Student Community

group photo of CMHC program participantsWe walk this path together!

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is typically a 2 to 3 year program. During this time of commitment to personal and professional growth, our students often remark on the sense of 'community' they develop with one another. Admission to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is quite competitive, and we believe our students are a significant aspect of our success as a professional counselor preparation program.

Here, you will find profiles of featured students selected to demonstrate the variety of interests and backgrounds within our student community as well as updates of student achievements (i.e. awards & honors).

Featured Students

darcy_wade_0.jpgDarcy Wade, B.A.

Entry Year: 2016

Academic Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Concentration in Body Centered Therapy and a certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy.

Prior Education: Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Studio Art from Appalachian State University. Through the IDS program I self designed my own undergraduate major that I titled "Creative Art as Therapy." I was inspired by Appalachian States Expressive Arts Therapy Master's program and combined courses from psychology, philosophy and creative arts (painting,drawing, theater,dance, pottery etc). 

Why I Chose App: I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains when I attended App for undergrad. I knew upon returning back to school that I wanted to stay close to the mountains. I have always been really inspired by art and had interest in pursuing a degree in Expressive Arts Therapy ever since I first learned about the program during undergrad. It felt like a natural, effortless decision to apply back to Appalachian State when choosing a Graduate School. 

Counseling Interests: I want to combine my personal passions of art, nature and yoga/mindfulness in my own personal counseling practice. I feel inspired to help others find themselves through the use of these tools. I have an interest in further exploring the mind-body connection in relation to therapeutic work, as well as eco therapy, movement and creative exploration.

fumie_abe.jpgFumie Abe, B.S.

Entry Year: 2016 


Academic Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Addictions Counseling Certificate 

Prior Education: B.S. in Business, Marketing from California State University, Long Beach 

Counseling Interests/ Goals: My interest is addiction counseling in adults. My future goal is to bring the knowledge and skills that I obtain in the United States to advocate for Mental Health issues and work on reducing the stigma toward mental health issues by building a therapeutic base counseling house in Japan.

Why I Chose App: I grew up in a suburban area of Japan until the age of 15 when I moved to New Zealand. I eventually moved to Los Angeles, CA when I was 19. My unexpected journey started when I decided to become a counselor in 2015. Prior to moving to North Carolina, I came to the Open House for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. There, I met some faculty members and CMHC students who were welcoming.  I felt that they provided a safe environment where I could grow as a professional counselor as well as human being because the program was students-centered. I fell in love with everything about the program and App. Pursuing the master’s degree in counseling and moving to NC was one of the major changes I made, and I can say with head up that I am so happy that I am part of App and the CMHC program. Faculty members and students are very supportive of me achieving my goal.


Heather Rossi, B.A.heather_rossi_1.jpg

Entry Year: 2017

Academic Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Expressive Arts Certificate

Prior Education: BA in Theatre Performance from High Point University, BA in Vocal Performance from High Point University, minor in Psychology

Why I Chose App: I always knew that this was a place for me. Walking onto the campus, it felt like home. I was greeted by such a warmth from each of the professors and a kindness from all members of my cohort that I knew I would be in a place where I would thrive. Here I am able to combine my two passions, psychology and the arts, in such a way that I get to make use of my creative side and learn how to incorporate it into my future practice. I also chose App for the wide range of personalities and ideas that not only does every student bring, but also the professors. Each one of them have something about them that makes them different, which allows every student to get a wide range of techniques and approaches to being a counselor. 

Counseling Interests: I have always had a passion to work with children, specifically children who have undergone trauma, (ranging from divorce to physical or mental abuse), children with identity issues, as well as children that have physical disabilities. My ultimate goal is to incorporate Expressive Arts Therapy into my counseling practice so that each child has a safe space where they feel like their voices are heard, even if they are not using words.







Student Achievements 

2017 Achievements

  • Fumie Abe has been been selected as the NBCC Foundation’s 2017 Family First Scholarship Recipient
  • Juliana Blanton has been awarded the NBCC Minority Fellowship
  • Beth Anderson has been awarded two scholarships - both the NBCC Rural Scholarship and the Jones-Dotson Scholarship
  • Blake Crooks was accepted into Appalachian State University’s Graduate Student Ambassadors program within the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies for the 2017-2018 academic year. 
  • Meghan Rock has beeen awarded the The NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors (NMFP-AC)
  • Shout out to these outstanding students who have been awarded our departmental scholarships this year!

    Fumie Abe---Hubbard Scholarship

    Marissa Sander---Yancey Scholarship

    Chelsea Ingersoll---Legacy of a Lifetime Scholarship


2016 Achievements

  • Congratulations Verena Wieloch for being awarded the 2016 Association for Specialists in Group Work Peg Carroll Scholarship!

2015 Achievements

  • Congratulations to Will Luckett for:
    • receiving the Governor's Institute Scholarship for addictions counseling!
    • being selected as a Graduate Ambassador to represent App State's graduate school!
    • being appointed treasurer of the North Carolina College Counselor's Association!

2014 Achievements

  • Congratulations to Wanda Ortiz for collaborating in writing the textbook, Assessing Bilingual Children in Context: An Integrated Approach, published by the APA.
  • Congratulations to Will Luckett for receiving the Chancellor's Fellowship from ASU's Cratis D. Williams Graduate School
  • Congratulations to Andrew Gleim for being inducted into CSI and being elected co-chair of the Workshop Committee for the Orchesis Honor Society.
  • Congratulations to the 2014 Cohort for having their research posters accepted and presented at the 2014 NCCA conference.

2012 Achievements

  • Congratulations to Mark Rasdorf for receiving the Graduate Student Award from the Association of LGBT Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA), at the March 2012 ACA National Conference in San Francisco.
  • Congratulations to Elizabeth De Santo for receiving the Lovill Fellow.
  • Congratulations to Anne Hosey and James G. Bursenos for receiving the Chancellors Fellows.
  • Congratulations to Shellie Beeker for receiving the Joyce Lawrence Professional Development award.

2011 Achievements

  • Congratulations to David Weisenhorn for being the selected winner of the 2010 National Board of Certified Counselors Military Scholarship. The military scholarship provides financial support to service members and veterans who are currently enrolled in a master's-level CACREP-accredited counseling program and who commit to serving military personnel after graduation.