Burkard has been an APA member since 1992.
What he does
Burkard chairs the department of counselor education and counseling psychology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, teaching one class per semester and devoting half his time to administration. He also directs Marquette's school counseling program. This year he's president of the American School Counselor Association. "It's an organization that has grown in the last 11 years from about 8,000 members to over 30,000 members," says Burkard. "I don't know of many organizations that have had that type of growth, and I wanted to be part of that."
A roundabout path
Burkard didn't start out wanting to be a psychologist or an academic. After earning a master's degree in education from Penn State in 1983, he began his career as a residence hall manager at New York University and elsewhere. Then he spent a few years training New York real estate agents in what he calls "rapport development skills." He then served as a clinical consultant and educational and vocational specialist at a foster care agency. After earning a counseling psychology doctorate from Fordham University in 1996, he became a staff psychologist at Ball State University. Finding he missed research and writing, he transitioned to academia.
Most of Burkard's research focuses on how racial identity, sexual orientation and other cultural factors influence the supervision process in psychology, from the perspective of both supervisors and supervisees. "There are supervisees as nonresponsive to cultural issues as supervisors," he says. "There's still a lot of bias on both sides." His findings have sensitized him to how he structures his own supervision and classroom discussions. "I'll raise cultural issues and discuss how they might be influencing what students are perceiving or what clients are experiencing," says Burkard, explaining that his research is an outgrowth of his clinical experiences working with African-American and Latino kids in New York City, plus many from Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Eastern Europe, Africa and other far-flung parts of the world.
In the swim
Burkard spends a lot of time at the pool, but doesn't always get wet. Two of his three children swim competitively, and Burkard has become a trained and certified swimming official who helps officiate at meets. Although he swam as a child, he only recently took the plunge again. "It was a challenge from my son," says Burkard. "We're thinking about doing a mini-triathlon together, and if we're going to do that, I have to swim."
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