Staff

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Current Clinical Staff

John Ward, Ph.D.**

Dr. John Ward began serving as the Director of Student Counseling Service in March, 2018 approximately 15 years after he joined Miami University.  Prior to overseeing the SCS's committed and talented team of mental health professionals, he served as Coordinator of Men’s Services, Assistant Director for Clinical Services, and Associate Director. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Comparative Religion from Miami University and a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Ward is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Ward’s clinical and professional expertise are in diversity and inclusion, psychological supervision and training, gatekeeper training, as well as establishing campus and community mental health partnerships.

Matthew Benic, LPCC, NCC

Matthew R. Benic is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in Ohio and National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Matthew has Dual Master's degrees from Walsh University in Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling and a BA in Psychology from Wittenberg University. Matthew operates primarily from a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy background but also utilizes solution focused therapy, mindfulness, problem solving, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), positive psychology, reality therapy, and some person-centered therapy. His clinical interests include anxiety disorders, depression and other mood disorders, relationships/couples counseling, sleep disorders, men's issues, LGBTQI+ students, stress management, adjustment issues, grief counseling, academic stress, international students, group counseling, students who have experienced trauma, outreach and programming, and helping students involved in Greek life. In his free time, Matthew enjoys traveling to new countries, cooking/eating, learning, going to museums and amusement parks, trying new things, and spending time with family and friends. 

Nichole Carr, LISW-S**

Nichole is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and she coordinates Eating Disorder Services. She earned her Masters of Social Work from University of Michigan in 2006 and her Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Social Relations from Earlham College in 2005. Nichole draws primarily from client-centered therapeutic modalities including Narrative, Relational-Cultural and Solution-Focused while also utilizing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques and Psychoeducation to collaborate with clients to overcome life struggles. She is trained as an Anti-Oppression Informed Practitioner meaning she believes systems and structures impact our relationships to ourselves and to others and approaches therapy from a strengths-based perspective. Nichole has a special clinical interest in trauma related issues including working with survivors of sexual assault and interpersonal violence, eating disorders and crisis management. Nichole is a self-proclaimed foodie and in her personal time enjoys anything related to food-cooking, baking, entertaining or eating! She also enjoys time with family and traveling.

Maria Carrubba-Whetstine, Ph.D.

Maria is a Licensed Psychologist and the Assistant Director of Training and GLBTQ Services. She serves as the Training Director for the APA Accredited Health Service Psychology Doctoral Internship Program and for graduate level training at the practicum level. Maria received her PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia and she completed her internship at the University of Florida. Maria also has a MA in Substance Abuse Counseling from the University of Iowa and her undergraduate degree is from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Maria approaches therapy from a multicultural, relational, and psychodynamic perspective. Her clinical interests include issues of marginalization (especially related to sexual orientation and gender identity), relationship concerns, depression and self-injury, and substance abuse. In her personal time Maria enjoys spending time with her wife, their 4 kids and 5 cats, and a wide variety of artistic endeavors including learning the guitar, knitting, paper crafts, scrapbooking, and sewing.

Ritch Hall II, Ph.D.

Ritch is a Licensed Psychologist and the Coordinator of Substance Abuse Treatment Services. He received his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, and completed his doctoral internship at Miami University’s SCS. Ritch’s clinical interests include phase of life issues, social discomfort, addictive disorders, and group therapy. His theoretical orientation is eclectic with an emphasis on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Systems Therapy. Additional interests are teaching, diversity issues, and therapist training. Ritch’s personal interests include spending time with family, reading crime fiction novels, writing, photography, and comic books. 

Brandon Millspaugh, Ph.D.

Brandon is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Counseling Psychology. He received his doctorate from Ball State University, and completed his doctoral internship at Miami University Student Counseling Service. His therapy approach integrates Cognitive Behavioral, ACT, Interpersonal, and Emotion Focused Therapy and the Gottman Method for couples. His clinical interests include working with non-traditional students, mood disorders, relationships and work-life balance. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, sports, board games and video games. 

Kristen Reser, Ph.D.

Kristen is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Counseling Psychology. She received her doctorate from Ball State University, and completed her doctoral internship at Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services. Her therapy approach integrates cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and feminist approaches. Her clinical interests include trauma, anxiety and affective disorders, and identity concerns, though she enjoys working with a wide range of people and presenting concerns. In her personal time, Kristen enjoys reading, creative writing, and gardening. 

Saúl Rivera, Ph.D.

Saúl is a Licensed Psychologist and our Assistant Director for Clinical Services and Technology Services. He earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Andrews University and completed his doctoral internship at The Ohio State University Counseling and Consultation Service. He also holds a masters degree in Theology, a second masters in Community Counseling. Saúl approaches therapy from an integrative perspective combining culturally responsive elements from cognitive-behavioral and humanistic-existential therapy. His areas of interest include multicultural and diversity issues, social justice issues, suicide prevention, integration of spirituality and religious issues in psychotherapy, group therapy, and supervision. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, traveling, camping, and vacationing. 

Tong-An “Fred” Shueh, Ph.D.

Fred is is a Licensed Psychologist and the Coordinator of Counseling Services for International Students. He received his doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida. Fred approaches therapy from a multicultural, interpersonal, and humanistic perspective; he often incorporates techniques from biofeedback therapy and mindfulness meditation during the counseling process. Fred’s clinical interests include international students’ adjustment, sport psychology, stress and anxiety management, addictive behaviors, outreach/consultation, LGBTQ issues, and multicultural concerns. In his personal time, Fred enjoys traveling, engaging in various outdoor activities, producing music, playing tennis, dining out with friends, and spending time with family.  

Katherine Tylinski, Psy.D.

Katherine is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology and the Coordinator of Clinical Care for Student Athletes. She received her doctorate from Midwestern University, and completed her doctoral internship at Miami University Student Counseling Service. Her approach integrates primarily cognitive behavioral therapy and feminist methods in treatment. Katherine's clinical interests include working with student athletes, adjustment issues, and mood concerns.  She enjoys reading, baking, yoga, and running.

Melanie Uy, Psy.D.

Melanie is a Licensed Psychologist.  She received her doctorate from Xavier University and completed her doctoral internship at Clemson University Counseling and Psychological Services. Melanie approaches therapy from a cognitive-behavioral orientation, is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and also incorporates techniques from ACT, interpersonal, and solution-focused therapy. Her clinical interests include anxiety, adjustment, interpersonal concerns, identity issues or exploration, skill-building, and outreach/consultation. In her personal time, Melanie enjoys baking, dining out, cooking, being active, spending time with friends and family, as well as hanging out with dogs at the shelter.

Bethany Valenti, Psy.D.

Bethany is a Licensed Psychologist in Clinical Psychology. She received her doctorate from Wright State University, and completed her doctoral internship at Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center. Her approach integrates primarily humanistic and feminist methods in treatment. She likes to work collaboratively with her clients to find creative ways of setting and meeting their goals. Though she enjoys working with a wide range of concerns, she enjoys working with those experiencing anxiety, trauma, interpersonal issues, and identity concerns. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, eating, exercising, cooking, reading, singing in the car, and cuddling with her 2 mischievous dogs, Sunny and Louie.

Laura Wonsik, M.A., PCC-S

Laura is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with a supervisory designation and is the Coordinator of Referral Services. She received her Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Xavier University in 2009 and her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Hispanic Studies from Earlham College in 2005. Laura approaches therapy from a systemic and existential perspective and utilizes mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoeducation to empower clients to wellness. She has a special clinical interest in anxiety disorders and couples counseling. In her personal time, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters and scrapbooking.

Jennifer Young, Ph.D.**

Jennifer is a Licensed Psychologist and the Coordinator of Outreach and Programming. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Akron. Her clinical interests include adjustment to college; relationship concerns; identity issues; social justice; working with survivors of interpersonal violence and trauma; supervision/training of mental health professionals; and consultation issues. Jennifer uses a variety of approaches in therapy including feminist, cognitive-behavioral, multicultural, interpersonal, and trauma-based interventions including EMDR. In her personal time, Jennifer enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with family, friends, and any type of animal!

** In coordination with Title IX policies, the following individuals have been designated as counselors within Student Counseling Services for initial contact regarding students affected by sexual and interpersonal violence:

  • Jennifer Young, PhD
  • John Ward, PhD
  • Nichole Carr, LISW-S

 

Support Staff

Tonia Farthing

Tonia is the SCS Administrative Assistant, and has been at Miami since 2007. Outside of work, she is dedicated to her husband, children and her four grandchildren. Tonia enjoys spending time with her family, and likes being outside and reading.

Andrea Batdorf

Andrea is the SCS Program Associate, she has been at Miami since 2000. Andrea is an Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and moonlights at Oxford Urgent Care. She enjoys her family & pets, outdoor activities & arts and crafts.

Kellee Avery

Kellee is the SCS Program Associate. She has been with Miami since 2014. Kellee is a graduate of Miami University ’12 with a Baccalaureate in Integrative Studies and minors in Gerontology and Criminology. Kellee is also pursuing a graduate degree in Educational Psychology. She enjoys spending time with her two children, grandson and and two dogs Chloe & Remi.