CAPS Staff Bios

We represent the fields of psychology, counseling, social work, and psychiatry. We train interns in counseling, clinical psychology, and related counseling programs. Our primary commitment is to enhance the psychological growth, emotional well being, and learning potential of students. Our permanent staff are licensed and/or certified mental health professionals. However, all members of our counseling team (including graduate interns) are trained to address a wide range of presenting concerns. We each have our own unique interests and have developed counseling styles that best enable us to connect with students in a personalized way that aims to be most helpful.


Kimbelry Gorman

Kimberly S. Gorman, Ph.D., HSP-P, Director, Licensed Psychologist earned her Master's and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Kim has a special interest in working with women's issues and, specifically, eating disorders, however has experience working with clients with a variety of mental health issues. Additionally, she has experience working in behavioral medicine. She works from a feminist, interpersonal approach in therapy. Another interest for her is in the area of training and professional development. She has been involved in training of masters and doctoral level students for nearly two decades. Personally, she enjoys spending time with her husband sitting on their porch, reading a book and looking at the mountains. She also enjoys being active and watching her beloved basketball team in action.

Michelle Cooper Photo

Michelle K. Cooper, Ph.D., HSP-P, LCAS-A, Clinical Director, Licensed Psychologist, has a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master's in Counselor Education from Penn State. She uses relational-cultural, family systems, culturally-sensitive approaches incorporating mindfulness-based therapeutic tools and other evidence-based practices into her therapeutic work.  She views counseling as a collaborative process where both client & counselor bring their individual expertise/gifts together to address specific concerns. Personally, she loves the mountains, rivers & related recreational activities, especially with her family.


Jay Manalo

Michael Jay Manalo, Ph.D., HSP-P, NCC, Training Director, Licensed Psychologist, completed both his master’s degree in School Counseling and his doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at The University of Georgia.  He conducted his doctoral internship at WCU’s CAPS and his postdoctoral training and subsequent work experiences in private practice settings in Georgia prior to returning to WCU.  His counseling interests include depression, anxiety, stress, life transitions, eating disorders, AD/HD, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) issues, multicultural psychology, social skills issues, and developmental disabilities.  His approach to counseling is primarily Person-Centered integrated with aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  He completed Safe Space and Safe Zone training at both UGA and WCU and is also a National Certified Counselor.  Outside of work, Jay is an ACA certified whitewater kayak instructor and Wilderness First Responder.  He also enjoys spending time with his family, his dog, and other loved ones.

Arika Morrison

Arika Morrison, M.S., LPC-S, Licensed Professional Counselor/Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Care Coordinator, completed her Master's Degree in Counseling with a specialty in College Student Personnel from Shippensburg University in 2002. She completed her counseling license in 2004. Arika has experience working with a variety of counseling issues including: Relationships, Sexual Abuse, Trauma, Disordered Eating, Body Image, Self-Esteem and Women’s Issues. Arika uses a humanistic approach blended with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. She also really enjoys working with SoulCollage®. Outside of the office, Arika cherishes her time with her husband and their dog traveling through the mountains or to the coast.

 Betsy Aspinwall Betsy Aspinwall, Psy.D., HSP-P, Licensed Psychologist, earned her Master's and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Appalachian State University prior to coming to WCU. Betsy is experienced in working with individuals, couples, and groups, and enjoys working with diverse students and presenting concerns. She works with a variety of therapeutic issues including; eating disorders, depression, identity concerns, grief, alcohol and substance use, suicide, LGBT issues, anxiety, trauma, and adjustment/transitions. Betsy utilizes a collaborative person-centered approach to therapy while allowing the client to guide the therapeutic process. Outside of the office she enjoys cooking and baking, spending time with loved ones, and exploring the mountains with her dog.
 Christy Newell Photo

Christy Newell Wyatt, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CSI, Substance Use Specialist, completed her Master's Degree in Social Work from Walla Walla College and then earned her Social Work  licensure in 2007.  She has also gained her license as a Clinical Addictions Specialist in 2012.  Christy has experience working with diverse populations with a variety of issues from: depression, Bipolar, anxiety, substance abuse/addiction, adjustment, suicide, sexual abuse and trauma.  She uses therapies such as Person Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.   When not counseling, Christy enjoys spending time with her husband reading, traveling, run/walking ½ marathons as well as enjoying the outdoors with their 2 dogs, and a horse.


Keysha Alston, M.A., LPCA, Counselor, completed her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of West Florida in 2010. She has experience working with college populations and has a strong passion in helping empower individuals to overcome their personal struggles. Keysha has worked with individuals and groups over a wide-range of issues, including depression, anxiety, body-image, self-injury, women’s issues, LGBTQ issues, relationships, and life transitions. Although informed by humanism and existential psychology, Keysha uses a variety of techniques with clients, considering each individual’s uniqueness and their needs while bringing awareness to the here-and-now. She views her role as a therapist as creating a safe, warm therapeutic environment that fosters growth in clients. Recently, she has begun to delve into using art in therapy. In her spare time, Keysha enjoys reading, finding new music, and going on hikes with her dog, Dagobah.

Samantha Pranger

Samantha Pranger, M.S., Counselor

Any McLean

 Amy McLean, Ph.D., Psychologist    


Alida Herrera, NP-C, Family Nurse Practitioner, received her Master's Degree in Family Practice Nursing from the University of Wyoming in 2000. She is Board Certified as a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, providing care to patients of all ages. Having been a parent, teacher and counselor, she is understanding of the challenges facing families dealing with school concerns as well as at home. She enjoys spending weekends visiting friends out of town and enjoying the mountain scenery.


 Brendan Carr

Brendan M. Carr, M.S., M.Ed., Counselor/Doctoral Intern,  completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Exercise & Sport Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After UNC, he completed master’s degrees in Sport and Exercise Psychology at UNC-Greensboro and Community Counseling at The University of Georgia. He is currently in the process of completing his doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at The University of Georgia. His counseling interests include sport and performance psychology, college student development, stress/anxiety management, depression, career decision making, and positive psychology. His approach to therapy is grounded in Rational Emotive & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (RECBT). He views his role as a therapist as facilitating a collaborative environment that fosters personal growth, optimal functioning, and holistic well-being. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway with his two dogs, and reading.    

 Carnice Covert

Carnice S. Covert, M.A., Counselor/Doctoral Intern, earned her Master’s degree in psychology from Marshall University in Huntington, WV.  She is currently completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) at Marshall University.  Through her graduate practica experiences, Carnice has worked with both traditional and non-traditional students from diverse backgrounds providing individual and group therapy, consultation, and campus outreach.  Her clinical interests include depression, anxiety, adjustment, identity development, multiculturalism and diversity.  Carnice’s counseling approach is primarily client-centered and incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing.  In her spare time, Carnice enjoys listening to music, watching documentaries, and spending time with her dog Isabel (Izzy).                

 Sara Cole Sara Cole, M.A., Counselor/Doctoral Intern, earned her Master's degree from the University of Denver in Sport and Performance Psychology. She is currently finishing her doctorate from the University of the Rockies in Clinical Psychology and will be working towards licensure upon the completion of the 2015-2106 academic year. Sara is experienced in working with a diverse range of populations including individuals, couples, groups, and various forms of outreach. Furthermore, she enjoys working with a varying range of presenting therapeutic concerns. In her professional work, Sara approaches client's from a holistic perspective combining a collaborative client-centered focus with existential, psychodynamic, and interpersonal processes. In her spare time, Sara enjoys spending time with loved ones and her pets, embarking upon new adventures, immersing herself within nature and the local communities, and participating in and spectating sporting events.
 Clint Matthews

Clint Matthews, B.F.A, Counseling Trainee, earned his Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts from Western Carolina University in 2002. Twelve years later, he has returned to WCU and is pursuing a Master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. He is developing a client-centered approach using cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing techniques. Clint is also interested in how the creative arts and pop culture are being used effectively in counseling in a variety of ways including Narrative Therapy and the incorporation of cinema, board games, comic books, and role-playing games. He enjoys stand-up comedy, ramen noodles, and Doctor Who, but there is nothing he loves more than watching a movie with his wife and daughter or surrounding himself with good food and good friends as they learn how to play a new game.                               

 T'Shana McClain

T'Shana McClain, B.S., Social Work Trainee, earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology and Psychology from Western Carolina University in 2013. In 2014, she returned to the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina to pursue her Master’s in Social Work. Her clinical interests include depression, anxiety, LGBTQ issues, relationships, sexual abuse, disordered eating, substance use, and women’s issues. She believes in approaching client’s from a holistic perspective integrated with Strengths-based Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Outside of her clinical work, she enjoys advocating for underrepresented populations through non-profit organizations and reading current literature pertaining to civil rights and social policy. She also loves to just cuddle on the couch with her two cats while shamelessly participating in Netflix marathons.                        

 Justine Diener

Justine Diener, B.A., Psychology Trainee, earned her B.A. in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 2013. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from WCU. Her counseling interests include depression, anxiety, stress, adjustment issues, women and gender issues, trauma, and sexual assault. She is developing a collaborative client-centered approach using cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based techniques. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fiancé and her dog, adventuring, hiking, and reading. As much as she can, she gets back to Ohio to spend time with her family and cheer on the Buckeyes and Browns.

 Lisa Carter Lisa M. Carter, A.B., Office Manager, has an Associate's Degree in General Business. She specializes in providing excellent customer services , computer knowledge and a positive attitude. Lisa really enjoys working in the university environment and has been a part CAPS for almost 10 years.  Lisa is originally from Athens, Georgia. She has two wonderful daughters, Jessica and Anna who both enjoy playing basketball, volleyball and softball. Lisa loves being with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, playing and watching sports (especially football), and listening to music.  She is thrilled to be a part of the Western Carolina University community and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) team.
 Debbye McGee Image

Debbye McGee, Administrative Assistant, is originally from Grand Junction, Colorado.  She has lived in the area for 20 years.  She has two daughters Crystal and Lavender Sky.  Debbye also has two granddaughters Jazmine and Jewell Sky who are both nine years old.  She loves photography, traveling and making jewelry.  In her spare time she enjoys being one with nature, meditation, aromatherapy and practicing Mindful Living.



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