Assistant Professor & Director, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
Whitney P. Akers, PhD, LCMHC, NCC, ACS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and the Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She completed her doctoral work in Counseling and Counselor Education with a cognate in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also earned a MS/EdS in Couple and Family Counseling and School Counseling at UNC Greensboro and a BA in Psychology and Sexuality Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Her research interests center on the ways in which people who identify as LGBTQ+ experience outness, how intersections of queerness and race, class, ability, spirituality, and ethnicity influence mental health and wellness, and how these intersectional lived-experiences are impacted by the current political climate in terms of access, perceived levels of safety, and identity pride. Recently, Whitney’s passion for examining ethical research practices facilitated collaboration with a team of counselors affiliated with the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) and the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC) to create standards for assessment and research with LGBTQ+ populations. Whitney received the 2016-2017 ALGBTIC Graduate Student Award and was selected as the 2018-2019 ALGBTIC New Professional Emerging Leader. Whitney also serves on the editorial board for The Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling. A Nationally Certified Counselor and an Approved Clinical Supervisor, Whitney’s clinical experience includes counseling in community agency, inpatient, spiritual care, hospital/integrated care, detention center, school, equine therapy, and private practice settings. Embedded within her clinical work is a deep dedication to and passion for social justice and advocacy. In her daily life, this passion extends to challenging the social construction of power through art, performance, and activism. Whitney lives joyfully with her partner, Victoria, in Greensboro, NC. Click here to view Dr. Aker's curriculum vitae.