Meet Our Team
Tevya Zukor, Ph.D., CGP
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Education: Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, George Mason University, MA Clinical Psychology, George Mason University, BS Psychology, James Madison University.
Dr. Zukor is excited to be a part of the University of Mary Washington community and continue his work in college counseling administration and providing services to university students. He completed his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at George Mason University and completed his internship and post-doctoral work at The Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech. He is a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) and is passionate about group, supervision, and training. His professional interests include intimate interpersonal relationships, trauma recovery, grief & loss issues, and crisis management. Dr. Zukor utilizes an interpersonal and integrative approach in his work with students with the goal of developing awareness of patterns in relationships, increasing coping skills, and developing a healthy lifestyle.
Tev’s Favorite, Fun 80’s Movies:
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- The Neverending Story (1984)
- Ghostbusters (1984)
- Back to the Future (1985)
- Gremlins (1984)
Melissa Palguta, Psy.D.
Education: Psy.D. & MA from University of Indianapolis; BS from University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Melissa is delighted to be part of the University of Mary Washington community and to continue her experience working with college students. She completed her internship at George Mason University Counseling & Psychological Services Center. She enjoys working in a variety of functions and with a wide range of issues, but she has a particular interest in working with trauma survivors, as well as with diversity and social justice-related issues. She is a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community and she enjoys exploring the strengths and concerns of this group through her work. She primarily works from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, providing students with concrete skills and support to aid them in overcoming personal difficulties and in improving their quality of life. She takes a collaborative approach to treatment, working with her clients to establish a treatment dynamic and therapy goals that work best for them.
Melissa’s Top Feel-Good Movies:
- Noises Off
- Hidden Figures
- Soap Dish
- Blame it on the Bellboy
- A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (warning, this one is VERY long)
- Inside Out
- Princess Bride
Amira Niori, Psy.D.
Mental Health Coordinator/Staff Psychologist
Education: Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology and MA in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and MA in Counseling with a concentration in community and agency and BA Psychology from Hampton University
Amira is thrilled to be a part of the Talley Center team again. She enjoyed being an extern and working with UMW students so much that she returned to the Talley Center team as a staff psychologist. Amira completed her internship at the University of Nevada, Reno Counseling Service Center. She also has experience in other settings and forms of treatment, such as; inpatient, private practice, in-home therapy, and case management. Amira enjoys working with the college population and supporting students in such an important developmental time. She has experience with trauma, depression, anxiety, other mood disorders, autism spectrum disorder, personality disorders, and psychotic disorders. Amira tends to be collaborative when working with students as her approach to therapy is to meet the student where they’re at. Consequently, Amira is integrative in the type of therapy interventions that she uses. Amira is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Amira is a new mommy and enjoys spending time with her son when she is away from the office.
Amira’s Top Four Feel-Good Movies:
- School Daze
- The Princess and the Frog
- Home Alone 2
- House Party
Krysta Thomas, LPC
Education: Dual MS in clinical and counseling psychology from Capella University. BS in Behavioral Science from New York Institute of Technology
Krysta is thrilled to be joining the University of Mary Washington community. She has a dual MS in clinical and counseling psychology from Capella University. She grew up as a military child and has lived in Germany and Saudi Arabia, as well as multiple states in the US. She has experiencing with crisis, trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse and has worked with a variety of populations. She primarily works from a solution focused perspective, however utilizes cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and other techniques help clients develop the skills necessary for success. She prefers to spend her free-time with her daughter and enjoys cooking, crochet, yoga, and travel.
Krysta’s Top Feel-Good Movies:
- The Princess Bride
- Mr. Right
- When Harry Met Sally
Demi is thrilled to be a part of the Talley Center Team – again! As a graduate student, she completed all of her intern work here at UMW. Having experienced working with the student, she jumped at the opportunity to join the team as a staff counselor. Demi completed her degree work Liberty University and hold dual Masters – Human Service Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Additionally, she holds a certification in resiliency training. Demi has advocated for victims of domestic abuse and violence and sexual assault. She has experience in supporting clients dealing with grief, depression, anxiety, trauma, crisis, and other mood disorders. Demi utilizes an integrative approach to counseling but primarily works from a cognitive behavioral perspective, helping clients to reach their therapy goal and improve their quality of life. She and her family are a proud military family, recently retired but still serving the community. Demi spends her free time writing, reading, and exploring new places.
Demi’s Favorite Movies
- The War Room
- The Proposal
- Fast & Furious (All of Them)
- The Bodyguard
- While You Were Sleeping
Jimmy Nguyen, M.Ed., LPC-R (he/him/his)
Staff Counselor, Resident in Counseling
Education: Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the College of William & Mary
Jimmy is excited and honored to be back at the Talley Center! After completing his internship here during his graduate studies, he is now back as a full-time staff counselor. His specialties include international & multicultural populations, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues, and the LGBTQ+ community. Jimmy strongly believes in the core principles of self-acceptance and being true to who you are, even when it feels like the world is against you, and he strives to help clients find their inner peace through being authentically themselves. He enjoys helping students work through self-discovery, identity issues, relationship conflict, depression, anxiety, life transitions, trauma, distress tolerance, lack of motivation, meaning and purpose, and pressures from family and society. Jimmy mainly works from a humanistic, strengths-based, and existential orientation but utilizes a collaborative and integrative approach, incorporating concepts from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), mindfulness, self-compassion, and motivational interviewing. During his free time, Jimmy likes to play video games, work out, learn languages, take photographs, indulge in his sweet tooth, and watch YouTube.
Jimmy’s Top Movie Picks
- Roman Holiday
- (500) Days of Summer
- The Devil Wears Prada
- Weathering with You
- Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2
Debbie is excited to be a part of the team at the Talley Center at the University of Mary Washington as the Office Manager. During the academic year, she will be working in the Lee Hall location and assisting the UMW community as well as providing support to the staff. Debbie is a lifelong resident of VA, and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
Debbie’s Top Five Feel-Good Movies:
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Some Kind of Wonderful
- The Notebook
- The Breakfast Club
Nicole is excited to join the team at the Talley Center. She spent the last 6 years working in the elementary school system and it was a rewarding and wonderful experience. She is very excited about following her passion and serving the college community in her new position. Nicole is from New York but is a country girl at heart. In her spare time, she loves to take walks, trips to the mountains, reading, listening to music, and spending quality time with her husband, family, and friends.
Nicole’s top five feel-good movies
- The Ten Commandments
- Finding Nemo
- Love Story
- Brian Song
- War Room
Alaha Ahrar graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a triple major in Human Rights, Political Science, International Affairs, and a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies. She has completed her master’s degree in Social Justice and Human Rights programs at George Mason University in December 2020. Her final project was in real stories of Human Trafficking and human smuggling survivors. Alaha currently serves as the Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate at the Talley Center for Counseling Services.
Alaha has a passion for writing and public speaking and has used these skills extensively to advocate for human rights, justice, and peace. Additionally, Alaha is an award-winning poet, writer, and social justice and human rights expert.
Education: Bachelor of Arts double majoring in Psychology and Interdisciplinary South Asian Studies from the University of Virginia
Manasveeni is currently completing her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. She is certified in Mental Health First Aide and has served as a volunteer, outreach representative, and program director for a crisis hotline. Manasveeni has past experiences working as a medical scribe in emergency departments and as the HELPLINE program coordinator for Mental Health America of Fredericksburg. She is passionate about collaborating with individuals to address their challenges and goals while connecting them with helpful resources. In her free time, Manasveeni enjoys reading, making puzzles, and watching Korean dramas.
Manasveeni’s Top 5 Movies:
- The Princess Diaries
- The Mummy (1999)
- The Proposal
- Kal Ho Na Ho
Education: BA in Psychology; Minor in Health & Well-Being (University of Virginia); MA in Clinical Psychology (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Ashley is so excited to join the UMW team. After growing up in Northern Virginia, Ashley earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Health and Well-being from the University of Virginia. She then earned her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) in Washington DC and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Ashley has experience providing long and short term therapy to a diverse range of clients. Her therapeutic style can best be described as integrated, with a focus on interpersonal and solution-focused approaches to healing. She is experienced in working with individuals with anxiety, disordered eating, autism, and identity concerns. Overall, Ashley is committed to providing a safe space for all students to discover and meet their individual needs. When not working at the Talley Center, Ashley enjoys cooking, doing crosswords, playing sports, or pretending she could win the Amazing Race.
Ashley’s Top “Cinematic” Masterpieces:
- Inside Out
- Game of Thrones
- Parks and Rec
- The Great British Bake Off
Angel has a B.S. in Psychology: Crisis Counseling and is currently finishing her Master’s at Liberty University’s Clinical Mental Health program. Her passion and experience in crisis and trauma management has allowed her to work with many individuals across domains. She has advocated and worked with victims of psychological, physical, mental and emotional abuse, as well as, trauma, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, personality and psychotic disorders. She uses an integrative approach to therapy to serve her clients and their needs.
Her favorite movies are:
- All Christmas movies
- Parent Trap
Education: Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Valdosta State University, Master of Professional Studies in Clinical Psychological Science from the University of Maryland
Jacinda is currently completing her Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School located in Washington, D.C. Her past experiences include working with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, identity concerns, life transitions, and substance abuse. She is passionate about collaborating with clients to provide a safe space and work with them on their goals and needs. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, completing community service activities, and running/working out.
Her favorite things to watch:
1.) Gossip Girl
2.) Cinderella (Brandy version)
3.) Crazy Rich Asians
4.) Grey’s Anatomy