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.
ASERVIC DIVISION CANDIDATES
L. Marinn Pierce
I am honored to be nominated for the President-Elect position for ASERVIC. I currently am serving my second term on the ASERVIC Board and have been the Membership Chair since 2012. During this time, I have found ASERVIC to be a place of openness and challenge as the division seeks to create spaces of inclusion for differing voices, worldviews, and perspectives. If given the opportunity to serve as President-Elect, I hope to continue to explore avenues for dialogue and the inclusion of differing worldviews and experiences as we strive to support the integration of religion and spirituality into professional counseling. Additionally, I hope to find innovative and creative ways in which ASERVIC can provide resources and services to our members and the profession. As Membership Chair, I worked to create spaces for increased membership input and involvement in the organization and hope to continue this practice by finding opportunities for new perspectives and voices to heard in the ASERVIC community. Finally, I hope to further the fostering of new and support of existing state divisions and expanding the existing Emerging Leaders program. Once again, I am grateful to be nominated for the position of President-Elect. ASERVIC has been a “counseling home” for me and been integral in my personal and professional growth. It has been an honor to serve ASERVIC as a board member, and if elected, I hope to continue to uphold growth and integrity of the organization.
Governing Council Representative
Carman S. Gill
I am honored to be a nominee for ASERVIC’s representative to the Governing Council. In the past, I have had the privilege of working with ASERVIC as President-Elect, President, Past President, member of the Board of Directors, secretary, conference committee co-chair, and newsletter editor. Currently, I am serving as a member of the Past Presidents’ Advisory Board and as an ad hoc reviewer for Counseling and Values. As a result of more than 12 years of experience working with ASERVIC, I realize the honor and responsibility associated with being nominated for this position. During my time of service to ASERVIC, I actively worked to build strong relationships with other leaders in the field and I believe these relationships are crucial to moving forward as ASERVIC’s representative. Governing Council includes a diverse representation from the voices throughout ACA and counseling profession and the decisions made within that group have a direct impact on ASERVIC. Because spiritual issues are so important to our clients and are prominently featured in today’s legal and ethical discussions, if elected I will be a strong voice representing ASERVIC in these and other issues that impact the counseling profession. My goal is active involvement in all aspects of the process, including meetings, workgroups, and continuous communication with ASERVIC’s leadership. I pledge if elected, I will be a strong advocate for ASERVIC’s interest, and for the interests of ACA as a whole, toward improving the lives of clients through advocacy.
As a beginning counselor, I was fortunate to find my professional home in ASERVIC. After becoming a counselor educator, I began serving in more leadership roles in ASERVIC and was able to participate in important discussions that have guided our division in the last few years. In that time, I served as ASERVIC treasurer, board member, and conference co-planner. However, my experience as ASERVIC president in 2015-2016, during a sensitive time in ACA history, taught me a great deal about the governing structure of ACA and the complex issues that governing council members must work through so that our organization and profession can thrive. ASERVIC serves as a touchpoint for individuals who are interested and committed to ideas related to spirituality, ethics, religion, and values; these are complex issues that have the capacity to create division between individuals rather than collaborative relationships. However, what ASERVIC strives to do is take these strongly held beliefs and empower professionals to communicate their viewpoints, engage in productive dialogue, and find ways to join together for a common goal. I am honored to have participated in these discussions, and I believe these experiences have given me the wisdom and tenacity to advocate for important issues as the ASERVIC governing council representative. If chosen to serve, I look forward to engaging in professional conversations and debate on licensure portability, promoting our profession to stakeholders, and advocating for clients. Through my service I have learned about the delicate balance between respect for personal beliefs of others and advocacy for each individual’s right to be who they are. In this role I promise to remain committed to representing the interests of our members, who represent a wide variety of faith traditions and viewpoints, while promoting the continued growth of our profession.
Amanda Giordano, PhD, LPC, NCC is an assistant professor at the University of North Texas. She has been an ASERVIC member since 2010 and the treasurer of the association since 2014. In her last three years as treasurer, Giordano has acquired a holistic conceptualization of the financial mission of ASERVIC and a better understanding of how members wish to steward the association’s assets. Giordano aligns with the vision of ASERVIC; to honor client diversity by enhancing the ethical integration of religion and spirituality into counseling. Thus, by serving for another term as treasurer, Giordano believes she will be able to assist progress toward ASERVIC’s mission by overseeing the financial responsibilities of the organization.
Dr. Cyndi Matthews is a Counselor Educator, Researcher, Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S), and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) working with diversity, multicultural, and social justice issues in the areas of couples and family relationships and personal/individual counseling. She is the Past President of the Texas Association for Marriage and Family Counselors and past Senator for Texas Counselors for Social Justice. She has served on two committees on ASERVIC and ALGBTIC over the past year exploring spirituality/religiosity and the intersectionality of religiosity/spirituality and affectional orientation. Cyndi is a Counseling Lecturer at the University of North Texas at Dallas. She has taught various courses in counseling including couples and family therapy, multicultural counseling, career counseling, developmental processes through the lifetime, professional ethics, crisis intervention, human sexuality, along with clinical courses such as practicum, beginning skills, advanced skills, and internship. Cyndi’s private practice specializes in Religious Abuse & Cult Recovery, LGBT Issues/Gender Identity, Depression/Anxiety/Stress, Addiction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sexual, Emotional, and Physical Abuse, Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Sex Therapy, Premarital Counseling, Communication Skills, and Relationship Effectiveness.
Taunya Marie Tinsley
I am truly humbled that my name has been submitted by ASERVIC as a candidate for Board Member. My academic and professional qualifications include a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Duquesne University (2005), a Certificate in Missional Theology from Biblical Seminary (2013), and a D.Min. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH (2016) where my dissertation research focused on training multicultural religious leaders. Obtaining the D.Min. strengthens my ability to complement the values and standards espoused in the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics as well as the competencies that have been established by the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) and ASERVIC where I am a member of all three organizations. As a counselor educator and LPC, I have also managed to stay active in both the workplace and in the community advocating for and promoting organizations, helping professionals, and their clients. I have served as the North Atlantic Regional Representative for AMCD, the president of the Pennsylvania College Counseling Association (PACCA), and the President of PCA. In 2006, I collaborated with ACA to develop, facilitate, and enhance the Sports Counseling Interest Network. Previously in 2013-2014, I served as the AMCD newsletter editor and am currently serving as chair of the AMCD Mentoring Program. Additionally, as a former president of PACCA, I am currently working with PCA to revive and activate the division. My journey and all of my professional experiences have culminated to this stage of my career where I am able to provide leadership, vision, and direction to ASERVIC’s array of initiatives related to the infusion of spiritual, ethical, and religious values in counselor preparation and practice. Additionally, as a board member, I could further assist with bridging the gap between ASERVIC and AMCD as well as with other professional counseling associations.
Joffrey S. Suprina
Joffrey S. Suprina, Ph.D., LMHC is the national Dean and Associate Professor of the College of Counseling, Psychology and Social Sciences at Argosy University. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the ASERVIC Awards committee and served on the ASERVIC/ALGBTIC Joint Task Force to write position papers on best practices in cross cultural counseling and addressing conscience clause legislation. In addition to leadership positions within Argosy University and ASERVIC, he has also held leadership positions in the field with Chi Sigma Iota, the Southeastern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Association for Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling. As a practitioner scholar, Dr. Suprina is an LMHC and supervisor working with a variety of clients and supervisees in a myriad of settings. Dr. Suprina regularly presents with over 100 professional presentations, workshops and guest lectures, has published in a variety of professional journals and books and is the Editor of The Practitioner Scholar: Journal of Counseling and Professional Psychology. His research areas include wellness, spirituality, LGBT issues, multiculturalism and addictions. Dr. Suprina has served on a variety of boards and also facilitated board development and team building. His leadership style centers around empowerment and consensus building while promoting innovative solutions to problems. Dr. Suprina has a lifetime of involvement in spiritual practices serving as the president of his church’s youth group, being a staff singer for several different denominations and currently serving as the choir director and worship leader at Trinity MCC. He has studied many religions and spiritual practices, developed the SACRED model of integrating spirituality into counseling and co-authored the chapter Addressing Spirituality When Counseling Gay Boys, Adolescents, and Men. He is excited to join the board of ASERVIC and work to encourage the ethical integration of spirituality within the counseling field.
I am honored to be nominated to serve on the ASERVIC board, thank you for the nomination and consideration. I am currently an assistant professor at Georgia State University where my primary research has involved trauma, including posttraumatic growth, meaning making, and trauma of chronic illness. Through this work I have also focused on mindfulness based interventions for trauma survivors, trauma clinicians, and counselors-in-training. This work has given me opportunities to work overseas in Southern Africa, where spirituality and counseling are perpetually intertwined. Over the last two years I have also had the pleasure of managing ASERVIC’s social media outlets, increasing our presence through Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. I have appreciated my current work with ASERVIC, and enjoy witnessing the impact this division has in the counseling field. If chosen to serve on the board, I look forward to learning from so many powerful leaders, while continuing to serve such an innovative organization.
I would be honored to serve in the leadership of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC). I have found that spiritual, ethical, and religious values have been vital in my 27 years of counseling practice, including as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Florida. I have worked to bring the wisdom of yoga spiritual principles and other Eastern traditions for mental and relational health to counselors through presentations at ASERVIC and other conferences nationally and internationally. I have also worked with colleagues to understand the spiritual and religious principles that transcend all doctrines and how they contribute to mental and relational health. I have benefitted from the ASERVIC competencies in teaching counselor education students. So, I wish to give back to ASERVIC through my experience in leadership, including founding and serving as president of the Florida Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, serving as president of the Florida Counseling Association, and serving as a board member of the Florida Mental Health Counselor Association.