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Dr. Richard Schnell Promoted to Distinguished Service Professor

PLATTSBURGH, NY __A faculty member at SUNY Plattsburgh has received a promotion to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Counselor Education.

Dr. Richard Schnell Dr. Richard Schnell of Keeseville, N.Y. was awarded the prestigious rank by the SUNY Board of Trustees. The promotion recognizes those who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation in a chosen field. The Distinguished Service Professorship honors consistently extraordinary service contributions to the community, state or the nation.

Schnell joined the SUNY Plattsburgh State faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1996. In 2000, he was promoted to full professor.

"Dr. Schnell is richly deserving of this promotion. He personifies the criteria in the course of his daily professional and personal life," said SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling. "His commitment as a citizen, teacher and scholar at this institution, the region, state and nationally is exhibited everyday. He is known by colleagues as one who sets high standards for all in serving broad and diverse constituents."

His leadership statewide to develop new licensure standards and regulations for mental health counselors led to the enactment of legislation in 2005 that now requires mental health practitioners to be licensed to practice. His commitment to the mental health profession has also resulted in the College receiving approval from the New York State Education Department for the license-eligible status of a new mental health counseling master's degree program. SUNY Plattsburgh was the first SUNY college to receive this status.

Schnell's galvanizing presence has also worked beyond the boundaries of the College, transforming and vitally enriching local and state counseling resources. In the 1970s and '80s, Schnell founded or co-founded crucial community mental health and human services agencies and programs. In 1970, he founded the Plattsburgh Community Crisis Center, later known as the CEF Helpline. He also formed the Champlain Valley Family Center for Drug Treatment in 1982 and served as its executive and treatment directors. Three years later, he founded the Champlain Valley Teen Institute.

Schnell was the president of the New York Board of Certified Professional Counselors and in 2003 was appointed by the Board of Regents to the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners. Throughout his career and more recently on the State Board, he has effected substantive change to improve the status of mental health counselors in New York State.

In addition to his extensive service in state and regional counseling organizations, Schnell is an active member of such national organizations at American Counseling Association, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development and National Association of Teen Institutes. He has presented at state and national professional conferences and has written more than 150 substance abuse prevention program evaluation reports for 23 states.

In 1999, Schnell was the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes extraordinary professional achievement.
Schnell received his bachelor's and master's degrees from SUNY Plattsburgh, in 1971 and 1972 respectively. He received his master's degree in education and an Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Ph.D. study in social welfare from SUNY Albany.
Schnell joins 12 faculty members from across SUNY who were recently promoted to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Eleven faculty members were promoted to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor.
To be considered for the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, the faculty member's service must exceed his or her job description, extend over multiple years and must involve the application of intellectual skills, drawing from the candidate's scholarly and research interests to issues of public concern.
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 414,000 students in 6,688 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. 
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