Faculty & Staff
Clinical Coordinator: Marc Showalter
Marc Showalter currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education at the University of Mississippi. He has spent the previous twenty plus years as a counselor and administrator working with college students and their families. He has taught students from preschoolers to graduate students and has presented workshops on a variety of topics. His area of interests includes a focus on developing the counseling relationship as well as the personal experience of the counselor during the counseling process.
Counselor Education Program Coordinator: Suzanne Dugger, Ed.D., NCC, ACS, LPC (Michigan)
Dr. Dugger is a Professor and the Program Coordinator of Counselor Education at the University of Mississippi. Her experience includes 5 years of experience as a school counselor, 3 years as a college counselor, 7 years in private practice, and 25 years as a counselor educator. She is licensed as a professional counselor in Michigan and as a school counselor both in Michigan and Mississippi. Her teaching and research interests include career counseling, counseling children, school counseling, the counseling process, diagnosis and treatment planning, and doctoral education. Her clinical interests include helping people manage depression, assisting LGBT clients, engaging in career counseling, and providing play therapy.
Counselor Education Faculty: Alex Kerwin, Ph.D., NCC, LPC (Idaho)
Dr. Kerwin is currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi within the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education. Dr. Kerwin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Idaho and has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and refugees. She currently serves as the Chapter Faculty Advisor for the Chi Sigma Iota honor society. Dr. Kerwin’s research interests include social justice in counseling, professional identity, and counselor education.
Counselor Education Faculty: Mandy Perryman, Ph.D.
Dr. Perryman is currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi within the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education. Dr. Perryman has experience counseling children, adolescents and adults and providing play therapy. Her teaching and research interests include the family’s role in childhood obesity, eating disorders and disordered eating, and compassion fatigue and self-care among mental health professionals.
Counselor Education Faculty: Amanda Winburn, Ph.D., NCC
Dr. Winburn is currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi within the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education. Dr. Winburn has over a decade of experience working with children in various settings. Dr. Winburn is a licensed educator, school counselor, and administrator. She currently serves at the Assessment Coordinator and teaches courses within the School Counseling specialty area. Dr. Winburn also has a strong area of interest in Play Therapy. Over the last 5 years, she has been actively involved in play therapy at the University of Mississippi both at the clinical setting as well as actively conducting research within the field. Other research interests include school counseling and bullying.
Doctoral Fellow: Jennifer Austin-Main, LPC, RPT
Jennifer is a licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist. She is a first year doctoral student in Counselor Education and currently works at COPE. She actively uses her trained therapy dog in the treatment of emotional and behavioral issues with children in Child-Centered Canine Assisted Play Therapy. She has raised and trained two certified therapy dogs and is working with her new dog, Rook, towards his therapy dog certification. She has presented at local and national conferences on Play Therapy and Canine Assisted Play Therapy and she was the Secretary for South Georgia Association for Play Therapy for six years. Jennifer is an advocate for using animal assisted therapy and play therapy. She has integrated a trained therapy dog into the play therapy process and is passionate about advancing this field through writing, research and presentations.
Therapy Dog: Rook, CGC, AKC
Rook is a one year old Shetland Sheepdog and Jennifer’s co-therapist. Rook has achieved the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title with the American Kennel Club. He excels in rally/obedience and therapy dog work. He is a gorgeous dog with a delightful temperament, which is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. He enjoys working with children by providing love, support and encouragement. Jennifer and Rook work together to provide child-centered canine assisted play therapy at COPE.
Doctoral Fellow: James Strickland
James Strickland, LPC,NCC is a native of Brandon, MS. He graduated from Mississippi College with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and completed his Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi. James is currently a third year doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision. James has experience working with children, families and college students in outpatient and inpatient settings. He is interested in working with individuals who have experienced trauma and is interested in researching spirituality, social justice, trauma and interpersonal neurobiology.
Mental Health Counselor: Victoria DeBerry
Victoria DeBerry, is a second year Master’s student in the Leadership and Counselor Education program at the University of Mississippi. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the University of Memphis in 2012. She is currently a Mental Health Counseling Intern at COPE in Oxford, Mississippi. After obtaining her Master’s Degree, Victoria plans to further her education through the Doctoral Program to study Clinical Psychology, specializing in Child and Adolescent behaviors. Victoria’s interests include working with children and adolescents with socio-emotional development difficulties, children who have experienced abuse, as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Mental Health Counselor: Liria Frerer
Liria Frerer is a second year Master’s student in the Leadership and Counselor Education program at The University of Mississippi. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology from The University of Mississippi. She is currently a Mental Health Counseling Intern at COPE in Oxford, Mississippi. After obtaining her Master’s degree, Liria plans to further her education through the Educational Specialist Degree for Play Therapy to become a Registered Play Therapist. Her interests include working with children who are experiencing problems associated with grief, Post-Traumatic Stress, sexual abuse, and child-parent relationships.