Dr. Megan Clunan, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Services at Montreat College has been nominated for the “Rising Star Award” at the 2019 WomanUp Conference. WomanUp is an initiative sponsored by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce that seeks to develop a strong network of women that encourages, supports, and mentors one other. The Rising Star Award is given to a woman under the age of 35 who has distinguished herself as a leader and role model to other young women.

Dr. Clunan is well- known and beloved on campus. She serves not just as a professor but also as a role model and mentor for many of her students. When reflecting on her campus influence, she says, “Being a professor at Montreat College has helped to further shape my leadership in that it has put me in positions of leadership within the classroom as well as the College overall. Intentionality is a big deal to me, therefore in choosing to lead my students well I am regularly tweaking the skill of such, so I may be intentional about what I teach, how I convey what is taught, and how I encourage the critical thinking of students. Montreat has also afforded me opportunities for leadership outside of the classroom that empower me to share my mind, heart, and voice with the student body, faculty and staff, as well as outside entities.” Dr. Clunan mentors students outside of the classroom, speaks in chapel services, and creates new courses based on student interests. She also served as Director of Quality Enhancement Planning during Montreat’s reaccreditation process.

Dr. Clunan earned her BA in International Affairs from Florida State University and her graduate degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary— a MA in Marriage and Family Counseling, a Master of Theology, and a Ph.D. in Psychology and Counseling. Dr. Clunan is also a licensed professional counselor, a licensed mental health counselor, and a certified supervisor for mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy interns pursuing licensure. She is a co-author with fellow Montreat professor Dr. Noreal Armstrong. Their book, The Case of Harper, Courageous Cultural Conversations in the Counseling Room: Overcoming Complacency With Competence and Confidence, discusses how to counsel clients to remain true to one’s personal identity, while still developing a culturally competent identity in empathetic relationship with others. In addition to her professional interests, Dr. Clunan’s passion is to involve the integration of counseling psychology with Christian theology for the purpose of holistic client care and student education.

For young women who are aspiring to be leaders, Dr. Clunan has two pieces of advice. “Don’t be afraid to serve and show up. Too often the fear is that if one serves they will be seen as less, but I guarantee you, until you serve you will not be able to become great. Service is an example set forth by Christ and is not for the weak-minded. To become great, one must serve.” Secondly, she says “The majority of the battle to break into leadership is won by simply showing up. Show up with your mind, your heart, and your voice. Never underestimate the platform you are given, as there is no platform too small. If you do not speak up who is to say that the next individual will? You matter and what you have to share matters.”