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July 21, 2021

Tenille Gaines receives Diversity Leadership Mentoring Award

Tenille Gaines, associate director for counseling in Michigan State University’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services department, has been awarded the Harriet Copher Haynes Diversity Leadership Mentoring Award. The award honors “talented mental health professionals of diverse identities who aspire to become counseling center directors.”


In recognition of the award, Gaines will co-present a diversity-themed program at the 2021 Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors conference in Seattle, Wash. in October.

Gaines joined CAPS in 2013 as a doctoral intern before accepting a full-time role in the department in 2016. In May 2019, Gaines was promoted to associate director for counseling. In this role, she oversees counseling teams and leaders that deliver individual and group counseling, intensive clinical services, and outreach services, as well as the training, assessment and research teams.

Mark Patishnock, director of CAPS, said the award is well-deserved, applauding Gaines’s work to provide appropriate care for a diverse student body.

“Gaines truly embodies MSU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Patishnock. “With her leadership, our CAPS counselors are well-supported in our mission to provide the most appropriate and available care for students. Gaines and her team have consistently adapted to provide services to as many students as possible, including historically underrepresented student groups. I’m so proud to have her on our team.”

The award is named after Harriett Copher Haynes, who worked at the University of Minnesota Counseling and Consulting Services for 40 years (1971–2011), serving as director for 15 of those years (1992–2007). Haynes served as a leader, mentor, role model and consultant for the university community, addressing issues of diversity, sexism, racism, responding to students in crisis, gender-based violence, mediation, crisis response, multicultural curriculum development and managing organizational change.

Gaines earned her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Auburn University and her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Georgia Southern University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Winston-Salem State University.

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