Skip to main content

Counselor Education Faculty

Thomas A. Chavez
Assistant Professor

Office Location: Simpson Hall, Room 129
Phone: (505) 277-7222
Email: tachavez00@unm.edu
Education: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thomas Anthony Chávez, Assistant Professor, joined the Counselor Education faculty at the University of New Mexico in Fall 2015. Dr. Chávez emphasizes Multiculturalism/Diversity/Social justice frameworks within teaching, research, and service projects. His pedagogy pulls from Freirean thought and emphasizes collaboration, service, and dialogue. Research interests include mental health, growth, development, and community engagement with Latino communities. Specific topics include immigrant/undocumented/mixed status experiences, identity, family, substance use and wellness. He has further interest and has widely presented on how to integrate mainstream counseling and traditional healing practices (e.g. Curanderismo) among marginalized populations. Service work entails leadership and identity programming for Mexican indigenous students, diversity programming, traditional healing practice, and being part of university faculty governance. Finally, he is a member of several professional counseling and psychological organizations.

Curriculum Vitae


Jean Keim
Program Coordinator and Clinical Director

Associate Professor

Office Location: Simpson Hall, Room 114
Phone: (505) 277-4807
Email: jkeim@unm.edu
Education: Ph.D., ABPP in Counseling Psychology from Arizona State University

Jean Keim, Associate Professor, has been at UNM since 2006 and in higher education since 1991. Dr. Keim has research interests in academic and job-related factors, stress, burnout and trauma. She has produced multiple publications, and presentations at national and international conferences. Dr. Keim specializes in group counseling and psychotherapy, diagnosis, ethics, and clinical supervision. She has consistently provided clinical services over the past three decades including the following populations: disaster survivors (flood, tornado, plane crash, fire, etc.), inmates, child abuse survivors, domestic violence survivors, and torture survivors). Dr. Keim has served as President of the Society for Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. During her presidency, she created and obtained funding for a foundation to explore group-related issues into perpetuity. Her passions are clinical work and impacting the lives of people in her community.

Research Interests:

  • Academic and Job-Related Factors
  • Stress, Burnout and Trauma

Courses:

  • COUN 519 Internship in Group Counseling
  • COUN 590 Practicum in Counseling
  • COUN 595 Counseling Internship
  • COUN 610 Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • COUN 622 Advanced Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • COUN 576 Diagnosis of Mental Disorders
  • COUN 518 Group Counseling

Curriculum Vitae


Kristopher Goodrich
Associate Professor

Office Location: Simpson Hall, Room 129
Phone: (505) 277-7222
Email: kgoodric@unm.edu
Education: Counselor Education and Supervision, Syracuse University

Kristopher M. Goodrich, Associate Professor, has been at the University of New Mexico since 2010. Dr. Goodrich has specific research interests in LGBTQQIA Issues in Professional Counseling and Counselor Education, Counselor Education Pedagogy, and Group Work in Counseling. He has an active research agenda, is Associate Editor of the Journal for Specialists in Group Work, and serves on the several editorial boards. He is currently serving as president of the Rocky Mountain ACES and is Immediate Past President for the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling.

Research Interests:

  • LGBTQQIA Issues in Professional Counseling and Counselor Education
  • Counselor Education Pedagogy
  • Group Work in Counseling

Courses:

  • COUN 510: Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • COUN 514: Supervision of Counseling Services
  • COUN 518: Group Counseling
  • COUN 521: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • COUN 522: Communication Skills
  • COUN 581: Sexuality in Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • COUN 584: Multicultural Issues in the Helping Professions

Curriculum Vitae


Kelley Holladay, PhD, LMHC, NCC (Florida)
Assistant Professor

Kelley Holladay

Office Location: Simpson Hall, 103
Phone: 505-277-1774
Email: kholladay@unm.edu 
Education: PhD, Counselor Education and Supervision from University of Central Florida

Kelley Holladay has joined the faculty in the UNM College of Education, Department of Individual, Family, & Community Education as an Assistant Professor. She received her Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include sexual violence, inclusive of childhood sexual assault, adult sexual assault, and cyber-sexual assault; her clinical specialty is addiction. She will be teaching in the counseling education program.

Research Interests:

  • Career Counseling
  • Cyber-Sexual Assault (CBSA)
  • Trauma
  • Sexual Violence

Courses Taught:

  • COUN 513 – Career Counseling
  • COUN 518 – Group Counseling
  • COUN 620 – Seminar, Consultation

Curriculum Vitae


Renée Howells, Ph.D., NCC, LPC (Idaho) 
Assistant Professor

Renee Howells

Office Location: Simpson Hall #104
Phone: (505) 277-7223
Email: rhowells@unm.edu
Education: Ph.D. of Counselor Education & Counseling from Idaho State University

Renée Howells, Assistant Professor, came to UNM in 2018. Dr. Howells is passionate about teaching and advocacy. Her counseling specialty is rooted in crisis and trauma work with children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Howells’ areas of research include multicultural competence and disability inclusion in higher education, integrating expressive art therapies in counseling and curricula, and cross-collaborative work across clinical and university settings. She is particularly interested in making counseling services and education accessible for individuals who are d/Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. 

Research Interests:

  • Disability Culture/Intersectionality 
  • Multiculturally-Sensitive Pedagogies & Practices
  • Art & Expressive Mediums Integration
  • Crisis & Trauma 

Courses Taught:

  • COUN. 516 Crisis, Disaster, & Trauma Counseling
  • COUN. 517 Theories of Counseling & Human Behavior

Curriculum Vitae


Erica A. Merrill

Erica A. Merrill

Instructor, M.Ed., LPC (NC,OH), NCC
Office Location: Simpson Hall 128
Phone: 505-277-4575
Email: emerrill@unm.edu
Education: 
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision Anticipated 2018 
M. Edu., Malone University
B.A., Kent State University 

Erica Merrill, M.Ed., LPC (NC & OH), is currently a doctoral student in Counseling at University of North Carolina at Charlotte where her research interests include resilience, post-traumatic relational growth, promoting community wellness and evidence-based treatment of trauma. As a counselor she has professional experience providing individual, family, and crisis counseling with children, adolescents and adult populations in both home and outpatient settings. Erica has served as a graduate research assistant for the Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation. Erica's regularly provides service to her profession through Chi Sigma Iota International Counseling Honor Society at UNC-Charlotte and, and through research as the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Research Wellness Grant.  


Deborah Rifenbary
Associate Professor
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Faculty Development

Phone: (505) 277-8933
Email: riffer@unm.edu
Education: EdD from University of Virginia
Research Interests:

  • International education
  • School counselor role and responsibilities
  • Workforce development
  • Career-technical education

Courses:

  • COUN 514 Supervision of Counseling Services
  • COUN 519 Practicum in Group Counseling
  • COUN 520 Foundation of Counseling
  • COUN 545 School Counseling
  • COUN 584 Multicultural Issues in the Helping Professions
  • COUN 595 Field Practicum

Curriculum Vitae