Counselor Education Program (MA, PhD)

Doctoral Graduate Assistants

 

Mihkaya BestMihkaya Best, M.Ed., LPC
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Mihkaya Best, M.Ed., LPC, is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Toledo studying Counselor Education and Supervision. Mihkaya earned her B.S. in Health Science and M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Cleveland State University. Mihkaya has experience in community mental health and is committed to advocating for accessible mental health care for all demographics. Mihkaya values a Person-Centered/Humanistic approach for her clinical practice. Mihkaya spent the last three years serving children with autism and is passionate about her research regarding trauma and autism. In addition to her trauma work. Currently, Mihkaya serves children and adolescents through the Toledo Public School system as a school-based counselor. In her free time, Mihkaya enjoys CrossFit, listening to her true crime podcasts, and spending time with her golden retriever Henry. 


Kaylee Finch

Kaylee Finch, M.A., LPC
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Kaylee Finch is a first-year Doctoral student in The University of Toledo’s Counselor Education and Supervision program. She graduated from the University with both her Bachelor’s in Psychology and her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Kaylee is a Licensed Professional Counselor with clinical experience working in both adult and child/adolescent inpatient psychiatry, community mental health, crisis-level work, and facilitating individual and group therapy. Kaylee holds value in practicing from a holistic approach while incorporating empowerment and trauma-informed care into not only her professional work, but also in her individual interactions. Her research interests include treatment within SPMI and forensic patient populations, trauma, adverse childhood events, and emotional regulation/related models of self-regulation.


Alexandria Hepburn

Alexandria N Hepburn, M.A, LPC
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision

Alexandria Hepburn started the Ph.D. program of Counselor Education and Supervision at UToledo in the fall of 2019. Alexandria graduated with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Alder University and obtained counseling licensure in the state of Illinois. Her clinical background includes having worked in community college-based counseling as well as in various empowerment programs for young women of color all throughout the Chicagoland area. Currently, Alexandria’s clinical work includes community mental health at Unison working alongside clients at the Starr Avenue and Perrysburg locations.

Her research interests include advocacy within the LGBTQ+ community, sex positivity in mental health, intersectionality and community-based partnership work. In addition to her clinical work at Unison and various travel for research, Alexandria supervises Masters level practicum students at UToledo, teaches undergraduate courses in counseling and related topics, and spends as much time as possible with her favorite dog, Ava.


Janet Kempf

Janet Kempf, M.A., ATR-BC, LPC
(she/her/hers) 
Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision 
  
Janet K. Kempf, MA, ATR-BC, LPC began her studies in the Counselor Education Doctoral Program in the fall of 2021.  She earned a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from the University of Louisville in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a certificate in Substance Use Counseling from Union Institute and University in 2020.  Janet has been working in mental health field for over 20 years and has a variety of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.  She is the Past Chair of the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE), an organization she has volunteered with since its inception in 2015.  At the University of Toledo, Janet is the Community Engagement Chair of the Alpha Omega Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota.  Her research interests include reviewing best practices for working with potentially violent clients and she presents about the risk of physical harm not often discussed in the helping professions.  Janet enjoys spending time with her family and friends, making art, and going on long walks when not involved in other activities.


Savannah Long

Savannah Long, M.A., LPC 
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Savannah is a first-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program. Savannah is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Ohio. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Heidelberg University in 2021 and her B.A. in Psychology from Bowling Green State University in 2017. Savannah has clinical experience working with individuals of all ages and abilities in private practice, nonprofit, and university settings. In 2019, she was awarded the position of OCA Emerging Leader, serving her term as a part of the Government Relations Committee. Currently, Savannah serves as the Secretary of the Alpha Omega Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI). Her research interests include the incorporation of popular culture and unique expression in clinical practice. She is also an advocate for accessibility, inclusion, and representation of minority groups at the local, state, and national level.


Kasey Lusch

Kasey Lusch, M.A., LLPC (MI) 
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Kasey Lusch, M.A., LLPC (MI) is a doctoral student at the University of Toledo studying Counselor Education and Supervision. Kasey received her M.A. from the University of Toledo in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2020) and B.A. from the University of Toledo in Interdisciplinary Studies (2014). Her professional experience in the field of mental health began while she was employed as a behavioral specialist working in Specal Education, with emotionally impaired (E.I.) students (K-12). She also gained training in nonviolent intervention and crisis de-escalation techniques. Her clinical experiences include working at a non-profit, community-based mental health organizations with children, adolescents, adults, and families experiencing substance use disorders, severe persistent mental illness, eating disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and generalized trauma.  Kasey gained teletherapy training and experience during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has experience with Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), play therapy, art therapy, group counseling, and crisis intervention. Kasey is also serving as Vice President for Chi Sigma Iota’s Alpha Omega chapter at the University of Toledo for the 2021-2022 year. Kasey’s research interests include Cluster B Personality Disorders, mental health advocacy in the field of law, survivor advocacy, as well as psychopharmacology.


Rachel Mattingly

Rachel Mattingly, M.A., LPCA
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Rachel Mattingly, LPCA, received her Master of Arts in Education through Western Kentucky University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and is a doctoral student at the University of Toledo studying Counselor Education and Supervision. Rachel has several years of experience working in residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment centers and community mental health agencies. Rachel seeks to empower individuals, couples, and families through mental health advocacy, substance use education, and healthy conflict skills. Rachel utilizes a Person- Centered approach along with Strengths-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and often uses tenets of the Gottman Method with groups and individuals. Rachel values utilizing psychoeducation and mental health counseling to evoke systematic change within families and communities. In her free time, Rachel loves listening to audiobooks and podcasts, walking in her neighborhood, and drinking too much coffee. 


Dinisha Paul

Dinisha Paul, M.S., Ed.S., PLPC
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Dinisha Paul is a doctoral student at the University of Toledo studying Counselor Education.  She is a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor. She earned her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and her Education Specialist in Counseling Leadership from Mississippi College. She has an undergraduate degree in medical imaging and radiology from India. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults at residential treatment and intensive outpatient treatment. Her therapeutic style is post-modern, and she utilizes Solution Focused Brief Therapy as her theoretical orientation. She is passionate about holistic healing and utilizes hypnotherapy, and mindfulness sessions to enhance relaxation and emotion regulation. Her research interest involved somatization of emotional distress, counselor trainees, learning styles, and integration of healthcare with behavioral health. For self-care, Dinisha spends time with family and friends, travels and learns new skills like playing the ukulele.


Ellise RaghavanEllise Raghavan, M.A., LPC
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Ellise (Ellie) Raghavan, MA, LPC is a doctoral student at the University of Toledo.  Ellie is also employed in the Adult Therapy Department at Zepf Center, specializing in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  Ellie is currently serving a two-year term as the intern for the Government Relations Committee of the Ohio Counseling Association.  Ellie is also serving as President for Chi Sigma Iota’s Alpha Omega chapter at the University of Toledo for the 2020-2021 year.  Additionally, Ellie is the 2020-2021 President-Elect for the Ohio Association for Spiritual, Ethical & Religious Values in Counseling. Ellie is passionate about creating whole-human organizational and government policies as well as empowering individual counselors to thrive in their work, relationships, and personal growth.  She is also committed to promoting the possibility of a positive relationship between sexuality and spirituality. 

Her research interests include counselor wellness, effective anti-racism training, and exploring the intersection between mental health and public policy.  For fun, Ellie enjoys running long distances, reading fanfiction, and creating intentional experiences for herself and others.


Ronee RiceRonee Rice, M.A., LPC
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision

Ronee Rice joined the Counselor Education doctoral program in the fall of 2020.  Ronee is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Ohio.  She earned her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and her B.S. in Psychology, both from Heidelberg University.  She has worked in private practice with a focus on providing counseling services for teenagers and young adults.  She also has worked at a nonprofit organization providing services for families with high conflict.  Ronee also established the Center for Survivor Empowerment office at Heidelberg University, an office dedicated to providing resources, programming, and advocacy services to survivors of sexual violence and relationship violence.  In her spare time, Ronee enjoys going on hikes and other adventures with her family.  


Sahar Sheikh

Sahar Sheikh, M.A., LPC  
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Sahar Sheikh, MA, LPC is an international student who was admitted to the Counselor Education program doctoral program in Fall 2021. She received her M.A in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and B.A in Psychology from the University of Toledo. She has gained experience in community mental health while working at Harbor Behavior Health during her internship in the Master's Program. She has experience working with adults and the youth population with mental health concerns and carried out diagnostic assessments and provided individual as well as group counseling sessions. She is interested to advocate for encouraging more international students to become counselors. Currently, she is working as a clinical therapist at Harbor Behavioral Health. Her research interest includes youth population with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their mental health, bullying prevention, social justice, and advocacy, and working with a more diverse population. She is currently a member of Chi Sigma Iota. Sahar enjoys watching Netflix, spending quality time with family and friends, and exploring new coffee shops.  


Tyler ThomasTyler Thomas, M.S., LGPC (MD), NCC 
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision 

Tyler Thomas, MS, LGPC (MD) NCC is a first-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education. She received her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University School of Education and her B.S. in Applied Psychology from Coppin State University. Tyler has clinical experience working with children and adolescents in school-based settings and adults via telehealth in both individual and group counseling. Her research interests include areas involving the role of multicultural competence and advocacy in counseling.


Ryan WisniewskiRyan Wisniewski, M.Ed., LPC 
(he/him/his)
Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision
 

Ryan A. Wisniewski is a Doctoral Student in the University of Toledo’s Counselor Education and Supervision Ph.D. program.  He earned both his B.A. in Psychology and his M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Cleveland State University.  Ryan is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Ohio. Ryan has clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a community mental health setting as well as college students.  Ryan’s research interests include stigma surrounding mental health in Latinx communities, psychopharmacology, and mindfulness and meditation in counseling.  He is the editorial assistant of the Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling.  Ryan is currently teaching undergraduate counseling courses, supervising Master’s level practicum students, and is a member of the Alpha Omega Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI). 

Last Updated: 8/11/21