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3rd Year Doctoral Cohort

Back Row: Aileen Tierney (Meridian), Kateryna Kuzyszyn. Front Row: Anna Baird (Meridian), Minna Yoo, Caroline Brown

Anna Baird

Anna (she/her) is an ISU graduate who originally hails from sunny California. She has a strong background in Feminist Counseling Theory, with a trauma lens emphasis. She was certified in EMDR during the completion of her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Anna is passionate about amplifying the voices and experiences of historically excluded persons and working with diverse populations. She enjoys spending time in the sun, at the beach, and in the water any chance she can get. She is honored to be a third year doctoral student at ISU. Go Bengals!

Caroline Brown

Hello everyone! My name is Caroline Brown (she/her/hers) I am beyond excited and grateful to begin my third year as a counseling and counseling education doctoral student at Idaho State University. I grew up in a small town in Maryland and have had the opportunity to call many states across the country home throughout the years. I attended Utah State University as I obtained my bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in human development. I then attended Idaho State University as I received my master’s degree in counseling with a specialty of marriage, couple, and family counseling. I am passionate about working with persons experiencing behavioral and substance related addictions and bringing awareness about the systemic cycles that influence individuals, families, and communities. My research interests include addiction curriculum and bridging the treatment gap of addiction counseling and services.

I love to spend my free time in the mountains with my two pups where I find myself most days either hiking, dirt-biking, mountain-biking, or snowboarding depending on the season.

Kateryna Kuzyszyn

Hi! My name is Kateryna Kuzyszyn, and I am excited to be a third-year doctoral student at ISU. I was born and raised in New Jersey with the accent to prove it and have enjoyed exploring the Pacific Northwest. I received my B.A. in Psychology and my M.A. in Counseling with a specialization in school counseling from Caldwell University. Throughout my graduate education I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of students in K-12 settings, and this work has opened my eyes to the need for competent school counselors and to focus on career identity and the lack of advocacy school counselors receive.

My professional interests are shaped by educational and personal experiences and include incorporating social emotional learning and social justice into school counseling curriculums, school counselors as leaders and advocates, crisis and trauma in schools, animal assisted interventions within counselor supervision, animal assisted interventions within trauma-informed counseling, and potentially incorporating animal assisted interventions within school systems.

In my free time I enjoy listening to true crime podcasts, binge watching reality TV or Greys Anatomy, and meeting as many farm animals that I can while I’m in Idaho. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, my email is katerynakuzyszyn@isu.edu!

Aileen Tierney

Hello! My name is Aileen Tierney (she/her/hers), and I am a third year doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at ISU. I am originally from the Midwest, where I earned my Master's in Counseling with a specialization in School Counseling from Eastern Illinois University. Now, I am both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed K-12 School Counselor. I work primarily with kids, teens, and young adults in my clinical work, utilizing many creative arts interventions and sandtray therapy. At ISU, I often co-teach the school counseling courses through distance learning on the Pocatello campus, as my professional goal is to be a school counseling faculty member at a university. My personal research interests include mentoring relationships in doctoral programs and school counselor identity. I am excited to continue in the doctoral program to grow in my teaching, supervision, and research skills! from living and working in Idaho, and I am excited to continue my doctoral career!

Minna Yoo

Hello. My name is Minna (she/her), and I am a third year doctoral student in ISU Pocatello campus.

I grew up in South Korea, and earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Education and English Education from Chung Ang University, and master’s degree in Educational Counseling from Seoul National University (SNU). Before coming to ISU, I worked with Korean and other international students at SNU Counseling Center for about three years. My research interest includes group counseling, supervision, counselor growth and multicultural counseling.

Outside school, I have been a keyboardist in music bands and enjoy various art activities. I warm up my soul with a hot cup of tea. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! minnayoo@isu.edu

2nd Year Doctoral Cohort

5 smiling individuals wearing tiger stripes. They are the Fall 2023 second year cohort.

Angelica Castillo (Meridian), ShaRhonda Stevenson, Shantelle Tjaden, Conner Vrba, Pamela Vance (Meridian)

Angelica Castillo

Hi! I’m Angelica Castillo (she/her/hers). I am a second year doctoral student at the Meridian campus. I graduated from Idaho State University’s Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in 2019. I also have a B.S. in Health Sciences and a B.A. in Spanish for the Health Professions from Idaho State University. As an Idaho native, I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue my education at ISU.

As far as my professional experiences, I have 4+ years of experience working with individuals with disabilities in supported living homes. I have also worked with children and adolescent survivors of sexual abuse, individuals that have committed sex offenses, and individuals with addictions and dual-diagnoses. I have experience working with individuals - in English and Spanish -, facilitating groups, and outdoor adventure therapy activities. My clinical interests include multiculturalism, disability rights advocacy, suicide prevention, and trauma informed care. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC); I am also the current membership chair for the Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my son, family, and friends. I also enjoy fishing, true crime documentaries, and drinking way too much coffee. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions: angelicacastillo@isu.edu.

ShaRhonda Stevenson

Hey all! My name is ShaRhonda Stevenson (She/her). I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the home of the cheesesteak! I have some southern influences from North Carolina as well. I attended Drexel University for my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I then attended Immaculata University and earned my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am very excited to begin this new journey at ISU. In my experience I have worked with children to teens on the spectrum with behavioral disorders. Most recently, I have worked with adults diagnosed with physical disabilities as well as adults diagnosed with substance use disorder. I am passionate about issues that impact marginalized populations. I enjoy spending time with my orange tabby Pumpkin and anything that involves me being social as I am a big extrovert.

Shantelle Tjaden

Hello! My name is Shantelle Tjaden (she/her) and I am a second- year doctoral student at Idaho State University Pocatello campus.

I grew up in Montana before moving to Spokane, Washington to complete my M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Gonzaga University (Go Zags!). I completed additional coursework throughout the program in marriage and family counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Idaho, a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and a recently Certified Animal-Assisted Intervention Specialist (C-AAIS). I have had the opportunity to work with combat veterans and their families providing individual, couples, family, and group counseling. Prior to becoming a counselor, I volunteered as an advocate providing support to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking as well as education to the campus population. Additionally, I have spent time volunteering and working in animal shelters providing enrichment and training to the residents and humane education to the community.

I strongly believe in the power of the human-animal bond and that is what my professional interests center around. These include: animal-assisted therapy, animal assisted supervision, animal assisted education, and issues around the incorporation of emotional support animals.

It may surprise you that I spend most of my free time with the animals I share my life with! We enjoy hiking, humane training, and watching way too much reality TV. I am excited to be a part of the second-year cohort! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Email: shantelletjaden@isu.edu

Pamela Vance

Hello! My name is Pam Vance (she/her/her’s), and I am a second-year doctoral student studying Counselor Education and Supervision at Idaho State University on the Meridian campus. I grew up in the central mountains of Idaho which fostered a love for forests, mountains, and lakes. In my free time, I hike and camp with my family, play outdoor volleyball, and practice yoga. I recently graduated with a master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling which emphasizes disability wellness and disability counseling competencies. Other CES interests include eco counseling and integrating nature into classroom settings.  My research interests include multicultural factors in rehabilitation counseling as well as adjustment to chronic illness and acquired disability. I look forward to increasing awareness and knowledge of ability status and chronic illness in the counseling field. I am excited to be a Bengal and continue my studies in counselor education and supervision!

Conner Vrba

My name is Conner Vrba (he/him/his), and I am a second-year doctoral student on the Pocatello campus. I completed my undergraduate study at the University of Idaho in 2020, where I acquired a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology while playing football.

I transferred to Idaho State University in 2020, completing my Masters in Counseling degree with an emphasis in clinical mental health counseling in 2022. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Idaho and a National Certified Counselor. My professional interests include animal-assisted interventions, vicarious trauma and burnout prevention, athletes and their mental health, supervision, and mindfulness. I have found that I am particularly interested in trauma and how it impacts people in several ways. Clinically I have the privilege of working with people from diverse backgrounds and various presenting concerns.

When I am not in school, I enjoy working out, playing any sports activity, playing video games, spending time with family and friends, and cooking.

1st Year Doctoral Cohort

Back Row: Erin Burgess (Meridian), Nicolette (Alex) Green, Renyi Huang.  Front Row: Maddison Burton (Meridian), Cade Kirkhart (Meridian), Ananda Lettner

Hello, everyone! My name is Ananda Lettner (she/her). I started the Counselor Education and Counseling doctoral program in Pocatello in Fall 2023. I am so excited to be a part of the work we do here!  I went to undergrad at Luther College in Decorah, IA, where I double majored in Psychology and Environmental Policy and ran cross country and track. I completed my Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Substance Abuse Counseling at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. During that time, I worked as a parent educator for Child Protective Services and a personal trainer. In my Master's program, we set "growth goals." One of my goals was to move out West--so I chose Idaho for the mountains, trails, and the opportunity to work as a counselor in rural integrated behavioral health.

My husband and our two dogs came with me, and we have all loved our time in Pocatello.  Since living in Idaho, I have loved running with the local running club, exploring the hot springs and mountains (which we definitely don't have in the Midwest!), and working with a variety of clients as a trauma-informed generalist counselor. I love teaching, counseling, supervising, and doing research at ISU! My research interests include environmental justice, exercise and wellbeing, community-based interventions, and trauma-informed care. Please reach out if you have any questions!

Hey all! My name is Alexandra Green (she/her/hers), I’m a first-year doctoral student at Idaho State University! I’m originally from the beautiful Flathead Valley in Montana. I attended Montana State University for both my undergraduate degree in applied psychology and my master's degree in clinical mental health. In addition to my schooling, I have served in the Army National Guard as a medic for about ten years now. Through my work in counseling and the Army, I’ve become passionate about working with trauma survivors, specifically military and first responders. My research interests are the intersectionality between neurodivergence and the military/first responder populations. My goals are to improve understanding of those who identify with these populations and how best to serve them. I’m very happy to talk about all of these topics for days, so be ready if you ask!

When I’m not in school I love to hit the trails for hikes or running, the river for fishing and kayaking, or really anything that gets me and my pups outdoors in some sunshine!

Feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, or jokes at nicolettegreen@isu.edu.

Hi there! My name is Renyi Huang (she/her/hers), and I am a first-year doctoral student on the Pocatello campus. I grew up in China, where rapid urbanization has brought an increase in mental health issues, and the field of counseling and psychotherapy is still at a nascent stage. My passion for facilitating change and growth in people with mental health issues led me to earn my bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology from Taiwan and later cross the Pacific Ocean to pursue my master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Johns Hopkins University. During my internship at both the master's and doctoral levels, I had the privilege to work with children and families impacted by child maltreatment (i.e., abuse and neglect) using evidence-based approaches like TF-CBT and ITCT. My emerging and ever-evolving research interests include group counseling, multicultural issues in counseling, basic counseling skill training, counseling outcome research, and integration of technology in counselor education.

Since moving to Idaho, I have been embracing the wonderful outdoor world the mountains offer me. I enjoy spending my free time rock climbing, skiing, hiking, and exploring new hobbies. 

Please feel free to email me at renyihuang@isu.edu if you have any questions!

Hello! My name is Maddie Burton (she/her/hers), and I am excited to be a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at ISU. I am from the Midwest, where I grew up in Indiana and received my B.S. in Psychology from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) before moving across the country to Spokane, Washington to complete my M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Gonzaga University! Before coming to ISU, I have experience working with kids, teens, young adults, and families in K-12 settings both as a clinical mental health counselor and as a school counselor.

I primarily love utilizing creative interventions such as art, play, and sand tray techniques. My professional research interests include school counselor identity, advocacy and collaboration in school counseling, persons with disabilities in counselor education and intersectionality with disability identity. 

In my free time, I enjoy reading, thrifting (you can find me often at your local half priced books or vintage clothing stores), crocheting, and spending time with my 2 cats Moon and Bean! Please reach out if you have any questions: madisonburton@isu.edu

Hey y’all! :-) My name is Erin Burgess (they/she) and I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Idaho in addition to being a first-year doctoral student at ISU on the Meridian campus. I completed my MS in Professional Mental Health Counseling--Addictions at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, but I’m originally from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, so I’ve always been comfortable out on the water. After leaving home but before landing in Portland, I lived in both Boston and Los Angeles while completing my undergraduate degree, and on the road in a converted ’89 Dodge Ram van after that (so please ask me about my favorite state and national parks, okay, I’m on the edge of my seat).  I am passionate about advocacy and activism, and my clinical background involves work with individuals, couples, groups, clients with substance use disorders (SUDs), and youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Additionally, I regularly incorporate elements of eco-wellness and eco-therapeutic interventions into all areas of my clinical work.

My research interests include how to best prepare beginning counselors to help clients explore sexuality, as well as best practices in the treatment of clients with SUDs. If you have any questions or want some suggestions for fun things to do in the Boise metro area, drop me a line at erinburgess@isu.edu.

Cade Kirkhart, MCoun, LCPC, NCC (he/him) is a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at Idaho State University with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and completed his MCoun in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Idaho State University in Meridian, ID. In my clinical work, I specialize in working with folks dealing with trauma, depression, and anxiety. My research interests include clinical burnout, imposter phenomenon, and group counseling. In my free time, I enjoy reading horror stories and painting.

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