UAB graduate to be honored with Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Service to the Chapter Award

School of Education graduate Kristen Woods will be honored at the American Counseling Association’s international conference in Montreal, Canada, in March.

Written by: Tiffany Westry

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kristen woodsKristen Woods of Auburn has been selected to receive the 2016 Chi Sigma Iota Service to the Chapter Award.

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling. Its mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, advocacy and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession. The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual chapter member who has excelled in scholarship, service to the chapter and extracurricular involvements.

Woods is a 2015 graduate of the UAB School of Education. She received a Master of Arts degree in counseling with a concentration in clinical mental health from the Department of Human Studies. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, all from UAB.

“Kristen has served as UAB’s Zeta Chapter president-elect and president and opted to continue to serve as past-president after graduating,” said Larry Tyson, Ph.D., professor and faculty adviser. “Her support of the chapter continues, all while occupying a full-time job as a mental health therapist. Through this commitment, Kristen has served as a role model for Zeta Board members and for students in the counseling education program.”

The award comes after a nomination by fellow chapter members. While her contributions to the chapter are numerous, Woods says she has benefited greatly from being a member.

“Being involved in the Zeta Chapter was helpful in many ways, from keeping me motivated academically, to helping to build friendships with board members and other individuals,” said Woods. “I can honestly say I have never worked with a team of individuals as dedicated as they are. Everyone was committed to making a huge difference in the community and within the school.”

The Zeta Chapter has received many honors in recent years. In March 2015, the chapter was recognized with the Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Chapter award and Tyson was named the 2015 Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Faculty Advisor for a large chapter. The chapter performs service projects throughout the year that benefit local organizations. Members also host events to assist counseling students and licensed professionals from around the state, including ethics workshops, resource fairs where students can learn more about doctoral programs and local agencies for potential employment, and workshops to assist students with preparation for the National Counselor Examination Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination. Last year, the chapter held its first “Birmingham Spotlight Gala,” which raised more than $3,000 for nonprofits in the Birmingham area.

Woods will be honored along with other awardees, at the American Counseling Association’s international conference in Montreal, Canada, in March.