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. 


Gwendolyn Hooks

Gwendolyn Hooks, M.A., LPC

(she/her/hers)

Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision

 

Gwendolyn is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program and licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Michigan. She earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University in 2010. She has significant clinical experience that includes working within multiple settings to include: intellectual disabilities, severe mental illness, veteran population and in private practice.  

 

Gwendolyn’s research interests include using implementation science as a bridge toward practical application of learned counseling theories and transgenerational trauma and culturally responsive treatment. She is also passionate about advancing research productivity within the counseling profession.  


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.


Kathleen Klein

Kathleen M. Klein, M.Ed., M.A., LPC

(she/her/hers)

Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision

 Kathleen M. Klein is a Doctoral Student in the Counselor Education and Supervision Ph.D. program. She earned her M.A. in Counseling at Northwestern University and her M.Ed. in Human Resource Development at the University of Toledo. She attended John Carroll University and earned her B.A. in Independent Studies from the University of Toledo. Kathleen is an Ohio licensed professional counselor (LPC) currently operating in private practice. She has clinical experience collaborating with clients ranging from age 10 to 79 years for a variety of presenting concerns. Kathleen is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) and incorporates a Psychodynamic approach as well as others into her practice. Her research interests include treatment protocols for those with chronic illnesses and/or acquired disabilities. Prior to her counseling career Kathleen spent time in the corporate world in both the service and manufacturing realms with varied roles including systems analyst, corporate trainer and launch manager. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors with her grandson and her dog, Edie.


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.


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 Student 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 Student 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.


Sahar Sheikh

Sahar Sheikh, M.A., LPC  
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student 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.  


Renee Stack

Renee Stack, MS, LSC

(she, Her, Hers)

Doctoral Student in Counselor Education and Supervision

 

Renée Stack is a first-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education program. She earned a Master of Science in Applied Educational Psychology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA in 2010 and a BA in Psychology from Capital University in Columbus, OH in 2006. She holds an Ohio Department of Education Professional School Counseling License and has worked as a K-12 School Counselor for 12 years.  Renée is passionate about promoting student mental health and wellness, teaching Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills, and supporting all students by influencing K-12 education at the systemic level. Renée enjoys coaching softball, running, playing squash, and spending time with her husband, three kids, and golden retriever.


Tyler ThomasTyler Thomas, M.S., LGPC (MD), NCC 
(she/her/hers)
Doctoral Student 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 Student 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: 8/25/22