Meet the Alumni
Dr. Roberto Abreu (pronouns he/him/his/él) is an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Florida (UF) and the director of the Collective Healing and Empowering VoicEs through Research and Engagement (¡Chévere!) Lab. Dr. Abreu received his B.S. in Science Education and M.S. in Counselor Education, Mental Health Track, from Florida International (FIU). At the University of Kentucky, Dr. Abreu received his Ed.S. in 2015 and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2018. Dr. Abreu completed his doctoral internship at the Federal Medical Center, Lexington (FMC-LEX)/Federal Bureau of Prison, with a major rotation in Dual Diagnosis Residential Drug Abuse Program (DD-RDAP).
Dr. Abreu’s research, mentorship approach, teaching, and advocacy is guided by social justice principles that aim to serve and liberate oppressed communities. The central focus of his research is the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, people of Color and Indigenous people (POCI), and those who self-identify at the intersection of LGBTQ and POCI identities. Dr. Abreu has conducted extensive research that explores how Latinx family and community members use Latinx cultural values and beliefs to navigate relations with their LGBTQ members. Other areas of research include experiences of acculturative stress and vicarious post-traumatic growth.
Dr. Angie Aaron, a 2016 graduate of the UK Counseling Psychology program, recently completed her Pre-Doctoral Internship and is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Lexington Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Aaron primarily works out of the VA Outpatient Clinic in Somerset, KY, but also part-time at the Leestown Division where she provides individual and group therapies, specializing in the treatment of PTSD and substance abuse. Additionally, she serves on the LGBTQQI Care Coordination Committee at Lexington VAMC and, along with a VA colleague, has been tasked with creating a LGBT minor intern track for 2017. Dr. Aaron and her colleague hope to create the first ever rural-focused LGBTQQI intern track at a VA. Angie has also been in the process of forming a Pride Group at the Somerset Outpatient Clinic similar to the one at Leestown. Dr. Aaron continues to consult and work with mentors from UK including Dr. Sharon Rostosky who is currently co-authoring an article based on findings from her dissertation on the social experiences of transgender individuals in Central Appalachia. Mentorship from UK Counseling Psychology faculty as a student and now as a new professional has been invaluable as Dr. Aaron strives to utilize the skills, principles, and knowledge she gained in the Counseling Psychology program.
Dr. Maria Almario is an outpatient clinician and faculty member of the Multicultural Psychology Program of Massachusetts at Behavioral Health Network. Originally from Colombia South America, she obtained a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in the year 2015. Dr. Almario has a long history of involvement in social justice advocacy consulting for several national and international organizations on topics of interpersonal violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking as well as the impact of trauma on mental health. She is the author of the Inclusive Human Trafficking Checklist, an instrument used to screen for the presence of human trafficking in a person’s psychosocial history. She currently consults on the application of this instrument for organizations such as the United Nations Association, the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the United States, Casa de Igualdad in Colombia and the European Youth Council, among others. Her interests also include post migration distress and coping, identity intersectionality, multiculturalism, linguistic pluralism, freedom of consciousness, trauma and attachment theory.
Dr. Gary Bennett graduated from the UK Counseling Psychology in 1995 after completing his internship at the University of Cincinnati. He obtained a faculty position in August, 1995, as a staff psychologist in the VT campus counseling center, now known as the Cook Counseling Center. In 2000, he began a partnership with the Athletics Department where he started seeing student-athletes for mental health concerns. He took some additional coursework and eventually earned his certification in sport psychology from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. The demand for services steadily increased and in 2007, he transitioned to a fulltime position in Athletics, working as a member of the Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance team. He is now an Assistant Director in the Athletics Department while continuing his affiliation with the Cook Counseling Center. He works with individual student-athletes presenting with personal, clinical, and performance-related concerns as well as teams focusing on performance issues. He is also involved in a number of other projects within the department including The Leadership Institute and a new project called One Team which is a program he helped develop that offers a unique approach to educating student-athletes on ways to prevent sexual assault.
Dr. Carrie Brown (preferred pronouns she/her/hers) received her Counseling Psych Masters degree in 2006, her Educational Specialist degree in 2008, and her Doctorate in 2012. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Penn State’s counseling center. Prior to graduation, she accepted a job offer for a staff psychologist position at Syracuse University’s Counseling Center and began there in August of 2012. In 2015, she received her New York State Licensure. Her roles at the Counseling Center include: group program coordinator, the Sexual and Relationship Violence Response team, the social justice committee, as well as the liaison for the LGBTQ Resource Center. In addition to her roles at the Counseling Center, she also teaches practicum to Masters Counseling students. She finds college mental health extremely rewarding because of the variability in the position and the university environment. She believes UK’s program prepared her extremely well for her career and future advancement. Outside of my professional life, she has taken up running and has participated in several 5ks, 10ks, 15ks, 10-mile races, and half-marathons.
Dr. Katherine Cascio earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the UK in 2017. She completed her doctoral internship and post-doctoral residency at the University of Oregon Counseling Center. Dr. Cascio has been a staff psychologist at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Counseling and Psychological Services in Fort Myers, FL since Fall 2018. As a staff psychologist, she continues to use her social justice training from UK in providing therapy, advocacy, outreach, training, and psychological testing. She is a generalist clinician working with students with a wide variety of presenting concerns and has special interests in serving trauma survivors (particularly those who have experienced interpersonal violence), individuals with substance use issues, students dealing with depression and other mood concerns, and clients from low-income backgrounds. Dr. Cascio also provides WPATH assessments for transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive students who are seeking gender confirmation medical services. She has created and chairs the Interpersonal Violence Prevention and Response team at FGCU, which focuses on changing center and university cultures that work to prevent interpersonal violence and harassment as well as responding to interpersonal violence using trauma-informed care and provide survivors with the resources, empowerment, and supports necessary to heal.
Dr. Nicholas Denton was a first-generation college student who graduated in 2006 with his BS in psychology from Centre College in Danville, KY. He went on to complete a PhD in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on health perspectives on gender and sexuality in 2014 under the direction of Dr. Sharon Rostosky. He completed a predoctoral internship at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in New Orleans, LA. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with an emphasis in Interprofessional LGBT Health Care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX. He is currently a licensed psychologist at VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Murfreesboro, TN.
Dr. Krystal S. Frieson is a clinical psychologist in the Substance Abuse Treatment Program at the Atlanta Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Decatur, GA. Dr. Frieson received her BS in Psychology from the University of Georgia and received her MS, EdS, and PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky (UK). Dr. Frieson completed her predoctoral internship at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in August 2014. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine within the Department of Pediatrics at the Grady Infectious Disease Program. She also received a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from UK. Her pursuits in attaining dual degrees was a way amalgamate her training in counseling psychology with public health science to address the overall health and wellbeing of individuals, groups, communities, and entire populations. Dr. Frieson’s specialty focus is in the psychological, physical, sexual, and behavioral health issues with an emphasis in the provision of evidence-based treatment, health behavior modification interventions, and prevention research. Her clinical and research interests focus on the biopsychosocial health issues of oppressed, marginalized, and underserved populations along with an emphasis in health behavior, substance use, and HIV/AIDS/STD treatment, education, and prevention. She would specifically like to focus her efforts towards marginalized groups and aid in exploring and addressing the inequities of health disparities that surround these groups. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologist, the Society of Counseling Psychology, the Society of Health Psychology, and the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers (APAHC). She also serves on the APAHC Health Disparities and Diversity Task Force.
Dr. Kirsten A. Gonzalez (pronouns she/her/hers) is currently an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Psychology program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her B.A. from Elon University in 2009, her M.A. from Towson University in 2011, and her Ed.S from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 2013 before earning her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from UK in 2016. Dr. Gonzalez completed her doctoral internship at Towson University Counseling Center and her clinical Postdoctoral Fellowship at Loyola University Maryland Counseling Center. Her research broadly focuses on the psychological well-being of individuals with marginalized identities including racial/ethnic minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people. She uses intersectional theory to explore the experiences of marginalized communities across race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. She is equally passionate about social justice ally work. In this avenue, Dr. Gonzalez develops and studies the efficacy of interventions designed to reduce prejudice and build social justice allies in privileged communities. Recently, she completed projects focused on understanding the minority and race-related stressors resulting from the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, as well as the impact of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election on social relationships (e.g., given family, chosen family, friendships, and romantic relationships) of LGBTQ+ People of Color. Dr. Gonzalez is finishing up the licensure process and will be a licensed psychologist in Tennessee in 2018.
Dr. Kimberly Gorman completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 1999. She spent the formative years of her early career at Ball State University’s Counseling Center in Muncie, Indiana. While at BSU, she was very involved in training masters and doctoral level students training at the center and became the Training Director of the APA Accredited Internship in 2008. She left the counseling center world in 2010 to take a position at the Indiana University Health’s Bariatric Center in Indianapolis, IN only to return to counseling center work in 2013. She currently is the Director of the Counseling and Psychological Services department at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. She remains involved in training the next generation of psychologists by providing supervision to the doctoral interns at WCU as well as serving as an adjunct faculty member for the Psychology Department at WCU. She has served as a site visitor for the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation and currently serves as a member of the APA’s Board of Educational Affairs Standing Appeal Panel Pool. Living and working in Western North Carolina allows her to enjoy mountain life including hiking, white water rafting, and lazing in her hammock while reading.
Dr. Alyssa B. Grossl received her Counseling Psychology Masters degree in 2010, her Education Specialist degree in 2011, and her Doctorate degree in in 2016. Her dissertation focused on evaluating the effectiveness of a continuous client feedback with parolees who had been referred to attend substance abuse treatment. Dr. Grossl completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, KY. She is currently living in Memphis, TN, and working as a Staff Psychologist at the Federal Correctional Complex in Forrest City, Arkansas.
Dr. Russel Hall received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2010, also collecting his M.S. (2003) and Ed.S. (2005) along the way. During his time in the program, his research interest focused on adolescent social relationships, which culminated in his dissertation exploring risk and resilience among ostracized passive adolescents. His pre-doctoral internship was completed with APA accredited Jefferson County Internship Consortium (Louisville, Kentucky) in 2010 and then he worked for Seven Counties Services (Shelbyville, Kentucky) the following year providing therapeutic and testing services to adults and children. During that time, he also received his psychology license and Health Service Provider designation to practice in Kentucky. At the end of 2011 he began work as Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care at Asbury Theological Seminary, and he continues in that role administrating field placement trainings and teaching. He is particularly fond of teaching Group Counseling and Child/Adolescent Counseling. He is currently engaged in research exploring mindfulness based meditation in a religious context. He also maintains a private practice where he specializes in treatment of trauma, internalizing behaviors, and child/adolescent issues. His main theoretical focus is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. He lives in Wilmore, Kentucky, with his wife and family.
Dr. W.E. (Bill) Harris, Jr. is a 2010 graduate of Counseling Psychology Doctoral program. Originally from Versailles, KY; Dr. Harris lives in Lexington with his wife Tamara and their two daughters Kaylynn & Brynna. Currently, Dr. Harris is a psychologist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Manchester, KY. He also serves as adjunct faculty in the Counseling and Human Development program at Lindsey Wilson College and Psychology Doctoral program at The University of the Cumberlands. Dr. Harris also provides lectures on the topics of rape prevention, college relationships, and self care. In his spare time, Dr. Harris enjoys spending time with his family, listening to all types of music, and watching his beloved Chicago Cubs. GO CUBS GO!!
Dr. Andrea Blount Hunter is a senior consultant and principal of Mind Matters Jury Consulting (www.mmjury.com) in Seattle, WA. Not long after receiving her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2001, Andrea began to connect the art and science of psychological insight to the litigation arena. Her background gives her a unique perspective into juror decision-making and effective communication strategies. She is skilled at identifying the emotional and personal connections of a case and translating that knowledge into juror-sensitive trial strategy. Andrea has consulted with attorneys across the country conducting pre-trial jury research, jury selection, witness preparation, post-trial juror interviews, and trial observations. She has worked on a range of litigation matters including medical malpractice defense, personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, corporate espionage, employment issues, intellectual property, commercial litigation and family law. She has also served several leadership positions within the American Society of Trial Consultants.
Dr. Stephanie R. Hyberger completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Federal Medical Center/Federal Bureau of Prisons in Lexington, KY in 2005, with a major rotation in the Substance Abuse Treatment Program. She then went to work for the Kentucky Department of Corrections providing individual and group therapy to inmates with dual diagnoses in effort to improve recidivism. She left the prison system in 2009 and worked for one year in the community mental health sector, where she performed jail triages, Mental Inquest Warrants, and provided therapy to children at a rural elementary school. She then accepted a position at the Lexington VA Medical Center in 2010, where her duties were to perform disability evaluations as a part of serving our Nation’s Disabled Veterans. She has a strong passion for teaching and learning, so she created a minor rotation for interns and practicum students in the specialty area of VA Forensic Disability Assessment. In 2014, she was selected as the Supervisory Psychologist to oversee the Mental Health disability program, and she continues to work in this capacity. In January 2016, she was invited to Washington DC to serve as the Project Lead on an initiative to improve the Veteran Experience, specific to the disability claims process. She then traveled to other VA Hospitals across the country to pilot Veteran Satisfaction Surveys and provided the results at a National VA Conference in Norman, Oklahoma in April of 2016. Her participation in a VA leadership role is founded on a strong commitment to employee development and excellent customer service as we strive to best serve the Veteran.
Dr. Joi-Sheree’ Knighton is a 2017 graduate of the UK Counseling PhD program. She completed an APA-accredited internship at a Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina, where she received nationally recognized training in substance use treatment and inpatient forensic assessment and intervention. She recently returned to her hometown Detroit, Michigan, after accepting a postdoctoral to faculty transition fellowship, at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Her graduate research and training was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (T32) and broadly focused on mental health, drug use, and HIV risk behaviors among criminal justice-involved populations. Dr. Knighton’s postdoctoral research focuses on investigating biopsychosocial correlates and predictors of nonmedical prescription opioid use and HIV risk behaviors among community-based African Americans. Dr. Knighton is currently submitting manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals using chapters from her multiple-manuscript dissertation. She also plans to apply for NIH funding in the near future, with hopes of eventually becoming an independent addiction scientist. Dr. Knighton’s clinical interests and experiences revolve around multicultural counseling, cultural humility, forensic assessment, and substance use treatment. She is also passionate about mentoring underrepresented scholars interested in the STEM fields and spending time with her family. email: email@example.com
Dr. Laura Lamminen received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2008, as well as her Ed.S. in Counseling Psychology, M.S. in Educational Psychology, and graduate certificate in Developmental Disabilities in 2006. She completed her internship with the Appalachian Regional Consortium in eastern Kentucky. Laura is currently the Lead Psychologist for the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Health System of Texas. Her center provides trauma informed integrated primary care (medical and behavioral health) along with empirically supported and trauma informed services (psychological and developmental testing and therapy) to children in foster care. Laura is certified in Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Cognitive Processing Therapy for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse (CPT-SA). She has diverse mental health experience having served in both psychiatric inpatient and outpatient settings in a variety of clinical and administrative roles, including Psychology Chief at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah, GA. She has a special interest in ethics in psychology and serves as a co-chair on the Georgia Psychological Association’s Ethics Committee. Laura is a licensed psychologist in Michigan, Georgia, and Texas.
Dr. Valerie S. Leake earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2006. She completed her internship at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center and joined the faculty at Radford in 2007 after spending a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the University of Kentucky’s Counseling Psychology program. In 2014, she left RU to work at the Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center with the Posttraumatic Stress Disorders Clinical Team and as Evidence-Based Psychotherapies Coordinator. She returned to Radford University as Director of the Psy.D. program in 2016. Her research interests include military veteran reintegration, particularly for rural veterans, posttraumatic stress disorder, evidence-based treatments, and adolescent belonging. She is licensed as a clinical psychologist in Virginia and enjoys working with veterans, couples, and families.
Dr. Miao Li received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in August 2016. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of California, Irvine Counseling Center and then her multicultural postdoctoral residency at San Jose State University Counseling and Psychological Services. Her dissertation research focused on the role of adult attachment in international students’ acculturation process. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she received her B.A. in International Liberal Studies at Waseda University in Japan and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College. Dr. Li is currently a licensed psychologist in the state of California. She is working as a senior staff psychologist at the Claremont Colleges. Dr. Li is passionate about working with students from diverse backgrounds to support their adjustment and promote their psychological well-being through psychotherapy, outreach and consultation services. She is a generalist but has specialized training in serving the international student community on campus. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, cooking and reading.
Dr. Larson Maggard received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2011. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, KY, with a major rotation in behavioral medicine. Her dissertation research focused on adolescent substance abuse. Prior to entering the doctoral program at UK, she attended Auburn University and earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and master’s degree in Community Agency Counseling. Dr. Maggard is currently employed at the Lexington VA Medical Center. There, she is the Program Manager for the acute inpatient psychiatric unit and the residential rehabilitation treatment program for PTSD and substance use disorders. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Dr. Masami Matsuyuki earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on counseling women/feminist therapy in December 2011. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Ohio State University Counseling and Consultation Services and her dissertation investigating the relationship among forgiveness, self-compassion, and psychological well-being among Buddhists. She worked as a mental health counselor at Morehead State University Counseling and Health Services for 5 years and became a licensed psychologist with health service provider designation in Kentucky in September 2014. She accepted a position as a staff psychologist/training coordinator at Western Kentucky University Counseling and Testing Center in August 2017. She provides students with individual counseling for various psychological issues and mental disorders and collaborates with staff and faculty to outreach socio-cultural minority students and to prevent/intervene crises on campus. She also provides graduate student interns with clinical supervision and teaches mindfulness to spread its health benefits to the campus community. She finds her work as a psychologist most rewarding when she can support an individual’s healing, self-empowerment, and identity development, and promote cultural diversity and social justice through education.
Dr. Michael J. McClellan is a licensed psychologist, assistant professor, and clinical faculty member in the psychology department at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He received his BA from Berea College in 1993, and his MS, EdS, and PhD degrees from the University of Kentucky (UK) Counseling Psychology program in 2002, 2010, and 2014. Dr. McClellan completed his pre-doctoral internship training at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Psychiatric Center in Hazard, Kentucky in 2014. Upon graduating from the PhD program at UK, Dr. McClellan served as a lecturer in the UK counseling psychology program for one year before accepting a tenure-track faculty position at EKU. He currently teaches courses in multicultural psychology, rural mental health, psychology of addictions, clinical supervision and consultation, doctoral practicum, and works with students who are navigating the application process for pre-doctoral internship in the clinical psychology PsyD program at EKU. His research interests include cultural competency, telehealth, and rural mental health. His clinical interests include serious mental illness, telehealth, rural populations, and supervision of therapists-in-training. While at UK, Dr. McClellan developed a passion for diversity education and advocacy and his interest in this area is heavily intertwined with the courses he teaches, the committees he serves on, his research program and clinical interests, and his social justice advocacy work.
Dr. Alexandra (Allie) Minieri received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in August 2014. She completed her doctoral internship at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Counseling Center and her clinical fellowship at The Ohio State University Counseling and Consultation Service. Her dissertation research focused on ally development among male college students who work to end men’s violence against women on university campuses. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she attended Lafayette College and received her B.S. in Psychology. Dr. Minieri is a licensed psychologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia and currently employed at George Mason University Counseling and Psychological Service (CAPS). She is serving as the Assistant Director for Clinical Services and supports the development and implementation of the clinical system at CAPS. She also enjoys participating in community education and supporting the training program at the center.
Dr. Kristin Miserocchi (pronouns: she/her/hers) received her Counseling Psychology Masters degree in 2009, her Educational Specialist degree in 2011, and her Ph.D. in 2014. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Missouri’s Counseling Center. After graduation, she returned home to the St. Louis metro area, accepting a Staff Psychologist position in the counseling center at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE), where she worked for 4.5 years. While at SIUE, she became licensed in the state of Illinois, taught an undergraduate Multicultural Psychology course and a graduate Groups Therapy course, and was promoted to Coordinator of Training and Clinical Services. Kristin recently accepted a new Staff Psychologist position at Washington University in St. Louis, working at the Habif Health and Wellness Center. Her clinical areas of interest include: gender identity questions, development, and exploration; family of origin issues; physical, psychological, and sexual trauma; group therapy; interpersonal relationship problems; and identity exploration. Kristin lives in St. Louis where she and her spouse spend most of their free time wrangling their one-year old toddler and three cats!
Dr. Krista Moe received her PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Kentucky in 2012 and was licensed in 2013. She has published 17 articles in peer-reviewed journals, one book chapter, and writes seasonal articles for the Herald Leader. She helped nurses and other medical professionals start up about 200 evidence-based practice studies at Baptist Health Lexington over the past 5 years. With the wonderful support of Dr. Karen Hill (COO/CNO of the hospital) and long-time mentor Dr. Dorothy Brockopp (Professor Emeritus, College of Nursing, UK), she was able to open her own psychology practice at this hospital in 2014 where she now works full-time. Training she received at UK and on internship at ARH hospital in Hazard, she has developed a working style that is strength-based and empowering for the patients she serves. In practice, she likes to follow in Dr. Mary Pipher’s footsteps by asking the question, “How can we use your strengths to solve this problem?”
Dr. Lori Montross Thomas is a licensed counseling psychologist. As part of Patient & Family Support Services at Moores Cancer Center, she provides psychological assessment, diagnosis or ongoing therapy for patients and families who are experiencing issues that are either related to the cancer experience or interfering with cancer treatment. In individual or group psychotherapy, she focuses on issues including depression, anxiety, communication, stress reduction, insomnia, grief or other psychological or emotional issues. Dr. Montross Thomas is one of 75 Americans currently trained in Dignity Therapy, designed to bring meaning and a sense of legacy to those in palliative care through life reflection interviews. She helps facilitate the International Training Workshop for Dignity Therapy each year, and has been invited to speak to over 50 different groups about her experience with this novel intervention. She is also trained in Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy, designed to bolster the sense of meaning, purpose and peace among people diagnosed with cancer.
Dr. Gina Owens received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2004. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Dr. Owens is currently an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She also serves as the Associate Director of Training for the program. Her research interests involve meaning-making after traumatic events and its effects on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance use. Her work has largely focused on veterans and active duty military. Recent research with veterans has explored the relationships between guilt, meaning in life, and PTSD severity; mental health needs and barriers to mental health access for female veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan; and differences in relationship conflict, attachment, and depression for veterans with PTSD, hazardous substance use, or both. Research with colleagues in VA Medical Centers has centered on treatment outcome, investigating variables such as mindfulness, cognitive changes during treatment, personality disorder diagnoses, and other variables that may affect outcome. Dr. Owens is a licensed psychologist in Tennessee.
Dr. David Pascale-Hague received his Counseling Psychology Masters degree in 2010, and his Ph.D in 2015. David completed an APA accredited doctoral internship at The Ohio State University Counseling and Consultation Service in Columbus Ohio. Following internship David returned to Lexington to take a position in the Counseling Center at the University of Kentucky as a Staff Psychologist. Within the counseling center David is involved in training, supervision, and diversity initiatives. In addition to clinical work David has served as a lecturer and clinical preceptor in the Department of Behavioral Science.
Dr. Igor Vasilj is a Licensed Clinical and Aeromedical Psychologist and a Captain serving in the United States Army. He currently works as the Brigade Aeromedical Psychologist for the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Drum, New York. Dr. Vasilj holds a PhD, MS, and EdS degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky, and a double BA in Psychologyand German from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Dr. Vasilj completed his APA-accredited doctoral internship and postdoctoral residency at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX specializing in providing evidence-based trauma treatments to Soldiers diagnosed with PTSD. While at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Vasilj’s research efforts focused on evaluating the effect of therapeutic alliance on treatment outcomes, the efficaciousness of various telehealth psychotherapy treatment modalities, and the roles physical exercise plays on emotional and cognitive well-being. Originally born in Eastern Europe, Dr. Vasilj lived in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, and Germany prior to moving to the United States. His dissertation titled: “Evaluating the attitudes and practices of exercise prescription among psychotherapists” assessed the factors impacting exercise prescription among psychotherapists. Dr. Vasilj’s previous clinical experiences include working at the Lexington VA Medical Center, the bluegrass Community Mental Health agency, the Nest center for women children and families, and the UK Counseling Center. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Whitney Wheeler (pronouns she/her/hers) is currently in private practice at the Anxiety Treatment Center of Austin (www.anxietyaustin.com) in Texas. She received her M.S. (2013), Ed.S. (2014), and Ph.D. (2018) in Counseling Psychology from UK. Dr. Wheeler completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center. She has completed research projects on cultivating well-being in LGBTQ individuals and social justice ally development. Her dissertation investigated self-compassion as a potential tool for developing multicultural attitudes in White individuals. Dr. Wheeler specializes in assessing and treating the full range of anxiety disorders, co-occurring mood disorders, and trauma in adults, adolescents, and children. Outside of her professional life, she spends time exploring the outdoors with her son and dog, traveling, and enjoying live music.
Dr. Ronnetta Williams earned her Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2013. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the North Florida South Georgia Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville, FL. Currently, Dr. Williams is a staff psychologist at a NFSG VA community-based primary care outpatient clinic in St. Marys, Georgia. Dr. Williams serves as the mental health team lead and provides psychotherapy and assessment services to Veterans and their families. Her clinical interests include PTSD, anxiety, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, health psychology, attachment, and couples therapy. Outside of work, Dr. Williams enjoys road cycling, vegan cooking, living the island life in Amelia Island, FL, and spending time with her spouse and two dogs. She is currently licensed in Florida.