Dr. Rosalyn Brown-Beatty is an affiliate professor in the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Union. At the Celebration of Teaching event on November 7, 2014, she was recognized by the Greater Consortium of Cincinnati Colleges and Universities as an outstanding example of academic excellence. Dr. Brown-Beatty is a passionate instructor and takes her role as a mentor to her students seriously. “At Union, we have a very unique group of students,” she said. “Many have come to the program with the inner drive and passion it takes to help people during their most difficult parts of life.”
The desire to intervene and aid individuals struggling with difficult circumstances is what started Dr. Brown-Beatty on her journey to become an instructor and a mental health professional. “When I was in the 7th grade, I remember being sick at home and watching an episode of Sally Jessy Raphael,” Dr. Brown-Beatty said. “That episode featured a kid who was very unruly. Sally then invited out a specialist, a child therapist. The therapist in all her gracefulness asked a few questions followed by several suggestions on ways the child could deal with his inner anger. At that moment, with all my naiveté, I decided that this was what I wanted to do.”
Even if this was a popular introduction to the world of counseling and therapy, Dr. Brown-Beatty said that she never lost the passion to help people. “While I never pretended that problems or the resulting inner pain didn’t exist, I always viewed problems with the attitude: ‘What can I learn from this?’ or ‘What is my purpose in this experience?’ In researching the Counseling field, I knew that I could use my passion combined with evidence-based practices to help others navigate through the storms of their lives. It was my desire to help others find their own tools to cope and successfully see the rainbow in the storms and navigate through the storm to get to their desired destination.”
Her passion is rooted in a strong sense of social responsibility and in her own family and community values. “When I think of social responsibility, I think of the many ways that counselors and counselor educators are taking an active role in social advocacy issues for clients, as well as for the general public. I have been added to the hearing panel for the Title IX, Sexual Assault and Violence Against Women Act implementation at Union Institute & University. Although we hope these issues never arise at our university, I am committed to being part of the panel that will ensure that they are investigated and appropriate recommendations are made to address each issue.”
Dr. Brown-Beatty is heavily invested in raising awareness around domestic violence issues as well. She has worked with organizations, such as the YWCA, to provide support and assistance for women who are victims of domestic violence, and she desires to continue passing on the legacy of social justice to her family. “Domestic Violence has been a strong social interest of mine for many years. Previously, I worked locally at the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter. It was there as I sat across the table doing an intake interview with someone who had the same background as myself, the same age as myself, and even had some physical resemblance to me, that it truly hit home that domestic violence can impact anyone at any time. At that moment, I knew that I had a responsibility beyond a work capacity to advocate for domestic violence victims and bring awareness to what so many continue to suffer in silence about,” she said. “Recently, I even took my 5-year-old daughter and 11-year-old niece with me to the Purple Light Up the Night Walk Against Domestic Violence, because part of my view on social responsibility is making sure that we educate future generations on being social aware and responsible to help better our communities.”
Dr. Brown-Beatty has had the opportunity to educate students for seven years at the undergraduate, master & doctoral level at several universities in Ohio via traditional on-campus classes and online learning environments.
For her students, Dr. Brown-Beatty said that the top two issues that they need to be aware of are: (1) their connection and professional involvement in the counseling field, and (2) their preparedness to handle mental illness issues associated with substance abuse.
“In the field of counseling, we have a strong line of professional organizations that represent Licensed Professional Counselors (e.g., American Counseling Association, Ohio Counseling Association, Chi Sigma Iota),” Dr. Brown-Beatty said. “Our professional organizations also support the work we do to help our clients on various different levels. For example, the American Counseling Association has been a major proponent fighting for Licensed Professional Counselors to be able to sit for the requirements of being covered under TRICARE and be employable under the Department of Defense.”
Investment in these professional counseling organizations, according to Dr. Brown-Beatty, not only benefits students by helping to increase the job prospects of Licensed Professional Counselors, but the professional groups also promote and foster the availability of treatment for mental-health clients when they need it the most. “Involvement in these organizations helps perpetuate the longevity of the counseling profession and the ability to serve those in need,” Dr. Brown-Beatty said.
In addressing the concerns regarding mental health and substance abuse, Dr. Brown-Beatty said that she encourages student to take advantage of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling certificate here at Union. “The link between substance abuse and mental illness is astounding in the helping fields,” she said. “Getting the necessary training while enrolled in classes prepares students to be able to better address the issues of future clientele.”
Along with her academic instruction, Dr. Brown Beatty has experience working within the mental health and social service field. Specifically, she has worked with students interested in career counseling & transitioning, at risk teenagers, individuals diagnosed with physical and/or mental disabilities, women’s mental health and growth issues, individuals seeking substance abuse treatment services, domestic violence victims and survivors, and students in school-based therapy.
Despite all the projects and initiatives Dr. Brown-Beatty leads, her focus remains on her students. “The most rewarding part of my career as a counselor educator is when my student becomes my peer,” she said. “For me, once my student sits beside me as a professional, it reminds me not only of my purpose but also of how our purposes interact together in the journey of helping people. It is in those moments that I find intrinsic rewards of knowing that more people will be able to receive compassionate and competent care.