My name is Malaika Edwards and I am a licensed clinical mental health counselor with experience conducting therapy in medical, private, and community settings.  My therapeutic approach is person-centered and trauma-informed, while utilizing interventions from various modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, and motivational interviewing. With each interaction, I hope to acknowledge the importance of cultural identity, multivocality, advocacy, and social justice in individuals’ lived experience. I believe the counseling process is a partnership between the client and clinician, and my goal is to support autonomy and self-efficacy by ensuring a safe space that facilitates personal growth and empowerment.


Ph.D. student in Counseling and Counselor Education, NC State University
M.S., Counseling Psychology, Northeastern University
B.A., Communication Studies & Political Science (double major), University of NC at Greensboro
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, North Carolina


Hi! My name is Kyoko Funabashi, and I am currently a Clinical Mental Health Counseling student at NC State University. My history working with at-risk youth, as well as my personal journey, has led me to pursue a career in counseling where I hope to empower you to realize you are more than capable of handling what life has to throw at you. My experience in working with survivors of domestic violence has only increased my desire to serve my community, and to truly help those in need. I tend to take a holistic, person-centered approach while integrating cognitive behavioral therapy.

My role as your counselor is to help you navigate your thoughts and emotions in order to get you to a place where you can help yourself. I strive to create a comfortable and safe environment where we can build a trusting and a collaborative relationship, as we work together to achieve your goals. I am here for you, and will provide you with non-judgmental, compassionate support as we help you become your best self.

Masters student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University
B.S., Family and Human Development, Arizona State University


Hi! My name is Zakiya Futrell. I am currently a Graduate Student studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling at North Carolina State University. I am a recent Alumna of UNC-Greensboro, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. I have always believed in providing equal resources and services for all. I strive to use my platform as an advocate for mental health and mental health services.

As a counselor, I value creating a collaborative relationship based on trust, where the client feels both safe, comfortable, and empowered.  My counseling approach involves integrating both person-centered and cognitive behavioral approaches. I believe that every individual’s journey is unique, and I aim to provide each client with the support and resources needed to succeed at their own personal growth.


Masters student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University
B.A., Psychology with a minor in Sociology, UNC-Greensboro


Marc A. Grimmett, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor, coordinator for clinical mental health counseling, and founder and co-director of the Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center of the counselor education program at North Carolina State University.

His research and scholarship includes preventing male-patterned violence through education, activism, male engagement, and community partnerships. The conceptual framework for his research agenda is titled RADICAL scholarship, which means Research Action to Deconstruct Institutionalized Cultures and Advocate for Liberation.

Dr. Grimmett holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Carolina Counseling and Human Development Center, where his training focused on multicultural counseling, marriage and family therapy, substance abuse counseling, and sexual trauma. He is a licensed psychologist with over 21 years of professional mental health experience working in different settings including university counseling, community mental health, and substance abuse treatment, as well as in-home counseling and private practice.


Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, University of Georgia
M.A., Community Counseling, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Licensed Psychologist, North Carolina
Health Services Provider-Psychologist


Hello. My name is Mike Gross.  I want to congratulate you for exploring the next steps on your journey toward growth and wellness. I am a Clinical Mental Health Counseling student at North Carolina State University. My path to counseling began when I was nine-years-old dealing with childhood epilepsy. Over the past twenty years, I have partnered professionally with children, teens, and adults providing spiritual and emotional support in hospital and community settings. When you are ready to begin counseling, I look forward to supporting you on your sacred journey of growth and wellness.

My counseling practice focuses on, adolescents, families, and adults. I believe that all persons on life’s journey experience times of celebration, challenge, transition, and growth.  We all need a safe and confidential space to share our story, celebrate our strengths, identify areas of growth, develop a plan to help us grow, and receive support for change. As your counselor, my role is to meet you where you are on your journey and to compassionately support your growth process.

My theoretical orientation is strongly rooted in an approach that is wellness based with principles of social justice and multiculturalism. I use a strengths-based approach and practice skills that are founded in Person-Centered counseling. I believe that each client has the potential for change, and that my role in the counseling relationship is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment in which clients can move towards positive growth. I incorporate family systems, narrative therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help clients meet their goals.  My practice also incorporates psychoeducation about skills related to mindfulness, guided meditation, personal resilience, and wellness. My research interests include pediatric spiritual care, spiritual assessment, narrative therapy, resiliency informed preventive spiritual support, and clinical mental health counseling.


D.Min.-Pastoral Care and Counseling, School of Divinity, Gardner Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC
M.Div., Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA
B.S., Samford University, Birmingham, AL


My name is Shaunacee Harris and I’m currently a Master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at North Carolina State University. Much of my background has been focused on working justice-involved individuals. This led to my interest in mental health counseling. During my time in this position, I became passionate about advocating for underserved populations. I believe every individual deserves the opportunity to receive mental health counseling. I strongly value promoting unconditional acceptance by fostering a positive belief system. I approach counseling through a person-centered and cognitive behavioral therapy model. My goal is to empower and build resilience through an empathic client-counselor relationship.


Master’s student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University
M.A., Forensic Psychology, Marymount University
B.A., Criminology, NC State University


Helen S. Lupton-Smith, Ph.D., is the Clinical Coordinator for the Counselor Education program at NC State University. She is co-director of the Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center which is part of the Counselor Education program. In her clinical coordination role, Dr. Lupton-Smith teaches the Techniques of Counseling and Practicum classes and helps with the administration and partner outreach surrounding all masters and doctoral clinical courses.

Her research and scholarship has been in the area of violence prevention, conflict resolution and peer mediation in schools, racial identity and ego development of counselors in training, evidenced based practice, and supervision.

Dr. Lupton-Smith has a masters in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from NC State University. She worked as a middle school counselor in New York City and as a counselor in agencies both in Nashville and Raleigh. Before teaching as an adjunct professor and then clinical coordinator in the Counselor Education program at NC State, Dr. Lupton-Smith was an Assistant Professor in the Human Development and Services masters program at NC A&T State University in Greensboro, NC.


Ph.D., Counselor Education, NC State University
M.A., Human Development and Counseling, Vanderbilt University
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate, North Carolina


I believe in meeting individuals where they are and collaborating with them to become the best person they strive to be. While the counseling process can be intimidating, I hope to provide you with a supportive environment without judgments. I use an eclectic approach to counseling that is adaptable to meet the needs of each individual person. My approach tends to be person-centered in nature with a focus on empowering clients to take control of their lives while drawing on other modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused therapy. I have past experience working with adolescents and adults in a community outpatient setting focusing on substance abuse and mental health.


Ph.D. candidate in Counseling and Counselor Education, NC State University
M.A., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
B.S., Health Sciences, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate, North Carolina


Hello!  My name is Brent Michel, and I am currently a Master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at NCSU.  I received a BA in Chemistry at Reed College, and after graduating cultivated a passion for helping others as a hospice worker, mental health client companion, and crisis call worker.  I believe deeply in the healing power of authentic relationship and hope to build counseling relationships that allow clients to feel seen, understood, safe and empowered. I am an avid practitioner of mindfulness and meditation, and spent time living as a monastic resident to learn better how to work with the mind and alleviate the feelings of anxiety, frustration and sadness that we all experience.  I also approach counseling through the lens of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and believe that counseling should involve not only connection and insight, but practical action as well. I am honored to be a member of the CCERC team, and to share in the journeys of personal growth that our clients embark on.


Masters student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University
B.A., Chemistry, Reed College


My name is Nikki Plavec and I am currently completing my graduate studies in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at NC State. In my career as a Speech Pathologist, I have had the privilege to serve clients in rehabilitation as a result of neurological changes, head and neck cancer, and vocal disturbance. It has been an enriching experience that has directly impacted a shift toward serving the mental health needs in the community.

I believe that mental health services should be accessible to all and celebrate the courage involved in making the decision to meet with a counselor. My counseling style is integrative, originating from a person-centered and supportive perspective. I am most comfortable utilizing approaches that are congruent with individual needs; including trauma-informed, solution-focused, emotion-focused, and mindfulness-based practices. I am thrilled to be a part of the compassionate team at CCERC.


Masters student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University
M.S., Communication Sciences and Disorder, East Carolina University
B.A., Communication Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Hi all! My name is Madison Volk and I’m currently a Master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at North Carolina State University. After years of knowing my calling and receiving my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Barton College, I am excited to be on the path to be a licensed counselor!

I believe that one of the most important aspects of counseling is the relationship. Trust and empathy are the foundation of a valuable counseling experience and the framework for personal growth and awareness. Every human being deserves this type of genuine and collaborative relationship, which is one reason I am thrilled and honored to be a part of the CCERC community.  I hope to help many on their journey to the best them they can be through person-centered, solution focused theories while focusing on personal wellness.


Masters student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University
B.A., Psychology, Barton College


My name is Brittany Wake and I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor-Associate in
North Carolina. I have experience supporting clients through a variety of life-stressors and
mental health challenges in a range of settings including inpatient hospitals and domestic
violence shelters. Despite my breadth of experience across settings, my work consistently centers
multiculturalism. I’ve found through my therapeutic orientation, Relational Cultural Therapy,
that being disconnected from or feeling isolated in relationships that are meaningful to us is the
primary source of our pain. This pain is often driven or made worse by our daily experiences
with oppression such as racism, sexism, cisgenderism, heterosexism, and classism. My goal is
for counseling is to be an authentic, empowering space where we can have discussions about
disconnection and oppression relevant to your own experience in the hopes that our connection
inspires growth and healing in the relationships most important to you.


Ph.D. student in Counseling and Counselor Education, NC State University
M.A., Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Multicultural Emphasis), University of Colorado-Denver
B.A., Psychology, University of Colorado-Denver
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate, North Carolina


My name is Tiffany Williamson and I am a Master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at North Carolina State University.  I have always been interested in helping others to become the best version of themselves, which led me to my psychology degree in undergrad and now my counseling career.  I believe in meeting people where they are at.  I also value building a judgement-free counseling relationship built on trust and transparency.

My primary approach to counseling is an integration of solution-focused, existential and cognitive-behavioral therapies. My goal with each client is to help highlight their strengths while helping them to work through the challenges of life. I strive to provide a safe space where clients are able to express themselves in an open and honest environment.


Master’s student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, NC State University
Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education, NC State University
B.A., Psychology, Duke University