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 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.


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.


Eve Kagan, M.A., M.Ed.
Sexual Assault Specialist/Staff Counselor

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

Eve is thrilled to be part of the Talley Center professional staff after completing her post-graduate fellowship, internship and practicum at Talley. Eve specializes in working with sexual assault/abuse survivors and is trained in trauma therapies, such as EMDR and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. She also works with clients on self-worth and identity development; issues related to gender, sexuality, and sexual identity; interpersonal issues; depression; anxiety; and social justice advocacy. Eve has years of experience working internationally with young adults in the arts and education: she believes in the creative capacity for change and growth. Eve engages her clients in ongoing self-discovery, helping clients to recognize their strengths and internal resources. She takes an integrative and holistic approach to counseling, appreciating the unique experience of each client and valuing diversity through a multicultural lens. Eve aims to create a safe, nonjudgmental space where clients feel comfortable to express themselves freely and engage in the collaborative process of healing. Outside the office, Eve adores time with her family and friends, singing/rocking out (both in a band and in the car), creating art, traveling and practicing yoga.


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.


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.


Jaime Opanashuk, B.S.
Victims’ Advocate/Case Manager

Education: B.S. Criminal Justice and Psychology from Niagara University 1999

Jaime is not a clinician and therefore cannot provide therapy or counseling.  However, as the Confidential Victim Advocate, she is able to meet with students and discuss both campus and community resources that may be helpful for survivors of sexual trauma and domestic violence.  In her role, she can serve as an advocate and provide information about appropriate next steps for care. Jaime is excited to be working in the Talley Center. Originally from New York, Jaime has served crime victims for over 20 years. She is a certified Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Advocate and trained in cognitive behavioral group facilitation. She is committed to developing a remarkable Victim Services program at UMW. Jaime hopes to ensure any student who has been affected by crime or violence receives support, accurate information regarding their rights/options and advocacy as they navigate through various systems. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, cooking and completing home improvement projects.


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 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.


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.




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.


Meg Ireland, M.S. 

Education: M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University; B.S. Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic and State University

Meg is delighted to be returning to team at the Talley Center. She is a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, and is working towards her degree in clinical psychology. Meg enjoys working with young adults, particularly with depression and anxiety-related concerns. Her therapeutic approach is greatly informed by cognitive behavioral and humanistic perspectives with significant influence from developmental psychology. She aims to create a safe space and to be fully present with her clients so as to develop a strong therapeutic alliance, and to help others learn to use their experiences and emotions to develop a deeper sense of personal awareness and meaning. When not at the Talley Center, Meg can be found hiking, reading, and spending time with her horse and four rescue dogs.


Claire Capozzi, MA

Education: MA, Clinical Practices, University of Hartford 2016; B.A, Psychology, University of Hartford 2014

Claire is excited to be back in her hometown of Fredericksburg and returning to the Talley Center for a second year.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Hartford in Connecticut where she spent the last seven years working towards her degree in clinical psychology. Claire enjoys working with many different types of students, but is particularly interested in trauma and gender violence. She tends to operate from a cognitive behavioral and humanistic focus in order to empower clients to make lasting changes in their lives. When not at the Talley Center, Claire can usually be found re-reading Harry Potter, heading to a concert, or with her cat Minerva.


Margaret Jennings, BSN

Education: BSN, Registered Nurse, George Mason University 2002

Margaret is completing her last year as a Master’s Level Intern towards her degree in mental health counseling at Gordon Conwell. She is looking forward to this advantageous opportunity to work at UMW. She has a passion for students, as well as this invigorating stage of life, in which individuals try on various fabrics of life, adopt new philosophies, and increase their self-awareness while on their personal life trajectories.  She uses a blend of CBT, Existentialism, and Interpersonal approaches in therapy. She prefers to incorporate visual techniques and creativity into sessions, while growing positive resources and employing them into the process of therapy. On a personal level, I enjoy spending time with my family, cycling, traveling, music, the arts, and salsa dancing.


Kim Anderson, MS and BA

Education: MS, Counseling Psychology, University of Central Texas; BA, Industrial/Organizational Communications, California State University Chico

Kim is honored to be a member of the University of  Mary Washington Talley Center family. She is currently completing a few college courses in pursuit of licensure. The collegiate population feels close to home, as two oldest children graduated from the university this past Spring, and her youngest is now a college freshman. Kim is looking forward to helping students on the Mary Washington campus, and is passionate about coaching on grief and loss issues, trauma recovery, and military-related issues to help illuminate the path ahead and provide a degree of hope.


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.


Prerna Tolani

Education: B.S. in Psychology, B.A. in Social Sciences Interdisciplinary with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience, and a minor in Business Administration

Prerna received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2019. She is currently a Psy.D. student at TCSPP. She likes working with trauma survivors, the LGBTQ population, and people with personality, mood, and memory disorders. Prerna has worked with college students on the Autism spectrum as well. She uses an eclectic approach that starts primarily with CBT and Humanistic psychology. She feels therapy should be solution-focused, particularly because college life moves so quickly. She believes that we all have rough patches in our lives and while we should feel the negative aspects rather than ignore them, we can choose to dwell on the positive parts of life for longer. We can also try every route until we succeed. Personally, she loves dancing, music, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, and going on new adventures. School isn’t easy but we can make the best out of it!