PITTSBURG — Pittsburg State University Professor of Psychology and Counseling Becky Brannock has been inducted into the Kansas School of Counseling Hall of Fame for her years of distinguished service to the school counseling profession.
A committee consisting of school counselors, school counselor educators and school administrators choose the awarded recipients based on several criteria: school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills, and contributions to student advancement.
Brannock, a PSU Alum came to work for the university in 1995 after 10 years of being a school counselor. Before that, she taught at a public school.
“This was like coming home because I have had several professors who were still here and a couple of my mentors still worked at Pitt state,” she said. “I knew it was a quality program and coming out of my PhD and program I wanted to enter in a well-established and reputable school.”
What inspired her to be in the school counseling profession was her high school counselor, Brannock said.
“I’ve had some tremendous educators in my lifetime,” she said. “My high school counselor was so supportive and so encouraging in the path I wanted to take to graduate high school in three years.
“I wanted to provide that type of assistance for students in need in whatever area they were needing help with.”
Since then, being in education has been a lifelong goal and ambition for her, Brannock said. She had now been in the profession 38 years, and said she wouldn’t change a thing.
“I love the relationship I build with students,” she said. “I see them come into our program and they really grow and develop into professionals entering the field as educators or school counselors — it’s really gratifying.”
In addition to teaching, Brannock is also the director of PSU's School Counseling Program, which prepares candidates for careers as professional school counselors in Pre K-12 settings.
Brannock gave credit for those who have helped each of the students who go through the department.
“Just to be able to know that I’ve had a small part in that training — we all have our expertise in all our areas, it’s a combination of everyone together to help the students receive that training and send out quality graduates,” she said.
She said part of her job is training students on how to meet the needs of their own students — including academic needs, social emotional needs and career needs.
“What they do is so crucial to the development of our children and youth, and for that reason it is easy for me to be an advocate for school counselor for the profession and the school counselors and what they do,” Brannock said.
In a 50-mile radius, Brannock said she knows who the counselors are in each building — most of which are PSU graduates, she said.
Brannock said it’s not uncommon to continue mentoring and receive phone calls from previous students long after graduation.
“They ask for second opinion and I’m always glad to provide that,” she said. “It is also nice to be updated on our students.”
She said building relationships with students is the most special part of she does along with the everlasting effect and the sharing of knowledge which continues to spread.
“The other amazing part of what I get to do really boils down to exponential factor,” Brannock said. “When I think about the number of years of being an educator and the thousands of students over the years, training them to go out in the respective field.
“They are going to be impacting in their lifetime, numbers and numbers of students and clients — it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
Brannock said she feels blessed to be able to do what she loves for a living.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.