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b2ap3_thumbnail_1-16-MLKConvocation-4.jpgWaynesburg University celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a ceremony in Roberts Chapel Monday, Jan. 16. 

Introduced by Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee, Dr. Taunya Tinsley, Director of Waynesburg University’s Graduate Programs in Counseling and Associate Professor of Counseling at the University, served as the speaker. Dr. Tinsley opened her address, “We Cannot Walk Alone,” with an excerpt from King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. 

She shared that as she studied King’s historic speech, the phrase “we cannot walk alone” repeatedly caught her attention. 

“We cannot walk alone,” she said. “As we walk, we must walk in harmony with each other and with God.” 

In order to do so, Dr. Tinsley encouraged all in attendance to be just and act justly; to love and to diligently practice kindness and compassion; and to walk humbly with God. 

Dr. Tinsley is a licensed professional counselor with more than 20 years of experience working at the secondary and collegiate levels. Her experiences include working with culturally diverse educators, students and athletes in a variety of athletic conferences, such as the Big Ten, Big East, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), as well as the National Football League (NFL), National Football Foundation and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dr. Tinsley is the owner of Transitions Counseling Service LLC and Life Skills Program where she provides individual, marriage, family and group counseling and consultation services. Additionally, she is the Clinical Director of the Mount Ararat Baptist Church Counseling Center.

Outside of the workplace, she has been very involved in the community, having served as the secretary of the Ethics Concern Committee of the National Association of Academic Advisors of Athletics and secretary of the entire organization. Dr. Tinsley has also been president of the Pennsylvania College Counseling Association and president of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Augsburg College, a master’s degree in higher education administration and college student development from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Duquesne University.

Dr. Tinsley most recently completed requirements for a certificate in missional theology from Biblical Seminary and her Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_9-26-Tinsley-presents.jpgDr. Taunya Tinsley, director of Graduate Programs in Counseling and associate professor of counseling at Waynesburg University, recently presented at the first annual Faith and Mental Health Conference hosted by Gabriel’s Lyric Therapeutic Services LLC in Brandywine, Maryland.

Tinsley presented “Fostering the Relationship between Clergy and Mental Health Professionals” and served as a panelist for two discussions: “Educating Clergy and Ministry Lay Leaders” and “Mental Health Challenges Affecting Youth and the Elderly.”

“My participation allowed me to see firsthand that clergy and mental health professionals are hungry for learning how to integrate the spiritual and Christian perspective within the clinical mental health counseling process,” said Tinsley.

The conference included more than 50 clergy and mental health professionals from across the nation. Rev. Dr. John Welch, dean of students at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, served as the conference facilitator.

The mission of Gabriel’s Lyric Therapeutic Services LLC is to empower individuals, organizations and families through holistic therapeutic services.

Tinsley earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, having recently defended her doctoral dissertation, “The Church as a Multicultural Sports Team: A Model for Ministry Leadership Development for God’s Coaching Staff.”

Tinsley also holds a bachelor’s degree from Augsburg College, a master’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Duquesne University.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations or 724-852-7675


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A Waynesburg University Graduate Counseling Program faculty member, as well as a faculty-and-student team, recently had scholarly papers accepted for presentation at national conferences.

Dr. Devon Manderino, assistant professor of counseling, will present her original research on spirituality in counseling at the North Atlantic Regional Conference of the Association of Counselor Educators and Supervision in Providence, R.I., later this month. 

Additionally, Laura Smith, a graduate counseling student; Dr. Scott Tracy, director of graduate programs in counseling and assistant professor of counseling; and Dr. Mark Lepore, an adjunct faculty member, will present their clinical poster, “Risk and Resiliency: The Prevention and Aftermath of School Violence,” at the Annual Conference of the American Counseling Association in Orlando, Fla., in April. 

“Waynesburg University students and faculty are committed both to adding to new knowledge about relevant counseling topics and serving the Christian mission of the institution,” Tracy said. “Both of these projects represent those commitments, as well as receiving the approval from peer reviewers.”

Manderino studied how spirituality has been directly linked to positive outcomes in counseling, while spiritual crises contribute to psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. Despite this recognized link, counselor training related to spirituality is inconsistent and untested.

She said her project was aimed at developmentally educational activities that may significantly improve counselor trainee competency levels regarding the role of spirituality and religion in counseling.

Smith, Tracy and Lepore’s poster focused on the prevalence of school violence incidents, which have illuminated the need for a better understanding of the factors that predict mental health outcomes for students, teachers, school administrators, first responders and adjacent school communities.

“In almost all instances of school violence, somebody close to the perpetrator knew of the plan before it happened; however, in most cases the warning signs become clear only after the event takes place,” Smith said.

The poster outlines a model for understanding community needs that result from exposure to school violence with treatment strategies that may help affected communities heal and move forward.

“This project proposed the development of a collaborative system for students, teachers, parents and community members to provide children with emotional and social skills training, and when necessary, report concerns about the threat of violence,” Tracy said.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
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