Alumni News

This section is provided for alumni who wish to keep others informed of what is happening in their lives and as a means to keep in touch with each other. Email addresses are listed with permission. Please email Lori any news you would like included on our Alumni page.

Drs. Holly Wagner (2014) and Kirsten LaMantia (2015) - Southeast Missouri State Southeast Ed. Leadership and Counseling Dept. Becomes Approved Center of Play Therapy Education

The Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Southeast Missouri State University recently was recognized as an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education, making it one of just 32 nationally and only three in Missouri to hold this designation. 

The certification was awarded, following a process that began last year, by the Association for Play Therapy, a national organization that credentials Registered Play Therapists (RPT).

During Play Therapy, trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties so they can achieve optimal growth and development.

The RPT credential allows mental health professionals to enhance their marketability in the community or within school-based settings and specialize in an evidence-based, trauma-informed modality.

"Many practitioners and students are becoming informed and interested in pursuing this credential," said Dr. Holly Wagner, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling. "The Approved Center designation that we have just received will set Southeast apart not only at the state level, but also at the national level.

"The fact that we are now an Approved Center will allow Southeast Missouri State University to draw not only local interest, but market to a broader range of students from surrounding states and areas, as well," she continued. "Our new play therapy center will put Southeast Missouri State University on the map for Play Therapy! Students who may not have previously known that they could receive this kind of education here can now pursue their graduate education with us."

Dr. Janice Ward is the director of Southeast's new Play Therapy Center and serves a a professor of counseling. In August, she received her Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPTS) credential, making her one of only three with this credential in the Southeast Region. The credential allowed the department to apply for the Approved Center designation.

Southeasts' new Play Therapy Center is housed in the Counselor Education Training Clinic is Scully Room 318. The center provides counseling and supervision opportunities for graduate students taking the Play Therapy Sequence. Wagner is the play therapy education coordinator and will be responsible for the play therapy sequence at Southeast.

Southeast's Counseling Program Play Therapy Sequence consists of two courses which meet the University level educational requirements to become an RPT. The sequence also meets 135 of the 150 hours of Play Therapy instruction required for RPTs and will become part of the curriculum requirements for the school counseling program at Southeast.

"I am so excited for the collaboration between the Counselor Education Training Clinic and the Southeast Missouri State Play Therapy Center," said Dr. Kirsten LaMantia, assistant professor and counselor education training clinic coordinator. "This innovative partnership will allow Training Clinic interns the opportunity to work with children from the Southeast Missouri area while fine tuning their play therapy and counseling skills. We are looking forward to this opportunity to better serve area youth."

Ward added, "Dr. Wagner, Dr. LaMantia, and I are a strong collaborative team who are very excited about this new initiative which will provide our counseling students and counselors in this region and beyond with training and supervision to obtain the RPT credential. The approved Center for Play Therapy Education would not have been possible without the support of Dr. Rogers-Adkinson, dean of the College of Education, and our department chair Dr. C.P. Gause."

Reprinted from http://news.semo.edu/southeast-ed-leadership-and-counseling-dept-becomes-approved-center-of-play-therapy-education/ with permission of Dr. Wagner.

2017 Graduate Tanner Saxton Published

Master student recent graduate Tanner Saxton, published in the International Stuttering Awareness, title How To Stand on Elephants. For the full article http://isad.isastutter.org/isad-2016/papers-presented-by-2016/research-therapy-and-support/how-to-stand-on-elephants-susannah-parkin-karissa-colbrunn-tanner-saxton/

Dr. Lynn Bohecker (2015) - ISU and St. Luke's Health Systems partner to foster research

Idaho State University’s Lynn Bohecker is passionate about research. She relishes the thrill of being on the ground floor of a breakthrough or on the front lines of scientific literature that can help the medical community improve patient care.

For the past year, Bohecker’s ground floor has been a small office in the east wing of the Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center where she holds the position of postdoctoral fellow in the Idaho Center for Health Research.

She is the first fellow to serve in the ISU-St. Luke’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship which began July 1, 2015 to accelerate research between both institutions. ISU and St. Luke’s Health systems share program costs and will add a second yearlong fellow position July 1.

“I think research provides an opportunity to obtain information that can change the health care community, to better inform how to help patients,” said Bohecker, who earned a Ph.D. in counselor education at ISU-Meridian in 2015.

Bohecker’s current project involves studies related to a model of care coordination developed by St. Luke’s pediatrician John Hanks and his team for the care of the “medically complex pediatric patient” – a child facing a complicated medical condition or treatment.

Her research will help the medical community better understand care from the perspective of the patient, siblings, parents, medical providers and community partners. The goal is to facilitate better care and reduce costs by decreasing emergency room visits and duplication of services, said Bohecker.

While working on her doctorate at ISU, Bohecker published articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals and helped ISU secure a $1 million grant to increase access to rehabilitation services for Idahoans with traumatic brain injuries. She currently is an adjunct professor at ISU in the counseling department.

Last Modified: 11/17/17