Congratulations are in order for Dr. Cynthia Greer, associate professor of Education, who received the C. Harold McCully Award at the D.C. Counseling Association conference on Saturday, March 3! Dr. Greer received this great recognition for her leadership in the counseling field and dedication to excellence in counselor education. In her acceptance speech, Dr. Greer spoke of the critical importance of ensuring the value of social justice in the work of counseling. Her philosophy resonates completely with Trinity’s mission and emphasis in all of our programs, and these remarks are an exceptional way to highlight the very important work that the graduates of Trinity’s Counseling Program achieve in schools and communities throughout our region.
Below is the complete text of Dr. Greer’s acceptance speech — please join me in congratulating her on this award!
“I want to thank the DC Counseling Association for honoring me with this prestigious award. I accept this award on behalf of all the candidates for the Masters in Counseling degree. It is an honor to prepare candidates for a career in counseling – a profession in which we educate and advocate for our clients, and too many of them are the voiceless. Because our profession is so vital in helping people reach their fullest potential, it is imperative as practitioners that we not only advocate for others but also for ourselves and our profession. Unfortunately, the current environment for counselors, especially school counselors in the District of Columbia is not very positive. We are in an environment where there is not and understanding and appreciation of what we “do”. We are not recess monitors, or disciplinarians, and our skills should be utilized as a team approach in prevention, and being able to be proactive instead of just being available to respond to a crisis.
“I encourage practitioners and candidates to be entrepreneurial. It does not matter whether you have been displaced as a counselor or if you are a candidate for the degree, you must not wait for the job/the opportunity to come to you. Create your own prevention and support programs and market those programs and the skills that you have attained – do not be discouraged. We know that counselors are needed and it up to us to demonstrate those skill to prospective employers.
“Many of you, who personally know me, know my commitment to social justice. As counselors we can never stop ensuring that we are prepared to serve culturally and linguistically diverse clients, which is every child, every human being. Every day, in media portrayals, we see examples of individuals, groups, being attacked for who they are, or people who find themselves in negative circumstances that they did not create. So whether, we are talking about our immigrant populations, the poor, women or any sub-population, counselors are needed to give support, advocacy and guidance. Our profession requires us to be lifelong learners; this is not a profession for people who are going to be guided by fear and ignorance or who decide to give up or give in. We must arise above the fray, and remember why we entered this profession. We must continue to prepare ourselves and keep abreast of the current social issues and modalities so that we can better serve those who need our voices and our skills.
“I am considered a challenging and “tough” professor, and I am. I know what is awaiting you; therefore, I strive to be at my best so that those of you who are my students can be at your best.
“Again, thank you for this award.”