Meet our Staff

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Shauna Summers Ph.D. – Director
ssummers@risd.edu
Shauna got her masters degree and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has been with RISD Counseling since 2008. She is a licensed psychologist and utilizes a holistic approach – integrating body-mind, spirit(uality), culture, nutrition, and relationships into her work. She believes that students are active participants in their own treatment, and the counseling process is a collaborative one. Shauna is especially interested in alternative methods of healing as well as the relationships people form with animals and the healing effects of those relationships. In her free time, she likes to stand-up paddleboard, cook, and spend time with her dogs at the beach.

 

Damion Vania LMHC Counselor
dvania@risd.eduScreen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.06.16 PM                                               Damion received his Masters in Counseling and Psychology from Lesley University. He has worked with college students, adults with chronic mental illness and children and families in crisis. He spent his childhood living in different countries. He works in a client-centered, relational style. Damion has been at RISD Counseling since 2008. Damion likes playing in waves.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.08.01 PMJess Miller Psy.D.- Staff Psychologist    jmille02@risd.edu                                                    Jess received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and her master’s and doctorate from The Chicago School. She believes that psychotherapy and art-making have a lot in common, and both require patience, creativity, sensitivity, and perceptiveness. She previously worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Special clinical interests include gender identity, sexual identity, romantic relationships, and exploring the specific psychological complexities artists may face. Jess plays the banjo.

 

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Mia Downes, LMHC- Case Manager  mdownes@risd.edu                                                      Mia received her master’s degree in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Studio Art from Rhode Island College. She joined CAPS in 2016 and connects students with mental health treatment and resources. Clinical interests include anxiety, addictions, and psychotic disorders. She also enjoys helping students develop communication, boundary-setting, and assertiveness skills. When she is not at CAPS, she is usually playing volleyball or scavenging thrift-store books for collage materials.

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Erin Unkefer, Ph.D. – Staff Psychologist, Intercultural Specialist  eunkefer@risd.edu                                 Erin received her master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in Counseling Psychology, specializing in School Counseling.  She received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia. She is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Malawi, ’05-’07) Her professional interests include providing mental health access and outreach to underserved communities, social identity development, first generation and acculturation concerns.  She uses a relational approach in therapy and has a passion for social justice and advocacy.  Erin watches a lot of movies, reads a lot of books and listens to tons of podcasts.

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Samantha Becker LICSWCounselor
sbecker@risd.edu
Samantha earned her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the Smith College School for Social Work. She
has worked with college students at Mount Holyoke College, SUNY Stony Brook, and Wellesley College. In both research and clinical application, Samantha is interested in the use of mindfulness meditation as a therapeutic technique. She is a strong generalist practitioner whose clinical interests include women’s issues, issues of race and gender, eating disorders, relationship concerns, depression and anxiety.

 

Lauren Whittle, M.A.- Doctoral InternScreen Shot 2016-08-25 at 1.01.21 PM   lwhittle@risd.edu                                                          Lauren is an intern who joined CAPS in 2015. She earned her Masters in Forensic Psychology at Roger Williams University and also has a B.A. and B.S. in Psychology and Chemical Dependency and Addiction Studies from Rhode Island College. She currently works in hospital, outpatient and home-based settings. Her professional interests include anxiety, interpersonal relationships, positive psychology, developmental disorders, and mood disorders. Lauren enjoys playing soccer, baseball, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

 

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Andrea Medaris, M.A.- Doctoral Intern  amedaris@risd.edu                                                          Andrea received her Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and her Master’s degree from William James College, where she is currently a clinical psychology doctoral student.  She uses a primarily humanistic approach to therapy, focusing on emotion, image, and the use of collaborative creativity to address psychological concerns.  Her clinical interests include trauma work, sex-positive therapy, and nontraditional relationship styles and structures.  Andrea enjoys learning new languages, baking, and putting off practicing piano.

 

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Emily DiTomaso, M.A. – Doctoral Intern    editomas@risd.edu                                                                      Emily received her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Providence College. Currently, she is pursuing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at William James College. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in many different settings including a community mental health center, inpatient hospitals, and residential treatment programs. Emily’s clinical interests include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and exploring interpersonal relationships. She primarily uses a humanistic and psychodynamic approach to therapy, and places great emphasis on the therapeutic relationship. In her free time, Emily enjoys exercising, reading, and playing golf.

 

Joanne DuvalCounseling AssistantScreen Shot 2016-08-25 at 1.05.45 PM
jduval@risd.edu
Joanne has been with RISD for over 5 years and is in the Counseling Office Monday-Friday, 8:30am until 4:30pm. She has lived in Rhode Island all her life and loves to impart local advice. She is a URI Master Gardener and enjoys taking care of houseplants, reading, and the Patriots.