Your University Wellness Center Staff
Counseling and Psychological Service (CAPS) / University Health Service (UHS)
Wellness Outreach, Research, and Wellness Commons
Ashley Liston-Avnaim, MA, LPC, MHSP
Ashley first joined the Wellness staff in 2016 as a contract clinician; she became a full time staff clinician in 2017. She uses an integrative approach, including mindfulness-based skill-building, EMDR techniques, and internal family systems/ego states therapy, with a foundation in relational psychodynamic theory. She has worked in all levels of care for the treatment of eating disorders, process, and substance addictions. Ashley is EMDR level II trained for the treatment of PTSD and attachment-based trauma. Her other areas of clinical interest include women's issues, interpersonal effectiveness, and somatic therapies for supporting embodiment and relationship with self. Ashley completed her MA in Counseling Psychology at Eastern University.
Something about her: "I enjoy hip-hop and improvisational dance, other forms of moving meditation, amateur fiber arts and a cup of tea and story-sharing with loved ones."
Katie Van Cleave, MA, LPC, MHSP
Katie joined the Wellness staff in 2016. She takes an eclectic and individualized approach, depending on the client's need. Her goal is to create an atmosphere where individuals feel accepted for their strengths and areas of growth. Her professional interests include depression, anxiety, self-esteem, shame, grief/loss, interpersonal difficulties, adjustment and self harm. Katie received her BA in English from Sewanee and her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Richmont Graduate University. She has also completed advanced training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Something about her: "I'm originally from Chattanooga and have a variety of interests, like visiting thrift stores, relaxing with a paddle board, or occasionally running a small shop on eBay."
Emily Ezell, MSSW, LMSW
Emily first joined the Wellness staff in 2019 as a contract therapist and became a full-time staff clinician in 2020. She uses a client-centered, strengths-based approach, and integrates a variety of therapy techniques based on each client's needs. Emily often draws from Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Theory, and her professional interests include anxiety, depression, self-esteem, ADHD, grief, and trauma. She has worked in school and community mental health settings in Franklin and Coffee counties prior to her work at the Wellness Center. Emily graduated from Sewanee with a BA in Religious Studies and from the University of Tennessee with a Masters of Science in Social Work. In between undergraduate and graduate school, Emily served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama.
Elise Anderson, MSW, LCSWA
Information coming soon!
Marya Ashby, BA, BS
Marya has been with the Center since 2012 and provides coordination for the CAPS portion of the Wellness Center. She graduated from Vanderbilt with a BA in English and Psychology and also obtained a BS from Sewanee in Biology. She is interested in new trends in science and technology.
Something about her: "My side passion is for conservation biology. I once worked in animal care for ex-situ sites, which let me do some incredible things like feed baby Bonnethead sharks, release baby sea turtles into the ocean, and raise and release Attwater's Prairie Chickens. Go Preds!!"
Additional Part-Time CAPS Staff:
Dr. Richard Fisher, Jr, DO
Karen Tharp, RN
Director, Registered Nurse
Karen has been the Director of the University Health Service since 2010 and a nurse with the Center since 2006. Her professional interests include women's health and student health. Karen received her BA in Expressive Therapy and Painting at Prescott College and completed some graduate work at Sonoma State University before obtaining her RN degree in Austin, TX.
Something about her: "I enjoy painting, gardening, traveling and hiking with my dog, Olive. I have two daughters in their twenties who keep me current in my thinking about college students' needs and challenges. I love my work - the interaction I have daily with students educates me in ways I never imagined! I appreciate the opportunity to help students succeed and grow into themselves personally and academically."
Tonia Christian, NP-C
Tonia has been a provider at the Center since 2013, originally working part-time while employed with a cardiologist office in Winchester. She has a variety of professional interests that are pertinent to the college health age group. Tonia received her BS in Biology at Tennessee Technological University and her MS in Nursing at Vanderbilt University.
Something about her: "There are many aspects of college health that are interesting, from reproductive health to acute care issues. I also feel that patient education and preventative care are important parts of my job. I enjoy minor surgical procedures that can be done in the office, as these typically elicit instantaneous results. I also have a passion for helping more chronically ill patients - I have a part-time job seeing hospice patients in the evenings. I feel that this helps me to balance patient demographics and diagnoses."
Mindy Holloway, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC
Mindy joined the Wellness staff in 2017. Her professional interests include managing chronic illnesses - especially diabetes -, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and performing in office surgical procedures. Mindy obtained her ASN degree from Motlow State Community College, her BSN from Middle Tennessee State University, her MSN from The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and her post-MSN from Austin Peay State University. She is currently working toward completing her DNP degree at The University of South Alabama. She holds dual NP certifications as an Acute Adult Nurse Practitioner and a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Something about her: "I reside in Tullahoma with my husband and 2 children. There is a 7-year age gap between my children. We have a Dalmatian, 2 cats, and 5 hermit crabs. I am also a HUGE Golden Girls fan!"
Shandra, better known to everyone as Shay, has been with the Center since 2010. Her professional interests include minor procedures and wound care. Shay has completed education and training at the Academy of Allied Health in Chattanooga, Chattanooga State Technical College, and earned her AEMT license through the University of the South.
Something about her: "I was engaged 12 years before getting married (laughs). I love animals and photography."
(Shay's passion for photography can be seen here on our page, as she is responsible for the majority of our staff photos!)
Belinda Morgan, LPN
Belinda joined the Wellness Center Staff in March, 2020. Before coming to UWC, she worked at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN, served as a school nurse at Swiss Memorial Elementary School in Grundy County, and was a residential faculty member at Baylor School, Chattanooga, TN. Her interest in gardening and nutrition lead her to develop school gardens and therapy gardens for Veterans. She graduated from the LPN program at Tennessee Technology Center in 2011 and has experience in conflict resolution, substance abuse awareness, and she enjoys leading mindfulness classes.
Something about her: "I enjoy hiking, cooking, camping, impromptu road trips and travel, and hosting friends for dinner parties and fun times around a bonfire. I worked at the School of Theology more than 20 years ago!"
HIM & Revenue Specialist
Kim has been a member of our team and assisting students of the University since 1989. She is responsible for maintaining medical records, coordinating referrals, overseeing billing, and navigating the complex insurance system for all patients. She is currently pursuing her certification as a professional medical biller and coder.
Something about her: "My blood runs orange, as I am a die-hard Tennessee Vols fan. I love to cook, camp, hike, paddle a lazy river, and spend time with my grandchildren. I am the proud owner of Maynard, the Norwegian Forest Cat."
Patient Care Coordinator
Evelyn joined the Wellness Center staff in 2017. She has previously worked for both Grundy and Franklin County 911 EMS services, having attended the University of the South EMT program, and has been certified as an AEMT since 2005. She has also completed the business systems technology program at the Tennessee Technology Center in McMinville. Evelyn is a long time resident of Sewanee, having graduated high school from the Sewanee Academy, and was even born in the old Emerald Hodgson Hospital which is now a residence hall on campus!
Something about her: "I like cooking, baking, sunsets, laughter, walking, flowers and gardening, photography and volleyball just to name a few things. I have two adult daughters and 2 grandbabies."
Additional Part-Time UHS Staff:
Dr. Michelle Val, MD
Contract Medical Supervisor
Dr. Louis Koella, MD
Nicole Noffsinger-Frazier, PhD, LCP
Associate Dean of Health & Wellness, Wellness Commons, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Nicole has been the Director of the University Wellness Center since 2014. Her theoretical orientation is integrative, drawing from cognitive and third-wave cognitive theories with a foundation in feminist and relational-cultural theories. Her professional interests include women's health, eating disorders and obesity, and performance enhancement for athletes. Nicole graduated from Sewanee with a BA in Psychology and received her PhD from the University of Memphis. She also completed a predoctoral internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital.
Something about her: "In my free time, I enjoy swimming with the local masters team, coaching age-group swimming, and spending time with my husband and 3 children."
Julian Wright, BS
A new member to the staff in 2017, Julian is in charge of facilitating the Wellness Center's SAMHSA federal grant. She is interested in the fields of social, positive, and health psychology and is specifically focused on the ways people can purposefully interact with each other and their environment to better their overall health and life satisfaction. She graduated with honors from Sewanee in 2017, with distinction in psychology and a minor in music.
Something about her: "I rowed crew all through college and was the president of the Sewanee Crew Team."
Nysha Wallace, BS
Nysha has a bachelor of science degree in Community Health from The University of Maryland and is a certified yoga instructor. She has relocated from Bronx, New York and leads the wellness and outreach initiatives for the Center, as well as overseeing the peer health educator program.
Something about her: "I began losing my central vision during my junior year of college. You wouldn't know this just by looking at me, but I'm legally blind. My personal mantra is 'show up anyway'."
Sarah Rundle, MS
Director, Wellness Commons