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UW Education Professor Receives Counseling Service Award

July 1, 2019
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Mary Alice Bruce

Recently retired University of Wyoming Professor Mary Alice Bruce recently received the Wyoming School Counselor Association (WySCA) Service Award at the organization’s annual conference.

“It would be impossible to overstate the impact Mary Alice has had on the profession of school counseling in the state of Wyoming,” says Scharen Collingwood, 2018-19 WySCA president and one of Bruce’s former students. “She has dedicated her career to training school counselors who serve in positions around the state in the American School Counselor Association’s National Model of best practice. Those counselors impact hundreds of students every day in Wyoming and even in surrounding states.”

Bruce, a professor in the UW College of Education’s School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy and Design, says she is thankful to receive the state award.

“I am humbled, grateful and thankful to be given this special award by the Wyoming school counselors, who themselves work so hard and are dedicated to our Wyoming children and families,” she says. “I am privileged to have made a difference that has long-lasting effects for so many.”

Bruce was a charter member of the organization and has been active with the group since its inception in 2000. From 2000-2017, she served as postsecondary representative on the WySCA board; was elected as a delegate to the 2005 American School Counselor Association Conference; and, through the years, offered numerous professional development sessions at the annual conferences.

“As postsecondary representative, Mary Alice played a crucial role of bridging the gap between practicing school counselors and school counselors in training, and the ever-changing best practices in the field of school counseling,” Collingwood says. “Additionally, her extensive connections in the field of school counseling helped bring in excellent professional development to extend the learning of school counselors in Wyoming.”

Bruce says she is grateful to be one of the founding members of WySCA and the higher education representative on the WySCA board.

“Continuing strong connections and partnerships with counselors and the University of Wyoming strengthens our ability to respond to the mental health prevention and intervention needs of our state,” she adds.

Bruce has made a huge impact in the field of school counseling in her role with WySCA and at UW, where she trained school counselors in the College of Education for nearly three decades.

“As one of her former students, it is difficult to enumerate all of the benefits of having an excellent mentor like Mary Alice,” Collingwood says. “She is the biggest supporter of her students and colleagues, and always strives to promote what is best for school counselors and their students. She also is proactive in her support of others and eagerly shares her knowledge to benefit others.”

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