Counseling Center Team

Counselors Administrative Assistant Consultants Outreach Interns

Counseling Center Staff:

AnchorTammy B. Bringaze, Ph.D., NCC, LMHC

Tammy B. Bringaze, Ph.D., NCC, LMHC
Director and Counselor

Lammers Hall A106
413.572.5790
*tbringaze@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Lilly Whalen, Secondary Education, Class of 2018

Tammy became interested in counseling while attending Northeast Missouri State University, which is now known as Truman State. There she began her undergraduate studies as a political science/pre-law major.  During this time, Tammy had an opportunity to study abroad for two weeks in Japan which changed her worldview and career direction. Through this eye-opening opportunity she met Mrs. McKinney, who was the international student advisor. Tammy thought Mrs. McKinney had the coolest job ever and wanted to follow her footsteps. Because of Mrs. McKinney, Tammy ended up taking a counseling class, and she absolutely loved it. Tammy completed her degree in political science, but never looked back at law school and went on to get her Ph.D. in Counseling.

Tammy’s favorite part about working with WSU students is that every day is different.  She explains that students often share their personal stories with her and sometimes tell her things that they have never told anyone else, and she thinks that it is incredible to have such a privilege. Tammy also loves the WSU community.  She has seen that people truly care and try to do the right thing.  She also likes how involved the staff and students are with each other.

The most rewarding part of counseling for Tammy is when students come back and stop in or stay in touch after college; seeing students succeed makes her day.  If there was one thing Tammy wishes she would have known about mental well-being in college it would be the importance of finding a balance.  She explained that she was always focused on her school work, and felt guilty about taking breaks.  Tammy wants students to know it is okay to relax, to take a break, and have fun; although it may feel like it, life and happiness are not tied to getting a good grade.

Tammy believes it is important to practice what she preaches and enjoys lots of activities such as cross country skiing, kayaking, rollerblading, and singing with Rock Voices.  Tammy also enjoys spending time with her wife and two young children.

Professional Information:   

  • Received her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University
  • Received Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from Truman State University in Missouri Before WSC
  • Served as Director of University Counseling Services at Truman State University
  • Director at the Center for Marriage and Family Therapy at Saint Louis University
  • Worked with the Center for Survivors of War Torture and Trauma where she counseled torture survivors from Afghanistan and Bosnia
  • Published several articles and presented at numerous regional and national conferences in the area of diversity
  • Appointed to serve on a variety of national and regional committees, including: Prevention of Campus Violence Task Force through the MA Board of Higher, American Counseling Association Ethics Revision Task Force, and Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling

Suzanna Adams, M.A., NCC, LMHC

Suzanna Adams, M.A., NCC, LMHC
Associate Director and Counselor
Lammers Hall A104
413.572.5790
*scadams@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Marissa Cremin, Communications, Class of 2018

Suzanna began her journey to counseling when she was an undergraduate student studying psychology and she went on to get her Master’s in counseling in 1983. She has worked in a number of college counseling centers of which WSU’s is the fifth.  She began at WSU in 1995, at the inception of the Counseling Center.

Her favorite part about working with students on campus is the seasonal aspect of the job. It’s a semester-based process, and she explains that the natural ends and beginnings seem to help with problem solving. She believes that with the proper accommodations, students can excel to their greatest potential.

Suzanna describes the most rewarding part of counseling as seeing people grow after a struggle. She loves it when students are able to see after the work they have done, the growth they are experiencing in their lives. Suzanna wishes that when she was in college, mental health struggles weren’t so stigmatized. A lot of people were suffering, but it was hidden because people just didn’t understand.

Suzanna loves the beauty of Western Mass, and especially the beauty that can be found right on campus. She explains that she is lucky to be able to work at the same place as her husband who currently works on the academic side of the campus. In her free time, Suzanna enjoys singing in various classical music groups in the area. She also loves to bake, and regularly makes treats for Counseling Center staff to enjoy.

Professional Information:

  • Master’s in Counseling at Wheaton College (’83), Wheaton, Illinois
  • Co-created and coordinated an intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program for women in a community mental health agency
  • Specializes in trauma processing, utilizing EMDR, in which she has been trained and has practiced for close to 15 years
  •  Serves as a Disaster Mental Health Supervisor in the American Red Cross

Brian Cahillane, M.S.S.W., J.D., LICSW

Brian Cahillane, M.S.S.W., J.D., LICSW
Associate Director, Substance Abuse Specialist, and Counselor
Lammers Hall A105
413.572.5790
*bcahillane@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Marissa Cremin, Communications, Class of 2018

Brian’s first position in human services was at a treatment center for adolescent substance abusers. He specializes in substance abuse counseling and guiding substance abuse prevention efforts on campus.

Brian’s favorite thing about working with students on campus is that he is constantly surprised in a good way. He loves that Westfield is a place where you can make a difference. 

Brian wishes that in college he had known more about mental health issues. When he was in school, there was no counseling center. If someone were to exhibit signs of mental illness he and his fellow students would not have had the same resources to figure out how to recognize mental illness or how to help someone.

Brian is a foodie who loves to explore new restaurants. He also loves to travel and has served as instructor and staff for WSU J-terms to Morocco and Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Professional Information:

  • Employed by Westfield State University since 1993
  • Joined the newly created Counseling Center in Fall of 1995
  • WSU’s first Substance Abuse Specialist
  • Was elected and served as President of the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors 1995-1996
  • Served on the Governing Council of the American Counseling Association 1997-2000
  • Serves on the Human Rights Committees of two area human service agencies
  • Serves on the Board of Directors of Community Enterprises based in Northampton, MA

Julia Nedry, M.S.W., LICSW

Julia Nedry, M.S.W., LICSW
Outreach Counselor
Lammers Hall A102
413.572.5790
*jnedry@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Monique Desnoyers, English, Class of 2017

Julia knew she was interested in social work since her teenage years. Julia recalls staying up late talking with one of her best friends, dreaming up plans for how they would change high school, if it was up to them. This strong desire to use knowledge to improve things is what propelled Julia to find a career she loves in social work, outreach, and counseling.

Julia’s favorite part of working in the Counseling Center is that she gets to support students through a time that is full of changes, whether it be living away from home for the first time, finding new levels of independence, shifting relationships…there are so many changes that happen during college. She loves the chance to help students come up with their own decisions. It is gratifying for Julia to help students feel empowered. Witnessing students figuring out who they are, especially by overcoming a struggle, gives her hope.

In addition to counseling one-on-one, Julia truly loves her outreach work. As an Outreach Coordinator, she works towards expanding mental health education. Julia enjoys that her outreach allows her to work with the enthusiastic students at WSU.

When it comes to her free time, Julia likes lots of time with no plans – so she has the freedom to do what she really wants to do. She says that she can relax by simply spending time at home with her husband and adds that she enjoys eating a good meal – especially if she doesn’t have to cook it. Above all, Julia relaxes by going to yoga.

If she could give advice to herself back when she was in college, it would be to know that it is okay to take advantage of the Counseling Center, and it doesn’t take away your sense of being an independent adult – instead, it makes you feel more like a grown-up when you take the initiative to solve a problem or make something better. Julia adds that that no one has to go through difficult times alone.

Professional Information:

  • Bachelor’s in Social Psych from University of California, Irvine
  • Master’s of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in NYC
  • Joined the Counseling Center staff in November 2014 as WSU’s first Outreach Counselor
  • Supervises undergraduate-level interns from the social work, psychology, art, and communications departments
  • Advises student clubs: Active Minds, Westfield’s Revolution Against Campus Sexual Assault, and TMAYD (Tell Me About Your Day)

Brennden Ward, M.Ed

Brennden Ward, M.Ed
Counselor

Lammers Hall A103
413.572.5790
*bward@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Lilly Whalen, Secondary Education, Class of 2018

Brennden always knew he wanted to help others and have long-term relationships with those he helped, and counseling is the best way to do this. His favorite part about working with students is that he loves listening to people's stories and hearing about all the unique backgrounds students have.  Brennden is constantly amazed about how resilient the college population is during this complex time of transitions and change, and feels very proud to be a part of the WSU community helping students achieve their life goals. He finds it very rewarding to see how the help he gives students positively impacts their lives.

Brennden’s favorite part about Westfield is how at-home and comfortable he feels working in the Counseling Center.  He likes how well everyone gets along despite all their different counseling styles, and says the overarching feeling of community makes it really easy to go to work. In his spare time, Brennden enjoys participating in Crossfit due to his interest in Olympic weight lifting. Brennden also enjoys cooking and experimenting with different recipes whenever possible. Due to being fairly new to the East Coast, Brennden and his lovely girlfriend Lauren have been exploring New England and enjoying what this side of the country has to offer. A new and exciting addition in Brennden’s life is his Pitbull, Barley, who he loves like no other. He enjoys being active with her as much as possible. As a former Division II college baseball player, self-care and finding new hobbies to enjoy (now that his athletic days are over) is very important to him. Brennden is a true believer that being able to separate yourself from everyday life and taking some “me time” will help with stress and overall emotional well-being.

Brennden wished that when he was an undergraduate, he had known that counseling can happen in many different settings, and that it is not always clinical and formal.  As a black and Hispanic male in the counseling field, he has come to see this diversity as an asset. He explains that you should use your background and differences to your advantage and to not be afraid to seek out diverse groups because they can help you see things from a different perspective.

Professional Information:

  • BA in Psych from University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota
  • M.Ed in Athletic Counseling from Springfield College
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College
  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • Brennden played baseball on a scholarship during his undergrad, and previous counseling work includes supporting the student-athletes with individual counseling and team workshops

AnchorLisa Campbell

Lisa Campbell
Administrative Assistant
413.572.5790
*lcampbell@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Monique Desnoyers, English, Class of 2017

As the Administrative Assistant, Lisa is a helpful, friendly face welcoming all who come to the Counseling Center. Lisa’s favorite part about her job is being the first person people see when they come in, and so she gets to offer immediate help and comfort to them. Lisa loves the WSU community because the faculty and staff are extremely welcoming and willing to help students in any possible way.

To relax, Lisa tries her best to follow the Counseling Center’s motto of B.R.E.A.T.H.E. This involves things like trying to eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep, recording thoughts, exercising to relieve stress, assessing what is bothering you, thinking relaxing thoughts, and asking for help when needed. And she adds that it never hurts to eat some Hunka Chunka PB Fudge Friendly’s ice cream to reward yourself at the end of the week.

Lisa’s most rewarding experiences are when people feel comforted by her. She recalls a time when a student waited in her office rather than the waiting room because the student felt more comfortable waiting with her. The story comes as no surprise, since Lisa has a kind nature and is ready to help anyone who comes into the Counseling Center.

If she could now give herself advice while she was in college, Lisa would say that it is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is to take care of your physical health.

Professional Information:

  • Joined the WSU Counseling Center in October 2011
  • Worked for sixteen years in the legal field
  • Schedules the students with a counselor, psychiatrist, nutritionist, and/or peer relaxation coach

Kim Gage, NP
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

413.572.5790

Interviewed by Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann, Psychology, Class of 2018

Kim first became interested in counseling while she was working as a psychological assistant. There she met a psychiatric nurse who inspired her to pursue nursing. Kim began working at a family practice as a nurse practitioner, but said that psychology was her favorite subject of study. This led Kim into advanced nursing with a specialty in psychology.

Kim loves WSU because she thinks it is a wonderful school that offers a good variety of programs and caters to the needs of students. She particularly enjoys working with the students of WSU because she says working with younger people keeps her mind young.

When asked what her most rewarding work experience was, she replied, “There’s too many!” Kim is passionate about her job, and loves to see her clients improve as they reach their personal goals. She said it feels great to watch her clients grow through their healing process.

Kim wishes that in college she had known more about the mind-body connection because our brains and our bodies are constantly communicating with one another, affecting how we feel emotionally and physically. When we bring awareness to this connection it can help relieve stress, which college students tend to feel a lot of. Kim also wishes she had known there is no such thing as being “normal.”

When she isn’t working, Kim really enjoys gardening and reading.

Professional Information:

  • Received her nursing degree from Holyoke Community College
  • Received her B.S. and M.S. in Nursing from UMass
  • Completed post-graduate work at Missouri University
  • Expert in PTSD and schizophrenia

Andrea Reyes - Nutritionist

Andrea Reyes
Nutritionist

413.572.5790
*areyes@westfield.ma.edu

Andrea explains how her father’s struggle with heart disease was one of her main motivators to enter the field of nutrition and become more health-aware. “You can’t change the cards you’re dealt, but you can change the way you play your hand.”

Although Andrea is only on campus a handful of hours each week, she describes her time at Westfield as very fulfilling, and says the students’ youth and energy keeps her on her toes. For Andrea, the best part of her job is being able to help students reach their goals. “It almost brings tears to my eyes when I see their happiness,” she said.

One of Andrea’s favorite things about Westfield is the small size of the student body, and the sense of community the smaller campus allows everyone to build. “It’s great to see the [faculty and] staff from all the different departments working together,” she said. “It’s truly like a family.”

Recalling her own time in college, Andrea said she wishes she had known more about health and nutrition. Andrea says that working with college students is an amazing opportunity, because we’re at an age when learning about nutrition can really impact our lives and futures.

Professional Information:

  • Specializes in weight management, eating disorders, and GI (gastrointestinal, so stomach) disorders.
  • Earned her B.S. in Nutrition Management from Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Completed her dietetic internship at Syracuse University

Nedu Izuegbunam

Nedu Izuegbunam
Graduate Counseling Intern

413.572.5790
*nizuegbunam@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann, Psychology, Class of 2018

Nedu became interested in counseling due to his passion for helping others. He has a strong desire to help students build skills to cope with their stress, reach their goals, and improve their overall well-being. He enjoys working at the WSU counseling center because every staff member is welcoming, kind, and helpful.

Nedu’s favorite part about working with WSU students is that they care for each other, regardless of their different backgrounds. He admires them for being so goal-driven. Nedu believes there’s no better feeling than seeing somebody realize they are capable of achieving whatever they set their mind to.

Nedu strives to help athletes as well as non-athletes to cultivate healthy coping skills. In his first year of graduate school, he met an injured athlete who experienced anxiety about not being able to play football anymore. Nedu says that it was amazing to watch this student identify his source of anxiety and learn to cope with it through counseling. It was rewarding and made him more confident in his abilities and interest in becoming a Mental Health Counselor.

One thing Nedu wishes he’d known about mental health while he was attending college is that our mental well-being has a substantial impact on our lives and mental illness is more prevalent than he realized. He also wishes he had known relaxation tools to utilize at times of high stress during his years at college.

During his time off, Nedu likes to watch the Chicago Cubs and play MLB The Show.

Professional information:

  • Earned his B.A. in Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Earned his Master's of Education in Psychology from Springfield College
  • Currently completing his licensure to become a Mental Health Counselor

Laurie Taylor

Laurie Taylor
Graduate Counseling Intern

413.572.5790
*ltaylor@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann, Psychology, Class of 2018

Laurie has always enjoyed helping and connecting with people. She was inspired by other professional counselors to pursue a job in the field.

Laurie loves the university for its positive atmosphere and all of the friendly staff on campus. Her favorite thing about working with WSU students is that they are so engaged, motivated, and involved.

She wishes that in college she had known more about how helpful counseling can be. She also wishes that college students were taught more about taking care of themselves, because mental health is just as important as physical health.

During her free time, Laurie likes hiking, biking, and walking her dog. Laurie is very passionate about running as well, which is her favorite way to unwind and practice mindfulness.

Professional information:

  • Currently pursuing her Master's in Mental Health Counseling from Westfield State
  • Earned her B.A. and Master’s degree in German Studies from University of Arizona and UMass Amherst, respectively

Kelly Noga - Graduate Outreach Intern

Kelly Noga
Graduate Outreach Intern

413.572.5790
*knoga@westfield.ma.edu

Interviewed by Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann, Psychology, Class of 2018

Kelly was inspired to pursue a career in counseling after the experience of seeing a counselor herself. Counseling had a very positive impact on her life, and she wanted to do the same service for others one day. Her work experience in an administrative position for a counseling center also solidified her decision to enter the field. Kelly says helping people and spreading kindness are her passions.

Kelly loves working with WSU students and appreciates the beauty of the diverse student body. During her years here, she has witnessed a great sense of community at the Counseling Center and across campus.

Kelly’s most rewarding experience at the Counseling Center was when a very anxious student came to her for relaxation coaching and found great relief from the techniques. Kelly recalls this memory as one of her most fulfilling work experiences because she was able to make a difference. As a counselor, she wants to empower people and provide guidance for those going through challenging life transitions.

If there’s one thing that she wishes she’d known about mental health while earning her undergraduate degree, it’s that feelings are temporary and struggles will pass. She also emphasizes how important it is to practice self-care, because taking time to find your center is just as important as every other responsibility in college.

In her free time, Kelly loves to relax by spending time with friends and family, going out for nature walks, listening to music, and practicing yoga.

Professional Information:

  • Earned her B.A. in Psychology from Westfield State
  • Currently enrolled in the Master's in Social Work program at WSU
  • Graduate outreach intern and relaxation coach at the Counseling Center

*Caution: We request that you do not disclose personal or confidential information through email. Because email is not a secure medium, confidentiality of email cannot be guaranteed. If you are a WSU student and in need of personal assistance, please refer to the Counseling Services page for information on how to schedule an appointment with a counselor