CEPR Faculty


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Michelle Welch Brasfield, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, University of Memphis (2015). Burnout and vicarious traumatization, wellness intervention, college and career readiness, and creative counseling for youth.

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Melanie Burgess, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University (2019). School counselor preparation and clinical supervision, evidence-based practices in PK-12 settings, and assessment.


Pamela A. Cogdal, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1989). Career and work-life balance, practice outcomes, assessment, suicide prevention and couples/relationship issues.

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Leigh Falls Holman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Sam Houston State University (2009). Job stress and burnout among human service professionals; the intersection of trauma, substance and process addictions and interpersonal violence across the lifespan; neurosequential experiential and relational interventions; clinical training and supervision of front-line staff (correction officers, psych techs, foster parents, police, medical staff, teachers) and counselors (mental health & school).

 Dr C Li

Chi Li,  Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University (2019). Primary research interest is counselor education and supervision, especially around supervisee disclosure in supervision. Additional research interests include measurement development in counseling and supervision and integrated behavioral healthcare.

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Daniel Lustig, Ph.D., Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1995). Family adjustment and adjustment to disability.


Patrick D. Murphy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Auburn University (2018). Counselor training and supervision, especially around multicultural competencies with a focus on intersections of identities. Additional research interests include engaging with veterans/military personnel with counseling and crisis intervention. Previous publications and presentations have also included research on suicide prevention and models of supervision.


Eraina Schauss, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, George Washington University (2011). Child cognitive, behavioral, emotional and neurodevelopment, family systems therapy, career development and coaching.


Steven L. West, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Texas Tech University (2000). Access to care, substance misuse and addiction, military and veteran health, moral injuries, and disability science.


Stephen Zanskas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Michigan State University (2007). Development of consultation skills in graduate rehabilitation counseling education programs, the psychosocial aspects of disability, professional issues and ethics.

 Counseling Psychology


Sara K. Bridges, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Memphis (1999). Interests include counselor training, couples and family therapy, human sexuality, and constructivist theory.


Suzanne H. Lease, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1989). Current interests are: career counseling with underserved populations, masculine ideologies and relationships, and health promotion/integrated care. Click for more information on the Masculinity Research Team

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Richard Lightsey, Ph.D., Professor, University of Maryland (1992). Interests: resilience, the relationship between stress and depression, stress and coping strategies.


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Elin Ovrebo, Ph.D., Visiting Clinical Instructor, University of Memphis (2009). Current interests are international issues in Counseling Psychology, LGBT counseling, social justice, and gender.


Rosie Phillips Davis, Ph.D., Professor, Ohio State University (1977). Interests include multicultural career counseling, ethics, health and health disparities, and university and college administration


Chrisann Schiro-Geist, Ph.D., Professor, Northwestern University (1974). Interests include: international, vocational, and disability-related issues in counseling. Current research projects are in the areas of vocational psychology, as it relates to return-to-work for incarcerated persons, and transitions to work for high school seniors with disabilities.  The research team is examining the role of animal-assisted therapy in the prison and academic settings.  In addition, theTigerLIFE program has a focus on  working with young adults attending the University of Memphis in a post-secondary transition program. Graduate students are working with these post-secondary transition students as they accomplish career decision -making for persons with special needs. A "systems approach "to the team’s work addresses the individuals’ characteristics, as well as environmental barriers. 

Educational Psychology & Research

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Alison A. Happel-Parkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Georgia State University (2011). Qualitative methodology; Post-structural, post-colonial, and feminist theories; Ecojustice and ecofeminist education.


Leigh M. Harrell-Williams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2009). Statistics and quantitative research methods; instrument development; Rasch, IRT and SEM applications with educational and psychological data; K-12 math teacher efficacy to teach statistics (Self Efficacy to Teach Statistics [SETS]); assessment of behavioral and emotional risk in K-12 students.

 Yeh Hsueh

Yeh Hsueh, Ed.D., Professor, Harvard University (1997). Development of young children; Cross-cultural early childhood education; Development of developmental psychology in the United States; Children and media.


Karen Westerman Kitchens, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Memphis (2016). Mixed methods research; program evaluation and analysis; research interest includes successful retention and completion of first generation college students.

 Chris Mueller

Christian E. Mueller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Kentucky (2006). Developmental trajectories of intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental factors influencing achievement motivation in at-risk students (e.g., adolescents, gifted, minority); Measurement issues (e.g., Rasch modeling) in education and psychology.

**Please note that Dr. Mueller is not accepting new students at this time

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Susan Naomi Nordstrom, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Georgia (2011). Poststructural and post humanist theories, onto-epistemology, Deleuze, feminist new materialism, qualitative research methodology.

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Karen Weddle-West, Ph.D., Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1982). Cultural diversity; Minority teachers; Child psychology; Infant development; Adolescent pregnancy; At-risk children.

**Please note that Dr. Weddle- West is not accepting new students at this time

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Denise L. Winsor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2008). Child development; Development in context; Early epistemological thinking; Technology in preschool-age children. Teacher beliefs and the use of strategies for high-order thinking. 


Yonghong Jade Xu, Ph.D., Professor, University of Arizona (2003). Multivariate statistics and quantitative research methods; Gender disparities in STEM disciplines; Structural equation modeling; Big data analysis with statistical and data mining approaches.

 Emeritus Faculty


Doug Strohmer, Ph.D., CRC

CEPR Staff

Main Office

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Jennifer Mueller, Budget Officer. Ms. Mueller handles departmental billing, travel, procurement, and all HR processes for the department.


Melynda Whitwell, M.S., Director of Admissions and Records. Ms. Whitwell handles all program applications, course permits, registration and enrollment, and room bookings.


Susan Kasperbauer Mascari, MAT, Reception and Outreach.

Mid-South Access Center for Technology

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Lavonnie Perry Claybon, Ph.D., Director

University of Memphis Institute on Disability


Maurice Williams, MA, MS, CNP, Senior Associate Director


Patrick J. Krolik, MBA, Assistant Director of Administrative Operations