Alumni Update: Dr. Dan Li ’14

Dr. Dan Li, originally from China, graduated in 2014 with an M.A. in professional school counseling. She completed her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of Iowa in 2018. She also received an M.A. in linguistics from Hunan University of Technology in 2012 and her undergraduate degree in English from Nanjing University of Information, Science & Technology in 2009 in China.

“I call the professional school counseling program at Appalachian State University my professional home,” exclaimed Li.

“It was Dr. Laurie Williamson (Rie Rie) who introduced me to the school counseling profession and inspired me to become a counselor educator,” she noted. 

Li also expressed her gratitude to Dr. Jill Van Horne, “who empowered [her] in many ways, particularly through culturally sensitive supervision that led [her] to develop a focused area of research in clinical supervision.” 

She also noted the support and encouragement from the faculty, staff, peers, and friends, as well as the course and field opportunities that contributed to a fulfilling experience. 

Research Endeavors and Accolades

Li is an assistant professor of counseling at the University of North Texas (UNT). Her overarching research agenda centers on counselor training, and it covers three lines of inquiry: 

  • relational dynamics of clinical supervision; 
  • minoritized students and faculty in counseling; and 
  • online/remote teaching and learning in counseling. 

As an interdisciplinary scholar, she adopts various research methods to study counseling- and supervision-related phenomena, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. 

These research endeavors led to many indexed, peer-reviewed publications, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Research Grant Award in 2018 and 2020, respectively, the 2021 UNT College of Education Junior Faculty Research Award, and the 2021 UNT Faculty Summer Grant. Recently, she received the ACES 2022 Publication in Counselor Education and Supervision Award that honors a significant publishing effort by an ACES member focusing on the education and supervision of counselors within the last two years.

For Li, receiving this most recent accolade, “inspires me to further extend my research agenda on counselor training, particularly students and faculty with a historically marginalized status or an intersection of minoritized identities in counselor education.”

Her nominator for the award noted the quality of her work, calling Li “a genuine innovator” in her ability to advance the scholarship of counseling supervision. 

Impacting Education in Her Community

Li is making an impact on education in her community. As a student-centered educator, she is dedicated to building an inclusive, multiculturally sensitive, interactional, and thought-provoking learning environment. 

At the doctoral level, she teaches quantitative research in counseling; at the master’s level, she teaches school counseling, counseling theories, and career development. 

Li also actively provides service to the counseling profession. She serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Counseling and Development (the flagship journal for the American Counseling Association), the ACES Teaching Practice Briefs, and the Journal of International Students. 

In addition, she is currently serving as a guest co-editor for the special issue of Qualitative Research on Therapist-Client Interaction in Psychotherapy-Volume II in Frontiers in Psychology.