Editor’s note: Information for each candidate, including biographical information, qualifications and reasons for seeking office is published below and in the December issue of Counseling Today. Online voting for all ACA, division and region elections will begin Dec. 1. The following answers are published as the candidates submitted them. They have not been edited.
ACAC DIVISION CANDIDATES
Board Member At Large
Leigh Falls Holman
I’ve worked with children and adolescents in a variety of mental health settings (home-based, community agency, psych hospitals, RTC, private practice, schools, and juvenile detention) since 1993. I am a LPC-MHSP-Supervisor, a RPTS, AutPlay & AAT Certified, Level II Theraplay trained, and an AMHCA Diplomate & CMHS in Child & Adolescent Counseling & Trauma Counseling. I was a C&A counselor for 14 years before becoming a counselor educator. My passion is working with kids in foster care & juvenile offenders, from trauma-informed neurosequential intervention approaches. I serve on the Tennessee Foster Care Extension Review Board & previously served on the Galveston County Child Review Team. I also chaired the Social Issues Committee for the Dekalb County a League of Women Voters advocating for children’s mental health issues & was active in Georgia Council on Child Abuse. Because of my varied experiences as a mental health counselor, school counselor, counselor educator, & supervisor I understand C&A counselors’ unique challenges & rewards. I believe strongly that counselor’s working with kids need training in developmentally appropriate methods, & that therapeutic & psychopharmacologic approaches need to be well researched on children. I’ve attempted to help with these efforts through advocacy, teaching, presenting and publishing on child and adolescent issues. Personally, I was blessed to have twin boys at 45 (now 5) who continue to teach me about the unique gifts & challenges of childhood through their special needs. Although I have been active on the board of another ACA division, including president, & currently serve on the ACA Governing Council, I would be honored at the opportunity to continue my service to the profession by representing my fellow ACAC members as a member at large representing the concerns of clinicians, supervisors, and educators who care for the mental health needs of children & adolescents.
My vocation in working with children/adolescents and their families has spanned the spectrum from the public school systems, private practice and the university level. I have been a Special Education teacher for thirty years working with children/adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders in the public schools. I have also been the Director/Clinical Supervisor for a Summer Treatment Activities Program, STAP, for children/adolescents with ADHD, ODD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder for eighteen years including facilitating a parent support group. As an LPC I counsel adolescents and children with various issues and have an advocate for an increase in services for children with developmental disabilities and with the juvenile justice system. I am currently an Adjunct Faculty member with Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania. I will complete my PhD this fall In Counselor Education and Supervision. My research centers on the emotional journey that parents navigate through while raising a child with ASD, and how the counseling experience has been relevant to their relationship. I have been privileged to present at the IAMFC conferences in New Orleans and Oxford University. As a trustee with ACAC I plan on working with the association to continue the advocacy for our clients in the public schools, private sector, and university programs. Through research based best practices I believe we can make ACAC an active a vital component of the counseling profession.
Randall L. Astramovich
It is an honor to be nominated for Trustee on the board of the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling (ACAC). I am currently a faculty member in the Department of Counseling at Idaho State University where I teach in our master’s and doctoral programs and coordinate the school counseling major. Prior to teaching in higher education, I gained extensive counseling experience with child and adolescent clients in mental health agency settings and as a school counselor. Starting in 2009, I helped organize the advocacy efforts that led to ACAC becoming an organizational affiliate, and later a full division, within the American Counseling Association. I am very interested in helping ACAC continue to grow as an organization and I would specifically like to foster initiatives to help provide members with opportunities to develop skills for advocating for disadvantaged and marginalized child and adolescent populations, including LGBTQ youth. I also would be interested in spearheading the development of web-based ACAC seminars on topics of interest to members. Seminars could help foster connections within the ACAC community and could provide members with opportunities to earn continuing education credits. I am proud to be a founding member of ACAC and I hope to help the association further highlight issues that are critical in advocating for excellence in child and adolescent counseling.
I have dedicated my life to working with children and adolescents; first as a teacher, then for a non-profit youth group, and finally as a school and clinical mental health counselor for the past 17 years. I earned my Ph.D. in Counselor Education at the University of North Texas with a specialty in play therapy and expressive arts and currently work as a counselor educator at Eastern Kentucky University where I direct a certificate in play therapy. My credentials include being a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. I believe in the resilience of children and adolescents and the wonder they bring to the world. I also realize that they face struggles and at times need assistance. Counselors can provide the support that children and adolescents need to overcome the challenges they face and to grow to be wonderful beings. My training and experience provide me the knowledge and skills necessary to be that agent of change for children and my current position as counselor educator enables me to prepare new professionals to work with children and adolescents. My focus of practice and research has been in the areas of expressive and experiential modalities, including adventure-based counseling, animal-assisted therapy, play therapy, and sandtray therapy. My professional service experience includes serving as Clinical Editor for Play Therapy magazine, North Central Association of Counselor Education and Supervision President, and Florida School Counselor Association Elementary Vice-President, among others. I am passionate advocate of children and adolescents and would be honored to serve as Board Member-at-Large for the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling.