With an earned doctorate from Tennessee State University in Curriculum, Instruction, Teaching and Learning, Cindy Connelley brings a diverse background to Husson. Earning K-12 teaching licensure in physical education and health, she has taught and coached at Bucknell University, Catawba College, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and also at public and private K-12 schools. She graduated cum laude from Springfield College with a B.S. in Physical Education, Health, Recreation and Dance. Cindy then earned her M.Ed. in Human Development, Learning and Health from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as the Certified Health Education Specialist designation from the National Commission for Health Education, a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction was earned from Tennessee State University with dissertation titled A Qualitative Study of Personal Constructs of E-Teaching. Her research interests have included: stimulation of the inner ear for learning efficiency; gifted learners in collaborative settings; unlearning prejudice; and physical education movement with autistic students. Traveling both nationally and internationally to provide clinics and workshops for sports and health within the physical education and health education curriculums, she has coached a Harlem Globetrotter and given clinics with some of the leading coaches in the world. Being a strong coach means being a strong teacher, and Cindy believes that integrated and experiential teaching and coaching helps students enjoy a fast-paced curriculum with many problem- solving experiences.
Good teachers make learning valuable, student-centered and fun! Teaching and learning are a partnership; the teacher and student must work together, and once this partnership is developed, learning has no boundaries. Working with future educators, leaders and coaches is dynamic and affords me the opportunity to promote science-based health education and physical education curriculums that can impact lives.
Mikal is an Associate Professor with the Graduate Programs in Counseling & Human Relations. Prior to joining the Husson Faculty, she was a staff psychologist at the Counseling & Psychological Services Center and then Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program in School Counseling at Frostburg State University in Maryland. She received her undergraduate degree in Journalism from West Virginia University and her master's and doctoral degrees in Counseling Psychology from Frostburg State University and West Virginia University respectfully. She completed a pre-doctoral internship in psychology at the University of Maine Counseling Center, and knew she would return to Maine when the right opportunity presented itself. She holds credentials as a Licensed Psychologist in Maine and a National Certified Counselor.
Mikal has a strong commitment to well-being and balance in personal and professional functioning. She infuses the ethic of self-care and counselor well-being into the courses she teaches. She further encourages self-exploration and self-reflection in her students to mitigate impairment and burnout in their personal and professional lives.
In addition to self-care and wellness, Mikal is active in research on the challenges and rewards of counseling practice in rural, small town and "neighborhood" settings, and how self-care and well-being occur in such environments.
One of the most important things a therapist can do for their clients is to have a clear sense of their own identity and a strong commitment to self-care. In the courses I teach, we spend a great deal of time discussing well-functioning and impairment, and the impact of mental health work on the practitioner. I want students to go into the profession with a clear understanding of both the rewards and the risks to them of engaging in such work. It is my intention as a counselor educator to help them gain awareness of the challenges and also ways to manage such challenges effectively.
As a firm believer and avid practitioner of self-care, I stress the importance of daily attention to ones own sense of well-being. To this end, I practice what I preach! I love to swim, sail, cross-country ski, snowshoe, hike and sit by the water and read. Together with my husband and funky little dog, I find as many excuses to be outdoors as possible in all four seasons. And what would a day be like without at least one good belly laugh!