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Clinical Graduate Assistant, Resident in Counseling

Mina Attia, M.S., NCC

I am originally from Maryland, where I completed a bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a masters degree from Johns Hopkins University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Currently, I am a second year PhD student in Counseling and Supervision. During my training, I have been fortunate to work in a variety of settings. I have clinical experience working in psychiatric rehabilitation, outpatient private practice, and college student counseling. In my position at the JMU counseling center, I provide individual counseling, group counseling, treatment programs, outreach services, crisis intervention, and consultation. 

I strive to create a warm, safe, and accepting environment when working with clients. I believe that counseling is a collaborative effort and that the therapeutic relationship is the key in bringing change and healing. I work from an integrative approach, drawing on techniques that would best fit each particular client. My clinical interests include anxiety, relationship, and adjustment issues; working with marginalized and underrepresented populations, first generation college students and crisis counseling.

As a PhD student, I also teach graduate level courses, conduct research, and provide supervision and training for graduate level counseling students. I’ve had the opportunity to work for one year in the Office of Residence Life and have a solid understanding of the JMU campus and on-campus life. 

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” Desmond Tutu

Resident in Psychology, Coordinator of Multicultural Student Outreach

Traci Ballou-Broadnax, Psy.M.

I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology at Princeton University, and am currently a doctoral candidate in the Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. After quite a number of years in New Jersey, I had the opportunity to move back to Virginia, where I am from originally, and complete my Doctoral Internship here at the Counseling Center. I am very excited to be staying on as a senior staff member, and to be coordinating outreach efforts for domestic underrepresented groups of students at JMU!

I have had a variety of clinical experiences with diverse populations, including serving as a teacher and job coach for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, working in high school and college counseling centers, providing mental health care in an integrated medical clinic with World Trade Center first responders, and coordinating clinical services at a doctoral training clinic serving college students and community clients. Throughout my training, the college student population has been my passion, and I have been grateful for the many opportunities that have helped me gain a greater understanding of the numerous concerns, challenges, possibilities, and experiences that make college such a crucial stage. I am particularly interested in adjustment to and from college life, identity development, family and couple relationships, issues facing non-traditional students, and the intersection between mental health and academic achievement. I integrate psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and emotion-focused approaches into my work, and strive to create a warm, supportive, and collaborative therapeutic relationship within which I can adaptively address the unique needs of each student I meet. 

Associate Director and Clinical Director

Shirley Cobb, M.A., L.P.C

I received my MA in counseling at Eastern Kentucky University in 1975 and began work at the Madison College Counseling Center (now the JMU Counseling Center) as counselor and educational skills development coordinator.

In 1985, my duties at the JMU Counseling Center included only clinical work, consultation and outreach and liaison with the lake area of residence hall staff. In the late 1980's I returned to graduate school at the University of Virginia and earned 27 hours in and between the various UVA counseling curriculums. Between 1989-91 I served as interim director of the Counseling Center during some major staff changes in this center and the Division of Student Affairs; I have been associate director/clinical director since 1991.

At times over the years, my interests in working with students have shifted to various issues such as stress management and holistic approaches to working with victims of sexual assault/incest and PTSD. As a counselor I consider myself to be psychodynamic/relationship oriented. Many of the precepts of solution-oriented counseling I find useful and compelling; however, I usually conceptualize client issues in terms of object relations theory. Currently, in addition to counseling populations, I am interested in developing more expeditious, integrated (with student development and other services in the university), non-traditional service delivery to students with presenting concerns in the JMU Counseling Center.

Administrative Assistant

Marian Cornelius

I grew up in Northern Virginia and attended Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. I worked for AT&T in Washington, D.C. for approximately 5 years and then was a stay at home mom for quite a few years.

I began working for JMU in the Counseling Center in August 1995. As an Administrative Assistant, I provide support to the Director and the Counseling Staff while providing essential customer service to the students, faculty and the JMU community. I also assist with the day to day operation of the Center.

On a personal note, I enjoy cooking, gardening, traveling, auctions and visiting family and friends.

Case Manager, Staff Counselor, & LPC Training Co-Coordinator

Nina Critz, M.S., L.P.C

I joined the Counseling Center staff in 2010 when the position of Case Manager was created. I received my Bachelor of Arts ('05) and Master of Science ('07) in Psychology from Radford University. Through various internship and professional experiences, I have worked with clients across the lifespan in a variety of settings. My passion, however, lies in working with the college student population. Developmentally, this is an exciting time of for discovering and creating one's self identity, however, it is also a period in life when many students struggle with mental health concerns, some for the first time. Through the therapeutic relationship it is my desire to plant seeds of hope and recovery for each student who is struggling with a mental health issue. As Case Manager, I provide students with the tools, strategies, support and advocacy that they may need to navigate various campus and community mental health resources.

Although I am a New Yorker (state, not city!) at heart, it is wonderful to call Harrisonburg home. I enjoy exploring the gorgeous outdoors, especially mountains and waterfalls. I enjoy spending time traveling, enjoying delicious foods and being active in the community through various volunteering opportunities. Above all, I treasure my time and relationships with loved ones.

Pscyhiatric Nurse Practitioner

Renee Crosswhite, PMHNP-BC

I received my MSN as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt University in 2004.  My educational content focus was working with children through young adulthood.   I have experience working in many different settings with populations throughout the lifespan.     My husband and I relocated to Harrisonburg from the Nashville, TN area and I keep hearing that I do have a southern accent.    I love cooking, reading, watching Alabama football and playing with my dogs.

Working with students is a passion of mine as I believe positive interventions during this stage of life can have a significant impact for easing the often difficult transition into independence.  The interdisciplinary approach to treatment utilizing both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology provides evidenced based results that show the best outcomes for all populations.    Although not a requirement, I encourage students to continue to participate in counseling in combination with medications, if indicated, for improved treatment outcomes.

Staff Counselor, Athletics Liaison, Veterans Coordinator, LPC Training Co-Coordinator

Melinda Fox, M.A., Ed.S., LPC

I am a life-long resident of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and a Duke through and through. The ninth in my family to attend JMU, I graduated in 2002 with a BBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management. After working for several years at a private military secondary school as the activities director, I felt called to redirect my career path, thanks in part to experiences with military families and veterans. I returned to JMU to pursue a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I completed my counseling practicum at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and my externship here at the Counseling Center. In May 2011, I graduated with my MA and EdS. After continuing in a part-time capacity during the 2011-2012 academic year, I was blessed with the opportunity to join the staff on a full-time, permanent basis!

I have an affinity for working with high school and college aged students and appreciate deeply both the joys and struggles of self-exploration, individuation and identity development that often accompany this life phase. As a counselor I strive to journey with clients; I view the therapeutic relationship as essential to this process. I work from a psychodynamic perspective and often integrate interpersonal process and cognitive behavioral techniques into my work. I have particular interest in adjustment concerns, family of origin issues, working with the LGTBQIQ community and trauma related to military service. When not at work I can often be found hiking through the woods with my husband and our dogs. In the fall and winter, Sundays are reserved for football and chili. I also love to read, bake, explore new foods/restaurants and I am a self-admitted TV junkie.

Animal Therapist


Francis, a Border Collie mix, specializes in petting therapy. He was rescued from Harrisonburg SPCA and underwent training to become an animal therapist. He works in group and individual therapy sessions and is frequently found under the psychiatrist's desk. He loves to meet new people, but definitely loves to be petted (especially on the belly). He is also affectionate and gives out many kisses. When not working, he can be found chasing squirrels or rabbits, napping in a sunny spot, or evading his owner.

Staff Counselor, Group Coordinator

Wendy Gerlach, M.A., L.P.C

 I graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a Bachelor’s degree in social work and a Master of Arts in Community Counseling. I am a licensed professional counselor and have had a variety of professional experience in this community. I have worked with the Department of Social Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Sentara RMH Inpatient and Outpatient Behavioral Health.

I have experience working with individuals and families who are experiencing a mental health crisis, including inpatient hospitalization and partial hospitalization treatment programs. I strive to empower individuals to move towards stability and recovery through alignment in the therapeutic process. I integrate a cognitive behavioral approach with an emphasis on solution focused treatment, attachment and family systems. I have experience addressing a wide variety of issues which include, attachment, trauma, grief and loss, managing symptoms of depression and anxiety, self-exploration and identity development, Bipolar Disorder and women’s issues.  I particularly enjoy the process of change in a group setting and coordinate group therapy sessions at the counseling center.

While not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors. 

Clinical Psychologist, Sexual Trauma Empowerment Program (STEP) Coordinator

Leslie Gerrard, Ph.D.

I am originally from North Carolina and have lived most of my life in the southeastern region of the United States. I received my B.A. in Psychology and my M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. I spent a year working with a community mental health provider in Asheville, NC, and a year as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy program in northern Georgia before returning to school to pursue a career in applied psychology. I received my Ph.D. from the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Kentucky in 2012. My clinical experiences include working in various community mental health settings in Lexington, KY and the surrounding areas. I completed my doctoral internship and my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New Hampshire's Counseling Center.

With four years of training in university counseling centers, I have experience working with a myriad of presenting concerns and diverse students. I have specific training in the provision of outreach services, working with trauma survivors, crisis management, identity development, and social justice issues. My theoretical perspective is interpersonal process oriented, meaning that I am interested in patterns of interpersonal interactions that have developed over the lifespan and may influence a person’s current wellbeing. My training has been heavily influenced by multicultural and feminist perspectives and my time working in wilderness settings has led to a strengths-based, holistic approach with a focus on culture and community. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, as well as engaging with my community in a variety of outdoor activities including cycling, yoga, running, swimming, and hiking.

Office Manager

David Gillette

I was born in Suffolk, VA and moved to the Shenandoah Valley with my family when I was 12. I have a certificate in supervision from Blue Ridge Community College and a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and Organizational Development from Eastern Mennonite University. Since my interests include health and personal wellness, I have also obtained certifications in CPR and AED as well as a Personal Trainer Certification from the American Council on Exercise.

I joined the counseling and student development center in October of 2009 and very much enjoy my job. While at JMU I have had the opportunity to increase my understanding of self awareness and expand my knowledge of business management by attending a diverse range of professional development courses.

While not in the office my interests include riding my motorcycle through the beautiful mountains of the Shenandoah Valley, spending time with my family and going on vacations, especially to the beach or Vegas. I enjoy being consumed by a great book, working out at the gym, and anything to do with being outside in the summer. I also love college football and enjoy playing golf.

Resident in Counseling

Olivia Gillies, M.A., Ed.S.

I provide students with brief individual counseling, crisis services, and facilitate groups at the Counseling Center. I also assist with keeping the self-care spaces (the Oasis and the Studio) up and running. Students can also sometimes find me providing education and outreach on-campus about a variety of different subjects related to mental health.

The ’17-’18 academic year will be my 4th year working at the JMU Counseling Center, but also have experience working in community settings and have some expertise in domestic violence. 

I strive to cultivate safe and nonjudgmental space where students can feel comfortable working through whatever brings them to counseling. I consider multicultural and developmental components to students’ wellbeing, and I enjoy working with a diverse group of clients. In addition, I value humor, joyfulness, and the strengths students bring to their healing process.

Staff Counselor, Program Assistant Supervisor, Certificate Program Coordinator

Kara Karr, M.A., Ed.S.

I received my MA and EdS in Community Agency Counseling from JMU in 1993. I then went on to become licensed as a professional counselor in Virginia. While I was completing my graduate training at JMU I had the good fortune of interning here at the Counseling Center. I enjoyed my counseling work with college students so much that I continued part-time counseling here even as I took on the role of JMU Coordinator of Disability Services. Three years later as I prepared to give birth to my first child, Mia Christina, I resigned as the Coordinator of Disability Services and stayed on here at the Counseling Center. I immensely enjoy my work here and plan on continuing my part-time schedule indefinitely as I now have a second child, Tessa.

Prior to my employment at JMU, I served as an Adult Protective Services Social Worker for Shenandoah County, providing case management and investigating complaints of abuse against both individuals over age 65 and adults with disabilities. This experience propelled me away from pursuing my MSW and toward a counseling career where I would be able to work with clients on a deeper level instead of focusing on more basic needs.

One of my particular areas of interest is death and dying. I completed the RMH Hospice Training and served as an in-home hospice volunteer. In addition, I have given several presentations on grief issues throughout the years. Other clinical interests include spirituality/religion as it impacts the client and the process of psychotherapy, couples counseling, sexual assault recovery, and working with the LGBTQIQ community.

When I conceptualize client issues, I draw from both a psychodynamic and systems model. In keeping with the Counseling Center's brief therapy model, I have begun to employ more of a solution-focused orientation. I continue to utilize a variety of counseling techniques, depending on what I feel the individual client will respond to, always considering that the counselor/client relationship is a key ingredient in the therapy process.

Clinical Psychologist, Coordinator of Men's Issues Programs & Treatment Programs

Jerrod Koon Ph.D.

I am a licensed clinical psychologist at the Counseling Center. I obtained my B.A. in psychology from Wheeling Jesuit University, M.S. in Community Counseling from Shippensburg University and my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The University of Iowa. I completed my doctoral internship at The University of Tennessee Knoxville. Working with college students through university counseling centers, have been my most rewarding and exciting clinical experiences.  

I perform a variety of clinical and outreach work related to the CC treatment programs, anxiety disorders, gender, identity, adjustment, multicultural issues, first generation college students, survivors of trauma, sexual assault and intimate partner violence, and healthy relationships. Although I primarily work from a cognitive-behavioral framework, I integrate a variety of interpersonal, emotion-focused, and psychodynamic interventions in order to tailor the therapeutic process to each client. My goal in counseling is to create a collaborative and empowering environment that assists clients in making positive changes and improving the quality of their lives.

Clinical Psychologist, Outreach Coordinator

Magali Laitem, Psy.D.

I received my M.S. in Clinical Psychology from North Dakota State University and my Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Hartford. I completed my doctoral internship at the University of the Pacific and my post-doctoral experience at Humboldt State University.  I have clinical experiences working with a diverse population on a variety of issues. I realized during my training that working with college students to help them have a successful and positive experience during their college years was the most fulfilling and where I wanted to stay. My areas of interests include outreach, multicultural issues, intimate partner violence, suicide prevention and survivors of suicide loss, and grief and loss among many others! Though I am trained in cognitive-behavioral approaches, I tend to approach my work by meeting students where they are at and getting a sense of what they most need so that we can work together to create positive changes. 

When not in the office, I can usually be found reading, doing some form of art, spending time with my cat, or exploring the nearby area. 

Staff Counselor/Resident in Counseling & Coordinator of Suicide Risk Reduction

Janice Lewis, M.A., Ed.S., NCC

I received my B.A. in Psychology from James Madison University, minoring in Art & Spanish. After working in both education and mental health, I returned to JMU to complete my M.A. & Ed.S. degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. My counseling practicum, externship, and first 2 years of residency were all completed at the Counseling Center, which allowed me to follow my clinical interest in providing mental health support to university students. I am delighted to have joined the JMU Counseling Center as a senior staff member & suicide risk reduction outreach coordinator. 

As a counselor I value wellness and have a deep appreciation for the intention and effort that goes into active self-reflection and creating change. I utilize an integrative approach to counseling and incorporate a variety of interpersonal process, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic based approaches. I work to tailor my services to meet students where they are, and believe in the importance of the therapeutic relationship. I have experience with providing counseling services to a wide range of presenting concerns. My specialized interests are in the areas of stress management, suicide risk reduction outreach, identity development, multicultural issues, mindfulness practice, trauma recovery, and resilience.

Counseling Extern

Katie Long, B.A.

I am a Counseling Extern, providing counseling services through individual sessions, co-facilitated group sessions, and crisis interventions. I am currently a co-facilitator of the Women’s Process Group.

I have a passion for working with college students, and strive to hold space to explore with students the identity development, transitions and adjustments that can occur during this time. The therapeutic relationship is essential to this journey with clients, and I value creating a collaborative and supportive environment that fits a student’s unique needs. I work from humanistic-existential and interpersonal process perspectives, and I am working to further integrate emotion-focused and cognitive behavioral approaches.

I am in my final year of the MA in Counseling program at Eastern Mennonite University. Prior to my externship at JMU, I completed my counseling practicum at the Shenandoah University Counseling Center, and have had the opportunity to work with teens, children and in mental health crisis settings. 

Director of Training, Clinical Psychologist

Ilene Magee, Ph.D.

I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, master's degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington.

My career in psychology has focused on human interaction, particularly how change occurs by means of the therapeutic relationship and the process of therapy. My work is most influenced by interpersonal process, family systems, and cognitive-behavioral approaches. I have experience providing counseling services to a diverse student population with a wide range of presenting issues, and I am dedicated to multicultural awareness both professionally and personally. I am particularly interested in supervision of professionals in training, women’s issues, trauma recovery, multicultural issues, and career development.

Doctoral Intern

Colleen Monn, B.S.

I am excited to be completing my doctoral internship at the JMU Counseling Center. I received my B.S. in Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, and I am currently working towards my doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) from Adler University in Chicago, IL. I have worked therapeutically in a variety of settings, including community mental health, college counseling, therapeutic day schools, and inpatient behavioral health. Within these settings, I have gained experience providing mental health services to a diverse population, presenting with a wide range of clinical concerns.

My therapeutic approach is predominantly influenced by interpersonal process, grounded in attachment and postmodern feminism. I am interested in how interpersonal interactions developed over the course of an individual’s life, and how those patterns in turn impact the individual’s current experience. I view the therapeutic relationship as a mechanism for change, and place significant value on strengthening clients’ voices, as I invite them to share their stories and explore meaningful relationships. Although a generalist, a few of my clinical interests include grief and loss, trauma, multicultural and social justice issues, relational concerns, and crisis response. 

Suicide Risk Reduction Outreach Graduate Assistant

Jennifer Moore, B.A.

I grew up in a small town in Western Maryland. In the Spring of 2017 I graduated from Towson University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science. I am currently a first year graduate student in the School Counseling Master’s program. I have taught group fitness classes at several universities and fitness centers for the past 2 years. I believe that physical and mental health are intertwined and that physical wellness is essential for working on emotional well-being. In my free time I enjoy anything that gets me outside and moving; like biking, hiking, rock climbing, rollerblading, and running. I also love to cook and create my own recipes, and I value time with my family and friends.


David Onestak, Ph.D.

Previously the Director of the Counseling Center at Eastern Illinois University for seven years, I came to JMU in the spring of 2004. I received my undergraduate degree in psychology from Penn State in 1987, and I then immediately entered the clinical psychology program at the University of South Carolina. Beginning with my predoctoral internship at the University of Pittsburgh's Counseling Center, my professional practice and career have been based exclusively in university counseling centers. After internship, I became a staff psychologist at Georgia Southern University's Counseling Center, where I became licensed psychologist. When a staff psychologist position became available at the University of Pittsburgh, I returned to the site of my internship and stayed there for three years, eventually becoming an Assistant Director.

Treatment Program Graduate Assistant

Bryant Satterlee, M.A., Ed.S.

I am a doctoral student in the counseling and supervision program at James Madison University (JMU). In 2017, I received my master’s and educational specialist degrees in clinical mental health counseling from JMU. I have provided counseling services to individuals in both college and community settings. Currently, I facilitate treatment programs in the Counseling Center that focus on mitigating anxiety symptoms, promoting resiliency, and improving self-care among the student population. I am passionate about pursuing my dream of learning and teaching the art of counseling. As I look forward to the journey ahead, I am grateful to be a part of the Counseling Center team.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with close friends and family.

Coordinator of International Student Outreach, Clinical Psychologist

Carolyn Strack, Ph.D.

I am a senior staff member at the Counseling Center. I completed my B.A. in Psychology from Dickinson College and M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Bucknell University. I made my way out to the Midwest to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Miami University.  During my internship year at Iowa State University, I created programming to support international students and promote interaction among domestic and international students.  I enjoyed and valued that experience and am excited to continue working with international students at JMU!  

In my clinical work, I am passionate about working with college students in a university setting. I appreciate that early adulthood can be an exciting time, yet can also be a period during which individuals experience various difficulties.  I find it a privilege to work with college students and promote their well-being.  I value the therapeutic relationship and view it as a window into clients’ broader relational worlds.  I strive to create a warm and supportive environment and walk alongside clients to explore past experiences and their current environment.  I also work to promote use of more effective strategies to manage distress.  While I consider myself a generalist, some of my interests include family dynamics, emotional maltreatment, trauma, and issues related to diversity.  Outside of work, I enjoy being outside, spending time with friends and family, and playing fetch with my dog.

Clinical Psychologist, Psy.D. Practicum Coordinatior, & LGBT*QIQA Liaison

Katrina Simpson-McCleary, Psy.D.

I received my undergraduate degree from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania double majoring in Psychology and Spanish. The blending of psychology and Spanish nurtured my appreciation for people's stories and diversity of experience. Quality relationships, compassion, and growth are important to me, and create the backdrop of my clinical work.  While I enjoy working with a wide variety of presenting concerns, my areas of special interest include gender (identity, expression, socialization, etc.), trauma, working with the LGBTQIQA community, and multicultural identity development. Tied into my value of quality relationships and growth, supervision and training of future clinicians is a passion of mine.  I am grateful for the multiple professional and educational opportunities that I have had, including receiving my doctorate from Indiana University of PA, working as a sexual assault counselor at a non-profit, interning at William & Mary, and being a therapist at both Clarion University and Indiana University in Pennsylvania.  Personally, I enjoy laughter, a good book, time spent outdoors, and quality time w/ friends and family.  

Graduate Assistant, Doctoral Practicum Student

Bridget E. Smith, M.A.

I graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. After receiving my undergraduate degree I continued my work as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for a year. I wanted a deeper understanding of the psychological aspect of athletic participation and general health and wellness, and moved to Colorado to pursue my Masters of Arts in Sport & Performance Psychology. A continued desire for learning and understanding of how mental health and performance issues overlap and impact the individual led me to James Madison University. I am currently a third year doctoral student in the Combined-Integrated Clinical and School Counseling Psy.D. Program.

Throughout my training I have come to value and adopt an integrated approach. I believe that the therapeutic process should be collaborative and supportive in helping individuals better understand their own story and work toward healing and adaptive change. My clinical interests include: student-athlete mental health concerns, as well as disordered eating and body image concerns.

During my free time I love to run, and am excited to be doing my first Boston Marathon this Spring. I also enjoy reading for fun, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

Clinical Graduate Assistant, Resident in Counseling

Tiffanie Sutherlin, M.A., NCC

I graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. I continued my educational journey by attending Liberty University to pursue my Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Currently I am a 2nd year doctoral student in the Counseling and Supervision program here at James Madison University.

During my training I have appreciated and adopted an integrative approach that incorporates both a solution focused and cognitive-behavioral therapeutic lens. I believe the relationship plays a key role in the therapeutic process and strive to have a collaborative relationship with myself and clients. In my role as a Clinical Graduate Assistant I provide individual/group counseling, outreach services, crisis intervention, and consultation. My clinical interests include: adjustment concerns to college life, multicultural issues related to mental health concerns, career development, and interpersonal concerns.

In my spare time I love traveling, attending sporting events, and spending time with family and close friends .

Graduate Assistant

Sarah Sweatman, B.S.

I am from Fredericksburg, VA, where my family currently resides.  In the Counseling Center, I am working as a front desk assistant for my Graduate Assistant position. For undergrad, I began my education at Virginia Commonwealth University and then transferred to James Madison University as a Psychology major. I loved JMU so much I couldn’t leave! Currently I am a second year graduate student in the School Counseling Master’s program, where I am completing my internship.  In my free time, I enjoy traveling, working out, baking, and most importantly being with my friends and family!


Colleen G. S. Tennyson, M.D., FAPA

I am originally from Ohio and relocated to Virginia in 2003. I completed a B.S. in Biology at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. During college, my volunteer work at the state psychiatric hospital sparked my interest in mental health. I continued studies at The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, and received my M.D. in 2003. I completed my adult psychiatric training at University of Virginia and served as chief resident for the program during my final year.

My training provided exposure to various therapeutic and pharmacologic approaches. I am interested in the interplay of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy and believe that combined treatment is superior to medications alone. This philosophy provides the foundation for my work as I only provide services to students who are actively engaged in counseling at the Counseling Center. I also recognize the benefits students can receive when medical providers in different specialties collaborate. Thus, I work to maintain a comprehensive treatment approach for each student.

Resident in Counseling

Rachel Tysinger, M.A., Ed.S.

I provide one on one, individualized counseling, group counseling, and treatment programming at the counseling center. I like to work with each student in a humanistic, person-centered approach. In our first session or two I will get to know the student, their needs in coming to counseling and establish goals for working together. I also enjoy teaching mindfulness and mediation skills to students to aid in relaxation, coping skills, and treatment for anxiety. 

In addition to counseling, I enjoy providing outreach services for the center on JMU's campus. Sharing with students and their families what services the center provides and how counseling can be beneficial is important and personal for me, since it was in college I first sought counseling for myself! I also enjoy speaking positively about JMU's culture and campus, since I'm a Duke and football season ticket holder!

CSPA Graduate Assistant

Colleen Waller, B.S.

I am a first-year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration. I received my B.S. in Liberal Studies with a focus on Multicultural Studies from Oregon State University, and recently moved from Austin, where I worked at The University of Texas. I am serving as the CSPA Graduate Assistant at the Counseling Center and thrilled to be working with the Peer Mentor Program and with undergraduate psychology Program Assistants.

I am excited to be exploring and learning about the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and Harrisonburg. When not working or studying, I like to hike, read, and spend time with my family, and walk our family dog, Willie.

Animal Therapist


Walter is a goldendoodle who specializes in petting therapy. He completed training to become an animal therapist in the summer of 2017, and works in group and individual therapy sessions. Walter loves meeting new people, and has been known to sniff out food and treats. When he’s not working, Walter loves sleeping, playing fetch, and eating grass. 

Resident in Counseling

Daria White, Ph.D.

I am a native of Bulgaria and since 2014 – an American citizen. My background is in social work, peacebuilding and counseling. I worked for five years with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Washington State. In my home country I developed a grass-roots organization to address interpersonal conflict in the faith communities. I have lived in Harrisonburg for almost 10 years. I completed the master’s program in conflict transformation at Eastern Mennonite University in 2012, and graduated with a Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision at JMU in May of 2017.

A lot of my work has been focused on individuals who have experienced personal and communal, current and transgenerational trauma, understanding cultural and individual barriers to, and resources for resilience. In recent years I researched another side of the human experience – joy and awe. I studied the cultural expressions of joy and awe and the differences between older and younger generations. I discovered that people need relationships, time in nature, sense of authentic self, and spiritual awareness to feel joyful and alive. Even though I use the brief model as a member of the Counseling Center, focusing on goals, future, and what works for people, I borrow from narrative, existential, and person-centered theories. I believe we all ask questions about meaning, needing to fulfill the deep longings of our being. I journey with clients to explore together their dreams and their inner resources toward leading vibrant lives. 

Animal Therapist


Wicket specializes in petting therapy. He was rescued from the Rockingham SPCA in September 2014. He completed training to become an animal therapist in the 2015-2016 academic year. He works in group and individual therapy sessions and is frequently found in our STEP Coordinator’s office. He loves to meet new people and is particularly drawn to those holding any sort of food. He often enjoys a good frolic, but is also fond of napping. Wicket also can be seen out on campus for CC outreach events, such as “Canine Kisses” with his buddies Winston and Francis.