The arrival on campus of Dr. Cleveland D. Rea, Jr., more familiarly known
as Sandy, has given AUB's Student Counseling Center a boost. The Center,
open to students Monday through Friday, now consists of three counselors:
full-timers Dr. Maryam Ghandour and Director Sandy Rea, plus part-timer
Dr. Brigitte Khoury. The addition of Sandy Rea allows the Center to include
more personal counseling in addition to the placement and career guidance
services already on offer.
Sandy Rea is well-suited to the job. He has taught for two years in the
Middle East, one year at International College (1\969-70) and one year
at the Friends Girls School in Ramallah on the West Bank (1983-84). He
has served as a professional school psychologist for seven years and as
a therapist for eight years, and is qualified as a counselor/therapist
for all ages. His areas of expertise include trauma recovery/post-traumatic
stress disorder and cognitive/behavioral psychotherapy.
After taking his BA in art history and mathematics from Princeton
University, Rea completed his Med at Temple University, while serving
as psychologist in a number of Philadelphia schools and as instructor
in education at the university. In 1995 he earned his PhD in school psychology
Before coming to Lebanon he served from 1992 to 2000 at the Drenk
Mental Health Center in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, where, as staff therapist,
he worked extensively in individual, family, and group psychotherapy for
children, adolescents, and adults.
Assessing the limited availability of psychological counseling
on campus in the past, Dr. Rea hopes to boost student confidence in the
service and raise awareness of its benefits. Flyers will be sent to students
and faculty members, and information about the Personal Counseling Unit
will be posted in the dorms and in e-mail messages.
The Personal Counseling Unit offers its services to both individuals
and groups, working in combination with the Placement and Career Units.
According to a recent flyer from the Center, counseling can "help
students with a variety of personal, social, or other problems that have
the potential for interfering with students' educational or personal development."
Counseling can include "study skills, stress management, and workshops
on various topics. Clinical services are available to assist the student
in addressing personal or interpersonal problems [such] as family issues,
conflict resolution, self-esteem, crisis intervention or other more serious
Dr. Rea believes that the expanded Psychological Counseling Unit
will help students feel comfortable with this service, which is readily
available on Western campuses. He looks forward to persuading AUB students
to overcome their general wariness of counseling and their anxieties about
confidentiality. He noted that confidentiality is given maximum attention
in the Unit; files are made available to parents and professors only at
the express wish of the student.
Rea is also aware that some students may be uneasy with a male,
non-Arabic speaking American, but, he noted, other counselors are available.
Despite the inherent difficulties, Rea is confident that the expanded
Psychological Counseling Unit will add significantly to Student Counseling
Rea is more than content with his role as counselor at AUB. For
all his life he has been surrounded by the atmosphere of AUB, Beirut,
and Lebanon. Members of his family have for a long time played important
roles in the history of the University. His grandmother was the sister
of Bayard Dodge, AUB's third president, who served in that position for
a quarter of a century, from 1923 to 1948. Rea's father visited Lebanon
in the early 1930s, and his uncle taught at IC in 1934-35.
Rea's childhood was full of tales of family members in Lebanon:
Bayard, Ada, Mary and David Stuart Dodge. While a student at Princeton
in the late 1960s, Rea recalled, he used to spend many happy hours at
the home of Uncle Bayard (then retired as AUB president) and Aunt Mary
(of Mary Dodge Hall fame), fascinated by all the artifacts from Lebanon:
trays, coffee ewers, paintings, and rugs, and by stories of the University.
"Sometimes," Rea said, with obvious emotion, "I am quite
overwhelmed by what my family has contributed to this University and by
now being able to be a part of it through my professional occupation."
Rea, his wife, Stephanie Judson, a consultant in the Development
Office, and his fourteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth enjoy the sea and
mountain view from their Hariri Building apartment. An older daughter,
Julia, has just begun her freshman year at Bates College in Maine.
Rea takes advantage of the opportunities for exercising on the
Corniche and on the Green Field, and for travel. Their appetites whetted
by visits to the Jeita Grotto, Byblos, Baalbeck, Sidon, and Beiteddine
on a visit to AUB last spring, the Reas look forward to more travel in
both Lebanon and the region. Other leisure activities? Dr. Rea, a sports
enthusiast, is passionate about American baseball. He also took his whole
family to Lebanon's second game in the Asian Cup competition this October.