Loyola University Maryland

Counseling Center


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Our staff members are professionals trained in psychology and other mental health fields. We are interested in students and college student development. We may be seen on the campus in a variety of settings including conducting workshops in the residence halls and teaching classes. We especially enjoy working on projects to support a campus culture that is safe, respectful and accepting of the racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, sexual, gender, and ability diversity of all its members.  A few examples of our recent work include:

  • Cultural adjustment readiness workshops for students participating in Loyola’s social justice living-learning trips abroad
  • MAP (Multicultural Awareness Program) Orientation presentations
  • Participation in Sister-to-Sister meetings
  • Regular meetings with Disability Support Services to coordinate support for students with disabilities and to targest policy changes that will improve the environment for all
  • Let’s Talk section in the ALANA Anthem which offers tips for healthy adjustment, managing stress, and better relationships
  • Co-creators of Loyola’s Safe Zone Training
  • Participation in Women of Color Reading Group
  • Training student leaders to recognize and interrupt situations where sexual assault, harassment, and relationship violence could happen
  • Co-leadership of development and dissemination of results of recent Campus Climate survey


Donelda A. Cook, Ph.D., director
In addition to directing the Counseling Center, Donnie serves as associate vice president for student development, overseeing the student health services, the alcohol and drug education and support services, disability support services, and the Women's Center. She received her doctorate in counseling psychology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. A licensed psychologist, Donnie's research publications are in the areas of multicultural psychotherapy and supervision and the integration of spirituality and psychology in African American mental health. Although she does not provide individual counseling for students, she enjoys working with various student groups, talking with students about their experiences, and mentoring them through their college years.

Pamela P. Griffin-Smith, Psy.D., associate director for clinical services
Pam received her doctorate in clinical psychology from George Mason University. She is a licensed psychologist and has a background working with children, adolescents, and adults. A member of the Association for the Coordination of Counseling Center Clinical Services, Pam oversees the clinical services at the Center as well as providing individual and group counseling and supervision to Post-doctoral fellows.  Pam still enjoys many interests that she developed during her college years: the performing arts, travel, languages, and art. She is also interested in multicultural/international student issues (having lived and traveled in Europe and Africa). She is a founding member of Loyola's campus chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), an international leadership organization for creating inclusive environments.  In addition to the arts and travel, Pam enjoys hiking, reading and attending her Zumba class.

Kimberly M. Ewing, Ph.D., psychologist
Kim received her doctorate in counseling psychology from the Ohio State University. She is a licensed psychologist with special interests and experience in multicultural and women's issues, empowerment, supervision and training. Kim coordinates the training programs for post-doctoral fellows and externs. Kim loves to experience other cultures (she has enjoyed trips to Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe), enjoys making jewelry, Latin and jazz music, swimming, and dancing.

Jason A. Parcover, Ph.D., associate director for public health, research, and information systems
Jason completed his doctorate in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University.  Jason enjoys working with relationship difficulties (including relationship with self), family concerns, men's issues (and women's issues too!), and grief and loss.  He has specialized training working with those who have experienced trauma, therapy groups, and enjoys outreach presentations, supervision, and teaching. Jason is an ally of ALANA Services and Spectrum and is committed to providing culturally sensitive services and to issues of social justice.  His clinical and supervisory approaches draw from psychodynamic, interpersonal, and feminist/multicultural theories, and mindfulness techniques.  On a personal level, Jason enjoys playing piano, reading almost anything, working out, spending time outdoors, and playing with his family.

Thomas J. Fillion, Ph.D., senior psychologist
Tom is a part-time staff member. He was educated at Johns Hopkins and Yale, and served on the staff at Sheppard Pratt for seven years before joining us. He has special expertise working with students experiencing anxiety and depression, and also with issues of self-esteem and relationships. His outside interests include hiking, art, and cooking. He has a private practice in Towson.

Nicole Nieset, Ph.D., psychologist and coordinator for training programs
Nikki moved to Maryland from Tempe, Arizona, where she had earned doctorate in counseling psychology at Arizona State University.  Having made several major moves across the country, Nikki has a particular appreciation for the excitement and the challenges associated with making big life transitions such as being away from home for the first time, acclimating to new environments, and maintaining family and social relationships across long distances.  Because of her experience starting over in many places, Nikki also maintains interests in the many dimensions of personal identity and how people build support networks.  In counseling students, Nikki enjoys helping students overcome anxiety; improve unhealthy relationships with food, body image, alcohol or substances; and supporting our multicultural and LGBTQ students.  As someone who loves her work, she is passionate about helping others with vocational discernment whether on Sophomore Initiatives’ RoadTrip, teaching graduate career courses, or providing supervision to counselors in training.

Jennifer Stevens, LCSW-C, student care coordinator
Jennifer received her masters of social work degree from Salisbury University. She completed clinical internships at the Life Crisis Center of Salisbury, Md. and Salisbury University Student Counseling Services. Jennifer also has experience in community mental health and has special interest in the areas of trauma, women's issues, and relationship concerns. As Student Care Coordinator, she assists students in connecting with off-campus providers, in addition to providing individual and group counseling. Through her background in sociology and social work, she has developed a passion for social justice, seeking the expansion of choice and opportunity for all cultural groups. Outside interests include spending time with friends and family, reading, and playing with her dog, Stella.

Sam Soheilian, Ph.D., psychologist 
Sam earned her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Lehigh University.  She completed her Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Counseling and Human Services at Lehigh University and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Psychology at Georgetown University. Her primary research interests involve culturally competent counseling and supervision, Middle Eastern American mental health concerns, and evaluating effectiveness of university outreach programs. She has presented research at both regional and national conferences as well as published her work in peer reviewed journals.  Sam's clinical interests include working with individuals who struggle with concerns such as anxiety, depression, identity development, and acculturation. Sam has worked in various mental health treatment settings, including college counseling centers, a state psychiatric hospital, and a neuropsychology department within a rehabilitation hospital. In addition to counseling, Sam is interested in social justice work. Sam takes an integrative approach to therapy which includes client-centered therapy, interpersonal process therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, all within a multicultural framework. In her spare time, Sam enjoys singing, spending time with loved ones, and traveling.

Shantoyia (Toy) Jones, M.S., postdoctoral fellow
Toy completed doctoral requirements in counseling psychology from the University of Kansas, her master’s degree at Avila University and her undergraduate degree at the University of Tulsa.  She completed her doctoral internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago-Counseling Center.  She is in the process of completing her dissertation which explores a relationship between experiences with racism and coping resources sought post sexual assault in Black college students, and how one’s racial centrality might moderate this relationship.  Toy is passionate about trauma-related work, working with students of color and other underrepresented/historically marginalized groups, and community activism/advocacy.  She is currently an apprentice to the Cultural Alliance Committee at the Counseling Center.  Regarding clinical practice, she conceptualizes from a multicultural-existential orientation and clinically practices from a socially just integrative-assimilative framework, drawing largely from interpersonal, narrative, experiential, and emotion-focused strategies.  In her spare time she enjoys music, dancing, community service, spending time with loved ones, cultural events, college basketball, and escaping to New Orleans… Laissez les bon temps rouler.

Aaron T. Barnes, Psy.D., postdoctoral fellow
Aaron received both his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. He completed his predoctoral internship at the Towson University Counseling Center. Aaron is interested in identity intersectionality,  and his research has focused on the intersection of Christianity and sexual orientation.  In addition to helping clients with issues including depression and anxiety, Aaron is passionate about making counseling a safe place for all people to explore who they are and who they would like to become. Aaron draws from relational-cultural, feminist, and interpersonal framework in his work.  In his free time, Aaron enjoys spending time with his family (including two cats, Nutter Butter and Snickers), traveling, nerdy board games, music and theatre, and laughing as much as possible.

Dina Sokal, M.D., psychiatrist
Dr. Sokal is a board certified psychiatrist in both adult psychiatry and adolescent/child psychiatry, having completed medical school and the adult psychiatry residency at the University of Maryland.  The child psychiatry fellowship was completed at the University of Maryland and Sheppard Pratt.  She has a private practice in Owings Mills, and has worked at student counseling centers, schools for children with emotional issues, treatment foster care agencies and community mental health centers.  She enjoys spending time with family, traveling, running and singing in a choir.

Becky Cassell, program coordinator
Becky graduated from Loyola in 2009 with a B.A. in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies; and she is very happy to return to the Loyola community as a member of the Counseling Center team.  Becky enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and boys.  She is a Baltimore Ravens fan as well.

Linda Kraft, office assistant/receptionist
Linda answers the phones, sets up appointments, and greets people who visit the Counseling Center. Linda enjoys walking, reading, and activities with her family.

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