Program Schedule

The Heart and the Art of Being a Counseling Center Director

Northeast College Counseling Center Directors Conference

March 10- March 12, 2024

Springfield College, Hilton Garden Inn, Basketball Hall of Fame



Thank you for joining us at the 2024 Northeast College Counseling Center Directors Conference. The theme this year, The Heart and the Art of Being a Counseling Center Director, has so many rich layers to explore. We are helping more and more students in greater levels of distress, managing expectations of administrators, holding the morale of staff members, and let’s not forget budget management. And while this landscape has been changing year-to-year, the pandemic has impacted our work in ways many of us could not have imagined. This conference seeks to remind us of what initially captured our hearts, minds and inspired us as leaders in doing this work.

Our gathering will be an opportunity to connect, rejuvenate, receive support, stimulate new ideas, and just be together in a college setting in Springfield. We are glad you are here and hope you enjoy the conference!


Conference Planning Committee

  • Ann Booth, College of Staten Island
  • Kathryn Bruning, Curry College
  • Noelle Harris, Bryant University
  • Brian Krylowicz, Springfield College
  • Deborah Levans, Rhode Island School of Design
  • Barbara Lewis, Harvard University
  • Bob Murray, Hellenic College
  • Nick Pinkerton, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Renee Rosado, American International College
  • Karen Singleton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Janet Spoltore, Connecticut College
  • Tara Tent, St. Lawrence University
  • David Walden, Hamilton College


Invitation to Reflect (Monday and Tuesday 7:30AM-8:00AM)

…on your work, the highs and lows of the days, weeks, and semesters. The relationships across campus and with students. Meaning and meaning making. The stories we tell about our work and the stories told about our work by others.

Grab a brush, choose your colors and express yourself in whatever way feels right at this moment. Choose a small canvas, contribute to the larger Community Canvas, or even better choose both.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

A very special thank you to our exhibitors and sponsors for helping us make this conference possible. Please visit their tables, learn about their exciting products and services, and collect raffle tickets for prize drawings which feature various giveaways, including a new iPad.

Platinum level exhibitors will have the opportunity to provide a brief presentation during the business meeting.

Platinum ($1000)

Gold ($600)

Silver ($400)

Bronze ($200)

Sunday - March 10

3PM – 5PM

Check-In (Hilton Garden Inn)

5PM – 6PM
Reception, Hors D’oeuvres, and Cash Bar (Basketball Hall of Fame)

6PM – 8PM

Dinner and Keynote

Fred Kaelin, Executive Director, Jordan Porco Foundation at the Basketball Hall of Fame

Fred Kaelin joined the Jordan Porco Foundation in November 2023, following five successful years as the Executive Director of the Shine Initiative, a mental health and stigma reduction organization in MA, and previous roles as Chief Development Officer for YOU, Inc. and Executive Director of Dynamy. Fred is known as a visionary, strategic, and compassionate nonprofit leader and is proud that he has always worked in this sector and for youth-serving organizations. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Hamilton College and his Master of Arts in Teaching English from Tufts University. He is a talented educator and engaging writer and storyteller who frequently shares his lived experience.

The Jordan Porco Foundation was founded in 2011 by Ernie and Marisa Porco after they lost their son, Jordan, to suicide when he was in his first year of college. In their grief, Jordan’s parents learned the unacceptable statistics surrounding mental health and suicide in the young adult population, and decided they needed to turn their grief into action so that other families would never have to experience such a profound loss.

The Jordan Porco Foundation is committed to preventing suicide in the high school, college, and college entry student population. Through awareness, education, and innovative programming, JPF is challenging stigma around mental health and help-seeking, creating open conversations about the prevalence of suicide and mental health issues in the young adult population, and saving lives.

To make a donation to the Jordan Porco Foundation, please visit

Monday - March 11

7:30AM – 8AM

Creative Activity

Kathryn Bruning, M.S., LMHC, Director, Counseling Service, Curry College


8AM – 9AM


9AM – 10:15AM

Breakout Session 1

The Psychiatric CareTeam- A Model for Integration between Health and Counseling Services

Lisa Youngling Howard, MD, Director of Psychiatry, Associate Director of Counseling, Smith College; Kris Evans, LICSW, Director, Schacht Center for Health and Wellness, Smith College

This program offers a discussion of the opportunities and challenges of integration between counseling and medical services, specifically with regard to the prescription of psychotropic medications. We will describe the model utilized by Smith College and then use this model to examine issues related to information sharing, education and consultation, liability concerns, policies and procedures and collaboration across the different cultures of medical and counseling services.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to list the principles of collaborative care.
2. Participants will be able to identify steps for developing or enhancing an integrated model of psychiatric prescribing.

Breakout Session 2

Peer Counseling in Higher Education

Barbara Lewis, M.D., Senior Director of Student Mental Health, Chief of CAMHS; David Walden, Ph.D., Director, Staff Psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology, Hamilton College

As the landscape of mental health in higher education changes, new kinds of services are being offered to our communities and new ways of seeing old services have emerged. One of those areas is Peer Support. In addition to third party vendor offerings, institutions are developing their own Peer Programs or reconceptualizing longer standing programs. The presenters will share our experiences with Peer Counseling groups, starting with one of the longest standing at Harvard, Room 13, which has been in existence for 52+ years and was started during a time of great upheaval. Two newer programs, requested by students, will also be described. We will also share about Hamilton College’s Peer Counseling group, which has been in existence and has evolved over the past 8 years. The implications for how “mental health”, mental health services, and the difference between “therapy” and “therapeutic” will be discussed. We will also invite audience discussion!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the process and scope of practice for peer counseling programs on campuses: training, contracts, confidentiality agreements and providing supervision.
  2. Describe the relationship of the peer counseling program to the counseling service; what does a peer counseling group add that’s different from the counseling service.
  3. Recommendations for maintaining these groups and supporting students who are working as counselors to their peers.


10:15AM – 10:45AM

Break and Visit Exhibitions



Breakout Session 1                 

Adjunctive Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) in College Mental Health

Noelle Harris, Ph.D., LMHC, Assistant Dean/Director of Counseling Bryant University

This program will demonstrate the viability and efficacy of using Adjunctive EMDR in college mental health counseling.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the target problems that can be helped with Adjunctive EMDR in a short-term counseling model.
2. Identify considerations when using Adjunctive EMDR with college students.
3. Identify when adjunctive EMDR with a short-term college counseling model is contraindicated.

Breakout Session 2             

Best Practices in Working with Students Experiencing Psychosis

Lisa Youngling Howard, MD, Director of Psychiatry, Associate Director of Counseling, Smith College

Young adulthood is commonly the age at which symptoms of psychosis and emerging serious mental illness first present. These students will often first present in college counseling services. This presentation will discuss the importance of engaging students who are experiencing psychosis in mental health treatment. We will discuss the psychotherapeutic goals and challenges of working with these students. We will also review best practices and principles in the assessment and treatment of first-episode psychosis utilizing case discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe three factors that are important in the assessment of a first episode of psychosis.
  2. Participants will be able to describe the basic principles of the treatment of psychosis.
  3. Participants will be able to discuss the psychotherapeutic goals of the treatment of students with emerging serious mental illness.
  4. Participants will be able to discuss the psychotherapeutic challenges of working with students with emerging serious mental illness.


12PM – 1:30PM

Lunch, Platinum Exhibitor Presentations, and Business Meeting              

Ann Booth, Psy.D., Bob Murray, Ph.D., Nick Pinkerton, Psy.D.

Lunch and business meeting, with platinum level exhibitors providing brief, 3-minute, presentations on their products to a captive audience of directors.  Agenda items additionally include budget updates, current membership issues, and future conference planning.


1:30PM – 2PM

Break and Visit Exhibitions


2PM – 3:15PM

Plenary Session

Psychedelic Assisted Therapy in the College Student Population

Rheinila Fernandes, M.D., Psychiatrist, Embodied Mind and Medicine, Inc.

There is a growing interest in and curiosity about the merits of psychedelic assisted therapy. Additionally, there is consideration regarding the applicability of such treatment with college populations. Dr. Fernandes will be presenting a talk highlighting the care of a participant with whom she worked with on the MDMA- assisted therapy for PTSD study. The participant is now a student and Dr. Fernandes will share some thoughts on how this treatment might fill an important need in college counseling care.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the benefits of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.
  2. List the key concepts/principles that drive the utilization and efficacy of MDMA-assisted therapy as a treatment for Complex Trauma.
  3. Discuss the primary tensions which exist in the field of psychedelic assisted therapy.


3:30PM – 5PM

Fireside Chat

Join us for a casual gathering of personal reflection, sharing and connection. The Fireside Chat is a unique event to the NECCCD Conference. It allows attendees an opportunity to develop authentic connections on a deeper, more personal level in our lives, together as directors. It is a time and space for directors to share and explore our very human experiences as we encounter transitions or events in our lives and careers. This is not a time for advice-giving or problem-solving, rather, a safe space to join each other around similarities and to make space to honor and explore our differences as we journey forward.



Night Out on the Town

Check out a listing of favorite dining establishments.


Tuesday - March 12

7:30AM – 8AM            

Creative Activity

Kathryn Bruning, M.S., LMHC, Director, Counseling Service, Curry College


8AM – 9AM                



9:15AM – 10:15AM    

Breakout Session 1     

The Broadening of Mental Health: The Next Paradigm Shift in Higher Education

David Walden, Ph.D., Director of Counseling, Hamilton College

The landscape of mental health in higher education is changing. In many ways, the current paradigm is falling apart. NASPA’s Compass report shared alarming data about people wanting to leave the field, CCMH has shared rising rates of distress, the most recent AUCCCD position paper has highlighted the challenges of developing service models and working with third-party providers, and media articles abound about the crisis in higher education. At the same time, emerging movements (e.g., Health Promoting Campuses, Okanagen Charter) reflect shifts in how we think about and approach mental health. This presentation will discuss how the crisis narrative and the broadening of “mental health” are driving a paradigm shift, and how a systems change approach can help us understand what might come next. We will also touch on a project at Hamilton College that is addressing these shifts and trying to chart a new path forward.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify three primary forces shaping views around mental health.
  2. Explain how a systems change approach can be used as a framework for understanding current and shifting ways of thinking about mental health.
  3. Apply assumptions of the mental model to existing campus structures and resources, and discuss implications for future directions in higher education.

Breakout Session 2                 

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst: Lessons Learned from Responding to Campus Tragedies

Coreen Bohl, MSW, LCSW, Director of Counseling, Clarkson University

Responding to the death of a student can be one of the most challenging situations a Director can face. Although multiple guides and checklists exist to help us create protocols, the painful wisdom gained by those who have had to navigate these experiences deserves to be shared with our colleagues.

This presenter will share how their campus faced two separate student deaths in a three-week period and the valuable lessons learned. In addition, Directors who have had to navigate their own campus losses are encouraged to attend this session and will be encouraged to share lessons learned to promote a robust discussion about the range of responses and actions that can be helpful to consider when faced with a campus tragedy.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will identify at least three steps they can take to better prepare themselves for a response to a campus tragedy.
2. Participants will become familiar with actions that can be utilized to offer support to individuals, groups, and the campus at large at the time of and following a tragedy.
3. Participants will also recognize the avenues and importance of timely, thoughtful communication in real-time to the campus community to reduce secondary traumas.


10:15AM – 10:30AM  



10:30AM – 11:45AM     

Breakout Session 1                 

The Psychological Impact of Gambling On Campus: Don’t Bet Against it Being Bigger than you Think

Brian Krylowicz, Ph.D. and Mark Checkwicz, Springfield College

Counseling Centers are very open to exploring many forms of addiction and negative behaviors but we often overlook gambling. This session will focus on modern day gambling issues that college students face and how it impacts their lives and those around them. The topics we will look at is all forms of gambling, the isolation that gambling often brings and the negative consequences of gambling and how these all play a role in the mental health of our students and communities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with modern ways that our students participate in gambling.
  2. Learn how gambling impacts not just a student’s finances but also many other aspects of their psychological well-being.
  3. Gain knowledge of how the gambling industry operates and how it impacts your campus.

Breakout Session 2            

Bringing the Next Mental-Health Frontier into Focus: Building Successful Relationships between Higher-Education and Third-Party Providers

David Walden, Ph.D., Director, Staff Psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology, Hamilton College; Ben Locke, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer, Togetherall; Karen Singleton, Ph.D., Associate Medical Director, Chief of Student Mental Health and Counseling Services, MIT; Kelly Carleton, M.A., Clinical Operations Director, Mantra Health

College and university counseling centers are increasingly working with third-party mental health providers to meet a range of needs. Fueled by the pandemic, rising/changing demands, and record amounts of investment in telehealth, the growing role of third-party industry providers presents a wide range of opportunities and new challenges for colleges and universities, including complex boundaries. As with any new relationship, there are questions about what is appropriate (or not) to share, questions of control and responsibility, finances, feedback/change, and institutional and industry dynamics.

At the same time, there are increasing connections between these “worlds”- clinicians and administrators are now moving between them for employment, information sharing and collaboration is critical to success, and both groups are facing broadly similar challenges unique to mental health in higher education. This panel, composed of representatives from third-party providers and counseling centers, will explore the boundaries we are navigating and share our early reports on what has worked, what hasn’t, and thoughts for future success. In doing so, our hope is to give more definition to this evolving service/business interdependence and outline some of the key areas of dialogue and future directions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify the primary boundaries/tensions that exist within higher education and third-party provider relationships.

2. List the key concepts/principles that drive decision-making in relationships with third-party providers.

3. Discuss the future of relationships with third-party providers, with a focus on meeting specific needs and evaluating potential partners.


11:45AM – 12:00PM     

Closing Remarks and Raffle

Brian Krylowicz, Ph.D. and Renee Rosado, PsyD, American International College