Meet The Staff

Executive Director

Cheryl Singleton Nowell, Ph.D., joined FIU. in 1994. At that time, there were four other therapists at the Counseling Center and about 25,000 students at FIU. Dr. Nowell is now the Executive Director of the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS has grown to include a staff of 20 therapists along with a strong graduate training program ranging from Practicum students and Pre-Doctoral Interns to Post-Doctoral Fellows; as well as an outstanding support team who are dedicated to student success. Dr. Nowell is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology Program at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Dr. Nowell has been licensed as a psychologist in the state of Florida for over 20 years. The professional organization with which she is most actively involved is the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors where she served on the Elements of Excellence Task Force for six years. Dr. Nowell has presented nationally on topics including crisis management and recovery, management skills and accountability. It is Dr. Nowell’s belief that the World Health organization’s definition of health, i.e. “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” challenges us all to strive for a better world.

Associate Director

Kathryn Kominars, Ph.D., Dr. Kominars is a Licensed Psychologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience in university settings in a variety of roles. She is a graduate of St. John’s College (B.A.) and Temple University (M.Ed. & Ph.D.) and she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Brief Psychotherapy at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Kominars joined FIU’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center in 1996. Dr. Kominars’ areas of specialization include the treatment of anxiety and depression, substance abuse and dependency, chronic illness, working through grief/loss, and career/vocational issues. In addition to traditional psychotherapy, Dr. Kominars is an experienced consultant and executive coach. She has worked with individuals and groups to improve interpersonal communication, reduce conflict and increase collaboration to increase team cohesion and achieve goals. She has presented numerous workshops and training sessions on coping with change, stress reduction and developing resilience, conflict resolution, strategic planning and goal setting, as well as exploring and capitalizing on diversity.

Staff Psychologists

Liane Dornheim Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with a concentration in Neuropsychology who has been at FIU since 2000 when she completed her internship at our Center. She received both her masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Hamburg. She completed a second Ph.D. program for clinical psychology at Nova Southeastern University with a specialty in neuropsychology and has been licensed as a psychologist in Florida since 2001. Dr. Dornheim’s interests include Neuropsychology, Psychological Assessment, Behavioral Medicine, and Assessment Research. She is the coordinator of our neuropsychological laboratory and is actively involved in intern and postdoctoral training. As a researcher with international recognition, she also holds the position as the Chair of the Research Committee at our Center and she is known to give interns and postdoctoral students willing help with their research projects. Dr. Dornheim, who is board-certified in Biofeedback and Biofeedback- Mentorship, is in charge of running the psychophysiology lab and offers BFB training for interns and post-docs.

Alia Fons-Scheyd, Ph.D., joined the FIU staff Fall 2010 as a University Psychologist and Assistant Training Director. She is a licensed psychologist in Florida who completed her masters in Counseling at the University of Texas at Austin, her doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Houston, and her pre-doctoral internship at Illinois State University’s counseling center. Dr. Fons-Scheyd has worked at a number of University counseling centers in Florida and the U.S., and enjoys working in a University setting. Clinically, Dr. Fons-Scheyd is integrative and frequently draws from cognitive behavioral, interpersonal process and humanistic approaches. In addition to training and supervision, her clinical interests include mood and anxiety disorders, interpersonal concerns, multicultural counseling, brief therapy, vocational psychology/career counseling, and group therapy. Dr. Fons-Scheyd coordinates both the practicum and postdoctoral training programs and provides individual and group supervision to psychologists and counselors in training at FIU. She is also the Chairperson of the Quality Assurance committee at CAPS, organizes the crisis response clinical services schedule for CAPS, and serves on the Research Committee. Dr. Fons-Scheyd enjoys involvement in research, where her interests have centered on areas of romantic relationships and adult attachment orientation, relationship perfectionism, career-life balance, and multicultural competencies in counseling.

Carmen Jimenez, Psy.D., Trained and licensed in Florida as a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Carmen R. Jimenez earned Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. She has clinical experience in inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health clinics, and child development center settings throughout South Florida. Following her pre-doctoral internship at Miami Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Jimenez completed a post-doctoral fellowship at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, FL and subsequently worked in a variety of settings in supervisory, managerial, and clinical roles. With more than 12 years of experience, Dr. Jimenez has a diverse background in development and trauma as well as specialization in attachment and relationships. Dr. Jimenez enjoys assisting clients who are working through family and relational difficulties, anxiety, depression, and grief and loss. She also enjoys providing supervision and training to graduate level psychology trainees. She uses an integrative therapy style that focuses on empowering clients to discover their unique strengths and pro-actively use these to achieve emotional well-being.

Priya Kirpalani, Psy.D., CGP first joined the FIU CAPS staff in Fall 2010 as a post-doctoral fellow and currently works as a University Psychologist and Group Therapy Coordinator. Dr. Kirpalani earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Formerly, she obtained her M.S. in Clinical Psychology at Nova Southeastern University and her B.S. in Neuroscience/Psychobiology at the University of Miami. Following her pre-doctoral internship training at Louisiana State University and the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at FIU CAPS. As a University Psychologist, Dr. Kirpalani enjoys working with clients who experience eating and body image concerns, identity struggles, and relational difficulties. As Group Therapy Coordinator, Dr. Kirpalani coordinates group therapy services and provides supervision to group facilitators. Recently, Dr. Kirpalani partnered with Student Health Services in developing the Body Acceptance Program that provides multidisciplinary care, including counseling, nutritional, medical, and psychiatric services, to students with body image and eating concerns. Dr. Kirpalani also works part-time in private practice and is a Certified Group Psychotherapist.

Carla Mayorga, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami after completing her pre-doctoral internship at Boston University’s Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology. Dr. Mayorga’s post-doctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine’s Hispanic Clinic and Emory University School of Medicine’s Child and Adolescent Mood Program further fueled her commitment to providing culturally sensitive and evidence-based treatments using a social justice framework. Dr. Mayorga has dedicated most of her professional life to treating adolescents, young adults and their families. A graduate of the International OCD Foundation’s Behavior Therapy and Training Institute and certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Dr. Mayorga specializes in treating anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Additionally, Dr. Mayorga is dedicated to providing and training supervisees in high quality evidence based clinical supervision practices. A Miami native, Dr. Mayorga is bicultural and bilingual (English/Spanish). Serving diverse students seeking to become global citizens draws Dr. Mayorga to FIU’s urban campus.

Caroline Gomez, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from Nova Southeastern University and obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami. Dr. Gomez completed her internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in affiliation with the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Her clinical interests include positive psychology and increasing levels of well-being using a strengths-based approach in therapy. Dr. Gomez utilizes an integrative model of care, tailoring treatment to each individual’s needs and concerns, while collaborating with her clients to achieve healthier, more adaptive ways of functioning. Being bilingual (English/Spanish) and bicultural, Dr. Gomez is passionate about serving the Miami community and thoroughly enjoys working with the Hispanic population. Dr. Gomez strives to create a supportive, non-judgmental environment in therapy facilitating exploration and meaningful growth within her clients.

Matthew Woodfork, Ph.D. joined FIU CAPS as a pre-doctoral psychology intern in 2011 and continued as a post-doctoral fellow at CAPS the following year. Upon completion of his fellowship, he transitioned into his role as a licensed University Psychologist. Dr. Woodfork obtained his Ph.D. in Counseling/School Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His clinical interests include identity development among racial/ethnic minorities and psychological help-seeking attitudes and behaviors, particularly within the Black/African American community. Additionally, Dr. Woodfork enjoys working with students experiencing relational difficulties as well as issues with mood and anxiety. He employs an integrative approach to therapy highlighting cognitive and interpersonal processes while enlisting the client-therapist alliance as the foundation for change. Besides providing individual and group therapy, Dr. Woodfork is involved in group therapy supervision of trainees and coordinates online services geared toward FIU’s hybrid and online-only students. Moreover, he is currently pursuing Florida E-Therapy Certification. Dr. Woodfork has also established partnerships with campus departments such as Multicultural Programs and Services to offer programming targeted to male students of African descent, as well as Panther Life to provide workshops supporting the academic success and well-being of FIU students diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.

Nancy Zlatkin, Psy.D., is a Licensed Psychologist with several years of experience working within a University Counseling Center setting. She received her Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She utilizes an integrative and developmental approach to help each individual student overcome whatever obstacles they may face on the journey through higher education. She specializes in working with students who identify as LGBTQ+, with particular expertise in working with students who identify as trans* and/or as gender non-conforming. She is committed to creating an inclusive and safe environment both in and outside of the therapy room. Through a collaborative approach, Dr. Zlatkin emphasizes the resilience and strengths of each individual to maximize potential and overall well-being.

Dr. Oren Shibi earned his Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Shibi has extensive training and clinical work experiences in individual, group, and family therapy as well as psychological assessment. Following his pre-doctoral internship at the Trauma Resolution and Integration Program at Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Shibi completed a post-doctoral residency at a private practice in Plantation, FL. In treating his clients, he takes an integrative therapeutic approach tailored to fit the individual. He uses evidence-based interventions and meaningfully synthesizes cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, humanistic, and psychodynamic theoretical orientations as well as Mindfulness based approaches. Dr. Shibi guides students on their journey for personal growth by assisting them in transforming obstacles to opportunities and replacing destructive coping mechanisms with adaptive ones.

Elizabeth Taylor, LCSW Elizabeth recently joined CAPS staff as a clinical therapist. She is licensed in the State of Florida as a Clinical Social Worker. She earned her MSW in a joint masters program at Loyola University Chicago. She obtained her undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. Elizabeth has worked in private practice, community mental health centers and residential treatment settings. Much of her career has been focused on working with adolescents and young adults who have experienced trauma, often employing mindfulness techniques, stress reduction skills, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy approaches as well as a array of other psychotherapeutic techniques. Elizabeth enjoys working with individuals with who are struggling with issues of anxiety, depression, grief, trauma history, identity issues, and relationship concerns. She hopes to assist them as they gain stability, find purpose and achieve their potential.

Guillermo Gabarain, LMFT, is a highly trained psychotherapist with 20 years of experience. He earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University in 2000 and completed his training in California, where he specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of Mental Health issues. In addition, he carried scientific research and published in the area of Multicultural Counseling, and actively advocated for health issues among minorities and immigrants. Upon completing his training, Guillermo moved back to his country of origin (Spain) in 2001, where for a period of ten years he specialized in the treatment of substance abuse issues and served as Clinician and Director of several programs, helping people in their efforts to overcome addiction to a wide range of substances. Lastly, he has recently migrated to Miami with his family, to grant his own children the same opportunities he has enjoyed living abroad and experience the rich diversity and possibilities that Miami has to offer. Currently, he is licensed to practice in the State of Florida and strives to guide his clients in finding solutions to their problems, and in developing coping skills to re-establish balance when facing distress and emotional pain. In the context of a warm and respectful therapeutic relationship, Guillermo relies on scientifically-based interventions to better serve his clients. Skilled in motivational interviewing, he helps his clients develop the necessary motivation and confidence to actively address personal issues, boosts clients’ efforts to reach their potential as human beings, and elaborate a coherent and integrated sense of who they are in order to live and enjoy life. Guillermo has mentored and supervised psychology interns, provided professional lectures in several universities and professional symposiums.

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Contact

MMC

SHC 270

305-348-2277(CAPS)

Hours of Operation

Monday - Tuesday: 8 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Same Day Consultation Hours

Monday - Thursday: 10 AM - 3 PM
Friday: 11 AM - 3 PM

BBC

WUC 320

305-919-5305

Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Spring 2017 Fridays, Emergency Appointments Only

Same Day Consultation Hours

Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 3 PM

Summer Semesters and Break Weeks

Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

If you are having an emergency after hours, please call our offices and press 1 to speak with a counselor at our answering service.