The CPS staff is comprised of licensed psychologists and counselors. CPS professionals are schooled in the fields of counseling and psychology from accredited training programs and have a special interest/expertise in college student development. CPS also hosts advanced graduate students earning their Master’s and Doctoral degrees who are practicing under the supervision of licensed staff members.

If you aren’t comfortable with your counselor for any reason, please address this directly with her/him. Sometimes it’s helpful for counselors to know if there are problems in the counseling relationship so they can try to make adjustments to help you feel more comfortable. Other times, it may not feel like a good match. Regardless, bringing it up with your counselor will assure that you get the services you need, and if a reassignment is necessary your current counselor can help facilitate this.

Our staff is listed below with a summary of their areas of interests or specialized training. All of our professionals have broad-based general therapy skills and training, so even if a certain topic or problem isn’t listed they can still work with your concern.

If you see someone you think you’d like to work with in counseling, feel free to make a request. However, please be aware that scheduling difficulties may make it difficult to honor all requests, and you may be assigned to another counselor in order to provide you with the fastest and most appropriate services possible.

Counseling and Psychological Services Staff

Betsy Asserson Portrait

Betsy Asserson, Ph.D.

Director

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Psychology and Spanish, Concordia College

Advanced Degree:

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

Licensure:

Licensed Psychologist

Special Interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Trauma and EMDR treatment
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Training and Supervision
  • Suicide Prevention
Brandi Fischer Portrait

Brandi Fischer, L.C.P.C. 

Senior Staff Counselor

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Elementary Education, University of Wyoming

Advanced Degree:

MS in Health and Human Development, Mental Health Counseling, Montana State University

Special Interests:

  • General College Mental Health Issues
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
Brian Kassar Portrait

Brian Kassar, Psy.D.

Suicide Prevention Coordinator

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree:

BA in Psychology & Sociology, Northwest Missouri State University

Advanced Degree:

MA in Clinical Psychology,

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Illinois School of Professional Psychology

Licensure:

Licensed Psychologist

Special Interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Men’s Development
  • Prevention & Education
  • Male Survivors of Sexual Trauma
  • Male Eating Disorder/Body Image
  • Identity and Developmental Issues
  • Depression & Anxiety Treatment
Catherine Francis

Catherine Francis, Psy.D

Groups Coordinator

Psychological Resident


Undergraduate Degree:

B.A. in Psychology and Spanish Language and Literature, University of Colorado at Boulder

Advanced Degrees:

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University

M.A. in Clinical Psychology (Counseling Practice), Roosevelt University

 

Special interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Group Therapy
  • Family of Origin Concerns
  • Identity Development
  • Interpersonal and Attachment Issues
  • Working with Minorities
  • Mindfulness
Cheryl Blank Portrait

Cheryl Blank, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Training

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree:

BSN in Nursing (Eastern Washington University)

Advanced Degrees:

MN in Psychosocial Nursing (University of Washington); Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Washington State University)

Licensure:

Licensed Psychologist; Licensed Addiction Counselor

Special interests:

  • General mental health including:
    • Depression & anxiety
    • Grief and loss
    • Trauma
    • Women’s development
    • Dream work
    • Training and supervision
    • Relationship concerns
    • Development of self-understanding
Hilary Burt

Hilary Burt, M.S.

Senior Staff Counselor

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


Undergraduate Degree:

B.A. in Environmental Studies, St. Lawrence University

Advanced Degrees:

M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of Vermont

Special Interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Depression and Anxiety Treatment
  • Mindfulness
  • Trauma
  • Social justice
John Siefke Portrait

John J. Siefke, Ph.D.

Assessment Coordinator

Licensed Psychologist 


Undergraduate Degree:

B.A. in Psychology, UCLA

Advanced Degrees:

M.A., Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Biola University – Rosemead School of Psychology

Special Interests:

  • Psychodynamic Theory
  • Assessment
  • Sport Psychology
  • Mindfulness
  • Philosophy of Science
Katie Darnell Portrait

Katie Darnell, Psy.D.

Research Coordinator

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree:

B.S. in English and Women’s Studies, minor in Psychology—University of KY

Advanced Degrees:

PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Spalding University

Special Interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Mood and anxiety concerns
  • Eating disorder assessment and treatment
  • Group work
  • Personality assessment
Laura Thum Portrait

Laura Thum, Ph.D.

Assistanat Director of Outreach and Prevention

Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Psychology, Whitman College

Advanced Degree:

M.A. in Mental Health Counseling, Antioch University New England

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Western Michigan University

Special Interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Attachment Theory
  • Wellness and Prevention
  • Outreach
  • Addiction
Levenae Buggs

Levenae Buggs, Ph.D. 

Senior Staff Counselor


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Psychology, University of California, Davis

Advanced Degree:

M.A. in Clinical Psychology, University of South Dakota

Special Interests:

  • Multicultural Issues
  • College Mental Health
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Relationship Issues
  • Adjustment
  • Identity Development
  • Serious and Persistent Mental Illness
  • Outreach
Mariah Hill Portrait

Mariah Hill, Psy.D.

Diversity Coordinator

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Psychology, Rollins College

Advanced Degree:

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Pacific University

Licensure:

Licensed Psychologist

Special Interests:

  • Multicultural & Identity Issues
  • Trauma
  • LGBTQ+ Identity
  • Relationship and Attachment Issues
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Grief and loss
Megan Saab Portrait

Megan Monroe, Psy.D.

Training Specialist

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience, Miami University

Advanced Degree:

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Special Interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Eating Concerns
  • Relationship Issues  
  • Life Transitions            
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • Trauma
  • Social Justice
  • Suicide Prevention
Mel Frost Portrait

Mel Frost, M.S., M.A.

Senior Staff Counselor

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Philosophy, University of Maine

Advanced Degree:

Master of Science in Health and Human Development, Mental Health Counseling, Montana State University

M.A. in Political Science, Boston College

Special Interests:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • LGBTQIQ Identity
  • Attachment
  • Relationships and Interpersonal Awareness
  • Identity Development
  • Family of Origin
  • Existential Concerns
  • Mindfulness
  • Somatic Experiencing
Paige Vermaat Portrait

Paige Vermaat, M.S.W.

Care Manager

Licensed Clinical Social Worker


Undergraduate Degree: 

BSW, Eastern Nazarene College

Advanced Degree:

MSW, Grand Valley State University

Special Interests:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-Compassion
  • Family of Origin issues
Rachel Woodard

Rachel Woodard, L.C.P.C.

Senior Staff Counselor

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A in Psychology

Advanced Degree:

M.A. Counseling

Special Interests:

  • Internal Family Systems
  • Collaborative Communication
  • Eating Concerns
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Interpersonal and Attachment Issues
Rick Winking Portrait

Rick Winking, L.A.C., L.C.P.C. 

Director of INSIGHT, Alcohol and Drug Assistance Center

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Addiction Counselor


Undergraduate Degree:

BAAS in:

  • Occupational Education
  • Psychology/Sociology
  • Texas State University

Advanced Degree:

M.ED Mental Health Counseling

Licensure:

LAC, LCPC

Special Interests:

  • Zero Medication Counseling
  • Relationships
  • Non - pathologizing
Ryan Niehus Portrait

Ryan Niehus, Psy.D.

Assistant Director, Coordinator of Clinical Services

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree: 

BA in Psychology, University of California Riverside

Advanced Degree:

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Pacific University

Licensure:

Licensed Psychologist

Special Interests:

  • College Mental Health
  • Sport Psychology
  • Interpersonal Group Therapy
  • Trauma related concerns
  • Training and Supervision
  • College Counseling Center Research
Sandy Newton Portrait

Sandy Newton, Ph.D.

Senior Staff Counselor

Licensed Psychologist


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Political Science, University of Oregon

Advanced Degree:

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, University of Minnesota 

M.A. in Counseling Psychology, University of Minnesota

Licensure:

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Special Interests:

  • Trauma
  • Emotional development and resiliency
  • Identity and marginalization
  • Decolonizing/indigenizing mental health practice
Lindsey Palagi photo

Lindsey Palagi 

Medical Records Administrator/ Office Manager

_____________________________________

Undergraduate Degree

B.A. Emmanuel College -Boston MA

Studio Art, Art Therapy and Psychology

Alyson Faires

Alyson Faires, M.S.

Doctoral Intern


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. Psychology

Advanced Degree

M.S. in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Radford University

Doctoral Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Radford University

Special Interests:

  • Rural Mental Health
  • Positive Psychology and Strengths- Based Approaches
  • Preventative Mental Health Care and Outreach
  • Trauma Related Concerns
Alejandra Torrero

Alejandra Torrero, M.A.

Doctoral Intern


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Psychology and History from University of California, Santa Cruz

Advanced Degree:

M.A. in Clinical Psychology, CSPP, Alliant International University, San Diego

Special Interests:

  • Multicultural Issues
  • LGBTQ +Identity Development
  • Mindfullness
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Michael Schacter

Michael Schacter, M.A.

Doctoral Intern


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.S. in Psychology, University of Wisconsin

Advanced Degree:

M.A. in Counseling, Washington State University

Special Interests:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Identity Development
  • Interpersonal and Relational Issues
  • Family of Origin Concerns
  • Multicultural Issues
  • Emotional Development and Resiliency
Neda Etemadian

Neda Etemadian M.A. 

Doctoral Intern


Undergraduate Degree: 

B.A. in Psychology, California State Polytechnic University

Advanced Degree:

M.A. in Counseling Psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy), Argosy University

M.A. in Clinical Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Special Interests:

  • Multicultural and Diversity Concerns /International Students
  • Family of Origin Concerns
  • Sports Psychology/ Performance Anxiety
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Adjustment 

In addition to broad-based generalist psychotherapy skills, the staff members have training and expertise in the areas outlined in the table below.

Stress Management

Sport Psychology

Relationship Enhancement 

Grief and Loss

Anxiety Management

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Incest/Sexual Abuse

Eating Disorders

Marital/Couple's Therapy

Sexual Dysfunction Therapy

Victims of Violence or Sexual Assault

Medical Psychology

Crisis/Emergency Assistance 

Biofeedback

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Male Survivors of Abuse

Psychological Assessment

Divorce Adjustment

Substance Use