Counseling & Wellness Services Staff
Our professional staff are available to answer questions, discuss wellness issues, one-on-one counseling or provide students with referral to campus and community resources.
Client Services Supervisor
Carla Benson has worked at EWU since August 2017. The favorite part of her job is talking with students. She loves getting weird memes from her kids, figuring out which video games her cat likes to watch, and listening to music.
Cole Evers, M.S. Psychological Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Photo and information coming soon
Health Education Coordinator
Laura has a Bachelor's of Science in Community Health Education and a Masters of Public Health from Eastern Washington University. After completing her bachelors degree she spent several years as a health educator in Spokane County for a non-profit. Within this position, Laura gained valuable experience instructing community-based health education including tobacco cessation, parenting classes, CPR, first aid, employee wellness, health coaching, and outreach to low-income and underserved populations. She has competed and placed top five in five NPC fitness competitions, husband and her met at EWU while both were students, mother to three, and thinks peanut butter is the greatest thing ever.
Tricia's path to her dream job as the Director of Health, Wellness, and Prevention Services at EWU began with stints in public health and K-12 education. Through these experiences, she designed health communication strategies, implemented evidence-based prevention and environmental programs, facilitated community processes and collaborations, provided professional development, and worked to radiate possibility and positivity. She will try most things once, which places her in fun experiences such as dance-offs and dunk tanks and highlights her sense of humor. She is a self-proclaimed coffee-aholic and dark chocolate connoisseur, who is passionate about physical activity and can be found outside with her family bike riding, skiing, hiking, golfing, or paddling. Tricia is a commissioner on the Cheney Park and Recreation Board and serves as a board member for the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council.
Rán Henry, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, Coordinator of Biofeedback Services
Rán was born and raised in Iceland, with a part time stint in Scotland. She came to the US as an international student and completed her graduate studies in counseling psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 2008. She has been a full-time clinician with Eastern since 2013. Rán's clinical interests include anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, biofeedback and mindfulness. She draws from humanistic, solution-focused, mindfulness and acceptance based approaches to the therapeutic process.
She feels deeply honored to journey along-side students, as they navigate life's many challenges, and is committed to showing-up for and empowering her fellow humans, while staying curious and humble in the process.
Rán loves hanging out with her family (which includes, her husband, two sons, daughter, and Golden Retriever, Charlie), traveling and being in the outdoors, whether that's finding new trails to explore, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming in random lakes, gardening, or just watching the clouds float by. She aspires to pick up her passion for the arts again, some day.
Robert Henry, D.O.
Dr. Henry has been with the Counseling Center for the past 13 years. He starting working in the Spokane area after graduating from the University of Washington residency program in psychiatry.
Dr. Henry really enjoys working with the student population. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and sailing.
Marissa Jenks-Barajas, M.S.W.
Photo and information coming soon
Michael McClung, M.S.
Psychological Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Michael joined the EWU Counseling and Wellness team in 2022. He began his career in the helping professions working in the substance use treatment field in 2011. He went on to earn his master’s degree in applied psychology from EWU in 2015 and then worked as a counselor in community health. In therapy, Michael works from person-centered and existential approaches – meeting clients where they are at and helping them find their own adaptive and meaningful strategies to take on the challenges of life. He is also both personally and professionally interested in wellness and positive psychology. Michael enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music, playing guitar and drums, cooking, reading, playing pickleball, and getting outside as much as possible.
Michael Ochi, Psy.D.
Psychological Counselor, Coordinator of Outreach Services
Michael has his Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology and has worked at EWU since 2018. He focuses on individual and systemic factors to collaboratively help clients understand what's currently impacting their lives and learn ways to create meaningful change. Some activities that Michael enjoys, during is free time, include bonsai and gardening, being outdoors, playing games, and spending time with his family.
Lisa Olson, M.S.
Clinical Supervisor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (she/her/hers)
Lisa has a long history at EWU having received her graduate degree from Eastern in Applied Psychology. She has worked in the counseling center since 2005 and assumed a variety of roles. Over the course of her tenure, she worked to promote bystander intervention for power based personal violence and served as the center's Outreach Coordinator for several years. She later transitioned to the role of Training Coordinator for master's level interns and now serves as the Clinical Supervisor of counseling services and staff. Lisa very much enjoys counseling with students in creative studies or pursuits, having had a former career as a professional singer many years ago. When not working, she is often listening to music (on vinyl if possible), attending live performances, and singing for enjoyment. Lisa appreciates the opportunity to support students to increase self-understanding and to find unique and meaningful ways to express themselves.
Melinda Ovnicek, M.S.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Groups Coordinator
Melinda graduated from Eastern Washington University with her Masters in Clinical Psychology. Melinda returned to Eastern Washington Universities Counseling & Psychological Services in the fall of 2007 as a full-time counselor.
Melinda's areas of specialty include treating attachment disorders, trauma focused therapy, and parent education. In addition, Melinda enjoys providing consultation and supervision for therapists who want to grow similar areas of specialty. In her free time Melinda enjoys being outdoors. Some of the activities her and her family enjoy include backpacking, hiking, surfing, skiing, gardening and mountain bike riding.
Patient Services Representative
Photo and information coming soon
Erika Wiggins-Tate, M.A.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Coordinator of Case Management
Erika has worked at EWU since January, 2018, uses she/her/hers pronouns and is a former Eagle herself! Her favorite part about being a counselor at Eastern is when a student leaves a counseling session feeling seen and understood.
Erika loves spending time with her wife and kids, traveling in their RV as a family, listening to music or audio books, watching football and going on an occasional run so that she can eat more of her favorite foods like tacos, pho, and Qdoba queso. She hopes to have the ability to visit her bucketlist destinations in Paris, New Zealand, and Rio de Janeiro, and aspires one day to be an author.
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