Since age eleven Stephany Joy-Newman was certain she wanted to be a counselor and psychotherapist when she “grew up.” She steadfastly pursued a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Psychology from Western Illinois University, (WIU), after which she “paid her dues” by working in agency settings (caseworker for Division of Children and Family Services; counselor in Community Mental Health Center).
Later, as a “non-traditional” student, she attended Northern Illinois University to earn her Ed.D. in counseling with a focus on college counseling and counselor supervision. She worked in the University Counseling Center at WIU, first as a counselor, later was appointed Director of the University Counseling Services and finally Assistant Vice President for Student Services. She loved teaching, and was adjunct faculty to the Counselor Education Department. Passionately excited about the new innovations in technology, she developed the first “hybrid” class (a combination of web based instruction with face-to-face interactions with students) in the Counseling Department. She was also one of the first in the state of Illinois to receive her Distance Certified Counselor (DCC) certification. After the American College Counseling Association (of which she was later elected president) was established, she developed and managed the first nationally encompassing “Listserv” for ACCA members, which is still an active communication source for College Counselors.
She was elected nationally to serve as the first president of the American College Counseling Association. At the state level she was elected president of the Illinois Counseling Association; and has been elected to presidency in two separate ICA Divisions in the state of Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association and the Illinois College Counseling Association. During her tenure as ICA President, she established the first ICA Counselor Licensure Committee, which ultimately led to the successful licensure of Illinois Professional Counselors in Illinois.
Throughout her career she made professional contributions through publications and presentations on a broad range of counseling topics and issues which ranged from “Inspiring Women Professionals to Seek Leadership Positions”, What’s New in Addictions: Neurobiology and Relapse Prevention,” to “I Never Told Anyone Before...Specific Treatment Strategies for Incest Victims." She has authored eight book chapters, had fifteen professional refereed articles published, and co-edited two books.
For over four decades, Dr. Joy-Newman has guided professionals and students to develop their potential. One of her colleagues wrote “At my first ICA Conference I met a wonderful, energetic, wise woman who began to take me under her wing. I was honored that the ICA President-Elect was so willing to give so much of her time! She has continued to be a supportive mentor throughout my career.”
Another noted that “in all of the years I have known her...I cannot recall a single period when she was not serving the profession on the local, regional, state, or national level. Most often she was serving on multiple levels!"
She has been awarded the Illinois Counseling Association “C. A. Michelman Award” for significant contributions to the counseling profession. She also received the “Robert J. Nejedlo Award” for distinguished leadership. During her tenure at Western Illinois University she was honored to receive two separate “Faculty Excellence” awards, which noted her excellence in teaching, service, and scholarly activities. Perhaps of greatest delight to her, however, is her participation and membership in the Illinois Counseling Association Foundation, through which financial assistance is provided to worthy Illinois counselors, clinicians, and researchers. She has been a member of the Foundation Board since 2007.
Now retired from Western Illinois University, she continues her counseling activities via her private practice in Macomb. Upon request she incorporates her beloved animals into her therapy sessions by offering Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Canine Facilitated counseling sessions. On her “days off”, she can often be found “out on the trail” riding one of her Arabian horses. She is nearly always accompanied by one of her Certified Therapy Dogs.