Stacey Pearson- Wharton

Department: Counseling Center

Dean of Health & Wellness, Director of Counseling Center

  • Education
  • PHD, Pennsylvania State University
  • MA, Indiana Univ of PA
  • BA, Norfolk State University

Upon my arrival to Susquehanna University three years ago, it was love at first sight. It is my honor to serve our students thru some of the most difficult and complex times of their lives.

Working in higher education for more than 20 years, I have done every role from RA to Assistant Vice President. I have a Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University; a master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University.

In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, reading and entertaining.

The weird fact that everyone knows, is that I am a buffalo wing connoisseur.


Doctor of Philosophy, Counseling Psychology (APA accredited) 1999

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.

Dissertation topic: Exploring the perceived influence of the family of origin experience on the career development of African American women.

  • Licensed Psychologist, State of Pennsylvania, (2015-present)
  • Licensed Psychologist, State of Michigan (2006-present)


Master of Arts, Community Counseling 1992

Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pa.


Bachelor of Arts, Psychology (Cum Laude) 1990

Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Va.



Assistant Dean & Director, Counseling Center January 2015-present

Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA

Susquehanna University is a liberal arts institution with an enrollment of 2,200 students.

Core Responsibilities

  • Provide direct clinical services
  • Supervise Counseling Center staff, including a psychiatric consultant
  • Serve as a member of the Student Life Leadership Team
  • Foster the development of programs offered by the Counseling Center including trainings such as Mental Health First Aid
  • Liaison between the Center, other University departments, students, and parents
  • Assume periodic on-call responsibility throughout the school year
  • Serve as point person for student readmission after medical withdrawal

Oversight of Student Health Services (July, 2015)

  • Provide administrative oversight of Student Health Services
  • Supervise the Health Center Director
  • Update contractual agreements necessary for the operation of Student Health Services
  • Conduct periodic needs assessment and participate with members of the college community in planning Student Health Services programs to respond to identified needs

Institutional Involvement

  • Chair, University Wellness Committee
  • Lead, Sexual Assault Prevention, Education & Awareness Project
  • Member, Title IX
  • Member, Behavioral Assessment Intervention Team
  • Chair, Dean of Students Search Committee
  • Member, Risk Reduction Coalition

Selected Achievements

  • Shift long term therapy model short term model in accordance with national standard
  • Instituted assessment model including client satisfaction survey, outcomes measures, National College Health Assessment and Alcohol Edu
  • Developed and implement new group therapy program
  • Re-initiated faculty & staff Suicide Prevention Training and more than doubled participation
  • Developed new Guide for Victims & Survivors of Sexual Assault, Dating & Domestic Violence and Stalking


Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Wellness Feb. 2013 - Jan. 2015

University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.

The University of South Florida is a four-year public research university with an enrollment of more than 47,000 students.

Core Responsibilities

  • Provided leadership in efforts related to health, wellness, safety, and crisis response.
  • Oversaw 150 staff; Direct supervision of Directors of Student Health Services, Counseling Center, Victim Advocacy Programs& Violence Prevention, Wellness Education, Campus Recreation, and Student of Concern Assistance Team
  • Developed and managed a budget of $9.5 million
  • Developed a more comprehensive and cohesive approach to key wellness educational and training efforts including enhancing and expanding wellness prevention, promotion, outreach, and education efforts
  • Development and monitoring of response and recovery protocols within Student Affairs; Coordination of Division prevention and intervention plans with University Emergency Operations Plan
  • Reviewed policies and procedures that relate to the health and well-being of students to include voluntary and involuntary hospitalization and students’ return to campus, involuntary withdrawal or dismissal of students who demonstrated concerning behaviors such as threat of harm to self or others

Institutional Involvement

  • Chair, Student of Concern Assistance Team (February, 2013-present)
  • Chair, Emergency Planning Response Team (February 2013-present)
  • Chair, Healthy Campus Coalition (January 2014-present)
  • Chair, Student Affairs Employee Wellness (July 2013-present)
  • Chair, Student Insurance Taskforce (Spring Semester, 2014)
  • Member, UniversityEmergencyOperations Center (EOC) (February 2013-present)
  • Member, Vice President Student Affairs Search Committee (2013-2014)
  • Member, Medical Amnesty Policy work group (Spring Semester, 2013)
  • Member, Director of Shared Services Auxiliary Center (Fall, 2014)
  • Member, Title IX Advisory Committee (February, 2014-present)
  • Member, University Emergency Operations Center (2009-2013)

Selected Achievements

  • Improved the Students Affairs Staff Emergency Response Training including NIMS training, first ever tabletop exercise, and developing a cohort of 27 staff members who are trained in crisis/trauma response team
  • Lead Wellness Cluster in increasing programs offerings to during the Finals Week to help improve Students’ academic performance
  • Lead the University in developing protocols to meet the requirements of Campus Save Act/VAWA
  • Successfully negotiated the local fee committee for 6 new positions in the Wellness Cluster
  • Revamped our Students of Concern Committee to streamline the meetings to improve productivity
  • Revised Involuntary Withdraw Policy
  • Lead team through developing and implementing Medical Amnesty Policy
  • Improved ability of threat assessmentteam to proactively intervene with students in distress


Executive Director, Behavioral Health Unit 2011-2013

Director, Counseling Center 2008 – 2011

University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida is a four-year public research university that includes a main campus and 9 regional campuses serving a total enrollment of 60,000 students.

Core Responsibilities

  • Administrative Lead for BehavioralHealth Units of approximately70 people including Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Programming Office along with Wellness and Health Promotions
  • Responsible fiscal officer for 2 million dollar budgets
  • Revised organizationalInfrastructure for Counseling Center and new Wellness and Health Promotion
  • Facilitated LeadershipDevelopmentActivities for Directors in my portfolio
  • Lead Counseling Center & Wellness and Health PromotionsOffice in Strategic Planning Process
  • Developed and initiated programs in counseling and personal development for the students of the university; conducts and participates in training seminars for faculty advisors, professionals and special groups of students along with seminars and practica experience for graduate interns
  • Consulted with the university college deans concerning mental health programs and maintained lines of communicationwith Counselor Education and Psychology
  • Assisted in building Cross-Unit Treatmentfor Eating Disorders, Alcohol and Athletics
  • Supervised and facilitated the increase of the Counseling Center’s presence on campus with flagship program like Tunnel of Oppression, Suicide Prevention,Working with Students in Distress and Extreme Classroom Behaviors
  • Oversaw Counseling Center internship program being fully accredited by the APA
  • Managed four different renovation projects in the Counseling Building
  • Serve as the responsible authority for the administrative supervision of the Counseling Center
  • Developed, recommended, and assisted in the implementationand administration of university policies, rules, and regulations dealing with the Counseling Center
  • Made policy on the organization, operation, administration and management of the Counseling Center and interpreted policy that affected the operation of the Center
  • Assist developing bullying, sexual violence, and mandated assessment policies
  • Provided individual clinical supervision for 2-3 professional staff each year

Institutional Involvement

  • Member, Healthy Knights 2020 Advisory Board
  • Member, Campus Students of Concern/ThreatAssessment Team
  • Member, Student Death Protocol Committee
  • Member, Medical Holds Removal Committee
  • Member, University-wide Emergency ManagementTeam
  • Chair, Sexual Violence Taskforce and subsequent Men’s Program
  • Member, Vice-President of Student Development/Enrollment Multicultural Advisory Team
  • Member, Alcohol Advisory Group
  • Chair, Health Advisory Committee
  • Member, Crisis Committee
  • Member, University Emergency Operations Center

Selected Achievements

  • Directed Counseling Center regaining its accreditationwith InternationalAssociation of Counseling Services (IACS)
  • Opened two satellites offices at the College of Medicine and Veteran’s Academic Resource Center
  • Doubled Counseling Center’s group offerings
  • Shifted client documentation to a completely paperless system for all units
  • Hired over 30 people, advocating for and receiving 10 new positions in less than 4 years
  • Lead the Counseling Center through a rebranding project that changed both the physical space and student perception on campus
  • Yearly invited speaker Faculty Enrichment Conference
  • Facilitated book clubs for Faculty and Academic Advisor Groups
  • Consultedwith faculty and developed the Faculty Threat Assessment Team


Associate Director 2007-2008

Assistant Director 2004-2007

Staff Psychologist 1998-2004

Department of Counseling and Psychological Services

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The University of Michigan is a public four-year research university with an enrollment of 44,000 students.

Core Responsibilities

  • Member of a 3-person ManagementTeam for a 40-person staff
  • Managed agency business in Director’s absence
  • Supervision& Evaluation
  • Provided oversight and administration for six training programs
  • Provided supervision of supervision to newly licensed staff
  • Supervised Social Work Intern Program Coordinator
  • Supervised Practicum Coordinator


    • Member, Training Committee (2000-2008)
    • Provided supervision for pre doctoral interns and practicum students
    • Provided supervision to interns with their work with eating disorders, including an 8-hour training on eating disorder assessment
    • Provided supervision of supervision to postdoctoral fellows
    • Provided supervision of supervision to newly licensed staff
    • Facilitated all but 3 of the 15 seminar trainings in our center including:

    Assessment Seminar presenter (2000-2008)

    Clinical Topics Seminar (2003)

    Ethics module in orientation (2003)

    Group modulein orientation (2001-2003)

    How to use the DSM IV Diagnosis module in orientation (2003)

    Multicultural Seminar (1998-2000)

      • Outreach and Consultation Process Seminar (2003)
      • Group Seminar (2000-2002)
      • Post Doc Seminar-Supervision of Supervision (2003)
      • Development Seminar (2003)


      • Facilitated African American Graduate Women’s Group (1998- 2008)
      • Facilitated Making Peace with Food and Multi-ethnic Women’s Group
      • Facilitated short-term therapy (depression, anxiety, eating issues, racial identity concerns, relationship issues, self-esteem)
      • Conducted initial intake interviews
      • Served as member of crisis intervention team
      • Provided consultation for academic programs and their faculty along with other units within the division of student affairs

      Consultation, Outreach, Education and Prevention

      • Organizer and Co-Chair of Nourish: Women of Color Luncheon
      • Chair of Campus Wide Eating Issues Network
      • Served as a consultant and liaison to the African and African American communities including Comprehensive Studies Program, (CSP) Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI), and Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR)
      • Provided consultation for Residential EducationalOffice on mental health and cultural issues
      • Served as special consultantto Department of Athletics (M-PACT program) Institutional Involvement
      • Chair, Division of Student Affairs Diversity Project (2004-2007)
      • Developed diversity strategic plan for the Division
      • Assessed the needs for community
      • Managed budget for project
      • Chair, Student Affairs ProfessionalDevelopment Workgroup (2001-2004)
      • Chair CAPS Search (2003)
      • Facilitator, Voices of the Staff Diversity Program
      • Member, University Academic Services Board
      • Member, CAPS Search Committee (2002)
      • Member, University Ombudsman Search Committee
      • Member,New Millennium Leadership Series Training

      Selected Achievements

      • Led training programs through the American Psychological Accreditation Process
      • Led team that developed and implemented an award winning Diversity Training program for all 700 employees in the Division of Student Affairs.
      • Grew training program by adding a Post-MSW



      Private Practice, Ann Arbor, Mich. 2006-2008

      Provided individual psychotherapy for community members

      Independent Consultant 2006

      Ann Arbor Consultation Services, Ann Arbor, Mich.

      Director 2002 - 2006

      Turning Point Counseling Service, Ann Arbor, MI

      Pre-doctoral Intern, Counseling Center 1997 - 1998

      The University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

      Part-time counselor, Counseling and Psychological Services March-May, 1995

      The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.



      Instructor, Department of Behavioral Sciences Winter, 2001

      Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Mich.

      Taught Psychology 100 Course for local community college.

      Teaching Assistant, Department of Counseling Psychology Summer, 1994

      The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.

      Graduate Course: Group Procedures in Guidance and Counseling. Developed lesson plans; prepared and delivered course lectures; facilitated group discussions, developed and graded tests; critiqued student journals; supervised and evaluated student participation in training group.

      Teaching Assistant. Department of Counseling Psychology Fall, 1993

      The Pennsylvania State University

      Graduate Course: Individual Counseling Procedures. Developed course plan, facilitated group discussions, conducted individual supervision.

      Teaching Assistant, Department of Counselor Education Fall, 1992

      The Pennsylvania State University

      Served as instructor for Graduate Course: Introduction to Student Personnel Services.



      Pearson-Wharton, S. (2016). Being Black in White Spaces: Surviving, Thriving and Inspiring. Association of Fraternal Values-Central Annual Convention. Featured Speaker. Indianapolis, IN.

      Pearson-Wharton, S. (2016). Being Black in White Spaces. Northeast Greek Leadership Association Annual Meeting. Pittsburgh, PA

      Pearson-Wharton, S. (2016). Failing to Succeed: A Guide for Falling and Getting Back Up. Featured Speaker. A Pecha Kucha. American College Personnel Association Annual Conference. Montreal, Canada.

      Shea-Gasser, H., Kerr, K., Eddington, S., Hart-Steffes, J., Kirchmeier, J.P., Pearson-Wharton, S., Perillo, P. (2016). Preconvention Workshop: Feminist Leadership: Power, Principles, Politics, & Practice. American College Personnel Association. Annual Conference. Montreal, Canada.

      Steffes, J., Kerr, K., Perillo, P., Willet, L., Pearson-Wharton, S., Kelly, B. (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011). Secrets of Success: Women Leaders on their Own Terms. Presented at: American College Personnel Association Annual Convention. Indianapolis, Indiana.

      Pearson-Wharton, S. (2014). He’s Weird and I’m Scared: Negotiating Mental Health Issues in a Risk Aversive Climate: A Senior Scholars Symposium. Invited Address. American College Personnel Association. Indianapolis, Indiana.

      Pearson-Wharton, S. (2012). Avoiding Compassionate Fatigue: A Workshop for Student Affairs Professionals. Invited Keynote: Arizona College Personnel Association. Tucson, Arizona.

      Pearson, S.M. (2011). When Intent Doesn’t Equal Impact: Dealing with Microaggressions in Student Affairs. Invited Keynote Address:North Carolina College Personnel Association. Wilmington,North Carolina.

      Pearson, S.M. (2011). When Intent Doesn’t Equal Impact: Dealing with Microaggressions in Everyday Life. Presented at American College Personnel Association Summer Leadership Meeting. Louisville, Kentucky.

      Pearson, S.M. (2009). One is the Magic Number: Dealing with Contemporary Issues in University Counseling Center Outreach. Invited Keynote: The Association of UniversityCollege CounselingOutreach (AUCCCO). Ann Arbor, Michigan.

      Orozco, V., Pearson, S.M., Asidao, C. (2008). Shifting: The Double Lives of Women of Color in University Counseling Center. Presented at The Big 10 Counseling Centers Conference. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

      Corbett, C., Barnette, V., Pearson, S.M. (2006). Matters of the Soul: Developing Competency to Address Spirituality. Presented at the American College Personnel Association Annual Convention,Indianapolis, Indiana.

      Barnette, V., Goins, J. Leathers, L, and Pearson, S.M. (2004). Being Black on White Campuses: African American Women Support Groups. Presented at The Big 10 Counseling Centers Conference. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

      Pearson, S. (2003). Dealing with the Strong Black Woman Syndrome in Training Programs. Presented at the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies. Atlantic Beach, Florida.

      Pearson, S.M. (2003). Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services Roundtable: Training Issues in College Counseling Centers. Presented at American College Personnel Association Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

      Pearson, S.M. (2003). Culture and Depression. Panelist at National Depression Conference. University of Michigan.

      Pearson, S.M. & Stock-Ward, S. (2002). Empirically based Decision- Making in Counseling Centers. Presented at American Psychological Association. Chicago, Illinois.

      Pearson, S.M., Stock-Ward, S., Levine, H. & Lowe, S. (2002). Voices of Wisdom: Campus Response to Eating Disorders. Presented at American College PersonnelNational Conference, Long Beach, California.

      Pearson, S.M., Kim, A., Delgado-Romero,E. (2001). N of 1--Racial and Ethnic Minorities in University Counseling Centers. Presented at the 109th Meeting of the American Psychological Association. San Francisco, California.

      Pearson, S.M. & Edwardson, T. (2001). Can We Just Get Along?: Using Experiential Exercises of Diversity Training.(4-hour Convention Institute) Presented at American College PersonnelNational Conference., Boston, Massachusetts.

      Pearson, S. M. & Bieschke, K. (1999). Influence of Family Gender Roles on Career Development of African American Women. Presented at American Psychological Association. Boston, Massachusetts.

      Pearson, S.M. (1999). Career Success in African American College Women: Lessons from the Elders. Presented at the American College Personnel Association Conference. Atlanta, Georgia.

      Mobley, M. & Pearson, S.M. (1998). Developing a psychosocial model for African American college student leaders. Presented at the American College Personnel Association Conference. St. Louis, Missouri.

      Mobley, M. & Pearson, S.M. (1998). Increasing therapeutic success in cross cultural counseling:Resolving cultural impasses. Presented at the American College Personnel Conference. St. Louis Missouri.

      Pearson, S.M. & Blackwell-Jones, S. (1996). Eclectic approaches to career development uncovering culturally relevant components of traditional career theory-a skill shop. Presented at American Counseling Association World Conference. Pittsburgh, Pa.



      Mobley, M. & Pearson, S.M. (2005). Blessed Be the Ties that Bind. In J.M Croteau, J.S. Lark, M. Liddledale,& Y.B. Chung (Eds.), Deconstructingheterosexismin the counseling professions: Multicultural narrative voices. Sage Multicultural Book Series.

      Pearson, S.M. & Bieschke, K. (2001). Succeeding Against the Odds: An Examination of Familial Influences on the Career Development of ProfessionalAfrican American Women. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 48(3), 301-309.



      • The Power of Animal Assisted Therapy. Fox News. December, 2013.
      • The Daily Buzz, nationally syndicated TV Show - Resident Mental Health Expert. Participated in live monthly interviews about mental health topics. 2009 -2010.
      • Looking for Love at the B-School. February 14, 2008.
      • Ivanhoe Productions.Depression on College Campuses:New Challenges, New Approaches. ABC 7-Chicago and KFSN-Fresno, CA. April, 2007.
      • Michael Eric Dyson Radio. Valentine’sDay Show Guest Expert. February 14, 2007.
      • Depression is Colorblind. Hara Estroff Marano for Psychology Today. September 2003.
      • Back to School: Parents Helps their Kids Adjust to Campus. Malavika Jagannathan for The Detroit Free Press. August18, 2005.
      • The Effort to Combat Cultural Stigmas Confounding Mental Illness. Mary Wilcoop for The MichiganDaily. November 28, 2007.
      • Susceptibility of Minority Female Stereotypes Analyzed. Soojung Chang for the Michigan Daily. December 6, 2002.
      • UncommonDisorders Often Overlooked and Undiagnosed. Rebecca Ramsey for the Michigan Daily. September 25, 2002.
      • Herbal Stimulant Linked to Deaths, Health Dangers. Ted Borden for the Michigan Daily. September 10, 2001.
      • Eating Disorders Awareness Week Events Aim to Education. Jacquelyn Nixon for the Michigan Daily. March 13 2001.



      American College Personnel Association (ACPA)

      • Chair, Taskforce on the Future of Standing Committees (2013-2015)
      • Member, ACPA Governing Board member (2011-2013)
      • Director of Equity and Inclusion (2011 – 2013)
      • Member of Nominations of Elections Committee (2011-2013)
      • Member, ACPA Assembly (2011-2013)
      • Member, ACPA-NASPA Consolidation Sub-Committee for Equity and Inclusion (2010)
      • Chair, Convention Special Events Committee (2009 and 2011)
      • Member, Governance Task Force and ImplementationTeam for new Association Governance Structure (2005-2007)
      • Chair, Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services (2004-2006)
      • Member, Directorate Body (2001-2003)

      Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA), Chairperson (2003-2006)

      Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, Member (2008-2013)

      American Psychological Association (1996-2008)



      • Diamond Honoree, Outstanding Contributions to Higher Education and Student Affairs American College Personnel Association (2012)
      • Mid-Level Career Award, Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services (2010)
      • American College Personnel Association (2010)
      • Diversity Scholar, Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (2003)
      • Carolyn Payton Early Career Award, American Psychological Association, Division 35 2002)

      Courses taught: