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Counseling Staff

Tricia Besett-Alesch, PhD

CAPS Director/Training Director

Licensed Psychologist
MA, University of Northern Iowa
PhD, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Specialties
  • Women's Issues
  • LGBTQA+
  • Cultural/Spiritual Identity
  • Depression
  • Trauma/Grief/Loss
  • Eating Disorders/Body Image
  • Relationship Issues

Tricia joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2000. In her spare time, she enjoys her time with her family, playing the piano, singing, vacationing (especially Estes, CO) and reading.

As a member of a diverse CAPS team, Tricia’s professional journey includes interweaving her role as a leader into her work as a trainer and psychologist. She uses she/her/hers pronouns. Tricia works with students by taking in all diversity components and listening to the client’s worldview and considering various contextual factors. She meets clients where they are at in their journey. She sees her own cultural humility as being an essential aspect in her work with students and clients.

John Goldrich, MSW

CAPS Assistant Director of Embedded Services

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
BGA, University of Kansas
MSW, University of Kansas
  • Specialties
  • Depression
  • Relationship Issues
  • Couples Therapy
  • Trauma
  • Anger Management

John joined Counseling and Psychological services in June of 1994. He has worked as a counselor who focuses on providing struggling students with support. He is well versed in providing support in the areas of depression, anxiety, relationship concerns and school issues. In the past he has provided counseling for our student athletes here at UNL. Currently he provides supervision for several of the staff who work for Nebraska College Preparatory Academy. John is a member of both the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color and the African and African American Leadership Caucus. He is a pastor at Newman United Methodist Church.

John views diversity through the lens of inclusive excellence and cultural humility. It is a perspective in which all people and all voices matter to him. He is aware of the impact that biases and discriminatory actions have on the landscape in which we exist in here at UNL and the broader community. He works at developing strategies to help students overcome those barriers by helping them to create new methods to navigate through them. He is constantly mining for new information to help the students overcome their struggles associated with being a member of a marginalized population.

Joseph (Joey) Walloch, Psy.D., M.S.M.O.

CAPS Assistant Director of Clinical Services

Licensed Psychologist
MA, Arizona State University
MA, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Francisco
Psy.D, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Francisco
M.S.M.O. University of Colorado
  • Specialties
  • Suicide Risk Assessment and Management/Non-Suicidal Self-Injury
  • Emotion Dysregulation
  • Disordered Eating
  • Emotional Loneliness
  • LGBTQ Issues
  • Men's Issues
  • Middle Eastern Cultural Issues
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Joey joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2020 as an assistant director to aid in the operations and management of CAPS. In his free time, Joey enjoys working out, cooking, traveling, reading, learning world languages, watching movies, spending time with his cats Rocco and Athena, and listening to electronic dance music (EDM) and Arabic music. Joey can speak French fluently and can converse conversationally in Egyptian and Lebanese Arabic.

Everyone is part of multiple systems which all have powerful influences over how we collectively experience the world. Joey therefore considers issues of diversity as multifaceted and in context, whereby he helps students see how the different environments in which they live do truly impact and shape their sense of self and their unique understanding of the world. With LGBTQ-identified students specifically, he often educates them about internalized oppression as a systemic consequence which often has lead to many of their current concerns.

Summer Bleich, MA

Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
MA, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Irvine
MA, American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Orange County
  • Specialties
  • Trauma
  • Attachment and Family Dynamics
  • First Generation College Students
  • Former Foster Youth Students
  • Identity Exploration

As a mental health clinician who holds different intersecting identities of diversity, Summer works to integrate each student’s unique cultural variables when engaging in the therapeutic process. Summer strives to balance the dynamics of diversity by understanding each student’s experience with power, privilege, and oppression to assist in accessing their internal resources. Through this process, students can develop resiliency, self-awareness, and insight.

Soowhan Choi, PhD

Licensed Psychologist
MA, University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, KS
PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Specialties
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Family of Origin
  • Career Counseling/Life Planning
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • International Student
  • Asian/Asian American

Soowhan is a former predoctoral intern in 2019-2020 and joined Counseling and Psychological Services as a staff psychologist in 2022. In his spare time he likes to ride bikes, swim, and cook/enjoy ethnic foods with friends and family.

Soowhan helps his students conceptualize their mental health from the cognitive model and interpersonal approach. Students will explore their thought and relationship patterns contributing to their mental health, and practice adaptive ways to cope and relate to others. They will identify what worked well and try something different to make desirable changes. Soowhan strives to incorporate the cultural context into his work while helping his students embrace all their identities.

Duke Engel, MA, LADC

Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
M.A., University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Specialties
  • Substance Abuse
  • Family Members of Alcoholics and Addicts
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Worrying/Panic Attacks/Anxiety
  • Transitions in Life
  • Trauma/PTSD

Since 2013 Duke has worked the last 10 weeks of each semester when Counseling and Psychological Services becomes very busy. His schedule has allowed him to pursue his love of cultures in the 30 countries he has visited and in the US such as Native American cultures.

Duke believes that our biggest problems are often the problems we have not been able to say out loud. He is intensely interested in each person's story and hopes to create a safe place for his clients to begin exploring how things could be different for them. He never ceases to be amazed at the creative resolutions to issues that clients discover in therapy.

In addition to his travels, Duke enjoys biking, canoeing, fishing, dancing, the gym, backpacking, volunteering for Nature Conservancy and watching sports.

Jennifer Holt, MA

Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
MS, Doane College
  • Specialties
  • Recovery from Violence/Trauma
  • Anger Management
  • Coping Skills and Techniques
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Family Issues

Jennifer joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2019 as a Counselor. Her past experience working in corrections created a passion for working with a variety of issues including working with first responders and veterans. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, her pets, and watching Netflix in her free time.

Jennifer is very open about cultural issues in sessions with students. She truly enjoys hearing about individual/family traditions and customs! She tries to stay informed on relevant cultural issues, as well as the heavy challenges that continue to prevail in this country. Like so many others, she has been humbled and horrified by the ongoing issues that are still being endured by people of color. Jennifer is committed to continually educating herself, being a strong advocate for positive changes, and encouraging new ideas/options for making these necessary changes more pervasive and permanent!

Falesa Ivory, PhD

Provisionally Licensed Psychologist
MA, Fielding Graduate University
PhD, Fielding Graduate University
  • Specialties
  • Diversity Issues
  • Racial/Spiritual/Cultural/Gender/Sexual Identity Exploration
  • LGBTQA+ Issues
  • Spirituality
  • Trauma
  • Phase of Life
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

As a therapist, Falesa views therapy as a journey. The path on this journey of life is twisting and winding with many detours, and it can be not easy to navigate on your own. She strives to create a therapy experience unique to each client, being mindful of how each individual’s social identities interact to make them unique. Falesa appreciates individual differences and strives to create a space that understands and respects the client’s needs and cultural values, a safe space with no shame, where people can give voice to their unique stories.

Kristin Jagels, MA

Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
MA, Texas State University
  • Specialties
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Relationship Issues
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Difficult Transitions

Kristin joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2019. She enjoys working with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and relationship issues. She loves learning about different cultures and traveling when she has the chance. In her spare time, Kristin likes to spend time with family, read, watch movies, and binge watch sitcoms and dramas.

Kristin believes there are many factors contributing to each individual’s cultural identity and that she cannot assume that she knows how these factors affect the individual in front of her nor their mental health. Kristin is curious and open to learning each person’s view of how these factors have affected them and continue to affect them. Particular cultural areas of interest are Latinx and Hispanic cultures, as well as Asian cultures.

Mariah Johnson, MS

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
Marriage & Family Therapist
MS, Friends University
  • Specialties
  • Relationship Issues
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Couples Therapy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Life Transitions

Mariah joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2019. Her clinical interests include areas related to couple and family issues, anxiety and trauma. Through Mariah’s training in Marriage and Family Therapy, Mariah addresses each client’s presenting problems by considering their familial, cultural, and societal influences. Mariah believes that it is critical to consider these influences in a way that guides treatment in the most safe and effective way for each individual client. Mariah believes that therapy progress can only be made when a client truly feels comfortable in the therapy room, which is why Mariah’s priority is focused on building therapeutic alliance and focusing on individual needs, as this can look very different for each client. Mariah continues to challenge herself to gain knowledge in diverse and cultural backgrounds, challenging biases, and remaining curious about each client as their own individual self.

Mark Lukin, PhD

Licensed Psychologist
MA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Specialties
  • Crisis Management
  • Risk/Threat Assessment/Management
  • Serious Mental Illness
  • Group Therapy
  • Anger Management

Mark Lukin is a licensed psychologist who joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2020. In his spare time, Mark enjoys cooking, history, travel, photography, antiques and music.

Mark is a licensed psychologist with lots of experience but relatively new to working with international students. He loves to travel and has been to Italy, Spain and Mexico. His family has hosted an exchange student from Oxaca, Mexico and one of his daughters studied abroad in Merida, Mexico. Mark loves history and culture and is looking forward to meeting you and helping you find success at UNL.

Jenifer Manstedt, MS

Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
MS, University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • Specialties
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Body Image
  • Disordered Eating

Jenifer joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2019 as a Counselor. In her spare time, Jenifer enjoys spending time with friends and family, spending time with her dog, watching her husband coach football and being active outdoors.

When navigating diversity-related issues, Jenifer believes it is important to gain understanding of how another defines their differences and what that means to them. Jenifer is aware of the systemic components that can contribute to diversity-related issues and finds it helpful to provide guidance on ways someone can manage related difficulties. She specialize in eating disorders and has found that these disorders do not discriminate. Through her work at CAPS she has learned how diversity and acculturation difficulties can be underlying contributing factors of eating disorders. Jenifer is committed to learn more about cultural humility, to continue having conversations and learning from others, educating herself on how eating disorders affect individuals across different cultural backgrounds, and how we can increase open dialogue about diversity-related issues on campus.

Xiping (Kylie) Qiu, MS

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
MS, Nanjing Normal University (People’s Republic of China)
  • Specialties
  • Chinese Cultural Issues
  • Intimate Relationships
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Disordered Eating/Eating Disorder
  • Personality Issues
  • Attachment Issues

Kylie joined Counseling and Psychological Services in August, 2014 and focuses primarily on working with Chinese and other international students. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, Chinese traditional tea ceremonies, and exploring and learning about new cultures. By both engaging with her Chinese tradition and cultures from a different lens, Kylie is very much aware of the unique parts of her racial, gender, ethnic and her other background, as well as the “here and now” interactions. She is committed to check her bias, prejudice, wholeheartedness to believe, and embody cultural humility by embracing conversations and learning from others.

Katie Meidlinger, PhD

Provisionally Licensed Psychologist
MA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Specialties
  • LGBTQIA+ Community Support
  • Identity Development
  • Trauma
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Parenting
  • Anxiety

Katie has generalist training with an emphasis on working with LGBTQIA+ communities and with families who have experienced trauma. She strives to work collaboratively with clients with sensitivity to the intersections of identity, culture, and the past experiences of each person. Katie enjoys working with college students because of their tremendous creativity and potential, and highly values her role in supporting students through the growth and development that occurs in this phase of life.

Brigham Scott, PsyD

Licensed Psychologist
Alcohol and Other Drug Services Coordinator
MA, American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Orange County
PsyD, American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Orange County
  • Specialties
  • Substance Use Issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Multicultural Diversity
  • LGBTQ Issues
  • Significant Life Transitions
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Men's Issues
  • Gaming & Technology Addiction

Brigham joined Counseling and Psychological Services in August 2014 as a psychology intern. In his free time, Brigham enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, cooking and attending various sporting events.

A keystone of Brigham’s approach to therapy is understanding how every individual is unique and has been shaped by many demographic and cultural influences. Brigham has thoroughly enjoyed working at a university setting, which has provided him with several opportunities to meet people from varying backgrounds. Part of cultural competence is also awareness of his own identity and how that interplays with clients with whom he works. Cultural humility and being open to different perspectives that are not naturally his experience is another principle that he values and finds useful in working with others. He aims to continue to enhance his experience in this area and would welcome working with any and all individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Kylie Surmeier, MS

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
MS, University of Nebraska-Kearney
  • Specialties
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Life Transitions
  • Self-esteem
  • Family Issues
  • Trauma

Kylie joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2019. Kylie's clinical interests include working with people from a variety of backgrounds. She has experience working in the areas of trauma, anxiety, life transitions and family of origin difficulties. In her free time, Kylie enjoys watching musicals, traveling, reading and attending sporting events.

Michele Wilson, MSEd

Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
BA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
MSEd, University of Nebraska-Kearney
  • Specialties
  • East Campus availability on Wednesday afternoons, after completing Initial Evaluation at main campus
  • Anxiety, PTSD, Depression
  • Women's Issues
  • Co-Occurring Issues
  • Substance Use Issues

Michele joined CAPS in 2022 as a counselor. She enjoys spending time with her family, including her animal family of horses, cats and dogs. She loves to practice yoga, travel, kayak and watch movies.

Michele comes from an Existential framework. She believes that all people have incredible gifts, and really enjoys helping people discover and embody these gifts using their unique perspectives, goals and dreams. She values diversity in community and sees it as essential to the positive development of individuals, as well as society. She loves to help facilitate positive change with students, including removing any barriers to this process.

Scott Winrow, PhD

Licensed Psychologist
MS, Northwest Missouri State University
PhD, University of North Dakota
  • Specialties
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues
  • Coming Out Issues
  • Native American Issues
  • Diversity Issues
  • Self-Esteem
  • Test Anxiety

Scott joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2002. In his spare time, Scott enjoys reading, watching movies and biking.

By training, Scott is a generalist and works with many issues including anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and diversity. Scott has a specialization in working with members of the LGBTQA+ community. He recognizes that mental health is impacted by societal factors and prejudice, discrimination, and marginalization can negatively impact students. Each individual is shaped by both their individual and collective experiences and he approaches therapy through a lens of cultural humility. One of Scott’s goals of therapy is to affirm individuals and empower them to make positive changes in their lives.

Psychology Interns

Evelyn Cowen, MA

Provisional Mental Health Practitioner
MA, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA
  • Specialties
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Body Image
  • Disordered Eating
  • LGBTQ+
  • Women’s Issues
  • Trauma

Evelyn is a generalist clinician with specialty interests including working with body image issues, eating issues, and the LGBTQ+ community. She works to create a therapeutic environment that is warm, accepting, and open to all backgrounds. Evelyn considers how context impacts patient issues, particularly how systems impact diverse populations. In her free time Evelyn enjoys hiking, creating art, and spending time with her cats.

Sam Hayward, MS

Provisional Mental Health Practitioner
MS, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA
  • Specialties
  • First Generation
  • Grief & Loss
  • Life Transitions
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • Emerging Adulthood
  • Perinatal & Parenting Concerns

Sam is a flexible, empathetic, welcoming therapist that values and considers the lived experiences and cultural identities of each client. He tends to view therapy through a relational, attachment-focused lens and looks to promote change and self-acceptance through different therapeutic interventions and styles. Sam strives to serve students in a culturally sensitive, affirming, and uplifting way. He hopes to ultimately be a guide and resource to students during their therapeutic journey. In his free time, Sam enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, traveling abroad, playing soccer, exploring the outdoors, and listening to sports related podcasts.

Rachael Perlman, MA (Rae)

Provisional Mental Health Practitioner
MA, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA
  • Specialties
  • Disability-related concerns (visible & invisible)
  • Racial/ethnic/cultural concerns
  • Climate anxiety
  • Grief and loss
  • Relationship conflict & conflict mediation
  • Substance use
  • LGBTQIA
  • Mindfulness

Rachael strives to create a space where people can better accept themselves while also exploring new potentials. Her style of therapy is flexible, orienting around the client’s cultural and personal values and combining those with that person’s needs. This often includes interpersonal conversations that help clients feel safe and can provide healing experiences. She is especially attentive to not only personal and family factors, but also to systemic ones (related to social and planetary systems) that might be affecting someone’s well-being. Rachael’s main hobbies are backpacking, meditating, biking, reading, and learning foreign languages (Spanish, German, French). Rachael has experience providing therapy in both English and Spanish.

Field Placements

Caroline Spitz, MS

Provisional Mental Health Practitioner
MS/EdS, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL
  • Specialties
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Trauma
  • Relationship Conflicts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Above all, Caroline strives to create a relaxing space in which her clients feel comfortable communicating whatever they feel ready to share. Her style of counseling is focused on learning to understand and accept emotions, positive self-regard, and understanding the origins of where core beliefs about the self. Additionally, she finds it important to examine power structures and systemic issues that may be compounding stress. Caroline enjoys working with a wide variety of clients and has enjoyed work in the past both as a generalist and in another role as a victim advocate.

Support Staff

Annette Contreras

Office Supervisor

Libby Poulsen

Office Associate-Lead

Shari Daehling

Office Associate

Elizabeth Neill

Office Associate