Meet Our Students

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Rachel Bell 

I earned my master's in Marriage and Family Therapy from The University of Akron and have just started my second year in the doctoral program for Marriage and Family Therapy here. My research interests include the intergenerational transmission of trauma within a family system and barriers to treatment for low-income and marginalized populations. My clinical work includes seeing individuals, couples, and families, both at the training clinic on Akron's campus, as well as in the psychiatric units of Summa St. Thomas Hospital in Akron.  After graduation, I hope to secure a faculty position at a university and work in private practice.

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Noelle Chappelle.

 I am a 4th year doctoral student and a 2nd year AAMFT/SAMHSA Fellow. I chose The University of Akron’s doctoral program in MFT because of it’s strong emphasis on advanced clinical training, teaching and supervision. I have also been able to sharpen my skills as a researcher at the university as well.


Jennifer (Zen) Davis

I am a first year doctoral student. My decision to continue my education with The University of Akron was greatly influenced by the growth and support I experienced while working with the School of Counseling’s faculty, staff, and fellow students during my master’s degree. I wish to contribute to the field of marriage and family therapy through researching the unique needs of single parent, divorced, and step family systems.


Rick Dawson

My name is Rick Dawson and I'm beginning my third year in the PhD program in MFT/C. After much research, I was drawn to The University of Akron's dual-licensure doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision and Marriage and Family Therapy to receive the most comprehensive education in mental health available. As a non-traditional student, the level of individual care given to students in the program to ensure success was paramount to me. Working for years as a police officer and firefighter formed my research and clinical interest in assisting the survivors of violent crime and our first-responder and military populations with the serious challenges of trauma. 

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Amber Fensler

 I am a 1st year doctoral student. I came to the University of Akron for the strong mentorship in research and professional development that I have found in the faculty and students. I have a research interest in the romantic relationships within the LGBTQ community, especially relationships with a transman/woman during the transitioning process.


Ulia Fisher

I am currently a 4th year doctoral student, and am now working on my dissertation. I am a graduate of the MFC/T Master’s, and chose to apply for the Doctoral program due to my positive experience and what the program offers, including strong clinical training and research initiatives. During my doctoral tenure, I was able to complete several research studies which have been accepted as posters at prominent research conferences and submitted for publication. I have received tremendous support from MFT faculty with my research projects and will begin my career in academia with a strong foundation underneath me. I am excited to work on completing my dissertation and begin my career.


Janelle Fye

 I am a first year doctoral student. I chose The University of Akron because the program offers equally strong emphases on clinical training, teaching, and research. My research interests include juvenile delinquency and recidivism, cross-cultural aspects of addiction, and the cognitive, behavioral and affective effects of media consumption.


Jenn Georke

I am a first year doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision: MFC/T Track.  I recently graduated with my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy here at The University of Akron.  I choose to pursue a Doctoral Degree to continue my education and growth as a professional within the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.  One aspect which drew me to the program was their dual accreditation by COAMFTE and CACREP which will increase my marketability when pursuing a career in academia.  While in the program, I look forward to making further contributions to the advancement of the field through research opportunities offered and advanced clinical training. My interests are with childhood trauma and treatment of families exposed to substance abuse.


Elizabeth Molla  

I am a 1st year doctoral student.  A research interest I have is in transgenerational patterns and the manner trauma is transmissioned multigenerationally.  I came to The University of Akron because of its dually accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Program.  The Counselor Supervision and Education, Marriage and Family Therapy Track program offers a variety of opportunities.  Doctoral candidates are able to train to become researchers, educators, supervisors, and advocates in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. The abundance of resources to grow professionally and personally drew me into the MFC/T Department at The University of Akron.


Michael Pennington

I am finishing my second year in the MFT/C doctoral program. I chose the University of Akron for its outstanding faculty and staff as well as the opportunity to pursue dual licensure and supervision. My research interests include utilizing technology within clinical practice, supervision, and education. I am also looking at therapist self-care and how we can improve on doing a better job, as therapists, of taking care of our-selves.


Symphonie Smith

 I am a 4th year doctoral student in the Counselor Education & Supervision Program, Marriage Family Therapy Track. I came to the University of Akron for the location but gained much more (i.e. dual licensure, great supervision, strong faculty guidance, interdisciplinary faculty support, etc.)! My research interest focuses on mental health service use of African Americans and other marginalized/underrepresented populations (i.e. ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, low income populations, etc.).


Megan Vitek

I am a third year doctoral student. I applied to the MFT doctoral program based upon a great experience as a master’s student as well the many opportunities the doctoral program offers. I have been given opportunities to expand my knowledge and clinical skills through various clinical opportunities, such as being given the privilege to gain experience working in St. Thomas’s psychiatric facilities. My research interest is Military individuals, couples, and families and presenting at the conference was a phenomenal opportunity to learn new skills as well as expand my skills as a researcher and presenter.