Bulletin News

Carolyn Bershad Heads Counseling Center


Carolyn Bershad of West Chicago, Ill., joined SUNY Cortland on Aug. 6 as director of counseling and student development in the Division of Student Affairs.

Bershad, who has more than 11 years of experience providing direct counseling and psychological services in a higher education setting, replaces Richard C. Peagler, who retired as director emeritus of counseling and student development in June 2010 after 38 years of College service. Billie Jean Goff, associate director of counseling, managed the Counseling Center on an interim basis after his retirement.

Reporting to Christopher Kuretich, the assistant vice president for student affairs, Bershad will play a senior leadership role in order to advance the College’s efforts to support student success and development.

In addition to the Counseling Center, she will lead the Health Promotion Office, Student Disability Services and Substance Abuse Prevention Education.

Bershad will oversee a comprehensive program of counseling and psychological services for SUNY Cortland students. She will carry out clinical responsibilities including individual and group counseling, psychological testing, crisis assessment and intervention, consultation, follow-up and referral, as well as administrative duties.

Bershad previously served as acting director of Northern Illinois University (NIU)’s Counseling and Student Development Center, overseeing more than 11 full-time staff members, nine trainees and three support staff members. During her five years at NIU, Bershad also was associate director at the school’s comprehensive counseling center, responsible for the center’s day-to-day operations while serving the clinical needs of diverse urban and rural student populations.

Before her tenure at NIU, she was a staff psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Counseling Center, and a staff therapist at the University at Buffalo’s Counseling Center. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at University of Delaware’s Center for Counseling and Student Development. Bershad also served as a graduate assistant at the Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services while completing her doctoral studies.

The author of five published reports in her field, Bershad has delivered seven national presentations in her discipline and given many state and regional presentations.

She was honored by Northern Illinois University in 2009 with a Supportive Professional Staff Council Certificate of Recognition. In 2010, she was inducted into the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, the honorary society for international scholars.

Bershad is the current chair of the American College Personnel Association’s Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services. She also is a member of the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors and the American Psychological Association. 

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bershad earned a B.A. in Chinese studies at Binghamton University. She received two M.A. degrees ¾ in cultural anthropology and Asian studies ¾ from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Bershad earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Penn State.