The Patton College of Education is honored to recognize alumna Dr. Simone Hicks, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Assistant Dean and Director of Case Management at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., as February Alum of the Month.
Dr. Hicks was recently selected to serve on the Commission of Rehabilitation Counselor Certification ethics committee, which aims to uphold quality standards for certified rehabilitation counselors.
“The CRCC Code of Ethics offers guidance to respecting and ensuring a process of integrity,” said Dr. Hicks. “As Rehabilitation Counselors, the decisions we make can impact the individuals we serve; hence, the importance of creating equitable codes.”
Throughout her career, Dr. Hicks has held positions in community mental health, acute psychiatric units, and college counseling centers.
In her current position at Scripps College, Dr. Hicks strives to meet the diverse needs of each student she sees. Through weekly check-ins and consulting with parents, faculty, staff and other campus resources, Hicks serves as a student advocate and emphasizes an individualized approach to care.
“I enjoy creating a welcoming space for all students to feel supported in their academic journey,” said Dr. Hicks. “Collaboratively, we create a plan for success while considering students’ holistic college experience. Each week, I ask students, ‘What is your commitment to care for yourself?’ I often share my commitment to care as well, so each student knows I am also dedicated to this journey.”
The Opelika, Ala., native earned her master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Alabama State University and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Ohio University.
Dr. Hicks’ decision to pursue a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling was influenced by a recognition for a need of increased representation in the field.
“In graduate school, there was increased exposure to black women who held a terminal degree in counseling,” said Dr. Hicks. “Initially, there was not an interest for me to receive a doctorate. However, as I advanced through my program, I enjoyed learning about Rehabilitation Counseling and the need to increase awareness of the profession. Seeking a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision created an opportunity and access to inform change through my research.”
When looking back on her Ph.D. studies at Ohio University, Dr. Hicks recalled, “It became evident that this journey was so much bigger than me, and more about how I can impact change for others.”
Dr. Hicks’ greatest lessons from Ohio University include her faculty’s encouragement to “Lead Boldly and Without Fear,” and to be resilient.
“My dissertation chair, Dr. Mona Robinson, encouraged me to push through when it was tough and keep going. This is an invaluable life lesson that I pass along to my students,” said Dr. Hicks.
In 2019, Dr. Hicks was recognized with Alabama State University’s “50 Under 50” award. That year, she also co-authored a book chapter, “Case Management and Presentation,” with fellow Ohio University alumna Dr. Jessica Henry, which was published in the Practicum & Internship Manual.
Dr. Hicks dedicates her research and publications to transition-aged youth with disabilities in the African American community. She has made professional presentations at national and international refereed counseling conferences in areas covering students with disabilities, advocacy, and racial identity.