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Oregon State counseling Ph.D. student earns $20,000 national fellowship award

Headshot of Daniel Cisneros, a Ph.D. in Counseling online student with Oregon State University Ecampus

In addition to his research in Oregon State’s Ph.D. in Counseling hybrid program, Daniel Cisneros is the mental health coordinator for the Sacramento City Unified School District.

By Tyler Hansen
Aug. 11, 2020

Daniel Cisneros, a student in Oregon State University’s Ph.D. in Counseling program, has been awarded a $20,000 counseling fellowship to aid his research efforts and professional work that focus on serving LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented individuals.

The honor puts Cisneros in rare company. He is one of only 20 doctoral counseling students in the U.S. to receive the award from the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation. He is now part of the NBCC’s Minority Fellowship Program, which aims to increase the number of professional counselors who provide effective, culturally competent services to underserved populations.

When the good news came, Cisneros reacted accordingly.

“I was extremely excited, and when I say extremely I really mean it,” he said. “I knew that it was going to be a great opportunity and I knew it was super competitive, but hearing that I received it was just amazing.”

As part of his work in the hybrid (online/in-person) Ph.D. in Counseling program with OSU Ecampus, Cisneros is finalizing a corpus linguistic study of the LGBTQ+ coming out process through analysis of the identity and multicultural development models in which he answers key research questions focused on LGBTQ+ minority-identifying communities.

The study is an essential component of his dissertation, and he hopes his research will help counselors and therapists assist LGBTQ+ individuals overcome the challenges they face at individual stages and move them toward integration and identity synthesis.

Cisneros works as the mental health coordinator for the Sacramento City Unified School District in California’s state capital. In this role, he manages the district’s Connect Center, a centralized student support unit that serves as a gateway to critical services for students and families. It offers an innovative solution to addressing the health, wellness and educational needs of the district’s children, youth and families, with specialized services for LGBTQ+ students.

This NBCC fellowship will help Cisneros to further develop his research area through direct service, community access and training opportunities.

In short, it “will allow me to focus on the important work of advocating for students, clients and families,” he said.

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