The Division of Student Affairs announced this week that Jay Darr will serve as the director of the University Counseling Center (UCC), effective Feb. 18. In this role, Darr will provide clinical and administrative leadership and offer his vision and strategic direction for the UCC, which serves a culturally diverse population of more than 28,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Darr will work closely alongside the Wellness Center staff, including Student Health Service and its Office of Health Education and Promotion. He will also serve on several University committees, including the University Senate's benefits and welfare committee's Mental Wellness Task Force.
“Dr. Darr will play a key role in leading the UCC as it continues to support our students’ well-being,” said Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon R. Bonner. “We looked for a transformational leader with an exceptional clinical background who we believed could leverage the immense talent, expertise and experience of our counseling staff and implement strategies to strengthen our already robust UCC services and programs. I look forward to supporting Dr. Darr in his efforts to provide high-quality and timely mental health services to meet the evolving needs of our diverse student population.”
“I am humbled by the opportunity to return home [to Pittsburgh] and serve as director of the University Counseling Center,” said Darr. “I look forward to listening to, being inspired by and collaborating with the Pitt community to enhance student well-being and success.”
Darr joins Pitt after serving most recently as the clinical liaison and coordinator at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he led embedded clinical, career assessments, outreach, psychological testing and psycho-educational services for student athletes. He also has worked in various roles within the health care field, including as a learning specialist, care manager, therapist and counselor. Darr is a veteran, having served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
Darr earned his Ph.D. from Duquesne University’s Executive Counseling and Supervision Education program, with a specialization in crisis management. Additionally, he earned a Master of Science in education in counseling education and supervision, with a concentration in school counseling, at Duquesne. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from West Virginia University, where he studied sociology. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina. In 2018, he was the recipient of the American College Counseling Association (ACCA) Counselor of the Year award.