Current JMU A&M Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision

Current Students

Most students in the Assessment and Measurement Doctoral program have assistantships through the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS). Through these assistantships, students gain valuable real-world experience in various aspects of assessment design and measurement techniques.

Please take time to review student testimonials

Profile photo: Kayla Bryant

Kayla Bryant

B.S. Psychology and Child and Learning Development (double major), University of Texas at Dallas, 2016
M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of North Texas at Dallas, 2019

Research interests: Treatment of trauma bonds, effectiveness of experiential modalities in treating clients, attachment, and improving counselor education.

Post-doctoral "goal for the future": I would like to become an educator, either as a professor or in continuing education. I am passionate about the treatment of trauma, so I envision always working directly with clients, but would also like to expand my contribution through research.

Favorite self-care activity: Spending time with my family (including my dogs), birdwatching, and going for walks.

Profile photo: Albrina Burger

Albrina Burger

Temple University (B.A in English and Philosophy, Cum Laude, 2007
M.Ed in Secondary Education-English, 2008)
Albany State University (M. Ed in School Counseling, 2022)

Research interests: Inclusive and equitable learning for underrepresented students in P-12 settings, advocacy skills for black females in school and work settings.

Post-doctoral "goal for the future": To train aspiring school counselors at the Master's and Doctoral level, while continuing to work as a school counselor

Favorite self-care activity: Walking, cooking and vacationing

Profile photo: Cannie Campbell

Cannie Campbell

JMU BS in Health Sciences 1995
University of Oklahoma – Masters of Public Health, 1998
JMU M/EdS in clinical mental health counseling
Current PhD student counseling and supervision at JMU

Research Interests: Mental health care in an Emergency department setting; LGBTQ+ and mental health; women's mental health, trauma informed leadership; the psychology of women's giving

Favorite self-care activity: traveling, gardening, walking

Profile photo: Liz Dinwiddie

Liz Dinwiddie

Education: I received my B.S. in Psychology from Appalachian State University in 2012 and my M.A. in Counseling at East Tennessee State University.

Research Interests: My research interests relate to effective strategies to support and sustain school counselors through post-master's supervision and professional development. I am also interested in school-family-community partnerships and the role they can play in creating more equitable schools for all students and families.
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD): I look forward to training and supervising future school counselors and clinical mental health counselors. I would love to work as a director of mental health services for a public school division and/or work as a member of a counseling faculty at the master's level.

Favorite self-care activity: My favorite self-care activity is running. It is the best way to relieve stress and help me get a good night of sleep.

Profile photo:Katie Dolieslager

Katie Dolieslager

M.A., Eastern Mennonite University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
B.S., James Madison University, Communication Studies with a concentration in Interpersonal Communication, 2019. Minor in Religious Studies.

Research Interests:The impact of nature and exercise on mental wellness, attachment theory ranging from childhood to adulthood, the impacts of social media on adolescents' mental health, impacts of religion and spirituality on overall individual well-being, creativity and play in counseling, and leadership. 
Goals or hopes for the future (when you complete your PhD):
My goal is to become a professor and counselor educator through teaching, supervision, and giving presentations to the public regarding specific mental health topics. I love the work that is done with individual clients as well and plan to continue seeing clients. I currently work for a community based non-profit and desire to make positive impacts in the communities I live and work in. 

Favorite self-care activity: I love spending time in nature with my husband and dog. You can often find us backpacking on the Appalachian Trail or Shenandoah River. I also love exercising my body and my mind through strength training and being in a book club with my friends. Lastly, being in community with family and friends is another major source of self-care for me. 

Profile photo: Ellen Dotas

Ellen Dotas

Education: BA from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (music education); MEd from McGill University (counseling psychology)

Research Interests: Developing valid risk assessment tools for clinicians and training clinicians to better assess clients in crisis, pandemic related stress, suicide

Favorite self-care activity: Getting outside, spending time with friends
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD): I am an LPC and work in a clinical position now and see myself continuing in that area. I would like to apply what I have learned to developing better ways of assessing and working with people in crisis. I also am thinking about possibly teaching some if I have the opportunity to do so.

Thoughts about the program: This program is great for people who are working and couldn't leave their job to return to school. Everyone has been so supportive and it is great to get to know this cohort. We have a great mixture of different backgrounds, educational degrees, ages, and goals. Even though we started from different points, we have all arrived here and our diversity combines to make this a truly wonderful educational experience!


Profile photo: Anne Erickson

Anne Erickson

Education: I grew up in Graham, North Carolina and earned my B.A. in psychology from Duke University (‘99), and M.A. in counseling from Wake Forest University (‘05). I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Certified Imago Relationship Therapist. My private practice, New Garden Counseling, is located in Greensboro, NC, where I see individuals and couples. I work primarily from a person-centered, psychodynamic perspective.

Research Interests: Alternative treatments for depression; how counselors discuss suicidal ideation with clients; the impact of diagnosis on client self-regard; counselors' attitudes towards the diagnostic paradigm; counselors' experiences with state licensing boards; and the integration of polyvagal theory into couples counseling.
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: At this point, I’m not sure what the future will bring professionally after I earn my doctorate. I’m keeping an open mind and am thoroughly enjoying how this intellectual journey is complementing my work with clients.

Favorite self-care activity: I live in Greensboro with my husband, two daughters, and three cats. My favorite ways to unwind include reading one of my many magazine subscriptions (some favorites include The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Mother Jones), listening to Depeche Mode-ish eighties music, car dancing/lip-synching, watching old SNL episodes with my family, meeting friends for coffee, browsing independent bookstores, and hanging out with my incredible, caring, hilarious, intellectual, amazing cohort!

Profile photo: Shayna Finn

Shayna Finn

M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marywood University, 2021
B.S. Psychology (Clinical Track); Minors in Counseling and Nutrition, Marywood University, 2018

Research Interests: Supervisory relationship in counselor training, wellness in young adults through the geriatric population, burnout prevention within the helping professions
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: I hope to work as a professor and help counselors in training while also assisting clients in their counseling journey.

Favorite self-care activity: I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan and enjoy watching sports. I love being outside, especially in the fall and spring, as well as some type of exercise.

Profile photo: Lynnquell Gardiner

Lynnquell Gardiner

Education: I obtained my Bachelor of Arts from Bellarmine University and hold a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University.

Research Interests: My current research interests include acculturation and perceptions of acculturative stress for Afro-Caribbean students in the U.S. as well as expanding the literature on international students to improve multicultural competence, training and program outreach for counseling professionals.
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: I hope to continue gaining clinical experience toward licensure and to develop interventions and trainings informed by my research with international students. I would also like to create cultural immersion opportunities for counselors to understand mental health from diverse perspectives.

Favorite self-care activity: It's difficult to choose just one self-care activity, I enjoy strength training, yoga and long walks in nature. Leisure reading is also a longstanding favorite of mine!

Profile photo: Kim Hall

Kim Hall

BA, Biology, SUNY Geneseo, 2012
MA, EdS, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, James Madison University, 2018

Research interests: Counselor education in paraphilias and paraphilic disorders, diagnosis and case conceptualization, and workplace success
Post-doctoral "goal for the future": Teaching, consultation, supervision, and community advocacy and education
Favorite self-care activity: Taking care of my three cats and dozens of houseplants

Profile photo: Renee Haskins

Renee Haskins

BA Communication/Music Studies from University of Maryland College Park
MA in School Counseling from Bowie State University


Research Interests: The perceived impact of Restorative Practices on students, school staff, and the surrounding community
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: I hope to train future clinicians and school counselors through teaching and consultation.

Favorite self-care activity: listening to music while reading or journaling

Profile photo: Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson

M.Ed. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of Lynchburg, 2021
B.S. Psychology, James Madison University, 2018

Research Interests:
First-generation college students
Well-being among college students
Multicultural competency in rural areas
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: My goal is to become a faculty member in a master's or doctoral level counseling program at a four-year institution in Virginia. I hope to continue exploring my research interests throughout my career, while also maintaining a case load of counseling clients.

Favorite self-care activity: I love to read (fiction), cuddle my cat, and/or take a long nap!

Profile photo: Jinok Lim

Jinok Lim

Education: I received my master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Liberty University in 2019 and I am a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy in VA.

Research Interests: My research interests are immigrant families, international students, religion, and Asian women.
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: My goals for the future are to be a counselor educator and advocate for immigrant families in the U.S.

Favorite self-care activity: My favorite self-care activities are walking and hiking.

Profile photo: Brian Lusk

Brian Lusk

B.S., Psychology, Bluefield College
M.S., Counselor Education - Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Radford University

Research Interests: addiction treatment and recovery, trauma, advocacy, and social justice
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: I’m unsure with regard to employment direction. However, I want to continue to make a positive impact on the counseling field by working to move the profession forward in progressive, responsible ways.

Favorite self-care activity: Exercise, outdoor activities, spending time with family, watching/playing sports

Profile photo: Tyler Puryear

Tyler Puryear

M.P.H. Social and Behavioral Science, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2021
M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Johns Hopkins University, 2019
B.S. Elementary Education, Towson University, 2017

Research Interests: Behavioral medicine, accessibility to substance use treatment, harm reduction, intersection of mental and physical health, LGBTG+ mental health, sexual health, and implications of mental health on HIV treatment/prevention.
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: I hope to serve as a faculty member of a university mental health counseling program, conducting research and teaching future counselors about the role of mental health counseling in behavioral medicine. I also would like to work towards establishing a CACREP-accredited doctoral program in my home region of New England!

Favorite self-care activity: Listening to music, reading/learning about interior design, and watching reality television!

Profile photo: Kyle Rose

Kyle Rose

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Capella University (2020)
M.L.A. (2012) and B.S. in Education (2010) from Lock Haven University

Research Interests: Theoretical orientation development, liberation and advocacy in counseling/psychotherapy sessions, emerging/ young adult development, therapeutic relationships and meaning-making

Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD): I hope to continue serving in a clinical role while branching into supervision after graduation. I'm not sure of the balance between them or context/setting, but I also hope to engage with research, teaching, and advocacy work.

Favorite self-care activity: Traveling with my spouse and intentionally idle mornings with coffee

Profile photo: Tifffany Snow

Tiffany Snow

B.A. in Psychology from Lee University in 2007
M.Ed. in Counselor Education, concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Augusta University in 2018
Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia since 2022
National Certified Counselor since 2018
Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner since 2017

Research Interests: I am interested in counselor education and training related to preparing counselors for Integrated Care settings.  I am also interested in enhancing quality of life and community integration for people with serious and persistent mental health conditions.
Post-doctoral "goal for the future": I hope to be a professor in a CACREP-accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.  I am also interested in serving in leadership roles within mental health treatment organizations and agencies.

Favorite self-care activity I enjoy spending time with my husband and dogs outdoors - enjoying nature, hiking, camping, a day at the beach, or simply a trip to the dog park.

Profile photo: Jaclyn Sovocool-Sharkey

Jaclyn Sovocool-Sharkey

West Chester University, B.A., 2019
Immaculata University
M.A., 2021
(NCC) Nationally Certified Counselor

Research Interests: mental health care in inpatient psychatrict settings,  LGBTQ+ and mental health; women's mental health, trauma informed leadership; substance use and co-occurring disorders 
Goals or hope for the future (when you complete your PhD)
: I currently work inpatient at a psychiatric hospital outside of Philadelphia, PA. I work on a co-occurring unit with clients suffering with substance misuse, psychosis and mental impairment. While my job is challenging, it is also very rewarding. When I am not working or studying, I enjoy long distance running, my golden retriever, baking and spending time with my family.

Favorite self-care activity: Traveling, running, cooking, spending time outdoors

Profile photo: Jennifer Zegan-Lister

Jennifer Zegan-Lister

Prescott College, BA in Psychology and Human Development with a concentration in Counseling, 2018
Prescott College, MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in addictions counseling, 2020

Research interests: My research interests are the intersection of the LGBTQIA community, complex trauma, and substance use disorders. I want to utilize this research to create best practices in treatment options for queer folks.

Post-doctoral "goal for the future": My post-doctoral goals are to continue engaging in research, continuing my clinical practice as a trauma specialist, and teaching graduate level courses.

Favorite self-care activity: My favorite self-care activities are spending time with friends and family, being at the beach, spending time with my dogs, reading, and baking