News

MFT Faculty Member and Student Recognized with Statewide Awards

Posted by: Date: December 12, 2014 In: , ,
PLU Assistant Professor Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson, left, and student Sunita Benning-Cho with their awards from the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy on Dec. 6 in Seattle.

PLU Assistant Professor Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson, left, and student Sunita Benning-Cho with their awards from the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy on Dec. 6 in Seattle.

By Sandy Deneau Dunham
PLU Marketing & Communications

TACOMA, Wash. (Dec. 12, 2014)—Pacific Lutheran University Assistant Professor Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson and student Sunita Benning-Cho ’15 have been honored with awards from the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Wilson received the Educator of the Year award, which honors a faculty member who demonstrates creative and innovative teaching abilities, fosters and maintains strong relationships with students, and is published in the field of marriage and family therapy. Benning-Cho received the Student Member of the Year award, given to a current student who demonstrates academic and clinical excellence while offering unique contributions to his or her learning community.

“It is exciting to have Elisabeth’s work as an excellent teacher recognized by the preeminent marriage and family therapy professional organization in our state,” said David B. Ward, Ph.D., Chair of PLU’s Department of Marriage and Family Therapy. “Her commitment to student learning and professional growth is evident in all that she does.”

Wilson teaches and trains students in effective marriage and family therapy as well as practicing family and couple therapy; her research interests include training and supervision issues, clinical interventions with families and couples, and the interaction between spirituality and relational wellbeing.

Wilson and Benning-Cho are working together on an ongoing research project studying the experiences of therapists-in-training who use client feedback to improve therapeutic alliance.

PLU’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program, one of only three programs in Washington accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy, trains students in developing a systemically-oriented, contextually competent worldview implemented through a wide range of clinical concerns impacting individuals, couples and families.

The Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, based in Bellingham, is a division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the professional organization representing more than 24,000 qualified marriage and family therapists in the United States, Canada and abroad. WAMFT represents the interests of its more than 1,000 members, as well as the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy within the state of Washington. The profession is licensed in the state to specialize in marital and family issues.