Hundreds of professional school counselors in the area will begin the new year with attendance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania's sixth annual School Counselor Professional Development Day on Jan. 9, 2009.

The free seminar is financially supported by the IUP College of Education and Educational Technology and the Office of Enrollment Management. It is coordinated by the IUP Center for Counselor Training and Services.

The event is designed to recognize and honor the work of professional school counselors throughout western Pennsylvania. More than 300 school counselors have attended the annual event during the past three years.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Lisa Hinkelman, executive director of the Interprofessional Commission of The Ohio State University. She will offer the morning segment, “College and Career Planning for Underrepresented Students.”

The Interprofessional Commission of Ohio is a nonprofit corporation housed within the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. As the executive director, Hinkelman oversees the work of the commission, including policy analysis panels, graduate and professional courses, urban schools programming, grant writing and administration, curriculum development, program evaluation and consultation services.

Hinkelman developed and coordinates the “Ruling Our eXperiences” program and researches, publishes and lectures on issues related to adolescent girls' development, urban education, mental health issues in schools, women's career development, leadership development in girls and women, sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention, resiliency and non-school factors that impact academic achievement. She is also an assistant professor in counselor education in the department of counselor education at The Ohio State University.

Hinkelman is a licensed school counselor and is also licensed as a professional counselor. She has worked as a counselor in a school for adjudicated adolescent girls, as an outpatient community agency counselor, as a program assistant in a rape education and prevention program, and as a sexual harassment educator in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees in counselor education at The Ohio State University.

Afternoon breakout sessions will feature presentations by faculty members and students from the IUP department of counseling as well as a recent alumna. These sessions include “Tools for your Toolbox: Working with Students around Friendship Issues” by Dr. Holly Branthoover; “Stressbusters for School Counselors” by Dr. Michelle Bruno, Dr. Kirsten Murray, Ann Shick and Angela Orbin; and “Teen Mental Health: Recent Issues from the Literature and Videotapes” by Dr. John McCarthy and Teresa Fernandes.