Meet the Counseling Center Staff
Melissa Hutchinson, MA, LPC, NCC
Executive Director of Counseling Services
College is a time of considerable growth for students. It can be both fulfilling and challenging. Counseling can be an opportunity for students to engage in self-exploration and problem solving, especially when things feel difficult and overwhelming. Each student is unique, arriving at CMU with their own life experiences. I will honor your individuality throughout the counseling experience and tailor my interventions to meet your needs. Openness and trust are the heart of the counseling relationship and I will work hard to build that trust with each student. I have been in practice since 1997 and working as a CMU counselor since 2004. I have experience with a variety of concerns experienced by students and provide both individual and group counseling. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University and my Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Central Michigan University. In 2017 I transitioned into the role of Counseling Center director. It is my honor to oversee the center and the support provided to CMU students in order to promote their emotional well-being and academic success.
Michelle Bigard, MSW, LMSW
I am honored to meet with you to help you succeed at CMU. I will strive to create an atmosphere where you feel comfortable to share what is important to you. In the spirit of trust, respect and accountability, we will work together to understand your concerns, foster your wellbeing, and meet your goals. I believe in your capacity for growth and will draw upon your strengths, values and beliefs to identify helpful strategies to face your challenges.
I have a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario, Canada. I specialized in working with trauma issues within the Canadian mental health field prior coming to the CMU Counseling Center in 2001.
Brooke E. Bechtel, MA, LPC, NCC
Student Athlete Dedicated Counselor
As the student athlete dedicated counselor, my role is to support your mental wellness not only within your sport, but within your life. I will work to create a comfortable and trusting environment where you will feel safe to share your experiences and thoughts with me. I will work to understand your current life position and implement approaches that are meaningful to you. I believe everyone has the power within themselves to make positive changes in their life; my role is to help you draw on your strengths, support your healing and development, and give you tools to handle life's stressors along the way.
I have experiences working with: anxiety, trauma, depression, identity concerns, relationships, substance use, and self-harm. I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Arts in Professional Counseling Degree from Central Michigan University.
Amy Campbell, MA, LPC, CAADC, NCC
As a counselor I strive to provide people with the tools and resources to allow them to grow and heal mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I have experience working with such issues as anxiety, depression, substance use/addiction, trauma, grief and loss, domestic violence, self-harm, relationships, and basic life-skills. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Family Studies and Psychology in 2007 and my Masters in Professional Counseling in 2009 both from CMU. I came to work at CMU with the hopes of supporting students as they navigate their way through life’s transitions. I believe college has the potential to be one of life’s greatest experiences and opportunities for growth and I have a passion for helping students achieve that experience. I value the therapeutic relationship and building off of students strengths as well as connecting them with resources so they may have the best chance at success and healing.
Julie Fortino Shurtliff, MA, LPC
As a counselor, I believe that change happens when people are given the support they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, happy lives. I understand that our past has influenced our present but it need not dictate our future. Our life experiences, positive or negative, are building blocks for who we are today and can be effective tools in creating who we aspire to be tomorrow. My main focus as a counselor is to create a safe space for you to explore your feelings and create coping skills to face life's challenges. I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Evergreen State College with a major in Latin American History and Spanish Language. I earned a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Central Michigan University.
Anna Grajek, MA, LPC
Choosing to pursue counseling can be a big decision. I believe engaging in the counseling process is brave and an opportunity to pursue growth and change. As a counselor, I aim to create a comfortable environment to partner with students in building a therapeutic relationship, trust and engaging in the collaborative counseling process. In sessions you can expect to utilize different approaches to address an individual’s concerns, building on their strengths to promote growth and healing. I hope students will gain a better understanding of themselves, their strengths and values as well as resources, strategies and tools that are helpful moving forward. I have had the privilege of working with students in a variety of roles and am passionate about meeting students where they are and approaching the counseling process from a holistic perspective. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Michigan. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services (Psychology, Social Work, & Substance Abuse Counseling) from Lake Superior State University, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Central Michigan University, and a Post-Master’s certificate in Sports Counseling from California University of Pennsylvania.
Atefeh E. Jenrow, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
In the course of my career, I have worked with people including children, adults, and families facing various acute, emerging and/or ongoing mental health challenges. I particularly enjoy working with college students both as newly independent adults and members of the university family facing their own unique trials. I believe in creating a safe and collaborating environment with students on the changes they feel ready to make, focusing on their goals. I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology form Wayne State University and a Master of Arts in Counseling, specializing in Mental Health Counseling from Oakland University. I have worked with a variety of mental health concerns and have a particular interest in anxiety disorders and trauma. I have also worked as a member of a clinical research team studying schizophrenia.
I help students using a holistic approach considering physical, psychological, emotional approaches, while working to create a non-judgmental environment. Students can explore their emotional needs by focusing on wellness and strengths, while identifying ongoing challenges that they can continue to address. I feel privileged to be a member of the student's support team by being allowed to assist as they navigate potential career options, mental health concerns and life stages.
Kristie Miner, MA, LPC
I believe that making the decision to seek counseling is one of many first steps in facilitating positive change in a person's life. I tend to take a client centered and cognitive-behavioral approach in counseling, while making sure that each session addresses the needs of the client. It's important that sessions are collaborative as well as interactive so that clients can focus on identifying and making progress toward their goals. During our sessions, you will find that identifying best coping strategies, strengthening problem solving skills, and exploring different perspectives are common themes. In addition to my role at the CMU Counseling Center, I am a child sexual abuse treatment therapist at Listening Ear Crisis Center in Mt. Pleasant. This work has allowed me to gain a strong understanding about trauma as well as best practices for treatment. I earned both my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Central Michigan University.
Ashley Watters, MA, LPC, NCC
As a counselor, I strive to create an environment that is safe, interactive and purposeful. Counseling is a collaborative process that involves you and me. I believe that counseling can lead to a person’s ability to grow and develop in several areas and I believe in your journey to creating positive change in your life. I place a high value in the therapeutic relationship and I will make every effort to understand who you are as an individual and learn about your life experiences. My primary role is to support your healing and growth, explore your strengths, and provide you with intentional resources to handle life’s challenges and stressors. I am a licensed professional counselor within the State of Michigan. My educational background includes a Bachelor in Social Work and a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling Degree from Central Michigan University. I have experience working at two different university counseling centers, before coming back "home" to work at CMU!
To me, counseling goes beyond mere words or gestures. It is about healing the mind, body, and soul with selfless empathy and guidance. The process is collaborative and engaging, requiring honesty, integrity, and above all courage. It takes a brave individual to come forward and admit that they want to work on themselves - to hold up the mirror and give a good hard look. My life has been full of different oddities or as the great American painter Bob Ross says, "happy little accidents." My educational background consists of five college degrees and two certificates. I have an Associate degree of Applied Science in Radiographic Technology, an Associate degree of Arts, an Associate of General Studies, an Honors Certificate, and an Advanced Certificate in Writing all from Delta Community College. I was also the recipient of the Margaret T. Timm Award for English. My Bachelor of Health Science is from Saginaw Valley State University. In 2019, I finished my Master of Public Health degree focusing on LGBTQ+ populations and mental health.
Currently, I am finishing up my Master of Arts Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree at Central Michigan University. My areas of passion and dedication are multiculturalism, LGBTQIA+ support, women's advocacy, social justice, public engagement, among others. For counseling, I utilize cognitive behavioral, feminist, solution-focused, Gestalt, and narrative therapies.
I began my career with Central Michigan University in 2007 as an Office Professional in the Physician Assistant Program. I then joined the Counseling Center in 2010 as the Administrative Secretary. I provide assistance and direction to the Counseling Center faculty and staff in the day-to-day operations. I also bring over fifteen years of professional experience in the management of educational and medical office settings.
Melissa Schalk, BS
I graduated in 2003 from CMU with a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in social work. That same year I started working for Listening Ear. For 16 years I provided care for developmentally disabled individuals while also managing a residential program. I strived in maintaining a safe and loving environment for the individuals that were in our care. In 2019 I started a new career path and joined the Counseling Center as an office professional. In this role I hope to provide a welcoming atmosphere for everyone that enters the center.