Meet Our Clinicians and Staff

Clinicians 2023-24

Nikki Dovel

Nicole Dovel, Counseling Services Lead Counselor

Nikki Dovel, LPC, (she/her/hers) earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from James Madison University, and completed her graduate studies right here at EMU in the MA Counseling Program in 2013. She has served as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Shenandoah Valley for the last several years in various settings to include community based services, crisis response, and clinical leadership and supervision. Nikki serves from a person-centered approach with the understanding that relationship and connection are impactful and transformational. Nikki is also trained in EMDR through the EMDR Institute, and utilizes this treatment approach often with various issues to include treatment trauma responses, anxiety and depression.  She strives to provide a safe space where all feel accepted, understood, and  empowered to take an active role in their healing and growth. Nikki’s personal interests include time with family, crafting, live music, and rooting for her favorite DC teams.

Annalise Livingston, MA, Resident in Counseling

Annalise (she/her/hers) is a Resident in Counseling who obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at James Madison University, and completed her graduate studies in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University. Annalise was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia and fell in love with the Harrisonburg area on her JMU college tour. She has worked in various healthcare and crisis stabilization settings, including VCU Health Systems and Region Ten Community Services Board, and her love for supporting and caring for others has only grown throughout her experiences in the field. She believes in the importance of meeting people where they are, wherever that may be. She is passionate about helping individuals with anxiety, depression, interpersonal skills, and emotional regulation. She takes a Person Centered and Existential approach and actively integrates tenets of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Annalise enjoys spending her free time hiking, reading, attempting to learn how to cook, and spending time with loved ones.  

Melissa Hinton, Graduate Intern

Melissa (she/her/hers) is a graduate student in the EMU Master of Arts Counseling department. Melissa, raised in New England, moved to Virginia eight years ago. She previously worked in construction before entering the counseling program at EMU. Melissa shifted to counseling, from working in construction, as she is drawn to working alongside individuals as they navigate life experiences. She believes everyone can benefit from counseling as every individual has worth and value. Melissa takes a person centered approach when working with clients and strives to create a safe, empathic and trusting relationship with every client she works with. Melissa spends her free time enjoying the outdoors, walking her dog Elsie, creating art, reading and exploring local eateries with friends.

kris livingston

Kris Livingston, Graduate Intern

Kris (she/her/hers) is a graduate student in EMU’s Master of Arts in Counseling program. She grew up in Maryland but has lived in Virginia for over thirty years. Kris was a special education teacher before raising her two children. She works with clients facing anxiety, depression, grief, sleep issues, difficulty with life decisions and transitions, issues with identity and self-esteem, and relational struggles. She will partner with you to help you make connections between past experiences, present challenges, and what you hope for your future in a safe, non-judgmental space. In her free time she takes walks, reads, dances to good music, and spends time with her two adult children, friends, and family.  

Michael Tavolacci, Graduate Intern  

Michael (he/him/his) is a graduate student at EMU’s Master of Arts in Counseling program. Michael was born and raised in a suburb of New York City and moved to Harrisonburg in March of 2020. He has worked in several different healthcare settings and grew to love counseling while working at MAZE Sexual Health in Manhattan. He is passionate about helping individuals build, strengthen, and maintain healthy relationships as well as developing interpersonal communication skills. He takes a Person Centered and Existential approach to counseling and hopes to help people find meaning in their lives. In his free time, he enjoys longboarding, hiking, and playing video games. 


Lauren Shoss, M.Ed, Graduate Assistant, McMillin Center

Lauren Shoss (she/her) is a graduate assistant working for the McMillin Center for Sport Psychology at James Madison University, while also providing clinical services for athletes at EMU Counseling Services.  She is a doctoral student in JMU's Clinical and School Psychology program. Lauren received her Master of Education in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Sport Psychology from Boston University, and her Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) degree from McMaster University. At BU, Lauren worked as the sports psychology consultant for numerous Division I, Division III and youth sports teams. She is the co-founder of Zhilkin’s Vision, an organization created with the goals of raising awareness about mental health and advocating for resources in sports. Lauren’s work includes team workshops and individual sessions tailored to meet the athlete's mental performance and mental health-related needs. She strives to take a holistic, person-centred, collaborative approach when working with clients, allowing them to be the guide whilst being supported, accepted, and empowered to grow and learn. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching hockey, working out, and indulging in cooking competition shows. 


Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell is the Front Desk Attendant in Counseling Services.  She graduated from EMU in 2007 and benefited greatly from the support of the Counseling Center during her time at the university.   Now she is grateful for the opportunity to be in a role that allows her to welcome and support students who will benefit from these services today.  When she’s not at her desk, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with her goats/chickens/cows/cat/etc., supporting her church, and reading when she can squeeze it in.  Remember that you’re welcome to stop by Counseling Services for any reason - we weren’t meant to go through life on our own!  


Text Here...
visit graphicVisit
apply graphicApply