View our Spring 2020 schedule & our Let's Talk counselors
Melanie Johnson is an academic advisor for the MLK Program in the College of Liberal Arts. She will also be the collegiate advisor for the Department of African American & African Studies. She graduated from Humboldt State University in northern California with a BS in social work. She also completed a master's of social work at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where she has a concentration in community organization and community and social systems.
Melanie was born in Compton, California and the first in her family to receive a bachelor's and master's degree. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, Melanie has dedicated her time to supporting programs that provide emergency housing and family services, coordinating service providers for individuals in partnership with the Department of Developmental Disabilities, and organizing social change in marginalized communities. She recently served as an advisor in Lima, Ohio at Rhodes State College working with the College Credit Plus Program (PSEO) and pre-nursing students. It is her passion to work in communities that believe in access to higher education for all and is excited to be a part of the MLK Program. When Melanie is not working, she enjoys singing, going to the movies, and going on food adventures around the US with her family.
Care Manager in the OSA Care Program
Master's in Social Work (MSW), University of Minnesota
For over 15 years now, I have worked with individuals, groups and institutions seeking to learn, grow, heal and thrive. I recognize the many individual and systemic challenges that undergraduate and graduate students face in modern society; I hope to partner with students to acknowledge larger forces at work, create spaces to move away from stigma and shame, and practice concrete strategies for managing stress and enhancing wellness. I've previously worked in a legal services setting where I collaborated daily with attorneys and law students, and I'm particularly excited to be this year's Let's Talk Counselor at the U of M Law School! I identify as a white, upper-middle-class, queer, cisgender woman, and I strive to leverage my privileged identities towards systemic equity and collective liberation. I also enjoy cuddling with my dog, biking around the Cities, reading fiction, singing and dancing to 80s/90s pop music, doing crossword puzzles, and devouring any/all forms of cheese.
My interests include trauma-informed interpersonal and institutional practices; intersectional anti-oppression work; serving LGBTQIA+ communities; serving Latinx communities (I'm fluent in Spanish); mindfulness and somatic tools; sex positivity; healing from relationship violence; helping students locate internal and external resources that allow them to thrive while in school and to build a foundation for life-long wellness.
Staff Psychologist and Outreach Coordinator with Student Counseling Services
Rosemead School of Psychology, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Sometimes life happens faster than we can adapt to it and often it can be helpful to have someone navigate life during these times. I view caring for one's’ mental health as an ongoing process which requires more work during difficult chapters in life. As a counselor, I help students build resiliency through supporting their strengths and equipping them with skills to make changes to their lives. Each of us are weathering a unique season in our lives and I aim to provide assistance for today’s battles as well as confidence in one’s abilities to effectively build a life for the future. Some of my own personal values include watching and playing sports. I am a MN sports fan. I enjoy woodworking and collaborating with different makers. I cherish sunny days on the lake paddle boarding and nights under the stars. I completed my graduate school at Rosemead School of Psychology in Los Angeles and moved back to Minneapolis for the friendly people, nature, and seasons. I am a foodie and enjoy frequenting the great eateries and gathering spaces around the Twin Cities. I value my faith and enjoy sharing life with other members of my faith community.
Trained as a generalist, I work with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety/stress, mood disorders, trauma, academic skills development, grief, identity development, family and relationship issues, and spirituality. I work from an integrated holistic framework that incorporates person-centered, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented theories that values individual differences and diversity with the goal of identifying and developing personal strengths that will foster empowerment.
Academic Advisor with TRIO Student Support Services (SSS
St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)
I am an African American male, social justice advocate, educator, advisor, and counselor. I am committed to providing advocacy and support to our student population using a student centered approach as my guidance modality. I am a graduate of the U of M and was born and raised in the Twin Cities. I’m also a father to 3 exceptional daughters.
I am currently and academic advisor with the TRIO SSS program here at the University of Minnesota. I am also on the Licensure track for MFT. I am a strong believer in the systems approach to understanding and learning ways to best navigate our world. I am a proponent of well managed mental health and work to guide and support students in their journey.
Staff Psychologist/Interim Training Director with Student Counseling Services
Ph. D. in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, University of Minnesota
I believe human beings have the potential to grow and my role is to enhance people’s awareness and foster change through human connections. I have experience working at university counseling centers in MN, NH, and WA. I have a special interest in understanding the complexities of human connections as well as exploring the personal and social factors that can lead to disconnection. I work with International Student and Scholar Services staff to support international students through outreach and cross cultural discussion group. I also have experience in developing workshops to assist graduate and professional school students in coping with academic stress and enhancing professional skills. I am fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese and experienced in providing bi-lingual counseling.
My professional interests include Resilience to shame, relationship distress, anxiety, childhood trauma, cultural adjustment and identity development for international students, common concerns for first generation students or students of color, training and supervision of psychology trainees, mind-body integration.
Graduate Assistant Counselor with Student Counseling Services
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota Counseling Psychology
I am a second-generation Asian American woman and grew up in a Chinese immigrant family in the Midwest. These pieces of my story have all shaped my identity and my decision to pursue a graduate degree in counseling psychology. I love living in Minnesota and appreciate the beauty of all four seasons. In my free time, I like to watch football, bike, play cello, and be involved with my faith community.
As a clinician, I believe that counseling is an important space where individuals can grow and gain skills given a supportive, empathic environment. I enjoy working with individuals to address concerns around interpersonal relationships, life transitions, identity development, as well as depression, anxiety, and stress. I also enjoy helping individuals navigate career choice and using psychological assessment as a tool for greater self-understanding and growth. As a researcher, my program of research explores how families discuss issues of race, ethnicity, and culture. I am particularly interested in how this process occurs within multiracial families and interracial couples.