Our Team

Student Wellness Services strives to enhance the mental health of students, foster student success, and contribute to a safer, welcoming, and inclusive campus community. Our team of counsellors utilize collaborative approaches that explore a wide range of mental health concerns. We value working with students to co-identify ideas and strategies that work for each person.

Mental Health Team

At Student Wellness Services, we recognize and welcome diversity of racial, ethnic, national, and cultural backgrounds, sexual/affectional orientation, gender, mental and physical abilities, language, class, age, religion/spiritual beliefs, as well as other types of diversity. We acknowledge we work on the traditional territory of Treaty 7, named by the Blackfoot people as Moh'kins'tsis, and attempt to use anti-colonial, trauma-informed approaches when providing mental health care.

Professional Affiliations:

Canadian Association of College and University Student Services

Alberta Post-Secondary Counsellors’ Association

Our Counselling Team

Pronouns: he/him/his
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

My name is Alex Klassen and I’m a Registered Social Worker with a Bachelor and Master of Social Work (Clinical Specialization).  In my counselling practice I hold the belief, “the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem” (Michael White).  From this perspective, I use a variety of approaches that help me and the students I work with collaborate to better understand the problem, where it comes from, how it shows up, how it’s connected to environment/culture, and what to do about it.  While I’m happy to team up and explore any concern, my specific interests include self-worth, addiction/dependency, relationships, and healing from trauma.

When I’m not in appointments, you can find me facilitating workshops on campus focused on mindfulness, self-compassion, and harm reduction.  When I’m not at work, I’m usually cooking, making music with friends, or hanging out with my partner and our dog.

Professional Affiliations

Alberta College of Social Workers
Canadian Association of Social Workers

Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Sessional Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Tansi, Hello! My name is Alyjah Ermine Neil and I am an Indigiqueer & Two-Spirit human. I am Cree-Metis. My father was Cree from Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan and my mother is Metis from southern Alberta. Due to colonization much of my connections to my Metis family have been lost at this time. I have spent the last several years finding my Cree family members, connecting to them, and learning how to practice my culture in a good way. I was born and raised in Moh'kins'tsis, Treaty 7 Territory, which is where I still reside with my family.

I am a Registered Social Worker with a Master of Clinical Social Work from the University of Calgary. I completed my Diploma of Social Work at Mount Royal University and my Bachelor of Social Work at the U of C as well. I believe in trauma-informed, collaborative, holistic approaches to wellness that incorporate cultural practices. As someone who has been colonized and disconnected I realize the intensity the journey of cultural reconnection can hold. I believe in the power of story; I do not have a right to your story but through relationship I hope that we can find space to hold your stories as you need. Being a Two-spirit person influences my work deeply. As someone who has been asked to walk both worlds I am humbled and take this responsibility seriously. I am passionate about working with Indigenous and Indigiqueer students to find a way to navigate the institutions and succeed in academia in a good way.

When I am not on campus I spend most of my time with my Cree family, participating in ceremonies, and being an outdoor adventurer! I may own a 1990’s motorhome.

Professional Affiliations

Alberta College of Social Workers
Canadian Association of Social Work Education

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Senior Counsellor (Professorial)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hello! My name is Anna-Lisa Ciccocioppo. I’m a Registered Psychologist with a PhD in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta. My primary focus throughout my career has been on supporting post-secondary students’ mental health, taking into account their personal, career, and academic concerns from a whole person perspective. I believe that students are tremendously resourceful and have many strengths, and I strive to work with students in a collaborative way to achieve their goals while being mindful of the role of social location (both mine and that of the student). I draw from a number of perspectives to support students to facilitate the change process. I would describe myself as a generalist, while taking particular interest in anxiety, depression, social anxiety, career decision making, and academic success.

In addition to my counselling role, I also serve as the Training Coordinator in Student Wellness Services and am an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Werklund School of Education and relish the opportunity to support students who are entering the counselling profession.

In my free time, I enjoy various physical activities such as playing tennis, squash and running, listening to music, reading, and knitting.

Professional Affiliations

College of Alberta Psychologists
Psychologists’ Association of Alberta

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hello! My name is Danni Lei and I’m a Registered Psychologist with a Master of Science Degree in Counselling Psychology. Within my counselling practice, I step towards holding curiosity to collaboratively exploring life’s challenges and experiences. I embrace a variety of approaches that centre on people’s resources, knowledge, and stories, while also recognizing how lives are often deeply embedded within environmental, societal and cultural contexts. My specific clinical interests include anxiety, family dynamics, racialized experiences, adjustment/transition of international students, self-compassion, and trauma.

Outside of work, you’ll often find me out walking with my partner and our dog, gardening, hiking in the mountains in the summer, and skating on lakes wherever I can in the winter. In all seasons, I enjoy exploring delicious food, watching the Food Network, and trying new recipes in the kitchen.

Professional Affiliations 

College of Alberta Psychologists
Psychologists’ Association of Alberta
Canadian Psychological Association

Pronouns: he/him/his
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

My name is Edwin Morales and I’m a Registered Social Worker with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Social Work, and a Master of Social Work (Clinical Specialization). All my post-secondary education was completed here at the University of Calgary. In my counselling work my hope is to help clients learn new skills that may include learning to zoom in or out their perspective, to have hope, and to collaboratively explore alternatives. I am passionate about the intersectionality of clients based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation to name a few. I am competent at working within several counselling modalities. I am comfortable working with any topic, but I am passionate about working with clients on their self-esteem, social skills, relationship challenges/boundaries, and managing their focus, thoughts, and feelings. My other interests include working with clients who face ADHD, OCD, and Dyslexia.

Outside of my counselling work my partner and I love hiking, spending time with our dog and with family and friends.

Professional Affiliations

Alberta College of Social Workers

Pronouns: he/him/his
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hello, my name is Gabriel Zamudio and I’m a Registered Psychologist with my Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology. I’m originally from Monterrey, Mexico, and got my graduate education in the United States prior to coming to Calgary. My way of approaching counseling is from a collaborative standpoint, coming to understand where you’re coming from and how we can work together to find solutions or acceptance to the issues life can provide that work specifically for you and your particular situation. I primarily work from a Solution-Focused Therapy lens and can expand or use other modalities as needed in our work.

Outside of work, I enjoy playing videogames, exploring new hiking trails, and learning new cooking skills or tricks. I’m also very much interested in new electronics and technology and how they make our life easier.

Professional Affiliations 

College of Alberta Psychologists

Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hey, I’m Gio Dolcecore and I am a Registered Social Worker with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the University of Calgary. I use a variety of collaborative approaches to ensure students have multiple opportunities to work through concerns. These are nurtured in trauma and violence informed care, person centered, and sensitive to diversity and culture. My clinical interests include relationships, sex, attachment, gender and sexual identities, racialized experiences, identity concerns, and any story students are willing to share with me.

If I’m not at Student Wellness Services, you can find me around campus at Queers on Campus, the Faculty of Social Work, or the Rec Centre cheering at a Dino’s Game! When I’m not working, I’m either at a CrossFit box, out in the mountains, or finding the next best place to grab food in and around YYC.

Professional Affiliations

Alberta College of Social Workers
Canadian Association of Social Workers
Canadian Marriage and Family Therapist
American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors and Therapists

Pronouns: he/him/his
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

My name is Jeff Vander Werf and I’m a Registered Psychologist with a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology specializing in Counselling Psychology. When I’m not working one on one, I am facilitating workshops and groups on test anxiety or procrastination & motivation in my role as our Academic Success Coordinator. Every time I have met with a student, I have found something to appreciate, admire and respect. I focus on collaboratively finding strengths to make changes in emotions, thoughts and behaviours based on client determined goals.

When I’m not working, I’m listening to music, reading, watching movies, out walking or shopping at a local record store.

Professional Affiliations 

College of Alberta Psychologists
Psychologists’ Association of Alberta

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Counsellor (Professorial)
Associate Director (Counselling)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hi! I’m Jennifer Thannhauser and I’m a Registered Psychologist with a PhD from UCalgary in Counselling Psychology. As human beings, we all have unique stories embedded within diverse contexts. I look to understand the stories we are told, and the stories we tell ourselves/others, as we strive to make sense out of our experiences. I use multiple lenses to approach counselling with the goal of meeting each of you where you’re at and collaborating toward change that is meaningful for you. I specialize in post-secondary mental health, which means I support students with a wide range of concerns. A few areas of interest are wellness & resilience, anxiety, relationships, loss, and living with a medical condition.

You might run into me outside of Student Wellness Services at various events/programs on campus or working up a sweat on the track in Kines. During evenings/weekends, you’re likely to find me outdoors (running, cycling, hiking) - training for my next race, cooking, or walking my dog.

Professional Affiliations

College of Alberta Psychologists
Psychologists’ Association of Alberta

Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hi there. I’m Julie. I am a grateful visitor to Treaty 7 Territory, and I have completed undergraduate degrees in English and Secondary Education, and master’s degrees in English and Social Work (Clinical Specialization). I practice from a post-modern perspective using tools from Narrative Therapy and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy models. This means I am interested in people as experts in their own lives and taking a non-blaming approach to collaborating with them to respond to the problems they are up against.

I have worked with a post-secondary population for most of my career because I appreciate the excitement, possibility, and particular challenges of this phase of life. While I’m happy to join you in conversation about any challenge you are facing, my particular clinical interests include grief and loss, gender and sexuality, and anxiety. I strive to be intersectional in my practice, and work from an anti-racist, gender-inclusive, weight-neutral, trauma-informed stance. 

Outside of work, you can find me enjoying Calgary’s bike paths, reading, singing, and making art.

Professional Affiliations  

Alberta College of Social Workers
British Columbia College of Social Workers
Canadian Association of Social Workers
Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hello! I’m Kaitlin van Geel, and I am a Registered Psychologist with a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology. My passion for counselling developed during my work as a teacher, as I found myself drawn to helping students with emotional and interpersonal concerns. I believe that each client has unique strengths, and my aim is to incorporate these strengths into the therapy process. While I am keen to work with clients on any problems that I can help with, I am particularly interested in anxiety, depression, relationship loss/decision making, motivation, loneliness, academic difficulties, and career-related concerns. I also enjoy co-facilitating workshops and groups on topics such as social anxiety and anger management.

Outside of work, I enjoy going for walks in Fish Creek Park, spending time with family and friends, and reading. I am also looking forward to being able to travel again!

Counsellor (Instructor)

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

Hujambo- How is it with you?
I’m a Registered Psychologist in Alberta. I hold a PhD in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary.

In my practice, I seek to meet people where they are at. I ground my work in the belief that people can and want to change and my role as therapist is to help them figure out how to achieve the change they desire. I come from a culture rich in story-telling and enjoy hearing my clients’ stories. I pay attention to the context of their lives and it’s bearing on their wellness or lack thereof. I greatly enjoy my work. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, gardening, cooking food from different cultures, people and places.

Professional Affiliations

College of Alberta Psychologists
Psychologists’ Association of Alberta

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Sessional Counsellor

Clinical/Counselling Interests:

My name is Stephanie Foster. I am a Registered Psychologist and have been practicing since 2006.  Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with children and families. This gave me the chance to learn how human beings develop across the lifespan, and how then impacts on now. These experiences gave me a passion for working with post-secondary students and adults, helping them to become the best version of themselves. I draw from many theoretical perspectives, but ultimately, each therapy is as unique as each person. My priority is on establishing an atmosphere of safety, while collaborating on the focus of our therapeutic work. My specific clinical interests include depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, and imposter syndrome.

In my spare time, I am often searching for the perfect cup of coffee.

Professional Affiliations:

College of Alberta Psychologists
Psychologists Association of Alberta

Our Student Support Team

Pronouns: he/him/his
Manager, Student Wellness Support

Hello! My name is Kevin Wiens and I am a Registered Social Worker, and my role with Student Wellness Services is Manager, Student Wellness Support. I am passionate about supporting university students as they navigate through a critical point in their lives and to work collaboratively on improving overall wellness and identifying strategies that work for each student. In the context of my role this includes ensuring that we have a breadth of services and supports available to students, and implementing system changes to best meet the needs of our campus community. 

Outside of the office I can be found cycling around the city, out in the mountains, cooking, or relaxing with a new book.  

Professional Affiliations  

Alberta College of Social Workers
Canadian Association of Social Workers

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Student Support Case Management Coordinator

Good day! My name is Kome Odoko. I am a Registered Nurse and coordinate the Student at Risk program here at the University of Calgary. We respond to wellbeing/safety concerns about students and are available to help other students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral scholars in responding to concerns about a student. I am passionate about working with our partners, on and off campus, to increase levels of flourishing and resiliency in our community. I also facilitate trainings on suicide intervention, intersectionality, motivation/procrastination, and healthy thinking.

Outside of work, I enjoy watching Asian dramas, dreaming of churros, dissecting social media with my community, and planning my next beach adventure.

Professional Affiliations:

College and Association of Registered Nurses

Pronouns: They/them/theirs
Indigenous Student Support Advisor

Hello folks! My name is Mackenzie Beaupre, and I am Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer. I was born in Moh’kins’tsis and lived in Nova Scotia for 7 years, before moving back. My nation is located at the mouth of the Conne River of Newfoundland. I am Mi’kmaq, French and Irish. Unfortunately, I did not grow up learning much about my Indigenous culture and continue to learn about my culture to this day. I am planning a trip to visit my nation for the first time in non-COVID times and cannot wait for that day to come. As a queer Indigenous person myself, I am passionate in working with Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ communities in my social work practice.

I aim to work from a strength-based, trauma-informed, and non-judgmental lens. I want to embrace Indigenous ways of knowing and always use an intersectional lens. When considering our own social location/context, we can see how these factors impact who we are and how we experience the world. I am so excited to help support Indigenous students through their university experience.

Outside of work, I enjoy watching Korean dramas, watching anime, reading manga, traveling, scrapbooking, being in nature, and hanging out with my friends.

Professional Affiliations:

Alberta College of Social Workers

Pronouns: She/Her
Harm Reduction Support Advisor

Hello! My name is Yasmeen Nosshi, and I am the Harm Reduction Support Advisor. I am a registered social worker, and also have a Master of Counselling Psychology. I wear many hats in this role, including meeting with students who have identified challenges with substances or addictive behaviour, facilitate workshops, promote safer substance use, and helped to develop the UCalgary Recovery Community. My work philosophy is guided by the notion that every behaviour is to meet a need, and I work with students to help identify what that need is.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, camping in the summer, travelling, ruling supreme in music trivia, and obsessing over my dog Niles.

Professional Affiliations:

Alberta College of Social Workers

Pronouns: She/Her
Neurodiversity Student Support Advisor

Hello! My name is Kirstin Kot and I am part of the Student Support Advising Team. My role is to support neurodivergent students through supportive conversations/check-ins, coping strategies/goal setting, and assisting students with accessing appropriate services and resources. Some students that I work with may or may not identify as having ADHD or Autism. I also work with students who are looking to explore their identity around neurodiversity.

Some of my interests outside of work include collecting houseplants, travelling, watching Avant Garde makeup shows, and spending time with my 3 cats – Dora, Luna, and Bean.

Professional Affiliations:

Alberta College of Social Workers

Pronouns: She/Her
Student Support Advisor

Hi! My name is Megan MacKay, I am a registered social worker and a student support advisor with Student Wellness Services. I received a Bachelor in Communication in Journalism from Mount Royal University in 2017, and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary in 2019. My entire life, I have been very interested in exploring people’s stories and very curious about how we interact with the world around us.

My primary responsibility in this role is to provide coordinated care support to students accessing mental health services through the university. This can look like everything from regular, supportive check-ins, to working on goal-setting and accountability, to helping students navigate systems to access the supports and resources that are right for them. I also work on the prevention and early intervention side of things by facilitating training to the campus community on topics like mental health literacy, suicide prevention, and helping skills. I am very passionate about helping to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention and about improving our capacity as a community to respond to mental health concerns and take care of one another. My favourite part of my job is working with our student volunteers to coordinate the Peer Listening program. I am a big believer in peer support and its critical role in the overall umbrella of mental health services. I especially like how it helps break down power differentials that can often be present in a formal helping relationship.

When I’m not at work, my favourite thing in the entire world to do is trail running. I also love hiking, music festivals, playing softball with my friends, traveling, and listening to podcasts (Reply All and Heavyweight, especially).

Professional Affiliations:

Alberta College of Social Workers