August 27, 2007

Simmons named new Counseling Center director

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Rosemary E. Simmons is the new permanent director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Counseling Center.

Her selection followed a national search led by Larry H. Dietz, vice chancellor of student affairs, and committee chair Virginia B. Rinella, director of the Pre-Major Advisement Center. She has served 20 years at the Counseling Center in a number of capacities. For the last decade, Simmons served as the director of training for the University's pre-doctoral internship program accredited by the American Psychological Association. Simmons said there will be a national search to find a new director for the internship program.

"We are fortunate to have a person with the skills and expertise of Dr. Simmons in this position," Dietz said. "I know she will serve the campus well in her new role."

Dietz noted that in addition to serving the Counseling Center and its clientele well for many years, Simmons has published and presented papers and consulted at various professional venues numerous times. Others have recognized her efforts too.

"In 2006, she was honored for her professional work completed on behalf of the standing committee on diversity and standing committee on conference planning with a special presidential citation by the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies," Dietz said. "In 2004, she was recognized with the Administrative/Professional Women of Distinction Award presented by University Women's Professional Advancement at SIUC."

"I'm very honored and pleased to be the director of the Counseling Center," Simmons said. "The Counseling Center is staffed by excellent therapists who can offer quality services to SIU students."

The Counseling Center, accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, has a staff of eight licensed psychologists and five pre-doctoral interns. They provide confidential therapy services to SIUC students individually, as couples and in groups and also consult with faculty, staff and administration regarding any student concerns and issues, offering outreach to students. The center's walk-in crisis counseling means any student can walk in from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and see a counselor immediately, too.

"Last year (2006-2007), one out of every 12 SIUC students sought counseling services at the SIUC Counseling Center," Simmons said.

The Counseling Center also partners with the Department of Public Safety and Southern Illinois Regional Social Services to provide after-hours emergency counseling services.

Much of Simmons' counseling work has been in the areas of eating disorders, personality disorders, sexuality issues and childhood trauma, especially childhood sexual abuse. Simmons earned her master's and doctoral degrees in psychology at SIUC. She replaces Janet Coffman, who retired.