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:

  1. The Princess Bride (1987)
  2. The Neverending Story (1984)
  3. Ghostbusters (1984)
  4. Back to the Future (1985)
  5. Gremlins (1984)


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 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 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.

Melissa’s Top Feel-Good Movies:

  1. Noises Off
  2. Hidden Figures
  3. Soap Dish
  4. Blame it on the Bellboy
  5. A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (warning, this one is VERY long)
  6. Inside Out
  7. Princess Bride


Melanie Wert, M.A.
Mental Health Coordinator/Staff Counselor

Education: M.A. in Professional Counseling, from Liberty University; B.A. in Psychology, from Liberty University.

Melanie is excited to be a part of the Talley Center team as professional staff; having completed her practicum and internship as a trainee at the center in the 2017-18 academic year. She identifies primarily as a Cognitive Behavior Therapist who utilizes an eclectic person-centered approach to meet the individual needs of her clients. Melanie worked in the school system prior to her time at Talley and gained experience working with individuals navigating learning disabilities, autism, anxiety, depression and other academic challenges. She is intentional in treating her clients holistically and is able to incorporate topics related to spirituality. In her free time Melanie, enjoys spending time with her family (at Disney World as often as possible), and running; having completed numerous road races to include 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, and a full marathon.

Melanie’s Top Five Feel-Good Movies:

  1. The Breakfast Club
  2. Goonies
  3. Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
  4. Ocean’s 11
  5. Happy Gilmore


Julia Faett, M.Ed., NCC
Staff Counselor, Resident in Counseling

Education: M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from William & Mary; BA in Psychology from American University

Julia is very excited to be a member of the Talley Center team.  Before joining the Talley Center, she interned at a state psychiatric hospital while completing her master’s degree.  Julia also has experience counseling individuals in community corrections.  She greatly enjoys the college student population, and her goal in working with students is to be a strong source of support and a facilitator for growth.  Julia takes a Person-Centered approach combined with Motivational Interviewing and CBT when working with clients.  She has experience working with depression, anxiety, substance use issues, relational difficulties, and psychotic disorders.  In her spare time, Julia enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, and speaking French with other francophiles.

Julia’s Top Movies:

  1. Les Intouchables
  2. Blind Date (2015)
  3. The Imitation Game
  4. Knives Out


Christopher 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 well-being.

Chris’s Top Movies:

  1. Breaker Morant
  2. Rear Window (the ultimate quarantine movie!)
  3. Out of Africa
  4. The Incredibles
  5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (Oh, come on!  It’s John Wayne at his best!  Even my kid’s liked it!)



Alanna Brown
Office Manager

Education: B.S. in Criminology and Psychology from George Mason University

Alanna is delighted to be working with the University of Mary Washington community in the capacity of Office Manager, after joining the Talley Center as an Administrative Assistant in the Spring of 2017. She is passionate about providing a positive experience to all who contact the Talley Center. She works closely with the counseling center Director, clinical staff, and fellow administrative staff to support and further the development of the University students. Alanna is an alumna of George Mason University where she studied criminology and psychology. In her free time, she loves spending time with her loved ones, enjoying the outdoors, journaling, and reading.

Alanna’s Top Five Feel-Good Movies:

  1. The Mummy (1999)
  2. George of the Jungle (1997)
  3. Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
  4. Hook (1991)
  5. Shrek 2 (2004)


Debbie Dunivan-Ayala
Administrative Assistant

Debbie is excited to be a part of the team at the Talley Center at the University of Mary Washington as the Administrative Assistant. 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:

  1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  2. Some Kind of Wonderful
  3. The Notebook
  4. Big
  5. The Breakfast Club

Trainees, 2019 – 2020


Elena Morales, B.A. 

Education: B.A, Psychology, American Military University 2018; A.A.S, Germanna Community College 2015

Elena is currently in her second year of her Master’s in mental health counseling at Northwestern University. She is excited to continue her practicum here at the University of Mary Washington Talley Center and to work with students from different backgrounds. Elena is still discovering her style in therapy as she navigates through schooling and training. When Elena is not at the Talley Center or in classes she spends her time with her two dogs, hiking, traveling, or reading.



Elena’s Top Feel-Good Movies:

  1. Coco
  2. The Birdcage
  3. Moana
  4. To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar
  5. Little Miss Sunshine


Tatiana Vrem, MA

Education: MA, Clinical Psychology, Marymount University

Tatiana Vrem is a Fielding Graduate student in their clinical psychology program. She graduated from Marymount University in 1991 with a Bachelors degree and in 1993 with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. Tatiana works primarily from the Person-Centered philosophy and is a Humanistic-Existential trainee clinician. This therapy is based on the views of  Rogers, Yalom, and Franklin which each individual strives for and has the capacity to fulfill his or her own potential. She wholeheartedly believes that the vessel of change in therapy is the person’s drive to reach his or her place of joy. Her special interests include working with trauma, depression, anxiety, and the LGBQ+ community.