Dr. Reade Dowda named Kansas Counselor of the Year

By Trish Svoboda

At the 2024 Kansas Counseling Association Conference, Dr. Reade Dowda, an associate professor of advanced education programs at FHSU, was honored as the Kansas Counselor of the Year.

“I was grateful and surprised to win the award,” Dowda said.

When questioned about the factors that might have led to his award selection, Dowda pointed to his role as a liaison for CACREP. CACREP is an accreditation body that evaluates degree-specific professional preparation programs. In his capacity as a liaison, Dowda assists his department in maintaining appropriate student-to-faculty ratios, ensures his program aligns with CACREP standards, and prepares numerous reports.

He highlighted that the significant contributions of his team, consisting of seven counseling faculty members from the Department of Advanced Education Programs, have played a crucial role in the successful accreditation of his department.

Dowda’s nomination for the award came from Kenton Olliff, a fellow counseling faculty member. Olliff, a previous recipient of the KCA Counselor of the Year award from the Kansas Counseling Association five years prior, expressed his admiration for Dowda’s humility and his keen interest in learning the most effective ways to serve his students.

According to Olliff, Dowda’s meticulous efforts in maintaining FHSU’s compliance with CACREP Accreditation, along with his active participation in FHSU Professional Development Days and counseling conferences, have marked him as a worthy winner of the Kansas Counselor of the Year. However, what truly distinguishes him is his ability to interact with students from various backgrounds and his compassionate demeanor.

“Most of all, Reade is a good listener,” Olliff said. “I really believe that everyone needs to be heard. Reade listens to folks without interruption, and that is a unique quality. That is genuine caring, and we need more of that these days.”

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