Counselor Education Professors Win Social Justice Awards

Tamisha Bouknight and Laura Roberts
Professors Tamisha Bouknight (left) and Laura Roberts.

Two faculty members in Lehman's Department of Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and Special Education—Professors Tamisha M. Bouknight and Laura A. Roberts—both received Ohana Honors Awards at the American Counseling Association's Counselors for Social Justice awards ceremony held recently in Charlotte, N.C.

The Ohana Honors awards are given annually to honor individuals in counseling who affirm diversity and advocate for social justice in the spirit of nine elements of the indigenous Hawai'ian concept of "ohana" or extended family.

Besides teaching at Lehman in the counselor education/school counseling program, both are pursuing a variety of research, consulting, and community service interests. They belong to several professional counseling organizations, including the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

Professor Bouknight, who has been the program's clinical coordinator for the past two years, recently received her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut and will become an assistant professor at Lehman in Fall 2009. She focuses her research on racial identity development in the school community, African American student self-efficacy, multicultural counseling competence, and stress management strategies for urban adolescents.

In the past, Professor Bouknight has worked as a middle school counselor, a case manager for a community-based HIV/AIDS organization, and a research assistant and neuropsychological tester for Columbia University's—Harlem Hospital's Alzheimer's Memory Disorders Clinic. Recently, she became a consultant for CUNY's School Support Organization to establish a career development program for K-12 students that promotes career exploration and readiness for all students.

Professor Roberts is the Department liaison for the Online Teaching and Learning Committee and the Student Assessment Committee and is a member of the George N. Shuster Fellowship Awards Committee. She also coordinates a partnership program between Lehman College and District 75, which gives students with disabilities an opportunity to experience college life as they transition into adulthood.

Professor Roberts has an extensive background in special education and school counseling supervision and continues to work as an educational consultant for children with disabilities. She works closely with school districts, parents, and students to provide recommendations and assistance in research-based educational practices, assessment, I.E.P. development, and behavioral support. Among her research interests are students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and parental satisfaction with educational programs for students living in urban areas.