Student Counseling Center Staff
Emily Billings, M.S., LPC, NCC, is a Clinical Counselor. She graduated from Lake Superior State University and earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology. She continued her education at Oklahoma State University and earned her Master of Science in community counseling. Some of Emily’s counseling interests include eating disorders/body image, self-esteem, anxiety, stress management, depression, identity issues, relationship concerns, trauma, OCD and life-adjustment issues.
Dylan Burns, Ph.D., is a Senior Clinical Counselor. He received his doctorate in counseling psychology in 2009 from Oklahoma State University and master's in community counseling in 2002 from Oklahoma State University. He received a B.S. in journalism at Oklahoma State University in 1999. Special interest areas include multicultural issues, sports psychology, inter-generational trauma and resilience, men’s issues and relationship issues.
Carol Challenger, Ph.D., CT, is a Senior Clinical Counselor. She received her doctorate in counseling and school psychology from Florida State University and obtained the M.Ed. in counseling and a B.Sc. in business education from Florida A&M University. She also has certificates in crisis management and general education. Her work experience has spanned the fields of education, residential life and counseling. Dr. Challenger characterizes herself as an individual with a passion for helping others maximize their potential. Her areas of professional interest include adjustment issues, anxiety disorders, crisis management, depression, diversity issues, grief and loss, self-esteem, stress management and women's issues. She enjoys traveling, cooking, listening to music, dancing, interior decorating and other types of creative work. Her theoretical orientation is described as integrative, with emphasis on humanistic/existential/cognitive behavioral approaches.
Chris Dabbs, M.A., NCC, is an Intake Counselor at the Student Counseling Center. He earned his B.A. from Wabash College with a double-major in psychology and religion and M.A. in clinical mental health counseling from Valparaiso University with a practical focus on clinical addiction counseling. Chris is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and student in the counseling psychology Ph.D. program at OSU. His primary clinical interests include substance and process addictions, adult children of narcissistic parents and issues concerning sexual problems and dysfunction.
Joseph Dunnigan, Ph.D., is a Senior Clinical Counselor and coordinator of the OSU Safe Zone program. He received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Kent State University and doctorate in counseling psychology from Oklahoma State University. His areas of professional interest include career counseling, anger and aggression, sexual diversity and multicultural issues. He enjoys music, art, literature and film.
Nikkie Dunnigan, M.S., LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist. Nikkie completed her B.S. in psychology and M.S in counseling at Oklahoma State University. Nikkie worked in community mental health for a number of years before opening a private practice, The Play Place, to serve the mental health needs of children and families in the Stillwater area. Nikkie has strong clinical interest in neurodevelopment and regulation, attachment, adjustment and trauma. Nikkie is a certified AutPlay Therapy provider and registered parent educator for Circle of Security International. Nikkie serves as a board member for the Oklahoma Association for Play Therapy, is a member of the Association for Play Therapy, is an adjunct counseling instructor, counseling intern supervisor, community consultant and presenter. Nikkie joined University Counseling Services Jan. 2019.
Joni Hays, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, is Coordinator of the Reboot Center, the Oklahoma State University stress management center. She earned a Ph.D. from Kansas State University in student counseling and personnel services as well an M.S. and B.S. in psychology from Pittsburg State University. Joni is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC).
Kathy Kavanaugh, M.S., is a Counseling Intern at the Student Counseling Center. She completed a B.A. in psychology and women’s and gender studies at Texas A&M University and M.S. at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in educational psychology with a specialization in counseling psychology. She is currently a second year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at OSU. Her clinical interests include body image concerns, family and relational issues, concerns related to sexual orientation and gender identity, anxiety, depression and overall personal enrichment.
Kara Niccum, M.S., LMFT, LADC, is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Mrs. Niccum has experience in both in-patient and outpatient alcohol and drug treatment facilities. In addition, she has experience in an outpatient marriage and family therapy clinic and in the field of domestic violence. She earned her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Oklahoma State University in 2007 and bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2003. She is knowledgeable in treating individuals, couples and families with a range of difficulties including, substance use disorders, mental health concerns (i.e., anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders), stress, couple and family conflict, parent-child strain, trauma, adult children of alcoholics/addicts and grief. Mrs. Niccum was Level II trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 2013 and earned EMDR certification in 2018. Mrs. Niccum is a member of the EMDR International Association. Mrs. Niccum believes the most effective therapeutic treatment is collaborative, time-limited and aimed at alleviating the presenting problem.
Stephen Scott M.B.S., LBP, is a Clinical Counselor. He graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and Master of Behavioral Science in counseling. His counseling experiences have been in a variety of settings, including community mental health, medical clinics/programs and private practice. His counseling interests include anxiety, depression, stress management, sexual addiction, spirituality and adjustment issues. He enjoys board gaming, sci-fi movies and reading.
Veronica Sutton, M.S., J.D., is the Outreach Specialist for University Counseling Services. She earned a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis in 1993 and M.S. in counseling psychology from Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, IN in 1983. Special interests include stress management, self-compassion skill development, childhood trauma reduction and animal therapy.
Cindy K. Washington, M.S., LPC, CT, is a Clinical Counselor at the Student Counseling Center. She received her master's in counseling and student personnel from Oklahoma State University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Oklahoma and Certified Thanatologist (CT). Special interests include LGBTQ issues, mood disorders, career/major indecision, death, dying and the grieving process. She has been a member of the staff since 1995.
320 Student Union
Stillwater, OK 74078
Open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Walk-in Counseling is available Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
If you are a student with an urgent need, an on-call counselor is available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Examples of urgent needs include thoughts of harming yourself, thoughts of harming others, recent sexual assault or a recent traumatic experience. After 5 p.m. weekdays and weekends, counseling staff may be reached by contacting the OSU Police, 405-744-6523.
Students also may use Call SAM (Student Assistance by Mercy), which is a FREE 24-hour call center staffed with counselors who will assist you in getting the help you need. It’s completely confidential. 1-855-225-2SAM (2726)