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International honor society selects counselor education doctoral student Ibrahim Akmese as Leadership Fellow

The Patton College of Education would like to congratulate doctoral student in counselor education Ibrahim Akmese for being selected as a Leadership Fellow for Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International.

“I am honored and so happy to be selected for such an award. Especially receiving the award during my presidency of the Alpha Chapter, where Chi Sigma Iota was established in 1985, makes it more special to me,” said Akmese.

According to the organization’s website, the Leadership Fellow offers outstanding Chi Sigma Iota members in the early years of their professional career an opportunity to broaden their awareness and leadership potential in the counseling profession by providing opportunities to develop their servant leadership skills and broaden their network through service.

As a Chi Sigma Iota Fellow, Akmese will serve on the Excellence in Counseling Research Grants Committee and Review Panel during the 2023-2024 year, which will offer him an opportunity to learn more about using grants properly to bridge research and practice. Additionally, he will be invited to observe Chi Sigma Iota Executive Council meetings and travel to conferences to network with leaders in counseling.

To make the most out of his experience, Akmese has three main objectives he will focus on.

“First of all, my goal is to maintain different leadership roles to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in counseling. Second, being mentored by great leaders of Chi Sigma Iota to be a better counselor educator and leader in the field of counseling. Finally, maintaining the excellent history of leadership and professionalism on behalf of the Patton College of Education as well as Ohio University,” explained Akmese.

Akmese is a second-year doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at Ohio University. He previously received his master’s degree in clinical mental health and rehabilitation counseling from OHIO as well. He received his bachelor’s degree in counseling in Türkiye (formerly identified as Turkey), where he was born and spent most of his life. He is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Ohio and currently practicing at Ohio University's Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS). In addition, Akmese has served as the president of the Alpha Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota during the 2022-2023 academic year.

For Akmese, the seeds of pursuing his educational goals at Ohio University were planted while earning his bachelor’s degree in Türkiye.

“Ohio University has an excellent reputation all around the world. With the encouragement of my professors who graduated from Ohio University, I decided to get my education here. More importantly, with the awareness that many things need to be done to enhance international students’ well-being, Ohio University is one of the top universities with a culturally diverse population,” said Akmese.

Asked what advice he would recommend for students interested in pursuing a career in mental health counseling, Akmese acknowledges the importance of perseverance and prioritizing one’s time.

“You will always be busy in grad school. However, the question is what you will intentionally create time for despite your busyness because that will always stick to you. Take risks, be assertive, ask for leadership roles, and do not wait for someone to pull you in,” said Akmese.

Chi Sigma Iota was established by Dr. Tom Sweeney, Ohio University Professor Emeritus, and the first chapter was chartered in the counseling program at Ohio University in 1985. The international honor society in counseling was formed out of a desire to provide recognition for outstanding academic achievement as well as outstanding service within the counseling profession.

May 9, 2023
Staff reports