New counseling professor devotes research to veterans transitions, intimate partner violence, LGBTQ issues

AUGUSTA, GA. – In Dr. Meredith Rausch’s mind, her career success just kind of happened.

“It was really a matter of being in the right place and knowing the right people,” she said.

But one look at her curriculum vita and the truth reveals itself: National presentations, regional presentations, articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and work under multi-million dollar grant awards don’t just happen. They require academic rigor and professional enthusiasm.

Rausch joined Augusta University – from the University of Iowa – as a professor in the department of Counselor Education, Leadership and Research this semester. She is currently teaching classes in Couples and Family Counseling, Career Development, and Advanced Multicultural Awareness. She expects to add Crisis Counseling and more to her formidable workload, and looks forward to working on remediation with students in the counseling graduate programs.

“In addition to teaching, I’m really interested in developing programs that address the needs of under-served populations: Veterans, the LGBTQ community and victims of intimate partner violence,” she said. To that end, she has published work like “Contextual career counseling for Transitioning Military Veterans,” “Too smart to fail: Perceptions of Asian-American students’ experiences as honors students” and “Relationship between adverse childhood experiences and lesbian and queer relationships.”

Her interests in intimate partner violence inspired Rausch to found a non-profit organization, SPECS, in 2012 to advocate for the prevention and awareness of intimate partner violence – known colloquially as domestic violence. She currently serves as the vice-president of the organization.

“I developed a national organization to help victims of intimate partner violence to rebuild their emotional resources, and to foster confidence, strength, and solidarity. To create understanding and transformation,” Rausch said.

In addition, Rausch brings a special focus on veterans mental health needs to a town that hosts one of the army’s signature installations, Ft. Gordon. She comes from a family with a rich history of military service. She previously did neuropsychiatric research involving Veterans with traumatic brain injuries and alcohol use disorders, and designed couples workshops to enhance marital relationships for student veterans.

At AU, she’ll spend some of her time working on theories in crisis counseling, to assist military veterans with transition from war zones to home life. A skill set particularly useful here, since AU has been named to Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools list.

Rausch looks forward to the diversity provided through AU. “As a multicultural advocate, I think this is the right place for me to do good work.”

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