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Matthew Fullen

Matthew Fullen, Assistant Professor

Matthew Fullen
Matthew Fullen, Assistant Professor and Program Leader, Counselor Education

School of Education
1750 Kraft Drive, Suite 2000
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8652 |  mfullen@vt.edu

Matthew Fullen is an assistant professor of Counselor Education at Virginia Tech, as well as an affiliate faculty for the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology.  He has worked with older adults since 2005, first in the affordable senior housing industry, and then as a licensed professional clinical counselor.  He has worked as a mental health professional in diverse settings, including long-term care, adult day, and private practice contexts.  Fullen is one of those most active gerontology scholars within the counseling profession, and his work has been funded by federal, private non-profit, and university-based grants.  Dr. Fullen's research agenda focuses on three distinct areas: 1) Developing and implementing counseling interventions that focus on wellness and resilience in older adulthood, 2) Expanding older adults' access to mental health services, specifically through expansion of Medicare-eligible services, and 3) Preventing suicide through community-based prevention frameworks.  He has contributed to more than 90 peer-reviewed or invited conference presentations and published numerous scholarly publications in academic journals across the counseling and gerontology disciplines.  

  • Counseling Older Adults
  • Medicare Reimbursement for Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Wellness Interventions in Older Adulthood
  • Suicide Prevention Across the Life Span
  • Advocacy in the Counseling Profession
  • PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, The Ohio State University, 2016
  • MDiv, Ashland Theological Seminary, 2013
  • MA in Clinical Counseling, Ashland Theological Seminary, 2010
  • BA in Psychology, Religion, & Political Science, Northwestern University, 2005
  • Co-Chair, American Counseling Association Public Policy & Legislation Committee
  • Board Member, Association for Adult Development and Aging
  • Editorial Boards / Activities
    • Adultspan Journal, Official Reviewer
    • Adultspan Journal, Co-Editor, Special Issue: At the Intersections: Equity, Advocacy, and Activis Across the Life Span
    • Journal of Counseling & Development, Editorial Review Board Member
    • Aging & Mental Health, Ad-hoc Reviewer
    • International Journal of Aging & Human Development, Ad-hoc Reviewer
    • The Reading Teacher. Description: A journal of the International Reading Association. Editorial / Curatorial Board Member
  • 2021 American Counseling Association (ACA) Research Award. Award honors and recognizes high-quality, original resarch conducted by an ACA member.
  • 2021 Outstanding Adultspan Journal Article Award.
  • 2020 Outstanding Research Award by the Association for Adult Development and Aging, a division of the American Counseling Association. 
  • 2020 Promising Practice Award by the Mather Institute for Virginia Tech-Warm Hearth Village partnership
  • 2019 Awarded Innovative Research on Aging Award (Bronze Award) by Mather Lifeways Institute on Aging.
  • 2018 Awarded Innovative Research on Aging Award (Bronze Award) by Mather Lifeways Institute on Aging.
  • 2018 Awarded the Advocacy in Adult Development and Aging Award by the Association for Adult Development and Aging, a division of the American Counseling Association.
  • 2016 Awarded the Outstanding Adultspan Journal Article Award by the Association for Adult Development and Aging, a division of the American Counseling Association.

Journal Articles

*Westcott, J. B., Fullen, M.C., & *Jordan, J. (In press). An analysis of counselor advocacy to advance access to Medicare-funded services during the opioid epidemic. Journal of Counseling & Development.

Fullen, M.C., Dolbin-MacNab, M., Wiley, J.D., Brossoie, N., & Lawson, G. (2022). The impact of excluded providers on Medicare beneficiaries’ mental health care. Journal of Counseling & Development, 100(2), 123-133.

Fullen, M.C., Shannonhouse, L.R., *Mize, M., & Miskis, C. (2020). Mental health distress in homebound older adults: Importance of the Aging Network. Aging & Mental Health, 25(8), 1580-1584. 

Fullen, M.C., Brossoie, N., Dolbin-MacNab, M.L., Lawson, G., & *Wiley, J.D. (2020). The impact of the Medicare mental health coverage gap on rural mental health care access. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 44(4), 243-251. 

Fullen, M.C., Lawson, G., & Sharma, J. (in press).  Medicare reimbursement for counselors: The role of counselor education in promoting advocacy engagement. Counselor Education and Supervision.

Fullen, M.C., Lawson, G., & Sharma, J. (2020).  Analyzing the impact of the Medicare coverage gap on counseling professionals:  Results of a national study.  Journal of Counseling and Development, 98(2), 207-219. 

Shannonhouse, L.R., Erford, B., Gibson, D., O’Hara, C., & Fullen, M.C. (in press). Psychometric synthesis and review of the Five Factor Wellness Inventory. Journal of Counseling and Development.

Fullen, M.C., Gorby, S., Chan, C., Dobmeier, R., & Jordan, J. (2019).  The current state of gerontological counseling research: A 26-year content analysis.  Journal of Counseling and Development, 97 (3).

Fullen, M.C. (2019). Defining wellness in older adulthood: Toward a comprehensive framework.  Journal of Counseling and Development, 97 (1), 62-74.

Fullen, M.C., Granello, D.H., Richardson, V.E., & Granello, P.F. (2018). Using wellness and resilience to predict age perception in older adulthood.  Journal of Counseling and Development, 96 (3), 424-435.

Fullen, M.C., Richardson, V.E., & Granello, D.H. (2018).  Comparing successful aging, resilience, and holistic wellness as predictors of the good life.  Educational Gerontology, 44(7), 459-468.

Fullen, M.C. (2018). Ageism and the counseling profession: Causes, consequences, and methods for counteraction.  The Professional Counselor, 8(2), 104-114.

Fullen, M.C., & Granello, D.H. (2018). Holistic wellness in older adulthood: Group differences based on age and mental health.  Journal of Holistic Nursing, 36(4), 395-407.

Fullen, M.C., & Gorby, S.R. (2016). Reframing resilience: Pilot evaluation of a program to promote resilience in marginalized older adults.  Educational Gerontology, 42 (9), 660-671

Fullen, M.C. (2016). Counseling for wellness with older adults. Adultspan Journal, 15 (2), 109-123.

Fullen, M.C. (2016). Mobilizing the community to prevent older adult suicide. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 24 (3), 155-169.

Fullen, M.C. (2016). Medicare advocacy for the counselor-advocate.  Adultspan Journal, 15 (1), 3-12. 


  • Equipping the aging network to address social isolation, loneliness, and elevated suicide risk among vulnerable older adults during COVID-19 and beyond: A partially nested randomized controlled trial. Funded by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Administration for Community Living). Shannonhouse, L.R., Fullen, M.C., Mize, M.C. Amount: $1,380,249 2020 (Funded 2020). 
  • Double blind randomized control trial on the effect of evidence-based suicide intervention training on the home-delivered and congregate nutrition program through the Atlanta Regional Commission. Funded by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Administration for Community Living). Shannonhouse, L.R., Mize, M.C., & Fullen, M.C.  Amount: $699,362
  • Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Group Wellness Coaching Pilot Program in Life Plan Communities, Mathers Institute, $100,000 (Active: 2020 - 2021), Principal Investigators: Fullen Matthew C (100%)
  • Equipping the aging network to address social isolation, loneliness, and elevated suicide risk among vulnerable older adults during COVID-19 and beyond: A partially nested randomized controlled trial. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Administration for Community Living). Shannonhouse, L.R., Fullen, M.C., & Mize, M.C. (Co-PIs) (33.3% participation) Amount: $1,317,499 Role: Co-Principal Investigator (PI (100% participation) on $232,618 sub-award) (Active: 2020-present).
  • Equipping the aging network to address social isolation, loneliness, and elevated suicide risk among vulnerable older adults during COVID-19 and beyond: A partially nested randomized controlled trial. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Administration for Community Living). Shannonhouse, L.R., Fullen, M.C., & Mize, M.C. (Co-PIs) (33.3% participation) Amount: $97,989 Role: Co-Principal Investigator (PI (100% participation) on $232,618 sub-award) (Active: 2021-2022).
  • 2020 (Funded, 1.25 years, 2020-21). Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Wellness Coaching Pilot Program in Life Plan Communities. The Mather Institute. Fullen, M.C., & Clarke, P.B. (Co-PIs) (50% participation) Amount: $100,000 Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PI) 
  • [*Ongoing execution of 2018-2020.] Double blind randomized control trial on the effect of evidence-based suicide intervention training on the home-delivered and congregate nutrition program through the Atlanta Regional Commission. Funded by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Administration for Community Living). Shannonhouse, L.R., Fullen, M.C., & Mize, M.C. Amount: $699,362 Role: Co-Investigator (PI on $75,932 Virginia Tech sub-award)]
  • 2019.  Identifying Next Practices for Older Adult Engagement in Wellness Practices.  Funded by Mather Lifeways.  Amount: $49,996, Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PI)
  • 2019.  Investigating the impact of the Medicare mental health coverage gap on rural communities.  Funded by Virginia Tech Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment.
  • Amount: $26,500, Role: Principal Investigator
  • 2018.  Double blind randomized control trial on the effect of evidence-based suicide intervention training on the home-delivered and congregate nutrition program through the Atlanta Regional Commission.  Funded by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Administration for Community Living). Amount: $699,362, Role: Co-Investigator

Awards

  • 2020 President’s Service Award by the Association for Adult Development and Aging, a division of the American Counseling Association
  • 2020 Carl D. Perkins Government Relations Award by American Counseling Association

Outreach / Achievements

  1. 2020 What Does Aging Well Mean to You? A Holistic Approach to Meaning-Making for LGBTQ+ Adults * Community linked cultural competency initiative, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (online), December 16 (Featured Speaker, 1.5 hours)  
  2. 2020 The Unique Challenges of Social Isolation during the Holidays * Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging (online), October 27 (Featured Speaker, 1 hour)  
  3. 2020 What’s New (During a Pandemic) in Nutrition Innovations * NANASP (online), October 1 (Featured Panelist, 1 hour)  
  4. 2020 Community-Based Strategies for Suicide Prevention Among Older Adults * National Council on Aging (online), September 28 (Featured Panelist, 1.5 hours)  
  5. 2020 Promoting Mental Health & Wellness for LGBTQ+ Adults: Evidence-Based Perspectives on Aging Well * Community linked cultural competency initiative, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (online), August 27 (Featured Speaker, 1.5 hours)  
  6. 2020 The Impact of the Medicare Coverage Gap on Clinical Mental Health Counselors * American Mental Health Counselors Association continuing education webinar, July 23 (Featured speaker, 1 hour)  
  7. 2020 Medicare Research o 2020 Virtual Town Hall, Presented by American Counseling Association Government Affairs and Public Policy Department (Featured Speaker)  
  8. 2020 Medicare Reimbursement for Counselors: Advocacy Updates & Policy Implications * Association for Adult Development and Aging continuing education webinar, April 21 (Featured speaker, 1 hour)  
  9. 2020 Practical Strategies for Culturally Responsive Counseling with Diverse Older Adults * Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development continuing education webinar, April 2 (Featured speaker with Christian Chan, 1.5 hours)   
  10. 2020 Advocacy 101 * Virginia Caregivers Coalition, January 16 (Panelist, 1 hour)

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