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Students socializing inside University Webb Center.

Counseling ServicesMeet Our Staff

Dr. Joy Himmel serves as the Counseling Center Director and holds a Psy.D in Psychology, MA in Mental Health Counseling, and BSN in Nursing. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Nurse (RN). She has over 30 years of experience in hospital-and community-based programs and college health. She is trained in trauma informed care, EMDR, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Areas of focus are depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD and relationship issues.




Liam Costello is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of Virginia. He earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling from Broome Community College in Binghamton, NY, and his Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR. Before joining OCS, Liam has dedicated his career to working with underserved and historically marginalized populations as both a substance abuse and mental health counselor. He was named therapist of the year for the state of Arkansas in 2018 by Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma (ARBEST), for his work providing trauma specific treatment to adolescent young men while they were incarcerated by the state. Liam values and celebrates working with people with diverse backgrounds, as their willingness to share about their unique experiences and perspectives allows him to develop an understanding of himself and others that is as rich, full, and complex as human beings are.




Dr. Kathreen Tadrous is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist who received a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.S. in Biochemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.D. from St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada. She completed her Psychiatric Residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, a Psychoanalytic Fellowship from the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education, NYU SOM, followed by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Fellowship at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ. She previously worked in Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, NJ as attending psychiatrist in both the ER and adolescent residential treatment and where she served as Associate Program Director of the Psychiatry Residency training program.




Dr. Laura Helton Edmonson is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She received her bachelor's degree from Texas Tech University and her master's degree from The University of Houston. She received her Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology from Alliant University, The California School of Professional Psychology. "Dr. Laura," as she is known by her clients, enjoys working with university students to address a variety of concerns. Some of these concerns include women's issues, issues pertaining to military and military affiliated populations, and topics regarding diversity -- particularly individuals who identify as Biracial or Multiracial.




Dr. Amy Cavanaugh is a staff psychologist and the group counseling coordinator at the Office of Counseling Services. She joined the Office of Counseling Services at ODU in Fall 2019. She has been committed to working with college students since she graduated with her doctoral degree in 2010 from Western Michigan University. She provides individual, couples, and group counseling services; facilitates on demand appointments; consults with members of the campus community; and enjoys developing and implementing outreach programs. Amy has a passion for group counseling and believes that everyone would benefit through learning from others, connecting with peers, and gaining support through group counseling. Amy enjoys working with the LGBTQIA+ community, couples, and survivors of trauma. Additionally, she has specialized experience working with disordered eating and eating disorders, women's issues, healthy relationships, stalking, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, body image, and LGBTQIA concerns.




Dr. Tranese Morgan is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia and has worked as a Staff Psychologist and Doctoral Training Coordinator at Old Dominion University's Office of Counseling Services since July 2020. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2011 from Southeastern University, Lakeland, FL, and her Doctorate degree (Psy.D) in Clinical Psychology in 2017 from Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA. In 2018, she completed a 2-year APA-approved Internship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Danielsen Institute at Boston University. Dr. Morgan's areas of clinical focus include the provision of affirming and inclusive mental health practices for college students. She utilizes a trauma-informed, integrative approach to therapy drawing from mindfulness and self-compassion-based practices, DBT, CBT, ACT, and relational theories (e.g., psychodynamic, attachment style, object relations). She aims to honor the spectrum of lived experiences of her clients including the ways in which their sociocultural identities (i.e., race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, spirituality, etc.) intersect with their mental health and overall well-being. She is particularly drawn to outreach, and well-being initiatives centered on diverse student groups including LGBTQIA+ students, neurodivergent students, and communities of color such as BIPOC, Latinx, and International students. Dr. Morgan is also passionate about therapeutic approaches to psychodiagnostic assessment including ADHD, ASD, personality, learning, and executive functioning.




Sarah Kalafsky is a Resident in Counseling in the state of Virginia and plans to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Fall of 2022. She has been with ODU's Office of Counseling Services since August 2019 and currently serves as the Outreach Coordinator. Sarah received her bachelor's degree in psychology from James Madison University and her master's degree in clinical mental health counseling here at ODU. Sarah has experience working in a variety of clinical settings with clients across the lifespan, but she has found her passion working with college students within the university setting. Sarah practices from a person-centered, trauma-informed approach and often incorporates cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal process, and solution-focused techniques into her work. She uses warmth, acceptance, humor, and multicultural awareness to foster a safe, non-judgmental environment for her clients to feel comfortable as they work toward identified goals. Additionally, Sarah finds her role in campus outreach to be particularly rewarding as she is able to connect with students who may not traditionally seek out clinical services, reduce stigma regarding mental health and help-seeking, and continue to foster collaborative relationships with other departments and organizations on campus.




Paige Fisher is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) hailing from Annapolis, Maryland. She received her master's degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Paige has worked in various clinical settings and enjoys engaging with clients from diverse backgrounds and cultures. She has experience in crisis response, school counseling, and community mental health. Paige spent several years overseas in Japan, working with deployed active-duty service members. She is passionate about suicide prevention, gender equality, and supporting our military community. Paige is honored to be a part of the ODU counseling team. She is dedicated to empowering students to gain resiliency and successfully navigate stressors. Outside of the office she enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and singing!




Amanda Barrett is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology and master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Longwood University. Amanda has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings with diverse populations including community mental health, school-based programs, crisis response, and university counseling - which is where her passion remains. Amanda approaches therapy from a strength based, person-centered perspective and will often incorporate interventions from CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and MI (Motivational Interviewing). Amanda's areas of professional interest include solution-focused treatment of stress/anxiety, interpersonal difficulties, life transitions, career concerns, and the relationship between physical activity/nutrition and mental health. Her approach is respectful and empowering, while working collaboratively with students to help them identify and implement coping strategies to utilize throughout their collegiate journey and beyond. Her goal is to provide a safe and accepting space for students to experience new insights and grow while working towards their individual goals.




Alysa Patti is a Resident in Counseling and a National Certified Counselor. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Christopher Newport University and her Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The College of William and Mary. Prior to joining the ODU team in the Fall of 2022, Alysa worked in a variety of mental health settings including an inpatient substance use treatment center, a college telehealth clinic, and a private practice. She has experience helping individuals navigate life transitions, anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, and relationship issues. Her passion remains in working with young adults going through transition and individuals in the military community. Alysa strives to make counseling feel like a safe and comfortable environment where individuals can feel heard and work towards their goals. She utilizes techniques and interventions from Person-Centered, Strength-Based, and Cognitive-Behavioral therapies to promote mental health and wellness.




Ivonee Thompson is a Resident in Counseling in the state of Virginia and is pursuing licensure to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. She earned her master's degree in Clinicial Mental Health Counseling from Regent University, Virginia Beach. Ivonee has had the opportunity to work in a variety of clinical settings including community mental health, acute inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, school-based programs, and integrative neurology services. She is passionate about supporting diverse and underserved communities, gender equality, and suicide prevention. Ivonee enjoys creating a safe, empathetic, and comfortable environment to empower students and promote positive change. She practices a strength-based approach and often incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing into her work. Ivonee is a devout believer in collaborating with students to identify issues, difficulties, and problems caused by thoughts, feelings, and emotions to overcome obstacles and personal challenges that they are facing throughout their collegiate odyssey.




E. Gerrie Gargan-Wark is a Resident in Social Work working towards a License in Clinical Social Work. She received her Master's in Social Work from the University of Kentucky and her Bachelor's in Social Work from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Gerrie is passionate about working with young adults who are struggling with their mental health. In the past she has worked closely with clients who are involved in the juvenile justice system and helped them develop coping mechanisms in order to reduce recidivism. Gerrie is trained in Aggression Replacement Training (ART) and enjoys helping clients who are struggling with anger management. She is committed to creating a safe and nonjudgmental environment for her clients. Gerrie practices from a strengths-based approach and aims to empower her clients to develop a deeper understanding of their own struggles with mental health.


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Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!