Formed as an Ally of the Poor • Vincentians of Wherever @NiagaraUniv

by | Sep 3, 2017 | Formation, Reflections

Testimonies of people from Vincentian institutions let us know that there are other Vincentians, tirelessly working on behalf of the poor, all over the place. Vincentians of… Wherever. One of them is Dr. Kimber Leigh Shelton.

Ally of the poor

After earning a B.S. and B.A. at Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, N.Y.), I obtained an M.S. in mental health counseling at Niagara University and later graduated with a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Georgia.

I am presently a staff psychologist at Georgia Tech’s Counseling Center and operate my own private practice. I am one of the fortunate individuals who can say, “I love my job!”

In my work, I am able to assist individuals in identifying their personal strengths and live more satisfied lives, teach and supervise tomorrow’s global leaders, and research and provide advocacy targeted at building diversity excellence and social justice.

Attending NU had a direct impact on the development of my interest and commitment to multiculturalism and diversity. I entered the mental health counseling program with the desire to become a strong therapist and left with a greater understanding of who I was as a cultural being, awareness of the existence of privileged and marginalized identities, and, most importantly, the recognition that being a strong therapist meant being a multicultural competent therapist and an ally for oppressed groups.

My classes and cohort at NU provided me with foundational therapy skills and stretched my ability to think holistically. I am grateful for the mentoring and advisement I received from Dr. Shannon Hodges, as he played several key roles in the development of my professional identity and always encouraged me to further my education. As I completed my first clinical practicum at the NU Counseling Center, I am also very appreciative of NU students who helped inspire my dedication to become a competent multicultural counselor and social justice advocate.

Since my tenure at NU, I became an American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship fellow, have over 30 diversity-related publications and presentations, was a member of the inaugural Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP) Leadership Academy, co-chair a SCP working group for early career psychologists, advocated at Capitol Hill to eradicate mental health disparities, and have received several regional and national awards for my scholarly and clinical work.

In my private practice, I serve primarily ethnic and sexual minority groups, whilein my position at Georgia Tech, I coordinate our diversity programs and chair our diversity committee.

I am thankful for the many wonderful experiences I had as a student at NU and continue to be excited about my future endeavors as a counseling psychologist.

Kimber Leigh Shelton, Ph.D. lives in Decatur and works in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. As well as being a private practitioner as a Licensed Psychologist, she is a Staff Psychologist and Coordinator of Diversity Programming at the Georgia Institute of Technology Counseling Center.

Source: Niagara University College of Education Notable Alumni