Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

ATTENTION STUDENTS: Facial coverings that cover your nose and mouth are required in all college facilities. CGCC is offering services in-person and via phone, email and online. Use our contact page for hours, locations and additional information.

 

Meet the Counseling Faculty

Our Counseling Faculty is a staff of highly trained professionals with years of experience, ready to help you address life-management issues related to your college experience.


Residential Counseling Faculty


Rene Barrios

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 faculty 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

* For the 2021-22, Dr. Nieset is serving as our college Faculty Development Coordinator and will be unavailable for student counseling appointments.

In addition to teaching courses in our new Counseling & Applied Psychological Sciences major, Dr. Nikki Nieset works with CGCC 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 for nearly 20 years. Across different levels, one theme in her courses is an emphasis on helping each student 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 - Service Lead
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, teaching and providing counseling services at a variety of higher education institutions. Dr. Adams was thrilled to return to Arizona, working on staff at Chandler-Gilbert. 

As Counseling Faculty, Dr. Adams is passionate about teaching and providing guidance around strategies for student success and academic/career exploration. He teaches the CPD 150: Strategies for College Success courses and CLASI workshops, which motivate 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.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop


Audra Wolfe

Audra Wolfe, M.C.
CGCC Counseling Faculty - Academic Lead
Bradshaw 104S

Before joining the Counseling program full time, Audra Wolfe worked at Chandler-Gilbert Community College as an Adjunct Instructor, beginning in 2007, teaching over 20 semesters of Counseling Personal Development classes. During this time, she also worked as a high school guidance counselor, concentrating on student success in the area 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 Associate of Arts degree from Mesa Community College, and both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Masters of Counseling from Arizona State University. Being an alumni of a Maricopa Community College, she has first-hand knowledge of the student experience, and the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to a university. 

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

“Live life as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Gandhi 


Audra Wolfe

Virginia Edwards, M.C.
CGCC Counseling Faculty
Engle 209

Virginia Edwards graduated from ASU with a B.A. in Bilingual Education and a Masters in Counseling. Even though she is a proud Sun Devil, she is equally proud of her long family line of Yuma High School Criminals. Yes, the mascot is a Criminal and the reason has to do with the Yuma Territorial Prison. Interesting story if you want to research it.

Virginia has been at CGCC for twenty years. She first taught English classes to second language learners wanting to improve their English skills in an academic setting. She was also a Division Chair for six years and has participated in various college wide initiatives. She now focuses on the College Success courses, CPD115 and 150 and the Multicultural class, CPD160.

"Grant me courage to serve others; For in service there is true life." Cesar Chavez


Adjunct Counseling Faculty


Kirra Wong

Kirra Wong, M.A.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Originally from California, Kirra began her college career at Contra Costa Community College and transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles where she earned a BA in Sociology with a specialization in Asian American Studies. She received a MA degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Integral Counseling from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Attending community college after high school was a period of self discovery that she believes was a significant time in her life. She is passionate to help others in their own personal journeys as students identify how they will share their strengths, talents and skills in the community through their educational and career goals.

Kirra has experience providing counseling in educational and clinical settings working with individuals, groups and families. Her interests include yoga, mindfulness and hiking. She utilizes a holistic approach to help students realize their full potential.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


Yasi Parsi

Yasaman Parsi, M.C.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Yasaman earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Women Studies, a Master’s degree in Counseling and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education, Curriculum and Instruction with a Teaching Certificate from Arizona State University.

Yasaman has worked as an educator and counselor with individuals, families and groups in a variety of higher education institutions and community agencies.

Yasaman believes awareness is the first step towards creating change in your life and is dedicated to helping students gain a higher level of awareness and understanding in terms of their career, academics and personal experiences in order to not only survive, but thrive in their educational endeavors.

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” ~ Mary Oliver


Violet Nelson

Violet Nelson, M.C., M.Ed.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Violet attended Estrella Mountain Community College, Glendale Community College, and ultimately earned her Associates in Arts and Associates in General Studies at Mesa Community College before transferring to Arizona State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies, Master of Counseling and Master of Education Curriculum and Instruction.

As a student who moved often due to economic circumstances she remembered the wise advice given to her from an educator, “get involved and make connections.” As a community college transfer student she understood the need to get involved. While at Mesa Community College she volunteered as an Upward Bound outreach mentor to first generation students within the school system in Mesa. The experience proved to be one of many stepping stones that lead to her extensive work within correctional facilities, mentorship programs and for the past 17 years in education as a school counselor.

Violet enjoys providing counseling support in communication skills, personal development, career exploration and educational skills building. She identifies as a bilingual (Spanish speaking) counseling faculty who promotes safe spaces for learning through self-exploration and use of growth mindsets to meet a student’s needs. Her areas of interest are community building, restorative practices, multicultural understanding and hope theory.

“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.” ~ Carol S. Dweck


Vanessa Morales

Vanessa Morales, M.A.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

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 9 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


Yasi Parsi

Amy Boylan, M.C.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Amy has resided in Arizona for many years and received her Bachelor of Social Work Degree and her Master of Counseling Degree from Arizona State University. Prior to joining the team at Chandler Gilbert Community College, Amy worked with college students in other Arizona settings both at the University and Community College levels. Amy believes that college offers a unique experience for personal and educational growth. She is passionate about encouraging students to seek out various learning opportunities and services available to them at the college to help them get the most out of their college experience while they work toward achieving future goals.

In addition to working with students Amy has provided counseling services to people of all ages in a wide variety of settings. She is particularly interested in compassion and mindfulness related studies.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ the Dalai Lama


Yasi Parsi

Maleka Ausborne, M.S., M.B.A.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Originally from Atlanta, GA., Maleka Ausborne moved to AZ in 2012. She earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Georgia State University. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and MBA in Healthcare Management from Capella University.

Maleka has worked in the Behavioral Health field for more than 16 years providing services to both adolescents and adults including but not limited to: individual, family, & group counseling; crisis and inpatient behavioral health facilities for substance abuse & mental health services (Community Bridges), and community mental health agencies (Black Family & Child Services). Maleka's career in behavioral health began with her first job as a Child Protective Service Investigator/Special Victims, mainly coordinating with the local police department on cases of sexual abuse and trauma of individuals under the age of 17. Additionally, she has worked as an educator both in-person and online classrooms for several colleges/universities’ undergraduate programs. She has taught many courses including College Success classes that focused on the development of essential academic skills, educational planning and career exploration.

Maleka’s interests include reading, researching, and traveling. She has a passion for helping others during difficult times/situations, as well as assisting others with developing their ideas and visions no matter how big or small. Her vision is seeing the "bigger picture".

"We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list" ~ Michelle Obama