Lorraine Guth

Lorraine J. Guth, Indiana University of Pennsylvania professor of counseling, has been selected as IUP’s 2024–25 Distinguished University Professor.

The Distinguished University Professor is a faculty member who exemplifies excellence in all areas of teaching, research and scholarly activities, and service. The Distinguished University Professor recognition is a title that the recipient holds for life.

“Dr. Guth is an exemplary teacher-scholar who is fully committed to her students and to advancing her profession in all ways, including internationally,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said. “Her service to this university, beyond her outstanding work in the classroom, continues to make a real difference for IUP. This recognition is very well deserved,” he said.

Guth has been a faculty member in the Department of Counseling since 1998. She is a licensed professional counselor and licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania as well as a national certified counselor. In addition to her teaching responsibilities in the classroom and supervising students in clinical settings, she has been recognized nationally for her leadership in the field that includes teaching and presenting internationally at sites around the world.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen as an IUP Distinguished University Professor,’ Guth expressed. “Working alongside exceptional colleagues in the Department of Counseling, within the university, and beyond has been a remarkable privilege. Every day, I strive to give my absolute best to students, the IUP community, and the counseling profession. I am dedicated to nurturing the growth of future counselors and educators who will empathically serve clients and students across various settings including agencies, schools, and private practices.”

In addition to her faculty responsibilities, Guth has worked internationally to advance the counseling profession, providing direct service and training. Guth stated, “These meaningful endeavors have taken me across the globe, where I’ve acquired invaluable knowledge and skills that significantly enrich my teaching,”

In 2020, she was awarded an Erasmus+ Grant from the European Union to deliver undergraduate and graduate student workshops at Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, on topics including enhancing counselor wellness as well as strategies to intentionally use group work to transform hate and enhance community building.

Guth’s 2015–16 sabbatical project included teaching, service, and research in Malawi, Africa, funded through an IUP Faculty Professional Development Council Grant for International Career Enhancement. This followed her 2014 outreach project, “Counseling in the Warm Heart of Africa Institute” in Lilongwe, Malawi, when she was one of 10 counselor educators from the United States chosen for the National Board of Certified Counselor International Malawi Counseling Institute. In 2017, she was invited to lead the second Malawi Counseling Institute, facilitating a group of delegates from the United States who taught counseling courses at Africa University of Diplomacy, Counselling, and International Relations.

In 2011, she was one of 12 counselor educators from the United States chosen to be part of the NBCC-I Thunder Dragon Institute in Thimphu, Bhutan, providing direct counseling services to Bhutanese students in a local school and training to the school principal, teachers, and counselors; she then coordinated a service project in the United States where faculty and graduate students donated counseling resources to the Bhutanese school. She has also presented and connected with counseling professionals in Ireland, Italy, and Hong Kong.

She has served on many university and College of Education and Communications committees, including being a member and chair of the University Senate Research Committee, where she reviewed more than 2,000 small grant proposals and 180 fellowship grant proposals, with $1.9 million in funds awarded; the University-Wide Sabbatical Committee, and the College’s Diversity Committee. She has also been a long-time member of the University Senate and previously served on the Middle States Accreditation Committee and the University Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues.

She is the clinical coordinator for her department’s master’s degree program and coordinates the Indiana Digital Counselor Training Facility for on-campus practicum classes. She was part of the team that secured $190,000 in technology fee funding for innovative Landro technology that enhanced counselor training and supervision. She has served as a faculty advisor for the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching program at IUP, which included supervising the group work inquiry project of a teacher from Botswana, Africa.

She has also provided service in local public schools and nursing homes as a certified therapy dog handler and participates in the IUP Just Paws therapy dog program. She has published a journal article and two chapters in an edited book about this work.

Over the past 26 years, her scholarship has primarily focused on group work, including process observation and international counseling; multicultural and diversity issues in counseling including social justice and sexuality issues; teaching effectiveness; and counselor wellness, with the intention of informing the counseling profession at the international, national, and local levels. Guth has contributed to 46 publications, including a guiding document on 10 tips for facilitating virtual work groups in response to the pandemic, 100 professional presentations, and numerous service projects.

In addition to the Distinguished University Professor recognition, Guth is the recipient of several awards from IUP for teaching, scholarship, and service: the 2022 Distinguished Faculty Award for Research; the 2017 College of Education and Communications Faculty Scholar Award; the 2016 College of Education and Educational Technology Dean’s Outstanding Researcher Award; and the 2009 Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Leadership, Service, and Teaching in the IUP College of Education and Educational Technology.

External to IUP, she is a four-time recipient of the Association for Specialists in Group Work President’s Award for Outstanding Service. She served on the group’s executive board for six years, including as president of the organization. During her presidential tenure, the organization created an inaugural masterclass podcast-video series and held the national conference. As past president, she co-edited a special issue of the Journal for Specialists in Group Work focusing on group work innovations in a transforming world. She also participated in service projects with the organization, including community outreach to residents in Puerto Rico.

As part of the Distinguished University Professor nomination, recipients propose an academic project that they plan to complete during the year they are selected for the honor.

During her Distinguished University Professor year, Guth plans to focus on several primary areas of professional interest and expertise: group work, wellness, and multicultural-diversity issues in counseling.

“The clinical mental health counseling profession is projected to grow by 23 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. As a counselor educator, it is paramount for me to continue engaging in scholarship that will inform my teaching and prepare students for providing innovative clinical services such as telehealth, social justice advocacy, and pandemic coping strategies during these unprecedented times,” she said.

In June she will be the keynote speaker at the first international mental health conference in Maun, Botswana. While there, she will collaborate with a counselor educator and one of the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching scholars from Botswana to study the professional quality of life of mental health professionals and helpers. Guth hopes the research results will inform the development of needed wellness interventions for mental health professionals in Botswana.

She will also continue to co-coordinate the Association for Specialists in Group Work masterclass podcast and video series; engage in an international group activity to enhance her awareness, knowledge, and skills related to wellness, self-care, and cultural humility; and further the research efforts in Botswana.  

She additionally plans to author a manuscript about integrating sex positivity into counselor education; present at a professional counseling conference on the topic; and participate in the supervision, training, or clinical practice needed to obtain the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapist certification. Currently, there are no counselors with this designation in Indiana.

“I will enthusiastically and passionately complete these projects which will make a significant contribution to the IUP community and the counseling profession at large,” Guth said. “I am most grateful to the many individuals I have collaborated with during my career who have touched my life in meaningful ways.”