Eastern Michigan University

Meet the CAPS Staff


 Professional Staff
Dr. Alcaine
Oscar Alcaine, Ph.D., Coordinator of Post-Doctoral Training

Oscar is a licensed clinical psychologist who started working at EMU in 2006 after moving from New York where he worked at SUNY Purchase’s Counseling Center and previous to that, completed a clinical fellowship at Columbia University Counseling and Psychological Services. His interests include working with students who present with anxiety and depression, multicultural issues in therapy, interpersonal processes in treatment, and the integration of eclectic perspectives in psychotherapy. Oscar is currently the CAPS post-doctoral training coordinator.

Dr. Carney
Sharon Carney, Ph.D., Coordinator of Practicum Training

Sharon is a licensed psychologist and a licensed professional counselor. She earned her doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University. Sharon completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and worked as a clinician at the University of Notre Dame and Valparaiso University prior to joining EMU Counseling and Psychological Services in April 2008. Her areas of clinical interest include women’s issues; multicultural and feminist psychology; trauma and abuse recovery; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; spirituality; and use of creative arts in counseling.  Sharon is the graduate training director.


Dr. Hunt-Carter
Erin Hunt-Carter, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist

Erin is a licensed clinical psychologist who joined CAPS in 2012. She completed her bachelor's degree here at Eastern Michigan University and went on to earn her master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She completed her internship at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital. Her areas of clinical interest include substance use and addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, and trauma. She takes an individualized, cognitive-behavioral approach with an emphasis on interpersonal issues, motivation and gender.


Dr. Lauterbach
Lisa Lauterbach , Ph.D., Director

Lisa is a licensed clinical psychologist who began working at EMU in 2002 as a staff psychologist. She became director of CAPS in 2007. Lisa returned to college mental health after working for nine years in veterans hospitals and community mental health agencies. Her interests include working with students with sexual trauma, depression, anxiety, and dissociation.


Lourdes Mir-Orrange, LMSW
Lourdes Mir-Orrange, LMSW, Clinical Social Worker

Lourdes is a licensed clinical social worker who joined the EMU Counseling and Psychological Services team in 2007. She comes to EMU with 18 years of clinical experience after having worked in several outpatient mental health clinics, public health clinics, and at Cornell Counseling and Psychological Services. Her experience includes working with clients with depression and anxiety, intimate relationship conflict, domestic violence, grief/loss issues, chronic illness, and phase of life problems. Lourdes is especially interested in working with international students around acculturation issues and working with multicultural issues in therapy.

Dr. Plaufcan
Melissa Plaufcan, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist

Melissa is a licensed counseling psychologist, having earned her Ph.D. from the University of Akron. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at Appalachian State University, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. As a first-generation college student, she is passionate about helping other first-gens identify and overcome barriers to succeeding in the college environment. Her other areas of interest include stress and anxiety, relationship concerns, identity development, and eating and body image issues. Melissa utilizes a flexible approach to therapy, but often incorporates cognitive techniques and mindfulness-based interventions to help clients engage in non-judgmental awareness of thoughts and feelings.

Dr. Melissa Rosenblum
Melissa Rosenblum, Ph.D., Coordinator of Outreach Programs

Melissa is a licensed psychologist who joined the EMU team in 2008 following her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan Psychological Clinic. She holds a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Prior to working in university counseling, Melissa was employed as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in community mental health settings in rural Kentucky. Her areas of clinical interest include women's issues and trauma; couples and marital therapy; supervision and training; interpersonal process groups; identity development concerns throughout the lifespan; and multicultural concerns. She is currently the CAPS outreach coordinator and coordinator of the active bystander intervention training program.

Dr. Thiagarajan
Monica Thiagarajan, Ph.D., Coordinator of Group Therapy

Dr. T is a licensed counseling psychologist. She received her master's degree from Loyola University of Chicago and her Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. Formerly an international student, Monica has a strong interest and experience in working with international students. Her other areas of interest include healthy relationships depression, anxiety, couples counseling, multicultural and diversity issues, sexual orientation and identity issues, and interpersonal trauma. In addition to individual therapy, Monica also facilitates the women of color support group.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

 Dr. Aaron Ceresnie

Aaron Ceresnie, PsyD

Aaron Ceresnie is a completing his post-doctoral fellowship at EMU Counseling and Psychological Services. After earning a B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from Michigan State University, he earned his Master's in Counseling and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Aaron completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Michigan Counseling and Psychological Services and is at home in university counseling centers. He enjoys working with students, staff, and faculty to promote well-being and foster growth and resilience. His primary clinical interests include developmental and phase-of-life transitions, identity consolidation, anxiety management, spiritual and religious concerns, and helping students manage ADHD and other learning-related difficulties.

Dr. Paige Hover

Paige Hover, PsyD

Paige is completing her post-doctoral fellowship at CAPS. She earned her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology-Chicago Campus in 2014. Paige completed her pre-doctoral internship at The University of Connecticut's Counseling and Mental Health Services. She has worked in college mental health since 2012 and is passionate about working closely with students to support their success and promote wellness. Paige is also developing a specialization in substance use prevention, assessment and treatment as she has worked with clients struggling with these issues since 2010. Other areas of clinical and professional interest include identity development, adjustment issues, working with student veterans, graduate students, first-generation students and non-traditional students, supervision and training, teaching, and mindfulness. Paige incorporates aspects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Client-Centered therapy techniques into her clinical work while also attending to multiculturalism and diversity.


Graduate Student Therapists (2014-2015)

Rachel Booth

Rachel is a Counselor-in-Training in Eastern Michigan University's College Counseling program. She has four years experience in residence services and student affairs, including work with career services. She has also worked in community agencies for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and has worked inpatient services at a Behavioral Medicine Center for people with Dual Diagnosis. Her interests include outreach programming and creative expression, and working with college students on interpersonal issues, adjustment difficulties, anxiety, and depression.

Grant Ellison

Grant is a second year Clinical Behavioral Psychology graduate student at EMU. He completed his undergraduate training at Saginaw Valley State University where he was actively involved in research and psychology organizations. Grant formerly worked for MidMichigan Health at an inpatient psychiatric unit in a hospital setting. There he developed experience working with individuals from various backgrounds dealing with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, suicidality, and various personality and psychosis related disorders. Grant's clinical and research interests include anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, stress, depression, as well as escape and avoidance of problem behaviors

Heather Gehringer

Heather is in her final year of the MSW program here at EMU. Her concentration is in Mental Illness and Chemical Dependency. Heather obtained her bachelors degree in psychology from Oakland University. She has experience working with traumatic brain injury, and individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Her clinical interests include depression, grief, and anxiety.

Monica Lackups

Monica Lackups is a fifth year clinical psychology doctoral student at Eastern Michigan University. She completed her Bachelor's at St. Mary's University at San Antonio prior to beginning her graduate work. Monica recently completed an internal practicum at the EMU Psychology Clinic and external practica at EMU CAPS and at UM CAPS. She is interested in anxiety, depression, and identity development in university students and takes a third-wave behavioral treatment approach to her clinical work.

Jerrica Pitzen

Jerrica is a second-year Masters student in the General Clinical Psychology program at Eastern Michigan University. She received her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Oakland University. She plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with a focus on children. Her clinical interests include depression, anxiety, and developmental transitions.

Melissa Pulcini

Melissa Pulcini is a fifth year clinical psychology doctoral student at Eastern Michigan University. She completed her Bachelor's degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and subsequently worked as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Weight and Eating Disorders for three years. Melissa began the doctoral program in 2010 and earned a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology in 2012. Previous places of clinical employment include hospitals and community-based clinics. Melissa's clinical interests are varied and include depression, personality functioning, multicultural and diversity issues, and weight and eating concerns.

Autumn Sdunek-bio pending

Sneha Shankar

Sneha is a second year master's student in the General Clinical program at EMU. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has experience using play therapy in treating autism in children. Her current clinical interests include anxiety disorders, depression, trauma and other related disorders as well as interpersonal issues.

Amanda Smith

Amanda is a second year General Clinical Psychology graduate student at EMU. She completed undergraduate training at Miami University in Ohio where she was active in research and completed an honors thesis. Amanda worked as a Crisis Consultant and the Butler County Counseling and Crisis Center, de-escalating suicidality and facilitating crisis intervention training for hotline trainees. She has worked victims of sexual assault and children with autism. Amanda's clinical interests include the underpinnings of personality pathology; comorbidity within psychopathology; coping with trauma; developmental considerations within the course of therapy; and managing interpersonal relationships effectively.

Cory Stanton

Cory is a second year Master's student in the Clinical Behavioral Psychology program at EMU. He completed his Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Western Michigan University, where he was active in research. He has several years of experience in crisis intervention, suicide assessment and teaching active listening skills to crisis line trainees. He has worked with diverse individuals with a wide variety of mental health concerns, including long-term mental illness, and has experience in diagnostic assessment in a research setting. Cory specializes in modern cognitive-behavioral therapies and mindfulness-based approaches to treatment, all informed by cultural awareness. He takes an individualized approach to giving people the tools they need in order to live a meaningful life.


  • facebook
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • linked in
  • Blog EMU
  • EMU app