Alumnus of the Month – Malachy Bishop

Malachy L. Bishop, PhD, CRC, is Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling Doctoral Program Coordinator with the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. His clinical background includes rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation psychology and neuropsychology in physical medicine, and rehabilitation and other healthcare settings.

Dr. Bishop is a prolific writer and researcher in the areas of rehab. counseling and rehab. psychology. He has won several national awards from the American Rehab. Counseling Association (ARCA), and is actively involved in national organizations that provide services to people with epilepsy, MS, and head injuries. His many contributions to the field of rehab. counseling are greatly appreciated by his colleagues and students alike.

His research includes:

  • Psychosocial and employment-related aspects of chronic neurological conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and brain injury
  • Self-management and treatment decision making
  • Adaptation to chronic illness and disability
  • Projects on treatment adherence and self-management in multiple sclerosis
  • A national assessment of the specialized housing needs of adults with MS (funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
  • The rehabilitation needs of military veterans with disabilities
  • A National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Biobehavioral Research on Self-Management of Cardiopulmonary Disease

Q&A

How did you transition into the field after your graduate studies?

My work at the GSE was a direct step into my profession and career. The knowledge and clinical skills I developed, and the support of the faculty at Portland State University’s Counseling Program as I moved into my first professional positions were foundations for the career that I have so enjoyed. The faculty supported and encouraged me in my professional development and my eventual decision to pursue doctoral study and an academic and research career.

What has proven to be the most useful thing you learned while at the GSE?

It is difficult to identify one thing as most useful. Rehabilitation counseling is a complex profession, requiring a wide breadth of clinical and professional knowledge. Perhaps the most useful thing was the fact that we students were so well prepared in such a wide range of areas. Even now, 16 years after graduating, I still find myself relying on the things I heard and learned from my professors at PSU on a daily basis. One overriding lesson is the importance of integration with the community. The value of establishing and actively maintaining relationships with the community is a lesson that has served me and my students very well over the years.

What accomplishment in your career are you most proud of?

I would say it is the successes and accomplishments of my own students as they move into their careers in rehabilitation counseling, fulfilling their own career and personal goals and directly impacting the lives of their clients and their communities. It is always a joy to hear from my former students and to learn of their accomplishments and achievements and to see their deep and continuing commitment to the important work that they do.

The GSE strives to make an impact on our community through the work of our students, faculty, and alumni. What does the term “impact on the community” mean to you?

I believe every member of a community has a role and makes an impact. The question is, what sort of impact will we make? Portland State’s Counseling Department prepares excellent counselors who go out and directly and positively influence the lives of their clients in schools, clinics, hospitals, and homes. The impact of the Counseling Department at Portland State University has been important and very positive in its community, region, state, and beyond. For me, the Department’s commitment to the community was evident from the application interview, in which members of the professional community were participants, through our clinical work as student interns in the Community Clinic, through our coursework, in which members of the community were directly involved, and after graduation, when the faculty’s relationships with the community helped support my career in Portland and beyond.

How do you try to incorporate this concept into your daily work?

As a professor in rehabilitation counselor education, I have strived to develop the types of relationships between our academic program and the greater community that I saw and participated in at Portland State. I feel that the PSU model is among the most effective in the nation. When we have good relationships with our community, with the agencies that employ our students, with members of the community living with disabilities, with the advocacy groups, the professional groups, and the broader community, it helps the community and it helps our students.

Did you have a favorite course, professor, or project while at the GSE?

I had many wonderful professors while a student at PSU: Hanoch Livneh, David Capuzzi, Russ Miars, Elizabeth Wosely-George. All of them were excellent educators and all of them have supported me throughout my career. In Hanoch Livneh, of course, Portland State University has one of the preeminent rehabilitation counseling researchers and educators in the world. He inspired me to pursue this profession, and has inspired me ever since. In addition to being a brilliant researcher and internationally known and respected leader in our profession, he is a wonderful teacher. His guidance and support are directly responsible for my opportunity to have a career that I have so enjoyed. I tell him every time I see him, and I know his other former students feel the same way. He is a treasure.

What advice would you give currently enrolled or recently graduated students?

Find a career that you enjoy, that fascinates you, and in which you can make a difference beyond yourself. Work hard for the right things, and have fun. Portland and Portland State University are amazing places; enjoy them.

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