Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martin’s University announces that the College of Education and Counseling Psychology will now be known as the College of Education and Counseling (CEC), in order to more accurately reflect the mission and focus of the College and the name change for the Master in Arts of Counseling (MAC) program, which was formerly known as the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program.

“As we closely examined who we are, we wanted to place our emphasis on the ways in which the Master of Arts in Counseling program prepares graduate students for marriage and family counseling and mental health counseling; it is not a graduate psychology program,” said Kate Boyle, Ph.D., interim provost.

In addition, the CEC welcomes K. Alexandra Onno, Ph.D., LMHC, as the new chair of the Master of Arts in Counseling program. Onno will lead accreditation efforts and annual assessment activities and participate in the MAC program through teaching, student advising, professional development, research and other academic-related activities. The MAC program is built on a philosophy of therapeutic service, intellectual hunger, fundamental respect, social justice and a focus on the person of the therapist, and the program strives to embody spirit, empathic care, intellect and wisdom.  “We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Onno’s stature join the Saint Martin’s MAC Program,” noted Boyle, who served as the Dean of CEC for the past two years. “Dr. Onno exudes hospitality, welcome and respect in the dignity of others—all of which exemplify what Benedictine educational values. Her intelligence and compassion add to that which is already embodied by the current MAC faculty.”

Onno earned her bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, graduated with her master’s degree from the systems counseling program at LIOS/Bastyr University in Seattle, and earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in depth psychology, from the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpenteria, California. As a faculty member, Onno specializes in integrative, experiential delivery of material, wedding meaningful student experience and practical clinical applicability. She maintains her role as a graduate level counseling educator in complement with her integrative private practice, and as a clinical supervisor and trainer, mentor and workshop facilitator.

Onno is moved by the opportunity to participate in education rooted in the values that are at the heart of Saint Martin’s University. “I look forward to collaborating with the richness and wisdom of the current MAC team, and the deep privilege of co-tending this program as it continues its commitment to serving academic excellence, clinical effectiveness and the depth of the human spirit.”

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and ten graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

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