Yorkville University recently welcomed two new associate deans to its Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program: Dr. Krista Schultz and Dr. Samantha Wheeler.
Reporting to Dr. Sarah Stewart-Spencer, Dean of Yorkville’s Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, each will serve in slightly different capacities – while Dr. Schultz will concentrate her efforts on student-focused concerns, Dr. Wheeler will focus her attention on faculty-related matters.
“I cannot say enough about how delighted I am to welcome our new Associate Deans to the team. Their clinical and academic expertise bring so much depth to our program,” Dr. Stewart-Spencer said.
“As our program grows, so should our team to support students, faculty and our academic curriculum. (Dr. Schultz and Dr. Wheeler’s) knowledge, skills and delightful personalities will enhance every part of our program.”
Dr. Krista Schultz
As both a registered psychologist and certified teacher in Alberta, Dr. Schultz brings with her to Yorkville experience working in the capacities of teaching, consultation, and assessment with partners and stakeholders in both education and psychology.
“In my professional practice, I focused on individuals with complex needs, diagnosis and assessment, but my favourite part of my practice was working with post-secondary students,” she said, noting that she’s worked in the past as both an academic advisor and practicum facilitator.
“I believe in transparency and the ability to communicate with students, particularly with this new associate dean role.”
In her new position, she said, her focus will be to “examine the student experience and ensure the continued high quality of this very unique Yorkville experience.”
“As this role is newly developed, I will be discovering new ways to give students more representation and a stronger voice,” Dr. Schultz added. “I strive to contribute to this skilled and respected team, and hope that my contribution will strengthen students, faculty and YU as a whole.”
A member of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the National Association of School Psychologists, Dr. Schultz holds degrees including a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Western Ontario, as well as a Master of Science in Educational Psychology, and a Bachelor of Education.
As a passionate supporter of equitable access to education, Dr. Schultz’s research has concentrated on the practises of equity, diversity, and inclusive practice in Canadian school systems. She is a strong advocate for transformative leadership and collaborative practices and believes in a scholar-practitioner approach as a lifelong learner.
She is excited to join Yorkville’s “world-renowned” faculty, with whom she shares a strong belief in student success.
“I hope to build a strong, positive relationship with students and faculty,” she said. “I want to build that sense of belonging at Yorkville University and I’m really excited to be a part of this team.”
Dr. Samantha Wheeler
A licensed clinical psychologist with more than 15 years of experience in the field of higher education, Dr. Wheeler first joined Yorkville University in 2014 and has since served in many different roles, all focused on academic development and student and faculty success.
In her new appointment as associate dean of the MACP program, the Kalamazoo, Michigan native said her focus will be on faculty – namely, continuing to “attract, nurture and retain Yorkville’s world-class instructors.”
“My top priority is faculty…We have some of the most world-class faculty, some of the most-published faculty. They are leaders in their field, who have developed some of the techniques (students) will be using,” she said.
“I want to make sure every student has the best experience – a world-class experience. We teach our faculty the Yorkville University way.”
Prior to her full-time appointment at Yorkville, Dr. Wheeler worked in private practice and served as a director of a therapeutic team. She was also an adjunct faculty member and developed academic curriculum for several different colleges and universities.
“All the roles I’ve had have really taught me the importance and the value of really creating a great faculty team. As we say, wonderful faculty make wonderful experiences for students,” said Dr. Wheeler, herself a graduate of Western Michigan University, where she earned both a Ph.D. in counseling psychology and a Master’s degree in social work.
Dr. Wheeler said what sets Yorkville’s MACP program apart from others is its practical focus, which she “absolutely loves.”
“We certainly think theory is important, but we focus on those practical skills. We teach students to be amazing counsellors, and it’s always wonderful when we have practicum sites and supervisors asking for our students, because they know they’re going to come out of our program with skills far beyond the expected level,” she said.
“My main goal as associate dean is to create the best faculty team, ensuring that students always have that amazing experience, (and that we’re) providing them leadership and mentorship, so that they, in turn, can continue to give back themselves.”