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Doctoral Degree

A career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling offers rewards

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A career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling offers rewards

Jennifer Scott, Psy.D., ABPP

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 people who recover.

In the Q&A below, Jennifer Scott, Psy.D., ABPP, Program Director, discusses the rewards of  a career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling.

Q.Describe a day in the life of a Clinical Mental Health Counselor?

A. 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. Though there is no “typical day” in the life of a professional counselor, any given week might include collecting information about clients through interviews, observation, psychological tests, review of records, collateral contacts, etc.; counseling clients and families about personal issues; preparing and maintaining treatment records and reports; conducting suicide/risk assessments and crisis intervention; consulting with other treatment providers to coordinate client care; making referrals to community resources or specialized services as necessary; maintaining insurance and financial records for billing purposes; training other mental health professionals or staff; participating in continuing education training and professional development activities; and presenting at professional conferences or publishing scholarly work.

Q. Describe a day in the life of an Alcohol and Drug Counselor?

A. A licensed 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. The alcohol and drug abuse counselor will also provide education to individuals and groups in the community with a focus on high-risk populations, including youth and pregnant women. The counselor will be familiar with other services and resources in the community and work closely to provide information and support when required.

Q. What attracts a person to this career?

A. A counselor, regardless of specialty area, is a helper first. A person attracted to this field is someone compelled to make a difference one individual at a time, and he or she recognizes the importance of rigorous education and training in order to help others in an ethical and competent manner.

Q. How rewarding is this career?

A. Though counselors will agree that being a counselor is rewarding, what makes it so is different for different people. Some may find the greatest joy in the process of counseling, whereby the counselor and client join together toward a common goal; others may find most appealing the independence of being an autonomous practitioner or the exhilaration that comes with advocacy and making systemic changes in the field. Whatever the personal reward for devoting oneself to the service of others, the real prize is the measurable improvement in the quality of the lives of our clients, their families and their communities.

Q.  What do you want people to know about mental and/or substance use disorders?

A. People with mental and/or substance use disorders are people first. They are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, partners, friends and co-workers. They are more than their diagnosis and should be treated with compassion, dignity and respect. Many, many mental, emotional and substance use disorders can be treated or effectively managed. All persons, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation or other group membership, deserve equal access to preventative, educational, and intervention mental health services that promote well being and optimal health.


If you believe that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and/or substance use disorders, then a degree in Union Institute & University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling may be the right career move for you.

National Recovery Month

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Union’s Ph.D. Program Welcomes New Leadership This Fall

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Union’s Ph.D. Program Welcomes New Leadership This Fall

Dr. Michael Raffanti is the new Dean of the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program. In this Q&A, Dr. Raffanti discusses his goals for the program as he begins his new role.

Q. What are you most excited about in your new role as the Dean of the Ph.D. program?

A. This is an exciting time to lead the Ph.D. program. I’m part of equipping leaders as they learn. I am excited to lead a program that is student-centered. Our goal as a university is to continually meet the needs of students. By putting students first, the curriculum remains relevant, not stagnant. I also want to thank Dr. Arlene Sacks, former dean and now Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, for her leadership and assistance in developing many of the curricular changes that we are now implementing and our students are benefiting from daily.

Second, I am excited to continue to work with such an excellent faculty as we have here at Union. The faculty is continually involved in scholarly research and develops the students to become scholar practitioners.

Third, I am excited to continue Union’s long-time focus on social justice. It is so rewarding to watch our students take on social justice issues within their communities. They are doing real work to help marginalized populations that face poverty and racism daily.

Fourth, I am excited to strengthen the close collaboration among departments. The common goal at Union is to serve students. This sets Union apart from other universities.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Union family? 

A. Everything. What attracted me at first about Union and still does, is the university’s commitment to educating people of all ages with the hope that education improves lives and communities. I am a first-generation college graduate. I understand the struggles nontraditional doctoral students encounter. Facilitating adults in their educational journey to use their knowledge and skills to better serve their communities is the most satisfying work I have ever done.

Q. Why is a strong Ph.D. program important to a university?

A. Strong Ph.D. program strengthens a university’s scholarship and influences the culture. You might say a strong program is a flagship of a university.

Q. What is your greatest piece of advice to give to students entering into our doctoral program?

A. Working toward a Ph.D. is the most transformative experience a person will undergo. You don’t know where this journey will take you, but it will be life changing. I try to prepare students to imagine the experience, to discuss the sacrifice this commitment takes with family, and to be realistic about the daily, weekly, workload. My doctorate has taken me to the Dean of the Union Institute & University Ph.D. program. Go for it!

About Dr. Michael Raffanti:

Mr. Raffanti joined Union in 2007 as a faculty member and served as the associate dean in the Ph.D. program prior to taking on his new position as dean. He earned his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University, Master in Teaching, Teachers of Native American Learners, from Evergreen State College, and his Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy from University of Portland. Dr. Raffanti also holds a Juris Doctor from the Boston College Law School. He has been published in the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, Journal of Qualitative and Ethnographic Research, and Journal of Integral Theory and Practice and presented at many conferences.

Learn more about Union’s
distinctive doctoral program

A Celebration of Learning: Union’s 2016 Ph.D. Residency

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Highlights from the 2016 July Ph.D. Residency

 

Highlights from

the 2016 Ph.D. Residency

A Celebration of Learning was on display as students from around the nation gathered at the 2016 July Ph.D. Residency in Cincinnati, Ohio for the collective purpose of pursuing professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service and social responsibility. 

The residency opened Sunday, July 3rd with an Opening Night Dinner event featuring Dr. Betty Overton-Adkins, renowned social justice speaker, with a, powerful presentation entitled, “Intersectionality Part 2: Intersectionality and the New Normalcy.” Other featured events included Breakfast with University Provost Dr. Nelson Soto; New Student lunch with Dr. Arlene Sacks, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Two MLK Capstone Presentations; Women & Power Hour with Dr. Diane Allerdyce, Program Chair; and Curriculum and Dissertation process with Dr. Raffanti, Dean of the Ph.D. Program.   

Outside of hitting the books after dinner, the evenings of the residency week were filled with fun group activities such as a Dance Social and Open Mic Night. The culminating event, held Friday, July 8th, was the Presidential Luncheon hosted by University President, Dr. Roger H. Sublett. Dr. Sublett reflected on the current state of higher education in America and Union’s role in transforming lives and communities. 

Our Ph.D. residency weeks are held twice a year in January and July. All doctoral students are required to attend the residencies. Most students find extreme value in these week-long connection events. Dr. Raffanti, Dean of the Ph.D. Program noted, “We make ourselves as faculty very available to our students that week, from mornings through well into the evenings,” Raffanti said. “We try to establish those connections you won’t find in other, similar programs.”

Learn more about Union’s
distinctive doctoral program

A Lifetime of Commitment is Recognized

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Dr. Jackie Young recently honored with the 2016 University of Hawaii Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Jackie Young

Alumnus | Doctoral

Dr. Jackie Young has followed the Union Institute & University mission to engage, enlighten, and empower in a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility through championing civil liberties. Her commitment to transform lives and communities was recognized with the first Union Institute & University Presidents Award in 1995. She credits Union for much of her professional success, saying “Union made all the difference.” 

Recently, she was honored by her first alma mater, the University of Hawaii, with the 2016 University of Hawaii Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have used their education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others, and provide service for the benefit of University of Hawaii and community.

Dr. Young’s remarkable career includes serving as an appointed member of the Hawaii State Judicial Selection Commission, and the Hawaii State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; and as a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge Campaign. On the national level, she is a member of the U.S. Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

She implemented P.L. 94-142 Education for All Children Act, requiring the deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities for the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (DOE). In 1985, she became the DOE sex equity and Title IX administrator. She also served as adjunct professor at Hawaii Pacific University for 10 years. 

Dr. Young has worked through the political process to make a difference, serving as the chair of the Hawaii Women’s Political Caucus and vice president of the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1990 she was elected to the State House of Representatives and then elected in 1992 as vice speaker, the first woman to hold that position. She championed issues related to Native Hawaiians, the environment and crimes against women. In 1994, Young was appointed as the state’s affirmative action officer. While undergoing breast cancer treatment and speaking publicly about her experience in 1998, she managed the nation’s first marriage equality campaign, Protect Our Constitution, in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign. She later served as the UH sex equity coordinator. Young became an executive with the American Cancer Society Hawai‘i Pacific in 1999 and retired in 2013 as its chief staff officer. She is a recent kidney cancer survivor.

In addition to her 1989 Ph.D. in Women’s Studies and Communication from Union Institute & University, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Hawaii and a Master’s in Speech and Special Education from Old Dominion University.

Learn more about Union’s
distinctive doctoral program

Ph.D. student receives second Fulbright Award

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History hidden in plain view. Ph.D. student receives second Fulbright Award to restore the effects of African diaspora in Suriname.

Paula Royster

Current Student | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies

Paula Royster is the founder of The Center of African American Genealogical Research, Inc. (CAAGRI), a non-profit, volunteer based organization with the mission to reunite as many African descended Americans with their distant African relatives as possible. She holds a Master of Arts in History and Culture from Union Institute & University and is a current Ph.D. student in Union’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Studies Specialization degree program. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholar Program awards. The prestigious program of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is an educational and cultural exchange program that connects people and encourages them to learn about each other’s cultures and values.

What’s in a name? Just ask the millions of people of African descent whose ancestors were captured and transported into the slave trade. “Slaves identity, culture, traditions, and customs were stolen. They were unimportant,” said Paula Royster, Union Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Studies Specialization Ph.D. student, recipient of her second Fulbright Award and founder of the Center for African American Genealogical Research, Inc. (CAAGRI). “Imagine not knowing who your ancestors are? How can we answer the question who we are and where we are going if we don’t know where we have been?”

 

Royster will try to help answer these questions for the people of the Republic of Suriname, located in the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America, when she travels to Anton de Kom University to teach an African Diaspora Studies class, a Research Methods class and tackle a public history project to capture the oral histories of Suriname’s eldest community members. She wrote the syllabus while enrolled in the master’s program at Union. 

 

“Suriname was colonized by the Dutch. Most people of African descent captured and transported into the slave trade, like all other South American and Caribbean nations, are disconnected from their ancestral origins: my task will be to try and help them identify the various origins,” said Royster. “Suriname expressed a desire for someone to help them with this project to rediscover history hidden in plain view. I will also work with faculty and staff on developing a sustainable curriculum on African Studies after my term is over because the teachers do not have the educational backgrounds to teach these courses nor do they have the resources (books) or research methods to adequately teach the course over the long-term. So I will be in the classroom 50 percent of the time and researching the other 50 percent.”

The term African diaspora has been historically applied to the descendants of the West and Central Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas in the Atlantic slave trade. It is estimated that about 12.5 million Africans were shipped to North America, the Caribbean and South America between 1525 and 1866. (Henry Gates Jr. Many Rivers to Cross)

Royster and her students will record memories of the eldest people first and then others as time permits. She anticipates conducting over 150 interviews. Her passion for genealogy research started innocently enough when she tried to locate her grandmother’s birth certificate.

 

“I stumbled into genealogy quite by accident. My grandmother was suffering from the early stages of dementia and my mother needed to get a copy of her birth certificate. When the birth record was not found in Texas, I began to ask questions about my grandmother’s birth parents. Answers led to more questions and I have not looked back since,” said Royster. “I discovered that the processes for genealogists researching African American families transcended the obvious physical deprivations of humanity via slavery but also that those deprivations persisted in other parts of our cultural attitudes about whose records were important and whose were not. The invisibility of African Americans in society is what caused me to found CAAGRI.”

That wake-up call resulted in the founding of the CAAGRI in 2004 located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “I founded the Center with the goal of helping African American novice genealogists begin their genealogy research because the official records for African Americans prior to the Civil War did not include us by name, DOB, parent’s names, etc. We were recorded as property of the slave master,” said Royster. In 2006, the Center included genetic DNA as a research tool and sought a partner in Africa to help with oral histories as well as the collection of DNA. Little did she know that the partnership would have far reaching implications for her first Fulbright Award.

“I reviewed old maps and came across Fort Gross Fredericksburg in Prince's Town, Ghana and proceeded to establish a sister city relationship. We had a delegation from Ghana come to Fredericksburg to sign the official proclamation. As I began to learn more about the history of the Nzima people, they told me about a folk hero named King Gyane Kone (John Connie) who had been in a protracted battle (almost 20 years) with the Danish over control of Fort Gross Fredericksburg,” said Royster. “Kone was eventually captured but negotiated with his captors that he would leave peacefully if they agreed to take his son to Germany to be educated. Kone was then sent to Jamaica where he implemented his cultural harvest celebration called "Kundum" (koon-doom) into Jamaican society now called "Jonkonnu." Kone's son later became known as Anton Wilhelm Amoo, the 18th century African philosopher.”

Royster was able to share the history of the Jamaican folk hero and his contribution to one of Jamaica’s most cherished traditions during her first Fulbright Award assignment. “My first Fulbright was as a Specialist (designed for short-term assignments) to Jamaica to help the University of West Indies at Mona in Kingston develop a curriculum on African Studies as a legitimate interdisciplinary study. As I traveled through the country, I shared the information on Jonkonnu and its connections to Prince’s Town,” said Royster.

Royster is proud of the light she has been able to shed on the origins of people of African descent and their contributions to human civilizations. Her second Fulbright will provide the opportunity to teach in her area of interest at the university level, which is a short term goal of Royster’s. “Teaching others about their history requires a new writing of history that I hope will inspire a new sense of purpose within the Diasporic community. I believe that family history is important and provides context of not only where you come from but where you are going.” If you would like to know how other MLK students are working for social justice, read “MLK Student Fights To End Sex Trafficking.” 

Learn more about Union’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Studies Specialization program

Ph.D. Program now offers four Certificates

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MLK 66 piep small

Union Institute & University now offers doctoral certificates in:

• Creative Writing
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies & Social Change
• Women’s & Gender Studies
• Design Thinking

These certificates are embedded within the Ph.D. program, so you are able to graduate with both the doctoral degree and a single certificate. This provides substantial documentation for your future professional leadership endeavors. These certificates are available only to degree seeking students and are awarded in tandem with the completion of a doctoral degree. For more information contact admissions.phd@myunion.edu or 888-828-8575.

Creative Writing
12 credits / 4 seminars
The Creative Writing Certificate is comprised of two workshop-style creative writing seminars and two advanced content seminars. Given the increased attentiveness to creative writing in fields such as education, leadership studies, sociology, psychology, and medicine, many students find this formal recognition of their scholarly-creative work to be a valuable credential in both academic and non-academic job markets.

Highlights:
■ Adds interdisciplinary breadth to your course of study.
■ Delves deeply and fully into your creative writing and the creative writing of others.
■ Strengthens your ability to read and critique a wide variety of texts with the eye of a writer and editor.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies & Social Change
12 credits / 3 seminars and 1 internship
The four seminars for this certificate are devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s writings, the relationship between ideas and practices, and how his philosophy extends to current challenges of social justice in the real world. This certificate is likely to improve opportunities for those pursuing fields such as: education, human services, leadership and policy planning.

Highlights:
■ Distinguishes understanding and application of approaches to actualizing social change.
■ Provides a greater opportunity for employment in community development organizations and agencies focused on conflict
resolution.
■ Increases teaching opportunities in interdisciplinary studies programs.

Women’s & Gender Studies
12 credits / 4 courses
The certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies is comprised of four courses with activities during the academic residencies that include Women & Power Luncheons and special faculty presentations of Women’s & Gender Studies issues.

Highlights:
■ Prepares you for teaching in Women’s Studies Departments, Gender Studies Departments, and Interdisciplinary Programs.
■ Increases opportunities in the corporate environment where the Women’s & Gender Studies Certificate will demonstrate competence in dealing with issues related to gender equality.
■ Provides opportunities in the social services arenas working with populations including women, girls, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) communities and more.

Design Thinking 
12 credits / 4 seminars
The Design Thinking Certificate focuses on combining creative solutions through analytic approaches and requires
collaboration across disciplines. This program challenges you to develop new problem solving techniques to specific challenges.
The process draws from a variety of fields and combines them with ideas from the arts, social sciences, and business.

Highlights:
■ Allows multi-modal pedagogies leading to the creation of new knowledge that uses a diversity of skill for showcasing cutting edge collaborative work.
■ Takes pedagogies outside the realm of the traditional box.
■ Provides creative and critical thinking processes applicable to the fields of education and business in a global economy.

 

Ph.D. offers new Educational Studies major

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PhD program

CINCINNATI, OH – Union Institute & University President Roger H. Sublett is pleased to announce the addition of a doctoral level Educational Studies major to Union’s Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program, beginning July 2015. The Educational Studies major will complement the existing majors of Ethical and Creative Leadership; Humanities and Culture; and Public Policy and Social Change in the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Union Institute & University’s Educational Studies major has been approved by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and will admit students for the term and residency starting in July 2015.

“Union Institute & University has a 50-year legacy as an innovator in adult higher education, particularly in programs focusing on social justice,” said Union Institute & University President Dr. Roger H. Sublett. “The decision to offer the new major comes after detailed study and response to a shifting demand for Ph.D. degrees in this area. Union has offered the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with specializations in Higher Education and in PK-12 and Education Leadership since 2008. The Ed.D. will be retained for doctoral aspirants who envision a career practicing educational leadership.”

The new doctoral major will allow students to explore complex issues in the fields of PreK-12 and higher education, with core seminars on social justice in education and the philosophical and historical foundations of education. As they advance through the program, students will have more flexibility than traditional programs and opportunities to study a variety of topics, including theories of teaching and learning, the role of technology, issues of diversity, educational systems, legal and policy matters, and assessment.

“As a pioneer in adult education, the Educational Studies major is another example of our effort to meet the expanding needs of our students,” said Dr. Sublett. “Union is distinguished by its focus on adults and its flexible, socially relevant, and applicable learning outcomes.”

Learn more about the Union Institute & University Educational Studies major and Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program by contacting admissions@myunion.edu or 800-861-6400.

Spotlight on MLK Studies – William Cerf

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Did you know that Union Institute & University offers one of the few Ph.D. specializations in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Studies in the country? In recognition of this distinct honor, and in remembrance of Dr. King, this month we are featuring some of the people who are part of the MLK Studies program.

William Cerf

William Cerf, Student: Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, Martin Luther King Jr. Studies specialization

How do you apply Dr. King’s philosophies in your everyday life?

I have adopted this quote by Dr. King from the The Trumpet of Conscience to guide my philosophy in my everyday life:

“The dispossessed of this nation – the poor, both white and Negro – live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize…against the injustice, “not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures” (italics mine) through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty. There are millions of poor people in this country who have very little, or even nothing to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life. I believe that injustice in any part of America is injustice in America. ”

In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail Dr. King states “Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in this country.” Lately, my Christian faith has called me to speak out about unjust prosecution of African-American judges in Cincinnati and throughout the US.

William Cerf has over 20 years of experience as a problem solver in project coordination and customer service. He has a strong passion for serving clients, working toward accomplishment of organizational goals and meeting objectives in a timely cost effective manner.

He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Jones International University with a Master of Arts in Business Communication and holds an undergraduate degree from California State University in Los Angeles.
Cerf was a presenter at the January 2014 Union Institute & University Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. residency, was published in Philosophy for Business in 2010, and is active in community service.


Learn more about Union’s MLK Studies specialization here.

Union Alum to deliver Wittenberg Commencement Keynote

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Dr Kim Byas

Union Institute & University Board of Trustees Member, alumnus (Ph.D. 2013) and American Hospital Association Regional Executive Kim Byas, will present the keynote address during Wittenberg University’s 170th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Dr. Byas graduated from Wittenberg in 1974.

With more than 30 years of experience in healthcare administration, Dr. Kim Byas has served as president, CEO and consultant for a variety of organizations, including Kailo Alliance, Inc. and Coopers & Lybrand. He currently serves as a regional executive for the American Hospital Association, overseeing a region that encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. He has also served on the boards of directors for the Asian Health Care Leaders Association for the past six years and on the board of directors of Chicago College of Performing Arts for the past 17 years. Additionally, he has served as a board member of March of Dimes for 26 years and currently sits as chairman.

Throughout his career, Dr. Byas has been involved in numerous ambitious healthcare projects. He has written, secured, and managed multiple federal and private foundation grants; evaluated existing programs and developed strategic options; organized and managed multi-county integrated delivery systems in numerous states; established provider networks that include physicians, hospitals, therapists, optometrists, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers; and recruited and trained executive management teams to operate care corporations.

Dr. Kim Byas will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the commencement ceremony in Springfield, Ohio.

Spotlight on MLK Studies: Karen Traynum-Davis

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Did you know that Union Institute & University offers one of the few Ph.D. specializations in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Studies in the country? In recognition of this distinct honor, and in remembrance of Dr. King, we are featuring some of the people who are part of the MLK Studies program.

MLK studies

Karen Traynum-Davis, Ph.D. Student with a major in Ethical & Creative Leadership

How do you apply Dr. King’s philosophies in your everyday life?

As a student in the Martin Luther King Studies Specialization at Union Institute and University and as an educator of our children, the legacy of Dr. King is not only inspiring, but quite simply provides a road map for my daily life. His belief that everyone in the community is valuable and should be embraced in our society is as closely related my commitment to teach our disadvantaged youth as it is relevant to the recent acts of violence we have witnessed in our communities. Too often, some of our youth feel unwelcomed, devalued and unloved. Society and their circumstances have made them feel very limited in what they can achieve in life. I have always been an optimist. I believe, like Dr. King did, that we cannot allow ourselves to feel limited in any aspect of life because we will then begin to feel limited in our ability to help transform ourselves and society. Dr. King was committed to community, youth, education, and social justice. On a daily basis I recommit myself to Dr. King’s legacy through educating our youth with his legacy of love, community, social justice, and limitlessness in mind.

Karen Traynum-Davis has spent her professional career in education and instruction. She is the Home Instruction Program Director at Dohn Community School, where she manages subject instruction; preparation for state testing and graduation; and administration of tests and subject work based on student Individual Education Program goals. She has served as an academic tutor in the Cincinnati Public Schools and Business Department Chairperson at Lincoln College of Technology in Cincinnati. Karen earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from the University of Cincinnati.


Learn more about Union’s MLK studies specialization here.