Meet Faculty Member Regina Moro, PhD
As a counselor and award-winning educator, Regina Moro, PhD, is passionate about teaching and helping others. While she credits an internet search for launching her into her “helping career,” she attributes the many talented faculty she encountered while earning her advanced degrees for igniting her desire to inspire others to learn how to help other people.
“As an undergraduate studying sociology, I conducted a Google search for ‘what to do with a sociology degree’ and it produced a list of ideas which included “marriage and family therapy,” said Dr. Moro. “The concept resonated with me as a daughter of divorced parents, because I did not have the benefit of having a family therapist in my life. I was excited by the prospect of being a listener and compassionate voice to someone who needed it, no matter what they were going through.”
With a BA in sociology from the University at Albany-SUNY, Dr. Moro went on to earn an MS in Community Counseling at Syracuse University and a PhD in Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. At Syracuse University, Dr. Moro remembers the many outstanding faculty whose teaching inspired her. “I was really captivated by the way I felt when I left class every night,” she said. “I just loved the feeling of being a student and at the time I wondered if I would be good at doing that for other people.” One of her faculty members shared that the reason she pursued teaching was to help people. By training individuals to help others, her reach could be that much broader. The idea resonated with Dr. Moro and, while pursuing her PhD in Charlotte, she credits the many talented educators she encountered for solidifying the idea that she could help more people by training helpers.
After earning her PhD, Dr. Moro became a licensed counselor while securing her first faculty position as an assistant professor at Barry University in Miami, FL. Her clinical passion involves work with crisis and trauma, including a focus on addiction with individuals and families. She has experience working in community mental health, integrated care settings, and private practice.
Dr. Moro believes there is a valuable nexus between counseling and teaching. “I am a stronger clinician because I am an educator, and I’m a stronger educator because I’m a clinician,” she said.
She recalls teaching a course in basic counseling skills which laid the foundation for students who have never thought about how they communicate in an intentional way. At the same time, Dr. Moro was working with a client with whom she was struggling to connect. She remembered the basic principles she was teaching her students. “Just go back to the basics,” she reminded herself. Dr. Moro said it helped her apply her classroom teaching to her clinical work.
After Barry University, Dr. Moro moved on to Boise State University where she became an associate professor of counselor education. During this time, the Idaho Counseling Association honored her with the Idaho Counselor Educator of the Year award.
Now a resident of Bellingham, WA, and an Associate Professor of Counseling at PAU, she has wrapped up her first semester teaching courses in addiction counseling and psychopharmacology. In the spring, she will teach counseling skills and the multicultural counseling course, which is one of the reasons Dr. Moro found PAU so attractive.
“I was really drawn to the university’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Dr. Moro. “It’s not only important , but pivotal to our work as counselors and to counselor education and supervision. I feel that PAU is a unique opportunity to be truly immersed in that world. When we don’t intentionally attend to it, we do a disservice to folks. I see a strong overlap between my specialization in addiction and cultural competence, being able to ensure that all individuals are receiving competent services regardless of their backgrounds is so essential,” she said.
Another aspect of PAU that Dr. Moro finds attractive is the expertise in online counselor education. “It really appealed to me to come to a program that had experts in this field who have been doing it well for a number of years,” said Dr. Moro. She notes there are many programs that are online, but not all of them have the rigor and dedication of the faculty at PAU. “I’m very interested in continuing to learn how to be a better online counselor educator,” she said.
When Regina Moro is not in the classroom or seeing clients, she enjoys being outdoors with her fiancé either mountain biking or paddle boarding. In the winter, she is an avid skier. “I grew up skiing in New York,” says Moro. “But the snow in New York can be very icy. The snow out West is amazing in comparison to back east. I’m waiting for our nearby resort to open so I can start skiing.”