• Ph.D. 2000 – University of Virginia, Counselor Education
  • M.A. 1994 – Morehead State University, Higher Education
  • B.S. 1993 – Vanderbilt University, Human and Organizational Development/Secondary Education

Areas of Expertise

  • Transitions
  • Career Development & Counseling
  • Thriving and Well-Being
  • Strengths-Based School Counseling
  • Early Adolescents and Emerging Adults
  • Higher Education


Dr. Akos’ professional experiences as a teacher, school and college counselor inform his work as a Professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In his work with children, adolescents and young adults, he discovered the power of self-awareness and agency toward strengths and well-being (e.g., positive emotion, relationships, engagement, meaning). Especially in vulnerable moments of transition – he promotes hope within students and clients – both goals and pathways to success. In his professional roles, he strives to be empathetic and research informed to co-construct and empower others toward flourishing.

He is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Supervisor, as well as a licensed K-12 school counselor and secondary and middle grades teacher in North Carolina. He has served in a variety of leadership roles and was recognized as the American School Counselor Association’s Counselor Educator of the Year.

Overall, he strives to lead, teach, counsel and serve others consistent with a strengths orientation.


Dr. Akos seek to understand how best to help others thrive. His primary focus has been on navigating transitions across the lifespan. School, college and career transitions depend on strengths, meaning making, agency, opportunity structures, as well as development and stage-environment fit in multiple contexts. He utilizes a strengths framework (Galassi & Akos, 2007) for inquiry and practice, which is based in humanistic traditions and is empirically supported by contemporary scholarship (e.g., positive psychology).