CACREP’s Martin Ritchie and Carol Bobby Award Recipients
Martin Ritchie Award for Excellence in Advocacy
This award recognizes individuals who engage in superlative advocacy efforts on behalf of CACREP and its vision, mission, and values, which ultimately serve to advance the counseling profession through quality and excellence in counselor education.
This year’s recipient is Dr. Emily Sallee a Counselor Educator at The University of Montana, president-elect of Rocky Mountain ACES, past president of the Montana School Counseling Association, and board member of the Montana Youth Justice Council. As a proud school counselor and school counselor educator, she continues to fulfill her role as advocate for students and works tirelessly to ensure that the professional standards are covered thoroughly within the curriculum with evidence-based practices, ethical standards, and culturally responsive counseling approaches to ensure that every program graduate is prepared to serve students and clients responsibly and ethically. She leads, supports, and in the CACREP spirit of high-quality programming, creates opportunities for all stakeholders to move toward their potentials.
Cultural competency, social justice and advocacy work are interwoven through each facet of her role as a counselor educator. She helped create the program’s Counselor for Social Justice chapter; and she uses her platform and voice to advocate for the needs of diverse populations, to reiterate Counselors responsibility to address systemic barriers negatively impacting their clients, and to address dangerous new legislation restricting gender-affirming care for minors in Montana. Dr. Sallee demonstrates a skill and willingness to engage in difficult conversations.
As the Director of The University of Montana Safe Schools Center she implements training, research, and professional development services to schools and communities in Montana and beyond on issues such as suicide and threat assessments, cybersecurity, school emergency response, and telehealth counseling services for students in rural districts without access to mental health services or school counselors. Under her leadership, Safe Schools was awarded a $2 million dollar grant.
She currently serves as the Montana School Counseling Association chairperson and leads the advocacy committee which was successful in its efforts to reverse a proposed state regulatory rule change, Chapter 55, which sought to remove the ratio of school counselors to students in Montana. Dr. Sallee has her own Facebook page, Running Upriver, where she regularly posts positive, inspiring, and evidence-based messages.
Carol Bobby Pioneer Award for Visionary Leadership
This award celebrates a doctoral student in a CACREP-accredited counselor education and supervision program who embodies visionary leadership aligned with CACREP’s core values.
This year’s recipient is Ms. Alexandra Reeves a doctoral student at the University of the Cumberlands. Ms. Reeves exhibits academic excellence and was inducted into Chi Psi Omega Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. Her faculty and peers experience her as being collaborative, committed to excellence and the highest ethical standards in everything she does. Her commitment to lifelong learning is demonstrated in earned certificates in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Certificate (MBCT), and Infant Mental Health.
Ms. Reeves currently works as a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and serves as a supervisor. Her advocacy work for Professional Counselors has centered around promoting a greater role within the interdisciplinary landscape of the VA system; and supporting families of deployed service members. With clinical experience working in the VA and personal experience as a military spouse, she acutely understands and has developed expertise on the needs of military families and envisions attainable quality services to enhance their mental wellbeing. Her dissertation research is on wellness and postpartum depression symptoms in the spouses of deployed service members, and her hope is to use the findings from her study to inform resource allocation and counseling interventions to support military spouses.
Her leadership activities include service on the Chi Sigma Iota Leadership and Professional Advocacy committee where she is involved in advocacy efforts to protect professional counselor identity within the context of advancing the Counseling Compact; in working with legislators to increase awareness about the importance of CACREP accreditation as a requirement for professional credentialing particularly in states pursuing participation in the Counseling Compact.
Her clinical knowledge and professional commitment is clearly evident in her roles as leader, mentor, and co-educator. Her leadership and advocacy experience and engagement on behalf of the Counseling profession is exemplary. She is dedicated to advancing the counseling profession and strengthening standards and policies that reflect the needs of society.