About Student Counseling & Psychological Services StaffSCPS staff clinicians are qualified, experienced, and skilled professionals who are specialists in their respective fields. Please contact SCPS to make an appointment for a meeting with one of our staff.
Ph.D., Executive Director,
Doug completed his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas in 1996. He is a licensed psychologist in Alabama and Tennessee. Doug returned to his alma mater in 1998 after working at the University of Tennessee. He holds graduate faculty status in the Department of Psychology, the Department of Kinesiology, and the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling. Doug describes his therapy approach as mindfully eclectic and fosters a collaborative relationship with clients to promote change. He has been actively involved at the national level in sport and exercise psychology and has served on the Executive Boards of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 47 Society for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Doug is currently the President of Division 47. He is an AASP Fellow and CMPC and is listed on the 2016-2020 United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. When he’s not at work, you can find him hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Ph.D., Associate Director
Group and Practicum Coordinator, Licensed Psychologist
Joeleen is originally from northeastern Pennsylvania and completed her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY. Prior to joining the staff at SCPS in 2008, she worked with college students in several settings, including during her internship at Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center. Joeleen enjoys providing group therapy, particularly working with students in SCPS’ Understanding Self and Others groups. She is actively involved in the American Group Psychotherapy Association, where she has held a number of leadership roles, and is a Certified Group Psychotherapist. Additionally, Joeleen is passionate about supervision and training and her clinical interests include relationship concerns, trauma, family issues, and working with emotions. She uses a collaborative approach to therapy, focusing on the therapy relationship while incorporating tools to help her clients improve coping. In her time outside of work, Joeleen enjoys reading, long walks, binge-watching TV shows, and spending time with family.
M.A., Senior Staff Clinician
Aja is in the process of completing her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (D.C. Campus). She has experience working in private practice, high school, and college/university settings. In these settings, Aja has had the opportunity to work with clients that vary in presenting issues, ages, and backgrounds. Although Aja mainly works from a Cognitive-Behavioral orientation, she also incorporates relational and multicultural theory into her work with students. In her free time, Aja likes to try do-it-yourself projects, listen to music, and spend time with her family.
Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Julie earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1996 and has been a licensed psychologist since 2001. Her clinical experience includes work in hospital and clinic settings, providing services to the general public, veterans, and incarcerated offenders. Julie’s clinical and professional interests include treatment of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, posttraumatic stress, and helping others manage critical incidents and disaster response. Having trained as a generalist, she has experience addressing a wide variety of clinical concerns. Julie’s therapeutic approach is integrative, incorporating cognitive-behavioral, person-centered, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness perspectives. She values developing authentic, collaborative relationships with her clients, helping them tap into their own strengths while developing new coping strategies to become their best selves. Outside of work, Julie enjoys keeping up with the latest tech, researching genealogy, leading her church’s livestream team, and is excited to be a member of the Auburn Family.
M.A., Doctoral Psychology Intern
Caitlin is a pre-doctoral intern at SCPS. She is currently completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) with an emphasis in Traumatic Stress at Adler University in Chicago, Illinois. She also completed a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Adler University and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Auburn University. Caitlin’s previous experience includes working at a college counseling center, psychiatric hospital, and various community mental health centers. Caitlin primarily utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and works collaboratively with each client to tailor therapy to their specific needs. Her clinical interests include depression, anxiety, eating concerns, grief and loss, and working with athletes. Outside of the office, Caitlin loves cheering on the Auburn Tigers, spending time with her animal companions, and searching for the best queso.
Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Alex obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he also completed a Master’s degree in Theology. He completed his internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Idaho. Alex’s clinical interests include existential issues, religion/spirituality, identity development, relational concerns, and anxiety/panic. He uses an integrative approach in therapy, drawing primarily from Humanistic-Existential Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Interpersonal-Process Therapy, and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. He is a widely published poet and dabbles in too many other artistic activities to be very good at them.
Kellie is an Opelika, Alabama native and the administrative assistant for the counseling center. She has extensive knowledge and experience in customer service and administration. Her enthusiasm, commitment, and positivity help create a comfortable environment for those who visit the center as well as for those who call. She also assists the SCPS clinicians with managerial tasks to provide the best quality service to clients. Prior to working at the SCPS, Kellie worked in the healthcare field for 22 years, specializing in geriatrics and mental health. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family and pets.
Ph.D., Assistant Director for Outreach and Mental Health Initiatives, Licensed Psychologist
Dustin completed his doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas and arrived at SCPS in 2011. He emphasizes creating strong, genuine, collaborative, and open working relationships with his clients, helping them to develop, address, and maintain progress toward their personal goals. With a performance psychology background, Dustin enjoys helping clients develop practical strategies to meet life challenges and perform at their very best. As the Assistant Director for Outreach, Dustin helps to lead the A Sound Mind initiative, Auburn’s collaborative, campus-wide mental health awareness and prevention strategy. He is also a proud co-advisor to Active Minds, Auburn’s student organization for mental health. A native New Orleanian, Dustin enjoys his fair share of gumbos, king cakes, jazz music, and especially, his beloved New Orleans Saints.
M.A., Doctoral Psychology Intern
Mackenzie is a doctoral psychology intern from William James College in Newton, MA, where she is earning her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is originally from Orange County, CA and attended Pepperdine University for her undergraduate education. Mackenzie’s clinical interests include depression, anxiety, identity development, and body image and eating concerns. She has trained in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community mental health centers, and elementary schools. Her treatment approach is integrative, incorporating cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and interpersonal techniques. Outside of work, Mackenzie loves spending time with her dogs, listening to music, and going to the movies.
M.A., Doctoral Psychology Intern
Carlie is a pre-doctoral intern at SCPS. She is currently finishing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) at Marywood University, located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Marywood University and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Carlie has experience working in numerous university counseling centers. She has also worked in residential settings, a psychiatric hospital, and a youth advocacy agency. While her training is primarily in cognitive behavioral therapy, Carlie takes an integrative approach to treatment. She collaborates with each client to develop a unique treatment plan, with empirically-supported interventions, that best serves their needs. She is passionate about working with college students and engaging with the university community. Her clinical areas of interest include working with survivors of sexual assault/abuse, PTSD, and individuals experiencing interpersonal difficulties. In her free time, Carlie enjoys watching scary movies, DIY crafts, swimming, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her cat, Tigger.
Priscilla is the Office Manager for the counseling center. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of non-clinical personnel. She oversees the business, financial, and human resource aspects of the office. Previously she has worked as a paralegal, which provided her with training and knowledge in the area of HIPPA and patient privacy. Originally from Brandon, MS, Priscilla has lived in Birmingham, AL, Memphis, TN, Austin, TX and Louisville, KY before moving to Auburn in 2007. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, concerts, and tailgating.
Dr. Luker recently joined East Alabama Psychiatric Services, and is thrilled to be an Auburn University affiliate at the Student Counseling & Psychological Services office. Dr. Luker earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from UAB, where he also completed his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. Dr. Luker is a proud native of Clay County, Alabama, and is excited to be practicing psychiatry in the East Alabama area. He has known he wanted to be a psychiatrist since he was a teenager, and has clinical interest in ADHD, depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, PTSD, and psychotic disorders. As a child and adult psychiatrist, he has an interest in development across the lifespan and feels privileged to be working with Auburn University students at this unique and exciting stage of their lives. In his spare time, Dr. Luker enjoys running, DIY projects, playing the mandolin and guitar, Auburn athletics, and spending time with his family.
M.A., Doctoral Psychology Intern
Alana is a doctoral Psychology intern from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she is earning her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. Alana earned her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Howard University and bachelor’s degree (Psychology) from Spelman College. Alana has experience working in college/university settings, private practice, integrative healthcare, elementary schools, and high schools. Alana enjoys working with diverse populations and is passionate about working with historically underrepresented college students and student-athletes. Alana’s professional interests include multiculturalism, advocacy, adjustment issues, anxiety, depression, relational concerns, and social justice. Alana engages in an integrative approach to treatment inclusive of cognitive-behavioral and humanistic/person-centered therapy, while also integrating multicultural techniques. Away from the office, Alana enjoys traveling, watching movies, attending sporting events, and spending time with family and friends.
LICSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Nathan earned his Master of Social Work degree from Savanah State University and is a Licensed Social Worker. He gained experience working with college students through his master’s internship at Savannah College of Art and Design, and he has professional experience providing clinical services to adolescents and young adults in hospital and community-based settings. His clinical and professional interests include trauma recovery, developmental issues, identity formation, emotional disturbance, anxiety, and the relationship between creativity and psychological well-being. Nathan’s clinical approach is eclectic and informed by psychodynamic, existential, and attachment-oriented theoretical traditions. Nathan thinks of counseling as a co-creative process of working through life challenges, and he sees his role as assisting students with developing self-awareness, achieving their goals, and forming more authentic and creative ways of living. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, exercising, and all things Americana music.
Ph.D., Eating Concerns Treatment Team Coordinator, Licensed Psychologist
Jan earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from West Virginia University in 2013. She has worked in college counseling centers, provided in-home intensive therapy to children in foster care, and in a private practice setting. Her clinical and professional interests include anxiety, depression, trauma, shame, LGBTQ+ issues, eating and body image concerns, vocational issues, substance abuse, and training/supervision of psychologists; however, she is trained as a generalist and has experience with a wide variety of presenting issues. Jan uses an integrated clinical approach, specifically drawing from cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, mindfulness, and feminist perspectives. Students can expect a collaborative, safe space for all who enter her plant filled office as she works with them to make changes based on their own strengths and agency. Jan is also the coordinator of AU’s multidisciplinary Eating Concerns Treatment Team (ECTT).
TDI Certified & CGC (AKC Canine Good Citizen)
Moose is a 13-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever. He was trained by Auburn University Canine Performance Sciences as an explosive detection dog. During his time at Canine Performance Sciences, Moose worked on a Department of Justice research project studying the effects of nutrition on olfaction detection, and on a Department of Defense project. Moose is one of the only two dogs in the world who has been shown to be able to detect a live virus. In collaboration with Student Counseling & Psychological Services, Canine Performance Sciences trained him to be a therapy dog and donated him to SCPS so that he can work with Auburn students. Moose has passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test and his Therapy Dogs International evaluation and is now a registered therapy dog. At SCPS, Moose works with students in individual and group counseling sessions. Additionally, Moose is involved in outreach events on campus. Moose’s therapeutic approach includes mindfulness, warmth, and acceptance without judgment.
Kristy is an Administrative Assistant for Student Counseling & Psychological Services. One of the highlights of her job is assisting her favorite coworkers, Drs. Moose and Nessie. She has an associate degree in Administration and Paralegal and has worked in the field for over fifteen years. Kristy is a native of DeKalb County, Alabama and has resided in Auburn for the past twenty-five years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She also enjoys attending church, traveling and baking.
Trained to TDI Certification and AKC Canine Good Citizen Standards
Nessie is a 7-year-old black Labrador Retriever and German Wirehaired Pointer mix. She was trained by Auburn University Canine Performance Sciences as a detection dog. During her time at Canine Performance Sciences, Nessie worked on multiple top secret research projects and was recruited to continue her work at several government agencies. Ultimately, she retired from her detection duties and started her second career as a therapy dog at Student Counseling & Psychological Services. She was trained in collaboration with Canine Performance Services to share her therapy skills with Auburn students. At SCPS, Nessie works alongside her brother from another mother, Moose, with students in individual and group counseling sessions. In addition, Nessie is particularly skilled at outreach events on campus as she has never met a person she doesn’t love. She is truly a mental health ambassador. Nessie’s therapeutic approach includes clinical curiosity, supportive directness, and empathic tail-wagging.
Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist
Christy earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago. She has experience working with students at university counseling centers including Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she also received a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Christy uses a strengths-based and collaborative approach to meet the unique needs of each student. Consistent with a brief therapy model, she seeks to decrease distress, increase coping strategies, and build on the student’s strengths.
Ph.D., Licensed Professional Counselor
Patrick earned his MA in Counseling from Regent University and his Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Capella University. He is a Navy and Coast Guard veteran and has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2005. His counseling experience includes working for the Navy, Army, and Veterans Affairs. Patrick provides a diverse psycho-social approach to counseling that applies cognitive behavioral therapy with motivational interviewing. He also encourages a whole-health lifestyle to improve an overall sense of psychological well-being. Patrick’s counseling interests includes trauma, reducing substance abuse and other compulsive behaviors, building self-esteem, and improving relationships. Patrick believes that life challenges can be learning experiences and used to develop meaningful coping skills. Patrick enjoys the Auburn and Opelika community and the many activities available in an SEC environment.
In training to meet TDI Certification and AKC Canine Good Citizen Standards
Rooster is a 6-year-old Black Labrador Retriever. He was trained by Auburn University Canine Performance Sciences as a chemical or biological threat detection dog. During his time at Canine Performance Sciences, Rooster was trained to undergo fMRI scanning to evaluate the dog-human bond based on his interactions with his human partner and their relationship. He was one of the best dogs for the fMRI machine as he easily adapted to it and would even fall asleep in the machine! He was trained in collaboration with Canine Performance Sciences and Student Counseling & Psychological Services to share his therapy skills with Auburn students. At SCPS, Rooster works with students in individual and group counseling sessions. In addition, Rooster likes to spend time at outreach events where he can get some pets and give some tail wags to the Auburn community. Rooster’s therapeutic approach includes calming breaths, leaning into the issue at hand, and sensory exploration through belly rubs. In his free time, Rooster enjoys talking walks in the sunshine, playing with his toys, and meeting new friends.
M.S., Counselor and Support Services Coordinator
Melissa earned her Master of Science in Clinical Counseling from Eastern Illinois University. She has clinical experiences in community mental health, federal adult drug court, an inpatient psychiatric unit, and college counseling centers. Melissa has additional professional experience providing support and crisis intervention to victims/survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. Her clinical interests include trauma, identity development, relationship issues, social justice, advocacy, and crisis intervention. Melissa practices from an existential framework and embraces psychodynamic, feminist, and relational concepts.
Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist
Sarah completed her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Marywood University. She recently completed a doctoral internship at SCPS and enjoyed working with Auburn students during the past year. She has also worked with college students at Marywood University. She has worked in private practice with clients of diverse backgrounds and ages. Sarah has found that she is passionate about the college population and the unique experiences students will face. Her clinical and professional interests include body image concerns, anxiety, depression, relationship issues and emotional regulation. Sarah works from an integrative approach, utilizing interpersonal, psychodynamic, emotion-focused and cognitive-behavioral techniques. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends, DIY projects, watching movies, and swimming.
Jen Smith is an Auburn University affiliate at the Student Counseling & Psychological Services office. She joins the East Alabama Psychiatric Service team to provide psychiatric services for the Auburn University students on campus. She graduated from University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, AL in 2011 and completed psychiatry residency training at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, VA in 2015. She worked at a community mental health center before joining East Alabama Psychiatric Services. She was born and raised in the Auburn/Opelika area, is an Auburn football fan, and received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University in 2006. She is excited to be back at Auburn. She hopes to help students get the most out of their time at Auburn and achieve their educational goals by addressing their mental health needs.
Ph.D., Assistant Director for Clinical Services, Licensed Psychologist
Kristee completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from West Virginia University in 2006. After completing her degree, Kristee worked as an inpatient psychologist at a community mental health center in Tallahassee, Florida for four years. Kristee joined SCPS in December 2010 and was excited to return to her alma mater since she received her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University. Her clinical interests include working with survivors of trauma, anger management and other presenting concerns relative to the college student population, crisis intervention, group counseling, graduate student training and outreach and instruction within the university and larger community. Kristee approaches her clinical work from an integrative perspective as informed by cognitive- behavioral theory and techniques, interpersonal and other psychodynamic perspectives (e.g., object relations).
Mary Catherine Turner
ME.d., College of Veterinary Medicine Embedded Clinician, Licensed Professional Counselor
Mary Catherine graduated from Auburn University with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Mary Catherine is the Embedded Counselor at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Mary Catherine provides individual counseling to veterinary students, residents, interns, and graduate students, as well as providing consultation and resources as needed with faculty and staff. Mary Catherine’s clinical interests include, transition, anxiety, interpersonal relationships, and compassion fatigue. Mary Catherine’s goal is to provide veterinary students with a supportive environment to share their concerns and learn to manage them effectively, while simultaneously becoming a healthy and successful veterinarian. Outside of work Mary Catherine enjoys Lake Martin, spending time with family and friends, and finding the best deals at Dirt Cheap and thrift stores.
Ph.D., Senior Staff Clinician
Shu-Ching is from Taiwan. She earned her Master degree in School Counseling and a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from Auburn University. She is in the process of completing her Ed.D. degree in Counselor Education & Supervision from Minnesota State University at Mankato. Shu-Ching is a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in MN and TX; she is in the process of obtaining her LPC in AL. Prior to joining SCPS in 2022, Shu-Ching spent many years teaching students in K-12 classrooms and higher education institutions. In her counseling practice, Shu-Ching takes humanistic approach and believes individuals are unique and have free wills to motivate themselves to reach their potential for self-actualization.
LMSW, Senior Staff Clinician
Lauren earned her Master of Social Work degree from Clark Atlanta University and is a Licensed Master Social Worker in Alabama and Georgia. Lauren has experience providing mental health services to adolescents and adults in community, residential, and school settings. Prior to transitioning to Higher Education, Lauren worked as a Medical Social Worker. Her professional interests include anxiety, depression, relationship, and adjustment issues. Lauren takes a person-centered approach to therapy and utilizes cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. In her spare time, Lauren likes to attend sporting events, concerts, and spend time with her family and friends.
Doctoral Practicum Clinicians
Fatmah AlQadfan, M.A.
Jordan Alvarez, B.A.
Stephanie Jeffirs, B.A.
Katie Martin, BSW
Candace McConaha, M.A.
Carli Rossi, B.A.
Asmita Saha, M.A.
LaKaylyn Washington, B.A.
Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS) is the primary counseling center for the Auburn University student community to talk through their personal problems and concerns. Your college years are a time of tremendous excitement and potential, but they can also be demanding and stressful. There are academic responsibilities, as well as the tasks of establishing a greater sense of identity, moving toward increased independence, and developing meaningful relationships. SCPS can help you deal with these issues when they become overwhelming.
The Zen Den offers a variety of stress management resources including biofeedback, a robotic massage chair, light therapy (for Seasonal Affective Disorder), and more. The Zen Den is available to all enrolled Auburn University students. You do not have to be a client at SCPS to utilize the Zen Den. To schedule an orientation session and begin managing your stress in a unique, proactive manner, call Student Counseling and Psychological Services at 334.844.5123.
Group counseling is one of many forms of treatment offered byStudent Counseling & Psychological Services. Some groups are focused on special themes like stress management, eating concerns, or anger management, while some other are more general and focus on resolving a range of issues, such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem problems, and relationship problems. For many types of problems, group counseling is the treatment of choice. Groups provide the opportunity to observe others solving their problems. Groups provide the advantage of a network of support. Groups are especially helpful in learning to build trust, self-acceptance, intimacy, communication skills, and empathy.
Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS) provides short-term individual counseling to currently enrolled Auburn University undergraduate and graduate students. AU students who are academically suspended may be able to access services as part of their comprehensive plan to return to the university. Individual counseling provides an opportunity to explore your concerns on a one-to-one basis within the context of a confidential relationship. Our counseling model attempts to empower you with the resources needed to make positive changes in your life.