Counselor Education Department hires new administrator
Author: Jillian Daley
Posted: November 12, 2019
Jillian McMahon joined the Portland State University College of Education as the new department administrator in the Department of Counselor Education on Thursday, November 7.

McMahon replaced Tammy Klupar in that role in the department, where students earn master’s degrees in: school counselingclinical mental health counselingmarriage, couple, and family counseling; and clinical rehabilitation counseling. Like Klupar, McMahon supports the department in areas including operations, budgeting, fiscal monitoring, course scheduling/enrollment management, and helping faculty.

“I feel excited about landing this role in the COE!” McMahon said. “This position affords me the opportunity to learn new skills and gain a better understanding of academic affairs. I am also excited to be working within the Counselor Education program, specifically, as I hope to one day become a counselor myself.”

Prior to joining the COE, McMahon spent two years in the PSU Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) Testing Services as a testing coordinator. While at SHAC, she monitored the administration of accommodated exams (available to eligible students registered with the PSU Disability Resource Center) and supervised seven student employees. McMahon advanced to the role of testing coordinator after committing a year to SHAC as an office specialist. Her other work experience includes roles at Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East through an AmeriCorps appointment and New Avenues for Youth.

“During my time with SHAC, I was mostly providing student services, so it is a bit of a change for me to not interact with students all the time,” McMahon said. “I find, though, that the skills I’ve learned there—juggling multiple priorities, providing support/information to faculty and students, as well as having to be organized and detail-oriented—are very transferable to my role here” in the Counselor Education Department.

Counselor Education Department Chair Joel Lane said that he is thrilled to have McMahon help his department continue to achieve its mission of providing high-quality education to master’s-level graduate students, which leads to eligibility for certification and licensure as counselors.

“Jillian comes to us with experience as a PSU employee through her prior role as testing coordinator at SHAC Testing Services,” Lane said. “She is resourceful in finding information and answers to questions, which is a tremendously valuable quality to possess as a department administrator.”

In addition to her strong work history, she is an active volunteer. McMahon said her interest in community service ignited when she volunteered at a local Habitat for Humanity chapter. That spurred her to pursue other volunteer opportunities at organizations including Bike & Build and AmeriCorps. For one Bike & Build fundraiser, McMahon cycled 4,000 miles in three months from Jacksonville, Fla. to Monterey, Calif., and she raised $4,000 for affordable housing nonprofits.

While her work started in affordable housing and homelessness, it more recently shifted to areas in trauma, grief, and loss, as she plans to pursue a clinical social work degree. McMahon has served for the past year at The Dougy Center as a volunteer facilitator, which involves assisting with peer grief support groups for children ages 4 to 8.

“I think this helps in my role at the COE, as I am still working in a service capacity and assisting programs/faculty that are also providing services within these areas,” McMahon said.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public policy, with a social and economic justice minor from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

“Jillian also has demonstrated an eagerness for feedback and continued learning,” Lane said. “I think she is a wonderful addition to the COE community.”


Top photo: Jillian McMahon is the new department administrator for the Department of Counselor Education.

Bottom photo: Counselor Education Department Chair Joel Lane welcomes McMahon.

To share stories about the College of Education, email Jillian Daley.