Counseling Staff | Chandler-Gilbert Community College
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Rene Barrios Ed D
Rene Barrios, Ed.D.
CGCC Counseling Faculty

Bradshaw 106N

Dr. Barrios has a long history of studying and working in the education field since leaving Nogales, Arizona to begin his college studies at Arizona Western College in Yuma. After completing his Associate of Arts degree at AWC, he went on to complete both his B.A in Secondary Education (Spanish and History), and his M.Ed in Counseling at the University of Arizona. Dr. Barrios began his counseling career at two local high schools: Apache Junction HS and Chandler HS before moving on to his present counseling position as Counseling Faculty here at CGCC. He completed his Ed.D. in Higher Education at Arizona State University with a focus on Student Affairs Administration.

As Counseling Faculty, Dr. Barrios can be found teaching CPD150 Strategies for College Success and CPD160 Introduction to Multiculturalism, or you may catch his enthusiasm when he delivers workshops on such topics as goal setting, reducing test anxiety, or overcoming procrastination. While humorous and patient in his teaching style, he takes seriously his efforts to teach students the importance of self-responsibility and interdependency while managing the demands of the college experience. As a counselor in a college setting, René encourages students to take advantage of his expertise in a variety of areas where they can use some assistance, such as choosing a career or major, dealing with a loss, reducing the effects of test anxiety, being unable to find a solution to a problem, or having a hard time making a decision on a personal matter. No reason to tackle these or other personal issues alone when we are here to help you.

"Do as your mother tells you." -Felix Barrios, my father-
Nikki Nieset
Nikki Nieset, Ph.D.
CGCC Counseling Faculty

Bradshaw 104N

In addition to teaching CPD 150: Strategies for College Success courses, Dr. Nikki Nieset provides individual counseling sessions with students to help them overcome challenges and meet their personal, academic, and career goals.

Dr. Nieset earned her M.Ed. in Counselor Education and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, both from Arizona State University. She developed a passion for working with college students, both inside and outside the classroom, and has taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses over the past 15 years. Across different levels, one theme in her courses is an emphasis on helping each student to discover and find success in pursuing their own direction in life. In counseling students, Nikki enjoys helping individuals manage stress and overcome anxiety; engage in career exploration and vocational development; navigate major life transitions; optimize academic functioning using a strengths-based approach; and provide support for our multicultural and LGBTQ+ students.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” - proverb
Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams, Ph.D.
CGCC Counseling Faculty

Bradshaw 106N

Originally from the Chicago metro area Dr. Adams moved to the Sonoran Desert to attend Arizona State University where he received his M.Ed. in Counselor Education and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. He then lived in the Washington, D.C. metro area for nine years and worked at a variety of higher education institutions teaching and providing counseling services. Dr. Adams was thrilled to return to Arizona and more specifically Chandler-Gilbert.

As Counseling Faculty, Dr. Adams is passionate about teaching and providing instruction around strategies for student success and academic/career exploration. He teaches the CPD 150: Strategies for College Success courses and CLASI workshops, which are both aimed at motivating students to identify and harness their own personal strengths as they develop the skills necessary to pursue their academic and career passions. Additionally, Dr. Adams provides counseling support to students in the areas of academic, career, or personal planning. In doing so, he takes a person-centered approach in assisting students through their own motivational enhancement, self-exploration, and problem solving.

“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou
Audra Wolfe, M.C.
CGCC Counseling Faculty

Bradshaw 104S

Before joining the Counseling Services program full time, Audra Wolfe worked at Chandler-Gilbert Community College as an Adjunct Instructor since 2007 teaching over 20 semesters of Counseling Personal Development classes. During this time, she also was a high school guidance counselor concentrating on student success specifically in the realm of career and college readiness. Prior to that Audra had a wonderful opportunity to consult with a group of psychologists performing various counseling responsibilities including training a culturally diverse population of counselors in England, Lebanon and Australia.

Professor Wolfe earned her Associates of Arts from Mesa Community College, both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Masters of Counseling from Arizona State University. Being an alumni of a Maricopa Community College she knows first-hand the importance of success at a community college and the subsequent transition to a University.

Audra is enthusiastic about student success and has an extensive background in working with students who had obstacles to overcome in order to reach their goals. Furthermore, she enjoys providing counseling support to students in the areas of: career exploration, anxiety and stress reduction, communication skills and personal development.

“It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.” - Morrissey

“Live life as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Gandhi
Vanessa Morales, M.A.
CGCC Counselor, Pecos Campus

Bradshaw 101

Vanessa began her college career at Glendale Community College where she later transferred to Arizona State University. She received both her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, from Arizona State University. Having started at a community college herself, she understands many of the complex life issues students often navigate while working towards their goals.

Vanessa has provided counseling in a variety of clinical and academic settings over the past 6 years. She has worked with a wide range of students regarding issues impacting their success, identity, and achievement. Additionally, her research interests center on issues of diversity, identity development, multicultural competence, and mental health access for underserved populations (e.g., LGBTQU+, Latinx, Hip Hop culture).

Vanessa identifies as a bilingual (Spanish speaking) Latina counselor. Vanessa prides herself in working with students from diverse backgrounds and promoting a safe space where inclusion and multicultural sensitivity are valued. As a member of the Lantix community, and a first generation college student, Vanessa also enjoys supporting Latinx, Chicanx, Latino/a, Hispanic, DACA, and LGBTQ+ students.

"Si Se Puede. Yes, it can be done"- Cesar Chavez
McCarty, M.A. Alice
CGCC Counselor, Pecos Campus

Bradshaw 101

Originally from northern California, Alice received a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University; a Master of Arts Degree in Education with a specialization in Instructional Technology from San Francisco State University; Secondary Teaching Credentials from California State University, East Bay; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University.

Prior to moving to Arizona in 2017, Alice provided counseling, teaching, administrative, and computer technology services within university, community college, adult education, non-profit, corporate and private practice settings. Alice’s career journey included serving as Director of Career Services at Stanford University’s School of Education, Career Counselor at Stanford University’s Career Development Center, Adjunct Faculty in the Business Information and Computer Systems Division of De Anza Community College, and Private Career Counselor and Educational Consultant within Silicon Valley.

Alice sought to work at Chandler-Gilbert Community College due to her commitment in assisting others in their personal journeys to explore, identify, and create plans to reach their educational and career goals. Her own career journey is a series of “planned happenstance” filled with unexpected opportunities and change.

“Each and every person plays a key role in creating his or her own unexpected career- and life-enhancing events and transforming them into real opportunities.” - John Krumboltz and Al S. Levin
Amy Ralston-Beike
Amy Ralston-Beike, M.S. Ed.
CGCC Counselor, Williams Campus

Bluford 141

Amy received both her Master of Science in Education for Counseling, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology, from Youngstown State University in Ohio. She has lived in the Gilbert community for over 9 years and loves this community and the opportunities that it holds. Currently, she is delighted to be providing individual counseling sessions with students to help them overcome challenges and meet their personal, academic, and career goals on CGCC Williams Campus.

Amy has provided counseling for fourteen years in a variety of settings, including community agencies, schools, and correction facilities, to individuals, groups and families. She has worked with many different concerns and has specialization in: working with suicidal and self-harming behaviors, crisis intervention, substance use/abuse, anxiety, depression, anger, self-esteem, relationship skills building, human sexuality, and working with child and adolescent survivors of sexual abuse. She also has advanced training in EMDR, crisis response and trauma therapy.

When not working she enjoys spending time with her family. She enjoys swimming, jet skiing, riding horses, motorcycle riding, cooking and trying new culinary delights. She tries to learn something new everyday no matter what it is; this outlook inspires her so she can inspire and motivate others to dream, believe and achieve.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates