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Meet the Staff

chris sullivan

Christopher Sullivan, Ph.D.; LPC; Director for Health, Counseling, and Disability Access Services

As the Clinical Director for Counseling Services, Dr.Chris Sullivan is the chief mental health officer on campus. He has over 20 years of experience working with college students and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri. He completed his doctorate in counseling at UMSL, with an emphasis in multicultural counseling. His clinical work emphasizes a holistic approach to mental health, based in a strengths-oriented perspective focused on well being and healing, while taking into consideration the impact of culture, relationships, and the need for social justice in society. A proud native son of west-central Wisconsin, he loves spending time with his family, squeaky cheese curds, and getting (kind of) lost in the woods. And, yes, he does miss cold winters.

laura holt

Laura Holt, Ph.D.; Licensed Psychologist and Outreach Coordinator

Dr. Laura Holt completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology at Indiana University and has worked in college counseling centers at IU, Ivy Tech Community College, Virginia Tech, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  In addition to working with college students, her research and clinical interests include gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ issues; interpersonal relationships; emotional regulation; social justice; and distress tolerance.  Laura’s theoretical style is warm, genuine, and often funny; she feels her role is to assist the client in exploring their clinical goals, making meaning of their lives, learning new skills, and overcoming obstacles to change.  In addition to her roles as staff psychologist and outreach coordinator, Laura is a stand-up/improv comic, runner, and lifelong fan of comic books, video games, and science-fiction/fantasy.  She also has very strong and correct opinions about many different types of food.  

karen munken

Karen Munkel, MSW, LCSW; Staff Therapist

Karen Munkel received her Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.  She enjoys working with a wide variety of people and issues that include sexuality, gender, LGBTQ  issues, interpersonal and relationship issues, issues with identity or spirituality, trauma, grief, depression and anxiety.  She is invested in a holistic clinical approach that incorporates using existing strengths as well as encouraging new ideas to move towards a greater sense of well-being and personal fulfillment.  In counseling, Karen hopes to create a warm and supportive atmosphere to allow collaboration in working towards the client’s goals.  She enjoys open expression about the therapy process and valuing clients as leaders in the change process.  She is a St. Louis native who has done extensive traveling, spending time living in Europe and the Caribbean, and loves to travel any chance she can get.  Karen has a background in theatre, having worked as a Stage Manager in New York City and is a believer in putting art, inspiration and expression into our everyday lives in whatever form it takes. 

mindy stratmann sebol

Mindy Stratmann-Sebol, MA, LPC; Crisis Counselor and Victim Advocate

Mindy Stratmann-Sebol received her Masters degree in Professional Counseling from McKendree University and is a Licensed
Professional Counselor in Missouri.  She works for UMSL Counseling Services as a crisis counselor, victim advocate, and case manager.  Mindy worked for many years with women experiencing homelessness, as well as serving as an administrator for a sexual assault victims’ care unit.  She has many clinical interests which include trauma, gender and LGBTQ issues, interpersonal relationships, and the goal of making UMSL a sexual assault-free campus.  When counseling survivors of trauma, Mindy’s role is to provide a safe, supportive environment in which they feel heard and respected so they can discover their strength as they heal and grow.  In addition, her knowledge of resources and experience in advocating for assault and abuse survivors’ needs allows her to help students navigate the healing and rebuilding process.  Her counseling style is client-centered and reflects the client’s immediate needs for their stage in their change.  As a mother to a young daughter, Mindy has a firsthand understanding of the demands of parenthood, but when she and her husband do get free time they spend it with friends and family, sleeping through FRIENDS reruns, and plotting how to move the beach closer to St. Louis.

erin vasconcelles

Erin Vasconcelles, Ph.D.; Licensed Psychologist and Training Coordinator

Dr. Erin Vasconcelles received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University and is a Licensed Psychologist in Missouri. She has worked in a number of university counseling centers over the last 10+ years and has been at UMSL since 2010. Erin has a number of clinical interests including the treatment of anxiety and depression, interpersonal relationships and identity related concerns. She also has significant training and interest in sport psychology and performance-related concerns. Erin’s clinical approach is best described as warm, client-centered and strengths based. She sees her role as a therapist as assisting her clients as they identify their therapeutic goals, explore the cultural and relational contexts which shape their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and values and learn skills that will support the process of change. In addition to providing individual therapy, Erin also serves as Training Coordinator for the training program for advanced graduate students and provides individual and group supervision. In her free time, Erin is an avid sports fan and can be found rooting on her beloved St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers. She is passionate about growing orchids and enjoys spending time with her family, friends and furry children.

erin vasconcelles

Kiarra Charles, Advanced Graduate Intern

Kiarra Charles is a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has worked at the Kathy Weinman Children’s Advocacy Center for more than three years as the lead Data Entry Assistant. Through her work at the non-profit children’s center she has enhanced her passion for serving marginalized communities within the metropolitan area. As an East St. Louis native Kiarra is very interested in the impacts of social class and poverty, culture and systemic influences on human development and well-being. Her therapeutic work thus far has dealt with intimate relationships, academia, sociocultural concerns, developmental disabilities, LGBTQ+ topics as well as significant life transitions. Kiarra tends to approach counseling with a relational lens that emphasizes the powerful ways in which social influences impact the lives of all human beings and manifests through our emotional and behavioral responses. Her clients can expect a non-judgmental, open and compassionate counseling environment where directions of therapy are dictated by those who know best, the clients! When Kiarra is not in class, at work or counseling, she is usually hanging with family, eating delicious soul food, and catching up on some reality TV shows (a guilty pleasure of hers). 

erin vasconcelles

Emily Kothe, Advanced Graduate Intern

Emily K. Kothe is a graduate student at the University of Missouri – St. Louis studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Emily became interested in pursuing counseling through the lens of social justice she developed while participating in activist causes in St. Louis. Throughout her time in school, she has developed and expanded her interests to include access to counseling, work with marginalized communities, group counseling for women and LGBTQ folks, queer couples counseling, and trauma-informed approaches in therapy. Emily believes in the transformative power of an authentic therapeutic relationship and emphases a holistic approach which integrates mind, body, relationships, and culture. In her free time, Emily participates in the feminist, theatrical, philanthropic organization the St. Louis Lady Arm Wrestlers and also serves as a co-leader in the organization Sex Positive St. Louis, which organizes educational and social events covering a wide range of sexuality topics. Emily lives with her partner, sister, one dog, and two cats in a two-story brick in St. Louis City and loves learning to move through the constant beauty and pain of this city. Emily is excited to serve the UMSL community over the next school year.

erin vasconcelles

Alejandra Martinez, Advanced Graduate Intern

Alejandra Martinez is currently completing a Masters in Social Work with a Mental Health concentration at Washington University in St. Louis.  She has previously worked with first-generation college students as a student advisor at Georgetown University, and thoroughly enjoys working with students as they navigate through their personal journey. Alejandra’s interest in mental health originates from the belief that representation is important, particularly in healing professions, and that a multicultural, diverse and social justice lens is crucial in promoting inclusion and growth, both within the self and as a community. In addition to working with college students, Alejandra’s clinical interests include working with communities of color and LGBTQ communities, issues of gender and sexuality, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, anxiety, mood disorders, and personality disorders.  Alejandra’s therapeutic style is warm and genuine, and she firmly believes in the power that individuals hold as agents of change in their own lives. She is collaborative by nature and brings this approach into therapy, viewing herself and her clients as a team working together towards their goals. Alejandra is a Los Angeles native, but spent 8 wonderful years in DC so considers herself an East Coaster at heart. Here in St. Louis, Alejandra enjoys spending time painting, cooking, trying new foods, and enjoying her friends and family.