Brielle Stark-Adler, Ph.D., Director
Dr. Brielle Stark-Adler received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Fordham University. Since receiving her doctorate, she has specialized in collegiate and young adult mental health. Dr. Stark-Adler has clinical experience in a variety of treatment settings, including inpatient psychiatry, outpatient community mental health care, inpatient and outpatient substance abuse, and several college counseling centers. Most recently, Dr. Stark-Adler served as a staff psychologist and outreach coordinator at the Yeshiva University Counseling Center. Her professional interests include identity development and individuation, religion and spirituality, romantic relationships and sexuality, and clinical training and supervision.
Michael Buls, Ph.D., Associate Director
Dr. Michael Buls graduated from Adelphi University with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at LIJ/The Zucker Hillside Hospital and completed his post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral cardiology at North Shore University Hospital. Dr. Buls has worked in a variety of treatment settings, including multiple inpatient psychiatry units, a college counseling center, a variety of outpatient mental health programs and a long term care facility. Most recently, Dr. Buls worked on an inpatient psychiatric unit where the primary population served were college students. Dr. Buls' clinical expertise is in psychodynamic psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, health psychology, aging and assimilative psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Melissa E. Platt, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist
Dr. Melissa E. Platt earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at La Salle University and completed her doctoral internship at Indiana University’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Dr. Platt has worked in a range of settings including community mental health and college counseling. She is delighted to serve as the Staff Psychologist at the Counseling Center and uses her expertise on sexual violence and intimate partner violence to provide trauma-informed counseling, prevention, and education to the Iona College community. Her professional interests include complex trauma, neurodivergence, interpersonal relationships, emotion dysregulation, and mindfulness.
Kathryn Bruning, LMHC,
Kathryn Bruning graduated from Northeastern University with her masters in counseling psychology and received a graduate certificate in gender, culture, and political psychology. She completed her clinical internship at one of the last town funded community mental health centers in Massachusetts. Kathryn specialized in forensic evaluation and risk assessment prior to shifting into college mental health. She has clinical experience in a variety of treatment settings, including outpatient community mental health, residential and secure treatment centers, as well as several college counseling centers, where she worked collaboratively across campus to bring evidence based, innovative prevention programs to the community. Kathryn utilizes an integrative, collaborative approach to the counseling process, drawing on a wide range of client centered, trauma informed and evidence based treatment models.
Tonya Swartzendruber, LMHC, Counselor
Tonya Swartzendruber graduated from LaSalle University with her master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology. She completed her clinical internship at an outpatient clinic specializing in anxiety, obsessive compulsive and related disorders. Most recently, she worked as a psychotherapist in an outpatient clinic, focusing on the mental health needs of young adults. Tonya specializes in using evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Robin Schafer, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH-NP)
Robin Schafer graduated in 2001 with a master's degree from Columbia University as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Since then she has specialized in school based health including elementary, middle, high school and college health. After three years at Barnard College Health Services where she collaborated with an interdisciplinary team on eating disorders, she received her Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree and license from Stony Brook University. She has interned at Columbia Presbyterian CPEP ER, Four Winds Hospital inpatient young and older adolescent units, as well as managing medications for a private practice adolescent and young adults population in Bedford, N.Y. While at Stony Brook, she co-wrote a grant for mental health services in underserved populations, and wrote her final presentation on ADHD medications in young adults.She specializes in the medical management of school and college-age mental health disorders.
Margaret Bohan, Office Manager
Margaret Bohan joined the staff of the Iona College Counseling Center in 1989, following a seven-year tenure in the Counseling Center at the College of New Rochelle. In addition to providing administrative and technical support to Center staff, she supervises all student workers and participates in special events and projects such as the Honors Convocation and the Middle States Accreditation Process. She has also served as a member of the Iona College Sexual Harassment Task Force, which promulgated the College's policies and procedures on sexual harassment. Additionally, she has served as a member of the Human Resource & Compensation Committee and the Information Technology Committee of the Staff and Administrative Council (SAC). In March 2007, she was the recipient of the Woman of Achievement Award at Iona College.
Samantha Dorazio is pursuing her Master of Science in Education for Mental Health Counseling at Fordham University. Samantha currently is a co-leader of the Student Association of Mental Health Counselors (SAM) on campus. Some of her responsibilities include planning events, assigning mentors and speaking to prospective students. Samantha graduated from Ithaca College with a BS in Applied Psychology. Her previous experience entails working in Career Services as a Peer Career Advisor. She provided paraprofessional career counseling to students, presented at a wide array of workshops and assisted students with resume and cover letter development. Samantha is looking forward to gaining more insight on her clinical interests.
Alison Swoish is a masters student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Teachers College, Columbia University and is also earning an Advanced Certificate in Sexuality, Women, and Gender. She received her undergraduate degree from New York University, studying Applied Psychology with a focus on adolescent mental health. For the past three years, Ali has worked at The Quad Manhattan, a school for Twice Exceptional children and adolescents, implementing psychosocial goals and strategies in both individual and group settings through a strength-based talent approach. She has experience working with students who carry diagnoses of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Anxiety, and other mood disorders. Ali also has background training as a professional dancer and utilizes her expertise in mindfulness and knowledge of the connection between mind and body within her clinical practice. Ali’s clinical interests include eating disorders, mood disorders, identity issues, grief and loss, LGBTQ+ community, adolescence and young adult transitions, and personality development.
Christopher Wong Jr.
Christopher Wong Jr. is currently a doctoral student in a Psy.D. School Psychology program at Adelphi University. Christopher is also a research assistant in the Clark Study and Consultation Circle at Adelphi, where he researches various positive identity developments for children of color in order for them to persevere educationally and socially. Christopher graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Communications. When Christopher attended the University of Rhode Island, he worked in Housing for two years where he conducted programs on diversity, chemical abuse, personal development, relationships, security and academic performance. In addition, he worked as a certified Behavioral Specialist at Applied Behavioral Interventions, where he developed and implemented comprehensive behavioral assessments and behavioral treatment programs for children who have autism and other behavioral needs. Christopher truly enjoys working with people of all ages and promoting safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments.
Alejandra Zamora is a doctoral student in the Adult Clinical Psy.D. program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. Alejandra graduated from Brown University with degrees in Psychology and Health & Human Biology. While at Brown, Alejandra participated in Division I athletics on the Varsity Equestrian team. She continues to pursue her passion for equestrian sport in her work as an instructor at GallopNYC and hopes to eventually integrate therapeutic elements of horsemanship into psychotherapy. Alejandra’s clinical experience includes serving as a Spanish interpreter for counseling sessions at the Rhode Island Free Clinic. Alejandra’s translating work have contributed to her clinical interests in PTSD and working with disadvantaged populations such as people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and immigrants.