MSU graduate student awarded national counseling fellowship

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Kimberly Mason Peeples (Submitted photo/Photo by Divian Conner)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A doctoral student in Mississippi State’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations is among a select student group receiving major recognition from the National Board for Certified Counselors.

As one of 23 NBCC Minority Fellowship recipients, Kimberly Mason Peeples of Starkville will receive funding and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations.

Peeples is the first MSU student to be recognized by this program since its 2012 inception. Strengthening the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increases the number of professional counselors providing effective, culturally competent services to underserved populations is the program’s primary mission. For more, visit

Originally from Jackson, Peeples holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology, as well as a master’s in counselor education from MSU. Along with pursuing a doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision, she coordinates the university’s departmental counseling training clinic.

Additionally, Peeples recently received the Approved Clinical Supervisor credential and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Her research primarily focuses on microaggressions in the supervisory relationship, a topic she has discussed during presentations at state, national and international conferences. As an acute therapist, she has worked with underserved at-risk youth, primarily African-American children age 5 to 17.

In addition to the level of care and diagnosis differentiation for African-American males, Peeples’ interest in underserved populations includes prison families and adolescent offenders.

“As a counselor, it is my duty to be the change I want to see in our society, specifically in the mental health field,” she said. “Being a counselor means that I not only do therapy, but I advocate for my clients. I always say I am being a voice to the voiceless.”

Peeples said she is thankful for the fellowship, which will provide her with the means to participate in continuing education opportunities. She also is grateful to be able to represent her family and MSU, especially counseling and educational psychology professor Joan Looby.

“Dr. Looby’s support has been a major contributing factor in applying for this fellowship and other opportunities; she sets the bar high for me,” Peeples said. “To represent my university on a national level and be the first fellow from Mississippi State since this program started is indescribable.”

Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, the NBCC is the nation’s premier professional certification board devoted to credentialing counselors who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling. Currently, there are more than 60,000 National Certified Counselors in the U.S. and more than 50 countries.

For more information on MSU’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations, visit

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