Graduate Student Committee
& Undergraduate Student Committee
Graduate Student Committee: Encourages graduate students in Counseling to join and participate in IARTC, assisting in the development of student organizations within IARTC branches and regions, and communicates concerns and needs of graduate students to the IARTC Board.
Ad Hoc Undergraduate Student Committee: Encourages undergraduate students in Counseling and Related Majors to join and participate in IARTC, assisting in the development of student organizations within IARTC branches and regions, and communicates concerns and needs of undergraduate students to the IARTC Board.
Join Us at Our Next Committee Meetings! Eastern Time Zone:
Fall 2023 Meeting Dates & Times
Friday, 29 September @ 12:30 pm
Friday, 27 October @ 12:30 pm
Friday, 17 November @ 12:30 pm
Friday, 15 December @ 12:30 pm
Here is our meeting link: meet.google.com/kcn-ieew-nhq
Danielle Holly Johnson, MA, LCPC, NCC--Chair
Danielle Holly Johnson, MA, LCPC, is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Regent University. She completed her master's in clinical mental health counseling and certificate of graduate studies in trauma in 2017 at Regent University.
Danielle is a telehealth therapist, clinical supervisor, and substance use disorder counselor. She has worked in addiction counseling for 10 years and in the mental health counseling field for over 15 years. Danielle is a Teaching Assistant at Regent University and an intern at Hazelden Betty Ford's Butler Center for Research. Currently, she is collaborating with a research team to help develop a professional code of ethics for the Ukrainian psychological counseling profession. Danielle facilitates trauma healing groups through the Trauma Healing Institute, where she recently became a certified Trauma Healing Group facilitator and trainer. She has led discussions and provided workshops to raise awareness and decrease stigma regarding mental health and substance use treatment. Danielle is passionate about cross-cultural engagement and promoting concepts of holistic wellness, especially within marginalized communities.
Lane Madsen, MS
My name is Lane Madsen. I am a single mom of two living in South Dakota. I love to travel and plan to move to one of the coastal states or abroad during or after completing my doctoral program. I attended Morningside University for my bachelor’s program, studying Counseling Psychology and Religious Studies. I chose to return to my home state to attend graduate school at the University of South Dakota. I delayed a doctoral program and worked in a correction setting for six years. My master’s degree is in School Counseling, and I started my doctoral program with Capella University in January 2021 in Counseling Education and Supervision.
While working in corrections, I earned my addiction license and focused on recovery through cultural programs with Native Americans, methamphetamine intensive programs, and dual-diagnosis programs. I am applying for a plan for supervision for LPC during my practicum next quarter at Capella University. I eventually did return to the school setting working in an elementary suburban Title 1 school for five years.
Debra Ainbinder, PhD, LPC, BCPC, NCC, ACS
IARTC Treasurer-- Board Liaison
Dr. Ainbinder is Professor of Counseling and Associate Dean at Lynn University in Florida with a specialization in Marriage and Family Counseling, using a scientist/practitioner model of professional development. She served as Co-Principle Investigator for two prevention-focused research studies. She has been active in the field of counseling since 1985, including private practice and agency settings. Her research interests include parent interventions to decrease alcohol use and related consequences, and community programs in narcotics overdose prevention. She is currently working on a Quality Enhacement Plan at Lynn University to integrate local and global research related to the functions of wellness, specifically resilience.
Kashon W. Corley, NCC, LPC-S
Kashon W. Corley, NCC,LPC-S is a doctoral student at the University of the Cumberlands pursuing her degree in Counseling Education and Supervision. Kashon has been providing mental health counseling services within her community since 2000. Kashon has worked in various counseling areas: substance abuse, readjustment counseling services for military service members, guidance counseling, adolescent/adult rehabilitation, martial counseling, EAP services, behavioral health case management, and counseling supervision.
Kashon has received specialized training in: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) certified therapist, Parent Management Techniques (PMT), and Prolonged Exposure.
In addition to serving as a Graduate Student for IARTC, Kashon is also an active member of her local ACA state chapter, LCA, and the Counseling Academic & Professional Honor Society Chi Sigma Iota, Chi Psi Omega Chapter.
Cassandra Riedy Rush, MA, PhD Candidate
Cassandra Riedy Rush is thrilled and grateful to be serving IARTC! Cassandra is a doctoral candidate at George Washington University and a lecturer at Belmont University. She has experience working with clients with high level trauma at a substance use facility for women. There she recognized the pervasive and complex impacts of trauma and sought to learn as much as possible about how to serve those who have experienced it. Her quest for understanding has included scholarship in parental substance use and families’ responses to persistent trauma, research and lecturing on the neuroscience of trauma, and developing interventions that increase clients’ sense of safety. Cassandra has had the pleasure of publishing on family systems’ response to trauma, emerging adults’ resilience, and traumatic experiences such as intimate partner violence. Other topics on which she has published include crisis counseling, narrative therapy, and the impact of psychological stress on sexual health.
Lydia Fink, Secretary
Lydia Fink is a candidate for a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lynn University and graduated Cum Laude from Lynn University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. She currently serves as the counseling and psychology intern for the College of Arts and Sciences at Lynn University and is the assistant managing editor with the Journal of Individual Psychology. Lydia also works as a Child and Family Therapy Intern with Women in Distress, helping children and families affected by domestic violence. In addition, Lydia is the founder and president of the Lynn Student Counseling Organization, as well as the Secretary for the IARTC Graduate Student Committee. Outside of her academic endeavors, Lydia is an advocate for animal rights and donates her time volunteering and fostering animals through the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue.
Lauren A Steele, MS LMHC MCAP NCC QS
Lauren A Steele is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Master's Certified Addictions Professional (MCAP), National Certified Counselor (NCC), and a Qualified Supervisor (QS) for those seeking licensure in mental health in the State of Florida. She received her Bachelor's of Science from the University of Central Florida and her Master's in Counseling (Mental Health and Marriage and Family Therapy) from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Currently, she is a second year doctoral student working on her PhD in Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University and is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a member of Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society. Lauren works full-time for The School District of Palm Beach County as a Mental Health Professional and has a small part-time private practice. Her passion includes working with adolescents, children, and families who have been affected by trauma and her research interests include the self-awareness and self-efficacy of adult mentors providing social-emotional learning and trauma-informed care services in the school settings.
Gilberto "Gil" Ochoa, MPH, LLM, JD
I was raised in Mexico and moved to the U.S. when I was a sophomore in high school. My academic career began as an accounting major at the University of Arizona. I then enrolled in law school at the University of Arizona with the plan of becoming a tax attorney. I worked at a tax boutique law firm while in law school and after graduation. Also, after graduation from law school, I received a Masters of tax law from the University of Denver. I decided to form my own law firm with the hope of providing high quality services to individuals and businesses at reasonable rates. My passion has always been to help people. After a soul-searching journey, I decided to change careers to the healthcare industry where I could help more individuals and to a higher degree. I decided to earn a Masters of global public health at New York University. I worked as a healthcare manager and administrator at a non-profit health system. I was still unsatisfied because I wasn’t helping people directly, and that is when I enrolled at Grand Canyon University to earn a Masters of clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in trauma on October of 2022.
Dezarae Toronto, BS
Dezarae Toronto is a mother of 5 and is currently pursuing both a Master's in clinical mental health counseling with Walden University and a Master's in military psychology through Adler University while working full time. Upon graduation and licensing, she plans to open an equine-assisted psychotherapy program to help veterans suffering from PTSD, homelessness, and job loss. Dezarae is passionate about helping people cope with and grow from trauma and is excited to be involved with the IARTC graduate committee. Dezarae plans on opening her facility in Texas.
Rachel Morency, BA
Rachel Morency is a graduate student at Lynn University, studying clinical mental health counseling. She is currently completing her practicum working with neurotypical young adults on independent living. Rachel obtained her bachelor of arts in early childhood studies at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Rachel is the Vice President of another organization at her graduate school, the Lynn Student Counseling Organization. She has lived abroad most of her life, where she picked up her love for traveling and learning about various cultures.
Nadine Abdelaziz, MA, CCTP
Nadine is a graduate student at Kean University studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This is Nadine's second Master's with her first being in Criminal Justice. She has a particular interest in minimizing recidivism rates through rehabilitation, treating those with substance use disorders, and helping individuals heal their traumas. As a graduate student, Nadine has revolved her studies around the benefits of EMDR therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE), and how to effectively stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System as a means of self-regulation. While working in a Methadone Clinic as a counselor, Nadine has worked closely with clients who were survivors of complex trauma, domestic and sexual abuse, those impacted by the disease of addiction, as well as guided those on their inner journey of healing. Nadine is a CCTP (Certified Clinical Trauma Professional) and has plans of receiving her LPC and LCMHC after graduating her program in 2023.
Melena Saddler, LMHC, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH
Melena Saddler is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Capella University. Melena is a resident of New York City and holds her LMHC in New York and her LPC in Connecticut. She completed her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2013 at SUNY Plattsburgh. Melena works primarily as a telehealth therapist through her private practice. Her population of choice is women of color in the inner cities with a history of sexual trauma. Melena has been working with this population for the last five years and has aspirations of one day starting a remote retreat for survivors. Melena has been committed to trauma initiatives since 2016, when she decided to involve herself in organizations focused on helping sexual assault survivors. Melena’s dissertation is currently focused on improving the qualifications surrounding trauma-informed supervision by exploring the experiences of clinical supervisors. As a future counselor educator, Melena would like to see a trauma course built into the graduate curriculum and increased initiatives in the CACREP standards. As a member and representative of the IARTC Melena is looking to expand her initiatives and fellowship with like-minded providers.
Stephanie Byrd, MA Candidate
Stefanie is a second-career masters level counseling student at Tennessee Technological University and is currently interning at Grove Healing Collective in Cookeville, Tennessee. She serves as treasurer for the local Chi Sigma Iota chapter, Tau Tau Upsilon and enjoys promoting professional development opportunities within the chapter. Stefanie is also a graduate research assistant where she is using her previous work experience in Human Resources and Workforce Development to research and advocate for trauma-informed career focused counseling and workforce enhancement.
Marcella Raiola, BA
I am so excited to be a part of the IARTC! I graduated from William Paterson University Summa Cum Laude in May 2023. I earned my bachelor's in Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology. I am enrolled in Monmouth University's master's program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling in hopes of eventually becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor in New Jersey! I am interested in research surrounding musical interventions in processing and coping with Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma Processing! I am excited grow my education within this division of the ACA!