By: Daniel Perreault, 23News Reporter

Concerned Student 1950  called for the counseling center to hire counselors “with lived experiences that extend beyond their formal training” in a list of demands made in February.

“There are not many, if any, [MU counselors]  that identify with the African-American students,” Concerned Student 1950 member Maxwell Little said.

The MU Counseling Center is trying to change that.

Among the three new counselors hired for the upcoming school year, one of them will serve as the center’s diversity coordinator.

The Counseling Center has continually had a strong commitment to multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion,” said David Wallace, director of the MU Counseling Center. We felt that it would be important to have a point person for our efforts.”

An extensive search was launched in the fall of 2015 that resulted in the hiring of Dr. Nadia Bethley to fill this newly created role. Dr. Bethley holds a  bachelor’s degree from Rice University and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Mississippi.

In her new role at Mizzou, Dr. Bethley will be tasked with working alongside the center’s outreach committee to continue “connections with campus diversity partners and help guide our future work and connections with students of all diversities on campus,“ Wallace said.

Little called the move a “step in the right direction,” but says it still doesn’t solve the problem entirely.  There are still “not enough black mental health counselors on staff,” according to Little.

Even Dr. Wallace admits that there is still work to be done. He’s hoping that the new position will give the center “an added focus in keeping communication lines even more open between the Counseling Center and others on campus who are concerned about inclusion and diversity.”

In addition to Dr. Bethley, the center has hired two additional counselors for the upcoming school year. The Counseling Center also partnered with the College of Veterinary Medicine to create a new psychologist position.

Dr. Bethley is scheduled to begin at the Counseling Center in August.

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