Program News

May is an exciting month for the MTSU Professional Counseling students!

On May 7, 2022, the MTSU Professional Counseling Program and the Chi Sigma Iota Chapter hosted a graduation celebration to honor 12 counseling students. Graduation is a time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our students after years of reading, research papers, discussion board post, and field placements. Friends and family came to join the celebration and congratulate each student on all their accomplishments. 

On April 18, 2022, the College of Education hosted the 2022 Academic Excellence Ceremony.  As part of this event, the Professional Counseling Program honored the following deserving students with awards and scholarships:


Dr. Virgina Dansby Perseverance Award – Jairo Robles

Outstanding Graduate Assistant – Natalie Trice

Chi Sigma Iota All Star Award – Sawyer Small

Outstanding School Counselor Student – Desirae Skelly

Outstanding Clinical Mental Health Student – Jonathan Gogal

Elanor Frances Nelson Jordan Professional Counseling Scholarship – Crystal Benton and Tashia Handy

Keith Carlson Professional Counseling Scholarship – Hannah Kollmansperger

Winkler-Slicker Professional Counseling Scholarship – Sally Foster, Tatum Hochstetler, Haley Ortiz, and Ashley Trent

Chi Sigma Iota of MTSU's Counseling Program volunteers with the Murfreesboro Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center in April

Between two separate days, students spent a total of 6 hours helping to organize the DV/SA Center's main donation space Through the pandemic, the DV/SA Center received numerous donations - enough that the donations were piling up and hard to organize with the available staff busy with day-to-day duties.

The donation space, about the size of an apartment, housed many materials for the DV/SA residents to take - including hygiene supplies, diapers, cleaning supplies, clothing, bedding, and various housing supplies residents can use during their stay at the center or take with them to a new home. Our students helped sort donations, organize the space, and clean the closet so that residents can easily enter the donation space and find what they need.

Students showing in picture, from left to right: Brittany O'Connell, Heather Canonico, Tonia Nadeau, Sawyer Small, and Courtnee Guynn (not pictured)

Group of member of Chi Sigma Iota posing next to bronze statue of dog with puppies

MTSU Professional Counseling Program Honor Society holds Spring Inductions

The Mu Tau Upsilon Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota held the Spring 2022 Induction Ceremony on Saturday, March 26, 2022. Chi Sigma Iota is an international Counseling and Academic Honor Society.  The Mu Tau Upsilon Chapter at MTSU was established in 2017. At the induction ceremony this semester, 11 students from the MTSU Professional Counseling Program were inducted into the Chapter.  Amy Baltimore, K-5 School Counseling Supervisor with Rutherford County Schools, served as the guest speaker. 

inductees welcome
wilson and speaker wilson and inductee
wilson and inductee 2 wilson and inductee 3
wilson and jesse wilson and inductee 4
lily shauntia
wilson, lee, and baltimore  

Dr. Hannah Robinson to joing the MTSU Professional Counseling Program faculty in Fall 2022.


Headshot of Dr. Hannah Robinson

Dr. Hannah Robinson is excited to join the faculty in the Professional Counseling program at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Robinson earned a Ph.D. in Counseling at the University of North Texas, specializing in play therapy, a M.S. in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, and a B.S. from the University of Florida. Dr. Robinson is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credentialed by the Association for Play Therapy. Dr. Robinson has experience counseling diverse clientele across the lifespan including children, adolescents, adults, couples, families, parents, and children, adolescent, and adult groups in community agencies, elementary and preschool schools, and private practice. Furthermore, Dr. Robinson specializes in providing play therapy services to children who have experienced adversity and children from Title 1 Schools. Dr. Robinson’s research interests including examining the effectiveness and process of Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) and Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with Marginalized Communities. Dr. Robinson values a student-centered, experiential approach to teaching that allows students to actively participate and enhance their knowledge through discussion, role play, hands-on activities, and more. Furthermore, Dr. Robinson has experience supervising students at varying levels of development and is excited to continue supervising students at MTSU.

Dr. Michelle Stevens appointed director of Fairness, Justice, and Equity Center

Dr. Michelle Stevens was recently appointed as the director of the new Fairness, Justice and Equity Center in the College of Education.  The center will offer educational opportunities, support and advocacy for community partners, focusing specifically on the recruitment and retention of male teachers of color for teacher preparation programs at MTSU.  Congratulations Dr. Stevens! 

For more information, please visit

Dr. Stevens standing at podium

Drs. Chris Quarto and Tiffany Wilson receive awards from TACES

Drs. Chris Quarto and Tiffany Wilson recently received awards from the Tennessee Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (TACES). 

Dr. Quarto received the TACES Legacy League award, which is an elite recognition of TACES members, past and present, who have made a significant and lasting impression on TACES or on the counselor education and supervision profession. Members honored through the Legacy League are recognized not for their personal achievements but rather the impact, influence, and contributions they have made to other professionals and to the profession. This honor is bestowed upon those who have demonstrated a professional life well-lived, have created innovative and enduring change, and who are exemplar role models for generations of professionals to follow.

Dr. Wilson received the Dr. Charles Thompson Counselor Educator of the Year Award, which acknowledges a faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to Counselor Education and Supervision. The recipient demonstrates commendable involvement in areas of academic responsibilities such as teaching and supervision, scholarly research, and professional service, including a record of professional presentations and publication, involvement in professional service to TACES and/or TCA, and a reputation for positive teaching evaluations and beneficial advising.

Congratulations Drs. Quarto and Wilson! 

Drs. Quarto and Wilson holding awards.

Dr. Robin Lee receives the ACES Legacy Award

At the 2021 Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Robin Le received the ACES Legacy Award, which recognizes ACES members, past and present, who have made a significant and lasting impression on ACES or on the counselor education and supervision profession.

Congratulations Dr. Lee! 

Dr. Lee holding award

50th Anniversary Celebration and Dr. Dansby's Retirement

On June 15th, our program celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary as well as the retirement of our beloved faculty member Dr. Virginia Dansby. Middle Tennessee State University's Professional Counseling Program has two established tracks for students wanting to enter into the field of counseling, either as clinical mental health clinicians or school counselors. In 2005, the program opened its Center for Counseling and Psychological Services to provide more services to the community while deepening student's skills and experiences. Recently, the program shifted to being more trauma focused and informed. 

It was an emotional day for us all with faculty and students shedding tears as Dr. Dansby gave her speech.  Of course, Dr. Dansby managed to weave humor into her speech, leaving us on a high emotional note.  She spoke optimistically of her future retirement plans filled with skiing and world travel, joking that none of us are going to wake her up calling her at 5am while she’s on the other side of the world.  While we will all miss her dearly, we know that she is out there living her best life and partaking in self-care, as we all should attempt to do in our day to day lives.

MTSU Counseling Students and Faculty Participate in Counseling and Therapy Summit

Faculty and students of our program proudly represented MTSU at the annual Tennessee Licensed Profession Counselors Association (TLPCA) conference.  Many students submitted poster proposals to present at the conference; Kamille Hayslett, Viktoreya Edwards, Stephen Hayes, and Angela Mueller’s proposals were accepted, and all presented in the student poster competition. Madison Swayze co-presented on Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and Therapy and Dr. Wilson presented Great Minds Think Alike (on beer collaborating as school counselor and school-based therapists.) All five students were acknowledged for participating during the conference’s award ceremony.  In addition, Kamille Hayslett and Viktoreya Edwards received leadership awards, and Viktoreya was presented with an academic excellence award.  We are also proud to announce that Dr. Robin Lee received a lifetime achievement award.  We look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s conference!

EMDR Training Comes to MTSU

MTSU's Professional Counseling Program hosted S.A.F.E. EMDR training. This two-weekend training trained counselors in somatic and attachment-focused EMDR developed by Deb Kennard. With the move towards a trauma-focused program, we were excited to host this intensive EMDR training.  EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, is an evidenced-based therapy designed to help trauma survivors reprocess their traumatic memories.  Faculty, students, alumni, and community members joined us over the weekend of February 15-17 for 3 days of extensive training.  We look forward to seeing everyone again at the follow-up sessions on April 5-7.

Mental Health First Aid

In the Spring of 2019, we hosted a Mental Health First Aid training on March 27 and March 29.  Mental Health First Aid is similar in format to the Red Cross Lifesaver training but with a focus on mental health.  It aims to reduce stigma around mental health issues, increase mental health awareness, and provide useful tools for helping someone who might be experiencing a mental health crisis.

EMDR (April) Training

At the beginning of this month we welcomed our faculty, students, alumni, and community members back for a continuation of the EMDR training we started in February.  After this 3-day follow-up, those who attended left certified to utilize this life-changing therapy in their practice.  We look forward to hosting more trauma-informed trainings in the future.  Anyone who is interested in learning more information about EMDR or trauma-informed practices, should contact Dr. Wilson at

MTSU's Professional Counseling Program Opens New Chapter of Honor Society

In 2017, with the help of Dr. Tiffany Wilson, our program was able to open its own chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, a counseling, academic, and professional honor society.  Since then it has flourished with much student support and involvement.  On November 2, 2019 our chapter, Mu Tau Upsilon, kicked of its first collaboration with Trevecca University’s Theta Nu Upsilon chapter beginning with a meet and greet of members.  The collaboration springboarded the idea for collecting gifts for the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute’s patients for the holidays. Collectively, our chapters were able to donate 25 gifts to patients in need during this holiday season. This came after an earlier spring donation from our chapter to Stewartsboro Elementary School. Our chapter worked together all through the spring to construct a sand-tray for their school counseling offices.



Professional Counseling

MTSU Professional Counseling Program Facebook page  MTSU Counseling Program Instagram account  MTSU Professional Counseling Program Twitter feed  MTSU Professional Counseling Program LinkedIn account  MTSU Professional Counseling Program YouTube channel