Carolyn Bershad, Ph.D., L.P., Director, Counseling and Wellness Services
Carolyn received her B.A. from Binghamton University, an M.A. from the University of Hawaii in Asian Studies, and a second M.A. from the University of Hawaii in Cultural Anthropology. Her doctorate is from The Pennsylvania State University in Counseling Psychology, and she is licensed as a psychologist in New York and Illinois. Carolyn joined the SUNY Cortland family August 2012, and brings with her over 15 years of clinical experience in university counseling centers and over twenty years experience in higher education. Areas of interest include multiculturalism, identity development, trauma and gender socialization.
Ester Edelman, MSW, LCSW, Senior Counselor
Ester comes to us with much experience in practicing individual and family therapy. She also has a background in working in the mental health and substance abuse fields, and in providing crisis intervention. At SUNY Cortland, she is working with students toward gaining insight and exploring their strengths, achieving emotional and physical well-being, reducing stress, and enhancing problem solving skills. Ester studied and practiced in three countries and speaks four languages. She likes to travel and to cook.
Robyn Forster, M.Ed., Senior Counselor/Coordinator, Substance Abuse Prevention & Education
Robyn Forster earned her M.Ed. in Counseling Education from James Madison University in 1979. Her current position at the State University of New York at Cortland is that of Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator (half-time) and College Counselor (half-time). Robyn has been employed at SUNY Cortland since 1989. Prior to her employment at Cortland, Robyn held the position of Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor at The University of Maryland, College Park. Additionally, Robyn has presented at numerous workshops and trainings on an assortment of counseling topics.
Kathryn Gallup, MSW, LCSW-R, Senior Counselor
Kathryn earned her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in American Studies and a Master’s of Social Work from Syracuse University. Prior to coming to SUNY Cortland in 2012, Kathryn worked in the substance abuse and mental health fields providing short- and long-term therapy for individuals, families, groups, and couples, as well as crisis intervention. Kathryn has experience in and passion for helping individuals struggling with shame, grief, addictive behaviors, interpersonal challenges, and problematic family of origin dynamics to move to a mindset of acceptance, self-focus, and self-care.
Roueida Ghadban, Ph.D., L.P., Senior Counselor
Roueida earned her B.A. from Ottawa University, her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the New School for Social Research. She has over 20 years of experience in the mental health field in the area of psychological assessment, psychotherapy, trauma, crisis intervention, substance abuse, gender identity, depression and anxiety. Roueida is particularly interested in the impact of life experiences on self-identity across the life span. In working with students, her aim is to encourage them to engage in a collaborative process of self-discovery that enables them to expand their awareness and understanding of their needs, internal conflicts, motivations and patterns of behavior so that they can live their lives more fully and more successfully.
Melanie Jennings, M.S., LMHC, Senior Counselor
Melanie received her B.A. in Human Development and M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from SUNY Oswego. Prior to coming to SUNY Cortland, she has had experience working in college mental health, a Partial Hospitalization Program for eating disorders, and school-based therapy with elementary school students. Melanie’s therapeutic practice is guided by trauma-informed, mindfulness-based, and strength-based interventions to help her clients heal and reach their goals. Her areas of clinical interest include: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, the mind-body connection, self-care, coping with change, LGBTQQIAA+ issues, suicidality, and relationship and family of origin issues.
Jennifer Talarico, M.S., LMHC, Senior Counselor
Jennifer obtained her B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern University and her M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. She has experience in providing mental health and substance abuse counseling to individuals, couples, family systems, and groups. Jennifer’s areas of interests are in helping individuals experiencing issues with self-identity, life transitions, relationships, and challenging emotions of anger, shame, and grief. Her therapeutic approach incorporates mindfulness-based and trauma-informed care to increase insight and self-awareness.
John Ringhisen, PMHNP
John Ringhisen is a board certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) who graduated Suma Cum Laude and valedictorian from SUNY Upstate Medical University in 2019. He successfully completed a one-year Addiction and Pain Fellowship in July 2020. He is a founding member and Business Director for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program at SUNY Upstate, provides consultation services to the Catholic Charities Men's Shelter on Clinton Street, and outpatient psychiatric services to SUNY Cortland's student body.