CAPS Staff Bios

We represent the fields of psychology, counseling, social work, and psychiatry. We train interns in counseling, clinical psychology, and related counseling programs. Our primary commitment is to enhance the psychological growth, emotional well being, and learning potential of students. Our permanent staff are licensed and/or certified mental health professionals. However, all members of our counseling team (including graduate interns) are trained to address a wide range of presenting concerns. We each have our own unique interests and have developed counseling styles that best enable us to connect with students in a personalized way that aims to be most helpful.


 Kim Gorman, Director

Kimberly S. Gorman, Ph.D., HSP-P, Director, Licensed Psychologist earned her Master's and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Kim has a special interest in working with women's issues and, specifically, eating disorders, however has experience working with clients with a variety of mental health issues. Additionally, she has experience working in behavioral medicine. She works from a feminist, interpersonal approach in therapy. Another interest for her is in the area of training and professional development. She has been involved in training of masters and doctoral level students for nearly two decades. Personally, she enjoys spending time with her husband sitting on their porch, reading a book and looking at the mountains. She also enjoys being active and watching her beloved basketball team in action.

Michelle Cooper Photo

Michelle K. Cooper, Ph.D., HSP-P, LCAS-A, Clinical Director, Licensed Psychologist, has a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master's in Counselor Education from Penn State. She uses relational-cultural, family systems, culturally-sensitive approaches incorporating mindfulness-based therapeutic tools and other evidence-based practices into her therapeutic work.  She views counseling as a collaborative process where both client & counselor bring their individual expertise/gifts together to address specific concerns. Personally, she loves the mountains, rivers & related recreational activities, especially with her family.

Arika Morrison

Arika Morrison, M.S., LPC-S, Licensed Professional Counselor/Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Care Coordinator, completed her Master's Degree in Counseling with a specialty in College Student Personnel from Shippensburg University in 2002. She completed her counseling license in 2004. Arika has experience working with a variety of counseling issues including: Relationships, Sexual Abuse, Trauma, Disordered Eating, Body Image, Self-Esteem and Women’s Issues. Arika uses a humanistic approach blended with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. She also really enjoys working with SoulCollage®. Outside of the office, Arika cherishes her time with her husband and their dog traveling through the mountains or to the coast.

 Christy Newell Photo Christy Newell Wyatt, LCSW, LCAS, CSI, Substance Use Counselor, completed her Master's Degree in Social Work from Walla Walla College and then earned her Social Work  licensure in 2007.  She has also gained her license as a Clinical Addictions Specialist in 2012.  Christy has experience working with diverse populations with a variety of issues from: depression, Bipolar, anxiety, substance abuse/addiction, adjustment, suicide, sexual abuse and trauma.  She uses therapies such as Person Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.   When not counseling, Christy enjoys spending time with her husband reading, traveling, run/walking ½ marathons as well as enjoying the outdoors with their 2 dogs, and a horse.
 Jay Manalo

Michael Jay Manalo, Ph.D., HSP-P, NCC, Training Director, Licensed Psychologist, completed both his master’s degree in School Counseling and his doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at The University of Georgia.  He conducted his doctoral internship at WCU’s CAPS and his postdoctoral training and subsequent work experiences in private practice settings in Georgia prior to returning to WCU.  His counseling interests include depression, anxiety, stress, life transitions, eating disorders, AD/HD, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) issues, multicultural psychology, social skills issues, and developmental disabilities.  His approach to counseling is primarily Person-Centered integrated with aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  He completed Safe Space and Safe Zone training at both UGA and WCU and is also a National Certified Counselor.  Outside of work, Jay is an ACA certified whitewater kayak instructor and Wilderness First Responder.  He also enjoys spending time with his family, his dog, and other loved ones. 


Keysha Alston, M.A., LPCA, Counselor, completed her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of West Florida in 2010. She has experience working with college populations and has a strong passion in helping empower individuals to overcome their personal struggles. Keysha has worked with individuals and groups over a wide-range of issues, including depression, anxiety, body-image, self-injury, women’s issues, LGBTQ issues, relationships, and life transitions. Although informed by humanism and existential psychology, Keysha uses cognitive-behavioral and process-oriented techniques to assist clients. She views her role as a therapist as creating a safe, warm therapeutic environment that fosters growth in clients. In her spare time, Keysha enjoys reading, finding new music, and dabbles in photography

 Betsy Aspinwall Image

 Betsy Aspinwall, Psy.D., Psychologist, earned her Master's and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Appalachian State University prior to coming to WCU. Betsy is experienced in working with individuals, couples, and groups, and enjoys working with diverse students and presenting concerns. She works with a variety of therapeutic issues including; eating disorders, depression, identity concerns, grief, alcohol and substance use, suicide, LGBT issues, anxiety, trauma, and adjustment/transitions. Betsy utilizes a collaborative person-centered approach to therapy while allowing the client to guide the therapeutic process. Outside of the office she enjoys cooking and baking, spending time with loved ones, and exploring the mountains with her dog.



Alida Herrera, NP-C, Family Nurse Practitioner, received her Master's Degree in Family Practice Nursing from the University of Wyoming in 2000. She is Board Certified as a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, providing care to patients of all ages. Having been a parent, teacher and counselor, she is understanding of the challenges facing families dealing with school concerns as well as at home. She enjoys spending weekends visiting friends out of town and enjoying the mountain scenery.


 Marybeth Karnstedt Image

 Marybeth Karnstedt, M.A., Counselor/Doctoral Intern

 Michael Tkach Image Michael Tkach, M.A., Counselor/Doctoral Intern, earned his Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, where he is also pursuing a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. Michael has experience training and working in a variety of treatment environments, including hospital, group home, community mental health, crisis residence, and university settings. His counseling interests include personal identity development, grief, stress and anxiety, reliance/wellness, creativity, communication, and personality; he is interested in working with other presenting concerns as well. His approach to counseling is informed by psycho-dynamic and existentialist theories, and he is comfortable with using alternate approaches as appropriate for the person with whom he is working. Outside of work, Michael enjoys reading, writing, watching movies, playing music, drawing, and having fun conversations with friends and family.
 Lisa Carter photo Lisa M. Carter, A.B., Office Manager, has an Associate's Degree in General Business. She specializes in providing excellent customer services , computer knowledge and a positive attitude. Lisa really enjoys working in the university environment and has been a part CAPS for almost 10 years.  Lisa is originally from Athens, Georgia. She has two wonderful daughters, Jessica and Anna who both enjoy playing basketball, volleyball and softball. Lisa loves being with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, playing and watching sports (especially football), and listening to music.  She is thrilled to be a part of the Western Carolina University community and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) team.
 Debbye McGee Image Debbye McGee, Administrative Assistant, is originally from Grand Junction, Colorado.  She has lived in the area for 20 years.  She has two daughters Crystal and Lavender Sky.  Debbye also has two granddaughters Jazmine and Jewell Sky who are both nine years old.  She loves photography, traveling and making jewelry.  In her spare time she enjoys being one with nature, meditation, aromatherapy and practicing Mindful Living.

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