Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University

Department News

Send comments, suggestions or items for inclusion to Lori

Congratulations to Dr. Chad Yates and Dr. Leslie Stewart – Published book chapter “Specialty Certifications in Professional Counseling” in the Handbook of Counseling and Counselor Education.

Congratulations Ashley Brianne Rohrbach Master in Counseling student. Ashley has been awarded a scholarship from the National Board for Certified Counselor (NBCC) Foundation.

The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc.(NBCC), has awarded a $5,000 2019 NBCC Foundation rural scholarship to Ashley Brianne Rohrbach, of Pocatello, Idaho. The rural scholarship is awarded to counseling students who are from rural communities and commit to practicing in rural areas upon graduation.

The mission of the NBCC Foundation is to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change. The Foundation created the rural scholarship in 2009 to improve access to counseling services in rural communities, which suffer disproportionately from a lack of mental health care. More than 85 students from across the country applied for the seven 2019 rural scholarships.

As a rural scholarship recipient, Rohrbach will receive up to $5,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to the underserved. Rohrbach is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, in Manchester, and is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at Idaho State University, in Pocatello. After graduation, Rohrbach plans to work to develop LGBTQ+ affirming services for clients who live within rural Southeastern Idaho, as there are few resources available currently. She plans to have an emphasis on identity work with clients who identify within the LGBTQ+ populations. Earning this scholarship allows Rohrbach to travel to conferences that otherwise may have been unattainable, in order to gain insight from professionals around the world to best serve her clients.

Master Student

Congratulations to Dr. Chad Yates, Dr. Daniel Huddock, Dr. Randall Astramovich and Dr. Jehan Hill - New research article published in the Professional School Counseling-Sage Journals.

Helping Students Who Stutter: Interprofessional Collaboration Between Speech-Language Pathologists and School Counselors


Children who stutter may experience challenges in their social and emotional development that can lead to academic struggles in school. School counselors and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are uniquely positioned to collaborate on school-based interventions to help children who stutter. We review common elements of stuttering in children and provide suggestions for enhanced collaboration between school counselors and SLPs.Cong

Dr. Leslie Stewart invited to share animal-assisted intervention knowledge on national stage.

Although it’s a topic professors have been teaching in counseling classes for several years at ISU, many people don’t realize the complexity of animal-assisted intervention as an effective addition to counseling and counselor education. Extensive skill and training are involved, for both the counselor and the potential therapy animal.

Animal-assisted intervention in counseling involves specially trained and evaluated animals who help counselors work with clients. ISU’s Dr. Leslie Stewart, associate professor of counseling, is making herself known nationally with accomplishments involving animal-assisted intervention. She was recently asked to share her knowledge and expertise on the topic of animal assisted crisis response at a congressional panel on Capitol Hill, on behalf of Pet Partners, in Washington D.C. Dr. Stewart has also paved the way for ISU, along with many other universities and organizations, to provide a certificate program for counseling and other healthcare professionals involved in animal-assisted intervention, both human and animal.

Animal-assisted intervention is unique compared to other styles of counseling. Because animals are involved, many additional variables are present. Since animals can't speak to express their feelings, it is the counselor's job to learn how to recognize not only the client's body language, but the animal’s as well. It is vital that both the animal assisting with a counseling session, and the client, are enjoying and benefiting from the interaction. This is especially important to discern when animals and clients are meeting for the first time. Dr. Stewart is quick to point out that therapy animals are not service animals, and are not emotional support animals. She says, “You can train animals to do many things, but you cannot train them to continually enjoy the interaction between both new and familiar individuals. It is essential that they become socialized for many different settings and to have exceptional manners. It is crucial that they are more predictable than not, and are capable of reliably responding to handler commands. No different than humans, animals can have bad days as well.” It is important to note that not all animals, even those who are friendly and well-trained, are suitable for this role, or want this role. Not only must the animal be specially trained, socialized, and evaluated, they must actively enjoy their work. Although training for counselors in this field is relatively new, Dr. Stewart’s research has contributed to the development of specialized provider competency models for animal-assisted intervention that are now being implemented on a national scale.

Dr. Stewart’s curiosity for counseling and animal-assisted intervention sparked from her days as a horseback riding instructor. In providing adaptive riding lessons for children with a variety of physical and mental health challenges, Dr. Stewart discovered a need for more qualified, vetted counselors and was interested in learning how to effectively incorporate therapy animals into treatment. Her original research on animal-assisted intervention competencies addresses the specialized training that counselors offering this style of counseling will need in order for themselves, their clients, and the animals to be safe and effective. “We know that the provider needs to be well-trained, but what does that even look like? We know they need to have special skills that are additional to a counselor who doesn’t do this, or an OT [occupational therapist] who doesn’t do this, but what are those skills? The result of that became a set of competencies for providers of animal-assisted intervention,” she explains.

In 2016, the American Counseling Association officially adopted a core set of animal-assisted intervention provider competencies that stemmed directly from Dr. Stewart’s research. Now, the American Psychological Association is working closely with Dr. Stewart as a consultant, to develop their own set of provider competencies. Also, as part of an extensive collaboration between Dr. Stewart and Pet Partners there is now a tiered model of therapy animal handler competencies that are appropriate to multiple levels of handler professionalization: volunteer handlers, paraprofessional handlers, and licensed professional handlers. Pet Partners is a national organization that works to prepare, evaluate, and register therapy animal-handler teams to provide animal assisted activities (i.e. hospital visits, senior care centers, school visits, literacy improvement programs) and animal assisted intervention (i.e. counseling veterans or other populations with PTSD , patients engaged in physical or occupational therapy, animal assisted education in schools, and those approaching end of life).

Though many clients are offered the option of working with an animal during counseling, Dr. Stewart says she does not provide it to everyone. "In certain situations, such as survivors of abuse, clients can feel uncomfortable and want space from animals but are nervous about expressing their want to set boundaries or space from the animal. If clients are offered and accept animal interaction, more consent is needed compared to the typical consent given for counseling sessions," she explains. Since there are times when the animals simply don't want to be just a therapy animal; their consent is equally as valid and crucial as a human's consent.

Dr. Stewart has found that animal-assisted intervention can be beneficial not only in counseling practice, but also in counselor education. At ISU, Dr. Stewart offers a certificate program for Animal Assisted Interventions in Counseling; it's a nine-credit certificate program consisting of three courses. These classes can be taken over one summer or spread out over multiple summers. Enrolled students as well as practicing professionals can take these courses that are offered both on campus and online. Today, ISU is now one of just a handful of institutions across the United States that offers an animal-assisted intervention training and certificate program. Stewart’s enthusiasm and passion for the program are to thank for the establishment and success of this program at ISU. For more information about Stewart and this program, visit For more information on distinguishing service animals from other types of animals, please see:

AAI-Leslie & Star

 Dr Leslie Stewart and her Animal Assisted Interventions partner Star Sapphire.


Congratulations to Jeremiah reciepent of the 2019 Stephen S. Feit Student Award For Professional Excellence.

Jeremiah Torgesen Feit Award

Congratulations to our 2019 Master and Doctoral graduates.

Doctoral Graduates 2019

Doctoral Students: Jehan Hill, Vincent Marasco, Kathleen Muirhead, Sarah Baquet.

Meridian 2019 Master Graduates

Meridian Master Students: Front – Maxwell Dusky, Maria Camilo. Back Row – Dori Shaner, Phyllis Eicher, Tyler Kerns, Dianne Piggott, Lisa Campbell, Stephanie Witt.

Pocatello Master Graduates 2019

Pocatello Master Students: Front – Paige Warfield, Sunnie Martinez, Desirrae Barnett, William Riggs. Middle – Angelica Castillo, Katie Barnes, Brianna Windhorst, Taylor Red Elk, Elizabeth Macklin, Gina Calder-Berrett, Brianna Carlos. Back – Timothy Wolfe, Ashley Williams, Shana Galbraith, Jenika Davis, Malory Burdick, Tavonte Jackson, David Wachsman, Isaac Nelson, Jeremiah Torgesen, Bart VanDenburg. Not pictured: Mario Wade, Whitney Preussner.

Congratulations to the inductees in Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) and Students of the Year
Doctoral Student of the Year Camille Frank and Master Student of the Year Jo Anna Shotiveyarantana
Meridian Inductees Left to Right: Tessa Price, Anna Krzemieniecki, Jennifer Weseman, Beverly Hines, Faculty Advisor Christian Chan. Not pictured is Cade Kirkhart.
Pocatello Inductees Left to Right: Ilijan Paurevic, Ashley Rohrback, Maggie Gardner, Kimberly Leishman, Sam Runyan, Cameron Mutchler, Laura Wolter and Shana Galbraith.
Congratulations to Dr. Christian Chan recipient of two national awards at the American Counseling Association Conference.

Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) Ned Farley Service Award, and Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA) 2019 President's Outstanding Service Award.

  ALGBTIC Award-Christian Chan

Faculty members Dr. Christian Chan and Dr. Leslie Stewart presented at the American Counseling Association (ACA) National Conference, March 27-30, 2019 in New Orleans, LA.

Experiences of Privilege and Oppression of Queer Men of Color in Counselor Education

Christian D. Chan, Sam Steen

Utilizing an intersectionality paradigm and methodological strategies from interpretative phenomenological analysis, this study examined the lived intersectional experiences of privilege and oppression of queer men of color in counselor education and supervision doctoral programs. Co-constructing a collaborative dialogue with the audience, the presenter will discuss findings from six superordinate themes associated with strategies for systematically enhancing the praxis of counselor education.

Insights and Initiatives From the AADA Older Adults Task Force

Mary Chase B. Mize, Matthew C. Fullen, Christian D. Chan, Crystal Neal, Philip Clarke

Older adults (age 65+) are projected to globally exceed the number of children by 2047; and by 2030, one in five persons in the United States will be over 65. Professional counselors may be underprepared to meet the needs of this growing population. The AADA Older Adult Task Force is a network of counselors, counselor educators, and students dedicated to advocacy, research, and best practices for working with older adults. This poster describes insights and initiatives related to the Task Force’s 2018–2019 strategic goals.

Human–Animal Interactions in Counseling Interest Network: Mission and Vision

Laura Bruneau, Leslie Stewart, Carlene Holder Taylor, Connie Couch,

The Human–Animal Interactions in Counseling (HAIC) Interest Network currently has over 600 members, and interest in implementing animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) into counseling practices is growing rapidly. Members and other interested persons are often curious about how to get started with AAIs. This presentation aims to familiarize attendees with tenets of the HAIC Interest Network and to promote the professionalization of AAIs to enhance the welfare of animals, counselors, and clients involved.

Ten Ways to Intentionally Use Group Work to Transform Hate and Enhance Community Building

Lorraine Guth, Ana Isabel Puig, Christian D. Chan, Anneliese A. Singh, Hopeton A. Bailey, Jr.

The Association for Specialists in Group Work recently created a best-practice document that provides 10 ways that group work can be used to transform hate, facilitate courageous conversations, and enhance community building. Come and meet the authors of this document, who will discuss group work strategies for creating brave, affirming, and humanizing spaces; cultivating cultural humility; engaging in intentional unity building, and much more. Key resources, videos, training tools, and websites will also be shared.

AMCD Town Hall Meeting: Strategic Plan Revealed

Shon D. Smith, Christian Chan, Michelle Mitchell

As AMCD enters its 46th year as a division, we celebrate our amazing history while intentionally preparing for our future. During this AMCD will reveal our 4-year strategic plan that will bring us to our 50th year as a division. Led by Strategic Plan Committee Co-chairs, the full plan will be revealed to all AMCD and ACA members.

For Wellness Wednesday, doctoral students Brianne Scott and Olivia Ngadjui presented "Understanding Healthy Relationships." The focus of this presentation was on the qualities of healthy relationships and how this may present in both personal and professional settings. Topics of this presentation include the discussion of boundaries, communication styles, and cultural considerations.
Doctoral Students
Tyler Kerns, third year master student in Meridian, Idaho, will be presenting three sessions at the Mental Health Crisis Workshop on February 23, 2019. The workshop will be at the Kootenai Health Resource Center in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Dr. Christian Chan recently published a journal article entitled "Ten Strategies to Intentionally Use Group Work to Transform Hate, Facilitate Courageous Conversations, and Enhance Community Building" in The Journal for Specialists in Group Work with Dr. Lorraine J. Guth, Dr. Brittany L. Pollard, Dr. Amy Nitza, Dr. Ana Puig, Dr. Anneliese A. Singh, and Hopeton Bailey.
ISU Department of Counseling faculty member, Dr. Leslie Stewart, has been invited to speak once again at the biennial Pet Partners Conference and to participate in a pre-conference interdisciplinary professional summit as a content expert in the feild of counseling.

Dr. Stewart will be presenting on the topic of Animal Assisted Crisis Response (AACR), but there will be many, many more experts from mental health and other helping professions talking about a wide variety of topics. Besides Dr. Stewart and the other members of the Pet Partners Board, veterinarians, and Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT), the conference will host content experts and organizational representatives from the following organizations:

American Counseling Association

American Psychological Association

American Occupational Therapy Association

National Association of Social Workers

American Physical Therapy Association

Aging Life Care Association

The Gerontological Society of America

International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO)

International Society of Anthrozoology (ISAZ)

Information on the conference, including registration, can be found here:

For questions or more information, please contact Dr. Stewart directly at

Dr. Christian Chan recently published a journal article entitled "Navigating Intersectional Approaches, Methods, and Interdisciplinarity to Health Equity in LGBTQ+ Communities" in the Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling with Dr. Rachel K. Henesy. The link to the recent journal article publication is below.


'CANNOT CANCEL CIVIL RIGHTS': Martin Luther King Day ISU March!

The keynote speaker was Olivia Ngadjui, Department of Counseling doctoral student. Olivia's speech was “Reinvigorating The Beloved Community”. To see Olivia's full speech: Olivia Ngadjui MLK Keynote Speech and presentation video.

Student speaking


Department Co-host for the event was our own doctoral student Lindsdale Graham.

Doc Student at MLK event

Congratulations to Dr. Christian Chan and Dr. Amanda C. DeDiego.

They were selected for the Chi Sigma Iota Excellence in Counseling Research Grant for their research study "Exploring the Experiences of Counselor Education Doctoral Students in Counseling Leadership Development Programs".

Camille Frank, Doctoral Student, presented with the 2019 International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC) Student Practitioner Award

Ms. Frank is a current doctoral student in the Counselor Education program at Idaho State University. She demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to professional excellence, professional service, social justice, and advocacy and highly values creative systems-based approaches in all of her professional endeavors and roles. Having already established herself as a competent and sought-after family and couple trauma clinician in her community, she is actively working towards creating a scholarly line of inquiry to support trauma-informed counselor education and trauma-informed public/systems advocacy. In this way, Ms. Frank continues to refine her already highly skilled work with client survivors of trauma, who often represent members of marginalized identities. She has been instrumental in developing a line of scholarship and practice by spreading the mission of IAMFC and professional counselors through reifying lived experiences of marginalization, lifting the voices of historically marginalized communities, and developing a significant strengths-based, creative, and humanistic approach in counselor education, supervision, and counseling, specifically with marriage, couple, and family modalities.

Doctoral Student


Contact Us

(208) 282-3156


(208) 282-2583

1440 E. Terry Street

Garrison Hall, Bld 63

Room 725

Pocatello, ID 83209-8120


Map of ISU

Mailing Address:
921 South 8th Ave., Stop 8120
Pocatello, ID 83209-8120

Mailing and Physical Address:
Meridian Health Science Center
1311 East Central Drive
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 373-1717

Dr. Elizabeth Horn




Make a Gift

Be a Bengal Recognition Program