At left, Louise Bivens, the 2023 recipient of the IUP Department of Counseling Dr. Claire J. Dandeneau Outstanding Supervisor Award, with Lorraine Guth, professor in the IUP Department of Counseling and clinical coordinator for the university’s master’s degree programs in counseling.

The Department of Counseling at Indiana University of Pennsylvania recently presented the Dr. Claire J. Dandeneau Outstanding Supervisor Award to Louise Bivens, a social worker at Indiana Regional Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services.

For approximately two decades, Bivens has supervised many counseling students who are placed in the Behavioral Health Service IRMC. The Dr. Claire J. Dandeneau Outstanding Supervisor Award recognizes her work as an “outstanding supervisor, mentor, and role model for students who are earning their master’s degrees in clinical mental health counseling.”

“Louise exemplifies the spirit of the award,” said Lorraine Guth, professor in the IUP Department of Counseling and clinical coordinator for the university’s master’s degree programs in counseling.

“Dr. Claire J. Dandeneau was the esteemed chairperson of the IUP Department of Counseling for 25 years until her retirement in 2021. She provided exceptional leadership and was a champion for faculty and student success. In addition to her dedicated mentorship, Dr. Dandeneau maintained an extreme passion for supervision,” Guth said.

Channeling her deep love of group work, Dandeneau consistently taught the department’s group practicum course and facilitated supervised group experiences as part of her famous experiential counseling elective. She was instrumental in customizing cutting-edge technology for counselor training and supervision at IUP which served as a model for many other counselor educators across the nation, Guth said.

“Based on Dr. Dandeneau’s commitment to providing outstanding supervision and her consistent advocacy for innovation, IUP’s Iota Upsilon Pi chapter of Chi Sigma Iota annually awards this honor to an IUP site supervisor who embodies these qualities,” Guth said. Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.

Guth presented the award to Bivens at a luncheon at IRMC on March 16.

“On behalf of the Department of Counseling, we are thrilled to present this prestigious award to Louise. She is an exceptional supervisor who has facilitated the growth of many of our students over the years. We really value our relationship with her as well as the partnership we have with IRMC,” Guth said.

“We are proud of Louise for receiving the IUP Counseling Department Dandeneau Award for Outstanding Supervisor 2023,” said Behavioral Health Program Director Jo Ann Graham, MSN, MBA RN, BC.

“Louise has been providing education and leadership to students for many years. The students are thrilled with the mentoring provided at the IRMC Behavioral Health Department during their clinical rotations and leave the facility with an outstanding admiration and gratitude of their experience and teamwork demonstrated on the unit,” Graham said.

Bivens is the third recipient of the award. Previous recipients are Sonya Giuffre, a school counselor at Rayne Elementary School (2021), and Jennifer Lieb, a school counselor at Homer-Center Elementary School (2022).

IUP offers two master’s degrees in counseling: the master of arts in clinical mental health counseling and the master of education in school counseling. The department also offers a doctoral program in counseling education and supervision, a clinical mental health counseling licensure, and a school counseling certification.

Master's-level coursework can be completed on a full- or part-time basis, while doctoral coursework is completed utilizing a cohort model. All three of the degree programs are offered in full at both the Indiana campus and at IUP Pittsburgh East in the Pittsburgh/Monroeville area.

IUP’s School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs have been accredited since July 2008 by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs; the doctoral program was accredited in 2021. The programs are currently accredited through 2024.