Simone MaySimone May, a doctoral student in the College of Education’s Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling (SERC), was recently selected as a Leadership Fellow in Chi Sigma Iota, the national counseling honor society.  This is a highly competitive national award that recognizes students who have demonstrated potential through engagement in leadership, advocacy, and professional engagement in Counselor Education. May was one of only 10 students selected nationally for this award.

“I grew up in Guntersville but was able to attend the University of Georgia on a full volleyball scholarship,” May said. “I majored in Child and Family Development. I really loved my time at UGA, but the pressures were enormous. Few people realize how much time and focus is required to play varsity sports at a major university, especially on the scholarship level. In high school you’re one of a few great players but in college everyone is great, and the time for your sport is matched by the increased academic demands of college. But I had my eyes set on succeeding and was blessed to do that.”

For a class assignment as a senior at Georgia, May interviewed a counselor, because that’s what she knew she wanted to do. That counselor happened to be an Auburn grad who spoke highly of his alma mater and its outstanding counseling program. May kept that in mind and when she graduated she made Auburn her top choice. She received her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and is now in the Counselor Education and Supervision doctorate program.

“I love being here at Auburn because of our dynamic faculty and all of the support and encouragement that we receive from the entire SERC staff,” May said. Our faculty are not only great in the classroom, but also open doors for us to have engagement opportunities in the community.”

May has interned with the Young Women’s Leadership Program, where she helped facilitate weekly Big Sister/Little Sister meetings. She has also volunteered for college preparatory work at Loachapoka High School, and presently serves as a graduate student council representative. As a previous member of Auburn’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, Simone has served as a co-newsletter editor, served on the mentorship committee, and is currently the co-president.

…I appreciate the opportunities that have come my way, and love Auburn for it.

“My ultimate goal is to teach at a university, but also stay involved in advocacy and working with poverty populations and minority communities,” she said. “I want to teach, but I also want to inspire. I am getting great practice at combining academics and outreach through a life skills course I teach through Auburn’s student athlete support services. I love doing that. I can relate to their struggles to combine the demands of the classroom with the demands of the playing field. To me, it is much more than teaching. It is life. I appreciate the opportunities that have come my way, and love Auburn for it.”