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.

Joshua Abraham, Ph.D.

Joshua Abraham is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Coordinator of Multicultural Services. He received his BA in Psychology from Temple University, his Masters in Clinical Mental Health from West Chester University, and his doctorate in Counselor Education from Old Dominion University. Josh approaches therapy from an integrative perspective combining elements from humanistic-existential therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and relational-cultural therapy. His areas of interest include multicultural and diversity issues, gender and sexual identity, mood disorders, relationship issues, and adjustment. In his free time, Josh enjoys music, tv, reading, eating, and podcasts. 

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+concerns, stress management, adjustment issues, grief counseling, academic stress, international students, 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. 

Maria Carrubba-Whetstine, Ph.D.

Maria is a Licensed Psychologist and the Associate Director for Training Programs and the coordinator of GLBTQIA 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. 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.

Kristen Reser, Ph.D.**

Kristen is a Licensed Psychologist 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 Associate 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. 

Rebecca Stone, Ph.D.**

Rebecca is a Licensed Psychologist who approaches therapy from an interpersonal, multicultural, and systems perspective. Her clinical interests include issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, concerns related to trauma, and general identity concerns.

Katherine Tylinski, Psy.D.

Katherine is a Licensed Psychologist 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 Rose Y. Uy, Psy.D.

Melanie is a Licensed Psychologist and the Associate Director for Multicultural Initiatives, as well as coordinator of the dog therapy program. 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 all things food related (e.g. baking, cooking, and finding new restaurants), being active, spending time with friends, family and dogs. 

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 Associate Director for Community Engagement. 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!

** The following individuals have been designated as Sexual Assault Response Clinicians within Student Counseling Services:

David Oblinger, Psy.D. Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow
Kristen Reser, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Rebecca Stone, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Jennifer Young, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Associate Director for Community Engagement

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.