Faculty and Staff
Michelle Welch Brasfield, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, University of Memphis (2015). Burnout and vicarious traumatization, wellness intervention, college and career readiness, and creative counseling for youth. Dr. Brasfield is Coordinator of the School Counseling Program.
Melanie Burgess, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University (2019). School counselor preparation and clinical supervision, evidence-based practices in PK-12 settings, and assessment. Dr. Burgess is Co-coordinator of the Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision.
Pamela A. Cogdal, Ph.D., Clinical Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1989). Career and work-life balance, practice outcomes, assessment, suicide prevention and couples/relationship issues. Dr. Cogdal is the Counseling Division Director, and Coordinator of Internship and Practicum for all Counseling programs.
Jennifer A. Drabowicz, Ed.D., LPC-MHSP, ACS, Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Memphis (2017).
Leigh Falls Holman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sam Houston State University (2009). Job stress and burnout among human service professionals; the intersection of trauma, substance and process addictions and interpersonal violence across the lifespan; neurosequential experiential and relational interventions; clinical training and supervision of front-line staff (correction officers, psych techs, foster parents, police, medical staff, teachers) and counselors (mental health & school).
Chi Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University (2019). Primary research interest is counselor education and supervision, especially around supervisee disclosure in supervision. Additional research interests include measurement development in counseling and supervision and integrated behavioral healthcare.
Daniel Lustig, Ph.D., Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1995). Family adjustment and adjustment to disability.
Patrick D. Murphy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Auburn University (2018). Counselor training and supervision, especially around multicultural competencies with a focus on intersections of identities. Additional research interests include engaging with veterans/military personnel with counseling and crisis intervention. Previous publications and presentations have also included research on suicide prevention and models of supervision.
Tegan Reeves, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Memphis (2018).
Eraina Schauss, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, George Washington University (2011). Child cognitive, behavioral, emotional and neurodevelopment, family systems therapy, career development and coaching. Dr. Schauss is Coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.
Steven L. West, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Texas Tech University (2000). Access to care, substance misuse and addiction, military and veteran health, moral injuries, and disability science. Dr. West is Co-coordinator of the Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision, Coordinator of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling Programs, and Coordinator of the Disability Support Services certificate program.
Stephen Zanskas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Michigan State University (2007). Development of consultation skills in graduate rehabilitation counseling education programs, the psychosocial aspects of disability, professional issues and ethics.
Sara K. Bridges, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Memphis (1999). Interests include counselor training,
couples and family therapy, human sexuality, and constructivist theory. Dr. Bridges
is Co-Training Director of the Counseling Psychology program.
Suzanne H. Lease, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1989). Current
interests are: career counseling with underserved populations, masculine ideologies
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Richard Lightsey, Ph.D., Professor, University of Maryland (1992). Interests: resilience, the relationship between stress and depression, stress and coping strategies.
Rosie Phillips Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Ohio State University (1977). Interests include multicultural career counseling, ethics, health and health disparities, and university and college administration
Chrisann Schiro-Geist, Ph.D. CRC, Professor, Northwestern University (1974). Interests include: international, vocational, and disability-related issues in counseling and psychology. Current research projects are in the areas of vocational psychology, as it relates to return-to-work for incarcerated persons, transitions to work for students with disabilities and examining the role of animal- assisted therapy. She is the Director of the University of Memphis Institute on Disability, which houses the TigerLIFE program whose focus is on working with young adults attending the University of Memphis in a post-secondary transition program. Dr. Schiro-Geist is also Coordinator of the Disability Studies certificate program.
Educational Psychology & Research
Alison A. Happel-Parkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Georgia State University (2011). Qualitative methodology; Post-structural, post-colonial, and feminist theories; Ecojustice and ecofeminist education. Dr. Happel-Parkins is Co-coordinator of the graduate certificate in Qualitative Research.
Leigh M. Harrell-Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2009). Statistics and quantitative research methods; instrument development; Rasch, IRT and SEM applications with educational and psychological data; K-12 math teacher efficacy to teach statistics (Self Efficacy to Teach Statistics [SETS]); assessment of behavioral and emotional risk in K-12 students.
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Karen Westerman Kitchens, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Memphis (2016). Mixed methods research; program evaluation and analysis; research interest includes successful retention and completion of first generation college students.
Christian E. Mueller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Kentucky (2006). Developmental trajectories of intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental factors influencing achievement motivation in at-risk students (e.g., adolescents, gifted, minority); Measurement issues (e.g., Rasch modeling) in education and psychology.
Susan Naomi Nordstrom, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Georgia (2011). Poststructural and post humanist theories, onto-epistemology, Deleuze, feminist new materialism, qualitative research methodology. Dr. Nordstrom is Co-coordinator of the graduate certificate in Qualitative Research.
Karen Weddle-West, Ph.D., Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1982). Cultural diversity; Minority teachers; Child psychology; Infant development; Adolescent pregnancy; At-risk children.
**Please note that Dr. Weddle- West is not accepting new students at this time
Denise L. Winsor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2008). Child development; Development in context; Early epistemological thinking; Technology in preschool-age children. Teacher beliefs and the use of strategies for high-order thinking.
Yonghong Jade Xu, Ph.D., Professor, University of Arizona (2003). Multivariate statistics and quantitative research methods; Gender disparities in STEM disciplines; Structural equation modeling; Big data analysis with statistical and data mining approaches.
Main Office Staff
Jennifer Mueller, Budget Officer. Ms. Mueller handles departmental billing, travel, procurement, and all HR processes for the department.
Melynda Whitwell, M.S., Director of Admissions and Records. Ms. Whitwell handles all program applications, course permits, registration and enrollment, and room bookings.
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Mid-South Access Center for Technology
Carol Hunter, M.P.S., Rehabilitation Assistive Technology Specialist
Lavonnie Perry Claybon, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor and Director, Capella University (2008). Using assistive technology applications and strategies as effective education, work, recreation, and intervention tools, community engagement and impact on learning of at-risk students, transition of students with disabilities to post-secondary settings.
Angela M. Cooley, M.A., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
Mary Washington, M.A., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
University of Memphis Institute on Disability
Cindy Cassell, Assistant Director of Transition Programs
Sharon Hsu, Ph.D., MPH, Associate Director of Research
Patrick J. Krolik, MBA, Assistant Director of Administrative Operations
Doug Strohmer, Ph.D., CRC