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Our Staff

2019 CAPS Counseling Staff


Our primary commitment is to enhance the psychological growth, emotional well being, and learning potential of our students. Our staff represents the fields of psychology, counseling, social work, and psychiatry. We also train interns in counseling, clinical psychology, and related counseling programs.

Our permanent staff is 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


Kimberly S. Gorman: PH.D, HSP-P, Director/Psychologist

Dr. Gorman is a licensed psychologist and 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. She has been involved more recently in research around mental health stigma and utilization of services at college counseling centers. 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 the training of masters and doctoral level students for nearly two decades.

She is involved nationally with the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors organization and assists in compiling data from the national survey. She also is on the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) Board of Accreditation and is an accreditation field visitor. She serves as an Appeal Pool Member for APA's Board of Educational Affairs. Furthermore, she works with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards as an exam item writer for the EPPP-2.

Finally, 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.

Jay Manalo


M. Jay Manalo: PH.D, HSP-P, NCC, Associate Director/Training Director/Psychologist (he/him/his)

Dr. Manalo is a licensed psychologist.  He holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He previously worked in IT consulting, then changed careers by obtaining both his M.Ed. in School Counseling and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The University of Georgia. He conducted his doctoral internship at WCU CAPS from 2010 – 2011 and his postdoctoral training and subsequent work experiences with children, adolescents, and adults in private practice settings in Georgia prior to returning to WCU CAPS in 2013.  He is a National Certified Counselor and a member of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.  He serves as a board member of the Association for Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA) and is a site visitor for the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation.

His counseling interests include depression, anxiety, stress, life transitions, AD/HD, LGBTQ identity, multicultural psychology, social skills concerns, and developmental disabilities. His approach to counseling is primarily Person-Centered integrated with aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. He also enjoys providing supervision and training for emerging mental health professionals. At WCU, he completed Safe Zone, Green Zone, and National Coalition Building Institute training and for the past several years has served as a Safe Zone trainer for WCU.

Outside of work, Jay enjoys whitewater kayaking and is a Wilderness First Responder. He also enjoys spending time with his family, his dogs, and other loved ones.

Betsy Aspinwall


Betsy Aspinwall: PSY.D, HSP-P,  Associate Director/Cllinical Director/Psychologist

Dr. Aspinwall is a licensed psychologist who earned her Master's and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis. Betsy has a special interest in working with students with minoritized identities and enjoys providing services to both groups and individuals. She works with a variety of therapeutic issues including; eating disorders, mood concerns and suicidality, identity development, grief, LGBTQ issues, anxiety, and adjustment/transitions. Betsy utilizes a collaborative person-centered approach to therapy while allowing the client to guide the therapeutic process.

Betsy is an active member of the Association for the Coordination of Counseling Center Clinical Services, is a peer reviewer for the Journal of College Counseling, and is an accreditation site visitor for the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS).

Outside of the office, Betsy can be found spending time in the local community with family and enjoying the outdoors on her homestead.

CAPS Counselor in Residence Andrew Burnette


Andrew R. Burnette: MA, MDiv, LCMHCA, NCC, Counselor in Residence

Andrew is a provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of North Carolina and board certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors.  He holds an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University with a graduate certification in Systemic Multicultural Counseling, as well as an M.Div. from Campbell University.

Andrew has an interest in working with college students in higher education and has served as a Residence Director and Area Coordinator at various universities. His counseling interests include anxiety, depression, adjustment/transitions, identity development, LGBT issues, trauma, spirituality, and multicultural counseling. He utilizes a systemic approach with therapy, which incorporates aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and mindfulness.

Outside of the office, Andrew enjoys exploring mountain trails, traveling, cooking, knitting, and spending time with family and loved ones.

Paula Demonet


Paula A. Demonet: LCMHCS, NCC, Counselor

Paula has worked with individuals and groups in a variety of settings. She utilizes a person-centered approach to counseling with the goal of improving the lives of those she serves. She uses therapies such as Person Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.

She holds a B.S. degree in Recreational Therapy and an M.S. degree in Community Counseling from Western Carolina University. She is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of North Carolina and Certificated by the National Board of Certified Counselors. Paula has worked as a mental health therapist and supervisor for local not for profit and state agencies gaining experience working with clients with a variety of mental health issues. Paula has a talent for utilizing experiential modalities to bring about learning opportunities for clients.

When not working Paula enjoys volunteering her time to work with the youth in her community. She enjoys taking care of her four children and sharing the wonders of the outdoors with them and her husband.

Susannah Kuppers


Susannah Kuppers: MSW, LCSW, LCAS Counselor (she/her/hers)

Ms. Kuppers completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Western Carolina University in 2014 and obtained full LCSW licensure in 2016. She completed her LCAS license in 2019.

Through work with local community mental health and victim advocacy organizations, she has experience working with a variety of issues include interpersonal violence, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and trauma. Susannah uses a person-centered and feminist approach to counseling, incorporating therapies including EMDR, Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Outside of work, Susannah enjoys time outdoors, gardening, cooking and spending time with family.

CAPS Counselor Aaron Plantenberg


Aaron Plantenberg: LCSW, LCAS Clinical Social Worker (he/him/his)

Aaron is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist with extensive community-based treatment and advocacy experience in the rural communities of western North Carolina. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point where he earned his BA in psychology and later achieved his MSW here at WCU. Aaron specializes in crisis stabilization and the treatment of trauma, psychosis, mood disorders, personality disorders, and addictions through various evidence-based treatment approaches including EMDR, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.

In his personal time, Aaron loves outdoor adventures with his wife and daughter, playing music, and long rides on his motorcycle. 

CAPS Psychologist David Solomon


David Solomon: PH.D Psychologist

Dr. Solomon completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Central Michigan University in 2017 following the completion of his doctoral internship through the Charleston Internship Consortium. He is excited to be returning to WCU after completing his M.A. in Psychology here in 2010. His clinical training has focused on a range of topics including depression, anxiety, trauma, interpersonal issues, and LGBTQ+ concerns. Dr. Solomon uses a number of evidence-based techniques and perspectives to fit the specific needs of each individual client. Regardless of the specific therapies used, Dr. Solomon underlies his work with a client-centered perspective that values the unique attributes and strengths of every person.  Dr. Solomon enjoys taking walks in nature, cooking, and playing video games. He and his dog Bowser also enjoy sitting on the sofa and rewatching old episodes of "Frasier."

CAPS Pschology Intern Katherine Beattie


Katherine B.: MS, Psychology Intern (she/her/hers)

Katherine earned a B.A. in Psychology, M.S. in Professional Counseling, and is currently completing a Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Katherine’s philosophical orientation is as an existential-humanist; her clinical approach to psychotherapy is primarily relational, with an emphasis on interpersonal processing and developing strong therapeutic relationships.  Her research interests include: maternal ambivalence; sociocultural foundations of and culturally relevant methods for reducing gender-based violence in Uganda; and building international partnerships with institutions of higher education for the purposes of developing collaborative, cross-cultural training programs for practicum and internship students.

She has experience working with both adults and children who enter therapy with various concerns, including symptoms related to: depression, anxiety, early childhood trauma, grief and loss, substance use, systemic oppression, and navigating difficult interpersonal relationships.

In her free time, Katherine enjoys the Lake Junaluska trail, TRX, and hanging out on the couch watching Netflix with her teenage daughters and their two fat cats.

CAPS Psychology Intern Hewitt Rogers


Hewitt R.: Ed.S.,NCC, Psychology Intern (he/him/his)

Hewitt earned his B.S. degree in Psychology from Mississippi State University and his M.Ed. in Counselor Education as well as his Ed.S. in Counselor Education - Play Therapy from The University of Mississippi.  He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia. 

He enjoys working with college students and adults.  His clinical interests include depression, relationship issues, anxiety, issues specific to athletes and veterans, and nature’s role in the prevention and treatment of mental health concerns.  He uses an integrated approach to counseling which draws from humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and interpersonal therapies.   

In his free time, Hewitt enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, family, and friends.  He also enjoys time outdoors mountain biking, camping, and hiking.

CAPS Trainee Katarina Wittekind


Katarina W. B.S.W. Trainee (she/her/hers)

Katarina obtained her Bachelors degree in Social Work from Warren Wilson College in 2015. Since then she has completed her 200hr yoga certification for behavioral health professionals through Subtle Yoga in Asheville, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her masters degree in Social Work here at Western, and plans to work towards clinical licensure post-graduation.

She has a person-centered approach to her work and focuses on the importance of relationship in her interactions with clients. Her integrative approach has roots in feminist theory, empowerment, and strengths perspective. During her time at CAPS she hopes to learn more about dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), somatic experiencing, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to facilitate healing the mind and the body.

She is a recipient of the HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals (BHWET) stipend and plans to utilize the skills she obtains from the program to work with individuals in a hospice setting as well as disaster settings as a clinical first responder.

When Katarina is not at CAPS you will probably find her in the woods or in her own garden. When she has longer breaks, it is likely that she will not be in the area because her wanderlust takes her elsewhere.  

CAPS Trainee Megan Myers


Megan M. BA Trainee

Megan is currently pursuing a MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and will be graduating May of 2020. She got a BA in communications from NC State University and worked in Human Resources for several years before going back to school.

Right now she is planning on pursuing her LPC after graduation and hopes to work with college students. She is interested in grief counseling and working with first-generation college students. She is interested in teaching seminars and working with groups as well as working with individual students.

 After living in the West Virginia and North Carolina mountains she can’t imagine being somewhere without them. She loves backpacking and hiking with her pup and her husband. When she isn’t in school she runs her own career coaching/resume editing business and loves to be outside.

CAPS Trainee Kimberly Taylor


Kimberly T.: BS Trainee (she/her/hers)

Kimberly is a master’s trainee from the Clinical Psychology Program at WCU. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UNC-Pembroke. She plans on pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology after graduating in May of 2020. In the future, she hopes to open her own practice on the coast of North Carolina.

While growing up in Virginia and North Carolina, she fell in love with outdoor activities. During down-time, she enjoys visiting the beach, playing with animals, going to concerts, and exploring new towns and cities. 



Lee Anne Burrell, Administrative Support Specialist (she/her/hers)

Lee Anne has been in the medical field for over 35 years with the majority of her career  in the hospital setting.  She has a love for children and young people.  Her greatest joy is seeing today's youth succeed.  She joined WCU in 2014, a native to Western North Carolina, attending local high school and Southewestern Community College.

When she is not working you will find her enjoying the lake and camping life with her family and the absolute loves of her life; her two grandsons, along with her two yorkies.


Denise Stephens, Administrative Support Specialist

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