St. Bonaventure University

School of Education Faculty

Branco, Susan F.

St. Bonaventure University Assistant Professor of Counseling Susan Branco

School of Education

Assistant Professor
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.

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 serves 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 International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC).

* denotes empirical article
  • Branco, S. F. (2021). The Colombian adoption house: A case study. Adoption Quarterly. 24(1), 25-47. *
  • Branco, S. F., & Davis, M. (2020). The Minority Fellowship Program: Promoting representation within counselor education and supervision. The Professional Counselor, 10(4), 603-614. doi:10.15241/sfb.10.4.603*
  • Branco, S. F., & Bayne, H. B. (2020). Carrying the burden: Counselors of Color experiences with client microaggressions in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 98(3), 272-282.*
  • Bayne, H. B., & Branco, S. F. (2018). A phenomenological inquiry into counselor of Color broaching experiences. Journal of Counseling & Development, 96(1), 75-85. doi: 10.1002/jcad.12179*
  • Branco, S. F., & Brott, P. E. (2017). The elementary school counselor’s voice in counseling transracially adopted students. Professional School Counseling, 21(1), 26-36. doi: 10.5330/1096-2409-21.1.26*

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. (2021, May 14). Illinois Association for Multicultural Counseling Virtual Spring Conference. Beyond ‘This is Us’: Counseling transracially adopted persons.
  • Branco, S. F., & Jones, C. T. (2021, March 7). Law and Ethics in Counseling Virtual Conference 2021 (6th Annual). Supporting counselors of Color utilizing ethical decision-making models. University of Holy Cross, New Orleans.
  • Branco, S. F. (2019, October 19). The Latinx adoptee diaspora: Addressing unique counseling needs. National Latinx Psychological Conference, Miami, FL.
Invited Presentations
  • Branco, S. F. (2021, May 19). Above and beyond allyship: Advocacy in action. The counselor’s role in addressing systemic-racism-related trauma. International Association for Counselling and the American Mental Health Counselors Association. Live webinar.
  • Baden, A., Branco, S. F., Brew, L., Chen-Hayes, S., Kenney, M., & Mallott, K. (2021, March 25). Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population: Then, Now, and Beyond. Multicultural Counseling and Development Multiracial, Multiethnic, and Transracial Adoptee Concerns Group. Live webinar.
  • 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 excited to be collaborating with a colleague, Dr. Connie T. Jones, of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, on an Open Resource book proposal supported by the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development titled, Cultural Responsive Skills Training Manual: Microcounseling Interventions. In addition, she is in the process of disseminating the findings of two research studies: First Family Reunion Experiences of Adult Colombian Adoptees and A Directive Content Analysis of Counselor and Client Interactions on Reality TV.
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.