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

Nikki Nieset

Nikki Nieset, Ph.D. 
CGCC Counseling Faculty
Bradshaw 101

* 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.
Counseling Program Co-Director, Services
CGCC Counseling Faculty
Bradshaw 101

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. His professional counseling experience includes working in vocational training settings, hospitals, home services, and a significant focus on college/university populations. He previously lived in the Washington, D.C. metro area where he served as clinical director of counseling services, taught and provided counseling services at a variety of higher education institutions. Dr. Adams was thrilled to return to Arizona and become a Chandler-Gilbert Coyote!

As Counseling Faculty, Dr. Adams is passionate about teaching and providing guidance around strategies for student success and academic/career exploration. He enjoys teaching emerging helpers in the Counseling & Applied Psychological Science (CAP) courses, as well as our student success courses 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.
Counseling Program Co-Director, Academics
CGCC Counseling Faculty
Bradshaw 101

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 

Yasaman Parsi

Yasaman Parsi, M.C., M.Ed.
CGCC Counseling Faculty
Bradshaw 101

Yasaman holds Master’s Degrees in Counseling (M.C.) and in Secondary Education: Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed.). In addition to serving as an adjunct faculty member at CGC, she has previously worked as a counselor, educator, and trainer in a variety of higher education institutions, schools, private practice, and community agencies. Her diverse life experiences as an Iranian-American refugee and immigrant have added to her deep desire to engage in meaningful work connected to addressing justice and equity in mental health. She has worked in the United States and internationally, helping train mental health providers in working more effectively with the communities they serve.

Yasaman believes awareness is the first step towards creating change in your life and is dedicated to helping students, whether in the classroom or in a counseling session, to gain a higher level of awareness and understanding in terms of their career, academics, and personal experiences.

“Lost as we feel, there is no better Compass than compassion." ” ~ Amanda Gorman

Lauren Hocker

Lauren Hocker, MA, MC
CGCC Counseling Faculty - OYO
Bradshaw 101

Lauren holds a Master of Arts in Psychology from California State University Los Angeles and a Masters of Counseling from Arizona State University, where she is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Lauren has counseling experience in a variety of settings, including Veteran Affairs, college/university, and community agencies. She has focused experience in working with trauma related issues. Additionally, she has experience with career and major exploration and decision making. Lauren has taught several undergraduate courses related to career and major development, counseling, and psychology across community college and university settings, including CSULA, ASU, Phoenix College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. She approaches teaching and learning as an opportunity to actively engage with one another through a variety of activities and group discussions, and enjoys hearing each student’s unique perspective; believing that we all learn the most by opening our minds to hearing others’ point of view. She has broad experience in supporting diverse populations, including young children, college students, and older adults in both academic and community settings.

“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.” ~ Audre Lorde

Adjunct Counseling Faculty

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

Jaelen Westbrook

Jaelen Westbrook, M.C.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Jaelen holds a Masters of Counseling degree, and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University. Jaelen’s counseling experience has focused on working with children, adolescents, and young adults to address a variety of concerns related to behavioral and emotional well-being. She has found a home working as an advocate within the counseling field, particularly for historically underserved populations, and strives to guide others in becoming advocates for themselves.

Jaelen’s primary area of focus is implementing prevention and early intervention strategies as a first line of defense to any obstacles students may face. She strongly believes that providing the right tools early on can make the biggest difference in students’ academic persistence and ultimate achievement of their future goals.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” ~ Vivian Greene

Linda Bohnet

Linda Bohnet, DHSc, M.A., MAFP 
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Dr. Bohnet possesses a doctorate in Health Sciences, taking a holistic approach of incorporating mental health with overall health. She also has dual master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic Psychology. Originally from Alaska, she relocated to Arizona’s warmer climate in 2007. In addition to serving as an adjunct faculty at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, she previously served as adjunct faculty at Glendale Community College, where she taught psychology courses in traditional and online formats. Her professional background includes overseeing a number of behavioral health facilities, outpatient clinics, as well as providing one-to-one counseling support within inpatient and outpatient settings.

Dr. Bohnet offers a trauma-informed approach with culturally sensitive care. In addition, she is trained in responding to students who have various sensory needs, specifically the D/deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Drawing from her own experience with severe hearing loss from a young age, she possesses a distinct capacity to aid others in facing their challenges in order to pursue their life goals. Her goal is to guide students toward their academic, career, and personal growth aspirations. This involves assistance with improving communication abilities, managing stress, access to resources, and offering individualized guidance at every step of their journey.

"While they were saying it couldn’t be done, it was done." ~ Helen Keller

Tamieka Hunter

Tamieka Hunter, Ed.D., M.S.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Originally from the Bay Area, Dr. Hunter moved to Southern California to attend Cal State University Long Beach where she received a B.A. in Communication and M.S. in Counseling. She earned her Ed.D. in Community College Leadership at Cal State University Fullerton where her research focused on the experiences of former foster youth students.

Dr. Hunter has worked in the community college setting for over 15 years. Her professional counseling experience includes working with First Year Experience, Summer Bridge, Trio programs, and student success initiatives. She has taught student success courses including Career and Major Exploration, Orientation for College Success, Strategies for Academic Success, and College Student Financial Literacy. She has also taught graduate-level courses for new professionals pursuing careers in colleges and universities.

As Adjunct Counseling Faculty, Dr. Hunter is passionate about helping students foster their own navigational capital to successfully move through higher education and meet their personal, academic and professional goals. She enjoys nurturing student motivation and providing guidance around skill building and student success.

“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.” ~ Michelle Obama

Jessica Gerton

Jessica Gerton, M.A.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Jessica moved to Arizona from Colorado to earned her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Arizona State University, where she is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Jessica was the first in her family to attend college, and has a unique understanding of how this can impact a student's journey. This experience has made her passionate about fostering student success at any level. Jessica’s counseling experience includes supporting student mental health and wellbeing in college and university settings. She has also worked at Trauma Healing Services (La Frontera EMPACT), providing trauma support and promoting safety and stabilizations skills. Jessica has taught a number of courses related to career development and counselor education.

“I was somebody when I came. I'll be a better somebody when I leave.” ― Rita F. Pierson

Lynette Nelson

Lynette Nelson, M.C., M.P.A.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Lynette attended Arizona State University as both an undergraduate majoring in psychology and also received a Master of Counseling. She later obtained a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.

Lynette has worked as a counselor, grant writer, nonprofit administrator, parent educator, and clinical director, but mainly loves helping people achieve their goals. Lynette has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, specifically with people in crisis and/or LGBTQIA+ youth. Lynette is a founding board member of the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition and has a passion for helping people who are thinking about ending their life. Her experience working in several states and overseas (Korea) has led to a deep respect for people who dedicate their lives in service to others.

"The only impossible journey is the one you never begin." -Tony Robbins

Laurene Simms

Laurene Simms, M.A. 
Adjunct Counseling Faculty

Originally from Chicago, Laurene moved to Arizona in middle school. Laurene understands the challenges that come with attending college. She was the first person on both sides of her family to earn a Bachelor’s degree, and graduated from ASU with a BS in Criminal Justice. Following her undergraduate studies she worked in a variety of settings including the registrar’s office at ASU, volunteering with youth experiencing homelessness and survivors of human trafficking (New York City, Houston, & New Orleans), psychiatric inpatient care and long-term care, and in juvenile probation. These experiences, along with a family history of ADHD, led her to attend NAU to earn a MA in Counseling.

Prior to joining the CGCC Counseling team Laurene was working as a counselor in the Maricopa County Jail Mosaic Substance Abuse Program and acute care units. Laurene's primary areas of professional interest are sexual victimization, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and compassion fatigue/ vicarious traumatization. She is a proud wife of a Vietnam Vet. In her free time, Laurene enjoys reading, spending time with her dogs and researching her family history, particularly learning more about her father’s Creole heritage. She believes that health is about balance and that practicing measured breathing and mindfulness are miracle tools to calm a racing life.

“A balanced intellect presupposes a harmonious growth of body, mind and soul.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

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 11 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