Samantha Urbanick ’19M, Counseling Program Alum, Receives Gillem-Bartoli Alum Award for Contributions to Social Justice

By Frankie Arnold | February 15, 2024
A headshot of Samantha Urbanick '19M

The Counseling program is honored to announce the 2024 recipient of the Gillem-Bartoli Alum Award for Contributions to Social Justice. This year’s recipient is Samantha Urbanick, MAC, LPC, NCC, who graduated from Arcadia with a Master’s in Counseling in 2019.

Upon graduation, Urbanick worked for three years providing individual and group therapy to clients reentering the community after incarceration. Following this position, she worked for a federally qualified health center providing individual therapy for historically underserved Philadelphia community members. This January, Urbanick launched a private practice, Sunrise Mental Health Therapy, an inclusive, social-justice, liberation-based therapy space. Over the past year she has also been working as an alum member of Arcadia’s student-driven Payments for Placements group, which seeks to find ways to end unpaid internships and practicums. Samantha also serves on the Pennsylvania Counseling Association’s Board as Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee.

Urbanick states that Arcadia gave her the opportunity to grow as a person under the mentorship of Drs. Gillem and Bartoli during her time in the counseling program. She is grateful for the personal and professional advice she was given. After graduation, Urbanick received a job offer to work with formerly incarcerated people reentering after committing violent offenses. Having worked primarily with survivors of domestic violence through internship and practicum, she expressed her hesitation to Dr. Bartoli who encouraged her to “expand [her] empathy.” Urbanick states, “I’m indebted to her for those words, as that job helped shape my liberation/abolition approach to my clients, the therapy field at large, and my personal values.” Urbanick is grateful to them as well as all the professors who taught her during her time at Arcadia. 

The Gillem-Bartoli Alum Award for Contributions to Social Justice was established to honor the work of retired professors, Angela Gillem and Eleonora Bartoli, two activist-scholars who transformed Arcadia’s graduate program in Counseling into a program known for graduating highly skilled, well trained, multiculturally competent counselors.