Counseling professor at USD receives Poling Award

Counseling professor at USD receives Poling Award
Kelly Duncan, an assistant professor in the counseling department in the School of Education, was presented with the E. Gordon Poling Administrator Award by the South Dakota Counseling Association at their 48th annual conference April 12-14, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

The E. Gordon Poling award recognizes a counseling professional who has demonstrated an understanding of the counseling profession and unqualified support of it. Duncan has been actively involved in the counseling profession for the past 20 years. She has advocated for counselor licensure, inclusion of counselors as qualified mental health providers and the importance of schools employing certified school counselors in appropriate ratios to meet student needs.

She has been active at both the state and national level in the profession of counseling. She will begin a three-year term on the American Counseling Association Governing Council, and she has served as the South Dakota Counseling Association executive director for the past 13 years. Receipt of the E. Gordon Poling Award is especially meaningful to Duncan, as Poling was her practicum supervisor when she was a masters student at USD in the late 1980s.

Dr. Poling served USD and future counselors for 29 years. He was chairperson of the Division of Educational Psychology and Counseling from 1979-1990. During his tenure at USD and through his active leadership in the profession in the state and region, he never lost his ability to nurture students and fellow professionals. He was a true counselor educator. Gordon died on Aug. 30, 1990.

For more information, contact Kelly Duncan at

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