— by Madison Harris, student writer, EKU Communications and Brand Management
Like many Eastern Kentucky University students, Dr. Carol Sommer, professor of educational leadership and counselor education and doctoral program director, was the first in her family to attend college, let alone earn a doctoral degree. Her accomplishments were recognized when she was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Counselor Educator Award at the 2018 Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA) Conference on Nov. 14.
The award is given annually by the Kentucky Counseling Association for professional excellence and distinguished service. Also considered are a strong personal investment in student success, service above and beyond normal expectations for counselor educators, and professional scholarly contributions to the field.
Sommer’s career checks all those boxes. After beginning her tenure at EKU in 2010, she designed the university’s counselor education and supervision doctoral concentration, which launched in 2014. Since then, students in the program have presented at state, regional, national, and international conferences; had publications in review or in press; and received state and national awards, including participation in the American Counseling Association's Emerging Leader Training.
“When I look at the accomplishments of our doctoral students,” said Sommer, “I am so very proud of their hard work and dedication.”
The Kentucky Counseling Association provides counseling professionals opportunities for continuing education and professional development, advocacy, and networking. Each fall in Louisville, the association holds its annual conference where nationally recognized leaders and experts from across the state provide networking and educational opportunities. The conference closes each year with a luncheon, during which awards are presented. KCA also oversees the electronic publication Kentucky Counseling Association Journal.