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Peggy Kaczmarck to receive Darnall Award

Psychologist Margaret "Peggy" Kaczmarek, who in recent years led New Mexico State University's counseling psychology program to accreditation, will receive the 1999 Dennis Darnall Faculty Achievement Award.


The $2,000 award recognizes outstanding achievements in teaching, research and service at NMSU. Kaczmarek, an associate professor in the counseling and educational psychology department, will be honored at a reception at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, in the conference room of Dove Hall.

Under Kaczmarek's leadership, the College of Education's counseling psychology program received a three-year accreditation in 1995 by the American Psychological Association. In 1998, the doctoral program received a seven-year re-accreditation. It is the only such program in New Mexico accredited by the association. Accreditation is important, Kaczmarek said, because for students to get certain internships and jobs, they must be from accredited programs.

As the program's training director, Kaczmarek developed a clinic to improve the quality of instruction in counselor education. The clinic employs state-of-the-art live supervision training methods. Each year, more than 50 graduate students receive training and more than 250 people receive free counseling at the clinic.

"Dr. Kaczmarek has developed and integrated students' course work, and supervised counseling experiences and research activities, to produce an exemplary counseling psychology program," said Michael Waldo, counseling and educational psychology department head. Waldo noted that Kaczmarek is "first and foremost a teacher." Her students consistently rate her above 4.5 on a 5-point scale.

"Under Dr. Kaczmarek's leadership, we have conducted research that has been presented at local and national conferences," said NMSU doctoral student Tammy Martin-Causey. "She actively mentors students to act in a professional capacity and add to the body of knowledge through rigorous research."

"When I was her student, I found Dr. Kaczmarek to be knowledgeable, informative, and a person who truly encouraged me to go beyond what I thought I could," said Onate High School teacher and NMSU doctoral student Bill Cooke.

Kaczmarek has published 23 articles in academic journals. She has led the College of Education's Research Committee and leads a gender research team in her department. She has chaired the New Mexico Counseling Association's Ethics Committee and is an active member of many professional organizations. A licensed psychologist, Kaczmarek has provided consultation services to the Las Cruces Public Schools and Tresco Inc.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Kaczmarek moved to New Mexico in 1971 and began her teaching career as a substitute teacher in Lordsburg. She earned a master's degree in counseling guidance from NMSU in 1978 and a Ph.D. with a major in counseling psychology and a minor in experimental statistics from NMSU in 1983. She also holds a master's degree in English from Western New Mexico University.

At NMSU she received the College of Education Dean's Service Award twice, the Fort Bliss Credit Union Faculty Service Award and the Patricia Christmore Faculty Teaching Award.

The Darnall Award was established by family and friends of the late Dennis Darnall, who was known for his work as an NMSU teacher, researcher and administrator, and as an entrepreneur and civic leader. In past years, the award has been presented to faculty members Reta Beebe, Ricardo Aguilar-Melantzon, Kevin McIlvoy and Dale Alexander.

Rita A. Popp