Current Events

Counseling Program Receives More than $2.4M
in Federal Grant Awards through 2021

Health Resources and Services Administration - Counseling Underserved Populations (CUSP Fellowship Project)

In Fall, 2017, the Detroit Mercy Counseling program was awarded $932,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration HRSA) as part of the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Professionals program.  In support of the White House’s Now is the Time initiative, the 4 year grant program (2017-2021) is intended to expand the mental health and substance abuse workforce specifically serving medically underserved populations.  The grant will allow for highly specialized enhanced education and training for Detroit Mercy Counseling students to work specifically with underserved populations, with an emphasis on integrated health, trauma, poverty, and court-involvement.  Project participants (CUSP Fellows) will  $10,000 in scholarship funding while they complete their clinical internship and commit to dedicating their early careers to treating those in greatest need. 

Detroit Mercy's Counseling Underserved Populations (CUSP project) further expands the role of the Counseling program in preparing Master's level clinicians to work with highly specialized populations and was awarded following the Counseling program's highly successful WARY Fellowship program that will end in December, 2018.  According to CUSP Project Director and Principal Investigator, Dr. Nancy Calleja, "this most recent funding further cements Detroit Mercy's pivotal role as an essential partner in nation-wide efforts to effectively prepare  highly-skilled clinicians to work with those in greatest need."  Furthermore, "with Detroit and southeastern Michigan as a central focus for treatment delivery, the positive regional impact will only continue to grow."      

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Grant - Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

The University of Detroit Mercy Counseling Program was awarded a $780,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as part of the federal Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Coordination of Treatment (SBIRT) initiative. The project that is geared toward early detection and coordination of treatment for individuals struggling with addiction will provide advanced training to primary and mental health professionals, including dentists, physicians' assistants, nurses, psychologists, and counselors. The three year project began in Fall, 2015 and continues through 2018. The Project Director and Principal Investigator, Dr. Nancy Calleja, leads an inter-disciplinary team of faculty and administrators accross the University in preparing health professions' students in addiction assessment and treatment. The University of Detroit Mercy clinics, including the Counseling, Dental, McAuley Health, and Psychology Clinics each serve as training sites for the project. "Because these four clinics collectively serve more than 22,000 community members annually, most through providing no or low cost services, the impact of this project should have a tremendous positive impact on our region and specifically, on the city of Detroit" said Dr. Calleja.  The Detroit Mercy SBIRT Project Team includes Dr. Janet Baiardi (College of Health Professions), Dr. Daniel Duryea (Addiction Studies) , Dr. Carla Groh, Professor Jill Loewen (Dentistry), Dr. Cheryl Munday (Psychology), Dr. E. J. Newness (Dentistry), amd Professor Elizabeth Sammons Rodems (Dentistry).    

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Grant - WARY Fellowship Program

The University of Detroit Mercy Counseling program was awarded a $703,000 grant from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) as part of the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Professionals program.  In support of the White House’s Now is the Time initiative, the 3 1/2 year grant program (2014-2018) significantly expanded the number of specially trained Master's level professional counseling workforce serving children, adolescents, and transitional-age at- and high-risk youth.  The grant provided specialized education and training for Counseling students to work specifically with high risk adolescents (15-24 yrs.).  The funding also provided $10,000 in scholarship funding to eligible, participating students while they completed their clinical internship. 

Introducing the 2018-19 Counseling Program Scholarship Recipients

Each year theUniversity of Detroit Mercy Counseling program offers competitive Graduate Research Assistantships to several students.  In 2018-19, more than $36,000 in scholarships was provided directly to Counseling students for additional tuition support. These scholarships provide an opportunity for students to work directly with faculty members on a variety of research and grant-funded projects, enhancing their learning experience through the development of a range of research skills and scholarship. 

In addition, each year, a competitive scholarship is awarded to one student to serve as Administrative Assistant in the Counseling Clinic, in order to learn directly about clinic operations and provide support services to clinic staff and student counselors.

Finally, a need-based scholarship is awarded each year to one student in honor of a Counseling program alumna, the Denise Davenport Memorial Scholarship.  

2018-19 Graduate Research Assistants

Varsha George, 2018-19 Graduate Research Assistant, and Detroit Mercy Assistant Professor of Counseling, Kathleen Palmer


Varsha George, 2018-19 graduate research assistant, and assistant professor of counseling, Kathleen Palmer, present their research at the Southern Association of Counselor Educators Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in October 2018.
Varsha George, 2nd year (Palmer's lab)
Liliana Ismail, 2nd year (Kondili's lab)
Robert Kaiser, 3rd year (Calleja's lab)
Ryan Leahy, 1st year (Bennett-Garraway's lab)

Counseling Clinic Administrative Support Assistant

Hailey Joppich, 2nd year


Denise Davenport Memorial Scholarship

Shauni Ford, 2nd year

Addiction Studies Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient

Dina Garcia, Junior

counseling and addiction studies graduate assistants