Jump to Footer

Nov. 30 Portrait Unveiling set to Honor Dr. Richard Schnell, Latest Distinguished Service Professor

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Dr. Richard Schnell, the latest distinguished service professor at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, will be honored with a portrait unveiling ceremony in the Benjamin F. Feinberg Library on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 4:30 p.m. A reception will follow in the lobby of the library. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Richard Schnell Schnell was awarded the prestigious rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Counselor Education by the SUNY Board of Trustees earlier this year and joins 28 other SUNY Plattsburgh faculty, librarians and professional staff who have previously been promoted to the prominent status. 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 honor. 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 helped lead 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 facilitated 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 important community mental health and human services agencies and programs. In 1970, he founded the Plattsburgh Community Crisis Center, which became known as the CEF Helpline. He also formed the Champlain Valley Family Center in 1982 and served as its executive and treatment directors. Three years later, he founded the Champlain Valley Teen Institute.

Schell served as 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. Recently he was elected Vice-Chairperson of the State Board.

In addition to his extensive service in state and regional counseling organizations, Schnell is an active member of such national organizations as American College for Mental Health Administration, American Association for State Counseling Boards, American Counseling Association, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, 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 monographs.

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 studied for a Ph.D. from SUNY Albany.

Schnell's portrait will be installed in Feinberg Library, next to the portraits of other SUNY distinguished faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh.

-- 30 --

Back to top