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The Counseling Services office is staffed by licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and psychiatrists who specialize in mental health. The service also has advanced master’s-level interns from a variety of schools.

Our Staff

The Counseling Service staff embody a range of visible and invisible identities along the lines of race, socio-economic class, gender, sexuality, ability, culture, religion, immigrant, first-generation status and more. We commit to continually learning to work with a range of people and presentations using emerging interventions, research and student feedback.

Like you, we are infinitely intersectional and evolving.

Laurie Wildhagen

Administrative and Budget Coordinator

Laurie earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental geography at the University of Iowa. Before coming to Smith, she worked as an AIDS advocate in Hawaii, as a court advocate for survivors of domestic violence and in health care administration. In her free time, she can be found hiking a new trail with her kids, experimenting with new cookie recipes or getting lost in a new book.

Laurie Wildhagen

Michelle Marchese, LICSW

Director of Counseling Services

Michelle is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a certified EMDR therapist and consultant. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Smith College School for Social Work researching dissociation measures for use with queer and trans communities, and EMDR to heal race-based stress. As a trauma specialist, she has worked in community mental health, at the Veterans Administration and the Trauma Institute, and in private practice. She also has published and taught on subjects related to trauma. Her relational treatment approach rests on a trauma-centered, intersubjective foundation complemented with CBT, DBT and somatic interventions as needed. Maybe you have met her canine assistant, Stanley, around campus or when howling during a Zoom call.

"Portrait of Michelle Marchese"

Lisa Youngling Howard, M.D.

Director of Psychiatry, Associate Director of Counseling

Lisa Youngling Howard received her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, where she majored in biology with a concentration in women’s studies, and her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. She completed her residency in psychiatry at Harvard University’s Cambridge Health Alliance, as well as a fellowship in psychotherapy at Harvard University Health Services. After completing her training, Lisa worked at Cambridge Health Alliance as the director of partial hospital and intensive outpatient programs and was an instructor at Harvard Medical School, involved in teaching and supervising medical students and residents. She has extensive experience in college mental health, having worked at Bennington College for eight years and also at Wellesley College before joining Counseling Services at Smith. In addition to her position at Smith, Lisa also works at Gould Farm, a psychiatric rehabilitation and residential treatment facility in Monterey, Massachusetts. Her primary clinical interests include identity development, women’s issues and working collaboratively with students to address a variety of mental health issues.

Lisa Howard

Greenlee Brown, LCSW

Staff Therapist

Greenlee has been working at Smith since fall 2020. They have experience working with young queer and trans people, polyamorous people, people in BDSM communities, and with young people living with complex trauma. He aims to build a clinical practice grounded in relationship and vulnerability, and is particularly interested in somatic approaches to living with trauma and working with white people to divest from white supremacy. He has two black cats, Lover Boy and Boo, and too many books (some would say).

Geenlee Brown

Noah Cochran, LICSW

Staff Therapist

Noah is a licensed clinical social worker trained at the Smith School of Social Work. Raised in the South, they then attended Bowdoin College in Maine, where they earned their bachelor's degree in psychology and education. They practice clinical work with a trauma-centered, attachment-informed, and relational lens grounded in social justice. They believe in the liberatory potential of healing through relationships and community, and their work focuses on grief, relational and structural trauma, and identity. Beyond their role as a therapist, Noah is an avid reader and a fledgling woodworker. 

Meg Laird, LICSW

Staff Therapist

Meg graduated from Oberlin College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Following two siblings, she earned her master’s degree from Smith’s School for Social Work. She started her career in college counseling as a master’s intern, assigned to Duke University’s Counseling and Psychological Services. At Smith Counseling Services since 1992, she has helped thousands of Smith students navigate their college years and find more satisfaction in their lives. In addition to facilitating individual work on a variety of topics, she offers a beloved grief support group every semester. Certified in clinical supervision, she has worked with more than 20 master’s-level interns.

Meg Laird

Nathalie Vaughn, LICSW

Staff Therapist

After leaving Guyana as a young adult, Nathalie became an Ada Comstock Scholar and graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology. She continued her education by earning a master's degree in women’s studies from Southern Connecticut State University. Nathalie’s academic interests and commitment to individual empowerment led her into the community mental health field. After several years working to support women and families, Nathalie pursued a master of social work at the Smith School for Social Work before joining the Counseling Services staff.

Nathalie Vaughn

Elena Volpe, LMFT

Staff Therapist

Elena is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She received her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She has a private practice in Amherst, emphasizing an integrative approach to therapy. She developed Somapsychology, a method that unites breathwork, yoga and martial arts with traditional verbal practices. Elena’s clinical interests are far-ranging in that they encompass the broad cultural experience of gender, race and biculturalism, as well as the intimate sensed experience of the physical body.

Elena Volpe

2023–24 Counseling Interns

Coming Soon.