Spring 2022

Welcome to the Spring 2021 Semester!

sunrise over the blue ridge mountains

Happy New Year, and welcome to the spring semester! This issue is all about connection and support. With another look to our past (Alum Spotlight) our near future (Calendar), we want to highlight opportunities for connection (Tea and Talk) and celebrate our accomplishments (Fall Graduation). As we continue to respond to the to the pandemic as a community, look stay up-to-date to the current JMU safety measures (Responding to Covid Together).

Alum Spotlight

We continue our new feature that shines light on some of our recent alums. Read below to hear what they are up to and advice they have for current students.

Jennifer Semaan, LPC

Jennifer Semaan

Since graduating from the CMHC program in 2016, I worked in a variety of settings within community mental health through the Fairfax County Community Services Board. The populations I worked with included individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses and substance abuse living in a 24-hour residential treatment program, hospitalized patients with NGRI status (not guilty by reason of insanity), and incarcerated inmates at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

In 2020 I started my own private practice on a part-time basis, and eventually made the switch to full time in April 2021. I have loved every minute of private practice and highly recommend it as a career route post-licensure.

Reccomendations for current students:

Take in every ounce of wisdom from your JMU professors. They are absolutely invaluable assets in both, your student and your professional life. The CMHC program can sometimes feel like your very own intense therapy journey, and that's okay! Embrace it, as it will make you a much better clinician on the long run. And most importantly, keep self-care in the forefront of your mind.

We Care About You and Our Community

JMU and the Department of Graduate Psychology are committed to the health and well-being of every single member of our learning community. This means that we remain responsive on a daily basis to the ebb and flow of the COVID-19 virus in our community and among its members. If you are feeling at all under the weather or have any concern that you may have been exposed, we cannot stress strongly enough that we prefer you not to attend in-person classes. Accommodations will be made without any consequences for those who prefer to meet synchronously online or via asynchronous methods. We should not be taking any risks with each other.

If you have questions about JMU’s planning and response, please refer to the Stop the Spread page. This page is being continually updated. President Alger’s message regarding protocols and safety measures for the spring semester can be found here.

Return of Tea and Talk!

We are once again offering once a month “Tea and Talk” meetings. Some of you may have not experienced these gatherings. For the time being, we will offer “Tea and Talk” via Zoom, with program directors sending out the link prior. “Tea and Talk” presents the opportunity for:

  • Connection. Catch up and check in with students and faculty whom you may not see regularly.
  • Reminders. Faculty facilitators will review the calendar and offer recommendations for items to keep on your radar. Occasionally, alums or other members of our community may talk about professional opportunities like conferences, volunteering, and jobs.
  • Questions. Everyone will have an opportunity to ask questions in all matters related to the programs and counseling professions that can benefit everyone.

Check out the calendar below for the dates!

Fall Graduations

We want to recognize the graduation this past December of Mari Peyton Kouchinsky. We wish you well in your future endeavors!

Counseling Programs Calendar

1/14/2022 CHBS Opening Meeting (virtual)
1/18/2022 Classes Begin
1/20/2022 CACREP and Director's Meeting: 11:00AM-1:00PM
1/20/2022 GCC: 2:00-3:30PM
1/24/2022 Lennie & Eric's Retirement Celebration at 11:00AM
2/1/2022 Tea & Talk with Amanda
2/7/2022 Counseling Faculty Meeting: 10:00AM-12:00PM
2/8/2022 Last day to withdraw from the university
Assessment day - no classes
2/10/2022 CACREP and Director's meeting: 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC: 2:00-3:30PM
2/11/2022 CMHC & School Program Interviews
2/14/2022 CMHC & School Program Interviews
Graduate Psychology Department Meeting: 1:00-2:30PM
2/17/2022 ASIST Training
2/18/2022 ASIST Training
2/21/2022 Counseling Faculty Meeting: 10:00AM-12:00PM
2/24/2022 CACREP and Director's meeting: 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC: 2:00-3:30PM
3/2/2022 Tea & Talk with Joe
3/4/2022 Motivational Interviewing: 9:00AM-12:00PM
3/7/2022 Counseling Faculty Meeting: 10:00AM-12:00PM
3/10/2022 CACREP and Director's meeting: 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC: 2:00-3:30PM
3/14-18/2022 Spring Break
(no department faculty meeting this month)
3/21/2022 Counseling Faculty Meeting: 10:00AM-12:00PM
3/24/2022 CACREP and Director's meeting: 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC: 2:00-3:30PM
4/4/2022 Counseling Faculty Meeting: 10:00AM-12:00PM
4/7/2022 CACREP and Director's meeting: 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC: 2:00-3:30PM
4/7-10/2022 ACA Conference, Atlanta, Georgia
4/11/2022 Graduate Psychology Department Meeting: 1:00-2:30PM
Summer Registration Begins
4/13/2022 Last Day to Submit an application for Ed.S.
4/14/2022 Tea & Talk with Michele and Renee
4/18/2022 Counseling Faculty Meeting: 10:00AM-12:00PM
4/21/2022 CACREP and Director's meeting: 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC: 2:00-3:30PM
4/22/2022 Spring Symposium
5/5/2022 Last day of classes
5/6-12/2022 Final exams week
5/12/2022 Deadline for completion of coursework (May graduates)
Graduation Celebration
5/12-14/2022 Commencement
5/17/2022 Grades due


Need a Graduate Assistantship?

Be sure to check openings regularly on Joblink! Additional openings are likely to be added throughout the semester and into the summer.

Keep an Eye on:

Several offices at JMU offer support for graduate students. Here are a few:

Counseling Programs on Social Media

JMU Graduate Psychology
JMU Graduate Programs in Counseling
JMU School Counseling (Instagram)

Counseling Organizations

If you’d like to keep abreast of what’s going on in the field this summer, be sure to check out:

American Counseling Association and the Virginia Counselors Association, as well as its relevant divisions and chapters.

American Mental Health Counselors Association

American School Counselor Association

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision