Today@Sam Article

Professor Earns Counselor Of The Year Honors

Feb. 10, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Campbell Atkins

Sam Houston State University’s Tiffany Simon was named the Texas School Counselor Association’s (TSCA) Rhosine Fleming Award recipient for Counselor Educator of the Year. The award is given annually to an outstanding counselor at each scholastic level.

“It’s a great feeling to know the work I do here at the university, as well as some community trainings and presentations, is being recognized,” Simon said. “I strive to serve counselors in our community in a way that makes them better at what they do when they work with students in schools.”thumbnail_Simon 2

Simon began her career as a middle school teacher and worked there for three years before earning her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University and officially entering the field in 2006. She worked as a high school counselor for 16 years and also earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at SHSU in 2014.

“The training I received while earning my doctorate helped to provide me with those extra tools needed in order to be an effective counselor educator,” Simon said. “Although I had years of training in the field and knew what to do as a school counselor, Sam’s training taught me to take the things that I know and properly show others how to do that.”

Simon first worked as a professor at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio for two years before returning to SHSU in 2018 as an adjunct professor and training specialist. She became a full-time faculty member in 2022. She teaches a diverse range of courses in the Department of Counselor Education.

“I’ve received great mentorship from other professors and colleagues who have experience in this area on how to better serve students within a master’s degree program,” Simon said.

Along with her teaching duties, Simon serves as president of the Spring Creek Counseling Association, a chapter of the Texas Counseling Association (TCA) and educates larger groups at conferences and training events.

“In any type of training I provide, I try to make sure they leave with something that makes their day-to-day activities better for themselves and the students they serve,” Simon said. “I want them to have something to go back to their campuses with and work on the next day.”

She was nominated for the award through a letter of recommendation penned by Jennifer Hatchett-Stover, a counselor who is currently pursuing the same doctorate degree earned by Simon and serves in a leadership role at Spring Creek.

“She embodies many of the attributes necessary to be a strong and effective counselor, counselor educator and leader, doing so with compassion and integrity,” Hatchett-Stover said. “Her dedication to student success, mental health literacy and advocacy is inspiring to many, especially to those who know her well. She uses her voice and professional wisdom to mitigate barriers that threaten equality for others, while serving as a faculty professor and mentor, going beyond the call to share her expertise to help equip her students for success.”

As the world of counseling and mental health evolves, Simon knows the importance of education’s role in the field and in society as a whole.

“We have been shifting from the traditional model of a school counselor, just focusing on the academic and vocational side, to more of a transformative model who is there to advocate for social justice, equity, diversity and mental health issues,” Simon said when asked to describe the biggest changes in the field since the beginning of her career. “The counselors in our schools today are there to help focus on the well-being of the child, the school and system as a whole; to be a system-wide change agent.”

The award stands as a living memorial to Rhosine DuBose Fleming, a Richardson ISD counselor and former TSCA secretary who passed away in 1971. Winners will be recognized at an award banquet Feb. 12 at TSCA’s Professional School Counselor Conference at the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock.

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