Dr. Tonya Hammer awarded the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision award
Thursday, October 21, 2021
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Dr. Tonya Hammer has dedicated her life to helping people through her talents in counseling and teaching.
The Oklahoma State University-Tulsa associate professor in counseling and counseling psychology was recently awarded the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision award based on her excellence in teaching in counseling.
Hammer discovered her passion for counseling in a very honest way.
“I was volunteering with young adults and had started building trusting relationships with them,” Hammer said. “The kids started coming to me to assist with their problems but I didn’t feel equipped. I decided to head back to school to get my master’s in counseling.”
Hammer fell in love with the counseling field and continued to further her education
by getting her doctorate. In addition to her teaching duties, Hammer also leads the
Body Image and Disordered Eating (BIDE) Lab.
“I am so pleased that Dr. Hammer is a faculty member in our school,” said Dr. Julie Koch, professor and head of the School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling, and Counseling Psychology. “She is truly one of a kind, a gem, and her hard work deserves to be recognized.”
Hammer said her style of teaching is very collaborative and she encourages people to speak up not only in the classroom but also outside in the real world. She believes collaborative learning helps develop high-level thinking and also boosts self-esteem and confidence.
“I want my students to feel as if they are able to enter into the dialogue in my classes without fear of what will happen if they disagree with me,” Hammer said. “I want to have a safe but challenging environment where my students critically think about the material put before them and grow into not only strong counselors but also empowered human beings.”
When asked about a time where she felt she helped someone Hammer said one of the doctoral students was struggling to find their place at OSU and to figure out if this was the right field for them. Hammer took this student under her wing and the pair worked together doing research, writing and presenting. Through that process, they found their place and have since gone on to a successful practice.
“This award means the world to me because first and foremost I consider myself a teacher. It is my passion and where I think I have the most impact,” Hammer said. “To know that students who have been in my classroom, as well as my colleagues, feel I am deserving of this award is such an honor.”