Mark Onusko, Psy.D. – Director and Psychologist
I’ve had the honor of supporting students at JCU’s Counseling Center since 2013. I completed my doctorate in clinical psychology at Adler University in Chicago, which focuses on integrating social justice and mental health. I earned my BA in psychology at the University of Notre Dame. I have college counseling center experience at other schools including Northwestern University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of the Sciences. I also have experience working in a variety of other settings including high schools, community mental health centers, halfway houses and psychiatric hospitals. My theoretical approach to counseling is integrative and incorporates cognitive-behavior therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, as well as multicultural and developmental factors that impact a student’s mental health and well-being.
Clinical interests: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, Autism spectrum disorders, sleep issues, identity development, LGBTQ+ concerns, and working with student athletes and international students. I'm also interested in Counseling Center issues related to administration, management, supervision and prevention.
Personal interests: In my free time, I enjoy walking my dog, spending time with friends and family, attending concerts, and cheering on my Cleveland sports teams.
Alia Lawlor, LPCC-S, CCMC – Staff Counselor
I love working with people desiring to better themselves and the world; and helping facilitate movement towards self-empowerment and positive change is a privilege. My early training with existential and psycho-dynamic perspectives prepared me well for seeing patterns and themes across life domains, and facilitating change at the root level. Overall, I apply a whole person approach to my work with clients. My prior experience includes private practice, corporate workforce development, the technology sector, and I've owned several businesses. I also supervise and train master's level counseling interns at the counseling center.
Clinical interests: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, self-love and compassion, meditation & mindfulness, women’s issues, working with athletes, existential issues, sexual and emotional abuse, LGBTQ+ issues, couples counseling, issues about identity and meaning, and supervision and development of counseling interns
Personal interests: I love to do artwork, hike / be in nature, especially the mountains; bike, meditate, garden, search for vintage things, do home renovation, and read / research whatever shiny object catches my attention.
I-Shan Yang, Ph.D. IMFT
Helping people develop a sense of self has been something I am passionate about. I find it particularly rewarding when I can help someone find the connection within themselves, as well as with others in their life. Through my education, I've had opportunities to work in campus clinics, community agencies, hospitals and the juvenile justice system. I also served as a faculty member at a university for a few years, which sparked my interest in working with the college population. As a therapist, my approach is best described as systemic and integrative as I often utilize different models in therapy. Coming from a different culture, I also bring in a different perspective when it comes to problem solving.
Clinical Interests: relational issues, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and life transition struggles.
Personal Interests: Traveling, cooking, spending quality time with family, friends and my dog, and people-watching.
Michelle Sammons, Counselor Trainee
I came to the field of counseling by way of teaching art history at colleges and museums. I have always been interested in the psychological aspects of interpreting art and how we can apply what we learn to our own lives. I love working with college students and wanted to take that next step towards helping individuals feel empowered to be their best selves. I am currently a graduate student at Cleveland State University and hold a Master’s in Art from Hunter College in New York City.
Clinical interests: Women’s issues, LGBTQ+ issues, mood disorders, life transitions, substance abuse, identity development, interpersonal relationships, multicultural concerns, career decisions, trauma, grief and bereavement
Personal interests: Traveling, knitting, watching British crime shows while knitting, hiking with my partner and our dog, reading novels, skiing, exploring new neighborhoods, and spending summers in Vermont.
Anita Dacanay, Counselor Trainee
I first began to explore the human condition as an artist, working for decades in theater performance and arts outreach. Having found the arts as one path for healing, several years ago I decided that I
wanted to focus more directly on helping people address trauma and other mental health issues. Consequently, I began my graduate studies in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Cleveland State University, and am scheduled to graduate in May of 2021. I recently completed my practicum at the May Dugan Center, a community agency on Cleveland’s west side serving a diverse clientele. I am thrilled to be conducting my internship at John Carroll’s Counseling Center as I am eager to support young people in addressing their mental health, relational, and existential concerns as they explore their adult identities.
Clinical Interests: Trauma counseling, sexual abuse, group counseling, mindfulness, women’s issues, LGBTQ issues, existential issues, developmental psychology.
Personal Interests: Reading, writing, performance, immersion in nature, and the martial art of Aikido are some of my passions.
Dr. Susan Kimmel, psychiatrist
Susan Kimmel, MD, is a forensic psychiatrist specializing in forensic psychiatry, mood disorders, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and college mental health. She has completed fellowships in both forensic psychiatry and mood disorders at Case Western Reserve University. She has practiced in general hospitals, court clinics, correctional facilities and multiple college counseling centers. Dr. Kimmel is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and past president of the Cleveland Psychiatric Society. She has presented nationally at the American Association of College Health on topics ranging from shootings on college campuses to the Tarasoff decision and how that impacts college counseling centers. The majority of her publications and research are in the area of treatment of mood disorders.
Dr. Ruby Grewal, psychiatric resident
Pic and bio coming soon.
Leya Belnavis, Graduate Assistant
I always knew that I wanted to be a counselor and I am thrilled to join the team here at the JCU Counseling Center as we serve and assist our students to manage their mental health. I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s in Psychology at Mercyhurst University and will be receiving my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling here at John Carroll. I’m originally from Jamaica and have just moved to Cleveland, and I am so excited to see what the city has to offer. I believe that mental health care is just as important as physical health care and hope to see more people attend therapy as they navigate their lives.
Clinical Interests: Grief counseling, trauma counseling, psychological disorders, mindfulness, working with minority groups, and positive psychology.
Personal Interests: Listening to podcasts, baking, journaling, and online shopping.
Mary Beth Kelley – Administrative Assistant
I have been the Administrative Assistant at the Counseling Center since 2007. Prior to coming to John Carroll I held a similar position at CWRU School of Law and was at home for several years navigating the schedules of our five kids. I am fortunate to work in such a welcoming, nurturing environment. I’ve learned so much about adjusting to college, stress management and self-care. I find it rewarding to connect students to the help they need during their time at John Carroll.
Personal interests: I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, reading and getting outdoors when the Cleveland weather permits.