Department honors alumni at annual event

From left to right: Katie McGinn '11, Bryan DeNure '03 and Dr. Rebecca Michel '07 are honored at the 22nd annual alumni event for the Department of Leadership in Education, Human Services and Counseling.

April 23, 2013

By Steven Johnson ‘13

The Department of Leadership in Education, Human Services and Counseling hosted its 22nd annual alumni event at Westlake Hall to honor three recent alumni and their contributions to their respective fields.

Three university alumni—Katie McGinn, Bryan DeNure and Dr. Rebecca Michel—were recognized and Dr. Christopher Rybak, professor and chair of the department, presented the awards. The event was attended by 105 people, and was sponsored by the Department, Mental Health America of Illinois Valley, the College of Education and Health Sciences and other partners.

Katie McGinn ’11, who graduated with a master’s in Leadership in Human Service Administration, was awarded the Innovative Professional Practices award. As director of Bradley’s Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service, McGinn coordinates leadership development and volunteer opportunities for University students. Her work has been recognized at various local awards, as well as by the Jenzabar Foundation for her leadership in developing a Service on Saturday program for students.

Bryan Denure ’03, who graduated with a master’s in Community Agency Counseling, was awarded the Community Service award. Denure is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with the Advocate Medical Group and works with male and female perpetrators of sexual abuse. As a counselor, Denure has been leading therapy groups and completing evaluations of sexual offenders.

Dr. Rebecca Michel ’07, who also earned a master’s in Community Agency Counseling, was awarded the Scholarship award. Dr. Michel pursued her doctorate in Counselor Education from Old Dominion University in Virginia and is currently an assistant professor at Governors State University. She has published nine manuscripts, with seven in review, and has three data collections that are in progress, two book chapters, and has also written several newsletter articles. She has received many awards including the 2012 Outstanding Doctoral Student award from Chi Sigma Iota International.

Dr. Christopher Lucas, an assistant professor in the Department, said the event was a success and important for acknowledging the hard work and professional accomplishments by alumni.

“Every year, we have an annual event where we invite alumni from our educational administration, our counseling programs, and our human service and administration programs,” he said. “This event was geared just right in terms of quality, and in terms of opportunities that were offered at the event.”