St. Bonaventure University


Branco, Susan F.

Branco, Susan 1 2022

School of Education

Assistant Professor, Counselor Education
Teaches online
  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Virginia Tech, 2015
  • M.A. Ed., Rehabilitation Counseling, The George Washington University, 1997
  • B.A., Human Services, The George Washington University, 1995
  • Post Master's Certificate, Marriage and Family Therapy, Virginia Tech
  • Post Master's Certificate, Clinical Community Counseling, Johns Hopkins University 

Dr. Branco (she/her/ella) is a licensed professional counselor and approved supervisor in Virginia and Maryland. She is a nationally certified counselor (NCC), an approved clinical supervisor (ACS), and board-certified telemental health provider (BC-TMH).

For 14 years she maintained an independent clinical practice specializing in working with adults, children, and families connected to adoption and foster care. In addition, she has professional experience working in community mental health, prenatal care clinics, and with immigrant populations. Currently, Dr. Branco provides telemental health counseling services for adult clients. She utilizes attachment theory, family systems, and trauma informed approaches in her clinical practice.

Dr. Branco previously served in on-ground institutions as a clinical assistant professor overseeing a clinical mental health counseling training clinic, a director of clinical training, a department chair, and most recently served as a clinical assistant professor in an online CACREP-accredited clinical mental health counseling program. Her research interests examine how school and clinical mental health counselors work with persons adopted transracially and clinical supervision practices with BIPOC. 

Dr. Branco is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and served as the Bylaws committee chair and co-vice president of the Native American Concerns group for the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD). She is also a member of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) and the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC).

* denotes empirical article
  • Branco, S. F., Kargess, S., Swann, W., & O’Leary, E. (in press). Moving towards an anti-racist curriculum: Student and counselor educator advocacy. The Journal of Technology in Counselor Education and Supervision. + (with SBU CMHC students)
  • Branco, S. F., Stella, S., & Langkusch, A. (2022). The reclamation of self: Kinship and identity in transnational Colombian adoptee first family reunions. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families. 1-9. *+
  • Meade, N., Branco, S. F., Isaacs, B., White, R., & Hanks, E. (2022). Cultural appropriation, appreciation, and adaption: A rejoinder to “Effects of a Rite of Passage ceremony on veteran’s behavior”. Journal of Counseling and Development, 100 (1), 96-103.
  • Branco, S. F. (2021). Relational-Cultural Theory: A supportive framework for transracial adoptive families. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 30(1), 22-29.
  • Branco, S. F., & Jones, C. T. (2021). Supporting Black, Indigenous, People of Color counselors: Considerations for counselor skills training and practice. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 43(4), 281-300.
  • Branco, S. F. (2021). The Colombian adoption house: A case study. Adoption Quarterly. 24(1), 25-47. *
International Presentations
  • Branco, S. F. (2020, July 30). Trauma informed supervision: Application with mental health counselors. Round Table, International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision.
  • Branco, S. F., & Jones, C. T. (2020, May 14). Substance use disorders and adoption status: Implications for counseling and treatment practices. Plenary Presentation, The Dr. Johnnie H. McLeod Institute on Addiction in collaboration with the International Association of Addiction and Offender Counselors, Charlotte, NC.
National Presentations
  • Branco, S. F., Stella, S., Langkusch, A. S. (2022, March 26). Liberating our ancestors: Adult Colombian adoptee first family reunions. Adoption Initiative, The Evolution of Adoption Practice: Activist and Community Perspectives. Virtual Conference.
  • Branco, S. F., Swann, W., Whoeberry, J., O’Leary, E., Karges, S., & Aamori, N (2022, February 25). Moving Towards an anti-racist curriculum: Student and Counselor Educator Advocacy. Counselor Education Distance Learning (CEDL). Palo Alto University Virtual Conference. +
  • Branco, S. F., & Jones, C. T. (Accepted). Supporting racially and ethnically minoritized counselors: Considerations for counseling skills practice. Association for Counselor Education and Supervision National Conference (ACES). Atlanta, GA.
  • Cristiano-Hernandez, E., & Branco, S. F. (2021, September 23). Addressing higher education and behavioral healthcare disparities among undocumented college students. National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation Bridging the Gap Symposium: Eliminating Mental Health Disparities.
 Invited Presentations
  • Compadrazgo/Comadrazgo Award, Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD), 2022
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC), 2021
  • Excellence in Counselor Education and Supervision, Bridging the Gap Award National Board of National Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCC), 2019
  • Excellence in Multicultural Teaching Award, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2018
  • Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Doctoral Fellow, National Board of Certified Counselors, 2014
  • Virginia Tech Outstanding Counselor Education Student, 2013-2014

My goals for the classroom or workshop experience are to offer an inclusive space and welcoming learning environment for both new and advanced learners. This is achieved by maintaining transparency, authenticity, facilitating respectful discourse, meeting students where they are as learners, and offering various modes to learning.

I enjoy teaching. I am deeply mindful of the diverse and varied backgrounds of the learners in my classroom and am genuine in meaningful self-disclosure to share my salient identities. This diversity invigorates my efforts to continuously develop and refine teaching methods and techniques.

Dr. Branco is finishing work on a secondary content analysis examining Colombian adoption narrative discrepancies. She is also excited to work with other counseling core faculty members on a both a presentation and analysis of the summer residency 2022 data. Dr. Branco looks forward to continuing her research agenda exploring adoptee consciousness development and counselor decolonization practices. 
Dr. Branco is a volunteer with the Arlington Free Clinic where she provides pro bono telemental health services to persons who are uninsured, speak Spanish as their primary language, and identify as immigrants.

Dr. Branco serves as a steering committee member for the Society of Adoptee Professionals of Color in Adoption.  She enjoys spending time with her family, including her pug, Luna, and running outside.

Dr. Susan Branco is a transracial and transnational adoptee from Colombia, South America. She is an advocate for increased adoption related research and training within counselor education and is passionate about improving mental health outcomes for transracially adopted persons.