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IMPACT Grant Candidate Spotlight

The School Counseling Department received a Mental Health Professional Services grant award in the amount of 4.8 million dollars in April 2023. This grant aims to train school counselors to work in Tennessee public schools.

Read about a new candidate for this grant each month. Discover what motivates them to enter this field and the passion they bring to become a licensed school counselor.

Stefanie Sudut
“I chose school counseling because I wanted to be an advocate for my students while helping them discover their own path and purpose. I felt a calling to become a school counselor for several years, but it was not possible until the Impact grant.” — Stefanie Sudut

Stefanie Sudut works at McGavock High School in Nashville, TN as a Special Education English Inclusion Teacher. Stefanie received her Bachelor of Science from MTSU, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Psychology and English. She also received her Master's of Arts in Teaching from Belmont University.

Stefanie said the school counseling program has been such a blessing. She learned of the grant only two days before applications were due, and she cried tears of joy when the phone call came in telling her she was accepted into the program.

The background that Stefanie brings as a special education teacher combined with her Lipscomb school counseling education uniquely provides her the opportunity to address the diverse mental health needs of her students. Her teaching and case management experiences have provided insights into supporting students with varying needs. The graduate program is equipping her with specialized skills that also aid in mental health support for her school. This dual perspective allows Stefanie the ability to create a nurturing environment that fosters both academic and social-emotional growth for every student.

In her free time, Stefanie enjoys spending time with her family and advocating for the needs of her daughter, Madison. Madison is 10 years old and has a non-verbal form of Autism. She is the light of Stefanie’s life and what gives her purpose. Stefanie also enjoys attending concerts, traveling, cooking, working out, singing, and reading novels.