Counseling student Dana Gieszler has been named a recipient of the Minority Masters Fellowship for Addictions Counselors. Gieszler is a student in the Counselor Education master’s program, specializing in clinical mental health and also the Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling. The award is sponsored by the NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and includes $11,000 and a trip to the NBCC Foundation National Symposium in Raleigh, North Carolina.
With this fellowship, Gieszler will be committed to working with minority transition-age youth for at least two years. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and feel honored to represent PSU at the conference,” said Gieszler, who will receive the award in May.
Gieszler grew up in tiny Banks, Oregon, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish at the University of Oregon. She has a minor in business administration and Latin American studies. “I chose PSU for the remarkable counseling program.” she said. “I did not apply to any other graduate program as I knew PSU was the perfect fit for me. I am fortunate to be accepted as a graduate student for the Counselor Education program and am very grateful for my extraordinary experience here.”
Gieszler identifies with German Norwegian and Native American heritages but has traveled abroad to Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, which gives her deep perspective on Latin American cultures. After college, she worked for a nonprofit, Hillsboro In-School Program (HIP), which provides services for youth who are at-risk. “My experience with the Latin American culture has allowed me to connect with the students, and I am constantly learning new things about their culture,” she said.
The fellowships are made possible by a grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that created the program as part of an effort to develop a more diverse mental health workforce for the future. Applicants were identified who could demonstrate knowledge of and experience with racially and ethnically diverse populations and who were committed to providing substance abuse and addictions counseling services.
Giezler will complete her master’s degree at PSU in June, 2016.