UK counselor re-elected to national board


UK counselor Dr. Mary Chandler Bolin celebrates her fourth reelection to the Board of Directors for the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. Photo by Mark Walsh | Staff

Taylon Baker

A UK counselor was in another profession when she felt a “pull” toward a job that would help people.

Dr. Mary Chandler Bolin had been working in the news and public relation industries when she shifted focus to instead work with youth in the Washington, D.C. area, she said.

Now, after she has created a career for herself in counseling, she has been re-elected for a fourth term on the Board of Directors for the Association for the University and College Counseling Center Directors.

Here at UK, Bolin works as a licensed psychologist and the director of the Counseling Center. Bolin said she takes part in the services provided by UKCC, which include counseling and therapy for students, educational outreach to increase wellness on campus, assessment of services and many more.

“I also serve on UK advisory groups focused on risk management, on reaching out to students who can be marginalized or minoritized, and on assisting students who may be struggling and needing connection to specific resources,” Bolin said.

Bolin gained experience in this sort of work as a psychology graduate student, when she provided workshops on stress management, holistic wellness and decision-making skills, specifically in relation to adults who were returning to school, she said.

But her connection to UK began before she was drawn to counseling, she said. She is a UK graduate; she graduated with a journalism degree and worked for the Kentucky Kernel and the Kentuckian during her time as an undergraduate.

Bolin said that as a whole, all aspects of her UKCC director role are significantly enhanced by national work on the government board of AUCCCD.

When UKCC was developing programs to build resilience in students, for example, its employees borrowed from identified experts elsewhere that they know from national networking, like with the AUCCCD.

Bolin said that one of the proudest accomplishments of her career is building the staff at UKCC with diverse individual identities, clinical expertise, training background and liaison relationships.

“Personally and professionally, I am blessed to have extraordinary, committed colleagues all across campus– with the shared intention to cultivate a community of belonging, and to support student success in the classroom and beyond,” Bolin said.

Another one of her proudest accomplishments is doing the work of saving lives, Bolin said.

Bolin said that the work she does at UKCC is not hers alone.

“This shared work is about ‘we’– a living-learning community that calls each of us to contribute positive energy and action, and to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.”