Meet Counseling Center Director Bud Edwards

Bud Edwards

Bud Edwards

Quinton “Bud” Edwards became director of the University Counseling Center in October. He answered a few questions for Inside Ole Miss to help us get to know him better.

IOM: Tell us a little about your background in counseling.

Edwards: I have a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri (at) Columbia and completed my internship at the University of Iowa’s Counseling Services. I have worked mostly in university counseling centers but have spent some time (working) in a hospital, in mental health centers and in private practice.

IOM: What do you like most about your job?

Edwards: Working directly with students to help them overcome obstacles to their personal and academic success and working with other university staff members to design and implement effective programs and policies to affect positive change in our campus environment.

IOM: Tell us about your vision for the counseling center. What are some of the services you’d like to offer that aren’t currently available?

Edwards: We are working toward becoming an accredited counseling center and are in the process of becoming a more efficient unit, including full implementation of an electronic records system. We hope to provide a high quality of clinical services to the campus within the scope of an outpatient practice model. As our efficiency improves and we are able to add staff, we will expand our psycho-educational outreach program and add a formalized, graduated training program that will include practica, an American Psychological Association accredited pre-doctoral internship and a post-doctoral program. We will work to balance these programs with our EAP work. We have added the Violence Prevention Office to our unit as one step in expanding our educational programming and providing services to our students.

IOM: What are some of the most valuable services you think the counseling center offers?

Edwards: I believe that all of these services are crucial to being better integrated into campus and to helping students, as well as faculty and staff, have a good experience at the university. Clinical services and crisis management are two areas that most people probably associate with our work and these are vital to the function of our unit. Both the psycho-educational programming and the training program will contribute to the university’s educational mission and provide valuable resources to our state population in the form of graduates who are better prepared to meet the demands of the work world in the state and better prepared to address the mental health needs of the state.

IOM: If someone is on the fence about whether they should seek counseling, what are some of the warning signs they should look for to know it’s time to get help?

Edwards: Changes in behavior, either gradual or sudden, can indicate potential difficulties, especially if these changes are connected to declines in overall functioning, mood changes, increase in anxiety or depression symptoms, and/or social withdrawal. Any sign of suicidal or homicidal ideation or psychotic-type symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, among others, need immediate professional intervention.

IOM: What would you say to someone who needs counseling, but is avoiding the issue at hand? Why should they seek help?

Edwards: We all need help at some point in our lives because life can sometimes be hard or complicated, and our normal coping skills may become inadequate. Knowing when, how and to whom to ask for help is an important life skill for anyone and I believe is one of the signs of maturity.

IOM: Tell us about the staff you have there. How many people work for you and what is your overall assessment of your team?

Edwards: We have a total of six full-time professional clinical staff and two full-time support staff. We have one part-time clinical staff person, five part-time graduate students and one part-time undergraduate office worker. The staff care about the students, faculty, staff and administrators here at the university. The professional staff are all licensed and credentialed in their respective fields and bring a variety of approaches to our clinical work. They work hard and tell me they are excited about our future growth.

IOM: Tell us about the counseling center’s hours, services and other information you think may be helpful for the university community to know about what’s available to them.

Edwards: The UCC operates normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5p.m., Monday-Friday when the university is open. We offer an after-hours crisis emergency service and a consultation service to the campus community, in addition to the clinical services, outreach and training programs. There is generally no charge for the services that the students receive and all clinical services are confidential. We are happy to answer questions about any of our services, and our services can be accessed by calling or stopping by the UCC and one of the support staff will help that person get connected with one of our clinical staff. We are located at the corner of All-American Drive and Poole Drive and our number is 662-915-3784. More information is available on our website.

IOM: Tell us about your family.

Edwards: I have a long-time partner who will relocate here as soon as she can find a job. My daughter has graduated college and been married for about two-and-a-half years. My mom and sister live in Mississippi and my brother lives in North Carolina. My in-laws live in the upper Midwest.

IOM: What are your hobbies and interests?

Edwards: I like sports, reading, cooking and eating, animals, traveling with my partner and jigsaw puzzles in the winter.

IOM: Do you have a favorite Ole Miss memory you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be related to your job.

Edwards: I attended the football game in Jackson when Ole Miss beat Notre Dame (in 1977). I still remember the last couple of minutes of the game and how exciting it was to win. Second to that is watching (Ole Miss Rebel quarterback Archie Manning) in the Alabama game the year it was televised at night for the first time (1969). I fully expected the Rebels to walk away with a win that night and was absolutely crushed when that didn’t happen. It is my second favorite because that may have been the best college football game I have ever seen.

IOM: Is there anything else you’d like to say to the faculty and staff of the university?

Edwards: I am from Mississippi and came back home to give back to the university, Oxford and the state. I hope that the campus community will join us as we continue to build a nationally recognized University Counseling Center that benefits the campus and the state. Please contact me if you have feedback that could make our services better. Please contact the University Foundation if you have money that you want to give to help us grow. I believe in the people of Mississippi, in the University of Mississippi and in our students and dedicated faculty, staff and administrators. I am proud to be a Rebel.