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Q&A with new President Dr. Timothy Quinnan – Part Two

Dr. Timothy Quinnan

On Tuesday, June 20, Richmont Graduate University’s Board of Trustees announced the selection of its next President, Dr. Timothy Quinnan. Dr. Quinnan brings to Richmont an extensive background of serving students and universities including roles as Vice President of Student Affairs at University of Texas at Arlington, Associate Vice President for Campus Life at San Diego State University, Vice President for Student Services at Stark State College, and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Florida State University.

Question: You spent the majority of your career working in public colleges and universities. What is it about a Christian university that appeals to you at this point in your career?

Answer: I engaged with extraordinary students and colleagues at these institutions, yet something deeper was always missing. How could my students begin to answer life’s most transcendent questions, including personal mission, without exploring the role of God in their lives and their relationship with Him? Unfortunately, such conversations are not often part of wider community discourse at public universities. It points to a glaring disconnect in “educating the whole person,” a claim universally made across the higher education landscape. Finding the right opportunity to serve at a Christian university had been a career goal for some time. When I had the chance to lead this University, whose Christian values are identical with my own and are proudly embedded in every aspect of University life, I found it irresistible. Very early into my conversations with the search committee, I knew that Richmont was the professional home I sought.

Question: What are some of your proudest moments in your career thus far?

Answer: My greatest reward is seeing how many of the students and staff I mentored over the years gravitated toward the service professions where now they, in turn, are working hard to make the world a better place. Like all educators, I can’t imagine anything more satisfying than seeing those you once taught become dynamic, principled leaders in their own right. Whether they pursued education, counseling, military service, law, medicine, journalism, or other fields, they are emerging leaders. As busy as they are with their own lives now—as spouses, parents, professionals—I am moved by how many continue to initiate contact. They share stories of adding children to their families, career challenges, moral dilemmas, or growth in the Spirit. They also inquire after my wife or daughter, whom they also know, and tell me they pray for us. After a distance of many years and miles, it is touching to see that I had a profound, enduring impact on their lives.   

Q&A with new President Dr. Timothy Quinnan

Dr. Timothy Quinnan

On Tuesday, June 20, Richmont Graduate University’s board of trustees announced the selection of its next president, Dr. Tim Quinnan. Dr. Quinnan brings to Richmont an extensive background of serving students and universities including roles as Vice President of Student Affairs at University of Texas at Arlington, Associate Vice President for Campus Life at San Diego State University, Vice President for Student Services at Stark State College, and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Florida State University.

Question One: Dr. Quinnan, welcome to Richmont Graduate University! We look forward to having you serve the Richmont community as its next President. Can you tell us what brought you to Richmont?

Answer: Without a doubt, I believe that God heard my prayers as well as those within the Richmont community and led us to one another. When I began my search, I was determined to move to a faith-based university where caring, compassion, service, and Christian ethics shaped the organizational culture. It did not take long to learn these qualities existed in abundance at Richmont Graduate University. At each stage of the journey, I discerned through continuous reflection, how a wonderful convergence was taking place between the aspirations of the University and my own. It was awe-inspiring to behold. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)

Board of Trustees Appoints New President

BOARD OF TRUSTEES NAMES TIMOTHY QUINNAN PH.D. AS NEXT PRESIDENT OF RICHMONT

 

ATLANTA and CHATTANOOGA, June 21, 2017 — Richmont Graduate University, which boasts the oldest faith-integrated counseling program in the eastern United States, has selected the institution’s next President. After a six-month nationwide search, the Board of Trustees unanimously selected Timothy Quinnan, Ph.D. of the University of Texas, Arlington to take the helm of the Christian graduate university.

Board Chairman Talley Clower shared the news with students, faculty, and staff yesterday.

“With more than thirty years in higher education, Dr. Quinnan brings a breadth of experience we need to lead Richmont into future success,” said Clower. “Richmont has been in a season of tremendous growth in recent years—including the addition of new graduate programs and the establishment of the region’s first faith-based trauma center. Dr. Quinnan’s proven leadership makes him well suited to lead Richmont in this season of continued of growth and impact.”

Richmont Graduate University has campuses in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and online. The School of Counseling offers two master’s degrees and five graduate certificates while the School of Ministry offers two master’s degrees and one graduate certificate. Richmont is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The school also boasts the oldest integrated (faith-based and academically rigorous) counseling program in the Eastern United States.

Recent evidence of Richmont’s growth and impact includes:
• Record enrollment for the 2016-2017 academic year
• Expansion of trauma counseling work, including sending a team to partner with relief workers in Syrian refugee camps in Greece in 2016
• Opening a new, larger Atlanta-based campus in 2015
• Earning CACREP accreditation, the gold standard in counseling education
• 98% first-time pass rate on the National Counseling Exam
• 90% employment of graduates within six months of graduation

“Richmont Graduate University is positioned squarely at the intersection of academic excellence and sound theology,” said Quinnan. “I’m honored to be invited to be part of this dynamic, purposeful community. I look forward to partnering with the exceptional faculty and staff as we continue to grow the university’s positive impact on and through our students.”

Quinnan brings to Richmont an extensive background of serving students and universities including roles as Vice President of Student Affairs at University of Texas at Arlington, Associate Vice President for Campus Life at San Diego State University, Vice President for Student Services at Stark State College, and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Florida State University.

Former-President Bob Rodgers believes the Board has selected a worthy successor.

“Having had the privilege of serving as its President, I know that Richmont Graduate University is a remarkable community. Richmont’s programs produce students who are fully equipped to take on the challenges of today’s world with skill and compassion,” said Rodgers. “Dr. Quinnan can expect a warm welcome from Richmont’s dedicated faculty and staff, smart and creative students, remarkable alumni, and loyal donors and friends. I am excited that the university will be steered by his capable leadership.”

Quinnan will take up his new role at Richmont starting August 7, 2017.
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Richmont Graduate University is a SACSCOC- and CACREP-accredited graduate university that merges the best in academic and theological instruction. Through its School of Counseling and School of Ministry, Richmont offers master’s-level training that integrates instruction and experiential learning opportunities. Richmont’s ten counseling centers provide over 25,000 sessions annually throughout the community. With roots dating back to 1933, today’s Richmont offers students three convenient locations — Atlanta, Chattanooga and online. 

New Achievement for Therapist at Henegar

Congratulations to Dr. Lorrie Slater who has completed and passed all requirements for Marriage & Family Therapy licensure in the state of Tennessee. Already practicing as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with a doctorate from Regent University in Counselor Education & Supervision, Dr. Slater is a successful therapist at the Henegar Counseling Center and a well-loved professor of counseling. She especially loves to work with children and teens, women in transition, couples, and families. In her academic role, Dr. Slater serves the Chattanooga campus as Assistant Dean of Students and is known to all by her quick smile, compassionate presence, and commitment to clinical excellence. We are so proud of her achievements and excited to see the new ways the Lord will use her at Richmont as an LMFT. Congratulations, Dr. Slater!

Richmont Scholarship Presented at APA, ACA, and CAPS National Conferences

Thirteen Richmont-affiliated researchers, including faculty and students alike, presented at three prestigious national conferences this spring: the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies. Research conducted by Richmont faculty and students is already well respected in the mental health field; however, as an increasing number of acceptances are awarded to Richmont researchers, our commitment to making advancements in the discipline is becoming more widely known.

Dr. Timothy Sisemore, Director of Research, delivered the keynote address at the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 36 (Society for Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) National Midyear Conference on April 7-8. His work was entitled, “Having Faith Versus Studying Faith: On Being a Christian in the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.”

The 2017 International Conference for the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) was held March 30-April 1 in Chicago, Illinois. The theme for the year was “Breaking Barriers: Poverty, Race, Culture, and Ethnicity” and featured a plethora of Richmont research. In a preconference workshop, Dr. Timothy Sisemore led an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) training for Christian counselors, entitled “‘I’m Not Broken, Just Stuck’: A Christian Translation and Application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.” During the conference, Lisa Haselwander and Dr. Sisemore presented “The Impact of Parenting Style on an Individual’s Understanding of Grace and Attachment to God.” Dr. Doug Rosenau and Dr. Vanessa Snyder presented “Sexual Intimacy and the Myers-Briggs: 16 Ways to Love Your Lover.” Dr. Jama White and Dr. Amanda Blackburn, working with Dr. Steve Stratton, conducted an experiential workshop on Centering Prayer. Finally, Dr. Sisemore and Dr. Cook, of Huntington University, presented “Current and Future Trends in Clinical Training: Implications and Possibilities for Christian Clinicians.”

At the national conference of the American Counseling Association March 16-19 in San Francisco, Courtney Edwards and Dr. Lorrie Slater presented “Religious Orientation as a Predictor of Comfort with Homosexuality in the Church.” Dr. Mary Plisco gave an educational session on emetophobia, the fear of vomiting, in youth. Two additional posters were presented: “Mindfulness as an Intervention to Excessive Pornography Use” by Natalia Dias, Rebecca Lanier, and Morgan Wilkinson; and “Sexual Compulsivity and Attachment Patterns” by Natalia Dias, Dr. Vanessa Snyder, and Christine Baker.

We are so proud of all of the scholarship that originates within our university. Congratulations to these wonderful researchers and writers!

New Staff and Faculty Join the Richmont Family

We are so grateful for God’s many blessings on our university this year. We are especially pleased to announce the following important staff additions and updates:

  • New Co-Directors of Henegar Counseling Center and the Richmont Trauma Centers: Dr. Bill McGee and Pauline McLemore. We are so grateful for Dr. Jeff Eckert’s leadership in this role the past several years. He has been an insightful and compassionate director with whom staff and clients alike have thoroughly enjoyed working. While we will miss him, we are thrilled with him for his new venture in private practice with his wife, Dr. Kim Eckert. He will remain affiliated with Richmont as an adjunct professor. Upon Jeff’s transition, Bill and Pauline will assume their new roles. The strengths these two clinicians bring to the table are exciting, and we anticipate the centers flourishing under their direction.
  • New Director of Development: Kelly King-Lindstedt. Kelly’s résumé is impressive, including oversight and coordination of fundraising efforts for Adventure in Missions and a United States Congressman. As Director of Development, based in Atlanta, Kelly will figure prominently in expanding Richmont’s donor base and creating opportunities for us to secure the funds we need to strengthen our current programming and take on new challenges for those we serve.
  • New Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of the School of Counseling (MFT): Dr. Cara Cochran. Cara, a familiar face at Richmont, is now overseeing our MFT program from the Chattanooga campus. She is no stranger to Richmont or to administration, having served in prestigious posts both here and at Tennessee Temple University (which has since merged with Piedmont International University). Cara has been with us as a part-time faculty member this year, and we are excited that she will be with us full-time in the fall.
  • New Assistant Professor: Dr. Tyler Rogers. This fall, Tyler will begin full-time work with us as an Assistant Professor on the Chattanooga campus. Tyler’s degree in MFT is from Reformed Theological Seminary, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2013 with a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision.

What a great time in the life of Richmont; we have so much to be thankful for. Thank you for all you do as we continue forward in our mission. We could not be more excited for the future of Richmont!

Richmont Faculty Member Elected to Serve on National Executive Board

ATLANTA, GA – February 27, 2017 – The hallmark of a Richmont faculty member is the desire to serve the entire field oILT ACA picf counseling, whether through research, collaboration across disciplines, or serving in national organizations. The latter is true for Dr. Keith Myers, who has just been elected Director of the Executive Board of the Military & Government Counseling Association (MGCA), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA).

Dr. Steve Bradshaw, Dean of the School of Counseling, says of Myers’s election, “We are never surprised, although always humbled, when Richmont faculty are granted positions of honor in prestigious organizations, such as the ACA. Dr. Myers’s contribution to the field is an important and impressive one.”

The Military & Government Counseling Association (MGCA) provides therapeutic counseling and educational programming to those associated with the armed services. Myers himself describes it this way: “As a division of the ACA, the MGCA focuses on the growth and development of counselors, counseling students, and counselor educators who work directly with the military population and their families. Given my work with veterans over the last six years in my practice and in the community, this role is a good fit for me, and I look forward to serving in this capacity.” Myers was nominated to the position by a fellow MGCA member and consequently voted in. He will serve a two-year term.

Dr. Vanessa Snyder, Richmont’s interim President, says, “Dr. Myers is an exceptional professional and clinician. His work with veterans’ issues is critical to military individuals as well as our communities and nation as a whole. Servicemen and their families have experienced healing and restoration due to Dr. Myers’s clinical work, and I am excited to see how God will use him in his tenure as Director of the MGCA Executive Board.”

Myers is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Richmont and a licensed professional counselor (LPC). He has worked as a clinical mental health professional for over 13 years, specializing in trauma and veterans’ issues. Having grown up in a military family himself, Myers is well suited to the work and enjoys it. He says, “I get to sit with people within the midst of their darkness, in their pain, and I get to bear witness. There’s something in that bearing witness that I get to see observable changes in their lives.”

Read more about Myers and the MGCA here.

Three Richmont Faculty Members Published

CHATTANOOGA, TN & BROOKLINE, MA – January 23, 2017 – Richmont is nationally known for its quality scholarship and research, with its high acceptance rates of faculty presenters at international conferences, invitations to participate in national research projects, and partnerships with world-renowned organizations like the Green Cross Academy and the Gottman Institute. Just this month, three Richmont faculty members had titles released in two well-received mental health publications.

Jana Pressley, PsyD, Director of Education and Professional Development at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute and adjunct professor at Richmont, conducted qualitative research regarding resilience from trauma exposure in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago for a number of years. The resulting article, “No Ordinary Life: Complex Narratives of Trauma and Resilience in Under-Resourced Communities,” reveals and explores Pressley’s data collection and has been published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma. Already online, a print version of the article will be available in the coming months.

Full-time clinical faculty members Lorrie Slater, PhD, and Jama White, PsyD, authored a chapter in Vol. I of Metaphors and Therapy: Enhancing Clinical Supervision and Education. The book resulted from the collaboration of 33 mental health specialists – supervisors, counselors, and educators alike – nationwide. It has already received endorsements from Dr. David Capuzzi, a former President of the American Counseling Association (ACA); Mike Dubi, President/CEO of the International Association of Trauma Professionals; and Dr. Lee Underwood, Director of the Center for Addictive and Offender Research at Regent University.

Richmont is proud of its outstanding faculty and the important work they contribute to the field of mental health counseling. Says interim President Dr. Vanessa Snyder, “Our faculty members are among the most committed, most impactful counselors and psychologists in the nation. Richmont is +grateful for their brilliance and compassion that allows them to excel with students, colleagues, and clients alike.”

Sex Trafficking Awareness Week Honored at Richmont

ATLANTA, GA & CHATTANOOGA, TN – JANUARY 20, 2017 – Seven years ago, recognizing the sex trade as the “fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world,”1 President Obama proclaimed January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In response, Richmont has joined the cause of trafficked individuals by providing subsidized counseling through the Richmont Trauma Center to those rescued from the trade, partnering with community organizations working to end slavery, and inviting a number of speakers to raise awareness of this putrid crime and to provide ways to get involved.

Dr. Vanessa Snyder, interim Richmont President, psychologist, and clinical expert in the field of human trafficking, explains, “Sex trafficking survivors need holistic help, not just clothes and money. We are a university that is committed to bringing healing to this demographic.”

This coming week, January 23 – 27, sex trafficking is particularly on Richmont’s radar with a number of events designed to raise awareness and bring others into the important work of ending slavery. Trainings, lectures, and panel discussions are included in the schedule of events, as well as opportunities to interact with local professionals currently working on behalf of the trafficked. To learn more about the week’s events, please contact Amanda Blackburn (ablackburn@richmont.edu). A full calendar of events is listed below.

What Is Wellspring Living?
Monday, January 23 / 12:00-1:00 p.m. / Atlanta Campus
Jennifer Frisco Bartl, LMFT, CACII, CCS (Director, Wellspring Living)
Learn about Wellspring Living services, internship opportunities, and employment opportunities. Lunch provided.

Operation Liberate
Tuesday, January 24 / 12:00-1:00 p.m. / Atlanta Campus
Victim Outreach Opportunities
Operation Liberate exists to locate and free those victims who can’t reach out. Snacks provided.

Epic Girl
Tuesday, January 24 / 12:00-1:00 p.m. / Chattanooga Campus
Stacia Freeman, Founder of Epic Girl
Come learn ways to take action against Tennessee’s sex trafficking industry. Lunch provided.

Anti-Trafficking Discussion
Wednesday, January 25 / 12:00-1:00 p.m. / Atlanta Campus
Human Trafficking Awareness Team
Hear about and discuss anti-trafficking efforts with Human Trafficking Awareness Team.

Meet & Greet
Thursday, January 26 / 12:00-1:00 p.m. / Atlanta Campus
Human Trafficking Awareness Team
Come meet the Human Trafficking Awareness Team and learn about their goals. Learn how you can become involved.

Darkness to Light Stewardship of Children Training
Friday, January 27 / 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. / Atlanta Campus / Cost: $15
Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse. Their programs raise awareness and educate adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Register here.

Second Life Chattanooga
Tuesday, January 31 / 12:00-1:00 p.m. / Chattanooga Campus
Eryn Hawks, Second Life
Come hear from Eryn about the impact the sex trafficking industry has in Tennessee and ways you can get involved to help bring restoration and healing.

Exciting Faculty Changes at Richmont

ATLANTA, GA & CHATTANOOGA, TN – JANUARY 19, 2017 – What an exciting time to be a member of the Richmont family! From CACREP accreditation to a new president, God is leading us forward in his work and bringing us new people to join the cause.

Along these lines, we are pleased to announce Dr. Mary Plisco will be the new Director of Research at Richmont starting in July. She replaces Dr. Tim Sisemore, who is stepping away from teaching responsibilities in order to focus on his practice. The thesis program at Richmont excites Plisco, and she looks forward to engaging with students and faculty who take on research projects to advance Kingdom work in the field of counseling. Says Plisco, “I’m thrilled to accept this role, to work with everyone in the Richmont family who is enthusiastic about research. I aim to serve as an approachable mentor and consultant who can help our students and faculty refine their ideas into effective research that will inform the counseling community.” Plisco invites students to visit or email her with any thoughts or questions that come to mind as they consider the role of research in their academic and professional careers.

Additionally, two prospective faculty members will visit the Richmont’s campuses in the coming days. The first is Paul Swindle, ABD, who will join Dr. Sutherland’s Social and Cultural Issues class on Tuesday, January 24, for a sample lecture. Swindle anticipates graduating from her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision in May 2017, having completed a dissertation on spiritual abuse. The second potential faculty member is Tyler Rogers, PhD. Those in Dr. Slater’s Psychopathology course will hear a sample lecture from Rogers on February 7. His Marriage & Family Therapy degree is from Reformed Theological Seminary, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2013 with a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. We invite everyone to visit these classes and experience the teaching styles of these two candidates.

Finally, it is with deep regret that we announce the resignation of Dr. Ryan Thompson as clinical faculty member and therapist at Henegar Counseling Center. Richmont is a stronger place thanks to Thompson’s investment in the lives of his students and clients. He was instrumental in bringing Parent Child Interaction Training (PCIT) to the Richmont community and to the Child and Adolescent Certificate Program. We wish him well in his new teaching venture at Eastern Mennonite University. Thompson states, “Richmont has been foundational for me as a former PSI student and currently as a professor and clinician. The students here are compassionate, hopeful, and diligent, and working with the faculty has been deeply meaningful to me. Henegar also has been an amazing place to learn from gifted colleagues, to serve the local community, and to develop incredible friendships.” Thompson’s resignation from the faculty will take effect after the spring 2017 semester, and his practice at Henegar will conclude on July 28, 2017. “My prayers for Richmont and Henegar will continue, as Richmont is a special place to me. I will always be grateful to have been part of this team.”