Meet Jan Gay
ACES Graduate Student Rep
As doctoral candidate at the University of Florida, Jan Gay currently serves as the ACES Graduate Student Representative to the ACES Governing Council. As a busy doctoral student, you might find Jan during her free time knitting, spending time with family or relaxing with her 10-year-old Yorkie—Milo.
Jan got involved in leadership initially at the SACES level when she introduced herself to Dr. Elizabeth Villares at the ACES conference in 2019. They then connected at the SACES meeting and Jan asked how she could get involved and plugged into SACES. Dr. Villares connected her with the SACES graduate student committee and she been involved since that time.
When asked if she had a significant mentor, Jan shared “I have been very fortunate to have a few mentors. One is Dr. Amy Upton who was my advisor at South Alabama where I earned my master’s degree in school counseling. Dr. Upton encouraged me to get my doctorate while I was still a master’s student. We presented together at several conferences and she always took the opportunity to connect me with other school counselor educators. Dr. Upton has continued to support me throughout my doctoral program and has always been a wonderful support throughout my journey.”
“One piece of advice is to just show up and make yourself available. I found that just asking how I could help or where I could serve opened opportunities to get plugged in. The help is always welcomed and there is a fit for everyone who wants to serve.”