength training and now regularly lift weights three or four days a week. Last month I started learning about HTML because it seems as though even a basic understanding of coding could be very helpful developing course content at Union.

Q. What is your favorite book, and why?

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is easily my all-time favorite book. I have read it many times since I was first introduced to it in high school, but reading it is always a joyful experience for me because I always discover and rediscover the nuances of the wisdom it contains. The first poetry I read out loud to my son after he was born, when his mother was asleep of course, came from Leaves of Grass. The work provides a lot of very important messages about celebrating diversity and pluralism and embracing what some might call radical empathy.

To learn more about Union visit the link below or call us today at  800-861-6400.

Union Institute & University Highlights National Recovery Month

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September is National Recovery Month. Union Institute & University, together with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), highlights National Recovery Month during September to increase awareness of and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and celebrate the journey towards effectively coping and recovering.

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!” highlights the value of peer support by educating, mentoring and helping others.

“This observance promotes the belief that mental health is essential to overall health, prevention works, and treatment is effective to learn coping strategies and recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders,” said Dr. Rosalyn Y. Brown Beatty, the newly appointed Program Director for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

Union offers a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that prepares graduates for certification or licensure as a professional counselor or clinical mental health counselor.

“A licensed professional counselor who specializes in clinical mental health counseling is competent to provide a wide variety of services to individuals, couples, groups, and families, including diagnostic assessment and treatment planning and intervention. These professionals often find themselves working in community mental health agencies or in private practice and maintain a focus on client wellness and prevention to promote optimum mental and emotional health,” said Dr. Brown Beatty.

A certificate in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling program is designed to train and prepare professionals for a career in counseling individuals with substances use and abuse problems.

“A career from Union Institute & University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program or Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling is an often rewarding profession that makes measurable improvement in the quality of the lives of clients, families and communities” said Dr. Brown Beatty. “An alcohol and drug abuse counselor specializes in providing counseling and support to individuals and families experiencing problems with substance use or dependence. This may include individual, family or group counseling about the causes and effects of addiction support for families dealing with addiction, and/or referrals to treatment.”

You can learn more about the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program – CLICK BELOW!

Union Leaders – Vanessa Enoch

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Dr. Vanessa Enoch

This month Dr. Vanessa Enoch is featured. Vanessa is the Founder and CEO of Cultural Impact, LLC, a Business Management consulting firm, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a 2017 UI&U graduate of the Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and Social Change, with a specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. studies.

She has been heavily engaged in social justice and human rights advocacy in the Greater Cincinnati community for over 20 years, leading local efforts to drive change in the criminal justice system and on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and issues facing children within the juvenile justice system.

Below are Dr. Enoch’s insights on leadership.

Q. How do you define leadership?

A. I believe that a leader is someone who provides positive influence and helps others acquire the tools that they need to be successful.

Q. Share an example of how you’ve put leadership in action.

A. I am a leader to my two beautiful daughters. I am also a leader in my faith community, as the first female Deacon in my over 125-year old church.  My passion for education and for disadvantaged children drives my leadership in my community, advocating for social justice causes such as ending mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline. As the board member for several non-profit organizations, I have been actively engaged in promoting positive race relations and in community organizing to encourage civic engagement.

Q. What leader do you admire most and why?

A. The three leaders I admire most are former U.S. President Barack Obama, former South African President Nelson Mandela, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I admire these three men because of the grace they exhibited in the midst of upheaval, resistance, and turmoil. I also admire the charismatic way each of them handled the difficulties that they faced. Although each of these men is heralded as world leaders and heroes today, they faced tremendous public scrutiny and were reviled by many as they struggled to change oppressive systems.

Q. What is your favorite inspiring leadership quote?

A. My favorite leadership quote is derived from words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Q. When did you first feel that you were a leader? What was the experience?

A. I first believed that I was a leader when I became the first of my grandparents’ children and grandchildren to attend and graduate from college. The experience carried and still carries an immeasurable amount of pressure, because I understand that people are relying on me to make good decisions and live a model life. Sometimes leadership requires making unpopular decisions and standing even when there is no one standing with you.

About Dr. Vanessa Enoch

Vanessa Enoch is the Founder and CEO of Cultural Impact, LLC, a Business Management consulting firm, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She completed her Ph.D. at Union Institute & University in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and Social Change, with a specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. studies. She also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management Information Systems from Xavier University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University. She has over 16 years teaching experience at the college level. She has been heavily engaged in Social Justice and Human Rights advocacy in the Greater Cincinnati community for over 20 years, leading local efforts to drive change in the criminal justice system and on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and issues facing children within the juvenile justice system.

Dr. Enoch has held leadership roles on boards such as the Juvenile Justice Taskforce, the local chapter of the National Black MBA Association, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, and was one of the youngest to ever hold a board position on The Greater Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce.  She has received many awards including academic scholarships for her Ph.D. studies, 2011 Educator of the Year, one of 15 Women in Business to Watch 2006, The Cincinnati Business Couriers 2004 Forty Under 40 award, C-Change Leadership Class 2006, and awarded 2004 Chapter of the Year during her Leadership as President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.

She has two daughters, Mikela (23) and Christian (16).

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