Pictured left to right: Catharina Chang, Ashlei Rabess and Danica Hays
The American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Governing Council will include three College of Education & Human Development representatives in 2021-2022.
Professor Catharina Chang, doctoral student Ashlei Rabess and CEHD alumnus Danica Hays (Ph.D. ’05) have been elected to serve on the council, which is made up of representatives from ACA’s 18 divisions and four geographic regions who are tasked with coordinating the association’s resources, addressing issues that face the counseling profession and ensuring the ACA meets its strategic goals.
Chang is a professor in the college’s Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, serves as coordinator of the Chi Sigma Iota: Chi Epsilon chapter at Georgia State University and was the lead editor for the book, “Professional Counseling Excellence through Leadership and Advocacy.” She previously served as president of the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and Chi Sigma Iota-International. She was the 2018 recipient of the ACA’s David K. Brooks, Jr. Distinguished Mentor Award and she is an ACA Fellow. In 2020, she received both Chi Sigma Iota’s Thomas J. Sweeney Professional Leadership Award and the ACA’s Thomas J. Sweeney Award for Visionary Leadership and Advocacy. She was elected to serve on the council by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development.
“I look forward to supporting ACA as the counseling profession encounters challenges to ACA’s core values of diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and empowerment,” Chang said. “I will strive to ensure that issues of race, diversity and social action remain on the forefront of ACA’s agenda.”
Rabess, who is pursuing her doctorate in counselor education and practice, has served in a number of leadership and advocacy roles throughout her career in the counseling profession, including a graduate student representative and Fellow of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, president of the Chi Epsilon chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, a Chi Sigma Iota leadership intern, an editorial assistant for the Journal for Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, a Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision emerging leader and Fellow for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights LGBTQ Institute. Her research focuses on multiculturalism, social justice and advocacy efforts within counseling and counselor education for marginalized and underserved populations.
“Being elected to the ACA Governing Council means that I get to employ my previous leadership training and experiences to advocate for graduate students in counseling programs across the country,” Rabess said. “My hope is to help move the needle towards fair, equitable policies and practices regarding graduate students in counseling programs that are attuned to our unique needs.”
Hays is the interim dean of the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has published approximately 125 journal articles and book chapters in her areas of research expertise, which include research methodology and program evaluation, leadership development, domestic violence prevention, assessment and diagnosis, and multicultural and social justice issues in community mental health and counselor preparation. She has authored and/or co-edited several books and has extensive leadership history in the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. Hays is an ACA Fellow and has received multiple awards for her research and advocacy as a counselor educator. She was elected to the council by the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC).
“Beginning when I was a master’s student at Georgia State, Dr. Chang introduced me to AARC and mentored me as I engaged in various professional service roles within the division. Twenty years later, I am honored to serve along Dr. Chang and Ms. Rabess and represent Georgia State well,” Hays said. “Serving as AARC’s Governing Council representative within the American Counseling Association is both an honor and responsibility, and I am committed to advocating on behalf of the AARC mission and its members.”
For more information about the council, visit https://www.counseling.org/about-us/governance-bylaws/governing-council.