Assistant professor appointed to be a voice for diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism on national board

Contact: Chris Hybels

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Dr. Olivia T. Ngadjui, assistant professor of counselor education and counseling psychology, has been appointed a voting member of the Association of Counselor Education and Supervision's (ACES) governing council. She will be serving as the Member-at-Large for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism (MAL-DEIA) Elect for a three-year term. In this role, she will collaborate to provide a perspective and voice related to DEIA in all association matters.

Dr. Olivia T. Ngadjui

"We're challenging areas where there's a lack of DEIA," says Ngadjui. "Roles like these are important because we're acknowledging that there is a great need for diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism efforts. Inequity may not be as explicit as limiting the places where people can go depending on color, but they are happening in terms of allowing certain people to have more advantages over others."

ACES is the premier organization dedicated to quality education and supervision of counselors in all work settings. ACES members are counselors, supervisors, graduate students and faculty members who strive to improve the education and supervision of counselors in training and in practice. As one of the first divisions of the American Counseling Association founded in 1952, the organization does this by hosting conferences that highlight the latest research in the field and publishing its journal, "Counselor Education and Supervision."

Ngadjui joined ACES in 2018 while studying at Idaho State University. She says the faculty in her doctoral program encouraged her to join because ACES plays a pivotal role in the guidance and direction of counselor education. Since joining, she has presented at multiple ACES conferences, became a member of the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee, the DEI Legislative Taskforce and is co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Interest Network (DIIN). 

"In this role as a member of the MAL-DEIA trio, we are recognizing that racism plays a very awkward role in the success of racially minoritized individuals and occurs because people have their own associated bias and micro-aggressions from their upbringing about how they interact with someone who is of color before even considering their intersecting identities,” says Ngadjui. 

In her position, Ngadjui will be a part of the Member-at-Large Trio for DEIA Officers alongside Drs. Janice Byrd and Elizabeth Villares. Byrd, a counselor educator at Pennsylvania State University, will serve as the MAL-DEIA; and Villares, a counselor educator at Florida Atlantic University, will serve as the past MAL-DEIA.

"Dr. Ngadjui’s appointment as a DEIA member to the ACES Board speaks to her accomplishment as a scholar, thought leader, and contributor to the field. We are so excited to see her recognized by such a prestigious appointment and look forward to her continued accomplishments," says Dr. Luchara Wallace, interim associate dean of the College of Education and Human Development.


Ngadjui joined the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology as an assistant professor in August 2021. She is a nationally certified counselor and a licensed professional counselor for the state of Idaho. She received her doctorate in counselor education from Idaho State University. Her dissertation entitled “Shaking Up The Room: The Process of Professional Identity Development of Black Doctoral Students in Counselor Education,” received full national funding from ACES as well as the Association for Adult Development and Aging. 

Ngadjui also has a master’s degree from George Washington University in clinical mental health counseling where she received the 2021 Dean’s Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. She also has presented at multiple counseling, associated mental health and educational conferences nationally, regionally and locally. Relatedly, she received the Rocky Mountain Association for Counselor Education and Supervision’s 2020 Emerging Leader honor as well as the 2020 Multiculturalism and Social Justice Advocacy Award. She also received the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development’s 2021 Kim Lee Hughes Womanista “Wings” Award.

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