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Doctoral student named School Counselor of the Year

Alexandra Huguelet, a second-year doctoral student in the department of counseling and human development services, was recently named School Counselor of the Year by the Georgia School Counselor's Association (GSCA) for her leadership and work promoting equity and access to opportunities for all students.

"It is really special to be recognized for doing something that I love and making a difference for our students," said Huguelet, who plans to graduate in 2019 with a doctoral degree in counseling and student personnel services. "It is also a really unique opportunity to advocate for my profession."

Founded in 1949, GSCA is a private, non-profit association comprised of school counselors, counseling and guidance directors, supervisors, administrators, counselor educators and other individuals who make a daily impact on student success and well-being.

Huguelet joined GSCA as a master's student at Georgia State University and has consistently been involved in the organization's leadership. Today, she serves as GSCA's Elementary Liaison and works to increase membership while meeting the professional needs of elementary school counselors in Georgia.

"My connection with GSCA has tremendously expanded my network of state-wide school counselors," said Huguelet. "These relationships have resulted in lifelong friends and invaluable resources for consultation and collaboration."

Before serving in her current role as a school counselor at Mary Lin Elementary School in Atlanta, Huguelet was a professional school counselor at Powder Springs Elementary School in Cobb County. Finding inspiration in her daily interactions with students and their families, Huguelet strives to remove academic, social and emotional barriers to student success.

"As cliché as it may sound, I really want to help young people because they are our future," said Huguelet. "They are the next leaders in this world, and it is important that they have the necessary coping and communication skills."

Huguelet's research interests are often reflected in how she engages her students. She is interested in using creative counseling interventions, like yoga and deep breathing techniques, to challenge today's youth. Huguelet is also interested in exploring the role of the school counselor in the prevention of child mistreatment, particularly in the area of commercial sexual exploitation.

"It's important that school counselors are racial justice allies with all students," she added. "That way, they are best able to meet their needs."

© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602