Bluefield, VA – Bluefield University and the Office of Student Development are pleased to announce the hiring of Mrs. Emily Sears Cook as the Director of Counseling and Wellness.
Bluefield University established the Center for Counseling and Wellness in fall 2019. The Center enhances the university’s holistic approach to educating the mind, heart, and spirit of students by supporting the mental health needs of the student body. Students are able to receive therapeutic services from licensed professional counselors without the need for insurance or incurring any out-of-pocket costs. Students can participate in professionally led groups and workshops that provide them with the life-skills necessary to thrive at Bluefield University and beyond.
“I am extremely excited to work with students as the Director of Counseling and Wellness Services,” said Cook. “I hope to provide individual and small group counseling to students, as well as meet the students’ needs in whatever form or fashion that may be. I am very passionate about mental health being part of total health, and I am equally passionate about reducing the stigma of mental health awareness.”
As a former student, Cook is very familiar to campus. Cook graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with Teacher Licensure. While at Bluefield University, Cook was a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and elected president of the Student Government Association (SGA), in which she served from 2010 to 2012.
After graduating, Cook became an English teacher at Graham High School. In 2015, she earned a Master of Education in School Counseling from Liberty University and served as Graham High School’s school counselor.
“I am excited that Bluefield University will welcome Emily Cook back to her alma mater as our next Director of the Center for Counseling and Wellness Students, said Josh Arnold, associate vice president of Student Development. “She knows and understands Bluefield students well and is passionate about our mission as a Christ-centered college. She is a wonderful addition to the Student Development team.”
Serving alongside Cook at the Center for Counseling and Wellness are Connie Elkins and Brandy Smith. Both are licensed professional counselors in Virginia and nationally certified counselors through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Elkins and Smith will teach courses as faculty members in the School of Education and Social Sciences at Bluefield University.
Cook and husband, Chris, have a three-year-old daughter, Avery. They worship at Maple View Church of Christ in Bluefield, WV. Cook began her leadership at Bluefield University on July 1.