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Dr. Melanie Rawlins, President

In 2005 she led a dedicated team to establish the Foundation. This capstone in her professional contributions took an extraordinary amount of time and effort.  Rawlins is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Counselor Education at Western Illinois University (1997-2006) and was a counselor educator for 19 years at Eastern Illinois University.  She retired in 2006 and reports “retirement is better than she thought it would be.”

Since 1978 Dr. Rawlins has held numerous positions within the Illinois Counseling Association (ICA). These include various positions on the Governing Council over 19 years, conference Program Committee co-chair, ICA President (2002), and a number of task forces.  She has been active with ICA divisions, including President of Illinois Association for Adult Development and Aging and President and Treasurer of Illinois Counselor Educators and Supervisors.  Also, Rawlins was co-editor of the ICA Quarterly, the forerunner of the ICA Journal.  At the national level Rawlins was Chair of an American Counselor Educators and Supervisors interest network and served on the American Counseling Association awards committee.


Rawlins served as an on-site team member for the national counselor education accrediting organization, CACREP.  She has an extensive publication list; has frequently been a presenter at state, regional, and national conferences; and has  presented in Italy.  As a Licensed Psychologist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Rawlins has provided limited private counseling services in Illinois for 32 years.  Prior to the university setting she was a school counselor for 7 years, taught students who were mentally challenged, and was a child welfare case worker.


Dr. Rawlins has a professional reputation as an exemplary and dedicated leader, mentor, collaborator, and advocate for counseling through her involvement in professional associations of Illinois as well as her national work.  As President of ICA she led a task force, which established a forward-moving strategic plan for the organization, thus strengthening the structure of ICA.  She also initiated and led a successful effort to create the full-time salaried position of Executive Director for ICA. 


In 2011 Rawlins received the ICA Robert J. Nejedlo Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of her exceptional leadership in a number of leadership roles within chapters, divisions, state, regional, national, and/or international professional counseling organizations.  In 2003 she received the C. A. Michelman Award for outstanding service and for making significant contributions toward raising professional counseling standards.  A colleague shared that she “has left a legacy in every arena in which she has participated by leaving it better off than when she arrived.”

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