Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counselor Education and Counseling

Can you imagine yourself here?

Get to know these students!

Doctoral Student Profiles:

3rd Year Doctoral Cohort

Alexia DeLeon, Heidi McKinley,3rd Year Doctoral Students
Bryan Lamb, Tami Tribitt, Kristen
Langellier (Meridian). Not pictured
Dominique Avery (Meridian)

Dominique Avery

Hello! Iím Dominique Avery. I received my Masters of Counseling at ISU Meridian and I am excited to be continuing my education as part of the ISU Ph.D. program in Counselor Education. I first became interested in this fabulous field of counseling over 10 years ago when I started working with children and adolescents in outdoor therapeutic settings. I started a Forest Schools program with at-risk children in the woodlands of England, lead wilderness therapy groups in the deserts of Idaho, and cared for teens in an adolescent shelter home here in Boise.

Most recently, my clinical passion has been with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and LGBTQ youth and young adults. I became EMDR trained in 2014 and love the clinical work I do. My areas of scholarly interest include trauma competency in counselors, trauma recovery, and integrating neurobiology into the field of counseling and counselor education. My main focus right now is my dissertation on Counselor educators' perspective on the best practices of teaching trauma in counselor education. I am also fortunate to be the current secretary of the newly formed IALGBTIC division, and work with a wonderful team on advocacy efforts here in Idaho.

I have lived in Boise for the last eight years and love the outdoor opportunities and close sense of community that my husband and I have found here. When I am not taking classes, teaching, or studying, you can usually find me running, gardening, or hanging out with my husband, dog, and friends. My husband and I are "urban homesteaders" and keep bee hives, grow a large vegetable garden and put up jams, salsa, pickets, etc. when I can each year in the fall. I enjoy running in the foothills and my main motivation to get out on the trails if my VERY energetic Irish Terrier mix, Jamie. My newest adventure this year is the birth of our first child at the start of this school year.

The counseling program at ISU has become a second home for me and I am honored to be part of a dynamic, diverse, and supportive department as I embark on this a challenging journey of academic and personal exploration.

Alexia DeLeon

°Hola! °Bienvenidos! My name is Alexia, and I am currently a 3rd year candidate in the counseling doctoral program here at Idaho State University. My journey here has been great and I am excited to see what the future holds in terms of teaching, supervision and research in the field.

I currently work at MK Place, which is an inpatient facility for adolescents struggling with substance abuse and I love it! I love working with at-risk youth and exploring the intersectionality of their identities and how this impacts their overall well-being. I am bilingual, with Spanish being my second language, and I would love to work with Spanish speaking clients someday. My current research interests involve educating for social justice advocacy through service learning projects, creativity in teaching addictions courses, mentorship for minority students, counseling and supervision with Latinos, and anything multicultural and social justice related. I very much enjoy the mentoring piece of counselor education and educating for social justice advocacy.

Some of my self-care strategies include LAUGHTER, golfing, anything outdoors near water, dancing, and traveling to new places. If you have any questions about the doctoral program at ISU, please feel free to email me!

Bryan Lamb

Greetings! My name is Bryan Lamb and I am a third year doctoral student in the ISU Department of Counseling. I was born and raised in Texas where I lived until moving to idaho to pursue a Ph.D. While living in Idaho I have explored much of the beautiful local and surrounding nature areas.

I have also explored many of my professional interests, some of which include narrative practices, supervision, multiculturalism, and the influence of societal norms in the counseling profession. I am currently writing my dissertation about the process of developing multicultural awareness.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about the above, have questions about the program, ISU, moving to Idaho, or any of my other experiences so far. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kristen Langellier

Hello! Iím Kristen Langellier, third year doctoral student at the Meridian campus. It seems like yesterday when I was reading these biographies as a prospective student! My time here at ISU has been an amazing experience; Iíve grown so much from all the wonderful opportunities the program offers. Most of my scholarly work centers around feminism, social justice, advocacy and activism. Feel free to email me with any questions about the program. Good luck on your journey

Heidi McKinley

Hello! My name is Heidi McKinley and I am incredibly excited to begin my third year here at ISU! I was born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming and spent my adult years in Bozeman, Montana. I completed my bachelor's degree in Family and Consumer Science and my master's degree in Marriage and Family Counseling, both at Montana State University. My clinical experience includes working with adults, children, couples, families and groups at a sliding fee community clinic, as well as at local counseling practice here in Pocatello. During my time in my masterís program, I was fortunate enough to work with first year counseling students in helping teach their first counseling skills class (pre-practicum). It was then that I truly began to understand my love for teaching and supervision, in conjunction with counseling. My scholarly interests include (but are not limited to and evolve often): helping students navigate value conflicts, couples counseling, family counseling, group counseling, supervisory alliance, social justice advocacy and wellness. When I am not in school I love hiking, skydiving, camping, running, gardening, traveling to new places and spending time with my family, my friends and my pets. I am continuously grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing program and anticipate continuing to thoroughly enjoying working so closely with each of the doctoral students, professors and graduate students! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, or if you need support along the way!

Tami Tribitt

Hello, everyone! I'm Tami and I am very excited to be starting my third year as a doctoral student.

After graduating from Montana State University with a M.Ed. in School Counseling in 2004, I stayed in the Bozeman area working as a school counselor for 10 years. I had the pleasure of working with students K-12. In the last few years of my time as a school counselor, I was an adjunct instructor at MSU in the graduate counseling department. I found that I love, love, love me some counselor educationóespecially when it is related to school counseling!

In my short time at ISU, I have found that I am very passionate about advocacy and social justice issues in the school setting (I could talk for days on that!), families, emotional intelligence, using research to empower individuals...the list goes on and on.

I am eager to work with you, so feel free to contact me if there is anything you need help with

2nd Year Doctoral Cohort

Melisa DeMeyer, Renee Howells, 2nd Year Doc Students
Marisa Rapp. Not pictured Dustin
Destler and Kerrie Taylor from

Melisa DeMeyer


My name is Melisa DeMeyer and I am thrilled to be pursuing my Ph.D. in Counselor Education?

I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Montana. While living in Bozeman, MT I received my bachelor's degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and my master's degree in Couple and Family Counseling from Montana State University. My clinical experience includes working with children, adolescents, and their families in a resident therapeutic group home setting as well as on an out-patient basis.

As I begin my journey into second year I have found that the more I learn about the profession of counselor education, the more I have to learn! To me this is a beautiful think because it means I really get to decide what fits for me and my interests can be ever-evolving. Currently, my interests include: family systems, group work, use of reflecting teams, use of conceptual metaphors, and learning more about pedagogy.

Outside of school I love hiking, camping, reading, and spending time with friends and family! I am more grateful to be able to say I am an ISU student. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Dustin Destler

Hi, I'm Dusty, second-year doctoral student at ISU-Meridian. With year one in the books, I'm looking forward to continued growth in my research, teaching, and supervisory identities informed by a constructivist and Feminist lens. My focus resides on populations with less inherent social power (children, women, ethnic and gender minorities, etc.) and how to advocate as an ally in all facets of academe and community. 

ISU has been fantastic thus far, as has living and playing in the general Boise area. If you have any questions about either, please feel free to send me a message. Be well!

Renee Howells

Hello, My name is Renee Howells. I am currently in my second year of the Ph.D. program here at ISU and loving my experience! I am an Idaho native, and I love the great outdoors that scenic Idaho provides. I love to spend time in nature and with friends and family. I also love to create art, to read fiction, to cook, and to travel.

My professional educational journey begins in Caldwell, Idaho where I earned dual Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and in Fine Arts. From there, I made my way to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington where I earned my Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. My clinical background is trauma-based counseling for children, adolescents, and adults. I enjoy incorporating art and expressive therapies into my counseling practices. 

I am passionate about further developing my identity as a burgeoning Counselor Educator. My research interests currently include: traumatic grief & loss, multiculturally-minded practices, disability services within counseling education and cross-collaborative work across clinical and university settings.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about ISU. I Look forward to hearing from you! Cheers!

Marisa Rapp

Greetings! My name is Marisa Rapp and it's hard to believe I'm writing my biography as a second year doc student (time sure does fly!). Iím a proud Midwesterner born and raised in St. Louis (Go Cards!). I moved to Pocatello from a small town along the Mississippi River where I recently graduated with my Masterís in Mental Health Counseling. Throughout my undergrad, I worked part time at a residential treatment facility serving children and adolescents with a wide range of behavioral and emotional disorders. My rewarding experience in an inpatient setting solidified my desire to pursue the field of counseling. As I progressed through my masters into clinical experience, I discovered myself being pulled toward the role of educator and supervisor. I found myself wanting to contribute more to the profession of counseling than what I can accomplish at the practitioner level, and ISU's strong emphasis on counselor education was a definite fit for my professional goals. 

Scholarly and clinical areas of interest include substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, process addictions (eating disorders, gambling, etc.), and gatekeeping within the counseling profession.  I enjoy live comedy (stand up/improve/sketch), antiquing, and finding steals at local thrift shops.

Iím very grateful and proud to be a part of the ISU counseling community and invite any questions regarding your journey, the program, or Southeast Idaho!

Kerrie Taylor

Hello! My name is Kerrie Taylor and I am very excited for my second year at the ISU doc program. I have moved here from Orland, Florida where I worked with adults diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness who were involved with the criminal justice system. I also gained the opportunity to work on community task forces in Seminole County, advocating for marginalized populations and forming community partnerships to benefit clients. I graduated with a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Central Florida and am eager to build upon the knowledge and experience I gained in the Southeast. My research interests include: working with multicultural populations, dual diagnosis, the supervisory relationship, social justice, and ethics in counselor education. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the program, the application process, or life as a doc student.

1st Year Doctoral Cohort

Kate LeBar (Meridian), Candice
Elison (Meridian), Sarah Baquet,
Jehan Hill, Vincent Marasco, and
Katie Muirhead.

Sarah Baquet

Hello. My name is Sarah and I am a first year doctoral student at ISU! I was born and raised in Long Island, New York. I earned my MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Long Island University. In New York, I was a private mental health therapist working with children, adolescents, families and couples. I also was involved in my first solo teaching experience for a non-profit after school program in Manhattan called Liberty LEADS; this program empowered youth to attain higher education and embrace leadership engagement. There I taught underrepresented youth college and career preparation as well as self-exploration. Although I always knew I would peruse higher education, combining private therapy and teaching solidified my career passionsóand now I am ecstatic to be beginning my journey to complete my Ph.D. in Counseling and Counseling Education with an exceptionally warm and talented faculty.

My current research interests include various areas within social justice and multiculturalism, attachment and social psychology and career development. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time! I would love to discuss the program and my experience joining the Department of Counseling.

Candice Elison

Hi! My name is Candice Elison. I'm a first year doctoral student and can't express how excited I am to be continuing my education at ISU. I have a BS in Psychology, a Master's in Counseling, and a bunch of other random little certificates throughout the medical field.

My interest areas include grief and loss, crisis and trauma, and working with individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. I thank my lucky stars that I am part of a program that has encouraged and supported me in the pursuit of my interests and passion. I couldn't ask for a better group of people than the ones I have found in the counseling department! 

I love the west and have called this half of the country home for my entire life. While I miss my Pocatello crew, I am happy to be currently calling Boise my home town. This part of the country is perfect for running, biking, swimming, and all sorts of outdoor shenanigans, the things I love most. While I am new to the doc program, I am not new to the program. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!

Jehan Hill

Hello! My name is Jehan Hill and I am ecstatic to be part of the Counselor Education doctorate program at ISU. I was born in Ontario, Canada but lived most of my life in Arizona. I graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor in Elementary Education (Diversity in Language and Learning). After graduation, I moved to Ohio where I received my masterís in School Counseling from Kent State University. Throughout my educational career, I have worked at schools located in predominantly poverty stricken districts. One of these experiences includes counseling in a charter school funded by United Disability Service. I was given the privilege to work with a diverse adolescent student population and help facilitate their emotional, academic, and career development. This experience inspired my research interest in how to best support at-risk youth within the school system. My interests outside of school include hiking, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions

Kate LeBar

Hello! My name is Kate Wallace LeBar and I am honored to be starting my first year in the PhD program in Counselor Education at ISU. 

I received my second Masterís degree in Counseling from ISU Meridian in Spring 2016 after deciding to pursue my passion as a clinical mental health counselor after two decades in the business world. As a new counselor, I enjoy working with a diverse client population with scholarly interests focused on diversity in counselor education to support contemporary families and offering a new feminist perspective on identity development for women choosing to live a child free lifestyle. I have volunteered with the Idaho Counseling Association (ICA) for the last two years as the Sponsorship Chair to support the 2015-2016 annual conference and have been honored to support the great work done by that organization to build and support a professional community of mental health professionals.

I was born and raised in the UK, and have lived in the United States since I was seventeen. I have a B.A in Legal Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. in Information Systems Management from the University of San Francisco. Travel is one of my biggest passions in life and I am excited to explore some international teaching opportunities. I love the outdoors and get outside to play in every season as much as possible. I am grateful to share this life with my husband Charlie and our dog Harry, a German Shorthair Pointer who is more accident prone than even me.

Happy to hear from anyone who wants to contact me!

Vincent Marasco

Hello!  Iím Vincent, a first year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling at ISU. Iím originally from Omaha, Nebraska, where I received my Masterís in Clinical Mental Health. Through my clinical experiences, Iíve worked with individuals ranging from adolescents on the Autism Spectrum to college students in the university setting. Most recently, I worked in a community agency providing counseling for adults with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. My academic and research interests include sexual health and well-being, feminist theory, aging populations, counselor competencies, identity development in young adults, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ populations. I have taught human sexuality courses for over two years, and am working towards certification as a Certified Sex Therapist and Educator through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). On the lighter side, I enjoy the relaxing joys of fiber arts, as well as hosting dinner parties. If you have any questions or would like more information about applying the ISU counseling program, please feel free to contact me!

Katie Muirhead

Hello, my name is Katie Muirhead and I am a first year doctoral student at ISU. I consider it such a wonderful opportunity to be pursuing my degree with the department, and am excited to see what the next three years will bring. Originally I am from Massachusetts where I got my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Clinical Psychology. My clinical experience centers around substance abuse and mental health counseling with adults and in working with adults and children with special needs/ developmental delays. I enjoy reading, playing the piano/ukulele, painting, hiking, and gardening, as well as traveling at any opportunity.

As I begin my time at ISU, I am looking forward to honing in on my passions and areas of expertise, as well as developing my identity as an educator and supervisor. If you have any questions or are curious about anything, please feel free to contact me!

Last Modified: 9/2014 09/26/16