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Doctoral Intern

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 am very happy to be back in Virginia, where I am from originally.  Being in Harrisonburg for the first time is exciting, and I look forward to my time as a doctoral intern 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 however, have experience working in many different settings with populations throughout the lifespan.     My husband and I relocated to Harrisonburg from the Nashville, TN area.    I love cooking, reading 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.   Therefore, I only receive referrals and provide psychopharmacology services for students who are actively engaged in counseling.


Doctoral Practicum Student

Chad Doerr, M.A.

After playing two years of college baseball in Northern California, I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. During this time, I desired to further understand the psychological factors that help individuals accomplish personal fulfillment and perform at their best. This led me to obtain a Masters of Arts in Sport & Performance Psychology from the University of Denver, where I spent my time consulting with high school and college athletic teams. After Denver, I continued my eastward journey, where I am now a third year doctoral student in the Combined-Integrated Clinical and School Counseling Psy.D. Program.

I have developed a deep passion for working with the college student population. More specifically, I enjoy working with the student-athlete population, and also issues of anxiety, identity development, and life transitions. In my work, I use an integrative framework to help students understand how previous life experiences have shaped their beliefs and values, while also working towards building skills that promote adaptive coping and fulfillment within a trusting and collaborative space.

CSPA Graduate Assistant

Lindsey English, B.S.

I am a Double Duke, I graduated from James Madison University May 2015 with a B.S. in Justice Studies and a Criminal Justice Minor. I currently am a Graduate Assistant at the Counseling Center seeking to receive my Masters of Education in College Student Personnel Administration. In undergrad, I worked in several Student Affairs offices, Office of Residence Life, Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices, and Off-Campus Life which inspired me to seek a master's degree in this field. When I am not in the office, I enjoy traveling any and everywhere (I love going abroad to Europe), breaking a sweat in the gym, exploring new recipes in the kitchen, providing a helping hand in the community, and any outdoor adventure no matter the weather! 

Resident in Counseling

Beth Eriksen, MA, MT-BC

I was born and raised in South Dakota, but have called the Shenandoah Valley home for the past six years.  I received my undergraduate degree in Music Therapy from Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne in 2009, beginning my career at a non-profit hospice working with terminally ill patients.  Several years later, I felt a desire to deepen my clinical skills which led me to pursue my graduate degree in Counseling.  I graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2014, and have now joined the JMU Counseling Center as a Resident in Counseling.

During my training as a counselor, I had the opportunity to work with students at Shenandoah University and Eastern Mennonite University.  These experiences fueled my love of working with students and exploring the developmental quest of individuation and self-exploration.  I enjoy incorporating experiential forms of therapy in my work as a counselor, pulling from my background in music therapy and the expressive arts.  I am currently undergoing training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery & Music, a form of music psychotherapy that assists in deepening the therapeutic process.   

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two dogs, Brinkley and Hoosier.  I also enjoy making music or curling up with a good book.

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

Cheri Greenfield, M.A., Ed.S.

I moved to the Shenandoah Valley almost 20 years ago, where I quickly fell in love with this area. After receiving my undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite University, I spent 13 years working with high school students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, in both public and private alternative settings. This work eventually led me to pursue counseling as a career, as I began to see my students benefit from acknowledging and exploring their challenges. In May 2015, I completed my graduate work at James Madison University with an M.A. and Ed.S. in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. I worked as a Counseling Extern during the 2014-15 academic year, and I am excited to return to the Counseling Center this year as a Resident in Counseling. I live in the mountains west of Harrisonburg with my husband and two daughters, as well as our two goofy dogs, Ruby and Jax. My favorite moments are spent outdoors—running, gardening, and most often just sitting on my porch. 

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. 

Suicide Risk Reduction Graduate Assistant

Savanna Lester

I am switching roles at the Counseling Center this year as the Suicide Risk Reduction Outreach Graduate Assistant.  I am a second-year in the School Counseling Master's Program at JMU.  I grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia and first moved to Harrisonburg to earn my Bachelors from Eastern Mennonite University.  In my spare time I enjoy golfing, game nights, cooking with friends, and being on the water!

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.

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

Kevin Myers, M.S.

I am very pleased to be completing my internship at this this wonderful university surrounded by beautiful mountains and kind people. Originally from Southwest Virginia, I completed my B.S in Psychology at Virginia Tech and my M.S in Clinical Psychology from Indiana State University. I am currently working towards my doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from Indiana State University. I have had the opportunity to gain clinical experience in several areas including community mental health, integrated health, and college counseling centers. Although I often work from a cognitive-behavioral orientation, I also integrate a variety of humanistic and interpersonal interventions in session to tailor the therapeutic process to each client’s individual needs. I believe therapy is a collaborative endeavor and enjoy helping individuals identify, alter, and overcome psychological distress. Although a generalist, some of my clinical interests include working with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, interpersonal relationship difficulties, crisis, and personality assessment.


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.

Counseling Extern

Mary Pargas, B.A.

I earned my BA from Indiana University in Applied Health Science with a double major in Public Health and Secondary Education, and a minor in Biology.  In 2015, I was accepted to the Master’s in Counseling program at Eastern Mennonite University, and completed a practicum at Shenandoah University Counseling Center in 2016.  I am currently doing my externship at the JMU Counseling Center for the 2016-2017 school year.  My expected graduation date is April, 2017.  

I am a certified yoga therapist, and for the last 15 years I have had a successful private practice in the healing arts, specializing in the mind-body approach to integrated therapeutic wellness encompassing issues of self-identity, relationships, emotional and mental balance, career goals, and physical health using techniques of body movement, meditation, holistic therapies and health education. I am also passionate in the design and facilitation of classes, programs and retreats. 

As a counseling extern, I am honored to be working with the university population.  I value each client as a unique individual with the potential for empowered, creative change.  I work from a person-centered, strength-based perspective using the integrative approach, combing cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, resiliency, and the mind-body approach with an emphasis on self-compassion.  In my future counseling career, I plan to further combine my experience of the healing arts with mind-body evidence based counseling techniques.  Currently, I am passionate about Focus-Oriented Therapy, completing the first step towards certification. I have lived in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley for 7 years and also enjoy traveling internationally to over 30 countries (so far). Hiking and biking are my next favorite activities.  

Doctoral Resident

Christine Parrish, M.A.

New to the Harrisonburg area, I am excited to be a doctoral resident at JMU.  I completed my B.A. in Psychology, M.A. in Community Counseling, and I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at West Virginia University.  I have been fortunate to have had a variety of clinical experiences in student health, inpatient and residential hospital settings, and more recently, college counseling centers.  The foundational underpinnings of my work are based on an appreciation for diversity and the development of a therapeutic relationship.  I consider my therapeutic orientation to be integrated, and I aim to meet the unique needs of each client.  I am especially interested in grief and crisis work, and also enjoy working with clients with multiple intersecting identities.  During my free time, I love to spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Angela Pezzella, B.S., QHMP

I am originally from Virginia Beach, VA. I then completed my B.S. from The College of William and Mary with my minor in Public Health. After graduation, I worked as a Behavioral Counselor at a hospital in Richmond, VA, earning my certification as a Qualified Mental Health Professional. Currently I am in my second year as a student in JMU’s masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. I am excited to working in the Counseling Center this year as both a GA and a master’s practicum student.  I am passionate about working with teens and young adults and feel lucky to be working in a college setting with all the wonderful Dukes. When I am not here in the Counseling Center or in class I enjoy distance running, spending time with my friends and family, traveling, and animals.

Counseling Extern

Caitlin Powell, B.S.

Going into my seventh year here at JMU, I have had many fabulous experiences in my undergraduate and graduate career thus far. I came to Harrisonburg in 2010 to receive my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Communication. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a counselor and started on that journey as soon as I could. I fell in love with JMU the very first year and continue to appreciate its beauty and uniqueness as I advance in my career as a counselor in training. Along the way I have experienced working for the Learning Centers as a student office assistant, participating in organizations such as Best Buddies and Psi Chi, and enjoying time with some of my best friends. After graduating in 2014, I entered the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program with a graduate assistantship in the Office of Disability Services. For two years I was the GA for Learning Strategies Instruction and learned so much about working one on one with students. That is when I realized how much I love working with college students and decided that the Externship in the Counseling Center was the right job for me. When I am not meeting with students or working on campus I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking, or walking/running to the nearest coffee shop so as to create an incentive for exercising. This year is going to be fabulous and I am excited to soak up every minute since it will be my last year here at JMU. After that…who knows where I may end up! 

Coordinator of International Student Outreach, Resident in Psychology

Carolyn Shainheit, 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.

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 GA 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 first year graduate student in the School Counseling Master’s program.  In my free time, I enjoy traveling, running, baking, and most importantly being with my friends and family.


Colleen Tennyson, M.D.

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 moved to the Harrisonburg area in 2003 after completing my B.A. in Psychology from SUNY Oswego.  Watching JMU and the surrounding area develop and grow has kept me in this area.  Prior to coming to JMU, I worked with families and youth in a community-based agency for 8 years, and then returned to school to pursue my master’s degree at JMU.  I have enjoyed my transition from working with young children to my work with young adults, and I have seen the therapeutic relationship help clients arrive at their greatest potential. My areas of interest are group therapy and substance abuse counseling and education. I have facilitated both general process groups and a mindfulness group at the Counseling Center, and have facilitated psychoeducational and process groups at RMH Behavioral Health with their Life Recovery Program.  When I am not in the office, my favorite moments are created with family and close friends.

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.