Counseling Staff


Ankeny Campus

Schedule appointment with the first available Ankeny Counselor

 Sheila Aukes

Sheila Aukes, M.S.W., LISW

Building 1

Education/certifications: Master of Social Work, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Clinical experience & special skills: Treatment of depression and anxiety, family and relationship conflict, parenting, self-esteem, grief & loss issues and time management. Certified to administer career and personality assessments.

Communities:   Veterans, adoptive and blended families.

 George Clark

George Clark, M.A., LMHC

Building 1

Education/certifications:  Master of Arts in School Counseling, University of Northern Iowa, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Clinical experience & special skills:  Stress/Time management, Diversity, Loneliness, Relationships/Authenticity, Anxiety, Spiritual health; Bystander Intervention (Sexual Assault), Upward Bound (Pre-college program)

Communities:  First-generation college students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ

 Mary McClure

Mary McClure, M.S., LMSW

Building 1

​Education/certifications: Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), and Mental Health First Aid instructor.

Clinical experience & special skills: Treatment of depression and anxiety, family and relationship conflict, parenting, self-esteem, managing transitions.

Communities:  Custody, co-parenting, and learning disabilities.

 Landi Smith

Landi Smith, M.S.W., LISW

Building 1

Education/certifications:  Master of Social Work, Arizona State University, Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW); Lifeforce Yoga Practitioner, Level I; Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

Clinical experience & special skills:  Depression, trauma, relationships, self-esteem, boundaries, life transitions including college, pregnancy, birth, and migration/immigration, grief and loss, intercultural challenges. Proficient in oral and written Spanish. Holistic practices for positive mental health.

Communities:  New parents, international and ELL students, refugees, LGBTQ+.

 Thomas Tweedy

Thomas Tweedy, M.Ed.

Building 1

Education/certifications:  Master of Education, School Counseling, Abilene Christian University.

Clinical experience & special skills: Anxiety & Stress Management, Procrastination & Time Management, Career Counseling/Coaching, Career Development testing, and Myers-Briggs Personality Type Inventory. 

Communities:  Major/Career undecided students

 Michelle Vaccaro

Michelle Vaccaro, M.S.Ed.

Building 1

​Education/certifications:​ Master of Education, School Counseling, College of St. Rose, Albany NY;  National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Clinical experience & special skills:  Relationship issues, developmental crises, depression, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, and career indecision.  Proficient in American Sign Language, career and personality assessments. 

Communities:  ESL, International, and Deaf/hard-of-hearing.

Boone Campus

Rebekah Burhenn, MSW

Boone & Ames Hunziker Center

Education/certifications: Master of Social Work- Specialization in Trauma-Informed Care, University of Northern Iowa; Certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Certified in the Simmons School of Social Work Domestic Violence Training.

Clinical experience & special skills:  Treatment of acute and complex trauma, depression, anxiety, relationship/family conflict, stress management, grief and loss, self-esteem, and intercultural conflict.   

Communities: At-risk youth and young adults.  

 Rita Davenport

Rita Davenport


​Education/certifications:  Master of Science in Education, Counselor Education (Higher Education), University of Wisconsin-Platteville, WI. Post-graduate studies:  Intercultural Communication Institute, Oregon. Certified to administer career and personality assessments.

Clinical skills/experience:  Career counseling and guidance, student success, time management, stress reduction, culturally-competent counseling, ELL/ESOL/ESL placement counseling, International Student counseling.

Communities:  International students, families of those with mental illness.

Carroll Campus

 Kristina Whitver-Soyer

Kristina Whitver-Soyer


Newton Campus

 Kara Dirksen

Kara Dirksen


Urban/Des Moines Campus

Diane Eischeid

Education/certifications: Master of Science, Counseling, Creighton University, Omaha NE; Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Mental Health First Aid.

Clinical experience & special skills: Trauma-related issues, sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship issues, grief & loss issues, depression and anxiety. Certified in EMDR.

Communities: Adult Learners, at- risk students.

Education/certifications:  Master of Counseling Trinity Bible College and Seminary, University of Northern Iowa,  Mental Health First Aid Trainer.

Clinical experience & special skills: Dissociative identity disorder, Depression/Anxiety, Grief /Mourning, Substance Abuse.

Communities: Life Coaching and Motivational Speaking

West Des Moines Campus

 Lindsey Hays

Lindsey Hays

Room 214W

Education/certifications: Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Vocational Rehabilitation, Drake University; Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Trainer for MVP Bystander Intervention.

Clinical experience & special skills: Treatment of depression and anxiety, family and relationship conflict, victims of sexual violence, stress management, parenting, self-esteem, managing transitions, time management, mindfulness, & study skills.

Communities: Adult learners, learning disabilities.