FACULTY KUDOS: Julia Rhea selected 2020 Field Instructor of the Year

Julia Rhea, Southwest Mental Health Counselor

Julia Rhea, Southwest Mental Health Counselor

Southwest’s Mental Health Counselor Julia Rhea is the recipient of the 2020 Field Instructor of the Year from the University of Memphis Department of Social Work. The award was presented in a virtual reception hosted by the department on April 17.  

Rhea was nominated by a master’s level student who interned with her at Southwest’s department of Counseling and Social Services.  As her clinical supervisor and mentor, Rhea helped hone this student’s skills and prepared her to be an effective practitioner in the field of counseling and social work.

“I am honored to receive this award because of the important role that a mentor and teacher plays in the counseling and social work field,” Rhea said. “I take pride in helping students become thriving counselors – their successes are important to me. I was fortunate to have fantastic field instructors when I was in school who helped shape who I am as a therapist today. I am honored to provide my support and guidance to others.”

Dr. Jacqueline Taylor, associate vice president of student affairs, said Rhea provides outstanding support to students.  “I am honored to have her on our team, and I am extremely proud of the way in which she partnered with the University of Memphis in training future counseling and social work professionals to serve with the same level of authenticity and expertise,” Taylor said. “Her ability to listen and care for and guide students and aspiring professionals in the field in authentic ways (especially during a crisis) is a testament to the excellence she exhibits daily at Southwest and within the broader community. I offer Julia my highest affirmation and congratulations on her achievement.”

Rhea joined Southwest in May 2017, as the institution’s first mental health counselor. The college created the position through its Achieving the Dream institutional redesign to develop a Social and Emotional Process to aid in the holistic success of its students.

Field instructors supervise students during their practicum. They also play an important part in a student’s academic journey by teaching, training and monitoring their educational progress and professional development.


Scoop - May/June 2020