Counseling Staff

Elisa Castillo, PhD, director

  • BA in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, and MA and PhD in counseling psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Member of the Massachusetts Psychology Association, National Latino Psychology Association, Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors and NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education).
  • Has more than 20 years of clinical experience and 15 years working in college mental health. Also serves as adjunct faculty for the graduate program in counseling psychology at Salem State University with a focus on counseling theory. Is interested in helping students access their potential, increase their self-awareness, self-confidence and self-care through a relational, solution focused, and culturally competent approach. She is also interested in increasing mental health awareness, health and wellness for the university community though outreach and education
  • Is interested in clinical supervision, working with first-generation students, working with trauma, relationships and violence prevention and crisis intervention, as well as helping young adults deal with adjustments, relationships, identities, anxiety and mood.

Christine M. Williams, PhD, training director/assistant director

  • BA in psychology and MA/PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Akron.
  • Member of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Counseling Psychology.
  • Clinical interests include supporting students with chronic mental health concerns during their time in college; helping students learn to navigate difficult emotions, thoughts, and experiences; and empowering students to make changes in their lives that support mental, physical, social, and spiritual well-being.
  • Other interests include assessment and training.

Karen Hruska, MA, LMHC, assistant director

  • BS in sociology from the University of Oregon and her MA in counseling psychology from Lesley University. Has worked as a clinician and adjunct professor for the past 20 years. Karen coordinates the higher education student personnel administration program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and has an expertise in college student development theory as well as counseling.
  • Member of The American College Counseling Association and the Northeast Consortium of College and University’s Prevention Education Professionals.
  • Karen understands what it takes to be successful both in and outside of the classroom. Her counseling style is integrative with a focus on cognitive behavioral techniques with a client-centered style. Along with counseling, she coordinates the outreach education efforts for CHS and facilitates workshops and presentations for faculty and student groups.  

Squire Paige, LMHC, staff counselor

  • BA in sociology from Franklin and Marshall College and an MA in clinical mental health counseling from Lesley University.
  • Member of the American College Counseling Association and provider for The Integrated Center for Child Development and Commonwealth Care Alliance.
  • Worked almost exclusively in his counseling career with adolescents and young adults in educational settings, and has additionally taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Boston-area schools as an adjunct instructor.
  • Interested in working with students around issues of identity and in facilitating self-actualization to allow for a more engaged and connected existence. He characterizes his clinical orientation as eclectic, primarily mixing client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, existential, and mindfulness-based therapies.

Health Staff

Kimberly Daly, MSN, FNP, DNPc, associate director

  • BSN from University of Rhode Island, MSN from UMass Boston, currently enrolled in the DNP at Umass Boston and expect to graduate May 2015. Prior to coming to Salem State in 2008, she oversaw a school-based health center at Gloucester High School, Gloucester, MA.
  • Member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American College Health Association, Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau
  • Strong focus on health education, promotion, and prevention with young adult populations. Special interests in the care of reproductive health and women's health.

Joan Sweeney, MSN, FNP, nurse practitioner, assistant director

  • Family nurse practitioner since 1999 working with a diverse population in assessing, diagnosing, educating and teaching on a wide variety of health issues and concerns. Background in critical care nursing.
  • Member of American Association of Nurse Practitioners, certified with MA Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.
  • Interested in working with a student population to teach healthy habits and self-management to encourage academic success while dealing with health issues or concerns. Interested in women's health, immunizations and health education.

Patty Wheeler Shea, MS, ANP-BC, family nurse practitioner

  • BS in nursing from University of Massachusetts, Lowell. MS in nursing, with a specialization in adult primary care and occupational health from Simmons Graduate School.
  • Over 30 years experience as a healthcare provider in a variety of settings, including intensive care/in-patient units, and providing onsite occupational healthcare to employees in corporate, hospital, and manufacturing environments. She has also taught undergraduate nursing courses.
  • Interested in providing healthcare and education to college students. Her areas of expertise include occupational health, primary care, and health promotion.

Kalei Ensminger, MS, FNP-BC, nurse practitioner

  • BA in biology from SUNY Geneseo, 2009. BS in nursing from Regis College, 2012. MS in nursing from Regis College, 2013.
  • Member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioner, Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, Dermatology Nurse's Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Tri Beta Biology National Honor Society, VIRTUS trained, Melanoma Foundation of New England volunteer, Boston Cares volunteer.
  • Professional specialties in dermatology, reproductive health, and cancer prevention and early detection. Talking to students about their health and helping them make informed, responsible, healthcare decisions in order to maximize their time here at Salem State University.

John Beaulieu, MD, supervising physician

  • Attended Salem State and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
  • Has worked at counseling and health services since 1990.
  • Professional specialty is internal medicine.

Administrative Staff

Juliet Carty Greene, AS, administrative assistant

  • Associate's in science from North Shore Community College and has worked at Salem State since 2006. Formerly worked at a community health center. Currently continuing her education to earn a degree in psychology.
  • Member of American Society of Administrative Professionals, National Leadership and Success Society and Phi Theta Kappa.
  • Coordinates patient intake and manages the daily operations of a busy healthcare facility, handling confidential patient health information with sensitivity and care.

Channa Vieng, BEd, administrative assistant

  • Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Salem State University in 2013. Before attending Salem State, and continuing during her college career, Channa worked with a local primary health care facility.
  • Coordinates patient intake, assists with daily operations of our busy center, manages provider credentialing and licensing, and handles confidential patient information. Channa prides herself on offering all visitors to counseling and health services excellent customer service.

Cecile Gagne, medical billing specialist

  • Insurance verification, referrals and authorizations.

2014-2015 Counseling Interns

Tricia Maynard, PsyD, postdoctoral fellow

  • BA in psychology and women’s studies from the University of New Hampshire; MA and PsyD in clinical psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).
  • Has experience working in inpatient hospitals, community mental health agencies and college counseling centers.
  • Is committed to social justice issues and celebrating the diversity that makes up Salem State University.
  • Clinical interests include: supporting students as they examine and integrate different aspects of their identity; helping students develop an awareness of mind-body connections as a way of becoming more in touch with their experience as a whole; and working with veterans as well as survivors of sexual and relationship violence.

Melanie Cadet, MS, intern

  • BA in psychology from Boston University and MS in counseling psychology from Loyola University Maryland. Currently completing a PhD in counseling psychology at University of Massachusetts, Boston.
  • Student affiliate of the American Psychological Association.
  • Clinical interests include: working with students to increase self-awareness and identify social/emotional resources and skills to help understand, navigate and feel empowered to adjust to a variety of concerns related to mental health, substance use, relationships, academics, and identity. Her style is person-centered and holistic with a focus on mindfulness and cognitive behavioral approaches.
  • Other interests include teaching and she has experience teaching at the graduate level as an adjunct instructor.

Ali Plocha, MS, intern 

  • BA in psychology from Boston College and MS in mental health counseling from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
  • Experience working with college students, children, adolescents, adults, and families presenting with a variety of concerns, including stress and adjustment difficulties, mood disorders, psychosis, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and complex trauma. She also has experience working with individuals of all ages in psychiatric crisis.
  • Ali’s primary research interest is resilience in emerging adulthood, and she adopts a strengths-based approach when working with her clients. She considers her clinical orientation to be eclectic, primarily using client-centered and relational-based therapies.

Daphne Bastien, BA, intern

  • BA in psychology at Southern Adventist University, and a third year MA student at Lesley University where she is studying clinical mental health counseling with a specialization in trauma studies.
  • Worked in the P.A.T.H. program at Snowden International School at Copley providing group and individual counseling services and psychoeducational workshops for high school aged students in need of behavioral and emotional support.
  • Takes an eclectic approach to counseling which she feels is most adaptive to the needs of her clients.



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