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Our 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 comprised of 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.

CAPS Caroline


Caroline Engler: Ph.D.,HSP-P, Interim Director, Psychologist (she/her/hers)

Dr. Engler is a licensed psychologist who earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Caroline has a special interest in working with students with minoritized identities and enjoys providing individual and group services. She utilizes a feminist-based, person-centered approach to therapy and integrates a variety of treatment modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and Motivational Interviewing. Her clinical training and career expereinces have focused on supporting individuals processing trauma, improving symptoms of depression, using short term counseling interventions to increase behavioral health, and specialization in LGBTQ+ health and well-being. Caroline also enjoys providing supervision and facilitating staff and trainee learning experiences.

In her free time, Caroline enjoys a regular yoga practice, swimming, playing video games, and spending time with family, friends, and fur babies.

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.

Calista Colbert


Calista Colbert: LCMHC-A, Counselor (she/her/hers)

Calista is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in the state of North Carolina. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and her certification in Expressive Arts Therapy from Appalachian State University in August 2021 and recently completed trainings to became a SoulCollage® Facilitator.

Calista loves supporting clients who feel stuck in the “in betweens” of life and utilizes a person-centered, strengths-based, trauma-informed approach to working with students. In every interaction she has with clients, Calista is passionate about creating a brave space for their intersecting identities to speak. As a tribal member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, she recognizes the continued need for the decolonization of our hearts, minds, relationships, and communities. Clinical interests include (but are not limited to) LGBTQ+ and BIPOC identity exploration, trauma, anxiety, spirituality concerns, grief, and life transitions. Calista enjoys meeting with clients in individual and group settings and building relationships with students through outreach opportunities. She also loves to provide support to clinician’s-in-training through supervision and her role as Master’s Training Coordinator.

When not at WCU, you can find Calista quilting, reading, snuggling with her dog, singing, or playing board games with her partner.

Amber Ellington


Amber Ellington: LCMHC-A, Counselor, Outreach Coordinator (she/her)

Amber is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in the state of North Carolina. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University in August 2022.

She is passionate about helping college students create a solid foundation for personal wellness and believes that mental health should be viewed in a holistic manner. She knows that achieving personal wellness is different for every person, and she enjoys exploring both the challenges and the joys of the intersection between wellness and identity. Amber utilizes a person-centered, trauma-informed approach that often involves elements of feminist therapy, Adlerian therapy, and motivational interviewing. Some of her counseling interests include, but are not limited to, LGBTQIA+ identity, BIPOC identity, relationship concerns, and adjustments/transitions.

When not engaged in counseling sessions, Amber serves as a member of the WCU Alcohol and Other Drug Committee and the Safe Zone trainer team.

In her free time, Amber enjoys bullet journaling, spending time outside, knitting/crocheting, baking, and being in the community.

Heather Lloyd


Heather Lloyd: LCMHC, Counselor (she/her/hers)

Heather is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina who earned her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Webster University and B.S. in Exercise Physiology from the College of Charleston. Heather has experience in working with adults in inpatient, outpatient, rural and community-based settings with a variety of mental health concerns. Heather’s counseling interest include providing services to LGBTQ+, student-athletes, health care providers and first responders.  She utilizes a person-centered, humanistic approach to therapy through collaboration and choice.

Outside of clinical work, Heather enjoys camping, hiking, woodworking, cooking, beach trips and attending local community events.



Megan Smith: Ph.D. Psychology Resident (she/her/hers)

Dr. Smith is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Dakota. She is actively pursuing licensure in the state of North Carolina. Megan has a special interest in working with students with minoritized identities and enjoys doing individual work. Her clinical interests include mood concerns, anxiety, adjustments/transitions, BIPOC concerns, Native American mental health issues and cultural identity development. Megan uses an integration of insight-oriented paradigms, liberation psychology (examining oppressive structures that have influenced the concept of self and their communities), and cognitive behavioral techniques in her work with students.

Outside of the office, Megan enjoys watching reality tv, going to concerts, reading, and spending time with family, friends, and community.

Myranda Warfield


Myranda Warfield: Ph.D., NCC, LCMHC-A, Counselor In Residence (they/them) 

 Myranda is a provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of North Carolina and a National Certified Counselor. They graduated from Ohio University with a masters degree in Clinical Mental Health/Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and doctoral degree in Counseling and Counselor Education at the University of Florida. Their passion for working with college students had led to working in a variety of roles within the university setting, including previous training and clinical experience at two university counseling centers and teaching undergraduate courses on stress and anxiety, mindful living, and interpersonal communication. 

Myranda uses an integrated approach of humanistic, queer, and feminist to provide trauma informed and affirmative counseling to students/ Their counseling interests include providing services to queer, trans and gender diverse, student-athlete, BIPOC, and the impacts of social injustice within communities. Myranda has also worked with students experiencing adjustment issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, relationship concerns, identity development, sex and sexuality, and perfectionism. They also enjoy teaching student about mindfulness, facilitating group counseling, and provided outreach presentations and events to the campus community. 

In their free time, Myranda enjoys cooking/baking, playing video and tabletop games. 

Kyla Allison

Kyla Allison: B.S., Case Manager (she/her)

Kyla completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology here at Western Carolina University in 2019 and is currently a graduate student in the social work program. She was a member of the Western Carolina Women’s Basketball team from 2019-2023.

Kyla is passionate about community connection and building relationships. She focuses on the importance of collaboration, interrelatedness, support, and advocacy to assist in providing resources and services for students on and off campus. Her collegiate career as a full-time student-athlete has sparked her interest in working in higher education where she can strive to have a positive impact on all students. She utilizes her past experiences as a tool to develop relationships with students and colleagues while engaging in outreach and community development.

In her free time, Kyla enjoys painting, exercising, watching basketball and football, cooking, playing video games, experiencing nature, sitting by the pool with a good book, and traveling to visit her loved ones.


Britt Duncan


Britt Duncan: M.A. Doctoral Psychology Intern

Britt is a doctoral psychology intern, currently working towards the completion of her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Chicago (Chicago, IL). She obtained her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy) from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Britt’s clinical interests include, but are not limited to, identity development, interpersonal concerns, trauma work and multiculturalism. She works from a systemic framework and incorporates solution-focused and person-centered approaches into her work.

In her free time, Britt enjoys playing video games, trying new restaurants, writing and playing with her pets. Britt is not a natural outdoors person but since moving to the mountains, is attempting to engage in outdoor hobbies such as kayaking and hiking.

Adam Hicks


Adam Hicks: M.A. Doctoral Psychology Intern 

Adam earned a B.S. in Psychology from Campbell University in 2008 and an M.A. in Psychology from Western Carolina University in 2011. At that point in his journey, Adam wanted to pursue a career in academia and entered the doctoral program at Kent State University (in Clinical Psychology – Assessment Specialty) in 2012. However, once Adam experienced training in community mental health at Coleman Psychological services in Portage County Ohio, he found his true passion to be providing mental health services. He then left the program at Kent State and returned to WCU and entered their PsyD program in Health Service Psychology.

As a doctoral intern, Adam hopes to provide services to wide range of students at CAPS. His approach to therapy derives from an existential view of mental health, namely that many of the problems we experience are associated with our struggles of living in the world. As such, Adam focuses on experiences, meaning, and belongingness as pillars to help others find ways of improving their lives by “existing better.” To facilitate this, Adam strives to create a space for students to feel safe in being authentic when sharing and processing their experiences and goals. Adam also has focused much of his energy working with students at WCU who have various levels of suicide risk.

Outside of CAPS, Adam enjoys listening to podcasts that range from topics of history, statistics (for some reason, Adam minored in both history and mathematics), cooking, and video games. Adam also listens to comic shows, particularly stand-up, sitcoms, and panel shows.

Erin Thompson


Erin Thompson: M.A. Doctoral Psychology Intern 

Erin completed her B.A. in Psychology from Butler University in 2011. She earned a M.A. in Counseling Psychology and a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - Anaheim. 

Throughout her training, Erin has provided services for adolescents, college students and adults with a variety of presenting concerns. Erin is passionate about substance use issues, trauma, family concerns, and interpersonal challenges. She utilizes person-centered and interpersonal approaches to therapy, while integrating different treatment modalities depending on what will best serve the individual client. Erin believes that one of the most important factors in therapy is the relationship between therapist and client.  She strives to create a safe, trusting, empathic and comfortable space, and uses the therapeutic relationship to facilitate change. 

In her free time, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, exploring parks and the outdoors with her toddler, cooking, baking, going to concerts, watching her favorite football team, and trying new restaurants


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

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 Southwestern 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.

CAPS Denise Stephens


Denise Stephens, Administrative Support Specialist (she/her)

Denise has worked in a medical office setting for over 20 years.  She is a native of western North Carolina and joined WCU in 2015.  When she is not working you will find her enjoying time with her children, often at the lake, river, or local hiking trails.


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