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Published March 21, 2019
University of Wyoming counselor education and supervision doctoral candidate Benjamin Aiken was recently selected as one of 10 Leadership Fellow and Interns for 2019-2020.
Aiken, from Denver, Colo., will represent both UW and Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), a counseling academic and professional honor society, on the national stage for the next year.
Aiken has been a CSI member since 2013 and has always admired the organization’s commitment to excellence, supportive mentorship, and opportunities to serve both the honor society and the counseling profession. This dedication to the profession and its practitioners aligned with his values and inspired him to apply for the fellowship, he says.
Aiken says Viktor Frankl is the model for the profession. Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who positioned service to others as a fundamental source of life’s meaning, Aiken adds. Frankl’s creed was: “The more a man forgets himself -- by giving himself to a cause or another person -- the more human he is, and the more he is immersed and absorbed in something … the more he really becomes himself.”
“Frankl’s assertion -- alongside my passion for the counseling profession -- underscores my motivation to participate in the CSI Leadership Fellowship program,” Aiken says.
Fellows will have specific roles and responsibilities to fulfill during the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) annual conference March 28-31 in New Orleans.
In addition to participating in Leadership Fellowship orientation training, Aiken and other nominees will become immersed in topics and strategies important to counselors today. They also will observe current CSI leaders during an executive council meeting, a CSI delegate business meeting and other committee meetings. Aiken will be a photographer during the CSI Days program.
In addition to particular roles and responsibilities at the ACA annual conference, fellows provide at least 50 hours of service to CSI programs and events, which may include assistance with special projects and serving on committees at the national level; performing annual chapter reporting summaries; and reviewing and analyzing CSI programs as part of an active participation in a mentoring relationship, he adds.
Aiken is eligible for free registration to the ACA conference and will be presented with a plaque and $600 award at the event. In addition to the recognition the award provides, he hopes the CSI Leadership Fellow and Intern Program will help connect him with other academic and clinical counseling professionals that share his passion for leadership and service to help promote those values within the profession.