Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

    Augustana has a new Director of Counseling


    Augustana has a new Director of Counseling, William Iavarone. Former director Mike Tendall retired after working nearly 30 years in Augustana’s mental health field. Iavarone started on January 14th.

    It was a long and thorough process to find a new Director of Counseling, made possible by Tendall’s willingness to keep doing his job during Fall, while the search for replacement was already going on. This gave Dean of Students, Wes Brooks, the opportunity to select the best candidate available for the job.

    “Key attributes for counseling at Augustana and across the country in higher education include having expertise in the field, strong communication skills, an ability to engage and build rapport with students, problem-solving skills, and expressing empathy.

    “With Counselor Tendall on campus, it allowed us to be strategic and patient and select the candidate that was the best fit rather than rush to fill a position with a different applicant,’’ Brooks said.

    Iavarone’s job is providing therapy, overseeing the two other therapists working at Augustana and looking out for the overall mental health of the students.

    This is Iavarone’s first time working as a counselor at a college, though he has eight years of work experience in mental health.

    “I’ve always been enamored with professional learning communities. I love learning, I love the idea of being a part of an institution that helps people better themselves through knowledge.

    “My passion is counseling, my passion is mental health. To be at Augustana to help students who are going through things become better learners and become more involved, I feel like that’s the most important part of what I do,’’ said Iavarone.

    Mental health has recently become a more spoken about subject, slowly getting rid of the stigma. The number of students utilizing Augustana’s counseling services had increased because of this. There is less hesitation amongst students to speak out about their mental health.

    “The negative stigma of mental health is continuing to dissipate and this has many benefits for Augustana College,” Brooks said. “With the increase in use, it’s important for the college to continue to be innovative and creative in offering services and programs in order to adequately meet the demand.”

    Student Counselor Anne Oakes also spoke out on the importance of the availability of good counseling,

    “We have been, and are currently working on, ways to meet the growing need while providing high quality services. We’re excited to work with Bill to continue providing quality services and to work on new aspects that will benefit students as well. We want students to have access to services that can help them be as healthy as possible during their time as a student here and beyond.’’

    Photo by Natalie McMillan.

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    Augustana has a new Director of Counseling