Rhonda McKinney, M.S., LMFT
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
I received my Master’s degree in community counseling from The College of William and Mary and my Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Brigham Young University. Before coming to CWU, I spent five years working at a university counseling center in Georgia and was licensed as a Psychologist there. I enjoy the interaction with students and the variety of clinical, outreach and consultation work that occurs in counseling centers. I love living in Ellensburg! Having grown up in the mountains, I have missed them and am glad to be back in a place that is so beautiful and has so many outdoor activities.
Chelsea Buffum, MS, LMHCA
I received my undergraduate degree in Sociology from Whitworth University, and completed my Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling at CWU. I was a graduate assistant/intern for the counseling clinic during graduate school where I found working with college students to be particularly rewarding. Before working for the counseling clinic, I was a counselor for a residential treatment center for eating disorders in Bellevue, and I have also provided counseling for nursing/rehabilitative residents with chronic mental illness. Although born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, I have come to call Washington home and am proud to live and work in the Pacific Northwest.
Post Doctoral Resident, Clinical Psychology
I am Arab-American and grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, I began my career as a high school teacher, then changed my mind and went back to my passion of understanding and working with people from a psychological perspective. I recently completed my doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Denver, and this will be my second year working as a counselor at the SMaCC. I have provided treatment and assessment in educational, forensic, medical, and private settings to clients of all ages; however, working with a college population has been most interesting and rewarding for me. I am dedicated to working with clients on a wide variety of issues, and am especially interested in anxiety, spirituality, diversity, and relationships. Other passions of mine include hiking and playing music.
Paul Reppas, MA
I am originally a Washingtonian. I did my first two years of undergraduate training at CWU and then finished up at Taylor University in Indiana, where I received my B.A. in Psychology. Currently, I am working toward my Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary which is located in Pasadena California. I am excited to be back in the Cascades for this year of practice, as I missed the adventures they often provide (hiking, skiing, and tubing especially). I also enjoy reading, making music (solo guitar), engaging in philosophical musings, and being politically active. I approach counseling as a "guide who follows." I believe that you are the only expert of you, and therefore I see my job as simply pointing out mileposts, warning signs, and destinations. Therapy is a collaborative process of understanding and then deepening the narrative of your life.
Zhao, Xin 趙新, M.S.
Hello! I am a doctoral intern for the duration of 2015-2016 at CWU Counseling Clinic. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech, and is in the process of finishing my Ph.D. in combined (Counseling, Clinical and School) psychology from Utah State University. I have worked in a variety of treatment settings including university counseling center, community counseling centers and residential eating disorder clinic. I enjoy working with students coming from diverse backgrounds. In my spare time, I like to participate in sports and outdoor activities.
Lauren K. Palazzolo, M.A., M.S.
Hello! I am working on my Psy.D. degree in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, MD. I was born and raised in the metro-Detroit area of Michigan, where I earned a B.A. in Psychology at University of Michigan and a M.A. in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology at the Center for Humanistic Studies. I have worked in a variety of settings including outpatient community mental health agencies, a university counseling center, and an inpatient psychiatric state hospital. I especially enjoy working with emerging and young adults who are facing mental health difficulties in the midst of transitioning to adulthood. I believe in using respect, honesty, humor, and gentle challenges to make mental health therapy a positive and authentic experience. In my spare time, I enjoy journaling, practicing yoga and meditation, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and attending alpaca festivals!
Ana Gonzalez, BA
I received my BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Central Washington University in 2014. I am currently enrolled in the Masters program for Mental Health Counseling at Central and am the graduate assistant/intern at the counseling clinic. Prior to entering graduate school, I worked at Confluence Health (Wenatchee Valley Medical Center), under numerous titles but most recently as a Spanish interpreter. I was born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley. In my spare time I love to do hot yoga, watch football, attend hockey games, and catch up on quality time with my family and friends.