Counseling Students Earn National Recognition

By Andrew Myers

When Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic & Professional Honor Society International (CSI) held its annual awards ceremony on March 26, 2021, representatives from the Johns Hopkins School of Education’s Lambda Chapter played an outsized role in the proceedings. In total, the chapter took home two national awards and was recognized with two additional individual honors.

The chapter as a whole earned CSI’s Outstanding Individual Program Award, while master’s degree candidate Amy Arthur garnered CSI’s Outstanding Entry-Level Student Award. Meanwhile, recent graduate Rohan Arcot, who works as a teaching and research assistant within the School of Education, won first prize in the Leadership Essay Contest, as well as being named as a CSI Leadership Fellow.

In acknowledging the Lambda Chapter, CSI recognized the leadership and significant work of chapter membership to study, analyze, and address concerns in the Counseling program’s reaccreditation efforts in the past year. The chapter’s seven-month effort kicked off with a survey to gauge student concerns, to present them to the administration, and to work with administrators to “reinvent the program.”

Arthur had no idea that she had been secretly nominated for the student award by fellow members Arcot and Shannon Berg until shortly before the award announcement was made public. “That my peers nominated me is the best thing about winning,” Arthur said. “Their opinion is what is most meaningful to me.”

Meanwhile, Arcot, who is operations director of the school’s chapter, took first prize in the essay contest with his reflection, “Preparing Counselors for Telemental Health in a Pandemic,” in response to a prompt about anticipating the effects of COVID-19 on the counseling profession. As a bonus, he was additionally recognized as a Leadership Fellow, a yearlong, honorary volunteer position within the CSI national headquarters. “It’s a great honor for me personally,” Arcot said. “But I think it’s national validation of the quality of our CSI chapter’s work overall and should go a long way to helping the Counseling program secure accreditation.”

The Johns Hopkins chapter is advised by Assistant Professor Yiying Xiong. She was quick to deflect credit to both Arcot and Arthur, but also to the other students who have worked so hard over the past year. “Rohan is a great leader, and Amy is a thoughtful student,” Xiong said. “The past year has been really difficult, and these awards speak to the resilience and resolve of our students and the program as a whole.”