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About the Collaborators

 Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson

Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson.jpgDr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, "Dr. Dale" joined Central Michigan University's College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) as professor and dean in 2012. As dean, she is responsible for five academic departments with programs spanning areas such as counselor education, k-12 administration, higher education, dietetics, leadership, fashion merchandising and design, regular and special education, gerontology, recreation, events management, interior design, human development, therapeutic recreation and family studies. She also oversees a number of centers and units within the college, such as The Governor John Engler Center for Charter School authorization, the Center for Excellence in STEM Education and the Center for Child Development Learning Lab and works in concert with CMU's colleges, guiding 23 teacher education programs across campus. She works very closely with the Michigan Department of Education and served as the president of both the Michigan Council of Deans and Michigan chapter of AACTE. The American Council on Education recently named her a 2016-2017 leadership fellow.

Apart from being a professor for counselor education, Dr. Dale served as a registered professional nurse, licensed professional counselor advanced level of independent clinical practice, approved clinical supervisor, national certified counselor, distance credentialed counselor and registered play therapy supervisor. In 1989, she began using play, art and bibliotherapy in her work with children and families. She now applies therapeutic uses of story in multiple settings across many populations and settings. She launched the Bibliotherapy Education Project website, with her now retired research partner Dr. Paula McMillen just after 2000. Dr. Dale continues to conduct research with other colleagues in order to promote the transformative power of story and advocate for use of story for therapeutic and educational gains.​

 Dr. Laura Bruneau

Laura 2.jpgLaura Bruneau, PhD, is an associate professor of Counselor Education at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado.  She completed her doctorate degree in Counselor Education and Supervision at Kent State University.  Her overall research interests include creativity in counseling, therapeutic reading, and animal assisted interventions.  In particular, Dr. Bruneau has researched the helpfulness of self-help reading, using reading in counselor education, and the book selection process for adult readers. Additionally, she has implemented a Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D) program at local elementary schools since 2012. This program helps struggling readers by providing a space for supervised, enjoyable reading practice. She can be reached at

 ​Dr. Mary Amanda Graham

picgraham.jpgDr. Mary Amanda Graham is an Associate Professor at Seattle University in the Counseling and School Psychology program. She has been a Counselor Educator since 2007. Prior to starting her career in Counselor Education, she was a practicing school counselor and worked with youth and families in the community. Her dissertation research was on the use of Bibliotherapy in counselor supervision. She developed a model, The Graham Model of Bibliosupervision, to use with developing counselors. Dr. Graham used bibliotherapy in her practice as a school and youth counselor and continues to use it as a faculty. She has written and published several articles on the use of bibliotherapy in counselor supervision.

 Dr. Elizabeth Kirby

​​Betty Kirby.jpegE​lizabeth Kirby is the Associate Dean of the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) at Central Michigan University. She earned her doctoral degree in educational administration and holds a master's degree in reading. Dr. Kirby has over 20 years of experience in teaching and curriculum design and has held administrative leadership roles in PK-12 public schools, and at various levels in the university. Dr. Kirby believes in mentoring and helping others develop their leadership capacity to enact change and guide school reform. She can be reached at

 Dr. ​Paula McMillen

Paula-ALA-2011-crop.jpegPaula McMillen has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology as well as her master's degree in library science, a combination which suited her well for this collaborative project on bibliotherapy. Her professional experience included over 20 years in various mental health and health care settings. She retired in 2012 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries.

 Betsy A. VanDeusen

vande4ea.jpegBetsy A. VanDeusen is a faculty member in the Teacher Education and Professional Development department at Central Michigan University, teaching undergraduate and graduate literacy courses in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats.  These courses include foundational literacy theory, content area and disciplinary reading, and interdisciplinary instruction. She holds the Marie Berrell Endorsed Professorship in support ongoing literacy education and outreach for the K-12 community. In this capacity, she provides extensive professional development to K-12 educators at all levels, including extensive work with educators to support adolescent literacy and comprehension strategies to ensure all students are able to access, understand, and apply their knowledge learned from an ever-widening and complex variety of texts. Prior to coming to Central, she worked for over 20 years in K-12 public education in Michigan as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, school improvement facilitator, professional developer, and a statewide coordinator for a federally funded reading initiative. Throughout her career, she has worked with schools in high poverty settings and with multilingual and special education populations. The overarching theme in both her experience and research agenda is how change happens in our school communities.


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