Holly Harmon, LCSW - 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.
Jill Kazour, LPC, NCC - Therapist
Jill is a part-time therapist in the Counseling Center. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and a National Certified Counselor. In addition to her duties at RMU, she provides mental health assessment and therapy at Bower Hill Pediatrics and operates a small private practice. Prior to joining RMU, she worked at Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, providing individual and group therapy to adolescents at high risk for suicide. She also has experience in mental health research, as well as community based mental health intervention with children and families. She completed her undergraduate education at Penn State University and earned her Masters of Science degree in Professional Counseling at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
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.
Nicole DeFerrari, MA - Intern (Therapist)
Nicole 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, with a concentration in Sport and Exercise Psychology, from Chatham University in 2014. 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. Nicole's experience also includes working as an intern level therapist at Slippery Rock University's Student Counseling Center where she worked with college students to process a broad range of presenting concerns; e.g. anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, identity concerns, grief, and eating related concerns. She is also 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 examining the factors that impact choices or ability to adopt health-related behaviors. Nicole 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.
Ehren Emter, MA - Intern (Therapist)
Mx. Ehren Emter is a part-time mental health doctoral trainee at the RMU Counseling Center. Ehren is in their third year of Doctor of Psychology program with Chatham University. Ehren received a M.A. in Psychology specializing in Career Management and Counseling from University of the Rockies and a B.A in Organizational Management from Ashford University. Other mental health-related training includes Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer, Sexual Assault/Harassment Victim Advocacy (US Army), Master Resilience Trainer (US Army), and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) substance use training. Ehren is a ten year United States Army veteran with overseas service in Operation Enduring Freedom. Their clinical interests relate to sustainable well-being, mindfulness-based intervention, and transdiagnostic mental health treatment. Ehren is completing their dissertation studying the interaction of gender salience, ethnic identification, and shame-based attitudes towards mental health conditions. Ehren is member of several professional organizations including American Psychological Society and APA Division 44 (Society of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies). Previous doctoral training includes UPMC Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Career Services, University of Pittsburgh Counseling Center, and UPMC Sports Concussion clinic.
Lauren Yurish, MA - Intern (Therapist)
Lauren is a part-time mental health doctoral trainee with six years of clinical experience. She received her MA in Community Counseling at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Lauren was a Mobile Therapist for Wellspring Family Services in Morgantown, where she provided in-home individual therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. She spent a summer as a Behavioral Coach with Wellspring Camps in La Jolla, CA, specializing in behavioral weight management techniques while providing individual/group counseling to women. Lauren returned to Morgantown and worked as a Mobile Therapist for a community treatment team at Valley Health Care System. She relocated to Pittsburgh in August 2014 to pursue her doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Chatham University, and is currently in her second year. Her previous doctoral internship experience was at UPMC Department of Neurosurgery, where she administered neuropsychological evaluations to patients who underwent neurosurgical intervention. Lauren's dissertation topic focuses on well-being in student-athletes. She is passionate about holistic treatment that helps others reach optimal mental, physical, and spiritual health. She plans to specialize in neuropsychology upon graduating.
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.
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.
Kiera Mooney, BSBA - Alcohol Education Grant Specialist
Kiera is the Alcohol Education Grant Specialist in the Counseling Center. She is employed under the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Grant to help reduce the number of alcohol related incidents on campus. Her main responsibilities include programming campus-wide events aimed at specialized populations and working with local high schools to improve alcohol education and awareness. Kiera completed her undergraduate degree at Robert Morris University in Business Management and Legal Studies and she is currently working towards her masters in Internet Information Systems.
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. Her training is being generously donated by acclaimed local trainer, Elissa Weimer, of Paw & Order Dog Training.