Counseling professor wins Outstanding Pre-Tenure Counselor Educator Award

By Raquel Talamantes

Amanda Giordano, an assistant professor in the UNT College of Education’s counseling program, has received the 2016 Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) Outstanding Pre-Tenure Counselor Educator Award. This award recognizes those who show fantastic progress in the early stages of their academic career in the areas of research, service and teaching.

“Considering that [Giordano] is still early in her career as a counselor educator, I am delighted that both her extensive accomplishments and her promising future are being recognized by a major professional counseling association,” Jan Holden, department chair of counseling and higher education, said.  “Her membership on the counseling program faculty not only serves our students and profession so well, but also contributes to the program’s nationally ranked stature and to the College of Education’s excellent reputation.”

Giordano specializes in addictions counseling and religious/spiritual issues in counseling. She also teaches courses about addictions counseling, diversity issues in counseling and counseling theory.

“I think these courses are really important, and I feel very honored to teach them,” Giordano said. “My goals as an educator are to help counseling students foster a better understanding of addiction in order to cultivate empathy for those with chemical or process addictions, and to help counseling students identify and overcome racial/ethnic biases or preconceived notions they may harbor about groups of people. It is very rewarding to be a part of those processes.”

A large portion of Giordano’s work involves research. She conducts research studies that explore collegiate substance use, sexual addiction, the association between religion/spirituality and addiction, and religious coping. During her five years at UNT, Giordano has gathered a six- to eight-member Addictions Counseling Research Team consisting of UNT master’s and graduate students and other UNT colleagues. During their three years together, they have published four studies and are currently working on a fifth.

In addition to working, teaching and conducting research studies, Giordano also serves as a board member and treasurer of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC) and serves on two editorial review boards for counseling journals.

“I have been able to meet some amazing people in the counseling field through these service positions,” Giordano said. “Also, at the local level, I have been able to provide diversity training to non-profit organizations that are working to enhance race relations in the community.”

Giordano said her award is testament to the UNT counseling program’s commitment to junior faculty success.

“You always wonder how you can repay those who invested so much into your professional development, and I think winning an award like this is a real testament to the mentorship I have received along the way,” Giordano said. “It acknowledges the dedication of those who have trained, taught, inspired, and encouraged me thus far. I am very grateful for the men and women who have devoted their time, energy and wisdom into my career and I hope they see this award as their recognition too.”

Giordano will be recognized during the Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting at the 2016 SACES conference in New Orleans at noon October 7.