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Doctoral Students


Top Row: Zhaoxuan (Daisy) Zhou and Kimberly Leishman. Second Row: Amirah Nelson, Seneka Arrington and Brianne Scott. Back Row: Edson Andrade, Leslie Stewart (faculty), Katie Sacco, and Olivia Ngadjui. Not pictured from Meridian: Kalin Amende, Amanda Arnold, Beverly Hines, Anna James-Krzemieniecki, Aishwarya Joshi, Jorge Lopez, and Kelsey Sarasqueta-Allen. Pocatello campus: Hannah Brinser, Lindsdale Graham, and Lindsay Vik.

3rd Year Doctoral Cohort

2nd Year Doctoral Cohort

1st Year Doctoral Cohort

3rd Year Doctoral Cohort

Student Photos

Top Row - Kalin Amende (Meridian), Olivia Ngadjui, Edson Andrade. Middle Row: Anna James Krzemieniecki (Meridian), Lindsdale Graham, Beverly Hines (Meridian). Bottom Row: Katie Sacco and Brianne Scott.

Kalin Amende

Hi! I’m Kalin Amende, and I am a third-year doctoral student at the ISU-Meridian campus. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience here at ISU, and I feel incredibly honored to be given the opportunity to learn and grow within this counselor education program. Prior to starting the doctoral program here, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Addiction Studies at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID. I then graduated with my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at ISU-Meridian in May of 2018. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate experiences, I was fortunate enough to have worked with several different populations in an array of clinical settings. However, I found that I am primarily interested in working with college students and/or individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. As of now, my research interests include identity development in young adulthood, counselor development, and the utilization of creative means in counselor education and counseling. 

When I am not involved in school activities, I can usually be found spending time with the wonderful people around me. My self-care usually involves getting active in any way I can – whether that be a walk outside or an hour at the gym. I look forward to what this year has in store, and I am open to any conversation/questions that you may have

Edson Andrade

Hi friends! I’m Edson (he, him, his). I have enjoyed two years at ISU, and I am excited now be in my third year as a doctoral student. I am originally from Veracruz, Mexico, but come to Pocatello from Southern California where I grew up. In SoCal, I completed a BA in Psychology from Cal-State San Bernardino and an MS in Counseling from Cal-State Fullerton.

A combination of personal and educational experiences have sparked professional interests in promoting the wellbeing and success of historically underrepresented students in higher education. I am also interested in advancing multiculturalism and social justice in counseling, counselor education, and beyond. This interest includes promoting culturally and linguistically competent services to clients whose primary language is Spanish.

In my personal time, I am learning about fatherhood with the recent arrival of my firstborn, Mateo. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends, trying new foods, and giving my unwavering support to the Lakers. I hope to continue growing in new ways this year at ISU. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Lindsdale Graham

Lindsdale Graham, M.Ed. is a 3rd year international doctoral student from the beautiful country of Belize. Preferred pronouns are he/him/his. Professional interests include Multiculturalism and Social Justice advocacy, Development of Counselor Self-efficacy and Identity, Trauma-informed practice and International Counseling. Lindsdale advocates for the consideration of nontraditional counseling modalities and interventions to better serve marginalized populations. He enjoys traveling, spending time with family and reading

Beverly Hines

Hello there! I’m a third year doc student at ISU’s Meridian campus. Originally from Southern Cal, I attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego where I earned a BA in Psychology. At California State University, San Bernardino, I earned a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology but during that program I realized that what I really wanted to do was counseling. I earned my master’s degree in clinical/counseling psychology in 1992 and became a licensed professional counselor in Idaho in 2014. One of the highlights of the doc program for me is teaching and supervising new counselors-in-training—it is a joy to be with them on the journey as they engage in personal growth and counseling skill development. My main research interest centers on factors that facilitate the creation of a favorable supervisory alliance. Outside of school, I’m highly involved in the Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association. I particularly enjoy facilitating some of the association's virtual peer consultation groups.

For fun, I enjoy hanging out with my husband, three adult children, and two cats; participating in my faith community; playing tennis; dancing; and reading fiction (particularly fantasy). If you are curious about the program or have questions about what it is like to live in the Treasure Valley, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Anna James-Krzemieniecki

Hello!  My name is Anna! I’m excited to be a third-year doc student here at ISU in Meridian. I often get asked where I’m from, which as it turns out has a complicated answer! In short – I’m a California native who calls Florida home. I went to college in Ellensburg, WA and moved from Tacoma to Idaho a few years ago! Living in so many parts of the country has given me an interest in traveling and getting to know local cultures, especially through food, anywhere I go!

Thus far, my inquisitive nature has laid the foundation for countless life and educational experiences. In addition to a Master of Science degree in Experimental Psychology, my curiosity and thirst for knowledge encouraged me to pursue a Master of Counseling degree in Clinical Mental Health and now a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Counseling.  

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the program!

Olivia Ngadjui

Hello there! My name is Olivia Ngadjui (she/her/hers) and I’m thankful to start my third and final year in the Counselor Education and Counseling doctoral program at Idaho State University!

I am a native of southeast Washington DC with a Cameroonian background. You can usually find me somewhere hiking in the community or traveling to find a good spot for tea. I value my identity as a Black woman and recognize the importance of racial visibility to encourage others like me to move through the fear to venture into these seemingly unknown spaces. We are needed in these spaces to further our representation and to promote our own narratives while also promoting our own meaning making experience as we take on these new identities.

I continue to build upon my areas of interests in higher education. So far, they include culturally sensitive inclusion practices for counselor education and in education for P-12. I find myself constantly brainstorming and implementing ways to promote an equitable environment for everyone whether as a licensed professional counselor in Idaho, a doctoral candidate, a public speaker or while serving on campus and nationally. Currently, I serve as the Parliamentarian for the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. I am also thankful to be currently completing my dissertation entitled “Shaking Up the Room: The Process of Professional Identity Development of Black Doctoral Students in Counselor Education” to further expand on strategies for supporting and aiding in the retention of Black doctoral students in counselor education.

Have you heard of the late Breonna Taylor? I align with her as a service providing Black woman and recognize the need for further valuing of Black lives and I hope that this prompting will encourage your intentional advocacy to embody and internalize anti-racism.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out at

Katie Sacco

Hello! My name is Katie Sacco and I am excited to be entering into my 3rd year of doctoral studies in counselor education at ISU-Pocatello!

I was born and raised in Idaho and had the privilege of completing my undergraduate studies in linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park. I completed my MCoun (student affairs focus) at ISU in 2018 and transitioned to the doc program that fall. As a doctoral student, I am studying school counseling and immensely enjoy working and learning alongside masters students. My current research interests include ecotherapy, adventure based counseling, and creativity in counseling. I am also honored to serve as an editorial assistant for the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. In my free time, I spend as much time as I can with my dogs and horses. I enjoy reading, paddle boarding, traveling, and exploring new places and activities. I look forward to completing my doctoral studies this year and welcome any questions!

Brianne Scott

Hello all! My name is Brianne (she/her) and I am a third year doctoral candidate at ISU. 

I'm originally from the Midwest...Indiana to be more specific, where I graduated with my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Valparaiso University. My past clinical experiences include working within a residential setting with adolescents with severe behavioral and emotional struggles while utilizing a DBT theoretical orientation. As well, I have worked with adults diagnosed with substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders within a residential and outpatient setting. I am currently the Outreach/Social Media Manager for the Idaho Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (IACES) and an Emerging Leader within the Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE). My research interests include the addictions population, intersectionality, counselor competence, and gatekeeping/remediation practices. 

In my free-time, I enjoy reading sci-fi/fantasy novels and playing with my 5 year old furball, Myrtle. If you want to know more, please feel free to contact me!

2nd Year Doctoral Cohort

Doctoral Students

Top row: Aishwarya Joshi (Meridian), Seneka Arrington, Lindsay Vik. Bottom Row: Kelsey Sarasqueta-Allen (Meridian), Amirah Nelson

Seneka Arrington

Hello everyone! My name is Seneka Arrington and I am excited to begin my second year as a doctoral student at Idaho State University. Roar! Bengals Roar! I moved across the country from the sunshine state of Florida to the mountainous state of Idaho. I am a licensed professional counselor and looking forward to working in counseling education.

I was born in San Diego, California to military parents and have one younger sister. My early childhood was a typical middle-class environment circa the 1980’s. In 1997 my family relocated to Yokosuka, Japan, where I spent my coming-of-age years. Upon graduation in 2002, I was afforded the opportunity to attend the great Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. I proudly engaged as a member of the BCU choir, Sigma Tau Delta national english honor society and cheerleading captain. I graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Pre-Law. Excitedly, I earned a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Stetson University in 2010.

My academic and field experiences have allowed me to become proficient in marriage and family therapy, mental health, and school counseling. I am an active member of the American Counseling Association, as I serve as a member of the governing council. I have served on the executive board of the National Employment Counseling Association for eleven (11) years in the roles of graduate student representative, secretary/treasurer, president, and past president. I am also the doctoral representative for Phi Omicron Chi, ISU’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota.

My research interests include homelessness, humanism, and interpersonal and systemic intersectionality. I am optimistic about this year and look forward to working with colleagues and students alike. 

Seneka Arrington, LPC, GCDF

Doctoral Student/Graduate Teaching Assistant

Idaho State University

"Roar! Bengals Roar!"

Aishwarya Joshi

My name is Aishwarya Joshi, a.k.a Ash and I am a second year doctoral student. I am from India, where I received my Bachelor in Arts degree (majors:  Psychology, English Literature and Journalism). I received my Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice & Forensic Psychology from Tiffin University (Tiffin, Ohio) in 2014 and Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Heidelberg University (Tiffin, Ohio) in 2019. My professional areas of interest includes, multiculturalism/diversity, global mental health,  trauma informed care, LGBTQ+ and immigrant/refugee mental health.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, participating in mud races, dancing and attending pop/rock and k-pop concerts. I am honored and excited to be a part of this amazing program and look forward to start this new adventure!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.


Amirah Nelson

Hi there! My name is Amirah and I cannot believe I am a second-year doc student here at ISU! Originally from Atlanta, GA, I came here by way of Newport, RI, the Ocean State. I obtained my Master’s in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University in Newport where I have a certificate of advanced graduate studies in expressive & creative arts. I received my Bachelor’s in both Psychology and Biology with a concentration in pre-medicine from thee, yes Thee Jackson State University (thee I love) in Jackson, MS.

Before coming to ISU, I worked with clients who struggle with addiction (co-occurring disorders) and in-home counseling with families using trauma-informed counseling. Additionally, I worked with children at Head Start (what sparked my interest in counseling) and adolescents in residential. As you can see, I have experience working with various populations with varying mental health concerns.

My scholarly interests include crisis and trauma and I have established an active research agenda specifically related to race-based trauma and addiction. Other areas of interest consist of multicultural and social justice perspectives along with advocating for marginalized populations. My personal and professional experiences have helped shape these interests and the woman I am today as I consistently utilize my social identities to model and facilitate conversations as it relates to advocacy and social justice.

This year, I received the Counselor Education and Supervision fellowship where I will review manuscripts on research, understand theory development and program application to help prepare future counselors in various clinical settings. My passion and experiences within our profession inspires me to continuously cultivate relationships with peers and mentors. Continuing our program, I will continue to develop and explore my identity as a future counselor educator.

In my free time, I spend as much time as I can with those I love (family & friends), particularly my daughter Laila! I enjoy reading, traveling and exercising. Those who know me, know I love being silly, laughing, and never miss an opportunity to turn down food especially brunch! So, if you have any questions please reach out to me! I would love to hear and/or chat with you about our program.

Kelsey Sarasqueta-Allen

Hi! My name is Kelsey (she/hers), and I am enthusiastic to begin my second year as a doctoral student at Idaho State – Meridian.
I am originally from the agricultural central valley of California and have resided in the Boise area since 2011. Since that time, I completed a BA in Multi-Ethnic Studies, BS in Psychology, and minor in Basque Studies from Boise State University. Recently, I completed an MS in Counseling (Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling) from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. I currently serve as the Public Policy & Legislation Chair for the Idaho Counseling Association and Idaho Mental Health Counseling Association. Professionally, my clinical experiences include martial, couple, and family counseling in college and rural Idaho environments. My research interests advocacy, rural mental health, abortion rights activism, spirituality, and public policy engagement.

Outside of counseling, I enjoy being involved in traditional Basque folk dancing, advocacy volunteering, and backpacking. I am very excited to be apart of this program - please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Thank you!

Lindsay Vik

Hello! My name is Lindsay Vik and I am excited to begin my second year of doctoral studies in counselor education and counseling at Idaho State University - Pocatello!

I was born and raised in South Dakota where I completed my bachelors degree in human development and family studies, with a minor in psychology. After graduation, I moved to Omaha, Nebraska to complete my MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. While in Omaha, I worked for a community agency working with young children and families through a behavioral model, as a foster care specialist for the greater Omaha area, and with the University of Nebraska Omaha counseling department. While I've worked with folks of all ages, my clinical experience has been primarily in college counseling centers, which I greatly enjoy. While I’m exploring many interests, my current professional focus includes adventure based counseling and ecotherapy, creative interventions in supervision and teaching, wellness, intersectionality and identity development in young adults.

To create balance in life, you can often find me in the outdoors hiking, camping, or paddling. I’m usually enjoying this with my partner, our dog and our two cats (they don’t partake in paddling!). I also love traveling and exploring new places and cultures, spending time with friends and family, and drinking hot tea while reading or embroidering at home. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have, I'd love to chat!

1st Year Doctoral Cohort

Doctoral Students

Top row: Amanda Arnold (Meridian), Hannah Brinser. Bottom row: Jorge Lopez (Meridian), Zhaoxuan (Daisy) Zhou, Kimberly Leishman.

Amanda Arnold

Hi there! My name is Amanda Arnold and I am a first-year doctoral student located at the Meridian campus. I grew up in the California Bay Area but have called Arizona home for the last 6 years. I am a proud Sun Devil and earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Family and Human Development from Arizona State University. I continued on at ASU to earn my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and am currently pursuing licensure as a professional counselor. While in Arizona, I worked for a behavioral health agency providing direct support services to children and their families following crisis situations. Additionally, I interned at a trauma-focused counseling agency and developed a passion for working with clients who have experienced interpersonal violence, such as sexual trauma, intimate partner violence, and child abuse. I have experience working with clients across the lifespan and am particularly passionate about early intervention and the use of play therapy with children who have experienced trauma. I practice from a systems perspective, as I believe that systemic and cultural factors influence how we view ourselves and the world around us.

My research interests include the study of interpersonal trauma, play therapy and play therapy instruction, and supervisory and counseling relationship dynamics. Additionally, I spent the last two years as a member of the CareerWISE research program at Arizona State University, which focuses on promoting the persistence of women in advanced STEM degree programs. Much of my involvement focused on the impact of race and gender within STEM degree programs, the impact of graduate STEM education on mental health, and the role of interpersonal support in STEM degree completion. Through this work, I have become passionate about recognizing privilege and oppression in my own life and the dismantling of oppressive systems through research and advocacy efforts. I look forward to continuing to explore my professional interests during my time at ISU!

Outside of academia, I enjoy cycling classes, swimming, DIY projects, and spending time with my family and cat. I am also an avid reader of fiction and true crime novels. I am looking forward to exploring Idaho and getting to know my new home. If you have any questions or would like to know more, I would love to chat with you. Roar, Bengals, Roar!

Amanda Arnold, MC
Doctoral Student, Counselor Education
Idaho State University

Hannah Brinser

"Hi there! My name is Hannah and I am a first-year doctoral student at Idaho State University! I grew up in a small agriculture town in south-central Washington (pop. 500). After high school, I completed a B.S. in psychology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. During this time, I volunteered as a crisis counselor and worked as a community support specialist where I helped students with disabilities transition out of high school and gain job/career-related skills. After graduating, I earned my M.A. in School Counseling from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington (go Zags!) While I have experience working with a wide variety of students in K-12 settings, I am especially passionate about working with middle and high school students!

I believe strongly in the unique role and opportunity school counselors have in creating meaningful change within schools and communities. My professional interests include school counselors as leaders and advocates; using trauma-informed approaches in schools; school-community partnerships; suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention; and supporting unique populations of students (such as those in foster care or experiencing grief and loss).

Outside of school, I enjoy reading, crafting, and baking. Baking is new for me (and I’m not super great at it) – but I am excited to continue learning and trying new things! I also love history and you can often find me exploring different historical sites. I am more than happy to chat or answer any questions you have—my email is!"

Kimberly Leishman

Hello! My name is Kimberly Leishman and I am excited to be entering into my first year as a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision Program at Idaho State University!

I was born and raised in Idaho and am a Bengal through and through! I completed a Bachelor of Arts in both Sociology (2012) and Social Work (2017) and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2020) at Idaho State. My clinical focus is in trauma-based practice, primarily working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual based offences. I have had the opportunity to work with Family Services Alliance for three years, first as a victims advocate and now as a counselor. In addition to interpersonal based trauma, other professional research interests include religious trauma, ecotherapy, animal assisted interventions within counselor supervision, and wellness.

Outside of school and professional work I enjoy the outdoors, traveling, new adventures, and enjoying time with my people. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!

Jorge Lopez

(He, Him, His) Hi everyone, my name is Jorge Rosales Lopez. I am a first-year doctoral student on the Meridian campus. I come to Boise from Atlanta, GA where I completed my MS in clinical rehabilitation counseling at Georgia State University in 2020. I am originally from Los Angeles, CA and a bilingual Spanish and English speaker. Some personal hobbies are mine are playing all sports (primarily basketball and soccer), hanging with friends and family, and traveling.

Some professional interests of mine are multiculturalism, social justice advocacy, and disability advocacy. My clinical background includes working for the State of Georgia’s Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and conducting gerontology research linked to suicide and loneliness. Moving forward I aspire in bringing counseling services to underserved and marginalized populations. I am excited to begin this journey and looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Zhaoxuan (Daisy) Zhou

Hi there! My name is Daisy and I am a first-year doctoral student at Idaho State University! Preferred pronouns are she/her/hers.

I grew up in China and received my B.S. in psychology from Peking University. When working as a research assistant helping kindergarten children with cognitive tests, I found that I emphasized their ability to keep a positive attitude and stay calm in the face of challenges more than their performance on the tasks. Reflecting on this experience, I realized that counseling should be my career choice. After graduating, I spent four years at Stetson University (Go Hatters!) and earned my M.S. in Marriage Family and Couple Counseling. I also got my certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Play and Creativity in counseling. As an intern at the House Next Door in DeLand, Florida, I worked with underserved children and families and developed a passion for child-centered play therapy with young children. My research interests include counseling children and families, multicultural and international counseling issues, the use of expressive art techniques in counseling and supervision, and the LGBTQ community. I am also passionate about animal-assisted play therapy!

Outside of school and professional work, I enjoy visiting the zoo, writing popular science articles as part of my professional advocacy work, watching movies, and reading fanfiction stories. I am a big fan of Harry Potter and my English name, Daisy, is from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone- “Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.”

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Email:

“Roar! Bengals Roar!”