Geralyn Gulino Fortney ’13, ’16 MEd, case manager and wellness educator in the University of Lynchburg’s dean of students office, has been named one of the region’s “Millennials on the Move.”
Fortney was one of 20 young professionals selected for the 2020 campaign, which is a joint effort of Lynchburg Business magazine, the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, and the Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism.
The “Millennials on the Move” were featured in the July 2020 issue of Lynchburg Business.
Candidates, all under the age of 40, were nominated by people in the community, but Fortney was already on the magazine’s radar. “Geralyn had already caught our attention because we had been hearing about her through the nomination process for several years,” Shelley Basinger, managing editor, said.
“It was a no-brainer to make her a part of this year’s group for her proven career excellence, community involvement, and overall ambition to make the greater Lynchburg region a better place to live. I have no doubt we will continue to see Geralyn do incredible things moving forward.”
Fortney, who has a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in clinical mental health counseling, was hired as the University’s first case manager in 2019. In her wellness educator role, she helps implement wellness education initiatives on campus. She also advises Peer Advocates for Campus Education, or PACE, a group that helps students make positive personal choices.
Off campus, she’s president of the Junior League of Lynchburg and on the board of Kids’ Haven, a local center for grieving children.
While she is a licensed professional counselor, Fortney describes her work with students as “non-clinical.”
“I work with students who are struggling, for whatever reason,” she said. “Sometimes, students can be referred to me because they are having mental health struggles, are experiencing grief, are homesick, or are struggling in regard to something else that affects their ability to be successful in the University environment.
“I link students to appropriate supports and provide them resources. I follow up with those students, as needed, during their time at the University. Students can be referred to me via their peers, coaches, faculty members, or staff members.”
Dr. Aaron Smith, dean of students at Lynchburg, said Fortney’s recognition is “well-deserved” and that he’s also heard great reviews from students over the past year.
“I’ve heard that she’s wonderful,” Smith said. “She’s also a licensed professional counselor, so her level of emotional intelligence is high. Students really seem to connect with her, and while her job is to connect others with resources, she really is a connector of people.”
He added that, as a two-time Lynchburg alumnus, it’s also “nice to have her home to be able to see her shine brightly.”