The North Carolina School Counseling Association (NCSCA) has named professor Sejal Foxx Counselor Educator of the Year.
NCSCA presents the award to recognize a counselor educator for outstanding accomplishments in teaching, mentoring, and advising to prepare students for careers as effective counseling professionals.
Foxx, who leads the School Counseling program at the College of Education, received tenure earlier in 2015 after only a year at UNC Charlotte. She currently teaches a variety of masters and doctoral counseling courses.
“Dr. Foxx is an excellent teacher who values delivering quality instruction in the classroom, regardless of the format. She has developed an engaging, informative, and highly interactive teaching style that students embrace,” said Hank Harris, chair of the Counseling Department.
Her most recent honor comes just weeks after Foxx was invited to a White House convening to strengthen school counseling and college advising. She joined delegates from 35 states representing K-12, non-profits, research interests, policymakers and other stakeholders in an effort to increase the number of traditionally underserved students succeeding in post-secondary education
Foxx is also deeply invested in fostering student success in the College of Education; she now advises eight upper-level students as a member or chair of doctoral program or dissertation committees.
“I think it's important to give back to students and the profession. I had incredible mentors who demonstrated what it meant to be a professional school counselor,” Foxx said, “They prepared me to serve students effectively with high quality training and I believe that it is my turn to pay it forward.”
Doctoral candidate Jacob Olsen is one of the students Foxx advises. He said she has been invaluable to his development as a counselor and future counselor educator.
“Dr. Foxx always puts school counseling ethical codes at the forefront of her teaching, and consistently reminds me and other school counselors in training that K-12 students matter more than anything else in our work. Her kind, enthusiastic, positive and humble demeanor inspires me and other students as professionals and as people in the UNC Charlotte community. “
Prior to staring her career in higher education in 2008, Foxx was an elementary and high school guidance counselor in Florida and North Carolina. She said these experiences provide a practical backdrop that shapes her approach to teaching and helps her find balance in the classroom.
“I can teach theory and then provide real and relevant experiences to demonstrate how that looks in real life. I am a believer that I can't ask my students to do something that I wasn't prepared to do myself.”
Over a relatively brief academic career, Foxx more than a dozen research publications to her name, is currently writing a book, “School Counseling in the 21ST Century.” She has presented her work at national and international conferences, as well as in professional development seminars for local school systems.
Foxx has also taken on several leadership positions in professional organizations; she is past president of the North Carolina Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and a current board member for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Academic Programs (CACREP).
But for Foxx, the most rewarding aspect of her job is playing a role in the future of the profession.
“I am so passionate about this work because I know the difference school counselors can make in the lives of students.”
by: Wills Citty