Associate Professor, Coordinator for Counselor Education (PhD), IL-Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor,
and Chi Sigma Iota, Delta Chapter, Co-Advisor
Ed.D, George Washington University, 1999
Dr. Asner-Self’s interest in working with diverse populations comes from years of living, learning, and working in Turkey, Romania, and Gabon. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and an Illinois Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She is a member of ACA, ASGW, and ACES. Dr. Asner-Self is an Associate Editor for the Journal for Specialists in Group Work (JSGW), and is on the editorial boards for the Journal for Counseling and Development (JCD), and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology (CDEMP). She is also a member of the Little Egypt Chapter of the American Red Cross as a Mental Health Service Provider. Dr. Asner-Self was recognized with the NCACES Deanna Hawes Outstanding Mentor Award in 2008. Dr. Asner-Self is the current Past-President of the Association for Specialists in Group Work.
Areas of research and scholarly interest: Developmental indices among people from different cultures. The effect exposure to human-perpetrated traumatic events such as war, sexual assault, and incest has on life-span human development. Interested in studying the application of group counseling techniques in developing multicultural awareness.
Debra A. Pender
Associate Professor & Counselor Education Program Coordinator
Illinois Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, CACREP Liaison, and Coordinator for Clinical Experiences
Ph.D. Southern Illinois University, 2006
Dr. Pender is a native of southern Illinois and thrilled to be back to a region that she values greatly. She has a 30+ year history of working in the clinical mental health field, working with all ages, and levels of care, with a clinical focus on trauma informed care. Prior to returning to SIU, she was a tenured, Associate Professor in the Counseling, Adult and Higher Education Department at Northern Illinois University. WHile there she served as a faculty liaison during the aftermath of the 2/14 tragedy and received a special service award from the College of Education in recognition of her service to the university community. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois. She holds memberships in ACA, ACAC, ASGW, ACES, NCACES, AMHCA, IMHCA, and ICA. In 2008, she received the ASGW’s Group Practice Award for her work with critical incident debriefing and first responders.
Thoughts about Professional Counseling: I have been honored to serve many people of all ages, genders, and racial backgrounds. I listen to their stories, often themed by trauma, loss, and personal suffering. I have learned to honor that part of them that survived. To me, professional counseling is helping people recognize the life is not always based on fairness principles, but it is worth living, and then to develop the skills they need to master life's challenges. I have also learned to honor that it is a great responsibility to "meddle" in the hearts and minds of others. We must do so with respect for their uniqueness, their diversity, and their personal values.
Research interests and activities: Impact of group processes on the quality of care in critical incident stress debriefing, trauma-informed care, impact of computer simulations on counseling student learning outcomes. understanding the process of change for people who seek bariatric weight loss methods.
Assistant Professor, School Counseling Program Coordinator, UACC College-Wide Assessment Team Advanced Programs Liaison
Ph.D. University of Central Florida, 2016 Counselor Education
Dr. Dambo is a native of Urbana-Champaign and a SIUC Alumni. Dr. Dambo is the founder of a 501(c)(3) holistic organization that advocates for 7th through 12th grade youth. She has six years of experience as a school counselor and has also served as an advocate, mentor, and volunteer with academic, medical, and not-for profit programs around the world. Dr. Dambo is a licensed School Counselor, Principal, and Teacher. In 2015, she was the first to be awarded the University of Illinois Young Alumni Achievement Award. She holds memberships in AARC, ACA, ACAC, ACES, AMCD, ASCA, ASERVIC, ASGW, CSJ, FCA, FERA, ICA, ISCA, and NBGSA.Areas of research and scholarly interest:
- (a) adolescent transitions and retention,
- (b) holistic program development and evaluation,
- (c) multiculturalism and advocacy,
- (d) instrument design for diverse populations, and
- (e) creative arts and alternative group therapy approaches.