About the SCPS Training Staff

Consistent with the educational mission of Auburn University, Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS) and its entire professional staff are committed to the practical training of mental health professionals as they complete their academic programs and pursue professional licensure. The experiences provided at SCPS are intended to provide doctoral interns with the skills and knowledge relevant to generalist clinical practice, with specialty expertise in working with a college student population.

Auburn University Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS)
Doctoral Internship Program for Health Service Providers

The SCPS training program is aimed to offer generalist training with the goal of fostering personal and professional growth over the course of the year such that interns are ready to transition into the next phase of their career. Conceptual and experiential training will be provided to ensure that interns have sufficient knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to be competent practitioners. Constructive feedback will be an important part of the internship year as a means of facilitating the greatest possible growth. An effort will be made to integrate interns as a part of the permanent staff while still respecting that interns are trainees and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries between permanent staff members and trainees.

A broad understanding of diversity will be important. It is hoped that diversity will be woven in throughout various aspects of the training experience and not limited specifically to the Diversity seminar. While there are certain training experiences that SCPS deem important to be uniform between the interns completing the program, the goal of the SCPS permanent staff is to provide space for interns to tailor their internship in certain ways such as choosing the types of groups they co-facilitate, what types of outreach events they provide, and their preferred areas of rotation each semester.

The specific training areas covered in the SCPS program are aligned with standard accreditation standards and will provide a broad range of generalist training that highlights the incorporation of science and practice within a collegial and collaborative environment.

Dr.-Doug-Hankes-Ph.D.-Director-Licensed Psychologist

Doug Hankes

Ph.D., Executive Director
Licensed Psychologist

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 President of Division 47. He is an AASP Fellow and CMPC. Doug 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.

Supervision Style:

My supervision style is developmental and focuses on providing the structure and guidance appropriate to the individual needs of the supervisee. My goal is to facilitate a supervisee’s development of a therapeutic identity and style that is both genuine and clinically effective. I view supervision as a collaborative process where a supervisee’s professional training, needs and goals are integrated with excellent client care. Very similar to my work with clients, we will have fun while we do hard work that brings about change.


Joeleen Cooper-Bhatia

Ph.D., Associate Director
Group 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. 

Supervision Style:

My supervision style is developmental in nature, working to meet trainees where they are (e.g., providing more direct guidance to beginning trainees than trainees later in their development). I am generally non-directive as a supervisor, allowing trainees to decide what seems most appropriate to discuss in supervision. I also rely heavily on feedback about supervision to help me adapt to the needs of trainees, and I ask that my supervisees are open and honest with me about their experience of supervision. I also believe that supervision should include more than just case management; thus, I encourage supervisees to talk about issues related to their professional development, their experiences at SCS, and their reactions to their clients and clinical work

Alex Hughes Ph.D., Senior Staff Clinician

Alex Hughes

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.

Supervision Style:

In supervision I use the Integrative Developmental model to help best meet the needs of trainees at various stages in their development, with trainees working toward greater autonomy as they gain experience and confidence.  I encourage trainees to shape supervision to their specific needs and goals, though I tend to think of supervision as encompassing clinical skills, professional development, and personal development. As I am integrative in my clinical work, I strive to help trainees be flexible in their approach to clients, but I also strive to help them gain confidence that it is the therapist’s authentic self that can be most therapeutic rather than specific interventions or orientations.

Dustin-Johnson-Ph.D.-Assessment-Coordinator- Licensed-Psychologist

Dustin Johnson

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 (UNT) in 2011. He has experience working with college students at the University of Southern Mississippi, UNT, and West Virginia University. His clinical interests include Men’s issues, alcohol and other drugs (AOD) issues, sports and academic performance enhancement, and assessment and management of learning differences (including ADHD). He is an active member of both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Dustin describes his work with clients as integrative, with particular focus on creating a strong, genuine, and open working relationship through the use of humanistic, emotion-focused, interpersonal, and psychodynamic techniques. He has conducted and participated in youth sport research, focusing on the impact of coaches. In his free time, Dustin enjoys rooting for the New Orleans Saints and is an avid fan of the outdoors, particularly hiking.

Supervision Style:

I base my supervisor’s role on Bernard’s (1979) Discrimination Model that my role should match the developmental needs of the supervisee. Depending on the trainee’s needs, the supervisor can take a teacher, counselor, or consultant role. For students involved in their first practicum experience, I will most likely take the teacher role. All three roles correspond to three sets of skills proposed by Bernard as being important for trainees to establish: process, conceptualization, and self-awareness skills. The degree to which I focus on skills development in each area will depend on the developmental needs of that particular trainee, which I will assess throughout the length of the supervisory relationship.

Austin Luker, M.D., Psychiatrist

Austin Luker

M.D., Psychiatrist

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.


Jan Miller

Ph.D., ECTT Coordinator, Licensed Psychologist

Jan earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from West Virginia University in 2013. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Kansas State University’s Student Counseling Services and, prior to that experience, spent two years working at West Virginia University’s Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services. Her clinical and professional interests include anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma, women’s issues, biofeedback, vocational issues, college student retention, and training/supervision of psychologists. Jan uses an integrated clinical approach, specifically drawing from cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, interpersonal, and feminist perspectives.

Supervision Style:

My primary duty as a supervisor is to make sure that there is non-maleficence and beneficence in in supervisees’ work with clients. My second duty as a supervisor is to help supervisees grow as a psychologists-in-training. This is accomplished by meeting weekly for supervision, discussing your work with your clients, reviewing tape of your work with clients, increasing your knowledge about and how to use evidence-based treatments, increasing your ability to work with more complex and challenge presenting problems, and anything else that makes sense in your professional development. Communication is very important in any relationship, including this one. I believe myself to be fairly flexible and encouraging of autonomy. I don’t like to be micromanaged, so I don’t do that with supervisees. The downside to that…with greater freedom comes greater responsibility. I do not expect you to know all the rules and nuances of SCS, but I do expect you to know how to find out these answers. This may mean re-reading the manual or asking me. As a human, I have a few pet peeves (e.g., tardiness, complying with ethics, and redundancy) and I assume that you do too. I am an integrated therapist. My theoretical foundations are CBT, humanism, and feminism. I typically integrate interpersonal and mindfulness theory into my work as it applies. Within supervision, I work from developmental and strength-focused lens. My theoretical foundations help me make sense of the supervisee as a therapist, the supervisee as a person, and how those two intersect. I don’t believe that supervisors and supervisees have to have identical theoretical foundations because one element of supervision is learning from each other.

Dr.-Moose-TDI-Certified-&-CGC-AKC Canine Good Citizen

Dr. Moose

TDI Certified & CGC (AKC Canine Good Citizen)

Moose is an 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 Services, Canine Performance Sciences trained him to be a therapy dog and donated him to SCS 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 SCS, 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.

Supervision Style:

My supervision model focuses on the power of positive reinforcement. As my supervisee, you will never hear me bark or growl. I use a loose leash approach that allows us to collaboratively walk and work together. Clicker training, wet licks, furry nuzzles, and tennis balls provide guidance and rewards in your journey toward becoming a mental health professional.

Dr. Nessie-Trained to TDI Certification and AKC Canine Good Citizen Standards

Dr. Nessie

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.

Supervision Style:

I developed my supervision style under my mentor, Dr. Moose, so the power of positive reinforcement is the foundation of my work with supervisees. As my supervisee, you will never hear me bark or growl either. I use a loose leash approach that allows us to collaboratively run, walk, and work together. Clicker training, wet licks, gentle head butting, tennis balls, and squeaky toys provide guidance and rewards in your journey toward becoming a mental health professional. I will bring as much energy as necessary to get my supervisees to maximize their professional growth.


Christina Newberry

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.

Supervision Style:

Consistent with my approach to therapy, I incorporate a strengths-based and collaborative approach to supervision where I work to meet the unique needs of the trainee. My primary aim in supervision is to provide a supportive environment in which to learn and grow. I work to be warm, empathic, approachable, and available. I value open and honest communication and a strong supervisory relationship built on mutual respect and trust. My supervision style is based on Integrative Development Model as described by Stoltenberg, McNeill, and Delworth (2003).  This model emphasizes the importance of the trainee’s developmental level and the use of skills and supervisory approaches which match the developmental level. This model of supervision allows for flexibility and enhances the growth of supervisees. I provide clinical supervision from an integrated theoretical perspective, which typically includes CBT, humanism, and interpersonal process.


Jennifer Smith

M.D., Psychiatrist

Jen Smith is an Auburn University affiliate at the Student Counseling 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.

Kristee-Treadwell-Ph.D.-Assistant-Director-for-Clinical Services-Licensed Psychologist

Kristee Treadwell

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 SCS 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).

Supervision Style:

My supervisory approach is developmental in nature. It recognizes the various roles that a supervisor may need to assume balanced with meeting the supervisee where they are in their training background. In addition, it is supervisee-centered. There is an emphasis on collaboration involving providing education and clinical instruction from an integrated theoretical approach to counseling (including CBT, interpersonal process and inclusion of psychodynamic perspectives including object relations with consideration of multicultural factors) while supporting the supervisee’s independent thought and clinical skill development.