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Professor receives lifetime achievement award

Kathryn Kao

January 26, 2016

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Pamela Paisley, a professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia School Counselor Association (GSCA) for her outstanding impact on the school counseling profession.

GSCA is a private, non-profit association comprised of school counselors, guidance directors, supervisors, administrators and counselor educators who have made an impact on student success and well-being. The association has been instrumental in establishing professional standards for school counseling in Georgia.

"Many of the officers and leaders in this association are my former students," said Paisley. "I believe it is critical for faculty in counselor education to be involved in co-reform initiatives with K-12 educators. Particularly in a land grant institution, it is critical that we give back to the state. Being involved with GSCA has helped me do that, as well as stay connected to our alums."

Paisley began her career as a school counselor in 1977 before moving to Appalachian State University as an assistant professor in 1987. In 1994, she began teaching at the University of Georgia College of Education, where she currently serves as both a professor and the program coordinator of professional school counseling.

During her 20 plus years at UGA, Paisley created the professional school counseling educational specialist program at UGA's Gwinnett campus; more than 250 students have graduated from the program.

Most recently, she helped develop the College's doctoral program in counseling and student personnel services with a unique P-16 focus designed for practicing school counselors to further their skill and knowledge base. Paisley's goal as a professor and mentor is to educate strong school counselors and prepare them for counseling in the 21st century.

Throughout her career, Paisley has been recognized often for her contributions. She was the recipient of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision's Outstanding Service Award; the American Counseling Association's David K. Brooks Distinguished Mentor Award; the Counselors for Social Justice's O'Hana Award for Social Justice; and the Counseling Psychology Student Association's Outstanding Faculty Award.

"Dr. Paisley's influence is not only felt in Georgia, but across the nation. One of her many gifts is her ability to relate to and mentor her students," said Brent Henderson, president of GSCA. "She goes above and beyond in connecting with them, developing their advocacy and social justice skills, increasing their understanding of school counselor trends and developing them as professionals."

Paisley's research interests include school counseling program development, child and adolescent development, P-16 partnerships and resiliency in living with life-altering diagnoses.