Dr. Gail Mears Named Founding Dean of PSU’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services

January 10th, 2011 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
Dr. Gail Mears, a teacher, researcher, and administrator nationally renowned for her work in the field of mental health counseling, has been named the founding dean of Plymouth State University’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

Gail Mears
Dr. Gail Mears. Photo courtesy Achber Studio

Mears has been a member of the PSU faculty since 1999, and she is currently the chair of the Counselor Education and School Psychology department. Mears is a licensed clinical mental health counselor with over 30 years’ experience in the mental health field. She has worked in community mental health, family services, and private practice, and has provided counseling services to university students through the Counseling and Human Relations Center. PSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Julie Bernier said Mears is well poised to take on the new challenge.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Mears on a number of recent initiatives and have found her to be a strong leader,” said Bernier. “Mears’ experiences as department chair and in national leadership roles in professional organizations will serve the new college well.”

As an active member of professional organizations, Mears is a past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, the New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors Association, and the Northern New England Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. She also serves as the Mental Health Counseling representative to the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.
On campus, Mears is seen as a collaborative leader. She currently serves on the Provost’s Promotion, Tenure and Evaluation Advisory Council and on the University Planning and Budgeting Leadership Group. Both of these have been opportunities for Mears to affect University goals and initiatives. Mears said she is excited about the new opportunity.

“I hope that the development of the College of Education, Health and Human Services will provide greater opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration, resulting in innovative curriculum development, enhanced community engagement and increased funding for research, scholarships, and internships,” said Mears.

Mears’ research is focused on relational aspects of clinical supervision, counselor intentionality, and promoting case conceptualization skills in trainees. She has published many journal articles and book chapters, and she regularly speaks to regional and national audiences.
Mears is well regarded both on and off campus, having received numerous awards for her service, leadership and teaching. In 2010, she was awarded the Presidential Service Award for the North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the 2010 Presidential Service Award by the American Mental Health Counselors Association. In 2009, Mears was the PSU Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award recipient. She was the 2008 recipient of the Dr. Peter Harris Community Service Award: Genesis Behavioral Health, and in 2003 she received the Outstanding Counselor Educator of the Year award (2003) from the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Dr. Mears earned a clinical doctorate in psychology from Antioch New England, a certificate of advanced graduate study and master’s degree in counseling from the University of New Hampshire, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Plymouth State.

The creation of the College of Education, Health and Human Services comes at an opportune time as PSU has exciting initiatives in Education and is expanding its offerings in healthcare with a new nursing program. Additionally, PSU is beginning planning on phase II of the Active Living, Learning, and Wellness (ALLWell) Center, a project that integrates teaching, research, athletics and recreation, and community programming in wellness. The Dean will play an important role in shaping the new college and its strategic directions.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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