Clewiston D. Challenger PhD, NCC

Associate Professor of Professional Practice
10 Seminary Place, Room 307

• Ph.D in Counselor Education and Supervision, Penn State (2017)
• MA in Educational Psychology/School Counseling, University of Connecticut (2008)
• BA in Psychology (major), Criminal Justice (minor), University of Connecticut (2003)

  • Clinical Experience
    Dr. Challenger is a former 6th-9th grade school counselor in the public and charter school systems serving in that role in Hartford, CT and New York City, NY (The Bronx and Harlem). His research interest and scholarship focus on middle school boys and young adult males and their school/college adjustment as well as their mental health, academic buoyancy, self-efficacy, and sense of belonging. Dr. Challenger is interested in how these factors influence not only how these students adjust to their educational setting, but how they become more (or less) involved in their school based on their transition from high school to college and their level of attachment to their schools and institutions. Dr. Challenger’s background in working in at an inpatient psychiatric hospital for children, adolescents, and adults gave him the real-world experience necessary to understand patients who face mental health challenges. Additionally, Dr. Challenger studies student-athletes of all ages, placing greater focus on high school and college student-athletes and how the intersection of race, gender, and mental health impacts academic and athletic performance. Over the years Dr. Challenger has served in the role of assistant football coach for youth, high school, and collegiate levels. These opportunities have given him deeper insight on how boys form community, confidence, meaning, and sense of purpose through sport. Lastly, Dr. Challenger has spent more than 3 years in the administrative role of associate head counselor at Camp Greylock, a prominent summer sports camp for boys in the Berkshires gaining important knowledge, skills, and insights on how boys build and coexists in a community. As a former Division I college student-athlete in the sport of football, Dr. Challenger passionately understands the important role sports can play in the personal, academic, social, and professional development of an individual. Dr. Challenger has given numerous presentations on the topic of being a culturally competent school counselor for effective work with students of color often providing relevant and practical skills, tips, and strategies to partitioners. Due to his background working in urban/inner-city school systems, Dr. Challenger is often sought after to present, consult, or speak on best practices for developing, designing, and implementing a comprehensive and inclusive school counseling curriculum focused on mental health, college and career readiness for schools situated in urban/inner-city communities. Moreover, Dr. Challenger remains involved in collaborative work preparing scholarship, designing studies, and seeking grants with colleagues around the areas of hazing (in sports and the performing arts), college and career readiness for students with disabilities, and designing best practices around effective school counseling for BIPOC students in educational settings.
  • Expertise/Research Interest
    • College Adjustment
    • Sense of Belonging
    • Student-Athletes, Student-Athletes of Color
    • Self-Efficacy
    • Academic Motivation
    • Academic Buoyancy
    • Boys and Males of Color
    • School Attachment
    • School Involvement
    • Mental Health
    • Mentorship
    • High School to College Transition
    • Urban School Counseling
  • Clewiston D. Challenger's CV
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