Counseling Leadership and Faculty
The leadership and faculty of Southern New Hampshire University’s online master’s in counseling program bring years of real-world experience to students seeking to become clinical mental health counselors. They have designed our CACREP-accredited program to provide intensive clinical skills training within an innovative online format. Our instructors back up their counseling experience with the professional credentials needed to help you succeed in the field.
Metoka L. Welch
Director of Counseling Programs, Learning Environment
Dr. Metoka L. Welch is licensed as a clinical mental health counselor in the State of North Carolina and has been working in the field for over a decade.
Whether as a clinician, a faculty person or an administrator, Welch's passion is counselor education. Throughout her career, Welch has worked in diverse clinical and academic settings that promote collaboration and collegiality. As a clinician, she has worked with victims of sexual abuse and trauma, intensive in-home families, at-risk adolescents in a group home, children in foster care, adults in outpatient therapy, college students, couples, victims of substance abuse and victims of interpersonal violence. She integrates a variety of treatment modalities to meet people where they are as they are and journey with people as they become.
She also has experience providing departmental management and has been instrumental in obtaining and maintaining programmatic accreditation throughout the helping professions. Her interests include spirituality in counseling, programmatic accreditation, program outcomes and the integration of fitness, wellness and behavior therapy.
Welch graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received an Honors BA in English and a BA in Psychology. She received an MA in Community Counseling from Wake Forest University and a PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Director of Counseling Programs, Assessment & Evaluation
Dr. Kristi Cannon is a licensed professional counselor in Texas and a nationally certified counselor. Her clinical experience includes work with a variety of populations, with particular focus on women's issues, adolescent issues and neurofeedback for the treatment of mood disorders.
She has been a counselor educator since 2008, serving as a faculty member at the master’s and doctoral levels, as well as holding administrative roles as the director of field experience and director of assessment and accreditation.
Cannon regularly presents research at the state and national levels and publishes scholarly writings for professional counseling journals and textbooks. Her research interests include counselor development, relational-cultural theory and assessment practices in higher education.
She received an MA in Community Counseling and a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from St. Mary's University.
Director of Counseling Programs, Counselor Identity
Dr. Brandon Wilde joined SNHU in 2022.
For over a decade, he’s taught clinical mental health, addiction, and marital, couple and family counseling, as well as advised the dissertation research of doctoral students. Wilde holds a license to practice professional counseling in Nevada, Arizona and Utah.
In addition to delivering over 30 presentations at national, regional and state counseling conferences, Wilde has published in The Qualitative Report, Counseling & Values, The Family Journal and The Practitioner Scholar: Journal of Professional Counseling & Psychology. He’s also served as a chapter faculty advisor for Chi Sigma Iota: Academic and Professional Counseling Honor Society, International.
Wilde earned his PhD in Counselor Education and Counseling from Idaho State University and MS in Counseling: Marital, Couple and Family from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Rodney E. Pennamon
Director of Counseling Programs, Professional Practice
Dr. Rodney E. Pennamon joined Southern New Hampshire University in 2022 with over 20 years of experience in higher education.
Prior to joining SNHU, Pennamon was a faculty member and leadership fellow for a large online counselor education program. He also held positions in health and human services in a variety of community and healthcare settings. As a counselor educator, his research interests are intergroup dialogue, social justice, interpersonal neurobiology and individuals with disabilities.
Pennamon is the co-author of “College Students with Asperger Syndrome: Practical Strategies to Ensure Social and Academic Success.” He was named an Emerging Scholar by the Association for Specialists in Group Work and is active with the American Counseling Association of Georgia.
Pennamon earned his PhD in Counseling & Student Personnel Services (Counselor Education) from the University of Georgia, MEd in Counseling & Psychological Services from Springfield College and BS in Political Science from Illinois State University. He is a National Certified Counselor and a licensed professional counselor.
Dr. Dominique Adkins is a licensed professional counselor in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, as well as an approved clinical supervisor.
Adkins has experience teaching in both clinical mental health counseling master’s programs and counselor education and supervision doctoral programs. She has over 10 years of experience in the counseling field working in both government agencies and private practice with clients of all ages.
Currently, she works with young adults, adolescents and families at her private practice and provides clinical supervision to residents in counseling. Her research interests include spirituality, religiosity, forgiveness, self-forgiveness and multicultural considerations in the counseling, supervision and teaching.
After completing her undergraduate work at Georgetown University, she obtained her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and doctorate in counselor education and supervision at Marymount University.
La Shonda S. Akins
Dr. La Shonda Akins completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, earning a BA in Criminal Justice. She earned an MA in Professional Counseling and an EdD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Argosy University in Atlanta. She is a licensed professional counselor in the State of Maryland and a national certified counselor.
Her clinical experience includes working with diverse populations such as children, adolescents and adults, along with providing inpatient and outpatient clinical addiction services.
Akins’ research and writing interests include the holistic wellness/health paradigm, wellness and self-care practices of African-American women, child & adolescent psychotherapy and addiction and mental health counseling. She frequently presents on the wellness paradigm. She has been an educator for 9 years, with teaching experience across the counseling curriculum.
Dr. Rabeena Alli earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Kent State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), National Certified Counselor (NCC) and approved clinical supervisor.
Alli has over 22 years of experience in the mental health profession. She has taught as a full time faculty member and adjunct instructor at campus-based and online institutions. In addition, her counseling experience includes working with diverse clients and students in university, public school, hospital and community mental health settings. She has co-written peer-reviewed journal articles, presented at state, regional, national and international conferences, and has served on several local, state and national counseling association committees.
Dr. Shanice Armstrong received her EdS in Counseling Psychology and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas. Armstrong's clinical experiences include working with at-risk youth populations, higher education administration and intensive inpatient and outpatient settings.
As a counselor, counselor educator and advocate, Armstrong fervently believes in counseling as one of the most powerful tools to help transform the lives of others. Her scholarly activities are focused on reducing the stigma and barriers to counseling through a relational cultural lens.
Dr. Valerie Balog received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Virginia, her MEd in Community Counseling from Winthrop University and her BS in Social Work from California University of Pennsylvania. Balog is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPCS) in the state of North Carolina. She is also a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC).
Balog has 13 years of counselor education and supervision experience. She previously served as the Master’ s Program Director and Co-Director of Clinical Placements at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Balog’s clinical experience has focused on: loss and grief, terminal and chronic illness, working with older adults, managing life transitions and crisis counseling. She is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Southern Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors (SACES).
Learn more about Balog in this faculty Q&A.
Dr. Esther Benoit received her MEd in marriage, couples, and family counseling and PhD in Counselor Education from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She has worked as a family, couples, and individual counselor in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area since 2005. As a nationally certified counselor and licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia, she continues to work with at-risk youth and their parents through a grant-based prevention program in both group and family counseling settings.
Benoit has worked in counselor education since 2010 as a faculty member and assessment coordinator. She is an editorial board member of The Family Journal and The Virginia Counselors Journal. Benoit's research and clinical interests include moral development, military families, and counselor education and supervision.
Benoit remains actively involved in identifying and supporting the needs of families and individuals in the greater Hampton Roads community, including work with homeless women and their children.
Dr. Susan Blake earned her PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where her research focused on the experiences of newer counselors entering community mental health. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and supervisor in North Carolina. Blake completed her MA in Counseling in 2004 from Regent University. She also holds a graduate certificate in student affairs in higher education from East Carolina University.
Blake has worked in many clinical environments, including nonprofit community mental health, private practice, employee assistance and university counseling centers. Her clinical experiences have fueled her desire to prepare and support counselors to make an impact in the real world through strong counselor identity and social justice perspectives. In addition to clinical work, she has been a counselor educator for several years and has provided supervision for counselors-in-training and those pursuing licensure.
Built on over 16 years of clinical experience, Blake’s counseling and teaching approach centers on encouraging others to use self-awareness to realize the power they have to change their lives. She is a proud first-generation student who wants to see others succeed in spite of barriers.
Dr. Cheyenne Carter is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in North Carolina. She completed her PhD in Counseling at the University of North Texas and her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Tarleton State University. As a generalist, she has worked with ages 3-98 but currently focuses her clinical work with those ages 18+. Her areas of expertise include relationships, infidelity recovery, attachment trauma and life transitions. She is a frequent presenter on topics related to trauma-informed care and attachment. Additional areas of interest include military wellness/families and animal-assisted therapy.
Trinaa' L. Copeland
Dr. Trinaa' L. Copeland is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan. Her fields of expertise are marriage and family counseling and nonprofit management and leadership.
Serving as a catalyst of change for people who, many times, are at their darkest hour, Copeland is best known for her ability to walk others through the pain of their past so they can excel in their future. Working through several different facets and platforms, she works to engage, counsel and teach clients to push past their immediate problems, allowing them to evolve into a better version of themselves. Practicing as a counselor for two decades and now a counselor educator, Copeland’s unique strategy of combining faith-based counseling with mental health treatment has transformed the lives of individuals, couples and small groups alike. This area of work led to her research focus on the Black Church and their beliefs about mental health treatment, which she plans to further explore in future research.
She has a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Walden University, a Master of Arts in Community Agency Counseling from Western Michigan University and a BA in Interpersonal Communication from WMU.
Dr. Paula Cox received an MEd in Counseling, EdS in School Counseling and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Mississippi. She is a licensed professional counselor and supervisor, a national certified counselor and a national certified school counselor.
She began her career as a group therapist in a partial hospitalization program for children and adolescents and as a court-appointed counselor for at-risk teens. She has extensive experience as a school counselor and psychometrist, specializing in behavior and special populations. She also worked as a clinical counselor for a school district conducting functional behavior assessments and writing behavior intervention plans for special needs students. In that same position, she provided counseling services to students at the local juvenile detention center.
She has also operated a private practice since 2007, where she provides LPC supervision, couples counseling, child/adolescent services and counseling for families navigating addictions. She began her work as a counselor educator in 2010 and continues to be passionate about helping students reach their goals.
Dr. Damion Cummins has an MEd in Counseling from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a PhD in Counselor Education from the University of New Orleans. Cummins is a licensed professional counselor-supervisor, licensed marriage and family therapist and a national certified counselor.
Cummins has over 14 years of clinical experience with nonprofit, university, outpatient, substance abuse, inpatient and private practice clinics. Cummins has extensive experience treating children, the chronic mentally ill, families, couples, sexually abused, veterans and individuals with addiction, anger issues, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. He has over 10 years of supervisory and leadership experience.
Cummins has more than seven years of experience in teaching, and he has designed and taught a variety of online, hybrid and face-to-face courses at the master's and doctoral levels. As a clinical director, Cummins successfully led the development and implementation of training sites and ongoing coordination of graduate student internships. He keeps active in advising students, research, participating on dissertation committees, presenting on numerous state, regional and national clinical topics, and he has a strong emphasis on service to the university and surrounding community.
Learn more about Cummins in this faculty Q&A.
Dr. Tiffany Darby is a licensed professional clinical counselor with supervisor designation and a licensed school counselor.
Throughout her over 20 years of mental health work, Darby has worked in a variety of settings, including partial-hospitalization, residential, college counseling, outpatient, school and community based. She has worked mostly with diverse youth who display behavior concerns and their families. Darby has an online private practice where she provides counseling services to adults and couples. She implements cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and solution-focused therapy (SFT) practices when working with clients and emotion-focused therapy (EFT) with couples.
She has been working as a counselor educator since 2014 at both the master’s and doctoral levels. She has also served in an administrative role as a director of doctoral field experiences. Her research interests include culturally responsive counseling and supervision practices, as well as telehealth.
Darby earned a PhD in Counseling and Human Development Services, an MEd in Community Counseling and a BA in Psychology, all from Kent State University.
Dr. Ryan Day comes to Southern New Hampshire University with over 13 years of clinical counseling experience working in a variety of settings. He is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), certified school counselor and a certified clinical trauma professional, Level-II (CCTP-II). His clinical work specializes in trauma treatment, couples and families, and career counseling services.
Day was selected as the 2016 Counselor Educator of the Year by the Licensed Professional Counselor Association of Georgia and as the 2016-2017 College of Education and Helping Professions Distinguished Teacher of the Year at Columbus State University. Prior to teaching graduate school, he served as a middle school special education teacher.
He made a guest appearance conducting a live counseling session on the VH1 reality show "K. Michelle: My Life." He was also in the March 2019 Counseling Today special edition on “Touched by Trauma,” which featured his personal story as a trauma survivor and professional work as a trauma therapist.
Day earned his PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Auburn University, an MA in Community Counseling from Argosy University Atlanta and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Columbus State University.
Christian J. Dean
Dr. Christian J. Dean received an MEd in Human Services Counseling and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of New Orleans. He is licensed as a professional counselor/board approved supervisor (LPC-S) and as a marriage and family therapist/board approved supervisor candidate (LMFT-SC) in Louisiana. He also holds the national certified counselor credential.
Dr. Dean’s clinical practice experience involves working with individuals, couples and families. He is a 21+ year member of the Army National Guard and currently serves as Deputy Commander-Administration for the Louisiana Medical Detachment. He is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. Dean is on the editorial board of the Journal of Military and Government Counseling and the Therapeutic Speakeasy Quarterly.
Dr. Dean participated as a collaborative investigator for the DSM-5 Field Trials in Routine Clinical Practice Settings. He has published and presented on numerous topics including military systems and culture, infidelity-related trauma and grieving, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, ethical considerations and ethical decision-making, differential diagnosis and assessment, the use of metaphors in counseling and counselor education, couples counseling and behavioral modification.
Dr. Darleen Dempster is a licensed professional counselor supervisor and a national certified counselor who has been providing clinical services since 2000. She received her master’s degree from Mississippi State University and her PhD with honors from the University of Mississippi. Along with her work on multiple college campuses, Dempster has worked in a state agency, nonprofit organizations, residential facilities/group homes and the public school system.
She has served in various roles within the field, including counselor, play therapist, associate director and interim director, substance abuse prevention coordinator and sexual assault coordinator. She also has extensive experience in supervising both counselors-in-training in their practicum and internship experiences, as well as counselors working toward licensure.
Dempster has been continually teaching university courses since 2005. She has served on thesis and dissertation committees and has advised final research projects.
Dempster is a generalist who utilizes an integrated and client-directed approach that incorporates evidence-based treatment for a wide variety of conditions, with particular emphasis on crisis counseling, post-traumatic stress, family of origin issues and LGBTQIA+ support and advocacy. She is deeply committed to her students, and seeks to encourage and empower them to reach their highest potential.
Dr. Abby Dougherty joined Southern New Hampshire University from Drexel University, where she oversaw the counseling curriculum for the creative art therapies department. She’s also worked as a college counselor and taught at several colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area.
Dougherty has a small private supervision practice, supporting counselors in training toward receiving their Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) certification. She conducted her doctoral research exploring the lived experiences of counselor educators with mindfulness practice in the classroom with culturally diverse students.
She is the past president for the Greater Philadelphia Pennsylvania Counseling Association and current Emerging Leader chair for ACES emerging leaders. Her interests include examining the use of creative arts in college counseling and counseling supervision, virtual reality (VR) and immersive technologies in counseling and counselor education, simulation education, relational-cultural theory, and mindfulness and contemplative tools in counselor education.
Dougherty received her doctorate in counselor education and supervision and her master’s in mental health counseling, both from Walden University.
Mark P. Eades
Dr. Mark P. Eades is a licensed mental health counselor supervisor (LMHCS) in North Carolina.
Prior to joining SNHU in 2021, Eades worked in two university counseling centers, as both an internship coordinator and as a group therapy coordinator, for 10 years.
As a clinician, Eades has a special interest in working with anxiety disorders, men’s issues, grief and loss, and personality disorders. His research interests include best practices in university counseling centers, men’s issues, assessment of counselors-in-training and the use of technology in counseling, supervision and teaching.
In addition to working as a clinician, Eades has been teaching and supervising counselors-in-training since 2011. He has worked as an adjunct professor as several online universities, primarily providing clinical supervision to counselors-in-training. Currently, he operates a small private practice that focuses primarily on providing supervision to associate level counselor, both in person and online.
Eades earned his PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Prior to that, he received his master’s degree from Wake Forest University and his bachelor’s from North Carolina State University.
Brenda J. Edwards
Dr. Brenda J. Edwards received an MA in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University and an EdD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Argosy University-Atlanta. She is a licensed professional counselor, a national certified counselor, a certified professional counselor supervisor, a master addictions counselor and a national certified addiction counselor.
Her clinical experience includes treating adolescents, adults and couples in community-based and private settings. Her specialty is treating addictions using a harm reduction approach.
Dr. Edwards has been an educator for 7 years, serving as a senior contributing and adjunct faculty member with teaching experience across the counseling curriculum. Her writing and research interests include substance-related issues. She also frequently presents on addictions and other substance-related issues at various professional conferences.
Dr. Matt Glowiak completed his masters in Mental Health Counseling and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Walden University. His dissertation examined veteran educators' perceptions of the Internet's impact on K-8 learning and social development. Glowiak is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Certified Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CAADC), and National Certified Counselor (NCC).
Glowiak served as contributing faculty in the BS of Human Services and Psychology Programs at Walden University and as Assistant Professor of the Masters of Clinical Psychology program at Benedictine University. He has an emerging record of scholarship as outlined through refereed journal publications, magazine and newsletter articles, several book chapters, and multiple presentations.
As an entrepreneur, Glowiak is co-founder of "counseling speaks" in Park Ridge, Deerfield, and Chicago, Illinois--a practice focused on clinical counseling, consultation, coaching, supervision, crisis intervention, and psychoeducational services and products. Clinically, he has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Glowiak has worked with clients who present a variety of concerns and issues such as substance use disorder, domestic violence, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, sexual trauma, and bipolar disorder.
Learn more about Glowiak in this faculty Q&A.
Dr. Earl Grey earned an MA in Community Counseling from West Virginia University and a PhD in Counseling Studies from Capella University. He is a licensed mental health counselor, a licensed professional counselor, a nationally certified counselor, an approved clinical supervisor, a certified clinical mental health counselor, a certified sexual assault counselor, a certified EMDR therapist, and an EMDR-approved consultant and trainer.
As a clinician, Grey has expertise with children, adults, couples and families facing depression, PTSD, LGBTQIA development and HIV management concerns. He is a nationally recognized expert in EMDR therapy.
Grey has been working as an educator for two decades. He has educated students in preschool through graduate school in a variety of educational settings. He has extensive teaching experience across the counseling curriculum including practicum and internship coordination and supervision. Grey has given numerous professional presentations and published extensively in the counseling field. He served as a regional coordinator for the EMDR International Association and as a research board member for the Association of Creative Counseling. He currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research. His research interests include couples counseling and family issues, neuroscience, LGBTQIA, cultural humility, treatment efficacy and quality assurance.
Dana A. Griffin
Dr. Dana A. Griffin received an MA in Professional Counseling and an EdD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Argosy University, Atlanta. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Georgia. Her 16-year clinical experience includes treating adolescents, adults, couples and families, specializing in severe mental health issues. In her private practice, she strives to assist her clients in realizing their purpose and moving forward towards mental, physical, and spiritual wellness.
Griffin has been an educator for seven years, serving as a faculty member and adjunct instructor. Her research interests include the violence against the LGBTQ community in the Caribbean, the wellness of counselors, effective supervision for post-masters counselors, and the advancement of women of color in academia. Additionally, she volunteers with Give an Hour where she provides free counseling services to veterans and their families.
Dr. Laura Haddock received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Mississippi. Haddock has been a counselor educator since 2001, supported by more than two decades of work as a clinical mental health counselor. She is a licensed professional counselor-supervisor, national certified counselor and approved clinical supervisor.
An active counseling professional, Haddock has served on the Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners and the executive boards for Mississippi Counseling Association and Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselors Association. She serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Counseling Research and Practice, The Journal of Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences, The Journal of At Risk Issues and the Tennessee Counseling Association Journal. Her clinical practice includes work with a variety of populations, with a particular focus on women's issues. The recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Professional Service Award for Counselor Educator by the Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, she routinely presents and publishes counseling research. Her interests include counselor wellness, sexuality, cultural diversity, supervision, and professional gatekeeping.
Penny Lane Hamblin
Dr. Penny Lane Hamblin received a MA in Mental Health Counseling and an EdD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida. She is a licensed professional counselor supervisor and nationally certified counselor. She is also certified in EMDR and trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Her clinical experience includes treating children, adolescents, adults, couples and families, specializing in trauma treatment of adolescents utilizing EMDR primarily in practice. She has been in counseling practice for 11 years and currently practices privately in North Carolina.
Hamblin is currently working on a publication including therapeutic memoirs of treating trauma. She presents trauma-informed care workshops across the eastern part of North Carolina. Hamblin is also currently working on a podcast focusing on trauma treatment and counseling treatment topics.
Dr. Tamara Harris is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S) who has been in private practice for over 15 years. She also worked as a high school counselor for seven years.
Harris is a mental performance consultant in a career field recognized through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP): She specializes in helping athletes overcome mental health issues and mental blocks that prevent them from reaching their full potential and optimal performance. Through mental performance training, she also assists business individuals, exercise enthusiasts and non-sport performers in reaching and maintaining optimal performance as they strive to meet their unique goals for overall success.
In addition to AASP, Harris is an active member of the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association’s Division 47: Society for Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology. She serves as mentor and academic advisor for students who would like to pursue a career in the fields of sport and exercise psychology and/or mental health counseling.
Her research interests include exercise psychology, positive psychology, health and wellness challenges in women of color, compassion fatigue, self-compassion and self-care among counselors in training, intimate partner violence and youth homelessness.
Harris earned her PhD in Counselor Education from Sam Houston State University and her MA in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University.
Karena J. Heyward
Dr. Karena J. Heyward received an MEd in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from The College of William and Mary. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia and a national certified counselor. Her clinical experience includes work with a variety of populations and presenting concerns, specializing in couples and family counseling.
Heyward has held faculty and administrative positions. She previously served as the president of the Virginia Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling and in various roles with the Virginia Association of Couples and Family Counseling. She is also a trained member of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team and Disaster Mental Health Team.
Heyward engages in continued scholarship, presenting at the state, regional and national levels. Her research interests include: body psychotherapy and somatic counseling, transpersonal psychology, sexuality counseling, the experiences of military personnel and their families, and international perspectives on the counseling profession.
Dr. Mary Hinson has 15 years of individual, group and family counseling experience, working with populations from early adolescence through adulthood, in a variety of therapeutic settings. She also specializes in couples work, training extensively in emotionally focused therapy and as a facilitator for the Prepare/Enrich program. Her credentials include Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Approved Clinical Supervisor and Certified Custody Mediator.
With certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University, Hinson consults with organizations and groups on ways to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. She has created trainings tailored to the needs of clinicians and communities of color.
Her research focuses on social justice advocacy work among practicing counselors. She has also published in the Counselor Education and Supervision Journal and presented at several conferences nationally.
As an agent of change in her own community, Hinson started the nonprofit organization Pickens Peace Project to improve the relationships of youth involved with the legal system and their caregivers using an attachment framework.
Hinson earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from The College of William & Mary, and an MA in Counseling, a BS in Criminal Justice and a BA in Psychology from North Carolina Central University.
Eleni Maria Honderich
Dr. Eleni Maria Honderich, PhD, NCC, MAC, LCPC, received her master’s degree in community counseling and doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision from the College of William and Mary in 2006 and 2014, respectively. With over 15 years of clinical practice, primarily in the addictions sector, and 7 years of experience within the academic sector, Honderich remains vested in and impassioned by ethical practice and aspirational conceptualization/implication of subsequent codes, prioritization of client care and rights, delivery of quality education and supervision adherent to national standards (e.g., CACREP), and best practice approaches – all of which assist in grounding a professional clinical mental health counseling identity.
Dr. Kimberly Jenkins-Richardson is a licensed professional counselor-supervisor in the state of Alabama and is a National Certified Counselor.
Jenkins-Richardson has nearly two decades of clinical experience working in community mental health centers, university counseling centers and substance abuse agencies. She operates a group private practice, where she works with young adults, couples and families. Her research areas include pedagogical practices in counselor education programs, mental health disparities in minority populations, minority student mental health in higher education, and racism and race-related stress.
Jenkins-Richardson has taught and supervised students in both clinical mental health counseling master’s programs and counselor education and supervision doctoral programs. Additionally, she provides clinical supervision for individuals seeking licensure in the state.
She received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision and an educational specialist degree in counselor education from the University of Alabama, an MS in Community and Agency Counseling from Jacksonville State University, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Alabama.
Dr. Eric Jett is currently a licensed counselor in the states of Oklahoma and Missouri, where he is also an approved license supervisor. He is a National Certified Counselor, as well as a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor.
Jett graduated with his Masters in Mental Health Counseling in 2010, and completed his PhD, in 2015, in Counselor Education and Supervision at Walden University. Jett has focused most of his career in counseling in two primary areas, trauma-focused treatment and substance abuse treatment services. With a history of working with a wide range of ages, he specializes in working with children and adolescents. As an academic and researcher, Jett has focused his analytic interests on the area of counseling supervision, more specifically counseling supervisor wellness and the impact of tertiary trauma on counseling supervisors.
Learn more about Jett in this faculty Q&A.
Dr. Robyn Lowery has over 15 years of experience teaching in counselor education programs – mostly in distance learning instruction.
She is the owner of Mecklenburg Wellness, a small private practice in Charlotte, NC, providing reproductive, pregnancy and postpartum counseling services. She serves as an advisory council member for a nonprofit organization that provides nutrition and breastfeeding education. Lowery also serves as an inaugural member of the justice, equity, inclusion and diversity committee for a local public elementary school.
Lowery’s current research interests include disrespect and abuse within maternal healthcare settings, racial disparities within maternal health, and complementary and alternative practices in counseling.
She received a PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from The George Washington University. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.
Dr. John Marszalek is a national certified counselor and licensed professional counselor in Mississippi.
He has been a counselor educator for over 15 years and a counselor for over 20 years, maintaining private practices in Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans and Mississippi. Marszalek also previously worked in psychiatric and community counseling settings and taught elementary education.
His research interests include gay, lesbian and bisexual identity development theory and factors promoting and inhibiting long-term, same-sex relationships in small towns and rural areas in the South. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling for over 10 years.
He is the author of “Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same Sex Couples in Mississippi,” which was the 2020 Digital Book World’s Best Book Published by a University Press.
Marszalek earned his MS in elementary education, MS in counselor education and PhD in counselor education at Mississippi State University. Previously, he had received his BA from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
Dr. Anne Metz completed her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and PhD in counselor education and supervision at James Madison University in Virginia. She is a licensed professional counselor and registered supervisor in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
During her residency, Metz worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She is a state-certified evaluator for the civil commitment process. She also served as the mental health liaison for the Staunton-Augusta Therapeutic Docket, a post-plea program designed to divert individuals with behavioral health issues from incarceration into community-based treatment.
Her research focuses on the intersection of mental health and the law with an emphasis on criminal justice reform. Prior to joining the SNHU faculty, Metz completed postdoctoral work at the University of Virginia School of Law, where her interdisciplinary empirical research examined sentencing practices for nonviolent drug offenders. Her advocacy interests include climate change, public policy, and the decriminalization of behavioral health issues.
Dr. Lotes Nelson received an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Walden University. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a nationally certified counselor (NCC), and an approved clinical supervisor (ACS).
Her clinical experience includes treating children, adolescents, adults, couples and families, specializing in eating disorder/disordered eating, body image concerns, trauma counseling, depression, anxiety, relational issues, and cultural adjustment concerns, utilizing a variety of theoretical techniques.
Nelson maintains her strong advocacy involvement in her immediate community and nationally, to continue to raise mental health awareness by profoundly engaging in professional conference presentations and providing mental health wellness workshops. She serves on the board of directors for the Licensed Professional Counselor Association of North Carolina and holds an active role with varying organizations, such as the American Counseling Association, Chi Sigma Iota, and the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation.
Dr. Rhonda Neswald received an MA in Student Personnel Services: Counseling from Northwestern State University and a PhD in Counseling from the University of New Mexico. She is a licensed professional clinical counselor in the state of New Mexico and an approved clinical supervisor (ACS) through the NBCC. Her clinical experience includes treating a broad range of mental health concerns with a special interest in expressive arts in counseling and supervision.
Neswald has been an educator for 18 years, serving as a faculty member, program coordinator and clinical director. She has taught counseling courses throughout the master’s and doctoral level counseling curriculum. She presents and publishes nationally and internationally. Her work focuses on expressive arts in counseling and supervision as well as the employment of expressive modalities in the treatment of post-traumatic stress and vicarious trauma.
Dr. David A. Olges is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in the state of Indiana.
Prior to SNHU, Olges taught in the Big 10, the Big East and with several private colleges. He also teaches internationally in Ukraine, Scotland and England. He especially enjoys teaching courses involving marriage and couples counseling, research methods and clinical skill development.
Olges has more than 25 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings, including private practice, residential programs, university counseling centers, inpatient hospitals, intensive outpatient settings, nonprofit organizations and internationally. He served on the board of an international charitable foundation where he developed and managed the clinical counseling center in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.
His research interests include international counselor education, counselor education program design and evaluation, clinical program design and evaluation and spirituality in counseling.
Olges holds an undergraduate degree in pre-law (philosophy) from Indiana University, a master's degree in counseling from Grace College, an MBA from Anderson University and a PhD in Counseling Education and Supervision from Regent University.
As a counselor educator, Dr. Heather Paessler-Chesterton has been a part of the higher education community since 2009 at both the master’s and doctoral levels. She has held various leadership roles, such as program director and field experience director, as well as CACREP and NBCC liaison. She has a passion for the helping professions and feels called to supporting other people helpers.
With about 20 years of clinical experience, Chesterton’s specializations include the treatment of children and adolescents, as well as women’s issues from a trauma and attachment orientation. She has presented at state, national and international levels, and she has published work on at-risk youth populations and violence in schools.
Her research interests include qualitative methodologies, child and adolescent counseling, counselor development, online counselor preparation and spirituality issues in counseling. She is also a disaster relief volunteer and previously served on the board for the North Atlantic Region of ACES (NARACES).
She maintains a private practice in her home community in Western New York, and she is actively involved with the NY Emotional PPE Project and other pro bono counseling initiatives serving first responders and those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paessler-Chesterton earned a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision and an MA in Community and School Counseling from Regent University. She is a National Certified Counselor, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (NY) and holds school counseling credentials in three states.
Dr. Shawn Parmanand received both his Master of Counseling and his PhD in Counselor Education & Counseling from Idaho State University. His master's degree focused on clinical work with marriages, families, and couples. Dr. Parmanand is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, a nationally approved clinical supervisor, and a certified Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist.
He maintains a small private practice where he meets with a variety of client populations, with a specialty in working with children who have survived sexual abuse. A majority of his clients are couples, with an emphasis in working with those who are experiencing difficulties related to infertility.
Parmanand has worked in counselor education as a faculty members since 2010. He has served in leadership roles as both the Membership Chair and Treasurer for the Idaho Counseling Association.
Parmanand regularly presents at the state and national level. In addition, he has published a number of journal articles and book chapters. His research interests include Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples, infertility issues, group treatment modalities, and incorporating lived experience into counselor education.
Dr. Caroline Perjessy obtained an MSEd in Community Counseling and Higher Education Student Affairs from Youngstown State University and a PhD in Counseling and Human Development Services from Kent State University, a CACREP-Accredited program, in Kent, Ohio. She is a licensed mental health counselor in the states of Georgia and Florida, is a Qualified Supervisor in Florida and has been a licensed clinician for 15 years.
As a counselor, Perjessy has expertise in working with adults, adolescents, college students and couples, using humanistic, postmodern approaches to therapy. Additionally, she is also trained in dialectical behavior therapy and conducts DBT groups with adolescents and adults. Thus, her clinical interest areas relate to trauma, career counseling, group work and women’s issues.
Perjessy has been teaching at the graduate level for over 15 years in master’s and doctoral programs. She has been a doctoral program coordinator, director of field placement, and has held a variety of administrative roles during her career. Her scholarly areas of interest include narrative/postmodern approaches to pedagogy and supervision, doctoral education, online education.
Currently, she is serving as past president for the Florida Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (FACES) and is actively involved with the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) as the Women’s Interest Network co-chair and is the awards co-chair for the Association of Humanistic Counseling.
Dr. Eric Perry earned an MA in Community Counseling from Slippery Rock University and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Duquesne University. His dissertation examined the perceptions of Counselor Educators related to online education and the expansion of online pedagogy. He is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), with most of his experience in community counseling and K-12 treatment settings.
Perry has over 15 years of experience as a classroom and online instructor, working first to train background investigators and then serving as a trainer, instructional designer and curriculum developer for a large mental health service provider in Pittsburgh, PA as well as for other mental health service agencies, educational institutions and training providers. Most recently, Perry has served as a faculty member and program coordinator in an online and hybrid counselor education program before becoming a Clinical Faculty member at SNHU.
Perry is highly involved in service activities and currently serves as the Social Media and Web Manager for the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) as well as Technology Coordinator for the North Atlantic Region of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NARACES). Perry continues to work toward research related to the development and research of online pedagogy specific to counselor education.
Dr. Torey Portrie-Bethke earned her masters and PhD in Counseling Education from Idaho State University. A National Certified Counselor, she is dedicated and enthusiastic in her role as a counselor educator and as a mental health and family counselor working toward empowering students and clients in the direction of positive growth and development.
She provides clinical supervision for master’s practicum and internship students. In her strength-based supervision role, she works to enhance students’ self-efficacy through creating a bridge between counselor development and emerging counseling skills/techniques/theory. She promotes students’ professional identity and advocates for the profession by utilizing networking techniques such as student inclusion in presentations and professional publications. Portrie-Bethke is a frequent presenter in the areas of Adventure Based Counseling, abuse/trauma, play therapy, counseling supervision, and group counseling.
Portrie-Bethke’s research interests include Adventure-based counseling; group counseling; counseling supervision; online counselor education; childhood trauma; vicarious trauma; mothering development.
Dr. Julie Robinson’s doctorate in counselor education is from the University of North Texas, where she specialized in play therapy under Dr. Garry Landreth, a world-renowned play therapist. Robinson has been teaching in counselor education CACREP-accredited programs for over 20 years. Most recently she served as the counselor education program department chair at Argosy University.
Robinson’s research interests include play therapy with chronically and terminally ill children, and counselor education training. Her service to the profession of counselor education has included serving as a two-time president of the Illinois Counselor Educators and Supervisors Division of ICA, founder and two-time president of the Illinois Child and Adolescent Counseling Division of ICA and president of the North Central Association of Counselor Education and Supervision.
Dr. Sepulveda earned her MA in Community Counseling from Central Michigan University and her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Toledo. She is a licensed professional counselor, clinical substance abuse counselor, and national certified counselor. Sepulveda has been in the counseling profession for nearly 20 years and maintains a private practice in Wisconsin where she counsels children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families from all walks of life while incorporating a strength-based, culturally-affirming approach. She has served in agencies providing alcohol and drug counseling, family preservation and reunification services, intimate partner violence treatment, grant-writing and professional consultation.
Sepulveda has over a decade of online and classroom counselor education experience and has served in several leadership roles in various state, regional and national counseling organizations, including president of the Wisconsin Counseling Association (2017-2018). Sepulveda is also past-chair of the Midwest Region of the American Counseling Association.
Sepulveda's dissertation focused on the incorporation of psychopharmacology in CACREP-accredited counselor education programs. Her research interests include psychopharmacology in counselor education, professional training and development of licensed professional counselors, multicultural counseling best practices, assessing the needs of sexually- and gender-diverse youth and adolescents, intimate partner violence and treatment of substance use disorders.
Dr. Rebecca Sheffield is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Virginia. She has over a decade of clinical experience working with individuals, couples and families in a variety of settings, including community agencies, schools and private practice.
Sheffield's clinical work is informed by a systemic perspective, which considers family strengths and challenges within the larger context of family and community and recognizes the power of family members in supporting emotional health. Her research interests include culturally informed and responsive counseling for diverse populations and family structures.
She is committed to social justice and stays active in advocacy work for marginalized and underserved populations. Most recently, she directed a nonprofit counseling center that provided counseling at no cost to individuals and families for whom mental health care was financially out of reach.
Sheffield earned a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision and an MEd in Couples and Family Therapy from the College of William and Mary.
Dr. Ljubica Spiro received a MEd in Community Counseling and a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Kent State University. She is a licensed professional clinical counselor in the state of Ohio, a licensed professional counselor and a certified professional clinical supervisor in the state of Georgia. Her clinical experience includes treating adolescents, adults, couples and families, specializing in the treatment of severe and persistent mental health issues.
Spiro has been an educator for over a decade, serving as a faculty member, faculty support development coordinator, student development coordinator, and associate department chair. She has taught counseling courses in the USA and abroad. Her research interests include multicultural issues in counseling and supervision, international counseling, and cross-cultural mentoring. Spiro is very active in professional counseling associations. She attends and presents at state, regional, and national counseling associations every year, often co-presenting with colleagues and students.
Field Experience Administrator
Ami Cleary-Trombly has over 10 years of experience working and supporting students. She joined Southern New Hampshire University in 2014 as a graduate business academic advisor. In 2018, she joined the MA Counseling academic advising team.
In September 2021, she became a part of the MA Counseling field experience team. In this role, she supports the field experience students, faculty and director of counseling programs and professional practice.
Cleary-Trombly received a BA in History with a minor in Africana Studies from SUNY Potsdam and an MA in Education from Southern New Hampshire University.
Assistant Director of Counseling Programs, Operations & Residencies
In April 2022, Meg Straughn joined the counseling academics team and is responsible for the planning and successful implementation of the counseling program’s in-person residencies, as well as collaborating on strategic plan initiatives and program growth strategies.
She joined Southern New Hampshire University as an academic advisor in November 2017. In October 2019, she began working with the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling academic advising team, supporting counseling students through their academic experience.
Prior to joining SNHU, Straughn worked at a technology company in Boston selling software, supporting clients, managing internal company projects and planning company events.
She earned a BA in Communication with a minor in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire.