Dr. Laurie Bonjo
Laurie Bonjo, Ph.D., NCC, Certified School Counselor
Phone: (203) 392-9955
Office: Davis 115I
Dr. Laurie Bonjo, who is affectionately referred to simply as "Bonjo" by many students, grew up in a working-class household in southern New Jersey. Dr. Bonjo attended the New Jersey School of the Arts for four years, majoring in creative writing and drama, as well as a traditional high school, where she completed an advanced placement curriculum. A first-generation college student born to teenage parents, Dr. Bonjo then completed a bachelor's degree at the University of Pennsylvania in English with a concentration in creative writing.
After graduating from UPenn, Dr. Bonjo traveled a long and winding road to become a counselor educator. Bonjo spent many years teaching yoga at a variety of venues and for a diverse range of individuals and groups, including but not limited to: Penn State University (for credit and non-credit courses, as well as for the Penn State football team, the National Women's Rugby Team, and the National Women's Field Hockey Team) the Second Mile Leadership Institute, several fitness centers, The Delta Program at State College Area High School, and several other educational, athletic, professional, artistic, and farming communities. Later, while owning and operating a community center in central Pennsylvania, Dr. Bonjo attended the Pennsylvania State University for school counseling and mental health counseling. At Penn State, Dr. Bonjo served as an LGBTQQIA+ mentor specializing in work with bisexual and nonbinary mentees. Since then, Dr. Bonjo has occupied a range of applied clinical positions and has worked primarily with underrepresented groups, including veterans and military service members, individuals re-entering post-incarceration, and members of the LGBTQQIA+ community (focusing on nonmonosexual-identified clients, as well as those who identify as trans/genderqueer/nonbinary, and also clients who identify as intersex), undergraduate and graduate students, as well as working as a school counselor with children, adolescents and families.
As a single parent, Dr. Bonjo then traveled to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia to complete a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision. At ODU, Dr. Bonjo taught undergraduate human services courses, worked as a teaching assistant to Dr. Garrett McAuliffe, served as the on-site CACREP accreditation specialist for ODU and as the chart auditor at the Norfolk Community Services Board, in addition to serving as assistant editor for the Journal of Human Services. Dr. Bonjo's dissertation explored how counselor educators train counseling students to work with bisexual-identified clients. She continues to conduct research directed at improving counseling services provided to non-dominant sexual and gender identities. Since graduating from ODU in 2013, Bonjo has held faculty positions at Brooklyn College, SUNY New Paltz, and Mercy College. Dr. Bonjo continues to be extremely passionate about counselor education and supervision as well as counseling research, and is excited to be part of the team at Southern Connecticut University.
A dynamic and engaging presenter, Dr. Bonjo regularly presents at local, regional, and national conferences (and particularly enjoys presenting with students). Bonjo is an active member of the American School Counselor Association, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling, and the American Counseling Association. Dr. Bonjo's most recent presentations and research have focused on work with transgender, genderqueer, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming clients and students. Dr. Bonjo uses the pronouns they/them as well as she/her and identifies as genderqueer as well as bisexual.
School counseling, college counseling, and counselor education are Bonjo's specialties, along with mental health counseling and relationship/family counseling. Dr. Bonjo believes that school counselors have the potential to provide services and leadership that can profoundly impact the experiences of students, and she models that form of engagement with her students.
Prior to moving to New Haven, Dr. Bonjo spent several years living in the Bronx, working with primarily Latinx individuals and groups. As a result, Bonjo is experienced at providing clinical supervision to bilingual helping professionals and enjoys working with counselors who conduct sessions in Spanish. Based on these experiences, Bonjo continues to feel a strong connection to urban communities and urban schools. Dr. Bonjo remains involved in the Bronx through her two children, Forrest Bonjo (an ESL teacher in the south Bronx) and Eden Bonjo (a Spanish teacher in the south Bronx).
Bonjo's free time is spent hanging with Forrest and Eden, playing drums in an all-women Afro-Brazilian samba band that gigs throughout the NY metropolitan area, riding a red Diamondback 29er, practicing yoga, making art-- often with paint, and digging in the dirt (sometimes referred to as *gardening).