Meet Counseling Services Staff
Seleah Crosland, Counselor
Seleah Crosland is a native of Horry County with over fifteen years of experience working in the mental health field. She has worked in a variety of settings including non-profit, secondary, post-secondary, and private practice. Her experience includes working in the areas of disability services, career planning, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, peer health promotion and couples, personal, and academic counseling. Seleah earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a M.A. in counseling from Webster University. She is a licensed professional counselor and a certified cognitive behavioral therapist. Seleah is a member of the American Counseling Association, American College Counseling Association, and the South Carolina Counseling Association.
Meet Seleah on YouTube
Sean Pierce, Counselor
Sean Pierce, an alumnus of Coastal Carolina University, provided counseling services in the Department of Mental Health for the six years prior to returning to CCU. After graduation from Coastal, Sean attended The Citadel and Webster University, where he graduated with honors, earning a M.A. in counseling. He has worked as a disaster counselor for F.E.M.A. and a speaker for the University of South Carolina, School of Public Health. Sean's disaster program was nominated by the Governor as a Blue Ribbon Area of Excellence. Mr. Pierce has had specialized training in psychodrama, peak performance training, mind-body awareness, as well as trauma and educational psychology. In his previous job, Sean was known as a specialist in young-adult issues. Sean's experience lies in working with self-injurious individuals as well as, anxiety, depression, mood and thought disorders.
Alexandra Boutakova-Klintworth, Counselor
Alex was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She came to the U.S. in 1990 as an international exchange student to Cleveland State University, where she received her B.A. in English. For over 20 years Alex worked as a Russian translator/interpreter for the U.S. Department of State, courts, and the private sector. She is a certified Court Interpreter in SC. Following her growing interest in psychology, Alex earned her M.A. in Counseling from Webster University in 2011. She graduated with honors and was nominated as Student-of-the-Year by the faculty of the Counseling Program. Alex holds a license as an LPC-I in the state of South Carolina. Upon completion of her graduate internship at the CCU’s Counseling Services, Alex embraced an opportunity to continue working with students as a counselor. Her areas of interest include crisis intervention, conflict resolution skills, personal identity and growth, adjustment issues, anxiety and depression. She believes that a person can achieve optimal inner peace through conscious integration of body, mind and spirit. As an existential counselor, Alex strives to get to the root of the problem via guiding her clients to approach life with Awareness, Courage, Responsibility and Creative Authenticity. Her life’s motto is: “All is Possible with Focus and Determination.”
Jennifer Poindexter, Counselor
Jennifer earned a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. Her prior experience includes working with at-risk children for neglect and abuse, as well as outpatient services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. She provides individual counseling for a variety of mental health needs, including depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and relationship problems, among others. Jennifer has a passion to help others gain the tools necessary to transform into healthy, functioning individuals. Her goal in counseling is to support and empower students’ personal growth as they overcome difficulties.
Meredith Pierson, Counselor
Meredith earned her M.Ed in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor and holds a license in the state of South Carolina as an LPC-I. Her experience includes working in a private practice, as well as in the collegiate setting as an academic coach and a counselor. She provides individual counseling for a variety of mental health needs with a focus on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to foster positive change. Her goal is to support students in growing and developing as successful students and individuals.
Elisa Sperduto, Clinical Social Worker
Elisa Sperduto has been a licensed master social worker (LMSW) for 22 years. She earned her BA in Psychology from Marymount College (of Fordham University) and her MSW in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. Her experience includes working at various NYC metropolitan-area hospitals and agencies regarding mental health with individuals and groups; disabilities; medical social work and case management with specialized work in emergency medicine and oncology; trauma, violence, and suicide prevention; academic and career counseling; parenting issues and child development; and military resiliency and re-adjustment. Elisa is a member of the American College Counseling Association; National Academic Advising Association; the National Career Development Association; and the SC Technical Education Association. She is also a counselor in Student Affairs at Horry Georgetown Technical College and serves on the CAB of the Nurse-Family Partnership of Horry County. Elisa has specialized training in veteran’s issues; suicide prevention; and oncology counseling.
Tena Nardin, Counselor
Tena Nardin is a South Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor Intern and a National Certified Counselor. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Ohio University and M.A. in Professional Counseling at Carlow University in Pittsburg, PA. Tena has over fifteen years experience in mental health and substance abuse counseling in outpatient and inpatient hospital settings with adolescents, adults, and geriatrics. She has working knowledge of developmental disabilities, dementia, addictions, and vocational rehabilitation. Her areas of interest include self-awareness, trauma, relationship issues, anxiety, and mood disorders. At this time, Tena enjoys assisting students in achieving success and wellness by teaching them the tools and skills they can utilize throughout life.
Nicole Rushing, Psychologist
Nicole Rushing is a scholar-practitioner in the field of clinical psychology who divides her time between CCU’s Counseling Services and the Department of Psychology. At Counseling Services, Dr. Rushing delivers evidence-based treatments to students with wide range of emotional, behavioral, and adjustment problems, including depression and anxiety. She also works as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychology, where she enjoys teaching, conducting research, and mentoring students. Dr. Rushing earned a PhD from Florida State University in 2014 and is currently completing the process to become licensed as a clinical psychologist in the state of South Carolina.
Dr. Rushing has worked in a variety of clinical settings including inpatient hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care, and primary care providing individual therapy, group therapy, and assessment services to college students, adults, and older adults. She primarily operates from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, recognizing the interplay between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in impacting well-being. In addition, she has received specialized training in Veteran mental health, behavioral treatment for weight management, tobacco use, and sleep disorders, and cognitive assessment.
Violetta Czepowicz, Psychiatrist
Dr. Czepowicz was born in Cracow, Poland and graduated from medical school in Poland in 1983. She came to the U.S. in 1986 where she completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and continued with a fellowship in anxiety disorders research in the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Dr. Czepowicz lived in Charleston for 11 years where she served on the faculty at MUSC as an Assistant Professor involved in research, teaching, and treating patients. She mainly treated patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar, and addiction problems. She became certified in Addiction Medicine in 2002 and moved to Myrtle Beach to be a Director of the Adult Psychiatry Unit in the newly opened psychiatric hospital - Lighthouse Care Center of Conway. She continues to work at Lighthouse with adults having psychiatric problems, patients with addiction problems (alcohol and drugs), and troubled adolescents. She started working at Counseling Services in 2006 while she continues to work at Lighthouse and maintains a private practice.
Denise Logan, Clinical Dietitian
Denise Logan has been a registered dietitian for almost 20 years with experience in both clinical and community settings. She received her BA in psychology with a minor in nutrition from SUNY Oneonta and her MS in clinical nutrition from NYU. She's worked with dietary issues that affect people from the womb to the elderly. She can provide counseling to those who just want to learn to eat healthier, lose weight, or manage their weight, to those that require more intense medical nutritional therapy. She's recognized as a registered dietitian by the Commission of Dietetics Registration and is licensed as a dietitian by the state of South Carolina. Denise is currently employed as a public health nutritionist by SC DHEC as well as a Clinical Dietitian at Coastal Carolina University.
Administrative and Outreach Staff
Jennie Cassidy, Director and Counseling Psychologist
Jennie Cassidy is a native Buckeye (Ohio) who came to us by way of North Carolina. Dr. Cassidy has worked in various university counseling centers for over 25 years. She earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Toledo, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Akron. While Jennie enjoys the wide variety of issues and activities of a university counseling center, she has specialized particularly in administration, training peer counselors and doctoral level psychologists, individual and group counseling, and prevention activities. Jennie’s clinical specialties include career counseling, sexual assault and abuse, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. Jennie is particularly passionate about mobilizing students to prevent sexual assault and eating disorders, and consequences of alcohol and drug behavior in university communities. Jennie holds a license as a Counseling Psychologist in the State of South Carolina.
Meet Jennie on YouTube
Lee Carter, Associate Director for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention
Lee Carter is a native of Fredericksburg, VA. She earned her B.A. in psychology from James Madison University and her M.Ed. in community counseling from the University of Georgia. She has worked with college students for the past 10 years to address alcohol and other drug use and its relationship to mental and physical health as well as academic success. Lee also has previous experience working in campus and community settings with issues related to violence prevention, crisis response, sexual assault and domestic violence. Her experience and interests include administration, student retention and success, public health, peer education, trauma and threat assessment. Lee is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor.
Chris Donevant-Haines, Assistant Director/Outreach Coordinator
Chris Donevant-Haines is a Licensed Professional Counselor in South Carolina and holds memberships in the American Counseling Association, American College Counselors Association and the South Carolina Counseling Association. Chris has lived in Myrtle Beach for nearly 20 years and is originally from “Wild Wonderful West Virginia.” Having obtained an A.A.S. in Legal Studies from Marshall University, a B.A. in Social Science from Bluefield State College and an M.A. in Counseling from Webster University, Chris has accumulated an extensive history of service in the helping profession. Chris has served as an advocate for survivors of relationship violence. Chris was honored with the Student Advocate of the Year Award in 2008. She is experienced in training peer educators, coordinating outreach and providing counseling on a wide variety of mental health concerns faced by college students of all ages and backgrounds. Her special areas of interest are student engagement in the campus community, working with student interns, increasing education and awareness of mental health issues and empowering individuals to value and respect themselves and others. Chris oversees operation of “The COAST” (Counseling Outreach Advocacy Student Team) located in Room 313 of the Wall Building where she advises the SHORE Peer Educators and the Women’s Resource Cooperative (WRC).
Meet Chris on YouTube
Debbie Hardee, Administrative Assistant
Debbie Hardee was born in Horry County, moved around the country for many years with her military family and eventually settled back in this community. She’s been at CCU for over 15 years, first in Student Health Services, and now has been in Counseling Services for over 10 years. She’s the glue that holds Counseling Services together. Debbie serves as the point person for contacts with students, faculty, and staff.
Jackie Robinson, Receptionist
Taylor Kirkley, Assistant
Taylor Kirkley hails from the small town of Pageland, SC. She is a recent alumna of Coastal Carolina University, earning her B.A. in psychology. She is currently working on her M.A. in Professional Counseling through Liberty University.
Come and meet us in person!
Call 843-349-2305 for an appointment!