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Meet Our Staff

Counseling Center Staff

Counseling Center Director

Mark Perez portrait shot


Dr. Perez-Lopez is responsible for overseeing the general administration of the Counseling Center and University Testing Services.

He received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Arkansas. His theoretical orientation is primarily cognitive behavioral, and his treatment methods are guided by principles of interpersonal process and multicultural competence.

Dr. Perez-Lopez serves as a site visitor for several professional organizations and provides guidance about accreditation standards for training programs in psychology.

Main area of clinical specialization: Eating disorders

Other specializations and interests: working with first responders; risk and threat assessment; and supervision and training

Presentation topics: How to help a distressed student; crisis response and risk assessment; trends in college mental health; eating disorders

Counseling Center Associate Director/Clinical Director

Luann Helms Portrait


Dr. Helms is responsible for coordinating clinical services and assisting the Counseling Center director in administrative duties.

She earned her master's degree in counseling from California State University Sacramento, Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Texas A&M University and completed her doctoral internship at University of Oregon.   She conceptualizes clients principally from the Multimodal Therapy perspective, and her therapeutic interventions are eclectic, but predominately cognitive behavioral.

Specializations and interests: Resiliency and wellness; identity development; anger, anxiety, and stress management; mindfulness; emotion regulation; relationships; therapist training and supervision; program development

Counseling Center Assistant Director/Training Director

Nancy Mckeann Portrait

Dr. McKean is responsible for directing the training programs at the Counseling Center and assisting the center’s director in administrative duties.

She earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from Indiana University-Bloomington and completed her pre-doctoral internship at UNC-Chapel Hill Counseling & Psychological Services.

Dr. McKean takes a relational, collaborative approach to therapy that prioritizes the development of a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship.  Dr. McKean integrates psychodynamic, feminist, cognitive-behavioral, and acceptance-based approaches tailored to each individual client.  She strives to help clients gain insight into the ways that cultural factors and interpersonal relationships shape individual experiences and worldviews.

Specializations and interests: Training and supervision; group therapy; relational concerns; sexual concerns; family-of-origin concerns; LGBTQ+ identity development; victim-survivors of sexual assault.  

Staff Clinician

Chelsey Couch Portrait


Dr. Couch provides counseling to individuals and groups. 

Dr. Couch obtained his doctoral degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Tennessee Student Counseling Center. 

Dr. Couch’s approach to therapy blends approaches from Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Humanistic and Feminist theories. Dr. Couch strives to create a trusting and collaborative therapeutic space where clients develop insight to their concerns and feel empowered to create change in their lives. He considers how one’s unique cultural context and lived experiences shape mental well-being, particularly family dynamics, relationships, and sociocultural factors. 

Specializations and interests: Identity development; LGBTQ+ concerns; relational concerns; depression; body image; self-compassion; existential/spiritual concerns 

Staff Counselor and Clinical Resources Coordinator

Erika Mccullough Simpson Portrait


Mrs. McCullough-Simpson provides counseling and consultation services to individual students. In addition, she is responsible for connecting students with off-campus referrals and coordinating community resources.

She obtained her master's degree in clinical and community psychology from UNC Charlotte.

Specializations and interests: Trauma; anxiety and stress; depression; self-esteem

Staff Counselor

Ronald Galloway Portrait


Mr. Galloway provides counseling and consultation services to individual students.

Mr. Galloway uses an eclectic approach to therapy, using solution-focused techniques, as well as cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral informed therapeutic approaches. He enjoys working with the college population.

Specializations and interests: Anxiety; depression; relationship concerns; multicultural issues; problem-solving skills; career guidance

Contract Staff Counselor

Andrea Straughter Portrait


Ms. Straughter provides counseling and consultation services to individual students.

She received her master's degree in clinical social work from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Ms. Straughter works primarily from the models of strengths-based solution focused therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. She loves to incorporate art activities and relaxation strategies into treatment.

Specializations and interests: Empowering clients; relationships; anxiety; managing life's everyday stressors

Photo of Dr. Samsara Soto


Samsara Soto, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral psychology fellow. Samsara earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Akron. She completed her APA accredited internship at the W.G. Bill Hefner VA Medical Center.

Her therapy approach integrates a cognitive-behavioral and feminist approach that incorporates mindfulness, humanistic, DBT, emotion-focused, interpersonal, and strength-based interventions. She favors an individualized approach based on working with clients collaboratively to build a safe and trusting therapeutic environment, explore their concerns, build skills, and create change in their lives.  

Specializations and interests: anxiety and stress management; depression; mindfulness-based interventions; holistic health and wellness; and social justice.   

Conally Owen Portrait

Conally provides counseling and consultation services to both individuals and groups. His professional interests include phase of life concerns (transitions), men’s issues, grief, and anxiety. Conally works primarily from the models of strengths-based solution focused therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. He loves to incorporate self-compassion and mindfulness work into treatment. Conally received his Master of Arts in Teaching from Duke University and his Master of Social Work from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He completed a Post-MSW Fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill's counseling center.

Kirin Quonce Portrait


Ms. Quonce provides counseling and consultation services to individual students.

She received her master’s degree in clinical social work from Syracuse University in NY.

Ms. Quonce works primarily from a model of solution-focused therapy, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. Relaxation and grounding techniques are incorporated into the models of therapy.

Specialization and interests include: Anxiety, Grief, Depression, ADHD and Trauma.

Staff portrait of Cierra Alsobrooks


Mrs. Alsobrooks is the Case Manager at the counseling center. 

She provides case management for students, including but not limited to referrals, following up with student referrals to verify they have the information they need to make their own healthcare related decisions, and coordinating with off-campus providers. She works with students referred by clinicians in the counseling center to connect them with off-campus providers in the community. She also works to continuously review the resource database to ensure access to quality service for students. 

 She received her  Master's of Social Work from North Carolina State University.

Ms. Turton is a doctoral practicum student trainee. She provides counseling and consultation services to individual students.

She received her master's degree in psychological science and is currently working towards her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Ms. Turton works primarily from the model of cognitive behavioral therapy. She has additional training and experience with dialectical behavior therapy. She works collaboratively with clients towards their individual goals, aiming to create a trusting space for clients to explore themselves and their values. 

Specializations and interests: Anxiety and stress management, Depression, Body Image, Relational Concerns, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion.



Office Manager

Tammy Haraga Portrait


Ms. Haraga is the office manager for the Counseling Center.

Her primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, monthly budget reports, processing office travel requests, outreach advertising, website maintenance, and bank statement reconciliation. She has been a UNCW employee since 2000.

Ms. Smith is the front desk Administrative Associate. Her primary responsibilities include greeting clients and processing necessary paperwork, scheduling appointments, responding to phone calls and emails, and providing support to the department. 


Contact Us

Counseling Center

DePaolo Hall
2nd Floor  Room 2079

Office hours:
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Summer Hours (usually starts the Monday after graduation and ends the Friday before the fall semester starts):

Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Friday 7:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. 

Crisis/Emergency hours:
Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m.

Crisis hours are also available 8 a.m.- 12 p.m. during summer hours