The Counseling Center staff is committed to promoting and affirming diversity, equity, and inclusion in its broadest sense. All students can access our services with the expectation of respect and support. We are a group of seasoned, interdisciplinary, multiculturally proficient professionals who are committed and actively engaged in the growth and development of compassionate mental health counseling, outreach, and training. We are mental health professionals experienced in working with a variety of mental health concerns common within a university setting.
Brenda Lenz, Licensed Professional Counselor - Director
Brenda is a licensed professional counselor and certified substance abuse counselor and serves as the Director of the Counseling Center. She has been at the MU Counseling Center for 20 years and a practicing therapist for close to 30 years. As a therapist, she has a special interest in working with students who struggle with more complex mental health issues and those with co-occurring substance use concerns. She uses a combination of motivational and strength based interventions, grounded in a multicultural framework, to help students resolve their concerns and live their lives to their fullest potential. As an administrator, her commitment is to the delivery of evidenced based, culturally and trauma informed services for students and is committed to fostering a welcoming, inclusive and safe space that allows all students to find support and assistance with a broad range of mental health concerns.
Katy Adler, Licensed Professional Counselor - Coordinator for Sexual Violence & Trauma Treatment Services
I was drawn to working as a counselor after attending my first psychology class at Marquette as an undergraduate student and hearing about the healing and relief that can come from treatment. I have spent my career doing anti-violence work, first in the community and then beginning in 2015, at Marquette. I previously held the role of Coordinator of Advocacy Services and Sexual Violence Prevention Education at Marquette, where I provided support to students who experienced sexual violence, stalking, relationship violence, or harassment. I joined the Counseling Center in 2022 and enjoy being able to serve students in this role. My approach to counseling is collaborative, solution-focused, and student-centered. I prioritize providing trauma-informed treatment that recognizes individuals' strengths while also acknowledging the challenges they may be facing. In my outreach area, I focus on increasing accessibility at the Counseling Center for survivors violence. I also collaborate with Advocacy Services and Sexual Violence Prevention and Education staff to raise awareness of and prevent violence on campus. I enjoy reading, tv, hiking (I am trying to visit all of Wisconsin's state parks), and spending time with my family.
Dominique Balderas, Licensed Professional Counselor - IT, Coordinator of AOD Support Services
I joined the staff of the Marquette University Counseling Center (MUCC) in October of 2022 as the AOD Counselor/Coordinator. Prior to my position at the MUCC, I have spent the entirety of my career working with individuals who struggle with co-occurring addiction and mental health concerns, at multiple levels of care. Addiction is my passion! I, myself, am in recovery and it is a huge part of who I am. With a master’s in professional counseling from Mount Mary University, I am able to do what I love. I’m originally from Milwaukee but I currently live in Waukesha with my two children and four cats. When I’m not keeping busy with work, you can find me listening to audiobooks or bingeing true crime shows. Since joining the team at the MUCC, the most rewarding part of my role has been seeing growth in the students that I get the privilege of working with, followed closely by connecting with the amazing staff.
Dr. Jodi Blahnik, Licensed Psychologist - Assistant Director
I was drawn to the mental health field as I have always had interest in assisting others to create meaningful change and live the lives they want to live. I love my job as a psychologist and deeply enjoy working with college students. College can be such a challenging and transformative time and it has been a privilege to play a role in the growth and development of students from a wide array of identities and backgrounds. In addition to clinical work, I oversee our center's training program and am passionate about training future psychologists. Outside of work, I enjoy exploring the city with family and flexing my DIY muscles while perpetually renovating my 150-year-old house!
Stephanie Burrows, Counselor
My work at university counseling centers stems from my past experiences working as a career counselor with college students. I am eager to support students' mental wellness through a holistic lens, and i especially enjoy working with students on topics related to identity development, multiculturalism and diversity, life transitions, anxiety and career development. I also regularly engage in research that aims to support the development of students' personal and professional goals. In my free time, I love exploring the Milwaukee area and can be found spending time outside, hiking, bicycling, and honing my photography skills.
Dr. Deborah Contreras-Tadych, Licensed Psychologist - Coordinator for Underrepresented Students
I have chosen a career in mental health because I love seeing the resilience and strength in people. I enjoy working in college counseling because young adulthood is such a developmentally important and transformative time in the lives of individuals. My coordination area is working with underrepresented student groups -- first gen students, students of color, students who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, international students, etc. I am bilingual Spanish-speaking and am able to provide therapy in both English and Spanish. I am from the south side of Milwaukee and am a three-time Marquette graduate!
Emily Drenovsky, Licensed Professional Counselor – Coordinator for Mental Health Advocacy and Outreach
I hold Bachelor of Arts degrees from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Art Therapy with a Concentration in Counseling from Mount Mary University. I am licensed as an art therapist, professional counselor, and substance use counselor in-training. My approach to the therapeutic relationship is creative, strengths-based, non-judgmental, and collaborative. I am passionate about working with college students as they navigate the pressures of an ever-changing world. In my coordination role, I collaborate with members of the MU community to promote mental health advocacy and coordinate outreach events for the Counseling Center. Outside of work, I love exploring the amazing art, music, and food that Milwaukee has to offer.
Judy Evenson, Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - Psychiatry Services
I am an advanced practice psychiatric practitioner from The Medical College of Wisconsin providing psychiatric assessment and psycho-pharmacologic services at the Counseling Center. I have a special interest in working with college students as they adjust to and navigate college life. My treatment philosophy utilizes a patient-centered, collaborative, and evidence-based approach. During my free time I enjoy visiting my family and grandchildren in Kansas and hiking along the Ice Age trails with my husband.
Marie Humes, MA, LPC-IT (she/her/hers) - Counselor/Coordinator for Black/African American Student Services
What brought me to the mental health field was the love of learning about why people do what they do and being able to provide that insight to my clients. We often navigate this world with a limited understanding that our lived experiences shape our thoughts, behaviors, and perspectives. I enjoy empowering folks with the tools and information that make life manageable and enjoyable. I have worked on college campuses in various roles throughout my career. I love working with college folks as they face challenges during this transformative time in their lives (regardless of age). In addition to being a counselor at the MUCC, I’m the Coordinator for Black Student Services, providing outreach to the MU community and destigmatizing mental wellness in Black and Brown communities. My passion is to reframe the idea that going to therapy is a weakness, but rather a compassionate insight into oneself and a radical act of self-love. In my free time, I try to be as adventurous as I can such as traveling, skydiving, rock climbing, etc!
Dr. Marisela López, Licensed Psychologist
I am passionate about addressing cultural variables such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender and spiritual beliefs in therapy and working with students to address the intersection of these identities in therapy. Outside of individual counseling I am part of the University Committee on Equity and Inclusion and part of the Counseling Center's training team. I grew up in Florida and love theme parks.
Dr. Laura Lubbers, Licensed Professional Counselor - Groups and Career Counseling Coordinator
I was drawn to the mental health field because I believe that everyone should have access to high quality mental health care. It is an honor in my role as a psychologist to provide a safe, trusting and empowering space for people to express themselves openly without fear of judgment. It is a privilege to sit with students, and help them develop new skills and strengths, and make positive and lasting changes in their lives. Outside of individual counseling I am responsible for coordinating our group therapy program, as well as our career counseling efforts. Outside of MU I enjoy adventuring with family and friends, listening to podcasts, and dabbling in interior design.
Melissa Schneider, Licensed Professional Counselor - Coordinator of Eating Disorder Treatment Services
I was drawn to the Counseling Center, as I really enjoy working with the college age population using a multi-cultural lens to address a diverse array of personal challenges. It is a joy to be able to assist and empower students to make meaningful changes in their lives. In my coordination role at the Counseling Center, I facilitate the interdisciplinary Eating Disorder Treatment Team meetings with the Marquette Medical Clinic, and I coordinate programming and outreach for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week on campus. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, being physically active and outside, traveling, thrift store shopping and watching a good TV show or movie.
In addition to our full-time staff, advanced doctoral students also provide counseling services as part of their practicum training. Practicum students are closely supervised by senior counseling staff.
Gabriel Ezema, MA - Practicum Student
Meghan Herdt, BA - Practicum Student
I entered the field of college counseling because I love to support undergraduate and graduate students of all ages and backgrounds. Many students need support not only academically from their instructors and in their classrooms, but also support in achieving and maintaining wellbeing in their broader life transitions, in their journeys through higher education, in their relationships, and in exploring their identities and the world around them. I especially enjoy helping students enhance the quality of their relationships with others, explore their identities, and cope with experiences of discrimination and oppression. As a queer women myself, I’m also very passionate about helping students explore issues related to sexuality and gender identity. I am here at the Marquette Counseling Center as an advanced doctoral practicum student, and I am currently in the process of earning my PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My research revolves around questions of how forces of privilege, power, and oppression intersect to impact people’s work experiences and career development. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, spending time outside, and playing rugby.