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Warren, Ricks recognized at NCCA Annual Conference

Jeff Warren
Dr. Jeff Warren accepts the Exemplary Practices Award from NCCA President and UNCP alumnus Dr. Mark Schwarze

UNCP counseling professors, Drs. Jonathan Ricks and Jeffrey Warren were recognized for their contributions to the counseling profession at the recent North Carolina Counseling Association’s (NCCA) Annual Conference.

Jonathan Ricks was recognized with the Devoted Service Award and Jeffrey Warren was presented with the inaugural Exemplary Practices Award by the NC Association of Assessment and Research in Counseling.

The Devoted Service Award recognizes an NCCA member who has provided leadership and service not only to the organization but to the counseling field as well. Dr. Ricks is consistent in his volunteer efforts within professional organizations and through providing professional development, making him an exemplary recipient for the Devoted Service Award.

At UNCP, Ricks coordinates outreach efforts for the Department of Counseling, working with regional school districts to provide support and professional development to school counselors. He is the Service-Learning Faculty Fellow within the College of Health Sciences and serves as the current chair of the Service-Learning Committee. In these roles, he supports other counselor educators, as well as nursing, social work and kinesiology faculty, by exploring methods to include service in their work.

In addition to his duties as a faculty member and his service to the counseling profession, Ricks volunteers as a school-based counselor at two elementary schools and provides play therapy to children dealing with trauma and other emotional challenges.

Recognized by the Assessment and Research in Counseling Division of the NCCA, Warren, chair of UNCP’s Department of Counseling was presented with the inaugural Exemplary Practices Award. This award is to recognize a person who best represents their mission to promote excellence in assessment, measurement and evaluation in counseling. Warren is frequently published and consistently promotes excellence in assessment, measurement and evaluation in counseling.

Most recently, in collaboration with two colleagues, Drs. Nicole Stargell and Shenika Jones, Warren published a manuscript entitled “A Confirmatory Factory Analysis of the Academic Rational Beliefs Scale for Students Attending Minority-serving Institutions.” The academic rational beliefs scale (ARBS) was developed to assess college students’ thoughts that impact academic success. This research, conducted at UNCP, was the first efforts to validate the ARBS at a minority serving institution (MSI). It is important for instruments to be validated for populations on which they are used. Now MSIs, including UNCP, may better understand how to utilize this instrument to address unhelpful thoughts and promote student success.

“As members of the faculty and UNCP community, we aim to take part in activities that support student growth and development across the lifespan. Engaging in research to better understand students and ways of helping them reach their goals is paramount. This work has societal implications including increasing the college persistence rate and advancing social justice,” Warren said.