RMU COUNSELING CENTER

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RMU Counseling Center
counseling@rmu.edu
412-397-5900 phone
412-397-5920 fax
Patrick Henry, Lower Level


FACULTY/STAFF > DEPARTMENTS & OFFICES > STUDENT LIFE > COUNSELING CENTER > WHO WE ARE
Who We Are

  Clinical Staff

Holly Harmon, LCSW, ACSW - Counseling Center Director and Therapist

Holly Harmon is the founding Director of the Robert Morris University Counseling Center and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Ms. Harmon has over 15 years of experience working with adolescents and young adults in varied clinical settings, which facilitated a seamless transition into her current role. Ms. Harmon has expertise providing individual, family, and group therapy while specializing in the areas of depression, anxiety, and abuse.  Her mission has been to find ways to address and treat suicidal behavior and thinking in young adults.

During her tenure at RMU, Ms. Harmon has implemented numerous positive initiatives regarding the mental health care of the student body. She has worked faithfully to establish a reputation of caring and support from the newly formed counseling center and to build bridges to the RMU student community. She is the chair of the Crisis Assessment and Risk Evaluation (CARE) Team, which works collaboratively with faculty and staff to identify, track, and respond to reports of concerning, disruptive, or potentially threatening behavior within RMU’s student population. Ms. Harmon also helped create the THRIVE Program, a peer education initiative in which trained student leaders provide mental health awareness and education to the campus community using a public health approach. She currently oversees a two-year grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board which seeks to reduce underage and problem drinking in college students.  Ms. Harmon has formed valuable community connections with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, The Emily Program, and Greenbriar Treatment Center to better serve the needs of students. She is a member of the RMU Title IX Readiness and Response Committee, as well as the Athletic Drug and Alcohol Policy Committee. Additionally, she is an active member of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Prior to joining RMU, Ms. Harmon was employed at Western Pennsylvania Institute and Clinic (WPIC) and the Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Clinic where she specialized in treating children and adolescents with depression and anxiety. While at STAR, she was trained and certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Cleveland Center for Cognitive Therapy.  In addition to her clinical duties at WPIC, she also trained Doctoral and Masters level interns in psychotherapy and suicide assessment and treatment. Additionally, Ms. Harmon was a yearly presenter at the STAR annual conferences from 2003-2011 covering topics ranging from therapeutic techniques with adolescents to addressing suicidal behavior in practice. She served as a therapist on several National Institute of Mental Health funded studies examining treatments for anxiety, depression and developing therapeutic interventions for suicide attempters. Prior to her work at WPIC, she was employed by both Pressley Ridge and the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. She is certified by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) as an advocate for victims of domestic violence. Ms. Harmon completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, and her Master's degree in Social Work with a specialization in Direct Practice at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.


Tiffany Hartz, LPC, NCC - Assistant Director and Therapist

Tiffany is the Assistant Director and a full-time therapist in the Counseling Center. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and a National Certified Counselor.  Prior to joining RMU, she was employed as a therapist at Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health/Mental Retardation, Inc. for adults with substance use and mental health diagnoses.  Earlier in her career, Tiffany interned at the Carlow University Counseling Center and worked at Family Behavioral Resources as a Therapeutic Support Staff for children and adolescents with special needs.  She completed her undergraduate education at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA, and she earned her Master’s of Science degree in Professional Counseling at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA.  Tiffany has experience providing both individual and group therapy and has volunteered as a sexual assault crisis counselor on the helpline for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR).  She is also an active member of the American College Counseling Association (ACCA).


Diane Dahm, LCSW  - Crisis Counselor and Outreach Specialist

Diane is the Crisis Counselor/Outreach Specialist.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a background in providing services to adolescents.  Prior to joining RMU, Diane was the Director of Prevention Education at Center for Victims where she led the implementation of violence prevention programming for middle and high schools across Allegheny County.  Additionally, Diane provided trauma focused therapy to victims of crime of all ages.  She has also worked for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape assisting with the training and technical assistance needs of the 52 rape crisis centers across the state.   Diane completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania and her Master's in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh where she completed an internship with Mon Yough Community Services.  Diane has also served as a volunteer for the Pittsburgh chapter of GLSEN where she provided training to schools on creating safer environments for LGBT students. 


Nicole DeFerrari, MA  - Therapist

Nicole is a part-time therapist at the RMU Counseling Center.  She is also currently a doctoral mental health trainee pursuing a Doctorate of Counseling Psychology degree from Chatham University. She received her MA in Psychology, with a concentration in Sport and Exercise Psychology, from Chatham University in 2014, and her BA in Psychology from Penn State in 2012. Her previous doctoral mental health training experience includes providing individual mental health therapy at the RMU Counseling Center during the 2016-2017 academic year. Prior to her work at RMU, Nicole provided individual and group mental health therapy at Slippery Rock University. Nicole has also worked as a Career Counselor for Chatham University’s Office of Career Development. She is currently a member of the Applied Association for Sport Psychology (AASP), and she has presented research at both the national AASP conference in 2013, and Northeast Atlantic Sport Psychology regional conference in 2014. Her dissertation topic focuses on exploring the impact of athletic identity on graduating college student athletes. Nicole believes in creating a positive, collaborative therapeutic environment, and she is passionate about using strength-based approaches to help students work toward their personal wellness goals. 


Dara Sakolsky, MD, PhD - Consulting Psychiatrist

Dr. Sakolsky is an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is a board-certified in adult and child/adolescent psychiatrist with extensive experience assessing and treating youth with mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Sakolsky provides clinical care through several specialty programs at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic including the Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Center and the Child Adolescent Bipolar Services (CABS) program. Dr. Sakolsky has served as a co-investigator on several NIMH funded studies examining the phenomenology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. She is currently the principal investigator at the University of Pittsburgh for the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Extended Long-term Study (CAMELS) which examines the long-term outcomes of youth with anxiety disorders.



Interns

  Alina Vaisleib, MA  - Intern (Therapist)

  Alina is a part-time mental health doctoral trainee at the RMU Counseling Center.  She is currently in   her third year of doctoral study at Chatham University, located in Pittsburgh, where she is pursuing a   degree in counseling psychology. She received her MA in Psychology from Chatham University in       2015. Her previous doctoral internship experience includes working as a Career Counselor at               Chatham University's Office of Career Development where she assisted college students resolve         career-based mental health concerns. Alina’s experience also includes working as an intern at             Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Transplant Psychology, working with families with children with       solid organ transplantation. Her dissertation topic focuses on examining the psychosocial factors that   impact children who have had kidney transplantation. Alina is passionate about using strength-based   approaches to help students regain balance in their lives no matter what level of concern they are         currently facing. 


  Kacie Yost, MA  - Intern (Therapist)

  Kacie is a part-time mental health doctoral trainee at the RMU Counseling Center. She is currently in her   second year of doctoral study in Counseling Psychology (Psy.D.) at Chatham University, located in             Pittsburgh. She received her BS in Psychology from Slippery Rock University in December 2014 and her   MA in Psychology from Chatham University in August 2016. Previously, she has done work at Chatham     University's Office of Career Development, where she did individual career based counseling for college     students. This experience also included program development and outreach centering on preparing           students for their college experiences as well as life after college. Her dissertation interest is focusing on     the career development process in college students who experience chronic pain. Kacie is passionate       about aiding each and every student through their college experience through strength-based and               solution-focused approaches.




Psychiatry Resident


  Manivel Rengasamy, MD - Psychiatry Resident

  Dr. Rengasamy is a PGY4 child psychiatry resident in the Department of Psychiatry at University of     Pittsburgh Medical Center. He received his BA in Psychology from Rice University in 2010 and             subsequently his MD from McGovern Medical School in 2014.  His clinical areas of interest include       child and adolescent mood disorders, specifically related to suicidality in mood disorders. Dr.                 Rengasamy helps provide clinical care through a variety of specialty programs including the Centers   for Children and Family (CCF) program and the Child Adolescent Bipolar Services (CABS) program.     Dr. Rengasamy is also involved in research related to inflammatory biomarkers, and currently serves   as the primary investigator on a pilot study examining the interaction of depression and inflammatory   biomarkers in children and adolescents. He is an active member of the American Academy of Child     and Adolescent Psychiatry.




Online Wellness Staff

Eva Sarwar, MPH - Online Wellness Coach

Eva is the part-time Online Wellness Coach in the Counseling Center and has her Master’s in Public Health from California State University, San Bernardino. She was a Randall Lewis Health Policy Fellow for Snowline Joint Unified School District in California, where she worked towards creating a Healthy Snowline Community. Eva also interned with the Department of Public Health, San Bernardino County in their Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP) and Child Passenger Safety Program (CPS). After graduation, she worked as a Health Educator for the City of Fontana’s Healthy Fontana, a CX3 (CX3 – Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention) grant funded project; where the primary focus was to create awareness within the local residents about the importance of eating healthy, and leading healthier lives by incorporating physical activities and making healthy changes in their neighborhoods. Eva has a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Nevada, Reno in Computer Science; and has worked as a Software Engineer at International Game Technology (IGT) in Reno, NV, for almost 6 years. Currently, she is a Ph. D. student in Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University with interests in Hospital Ethics Committees and International Research Ethics.



Administrative Staff

Beth Lucas, BS - Secretary II

Beth serves as the front line staff member for the Counseling Center, assisting students and other clientele who visit the Center.  She is also responsible for the administrative functions of the office and provides support for the Counseling Center’s many projects and outreach efforts on campus.  Prior to joining RMU, Beth was an Administrative Assistant and Project Coordinator for Edgeworth, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm.  She has an extensive background in office organization and project management.  Beth earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.





Therapet

Violet - Therapy Pup-in-Training


Violet is the therapet-in-training* at the Counseling Center.  She is a Shorkie (Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix) and was born on March 6, 2016.  At work, Violet enjoys running around the Nicholson lawn (where she may or may not be digging up ant hills), playing and snuggling with students, and taking long naps in-between.  She also loves feet and has been known to fall asleep next to people’s shoes. Violet is quite the fashionista and is often seen sporting colorful hair accessories and a wide array of adorable outfits for the enjoyment of her fans (a.k.a. RMU students, faculty, and staff).  She even has her very own hashtag on social media (#VioletOfTheDay) and often poses for the “pupparazzi.” At home, Violet likes to steal socks to stash in her bed and cuddle with her siblings (whether they like it or not).  Violet has several four-legged siblings and one human brother.  She adores them all, but she’s definitely the boss!  Violet lives with our Director, Holly, and she comes to work at the Counseling Center every day.  

* Violet is currently in training to become a certified therapy dog.