Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and Supervision

Dr. Thacker Darrow (she/hers) is a Counselor Educator with a background as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor specializing in grief and LGBTQ+ counseling with youth and college student populations. In the classroom, she utilizes discovery learning and critical theories to develop students' critical consciousness and professional identities. She prioritizes experiential learning that helps students translate research to practice.

Throughout her work, Dr. Thacker Darrow aims the be critical of systemic inequities that shape development and wellbeing. Her research explores this aim in three topic areas: grief theory and counseling, LGBTQ+ persons’ mental health and development, and culturally-informed practices in counselor education and higher education. She regularly merges these interest areas through investigations of non-death loss and grief experiences among minoritized individuals, primarily in educational settings. Specializing in critical qualitative research methods, she strives to uncover systemic interventions that may address both individual and community needs in the face of loss. Her peer-reviewed articles have been published and presented at national, regional, and local levels.

Research and/or Creative Works


Exploring Education for LGBTQ+ Affirming Mental Health Care in Alabama, Spencer Foundation, 2022, Co-PI (PI: Kamden Strunk)

Grieving Traumatic Loss: Exploring the Role and Impact of Cultural Resiliency, Auburn University SERC Faculty Seed Grant, 2021-2022, Co-PI (Co-PI: Jessica Tyler)

LGBQ+ College Students’ Experiences of Ambiguous Loss during Sexual Identity Development, Auburn University Intramural Grants Program: Interdisciplinary Team Research Grant, 2020-2021, Primary Investigator (Co-PI: Antonio Duran)


Thacker, N. E., Duran, A., & *Weise, J. (in press). “You’re not who you thought you were”: Narratives of LGBQ+ college students’ ambiguous loss during sexual identity development. Journal of College Student Development.

Blueford, J. M., Thacker, N. E., & Brott, P. E. (2021). Creating a system of care for early adolescents grieving a death loss. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 7(3), 207-220.

Thacker, N. E., Barrio Minton, C. A., & *Riley, K. B. (2021). Marginalized counselor educators' experiences negotiating identity: A narrative inquiry. Counselor Education & Supervision, 60(2), 94-111.

Thacker, N. E. & Barrio Minton, C. A. (2021). Minoritized counseling professionals’ experiences in counselor education: A review of research. Counselor Education & Supervision, 60(1), 35-50.

Thacker, N. E. (2020). Musical mourning in Manchester: Cultural norms, expectations, and meaning in grief. Death Studies. Advanced Online Publication.

Adams, C. R., & Thacker, N. E. (2020). Systemic perspective of conduct disorder in adolescents. Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling, 10(2), 23-36.

Thacker, N. E. & Duran, A. (2020). Operationalizing intersectionality as a framework in qualitative grief research. Death Studies

Thacker, N. E. & Diambra, J. F. (2019). Parallel process of professional identity development during supervision. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 12(3). Retrieved from

Thacker, N. E. & Gibbons, M. M. (2019). Complicated grief in rural Appalachia: Using feminist theory to reconcile grief. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 41, 297-311.

Wheat, L. S., & Thacker, N. E. (2019). LGBTQ+ loss experiences and the use of meaning reconstruction with clients. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 13, 232-251.

Thacker, N. E. & Blueford, J. M. (2018). Resolving value conflicts with physician-assisted death: A systemic application of the counselor values-based conflict model. The Professional Counselor, 8, 249-261.

Associations and Affiliations

Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, Board Member, May 2021-2024

Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Board Member, August 2020-present

American Counseling Association (ACA), 2014-present

American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA), 2020-present

Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC), 2020-present

Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), 2017-present

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) 2016-present

North Atlantic Region ACES (NARACES), 2022-present

Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), 2016-2022

Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE), 2018-present

Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society 

Iota Delta Sigma Chapter, 2019-present

Nancy Thacker Darrow

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

  • Culturally-informed grief theory and counseling, non-death losses
  • LGBTQ+ mental health and development
  • Social justice and equity in education and counseling
  • Qualitative research and critical methodologies


  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • B.S. in Psychology, Western Carolina University


Office Location:

202 Mann Hall

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