Psychology Department

Counseling Graduate Program

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Counseling Graduate Program > Student Profiles & Web sites

Learn About Our Counseling Students!

Rachael Bisceglie (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in School Counseling
  • Hometown: Pine Bush, NY
  • Research and Applied Interests: I'm interested in childhood and adolescent development, along with issues surrounding depression, suicide and body image.
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: About SUNY New Paltz? By far, the teachers. They're awesome. About the town of New Paltz? Frosty Rock Creamery, Muddy Cup and Rocco's Pizzeria!
  • Interesting Fact About Me: I'm the first person in my program! How cool is that? And when I was younger I was almost a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Try your hardest. Do your best. (And yes, some of us STILL don't know what we want to do for the rest of our lives.)

Michelle Coombs (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: Newburgh, NY
  • Research and Applied Interests: PTSD among soldiers and At-risk Youth
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: Edward Tick's War and the Soul
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: The diversity
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Learn as much about the programs you apply to as possible: the faculty's orientation, licensure issues, flexibility of class schedules, variety of classes available, whether you need to take summer classes to graduate in 2 years , etc. And always contact students who are in the program you are applying to - ask them questions, meet with faculty if you can. Don't let your program be a surprise when you show up to the first day of classes.

Kristen Fox (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: New Windsor, NY
  • Research and Applied Interest: Parenting/relationships with children and partner, perception of self, marriage and values and military reintegration
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: The Geography of Bliss
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: Fall, Food, Friends
  • Interesting Fact About Me: Black belt in Okinawin Go Ju Ru, AND I have a twin brother, his name is Tom.
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Ask questions, but always remember each answers speaks to the experience of the person you ask. Visit each school, talk to instructors, talk to students but remember to breathe.

Nicole “GiGi” Giordano (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: Staten Island
  • Research and Applied Interests: Rejection Sensitivity, Evolutionary Psychology, Gender Roles, Traumatic Event Survivors, LGBTQ, and survivors of Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence.
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: The people! Everyone is so welcoming and everyone has a unique story and experience. It is just a really diverse population.
  • Interesting Fact About Me: My catchphrase is “ I'm so awkward.” I make faces at everything, and that's how I make friends!
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: I'd recommend that as you are applying for Graduate Schools you visit the schools and meet the faculty and current students. Sit down and talk to them and see if these are people that you feel a connection too. Your learning experience will be better if it is with people that you want to be learning from.

Elise Catherine Grant (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: Washingtonville, New York
  • Research: currently working with Dr. Tabitha Holmes on qualitative research concerning parental beliefs.
  • Applied interests: substance abuse counseling
  • Interesting book: The Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: The best autumns around. And the professors.
  • Interesting Fact About Me: I have sleep paralysis
  • Advice: Don't drive yourself crazy!

Brian Healy (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: Corning, NY
  • Research and Applied Interests: counseling, gender role stereotypes
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: Naked by David Sedaris
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: The people and the scenery.
  • Interesting Fact About Me: I used to work as a 'Dickens-style' Christmas caroler in top hat and all.
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Don't hesitate to ask for help from your professors or fellow students.
  • Links: http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian_Healy/71700582

L. Ruth Kalvert (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: Rockland County
  • Research and Applied Interests: Deepening the relationship and integration between the mind, the body and the many aspects of self to become a more integrated, present and whole being in the world. Self as an interface for dealing with conflicts and growth in relationship to others and to the world at large. Teaching coping skills and self regulation skills as mental wellness tools for mental health consumers and studying shifts in abilities to develop a stable ground and presence. Incorporating a view of wellness that includes physiological wellness education (exercise, meditation, bodywork, nutrition)
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: Yoga and Psychotherapy by Swami Rama, Swami Ajaya, and Rudolph Ballentine
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: The surrounding land, and the emphasis in the program on application and in questing to understand what approaches we as individuals are comfortable with and interested in pursuing
  • Interesting Fact About Me: I spent months as an adopted "mother" for an ex-captive orangutan named Amin
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Follow your path

Alexandra McDonald (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: Enterprise, AL
  • Research: I am working on research applied to parents' influence on their children's education and psychological development.
  • Interests: Geriatrics population, family and child psychology.
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: The Pleasure of my Company by Steve Martin.
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: Hippie peace and love, the trees changing each season, and the diversity among the students at SUNY New Paltz.
  • Interesting Fact About Me: I survived cancer and I was first runner up to the U.S. Junior Olympics.
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Believe in yourself and your abilities to make a difference in the lives of others. This program is not only educational; the faculty and students are amazing individuals. "Nothing in life is achieved without effort, daring to take risk, and often some suffering." - Erich Fromm. Do not let others scare you; New Paltz graduate studies is an amazing experience that I encourage you to pursue.

Stephanie St. John Olear

  • Degree Program: M.S. Mental Health Counseling
  • Hometown: NYC for most of my life, now here to stay
  • Research and Applied Interests: gender difference in statistics' mindsets, postpartum mental health
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: Naked by David Sedaris
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: the farms and all the festivals I can take my two little kids to.
  • Interesting Fact About Me: I used to be a rock star with my band MiMi Ferocious before I became a mom and moved up here.
    I also used to host a radio show on WEVD in NYC called, "The Secrets of Health and Longevity," under the alias "Stephanie Marie."
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: get involved with research involving something that sparks your interest - you will learn tons!
  • Links:

Talita Oliveira (Graduated)

  • Degree Program: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling
  • Research and Applied Interests: parenting styles, childhood development, marriage and couple counseling
  • An Interesting Book I Recently Read: This summer I read Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper and Nineteen Minutes
  • Favorite Thing About New Paltz: I love the restaurants! This really is an adorable little town!
  • Interesting Fact About Me: I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I have 4 dogs.
  • Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Find ways to interact with your classmates outside of the classroom. It can be really helpful to talk to people that are going through the same crazy schedule as you.