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Master's in Counseling Faculty

Masters in Counseling professor and student posing for a photo at graduation at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, CA


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M.A. Counseling faculty bring strong backgrounds in family therapy, child/adolescent development, clinical practice, counselor education and other disciplines that are the basis of practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist or Clinical Mental Health Counselor.

The following individuals represent core faculty for the M.A. Counseling program. These are partial lists of the instructors students work with as they pursue a master’s degree at Palo Alto University. Each name below is linked to the faculty member’s bio.

William Snow, Ph.D., Counseling Department Chair

  • Ph.D. Social Welfare
  • Selected interests: Research and program evaluation, professional identity, career development theories, social justice and, organizational leadership

Tim Baima, Ph.D., MFT

  • Ph.D. Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Selected interests: Family therapy; child/adolescent therapy; violence prevention and intervention; issues related to poverty; trauma, loss and oppression; home-based therapy.

Dareen Basma, Ph.D., LPC

  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Selected interests: Multicultural Counseling; Refugee populations; At-risk immigrant populations; Multicultural training and education

Szu_Yu (Darlene) Chen, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, RPT

  • Ph.D. Counseling (CACREP)
  • Selected interests: Play therapy, Play-based teacher intervention, Multicultural counseling and supervision.

J. Kelly Coker M.B.A., Ph.D., LCMHC, BC-TMH, NCC, Director, M.A. Counseling Program

  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision (CACREP)
  • Selected interests: Assessment and accreditation in counselor training, clinical supervision, counseling with children and adolescents.

Scott Hinkle, Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. Counseling Psychology and Human Systems
  • Selected interests: Marriage, child family counseling; psychodiagnosis; research

Jennie Ju, Ph.D., LPC

  • Ph.D. Counseling 
  • Selected interests: Family dynamics; Human development; Narrative therapy; Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Multiculturalism; Cultivating human resiliency

Margaret Lamar, Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision (CACREP)
  • Selected interests: Research Education; Researcher Development; Ethics; Professional Identity; Career; Theory; Master’s/Doctoral Research

Karen Roller, Ph.D., MFT

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
  • Selected interests: Trauma assessment and resolution, Compassion Fatigue prevention, Attachment, Somatic Psychotherapy, Outreach

Donna S. Sheperis, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, CCMHC

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education (CACREP)
  • Selected interests: Ethics; research; assessment; and CMHC foundations. Research emphasis in diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder; best practices in online learning

Megan Speciale, Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. Counselor Education (CACREP)
  • Selected interests: Feminist and queer perspectives of counseling, issues related to LGBTQQIA populations, sexuality counseling and education, community-based and participatory action research

Wendy Wade, Ph.D., LPCC

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
  • Selected interests: Addiction and its effects on families; Psychopharmacology; Psychological Testing; Developmental Psychology; Religion and Psychology

Cristen Wathen, Ph.D., LPC (MT), LPC (ID), NCC

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education (CACREP)
  • Selected interests:  Child Sexual Abuse and Trauma, Qualitative Research, Pedagogy and Experiential Learning, International Counseling, Counselor Development
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