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Dr. Michael Sickels is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education program. Having graduated with a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Duquesne, he joined as a faculty member in 2022. Clinically, Dr. Sickels has accumulated experience in behavioral health rehabilitation services (2017-2019) and outpatient therapy (2019-2022), serving a wide array of clients in terms of demographics and diagnoses. Dr. Sickels’ research interests include counselor empathic response, counselor professional identity, and client meaning making processes. 


  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Duquesne University, 2022
  • M.S.Ed., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Duquesne University, 2018
  • B.A., Middle Level Education: English Language Arts and Mathematics, Waynesburg University, 2013

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Q&A with Dr. Sickels

"Having graduated from the Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision program here at Duquesne, I was given a wealth of opportunities to improve my skills in the areas of counseling, teaching and supervision. The fieldwork element of the program proved to be especially helpful, allowing me to engage in ongoing practice and reflection on the above areas across clinical and academic settings. Having such practical experiences allowed my transition into academia to be a rather seamless one, as my academic skillset was already tried, tested and in action. Entering my first year as a permanent faculty at Duquesne, I exercise gratitude for the foundational learning that I stand on, in addition to the continued growth that I experience in the present day."
"The field of counselor education is vast; graduates may choose to apply to any number of universities across the U.S., or perhaps beyond. There is a grand sense of adventure and opportunity in such sentiment. However, I knew in my heart that the Pittsburgh area is my home, and that Duquesne would be an excellent place to stay if they would have me. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do just that, allowing me to join the very faculty that taught and inspired me. I feel a great sense of honor in teaching alongside these former professors turned colleagues, as these same faculty members bore significant influence on my choice to begin a career in counselor education at Duquesne. I knew from my own experience as a student that the professors within the program care for their students and hold themselves to a high standard. In that sense, I knew that staying at Duquesne would translate to joining a quality team that inspired excellence not only in students, but in each other as well."
"Education at Duquesne will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember first stepping foot on the bluff and seeing how campus seemed somehow both within the city of Pittsburgh, and also ensconced in its own sort of world. This reverence of setting has stayed with me as I’ve progressed all the way from the master’s program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to my current faculty work. There’s something about Duquesne that can’t be replicated elsewhere—the history, the culture, the people. Having the opportunity to contribute to the unique fabric of this university is both an honor and a privilege."