Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Central Florida
School Counseling Coordinator
CoEHS Unit Accreditation Coordination Council Member
Neffisatu is an SIUC Alumni, earning a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Elementary Education. In 2006, she went on to earn her M.S. in Counseling and Student Development from Eastern Illinois University and a M.S. in Educational Policy Organization Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Neffisatu has earned Doctoral Candidacy in the College of Education and Human Performance Counselor Education Track at the University of Central Florida where she has had the opportunity to serve as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) for the College of Education and Human Performance (CEDHP) Associate Dean of Research, CEDHP’s Director of the Doctoral in Education (EdD) & Executive EdD Educational Leadership Track (STLL), and as the GRA for the College of Medicine Assistant Dean for Diversity. Neffisatu is the founder of a 501(c)(3) youth organization that serves young ladies between 7th and 12th grade. She has six years of experience as a high school counselor, 14 international and national refereed presentations, and has also served as an advocate, mentor, and volunteer with academic, medical, and not-for profit programs around the world. She is a member of AACTE, AARC, ACA, ACES, AMCD, ASCA, ASERVIC, ASGW, CSJ, FASA, ICA, and ISCA.
Areas of Research and Scholarly Interest include the following:
(a) adolescent transitions and retention, (b) program development and evaluation (c) multiculturalism and advocacy (d) innovative group counseling approaches, and (e) instrument design for diverse populations.
Associate Professor & Coordinator, Counselor Education Program, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, 2006
CACREP Liaison, Coordinator for Clinical Mental Health Counseling & Field Experiences
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. 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.
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.
Associate Professor, Ed.D., George Washington University, 1999
Counselor Education (PhD) Program Coordinator
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.
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.