Graduate Counseling Students Place Third in National Ethics Competition

Group photo in front of the fountain in Palm Court
Group photo in front of the fountain in Palm Court of third place winners of National Ethics Competition
The team included, from left, Nicole King, Melanie Strembel, Amber Lee and Elizabeth Nicks.

On Feb. 25, Stetson University graduate counseling students Nicole King ‘23, Melanie Strembel ‘23, Amber Lee ‘23 and Elizabeth Nicks ‘22 woke up to great news. The four-person team received an email stating they placed third in the American Counseling Association (ACA) Graduate Student Ethics Competition.

The team placed third behind second place Bowie University and first place DePaul University.

The purpose of the competition is to educate members of the association regarding ethical issues, as well as to engage graduate students (master’s and doctoral level) in critically analyzing a potential ethical case and creating an appropriate ethical decision-making plan to respond to the ethical situation.

Logo for ACA AwardsThe virtual competition is comprised of an essay prompt provided by the ACA that deals with the organization’s code of ethics. The team divided the sections up and collectively combined their work for submission. Placing third, the team received a combined award of $200 from the ACA, but in addition, it earned $1,000 from the Stetson Counselor Education Ethics Award, which honors the late George Hood, PhD, former dean of students, professor and director of Student Counseling Services, and his wife, the late Mary Turner Hood. The award is presented annually to a member or friend of the Stetson community in recognition of his/her passion for, and commitment and contributions to, Stetson and its core values.

Initially, Strembel urged her three peers to form the team together and apply for the competition. The foursome quickly agreed to enter because they merely wanted to work together on an extracurricular project. As often happens with Stetson students, bonds formed with fellow classmates through their collegiate tenure.

Jesse Fox, PhD

“One of the great things about Stetson’s graduate counseling program is the relationships we make with other classmates. We’ve all known each other for a few years now, and this was an opportunity for us to do something fun and challenging outside of our normal education requirements,” said King.

Encouraging the team and cheering in their corner was Jesse Fox, PhD, assistant professor of counselor education. “These students took the initiative to step up to this challenge on the national stage,” said Fox. “They have represented the Department of Counselor Education marvelously and we are very proud to have them as students as Stetson.”

-Robbie Harper