Meet the Staff
John Hancock, Ed.D., serves as Chief Psychologist and Associate Dean of Students for Health and Wellness. Dr. Hancock supervises the Counseling Service, Student Health Service, and Health Promotion & Wellness office. He earned his doctorate in Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University. Dr. Hancock completed an extramural training program at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy & Research and has been granted diplomate status by the Academy for Cognitive Therapy. He has directed college counseling services for almost 20 years. His professional passion is suicide risk reduction and intervention, and he is a trainer for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
Melinda Brooks, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist from Pacific University. She has worked at student counseling centers at Pacific University and the University of Washington. Melinda’s professional interests include helping students with mood and anxiety disorders, interpersonal relationships, grief and loss, and trauma and abuse issues. Her approach to therapy is integrative and addresses identity development, career, and education issues into the therapeutic work with students.
Hillary Howarth, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist who earned her doctorate from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Before Lewis & Clark, she worked in counseling centers at the University of San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, and St. Mary’s College of California. Her primary specialty is working with bereaved students and those experiencing other types of losses, including relationship break-ups. Her clinical interests also include depression, anxiety, addiction, and interpersonal concerns. Hillary enjoys cross-cultural counseling and is an LGBTQ ally. Her approach to counseling is warm, collaborative, and flexible, depending on each student’s unique needs and goals.
Michelle J. Kirton, Ph.D., Associate Director of Counseling/Training Director, is a licensed psychologist specializing in career and professional development, women’s issues, and multiculturalism. Her Ph.D. is from Arizona State University–Tempe, and her M.S. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Since higher education settings have been a focus for Dr. Kirton, she has also worked with students at Oregon Health Science University, and has created and taught courses for Pacific University and for Portland State University.
Jeanne M. Lilly, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Her professional interests include positive psychology, the treatment of trauma, psychospiritual approaches to counseling, and Eastern psychology. She has taught courses for Lewis & Clark College and for Marylhurst University.
Bobbi Mihara, Psy.D., Clinical Coordinator, is a licensed psychologist from Pacific University. She specializes in working with LGBTQ, multicultural, and creative students, and with couples. She takes a humanistic approach to mental health, which explores the student’s individual, interpersonal, and cultural strengths to increase insight into challenges that students may face. In addition to her work at Lewis & Clark College, Bobbi has a private practice and has worked in counseling centers at Portland State University, Pacific University, and Oregon State University. She has also created and taught courses for Portland State University and for Oregon State University.
Aimee Polzin, L.P.C., is a licensed professional counselor with an M.A. from Lewis & Clark. Before joining the team in the Counseling Service, Aimee worked in community mental health centers, in private practice, and in a pediatric/adolescent eating disorder treatment program. Aimee has two distinct roles at the Counseling Service: as Case Manager and also as Mental Health Counselor. As a Case Manager, she supports community members by connecting them to appropriate on-campus and off-campus resources, helping them to continue to attain their academic and co-curricular goals, and supporting them in dealing with difficult life experiences. As a Mental Health Counselor, she works with students to successfully manage psychological distress including depression, anxiety, trauma, life transitions, grief and loss, relationship issues, and identity issues. Her practice includes mindfulness techniques, interventions based in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, mindful self-compassion, and meditation.
Kara Powers, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist. She graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and did her residency training at University of California, San Francisco. In addition to her work at the Counseling Service, Dr. Powers has practiced in a variety of settings including community mental health and private practice, and has served as clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. She has experience treating a broad range of mental health issues within culturally diverse populations using both medication management and psychotherapy. She has a particular interest in mindfulness practices and in applying these to her psychotherapeutic work. She especially enjoys working with students as they grow and discover their paths in life.
Amy Bissinger is a psychological trainee from Pacific University. She uses an integrative and holistic therapeutic approach that is person-centered, incorporating Gestalt and acceptance and commitment-based therapies. She includes mindfulness, meditation, and self-compassion practices in her work. She is interested in anxiety and stress management, body image concerns, chronic pain, depression, self-esteem development, identity conflict, interpersonal distress, and phase-of-life worries. She enjoys working with student-athletes on a variety of concerns, particularly performance-related anxiety and injury recovery. She fosters individual empowerment by providing a nonjudgmental, open, accepting space in which to explore her client’s uniquely varied needs, with attention to the authenticity of the therapeutic relationship.
Rachel Linge is a psychological trainee from Pacific University. She uses an integrative cognitive-behavioral and acceptance and commitment-based therapeutic approach. Her interests include identity development, eating disorders, body image issues, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and couples counseling. Her aim is to provide a warm, collaborative relationship that will allow students to learn more about themselves as they move through life.
Ilene Schechter, M.S., M.P.H., is a psychological trainee from Pacific University. She has worked as a student-therapist at the Pacific Psychology & Comprehensive Health Clinic in Portland, and also at Washington State University-Vancouver Student Counseling Services. She enjoys working in a collaborative process with students on a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, chronic illness, and relationship issues. Her approach to therapy is integrative, incorporating psychodynamic and dialectical behavior therapy.
Charlie Waldo, M.A., is a psychological trainee from Pacific University. She uses a Gestalt, client-centered approach to therapy, emphasizing authenticity and wholeness. Charlie works with couples and individual clients with a variety of concerns such as: anxiety, depression, trauma, body image issues, sexuality, issues related to LGBTIQ community members, and interpersonal conflicts and communication difficulties. She is particularly interested in working with and supporting those who identify within marginalized identities and/or communities. Charlie has a particular interest in providing and fostering supportive, affirming therapeutic relationships with her clients to nourish growth around spirituality, sexuality, gender expression, and identity development.
Laura Mundt, email@example.com, Administrative Coordinator, schedules client appointments, facilitates students, and serves as office manager.