Community and connection is what I truly love about Lynn University. The ability to develop professional and meaningful relationships with students, faculty and staff.
Ali Cunningham received her PhD in Counselor Education from Florida Atlantic University in 2014. Prior to teaching at Lynn, Cunningham was a visiting assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University and adjunct faculty at Capella University in CACREP accredited programs. She focused on teaching courses for graduate students seeking their professional license or certification in clinical mental health counseling. Before entering academia, Cunningham worked as the assistant director for the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) at FAU.
Throughout her career, Cunningham gained a variety of experiences as a helping and teaching professional, including coordinating a statewide mentoring program for the Office of the Governor, teaching English abroad, coordinating health care services for pregnant women and providing therapy to individuals dealing with substance abuse and eating disorders. After gaining these experiences, she found her clinical passion and professional niche by working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Since 2007 she has worked with the local community helping families, professionals, and the public learn about evidence-based treatment and practices for those with autism. She has worked with families dealing with a range of issues including toilet training, enhancing communication, behavior management, school issues and social skills.
Because of her passion for the field of counseling and those impacted by ASD and other social challenges, Cunningham currently works in part-time private practice providing individual and group counseling services. Cunningham's specialized experience and research is in working with family members of teens and adults affected by ASD to enhance their social relationships, including friendships and romantic relationships.
B.A., Florida State University
M.Ed., Florida Atlantic University
Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University
Ali Cunningham believes success in the learning environment is achieved when students are actively engaged and excited about learning and applying the knowledge and skills they've learned to their lives. When students can learn how to apply theories and techniques effectively outside of the learning environment she considers that a success. Cunningham treats students as important contributors to the subject at hand and as experts of their own experiences which she incorporates into instruction. By respectfully honoring her student' perspectives, she and her students can co-construct a learning environment that benefits students individually and collectively. Cunningham engages students through Socratic questioning, large and small group discussions and the use of humor as effective teaching tools. Ultimately, she believes that the personal interactions and professional relationships built in the classroom directly contribute to the student' understanding of the concepts and their application to the real world.
Social & Cultural Foundations
Supervision of Practicum and Internship
Areas of scholarship
- Measurement and assessment of treatment outcomes
- Social skills treatment
- Training mental health professionals on evidence-based practice
Awards and honors
Graduate & Professional Student Association Research Award, 2014 & 2016