Penfield College Professor Appointed to Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Planning Board by Fulton County Commission


ATLANTA – Dr. Caroline Brackette, associate professor of counseling in Mercer University's Penfield College, was appointed to the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Planning Board by a unanimous vote of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners at its Nov. 4 meeting.

Dr. Brackette was nominated by Fulton County Chairman John Eaves to serve on the board, which provides and facilitates coordinated and comprehensive planning in conformity with standards and procedures established by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD).

“I am so proud of Dr. Brackette's appointment, which is yet another example of the commitment of Penfield faculty and students to contribute in significant ways to their professions and to the communities in which they live and work,” said Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of the College.

Dr. Brackette will serve Region 3, which includes Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale counties. The Regional Planning Board is a volunteer board composed of citizens from each of these six counties who identify community needs and gaps in the current service system and make formal recommendations to DBHDD. The board also produces an annual plan for the region.

DBHDD operates a community-based system in which regional offices oversee contracts and monitor the performance of private providers who serve people living with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges. Each regional office provides planning for and coordination of its provider network, offers technical assistance and serves as the point of contact for consumers who have questions about accessing services.

“I am honored by the nomination from Chairman Eaves and the full support of my nomination by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve on the planning board. I look forward to collaborating with other board members, the community and service provides in the region,” said Dr. Brackette.

Dr. Brackette is a licensed professional counselor and licensed/certified school counselor in the states of Georgia and Ohio. She has experience as an administrator in higher education, a clinical mental health therapist and a high school counselor. She is also a disaster mental health counselor volunteer and counselor officer on call for the American Red Cross.

Dr. Brackette was the recipient of Penfield College's 2010-2011 Excellence in Teaching Award. Her teaching and research interests include scholarship of teaching and learning, counseling theories, skills and techniques, advocacy and professional development, community collaboration and engagement, college students with psychiatric disabilities, intercultural competence, and disaster mental health counseling.

She earned two bachelor's degrees, a Master of Education and a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo.

About Penfield College of Mercer University

Penfield College of Mercer University, established as the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, is committed to serving non-traditional learners and currently enrolls more than 1,300 students. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to working adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Educational programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary programs that integrate theory and practice. The College offers general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer. Another initiative called the Bridge program transitions students enrolled in Mercer's English Language Institute and other international students to undergraduate programs throughout the University. Areas of study include organizational leadership, counseling, school counseling, human services, human resources, informatics, public safety leadership, nursing preparation, liberal studies, psychology and communication. Programs are offered on Mercer's campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as multiple regional academic centers in Douglas County, Henry County and Newnan, and online. To learn more, visit