Skip to main content

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.


Sarah Benkendorf, Advanced Clinical Intern

Sarah Benkendorf is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at Washington University in St. Louis. She’s excited to work with a folks on a wide range of things including sexuality, gender, LGBTQ identity, interpersonal and relationship issues, depression, anxiety, and life transitions. She feels her role as a therapist is to create a space where folks can tell and understand their own stories, figure out where they want their stories to go next, and start taking steps to get there. In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking, playing tabletop games with friends, and exploring all the awesome restaurants that St. Louis has to offer with her partner.


Emily Blumenthal, Advanced Clinical Intern

Emily Blumenthal  is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Upon graduation, she plans to become a licensed clinical social worker. Emily has many clinical interests including interpersonal and relationship issues, grief, depression, anxiety, and identity concerns. Emily’s clinical approach is centered on identifying the client’s strengths and collaboratively developing therapeutic goals. She hopes to create a warm and supportive environment where clients feel comfortable and empowered. In her free time, Emily loves to go hiking, travel, play with her dog, and spend time with friends.


Rachael Huck, Advanced Clinical Intern

Rachael is currently working toward her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Following graduation, she plans on becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. Rachael has a variety of clinical interests, including anxiety disorders, depression, trauma, emotion regulation, and mindfulness. She sees great value in person-centered and cognitive approaches. Rachael views the counselor­–client relationship as a collaboration in which the client can feel empowered to work on the goals that matter to them. During her occasional free time, Rachael loves cycling, rock climbing, trying new restaurants, IKEA browsing, and rewatching Parks and Rec (again).