EHHS Doctoral candidate named Ohio Counseling Association’s next President-Elect

Counseling Education & Supervision (CES) doctoral candidate and adjunct faculty member, Staci Tessmer (M.A., LPCC-S, NCC, BC-TMH), was recently named the Ohio Counseling Association’s (OCA) next President-Elect. Staci will assume this role in July 2021 before ascending to the role of President of OCA in July 2022.

Staci Tessmer hold an award
After graduating from Hiram College (BA, ‘10) and Walsh University (MA ‘14), she came to Kent State to round off her education in counseling in the CES program, saying she chose this program because of its notoriety in the counseling community.

“The program’s faculty and students are involved in a variety of counseling education and supervision activities throughout the profession,” she said. “Although, I must admit the late and great Dr. Betsy Page approached me at a supervision workshop and said I had to apply. I miss her dearly, but her spirit keeps me motivated!” 

Staci was introduced to OCA through her Master’s program at Walsh University, believing that student involvement in counseling organizations is a vital aspect of a counselor’s professional development. She was encouraged by her advisor to take on a leadership role within the Ohio Association for Specials in Group Work (OASGW), a division of OCA.

Leading up to her eventual election as President-Elect of OCA, Staci took on several roles and responsibilities all while working to complete her doctoral degree in CES. As challenging as it is, she believes this is preparing her for her upcoming role in July.

“I have worked full-time as a Director of Adolescent Services and Internship Coordinator for Premier Behavioral Health while being a full-time doctoral student,”

Staci Tessmer in a group at a conference
she said. “During this time, I have also taught adjunct in counseling programs and held leadership positions in counseling organizations. Although challenging at times, I believe it will help me take on the role as President-Elect.”

The CES program at Kent State equipped Staci with experience, knowledge and support in helping her reach her outstanding endeavors, saying that because of CES she feels prepared in taking on her new role.

“The course work has been especially helpful, such as my internship experience, but most importantly I believe my relationship with the faculty members has helped the most,” she said. “They have been encouraging of my goals and have provided guidance and advice along the way. I also have to give a shout out to my doctoral cohort. They have been a big factor in my progress, and we have developed a close bond. I am so thankful for them!”

As Staci looks forward to July, she is excited to serve her community and continue to make a difference in the lives of others. She is eager to explore three main focuses upon assuming her role, which include:

  1. Strengthen membership with a strong focus on increasing master’s level counselors involvement. There are over 14,000 counselors in Ohio, the majority being master’s level counselors (LPCs or LPCCs), and increase supervisors’ (LPCC-S) involvement in OCA. They serve a critical role in our counseling profession and their feedback is important to determine what their needs are and how OCA can help to provide support.
  2. Improve legislative advocacy efforts, such as strengthening our Political Action Committee (PAC) to ensure critical funding for OCA.
  3. Build upon the All Ohio Counselors Conference (AOCC), which offers opportunities to present and share research and information, to grow the conference to meet needs of diverse community members.

“I hope to continue to represent and serve the organization that has given so much to me,” Staci said. “I will be attentive to our member’s needs, placing members first and helping to empower them. I hope to motivate, guide, and provide hope through a caring environment and positive working relationships.”

POSTED: Tuesday, June 1, 2021 02:32 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 03:04 PM
Julie Selby