Psychologists, professional counselors, clinical social workers and a consulting psychiatrist staff the Counseling Center.
Staff are experienced in working with the personal and career concerns of college students. In addition, advanced doctoral students also provide counseling services as part of their practicum training. Practicum students are closely supervised by senior counseling staff.
Dr. Jodi Blahnik, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Counselor/Coordinator of Assessment and ADHD Services
Dr. Jodi Blahnik is a Marquette alum, receiving both her Master's degree and Doctorate from Marquette's Clinical Psychology program. She has worked at the Counseling Center since 2007 and currently serves as the ADHD Treatment Coordinator. Jodi deeply enjoys working with young adults, supporting clients around issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, career decision and transitions. Jodi views the counseling experience as a collaborative journey and uses a variety of short-term approaches to help the student achieve their goals. In addition to her clinical work, Jodi teaches several classes for Marquette's College of Professional Studies. Outside of work, Jodi enjoys spending time with her family, reading books about history, and renovating her 140 year old Victorian house.
Christopher Daood, Ph.D.- Licensed Psychologist
Assistant Director, Outreach Coordinator
Dr. Chris Daood has worked at Marquette's Counseling Center for 15 years and has been an assistant director since 2005. He completed his undergraduate at St. John's University, his Master degree at the University of Denver, and did his Doctoral work at Marquette. Chris is knowledgeable and skilled in his work with a wide spectrum of emotional conditions. He is particularly interested in working with those students who want to feel more accepted or comfortable in their environment, and helping those students gain an understanding of the relational or environmental stressors that impact them. Chris uses an interpersonal and relational style to foster personal awareness and creative problem-solving, and sees group therapy as a great way to help some students achieve their goals. To compliment his interest in teaching, Chris coordinates the Counseling Center's educational outreach efforts. When the weather cooperates, Chris enjoys running, paddling or biking in any of the great parks in and around Milwaukee.
Maria Olafsson, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Counselor/Co-Coordinator of Eating Disorders Treatment Services
Maria Olafsson received a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She previously worked in the Eating Disorders Treatment Program at University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City, IA from 1995-2005. From 2005-2010, Maria was employed as a therapist at St. Alphonsus Behavioral Health in Boise, ID. In addition to specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, she also has extensive experience in working with clients on a broad range of psychological issues, with particular interest and experience in mood, anxiety, and relationship struggles. Maria uses cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness-based strategies in her work with students toward their goals in counseling. In her free time, Maria enjoys outdoor activities, reading, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.
Laura Gray, M.S.N. - Licensed Professional Counselor
Counselor/Co-Coordinator of Eating Disorder Treatment Services
Laura Gray is a psychotherapist who received her Master's in Mental Health Nursing at UW-Madison and her Bachelor's in Nursing from UW-Milwaukee. She has over 25 years of mental health experience in a variety of settings. Laura's nursing background gives her a unique perspective on the biopsychosocial approach to treatment. The benefits of this are especially effective in the treatment of eating disorders, an area of expertise for Laura for 20 years. She has worked almost exclusively with adolescents and young adults and finds her ability to connect on an authentic level to be highly rewarding, for both Laura and her clients. She uses primarily a cognitive behavioral approach with clients, guiding them toward healthy problem solving and strength building. Laura has enjoyed living in the Milwaukee area all her life.
Nicholas Jenkins, M.A.
Counselor/Coordinator of Mental Health Advocacy
Nick Jenkins received his degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and has been at Marquette University for the past 3 years. Nick considers himself to be a generalist and feels comfortable working with most mental health concerns and populations although has been focused on working with the college population for the past 6 years. Nick attempts to tailor counseling to the individual and uses an integrative approach that combines interpersonal, humanistic, multicultural and cognitive/behavioral counseling strategies. As the coordinator for mental health advocacy, Nick facilitates the suicide prevention training on campus, advising the student organization Active Minds and does programming to reduce stigma around mental health concerns at Marquette. Outside of his time at Marquette, Nick enjoys going to interesting restaurants around Milwaukee and makes the best mac and cheese in counseling center history.
Brenda Lenz, M.S., L.P.C., S.A.C.
Associate Director of Clinical Services, Coordinator of Alcohol & Drug Treatment Services
Brenda Lenz is a licensed professional counselor and certified substance abuse counselor. She has been at MUCC for 10 years working as therapist, the clinical director and with students with both mental health and substance use issues. In addition to college counseling, she has worked in community clinics and in private practice working with college aged students for the past 20 years. Brenda has a special interest in working with students who struggle with eating problems, more complicated mental health issues, athletes, and substance use concerns. Brenda uses a combination of motivational enhancement, supportive and practical cognitive and behavioral strategies to help students resolve their concerns and meet their personal goals.
Dr. Stephanie Kohler-Neuwirth, M.D.
Dr. Stephanie Kohler-Neuwirth graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, WI . She subsequently attended Rosalind Franklin University/Chicago Medical School in North Chicago, IL, where she received a Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology followed by a Doctor of Medicine. She completed residency training in General Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, and underwent an additional year of fellowship training in Psychosomatic Medicine. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and spends most of her professional time as consulting psychiatrist at the Marquette University Counseling Center, where she has been caring for students since 2012. As a psychiatrist, she is well versed in using medications to treat a large variety of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She also enjoys providing insight oriented and supportive counseling to help students better understand their emotional concerns and grow as individuals. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.
Lynn O'Brien, M.S.S.W. - Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Counselor/Coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment
Lynn received her BA in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and her graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She participated in post-graduate studies at the Family Therapy Training Institute here in Milwaukee as she worked to obtain her license in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has been at Marquette since 2009. Lynn utilizes a competency based approach to counseling; helping clients to focus on their strengths and resiliency as a means to addressing current difficulties. Lynn has extensive experience in treating trauma response; especially trauma related to sexual assault and relationship violence. Lynn enjoys yoga, camping and spending time with her family.
David Phelps, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. David Phelps is a post-doctoral fellow who received his doctorate from Marquette University's Counseling Psychology program. He has several years of experience working in college counseling centers and enjoys working collaboratively with clients, tailoring his approach to fit their unique cultural background, presenting concerns, and goals for therapy. David has experience working with clients in a variety of areas including anxiety, depression, developmental and identity concerns, and body image and eating concerns. David strives to develop a strong therapeutic relationship with clients and believes that growth and healing comes from helping clients to better understand how their interpersonal dynamics impact their mood, academic life and relationships.
Alicia Simle, Psy.D.
Post Doctoral Fellow
Alicia completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her doctorate degree at the University of Indianapolis. She has experience working in a variety of mental health settings, including university counseling centers, community mental health, and residential treatment. Alicia is passionate about working with the college student population and practices with an integration of cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, and psychodynamic approaches. In addition to providing therapy, Alicia has an interest in introducing students to biofeedback as a unique method of learning to reduce stress. Alicia enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching movies, and playing soccer.
Leslie Skaistis, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist
Counselor/Training Coordinator, Group Co-Coordinator
Dr. Leslie Skaistis earned her undergraduate degree from Hope College in Holland, MI. She went on to earn her doctorate in clinical psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Chicago, IL. She has worked at the Marquette University Counseling Center since 2009. Leslie draws from many approaches to help clients live happy and authentic lives. Included in these are mindfulness, using one's values to guide behavior change, exploring the impact of self-talk on one's mood, and existential theory. Understanding each client's culture, worldview, and unique identity is central to her approach. She is passionate about group therapy and works with students to explore whether individual or group therapy will best meet their needs. When not at work, Leslie enjoys listening to music at Milwaukee's many excellent venues and spending time with both her human and fuzzy, 4-legged friends.
Angela Zapata, Ph.D. - Licensed Psychologist
Angela Zapata is a psychologist and the Diversity Coordinator at the Marquette University Counseling Center. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in multicultural and diversity psychology at Arizona State University. Angela prefers to focus on building a strong relationship with students with whom she works and believes in a collaborative approach to help students attain their goals in counseling. In addition to taking an interpersonal approach, Angela also helps students feel empowered to create the change they want to see in their lives. Angela uses mindfulness in both her work and private life, so strives to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere in her office that is conducive to this task. She particularly enjoys facilitating group therapy as she has witnessed the power of peers in helping other students learn to be self-compassionate, find acceptance, and better be able to connect with one another, which positively impacts student experiences and their functioning. As a counselor for social justice, Angela works to create an inclusive environment and strives to engage in dialogue that increases awareness of systems of power, privilege, discrimination and oppression; thus she finds it important to not just work with individuals, but also the systems in which they function. On a personal note, Angela is a lover of animals and has two dogs who bring her great joy and unconditional love. She also likes to crochet while watching sci-fi tv/movies.
Michael Zebrowski, Psy.D. - Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Mike Zebrowski is a Marquette alum who later received his Master's degree from Duquesne University and his Doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. He has been at MU for 20 years and the Director since 2004. Mike is well versed in working with mental health disorders with the college population, especially anxiety and depression. he has a special interest in working with students who are having trouble connecting with others or those with complicated mental health issues. Mike uses a combination of insight, practical cognitive and behavioral strategies and supportive counseling to help student to be more successful. He is a big fan of Milwaukee and enjoys hearing about classic and new events in town.