Julianne Agonis - Counselor Education
Called to Help Others
Julianne Agonis has always been interested in raising awareness of and advocating for people with disease and disabilities. Her younger sister was diagnosed as a juvenile diabetic at the age of six, and diabetes has been an integral part of her life ever since. Julianne has invested much time and effort into understanding the disease fully and the ways in which it impacts not just the person with the illness but also those around them. Her interest in building awareness about disease was not limited to juvenile diabetes. During high school, Julianne and her family established a non-profit organization to fundraise for other non-profits seeking to raise awareness about various types of diseases. "I spent a lot of my high school career advocating for stem cell research funding in the hopes of finding a cure" said Julianne.
While an undergraduate at Flagler College, Julianne felt called to be in a "helping" profession. A master's program in rehabilitation counseling attracted her to the University of North Florida. After graduation, she started working for a private disability management firm called Momentum Health Care, Inc. Her position provided Julianne with the opportunity "to serve and find work for people with various disabilities and counsel returning war veterans," but she quickly realized she missed the academic world. From business visits to Boca Raton, Julianne had "noticed FAU's beautiful campus" and decided to apply to graduate school. She was glad to learn that FAU had a rehabilitation counseling program and receiving the Presidential Fellowship sealed her decision to attend FAU. Julianne is here at FAU to pursue a Ph.D. in Counseling through the Department of Counselor Education, one of FAU's newer doctoral programs. While Julianne is working on her doctorate, she hopes to become an active part of FAU's rehabilitation counseling program. "There is much demand for rehabilitation counselors, especially with the returning war veterans and the aging baby boomer population. It is a field not many people know about, but one that is perfect for those looking to help others in some capacity."
So far, Julianne is extremely pleased with her choice of FAU for graduate school. "I am very thankful to the College of Education for the many great opportunities since my arrival in August." Next semester, Julianne will be helping Dr. Johnson (Chair of the Department of Counselor Education) teach an online course in career development and has teamed up with another FAU professor to work on a publication that focuses on veterans and labor market trends. Of particular interest to Julianne is exploring the onset of disability and the long-term implications regarding employment. She asks, "For example, how does the way in which one acquires a disability (i.e. through a sudden onset or a delay in receiving treatment) relate to their ability to maintain employment?"
As Julianne pursues her doctorate, she hopes to spread knowledge about the importance of rehabilitation counselors through teaching, attending conferences and research. Her ongoing project work in the forensic rehabilitation field with Momentum Health Care, Inc. gives her another opportunity to highlight the significance of her chosen field. Because of her strong interest in diabetes and veterans affairs, she would also like to work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Veterans Administration during her time in graduate school.
After graduation, Julianne wants to serve the population of individuals with disabilities on every level, especially by assisting them with re-employment efforts. Through her work in the field of private rehabilitation, she hopes to continue promoting the importance of counselor education, perhaps by teaching college courses.