The Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) has named Dr. Michele C. Garofalo, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, of Marymount University the 2013 VSCA Counselor Educator of the Year. Dr. Garofalo is assistant chair of the Department of Counseling, director of the school counseling program, and professor of psychology. Her selection was based on her dedication to the training of school counselors and extensive contributions to the field of school counseling over the years.
Dr. Garofalo has taught at Marymount for 18 years. She designed the university’s M.A. in School Counseling program, which is based on the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) national model, as well as the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Over the years, Dr. Garofalo has refined the program, with students benefiting from school counseling-specific courses, guest speakers who are leaders in the field, and preparation for the job search. She also founded the Mu Upsilon Gamma chapter of the Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society at Marymount and served as its faculty advisor for eleven years.
Dr. Garofalo currently teaches school counseling and counselor education and supervision courses. She also supervises students during their practicums and internships. Marymount’s School of Education and Human Services recognized her dedication with the 2007 Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award for Advising.
Beth Doyle '01, a school counseling specialist with Loudoun County Public Schools, had Dr. Garofalo as her advisor when she was a graduate student at Marymount. Now, as an administrator, she has continued to work with her and says, “Our counselors routinely ask specifically to be assigned students from Marymount, knowing that … [they] have been well prepared to work in our schools.” She adds, “Dr. Garofalo promotes a seamless experience for both her students and our on-site supervisors through thorough preparation and support.”
Current graduate student Megan Bozzard '13 (M.A. in school counseling) agrees. She points out, “Dr. Garofalo genuinely cares about all of her students. She is an outstanding professor…and role model for future counselors.”
Jennifer Spafford '02, now a candidate for Marymount’s Ed.D. in counselor education and supervision, adds, “As a future counselor educator, I hope to give back what she has and continues to give all her students. Dr. Garofalo’s knowledge, support, wisdom, encouragement, professionalism and guidance impacted the type of counselor I became.” Dr. Lisa Jackson-Cherry, chair of Marymount’s counseling department, echoes that view, saying, “She has made a difference in the lives of so many counselors and the students they serve.”
As part of Marymount’s commitment to service, Dr. Garofalo also ensures that school counseling candidates do outreach in the community. For example, they work with children at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington – bringing the young people to Marymount for a career day, so that they can see a world of possibilities for themselves.
Dr. Garofalo is a licensed professional counselor and has maintained a private practice, working with adolescents and families. She has extensive experience as a school counselor at the both the elementary and middle school levels (public and private), and she continues to consult with area schools on a variety of school-related topics and mental health issues. Her research interests include bullying character education, crisis planning and response in schools, counselor training and supervision, adolescent stress, and ethical and legal issues. Dr. Garofalo has a B.A. from West Virginia University and earned both her M.A. and Ed.D. from The George Washington University.