Professional News

UK Counseling Center Director Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Mary Chandler Bolin.
Mary Chandler Bolin.
Mary Chandler Bolin.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2019) — Mary Chandler Bolin, director of the University of Kentucky Counseling Center (UKCC), was recently awarded the 2019 Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize her contribution to campus mental health. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors Bolin, who has provided outstanding service to AUCCCD and exemplary leadership in the field of university and college counseling centers at the highest national levels.

"To receive the AUCCCD Lifetime Achievement Award is most humbling, as I stand on the shoulders of so many who’ve gone ahead of me, and paved the way for opportunities across two decades," Bolin said. "All that I do has reciprocal effect — for UK’s Counseling Center and the campus; for our network of AUCCCD counseling directors around the world; for Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) suicide prevention trainings on more than 40 campuses; and for International Accreditation of Counseling Services field visits."

AUCCCD is the largest organization of campus mental health leaders in the world, representing more than 900 counseling center directors. Since 2001, AUCCCD has recognized member achievements that exemplify excellence in the promotion of campus mental health with lifetime achievement awards. 

Fostering a multidisciplinary approach to college counseling, Bolin has more than doubled the counseling center staff and added an American Psychological Association accredited internship. Over her two decades of work in the field, Bolin has consistently manifested a high level of professional integrity and ethical sensibility, award nominators cited. 

"The accomplishments of Dr. Bolin’s career, and the positive character and spirit she has exhibited throughout her service to her center, the University of Kentucky, college and university counseling centers, the college mental health profession, and to AUCCCD are what this award is all about," said one organization member and nominator. 

A member of AUCCCD since she became the UKCC director in 1998, Bolin has held leadership roles on the Governing Board, mentoring roles for colleagues for over a decade and has assisted in the development of a new strategic plan for the organization. 

“We are thrilled, but not at all surprised, to see Mary recognized with one of the most prestigious honors in her field,” said UK Provost Dave Blackwell. “Mary’s work and tireless advocacy on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff is absolutely invaluable to our campus community. She is leading the charge to abandon tired stereotypes about seeking professional assistance in a time of crisis. She also has been a key leader in our commitment to better understand and address the sources of anxiety, fear, and sadness that all of us face, while endorsing emphatically the campus resources designed to nurture resilience and healing.”

Bolin's dedication to the university's mental health is undeniable. Proving that true passion and leadership can make a difference, Bolin is changing lives in the campus community and beyond. When asked about her success in campus mental health, Bolin responded, "I am a pebble that spreads ripples, and we each have the potential for action that ripples out for individual and collective good. We each have a responsibility to utilize any privilege accorded us — to serve those whose identities are marginalized or minoritized. What I have been able to accomplish is due in large measure to the extraordinary colleagues of the UKCC and beyond, and to the university’s support of my professional work outside Frazee Hall."

To learn more about the AUCCCD, click here. For more information on the UKCC, visit the center's website

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.