By Golden Fanning, Chair
AMHCA Graduate Student Committee
AMHCA’s Graduate Student Committee (GSC) represents the student members of AMHCA and works to advance their interests within the association. The GSC also strives to further the goals of AMHCA by communicating with leaders in the counseling field throughout the nation and assisting these individuals in increasing awareness about a variety of mental health issues.
We welcome the participation of all students, and currently have several open positions on the committee, including secretary, Midwestern Region liaison, and Western Region liaison.
If you would like more information about participating in the AMHCA GSC and GSC activities, please contact Golden at .
Please read on for a brief introduction to this year’s GSC leaders!
Golden Fanning, Chair
Golden was GSC chair-elect and Midwestern Region liaison during the 2010–2011 year and a student regional representative during the 2009–2010 year. She is a third-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, working on her dissertation and completing a counselor education internship.
She earned her MEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Ohio University and her BA in Psychology from Miami University of Ohio. In addition to her involvement with the AMHCA Graduate Student Committee, Golden serves as secretary of the Ohio Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and is an active member of the Alpha Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society and the Ohio Counseling Association.
Golden is particularly interested in working in college and university counseling, and she completed an internship at a university counseling center during her master’s degree program. During her doctoral studies, she has supervised first-year counseling master’s students in counseling labs to build basic counseling microskills, practice counseling techniques from a variety of theoretical frameworks, and develop group counseling leadership skills.
Golden is interested in teaching future counselors, and has co-taught several counseling courses with faculty members in her department. Golden also held a graduate assistantship, teaching and academically advising undergraduate students in the areas
of building academic and study skills and college career planning.
Christine Robertini, Chair-Elect
Christine is working on her doctorate of Education and Counseling Supervision at Argosy University in Nashville. She earned her master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Argosy in June 2010. At her internship at the Police Department’s Domestic Violence Division, she counseled victims of domestic violence as well as led groups for domestic violence survivors. After earning state licensure, she would like to work with victims of trauma and abuse as well as with individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Christine has been the student representative for the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counseling Association (TLPCA) for the past three years. She is also a member of the Eating Disorder Coalition in Tennessee, the Nashville Area Association of Christian Counselors, and the Native American Indian Association.
During her free time, in addition to spending time with her husband, three children, and granddaughter, Christine likes to hike, walk, and just have a good time.
Chantrelle Varnado–Johnson, LPC, NCC, AP
Southern Region Liaison
Chantrelle is the Counselor Education Program coordinator graduate assistant in the Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling & Foundations at the University of New Orleans. Her multiple certifications include Approved Clinical Evaluator (ACE) for Mental Health Rehabilitation Programs; CPI-Nonviolent Crisis Intervention; and CPR-BLS for Healthcare Providers (CPR & AED).
A licensed clinical mental health counselor, she has experience working in a clinical setting, supervising non-licensed master’s-level clinicians; and she has served as a teaching assistant, a doctoral coach for counseling techniques, and as an assistant to the practicum/internship coordinator. She has also conducted assessments, constructed treatment plans, and coordinated community resources.
A doctoral student in Counselor Education at the University of New Orleans, Chantrelle holds a BA and an MA in Sociology and earned her MEd in Human Services Counseling at the University of New Orleans.
She is actively involved in several associations, including: American Counseling Association, Alpha Eta Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society, Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors, Southern Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors, Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, and Association for Play Therapy.
She is also involved in Louisiana Association for Play Therapy, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Louisiana Counseling Association, as well as several of its chartered divisions.
She was awarded the Louisiana Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (LACES) Outstanding Graduate Leadership Award (2009–2010), and has been elected president for Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society, Alpha Eta Chapter (2011–2012).
She is interested in professional development and self-advocacy.
Tracy Sherman, North Atlantic Region Liaison
Tracy is a 2011 LMHC graduate from Medaille College in Buffalo, N.Y. Tracy received her bachelor’s degree from Medaille in Psychology, and after working with severely emotionally disturbed children, decided to continue her education. Tracy is employed by Horizon Health Services, a large and growing mental health and chemical dependency agency in Western New York. Once she becomes a licensed mental health counselor in New York State, Tracy hopes to pursue her own counseling practice and offer much-needed counseling services for children and adolescents in the outlying areas of Buffalo.
Tracy became involved with AMHCA through the graduate student liaison two years ago as a student and looks forward to becoming more active and involved in the coming year with promoting the deserved recognition of the field of mental health counseling.
Tracy is happily married and the mother of two adult children. In her spare time, Tracy and her husband have started kayaking.
Karen F. Griner, Faculty Advisor
As faculty advisor to the GSC, Karen F. Griner supports and guides the endeavors of this group of active student leaders. A former chair of AMHCA’s Graduate Student Committee (2005–06), Griner is working on her doctoral dissertation in Counseling at George Washington University and teaching Psychology courses online. She won AMHCA’s Donald Matteson Graduate Student of the Year Award in 2006.