Stefurak Named College of Education and Professional Studies Associate Dean

Posted on January 11, 2021 by Amber Day
Amber Day

Dr. Tres Stefurak data-lightbox='featured'

Dr. Tres Stefurak has been appointed associate dean in the University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies. Stefurak served as interim associate dean from August 2020 until being named to his current appointment. 

“Dr. Stefurak shows an understanding of the administrative and leadership responsibilities associated with this position by his ability to work with faculty and staff and provide support to the dean,” said Dr. John Kovaleski, interim dean of the USA College of Education and Professional Studies. “His years as a department chair and leading graduate education programs within his former department, being a doctoral faculty, and having the experiences in working with other graduate programs across the University have provided Dr. Stefurak with the knowledge and abilities necessary to serve as the associate dean.”

Stefurak will have administrative responsibilities for a variety of critical college functions and will provide leadership in the areas of funded research, educator preparation, faculty mentoring and development, and external partnerships. Stefurak has worked at South for more than 13 years, most recently serving as chair of the Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences in the College of Education and Professional Studies. 

“I would like my efforts as associate dean to be focused first and foremost on helping to steward the college through a demanding time in which we are endeavoring to keep each other safe and healthy and treat one another with equity and respect,” Stefurak said. “As we move to the next set of challenges and opportunities, I would particularly like to play a role in continuing the college's role as an engine of funded community-based research and service in a diverse set of human services industries in the fields of education and beyond.”

“Related to this aim, is for me to play a role in helping faculty direct their professional journeys towards lifelong learning, discovery and meaningful service to our community and region. My vision is that the efforts of our faculty and students at all levels produce a more competent, kind and just community for us to all live in.” 

Stefurak earned a bachelor’s in psychology, master’s in community counseling and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Georgia. During his time as chair of the USA Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences, Stefurak provided critical leadership for five master’s programs (Library Media, Educational Technology, Instructional Design, School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling) and two doctoral programs (Instructional Design and Clinical & Counseling Psychology). 

Stefurak is dedicated to working with the local community through various partnerships. He and his colleagues were awarded more than $400,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice from 2017-2021 to assist the Mobile Police Department in collecting and analyzing data on unsubmitted sexual assault kits and the victims and perpetrators associated with each kit. For 2021-2022, Stefurak has been awarded $40,000 to conduct strategic planning and program development consultation with the Child Advocacy Center of Mobile. In 2018, Stefurak partnered with the team-based, family-focused mentoring organization called NEST of Mobile, which aims to Nurture children, Equip parents, Strengthen families, and Transform communities. Stefurak helped to obtain a $50,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Development to offer Parent Management Training services to families being mentored by NEST. 

“August marked the 13th year of the Mobile Juvenile Court Collaborative, which I founded and still coordinate,” Stefurak said. “As part of this program, more than 30,000 hours of mental health counseling and psychological assessment services have been delivered to youth involved with the court. As well, multiple research and consultative projects have been conducted in collaboration with the court to develop and evaluate youth development and intervention programs.”

Outside of his community work, Stefurak has also been dedicated to mentoring his students while teaching and directing programs at South. He is one of the founding faculty members of the Clinical and Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program, administered in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and the College of Arts and Sciences. He previously served as the associate director and later director of clinical training for the doctoral program and was part of the faculty team who obtained American Psychological Association accreditation for the doctoral program. 

In addition, Stefurak previously served as the coordinator for the counseling master’s programs housed in the College of Education and Professional Studies, including leading a team of faculty who obtained Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accreditation for the clinical mental health counseling and school counseling master’s programs. 

Much of this prior work in both programs involved mentoring graduate students. In August 2020, the 10th doctoral student whom Stefurak has mentored graduated from the USA Clinical and Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program. Today, these mentees provide mental health services to youth and families in eight different states across the country from Washington state to Virginia. 

“I am always a short drive, or now a short Zoom session, away from a meaningful conversation with people in the Gulf Coast region about how to make our community function better,” Stefurak said. “The ability to connect the intellect, talent and passion at USA with the world outside the University is why I am still here. I would be much less fulfilled in an ivory tower.” 

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