Professor Julie Battle named Callaway Professorial Chair

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Julie V. Battle, Ph.D., professor of psychology and chair of the Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling at Brenau University, has been named a Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair.

“Dr. Battle represents the type of professor that the Callaway Professorial Chair is intended to recognize, reward and retain,” Brenau President Anne Skleder said. “Dr. Battle’s recognized excellence in the classroom, her contributions to the local community and her leadership of the Lynn J. Darby School make her highly regarded on and off campus. I’m grateful for her contributions to Brenau and the community and delighted to congratulate Dr. Battle on this prestigious recognition.”

The Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Trust was established in 1968 by the Callaway Foundation Inc. with the purpose of encouraging the enrichment of the academic program of Georgia’s senior colleges, universities and graduate schools by providing funds for the establishment of professorial chairs to help retain and add superior faculty members.

“This is a great honor for me personally, and for Brenau University and the Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling,” Battle said. “Earning this honor is in large part due to the fabulous people with whom I work. Their tireless efforts to make the Darby School the best place for students to achieve academic, professional, and personal fulfillment also contribute to my ability to be successful.”

Battle has been with Brenau since 1999. She was recognized as the 2015 recipient of the Ann Austin Johnston Award, which recognizes Brenau faculty who demonstrate excellence in instruction and serve as a positive role model for colleagues and students. Battle is a licensed psychologist who works with law enforcement and the Department of Family and Children Services in sexual abuse cases. She earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Houston.

Battle’s selection continues to build the prestige and momentum of the Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling, one of Brenau’s premier programs. The school, part of the university’s Ivester College of Health Sciences, is poised to move into a new downtown Gainesville location later this year and add a doctoral degree in Fall 2023.

“The recent financial support from Doug and Kay Ivester to name the Darby School has increased the awareness of our undergraduate program in psychology and our graduate programs in clinical counseling psychology and applied gerontology,” Battle said. “Being named the Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair adds to this momentum and provides further endorsement for the excellence of our programs.”

The Darby School’s growth is driven by a national and statewide gap in mental health services. The employment of counselors in substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health is expected to grow 23% through 2030 with about 41,000 job openings annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Georgia ranks near the bottom nationally in access to mental health, and much of the state is categorized as underserved by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

“The state of Georgia is in dire need of more well trained mental health professionals,” Skleder said. “Brenau is working to address this shortage and is dependent upon highly trained, experienced and motivated faculty like Dr. Battle to do so.”

Battle also is overseeing work on a graduate-level dance/movement therapy certification program and developing a partnership with law enforcement to find the best ways to integrate mental health practitioners into their agencies.

“We are also working to increase community access to mental health services through our Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, and increase educational and training opportunities for adolescents in our community,” Battle said.