I, Melanie Burgess, am seeking a position as a Professional School Counselor.

I
am currently finishing my school counseling internship at Old Dominion University and
will be graduating with my M.S.Ed. in May 2016. During my time in the master’s
program, I have intentionally pushed myself outside of my comfort zone to try new
experiences, gain more knowledge, and dedicate this time to make myself a well-rounded
student. In doing so, I have rich experiences that will undoubted assist me in my role as a
future Professional School Counselor.
I am fortunate to have spent fours years working as a research assistant
(undergraduate and graduate) to cultivate my research agenda, learn more about ways to
implement research in a K-12 setting, and how to apply that research to the school
counseling role. The implementation of research is crucial because these practices are
evidence-based, culturally relevant, and contribute to the legitimacy of the school
counselor role. I plan to show how students are different as a result of my comprehensive
school counseling program.
While working as a research assistant, I have had many opportunities to present at
state and national conferences, as well as contribute to publications on topics such as
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in K-12, anxiety disorders in children and
adolescents, mental health stigma in adolescents, data-driven school counseling
programs, and meeting the needs of families and students with Autism Spectrum
Disorders. Thought these experiences, I have become passionate about leadership,
advocacy and aligning myself with the ASCA National Model.
All of my research and course work has let me to embrace the ASCA National
Model and the goal for more accountability and advocacy for the school counseling field
by using evidence-based practices, culturally relevant interventions, data-driven

programming, and continual professional development to assess my areas of weakness
and strengthen them. My presence at state and national conferences shows my initiative
to attend and present on cutting-edge topics related to school counseling. Not only has
my commitment to research and professional development has helped shaped my identity
as a Professional School Counselor alongside my clinical experiences.
During my practicum and internship, I took an active role as a school counselorin-training. I requested additional students and projects, so that I might participate in the
full spectrum of experiences possible. Whether I was assisting with responsive services,
delivering developmentally appropriate school counseling curriculum, distributing food
bank delivery items, registering students, filing, or placing calls to Child Protective
Services, I was soaking up all the experiences and knowledge of on-the-job training. My
practicum and internship experiences have prepared me for a variety of roles and
responsibilities of a Professional School Counselor.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. I am available by email at
mevan032@odu.edu should you have any questions or need clarification.
Respectfully,
Melanie Burgess

; therefore, I secured roles professional service roles as a Research Grant
Committee Member for the Association of Child and Adolescent Counseling organization
and the Professional Development co-chair and President-Elect for Chi Sigma Iota.