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SU appoints new Counseling Center director
SU appoints new Counseling Center directorMarch 04, 2009Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
Syracuse University, a national leader in the field of student mental health, has appointed Dr. Cory Wallack director of the Counseling Center. Wallack, a licensed psychologist, was previously assistant director in the center. He has gained national prominence as the creator of SU’s award-winning Campus Connect Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training program, which has become a best practice in the field. He has also been instrumental in leading the center’s broad-based approach to improving students’ health and wellness.
“Cory has distinguished himself at the national level as one of the most creative thinkers in the field of student mental health. Here at SU, he is well known for his excellent clinical and crisis support of students, and for his strong network of relationships with Student Affairs, the faculty and staff across campus,” says Dr. Rebecca Stefan Dayton, associate vice president of student affairs-health and wellness. “We are excited about the possibilities that Cory represents for bringing together mind, body, spirit and community in the broader rubric of student health and wellness.”
As director, Wallack oversees mental health services for the University student community. His responsibilities include administration of the Counseling Center’s clinical services, crisis response, and educational and outreach services relating to mental health. He will assist Dayton in developing a broad, University-wide health and wellness initiative with the goal of creating a community vision for emotional health. Among Wallack’s other duties are oversight of the Options alcohol and other drug harm reduction program, service on the Critical Incident Response Committee, and continued leadership of the Campus Connect program at SU and nationwide.
Campus Connect trains faculty, staff and other non-clinicians to identify and appropriately refer students who are suffering from a mental health crisis. It has been recognized as a national standard of best practice by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Dozens of institutions across the country have sought out SU’s expertise in suicide prevention, with Campus Connect currently in place at more than 30 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. The Counseling Center is currently under contract with the State of Virginia to provide Campus Connect training to about 30 more colleges and universities.
Wallack is frequently an invited panelist or presenter at professional conferences nationwide and has coordinated research funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He has built strong relationships with a diverse student body as a clinician and supervisor, as well as through his adjunct faculty work in the Department of Counseling and Human Services. His previous research efforts have focused on providing care to individuals from diverse backgrounds, and he has experience teaching Cultural Foundations of Counseling sections to master’s degree candidates.
Wallack has been with SU’s Counseling Center since 2003 as staff therapist and then as assistant director. Before that, he completed psychology rotations with the Fairwinds Eating Disorder Treatment Center and the University of South Florida’s Counseling Center for Human Development. Wallack’s other professional experiences include management roles with the Alachua County Crisis Center, as well as counseling, on-call, and practicum experience with several social service agencies in Florida.
He holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Florida, where he researched and wrote on theories of suicide ideation among college students. Wallack holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology, also from Florida, as well as a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.
Wallack’s appointment was effective March 2 and follows a comprehensive national search.
For more information on the Counseling Center, visit http://counselingcenter.syr.edu.