Meet Our Team



(Not pictured: Kylie Smith)

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 the 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.


Melissa Palguta, Psy.D.
Staff Therapist

Education: Psy.D. & MA from University of Indianapolis; BS from University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Melissa is delighted to be part 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 LGBTTQQIAAP 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 as individuals.  In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, arts & crafts, and spending time with her family and friends.


_MG_2691_webErin Higgenbotham, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Staff Psychologist

Education: Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University, MA in Counseling from Ball State University, BS in Psychology from Wofford College.

Erin is thrilled to be a part of the University of Mary Washington community and to continue her work with college students. She completed her internship at the West Virginia University Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services, and a two year fellowship at The Ohio State University’s Counseling and Consultation Services. Erin views the strength of the therapeutic relationship as the foundation for change and growth. She strives to create a therapeutic alliance that feels safe, collaborative, warm, and empowering for all clients. She embraces clinical work from an integrative approach, drawing from humanistic, emotion-focused, holistic, interpersonal, and solution-focused frameworks. She enjoys integrating mindfulness, awareness, and acceptance-based interventions into her work, and especially values a collaborative approach to therapy and clients’ holistic wellness. Erin’s professional interests include anxiety and stress management; identity development and self-esteem; issues related to gender, sexual identity, and sexuality; depression; interpersonal difficulties and relationship concerns; shame; and social justice advocacy work and outreach on college campuses.  In her free time, Erin enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, baking, board games, watching movies, and exploring the community.


smith_catherine_227cCatherine Smith, MA, NCC, NBCCH-PS
Resident Staff Counselor/Mental Health Coordinator

Education:  MA in Community Counseling from Argosy University, BA from  American Military University; Ed D CES Candidate with Argosy University, DC.

Catherine continues her work here at the Talley Center for a fifth academic year.  Catherine understands that each individual is unique, therefore draws from an integrative approach to assist clients with their concerns.  Catherine especially focuses on empowering her clients by utilizing Strength Based theory and Positive Psychology.  She believes in facilitating inner-directed healing, drawing from Hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques for lasting behavior change, Mindfulness and Meditation as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  Catherine is a National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (in Public Service) and pain management utilizing hypnosis. She is also a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a certified in Eye Movement Integration (EMI). Catherine works with a variety of mental health concerns, such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, interpersonal concerns, grief and bereavement, body image concerns as well as facilitates group therapy.  As a Marine Corps Veteran she also has a passion in assisting fellow Veterans with any of their service connected or other mental health concerns.  Catherine is currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Argosy University.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, working out, baking, reading and appreciating the outdoors.


Kylie D. Smith, LCSW
Staff Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Education: MSW Masters of Social Work, Clinical tract from Virginia Commonwealth University; BA in Women’s Studies from Mary Washington College.

Kylie is excited to return to her Alma mater that was influential in helping shape her. Her background includes community based mental health with individuals with serious mental health issues and spiritual counseling. Kylie has an eclectic focus to appreciate the diversity of the individual. She believes strongly in utilizing a biopsychosocial-spiritual model as she understands that all of these factors contribute to make up who we are. She is interested in life transitions and the process of individuation and helping others find their voice through self-discovery. Kylie is also a practitioner of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR). She describes herself as a Type A hippie, loving lists and schedules while remaining flexible to enjoy the spontaneity that life brings as well as the energy that connects us to the universe. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, yoga, board games, collecting PEZ, and time spent with her spouse and cats.


Dei Bayer, VCA,
Office Manager

Dei is from North Carolina and studied business administration and psychology at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She is pleased to be a part of the University of Mary Washington community and has been assisting students at the Talley Center since 2005.





Alanna Brown, BA,
Administrative Assistant

Alanna is delighted to be joining the University of Mary Washington Community and working with college students through the Talley Center. She is an alumna of George Mason University where she studied criminology and psychology. In her free time, Alanna enjoys spending time with her family and friends,  appreciating the outdoors, and reading.



Contracted Services

SudhirSudhir Nagaraja, DO, Psychiatrist

Dr. Nagaraja decided to become a Psychiatrist while serving as a medical officer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He was drawn to the holistic approach that Psychiatry offers in treating the mind, body and spirit. Dr. Nagaraja completed medical school at Michigan State University. He did an internship in Neurology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He completed his Psychiatry residency at Drexel University and the Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Nagaraja completed a course in Medical Acupuncture through Stanford University, and is licensed to provide this service in Virginia. He uses acupuncture to manage addiction and chronic pain in patients with Psychiatric illnesses. Dr. Nagaraja is board-certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. Dr. Nagaraja and his wife have b

een married for over ten years. They have two sons. In his free time, Dr. Nagaraja enjoys reading and spending time with his family.


Trainees, 2017-2018



chrisChristopher Nichols, M.S.                                                                                                    Post-Graduate Fellow

Education: M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Walden University, M.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, B.S. United States Naval Academy.

Chris completed his practicum and internship at the Talley Center during the 2015-16 academic year, earning his Masters of Science degree in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling in May of 2016. He returns to the Talley Center as a Postgraduate Fellow. He considers himself an Adlerian at heart, meaning he believes that people are social beings whose actions are purposeful and goal oriented. Chris enjoys working with students through the therapeutic relationship to help them understand their personal goals and works with them to achieve these goals. He draws from several treatment approaches, and is a big believer in getting to know and understand the whole person. He is also interested in couple’s dynamics and often works with couples and relationships. He has a diverse background, with a 27-year Navy career followed by 10 years at a major defense contractor. He left the “corporate world” to pursue his passion for working with college students. Chris lives in Fredericksburg with his family, and you can often find him in the gym pursuing physical fitness and working out as a path to mental wellbeing.


Corinna Arndtcorrina-a-cropped

Education: M.A. in Public Health, Liberty University; currently pursuing Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Liberty University.



eve Eve Kagan

Education: Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University; B.A. from Wesleyan University;  currently pursuing M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University.



Amira Nioriamira-n-cropped

Education: M.A. Community Counseling; M.A. Clinical Psychology, Chicago School of Professional Psychology; currently pursuing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.



Thomas Parinellothomas-p-cropped

Education: M.A. Counseling, Seton Hall University; Ed.S. Professional Counseling, Seton Hall University; M.A. Clinical Psychology Fielding Graduate University; currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University.



Brittany Riverobrittany-r-cropped

Education: M.A. Clinical Psychology, Chicago School of Professional Psychology; B.S. Psychology; B.S. Human Development; currently pursuing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.



melanie-w-croppedMelanie Wert