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online faculty

Master of Science in Counseling / Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Our faculty of clinical mental health counseling professionals bring their expertise and experience to the online classroom. Learn first-hand techniques, theories and the foundational ethics of mental health counseling. Through their guidance you can prepare to bring your compassion and care to helping others. 


Associate Dean

Sheila Babendir, Associate Dean

Sheila Babendir, EdD, LPC

Associate Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Core faculty

Carolina Casillas

Carolina Casillas, PhD, LPC-S (Tx), NCC

Dr. Carolina Casillas is a licensed professional counselor and a clinical supervisor... Texas with over 15 years of clinical mental health experience. She earned her master’s degree in psychology in 2007 from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and received her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi in 2012. Her area of expertise is working with children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Her research focuses on clinical supervision, trauma, distance learning, and co-occurring diagnosis. Dr. Casillas is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Counseling Association, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the Texas Counseling Association; and the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

Christine Karper

Christina Karper, PhD, LHMC
Program Chair

Dr. Karper obtained her master’s degree in mental health counseling and her doctoral degree... counselor education and supervision from the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include utilizing integrative care models in counseling and the use of technology in counselor education. She has been with the University of Phoenix since 2007. 

Brandon Keene-Orton

Brandon Keene-Orton, Ph.D., LPC, ACS, BC-TMHP

Dr. Brandon Keene-Orton has served many populations as a general practitioner, such as adults... 

...couples, kids, and families through trauma, depression, anxiety, and more. Dr. Keene-Orton focuses is the Managing Editor of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research and is a member of ACA, CSI, MACES, MCA, AARC, ACSSW, CSJ, and more. His research focuses on intersectional and departing methods in counseling and supervision through educational modalities and mentorship.

Dannette Berksteiner

Dannette Berksteiner, Ed.D., NCC, LPC, CCMHC, ACS

Dr. Berksteiner is a core counseling faculty member at the University of Phoenix. Dr. Berksteiner... 

...received a Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education Training and Development from Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University, and a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Argosy University. Dr. Berksteiner has had the opportunity to work with a vast number of clients that include children, adolescents, families, couples, and individuals. Her research interest includes leadership development and religion/spirituality.

Emily Genever

Emily Genever, Ph.D., NCC, LPCC

Dr. Emily E. Genever, LCPC, NCC, a seasoned licensed professional and a Ph.D. holder in counselor... and boasts over a decade of counseling expertise, specializing in crisis and trauma. With over 4 years of teaching experience, Dr. Genever has instructed aspiring counselors across various counseling domains. Dr. Genever shares extensive clinical mental health counseling knowledge. Driven by a commitment to counselor education, her focus encompasses crisis, trauma, diversity, and inclusivity, striving to advance the field and shape compassionate, well-rounded counselors.

Hayden Center

Hayden Center, Ph.D., LPC

Dr. Hayden D. Center, Jr. is a core faculty member in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program... the University of Phoenix. He was previously on the faculty at Auburn University at Montgomery in the Department of Psychology, where he taught for ten years. He has taught at several universities over the past thirty years.  He has been a licensed professional counselor (LPC) specializing in addiction issues for over 35 years.

James Cook

James Cook, Ph.D., NCC, LPCC, LCPC

Dr. Cook received a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Southern Illinois University... Carbondale. He is a core faculty member who also serves as residency coordinator. Dr. Cook has taught both graduate and undergraduate students for over twenty years. His teaching and research interests include counselor development, group work and counseling skills acquisition. He is a national certified counselor and licensed counselor in three states. Dr. Cook has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings including community mental health centers, hospitals, and university counseling clinics.

Jasmaine Atage

Jasmaine Ataga, Ph.D., NCC, LPC

Dr. Jasmaine Ataga, Ph.D., is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Registered Play... 

...Therapist-Supervisor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. With a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Florida, she brings over seven years of counseling experience focusing on sexual trauma work and utilizing expressive arts to promote meaning-making. As a core faculty member in the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health program at the University of Phoenix, Dr. Ataga integrates her expertise into teaching, mentoring and supervision.

Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds, Ph.D., LPC, LPC-S

Dr. Jennifer Reynolds is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in Alabama, a Licensed... 

...Professional Counselor in Georgia, and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Delaware. She has been practicing for over 15 years. Dr. Reynolds received her master's from Jacksonville State University in Community Agency Counseling, her Education Specialist Degree from Jacksonville State University in Agency Counseling, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision from Walden University. Dr. Reynolds has worked in many different settings, including residential care, the juvenile justice system, in-home counseling sessions, acute psychiatric hospitals, and private practice. She currently runs a small practice in Alabama and provides telehealth services in Alabama, Georgia, and Delaware. Her expertise is in Emotional Support animals and the use of this intervention to reduce mental health symptoms. Dr. Reynolds is interested in further research on this topic to advance integration into the mental health profession.

Jeremy Lormis

Jeremy Lormis, Ph.D., NCC, LPC, LPC-S, CCMHC

Dr. Lormis is a core faculty member in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the University... 

...of Phoenix and has been involved with the program since 2017. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. With over 20 years of clinical experience and supervision experience, he is a practitioner educator with a desire to prepare future counselors to provide the care their patients will need. Having grown up in mostly rural settings in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, he now resides in another rural community in the southeast. His areas of research interest include rural and small community mental health practice as well as trauma treatment, and the intersectionality thereof. 

Kimberly Childers

Kimberly Childers, Ph.D., LPC

Dr. Childers has been a counselor for over 17 years. Her areas of interest include multicultural studies... 

...human sexuality and psychopathology. As a counselor educator she enjoys supporting students in their transition from counselors in training to licensed professionals.

Laura Harrawood

Laura Harrawood, Ph.D., NCC, LCPC

Dr. Harrawood is a core faculty member in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at the... 

...University of Phoenix. She received her master’s and doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and a National Certified Counselor. She is a long-time member of the American Counselor Association and several of its divisions. She has held faculty positions at several universities and has counseling experience in private practice and college counseling centers. Dr. Harrawood has taught across the counselor education curriculum. Her current teaching focus in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is individual and group counseling skill development.

Michelle Perepiczka

Michelle Perepiczka, Ph.D., NCC, LPC, LMHC, RPT-S

Dr. Michelle Perepiczka has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2006 and counselor... 

...educator since 2008. She has extensive experience teaching in an online environment and curating supportive bonds with students to assist them in their academic journeys. Dr. Perepiczka predominately teaches research methods, assessment, and clinical skill classes. Her clinical expertise is in play therapy and research focus is in life balance.

Monalisa McGee

Monalisa McGee, PhD, NCC, LMHP, CPD, MAC, LMHC
Program Chair

Dr. McGee is one of the Clinical Mental health Counseling program chairs.  Dr. McGee has been with the... 

...University of Phoenix since 2017.  She has over 20 years of academic and national program leadership roles including serving her second three-year term on the NBCC Board of Directors and as second term as elected chair of the National Board of Certified Counselors Board of Directors.  Dr. McGee holds her Ph.D. from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s degree from Creighton University where she was awarded outstanding minority graduate student amongst medicine, dental law, and professional programs by Creighton Black Faculty and Administrators.  Dr. McGee has had various roles in gubernatorial commissions including serving two terms on the state of Nebraska’s Mental Health practice board and co-chairing the state of Nebraska's anti human trafficking task force with former attorney general Doug Pederson.

Rebecca Hug

Rebecca Hug, Ph.D., LPCP

Dr. Rebecca Hug, LPCC-S (Ohio) served for nearly a decade as a community organizer and cultural... 

...competence coach before transitioning into counselor education. She runs a solo practice focused on breaking generational trauma patterns with individuals and families and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Dr. Hug is passionate about helping students integrate counseling content into their professional identity. Her research interests include andragogy, generational trauma, neuro development, and parenting. 

Sarah Ross

Sarah Ross, Ph.D., LPC

Dr. Ross graduated from Capella University, receiving a PhD in Counselor Education and... 

...Supervision. She received her master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. Currently, she is full-time faculty for the University of Phoenix. She has clinical experience in the areas of therapist, ER psychiatric assessment, and EAP clinical care manager. She has administrative experiences as a clinical services supervisor and EAP/MHSUD account manager. She is interested in research related to organizational leadership and mental/behavioral health and wellness.

Serena Flores

Serena Flores, Ph.D., LPC

Dr. Serena Flores is core faculty with the University of Phoenix, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Online... 

...program. Dr. Flores earned her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. While Dr. Flores has been in higher education for over a decade, she has extensive experience in teaching and practicing in the field of counseling and supervision, school counseling, and as a practicing clinical mental health counselor supervisor. As such, Dr. Flores is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, and a Certified School Counselor in the state of Texas. In addition to teaching, her research interests include distance counseling, distance learning, and substance abuse counseling.  

Sonia Gooden-Alexis

Sonia Gooden-Alexis, Ed.D., MHC, CMHC, CMHC-S

Dr. Sonia Gooden-Alexis is a Core Faculty Member at the University of Phoenix, Licensed Mental... 

...Health Counselor, Clinical Addiction Specialist, National Certified Counselor, Approved Clinical Supervisor and Board Certified Tele-mental Health Provider.  She has 20+ years of experience in providing counseling to children, adolescents and adults across settings including schools, hospitals, residential facilities and within the community. Dr. Gooden-Alexis obtained an Ed.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Argosy University – Northern Virginia, a master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Cambridge College in Massachusetts and a bachelor's degree in psychology from University of Massachusetts, Boston.  Dr. Gooden-Alexis was a recipient of the 2017 National Board of Certified Counselor Minority Fellowship.

Steven Glasser

Steven Glasser, Ph.D., NCC, LPCC, LPC, LAC

Dr. Steven Glasser, Ph.D. is an accomplished counselor educator, mental health, and addictions... 

...professional. As a member of LGBTQI+ community, he has the privilege of working with the next generation of mental health professionals with a focus on cultural humility and promoting inclusivity within course rooms. Dr. Glasser holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, a certificate in alcohol and drug counseling, a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in counselor education and supervision. Research interests include tele-mental health counseling services and promoting accessibility to mental health and addiction services.

Vanessa Patton

Vanessa Patton, Ph.D., LCPC-S, LCPC

Dr. Vanessa Patton-Scott is a licensed clinical professional counselor and a clinical supervisor in Maryland... 

...with over 15 years of clinical mental health experience in the states of Maryland, Georgia, and Florida. She earned her master's degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2007 at the University of Central Florida and received her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Argosy University in 2016. Her research focuses on clinical supervision, wellness, spirituality, trauma, and perinatal mental health. Dr. Patton-Scott is a member of multiple professional and service organizations, including the American Counseling Association, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling, and Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated.

Wendy Whinnery

Wendy Whinnery, Ph.D., NCC, LMHC, CCMHC, CCTP, CGCS 

Dr. Wendy J. Whinnery received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision with a... 

...Specialization in Trauma and Crisis from Walden University in 2019. Dr. Whinnery is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York, receiving full licensure in 2014. She became a Nationally Certified Counselor, and Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor in 2014, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor in 2021. Dr. Whinnery joined the UOPX family in April 2020 as an Associate Faculty. She joined the Core Faculty in January 2021. Dr. Whinnery currently serves as the Remediation and Student Support Coordinator, Lead Instructor for Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy, and serves on the Faculty Council and Hiring Team.

Yurandol Thompson

Yurandol Thompson, Ph.D., NCC, LPC

Dr. Yurandol Thompson completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Maryland... 

...University College. She received a MA in Professional Counseling from the Georgia Professional School of Psychology at Argosy University Atlanta and a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Walden University. She is a licensed professional counselor in Georgia and Virginia as well as a national certified counselor. Dr. Thompson has over 15 years of clinical experience. She has developed clinical expertise working with individuals, couples, and families in a wide range of settings including community mental health agencies, crisis, government agencies, and private practice.

Taqueena S. Quintana

Taqueena S. Quintana, Ed.D, LPC, NCC, ACS, BC-TMH 

Dr. Taqueena Quintana is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), nationally certified counselor... 

...(NCC), approved clinical supervisor (ACS), board-certified tele-mental health counselor (BC-TMH), counselor educator, author, and consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in education and counseling within various settings including K-12 institutions, colleges/universities, private practice, military installations, hospitals, residential treatment facilities and community mental health agencies. Dr. Quintana holds a BA in History with a Minor in Puerto Rican, Africana, and Latin American Studies from CUNY Hunter College, an M.S.Ed. in Teaching Students with Disabilities and an M.S.Ed. in School Counseling, both from CUNY Brooklyn College, and an EdD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Argosy University- Northern Virginia. Her research interests include counseling military-connected youth, clinical supervision, school-based mental health, supporting students with disabilities, and tele-mental health.


Non-core faculty

Andrea Engels, Ph.D., LPC

Barbara Burt, Psy.D., LP

Blerta Bena, MA., NCC, LAC, LCADC

Dana Matthews, Ph.D., NCC, LPCC-S, LSC

Danielle Lee, M.Ed., LPC-S, LPC  

Dean Aslinia, Ph.D., LPC

Denise Takakjy, MS., NCC, LPC

Donya Boudeman, MA., LPC

Faye Anders, MS., LPC

Gabrielle Ficchi, Ph.D., LPC

Gary Zarchy, M.C., LPC, LISAC, HS-BCP, ACS

Gilbert Franco, Ph.D., LMFT

Greggus Yahr, Ph.D., LPC

Hrysso Fernback, Psy.D., LP

Jeffrey Robinson-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC, LCMHC - S

John Ferreira, Ph.D. LPC

Katherine Unthank, Ph.D., LPC, LMHC, LCPC

Kathleen Jones-Trebatoski, Ph.D., LPC

Kelly King, Ph.D., LAC, LPC, C-DBT

Kim Chosie, MS., LPC, ACS

Lauren Mott, MS.C., NCC, LPC

Lauren Young, Ph.D., LPC

Lisa Romain, Ph.D., LPCC, LPC, LMFT

Marcy Stern, Ed.D., LMHC

Margo Milano, Ph.D., LCPC

Mark Shen, Ph.D., NCC, LPC

Marty Mendenhall, Ph.D., CMHC

Michelle McGuire, Psy.D., LP

Natalie Gwyn, Ph.D., LCMHC

Neil Duchac, Ph.D., LPC

Nicole Harris, Ed.D., LPC, CSAC

Ophelia Blackwell, Ph.D., LCPC, LPC

Patricia Kerstner, Ph.D., NCC, LP

Rebecca Day, Ed.D., LPC

Robin Schupper, Psy.D., LP

Robin Switzer, Ed.D., LPC

Ronald Dankowski, Ph.D., LP

Sharon Craig, Ph.D., LP, LSP

Shawn Miller, MS., LMFT

Sheila Babendir, Ed.D., LPC

Stacy McKenzie, Ph.D., CMHC

Traci Feek, Ed.D., LPC