Psychology and Counseling Faculty

Beth Bowin, Instructor

Beth Bowin’s Directory Profile

Educational Background

BS Psychology Oklahoma State University
MS Northeastern State University
PhD Health Psychology Walden University: currently in completion

Work Experience

Has been and instructor at Northeastern State University after completing her masters in 2004.

Research Interests

Stress reduction and with use of service dogs in courtroom testimonial procedures. Also animal intelligence.

Dr. Christina Branham, Assistant Professor

Dr. Christina Branham’s Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Branham earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas and her doctorate in family therapy from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Dr. Branham is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas and a Nationally Certified Counselor.

Work Experience

Dr. Branham has worked extensively in community mental health in large urban, suburban, and rural areas of Texas. While working in community mental health, she worked with various populations such as children and families that have behavioral disorders at home and in the community, at-risk juveniles on probation through Drug Court, families involved with CPS, female batterers’ intervention, and severely mentally ill adults trying to stay in the community. Dr. Branham also had a private practice in Justin, Texas which served suburban and rural communities in need of mental health services. Dr. Branham was a volunteer crisis counselor for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike victims. Dr. Branham has also taught at the undergraduate and graduate level at other universities.

Research Interest

Dr. Branham’s research interests include human sexuality and the family, ethics in counseling with technology, and effective supervision and supervisor training. Dr. Branham conducted research on the perceptions of parental communication of sexuality within the family as her dissertation. Dr. Branham has presented on this topic at state and international conferences. Dr. Branham currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Scientific Psychology.

Dr. Steve Byers, Associate Professor

Dr. Steve Byers’s Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Byers received his bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan where he received his master's degree in Psychology with a concentration in Personality Assessment & Development. He completed a second master's degree and his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado.

Work Experience

Dr. Byers worked at an urban Indian health and family services agency in Denver, Colorado as an Indian Child Welfare Program Director and later as the Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Byers has worked in various academic settings as an instructor, faculty member and researcher. His areas of specialization include multicultural mental health, education and empowerment, and cultural resiliency. Dr. Byers is an assistant professor at Northeastern State University in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. He also assists in training professional counselors in the graduate program.

Research Interests

Dr. Byers is now focused on enhancing undergraduate education through his teaching at NSU and assessing the following domains through research and evaluation: diverse students experience in higher education, enhancing experiences and access of diverse persons in higher education, re-evaluation of mental health concepts in relation to culturally different persons and families and multicultural and diversity training in the behavioral sciences.

Dr. Chris L. Carver, Assistant Professor

Dr. Kurt Thomas Choate's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Carver received an M.S. in Counseling from Missouri State University in Springfield MO. in 2010, and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville in 2015. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri.

Work Experience

Dr. Carver has worked in a variety of mental health settings. These include child abuse and neglect investigations for the state of Missouri, providing counseling services to students at Missouri State University, community agency settings, and private practice. He has provided services to clients of all ages, with particular emphasis on working with adolescents and young adults. While working in a community agency setting, he provided individual substance abuse counseling, co-occurring counseling, group counseling, and family counseling to clients in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Dr. Carver began his teaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas in 2013.

Research Interests

Dr. Carver has many research interests, however his research agenda currently focuses on the personal and professional development of counselors in training. He is particularly interested in the development of empathy and other core conditions and the effect this has on personal growth and levels of functioning throughout the training process. He has presented at the state, regional, and national level.

Dr. Kurt Thomas Choate, Associate Professor, Department Chair

Dr. Kurt Thomas Choate's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Choate received his B.S. with a double major in Mathematics and Education from the University of Tulsa in 1991. His M.Ed. in School Counseling was granted from Northeastern State University in 1993. In 2003, he received his Ph.D. with honors in School Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Choate is a certified mathematics teacher, school counselor and school psychologist for the state of Oklahoma. He is also a licensed professional counselor in the state of Oklahoma. He is currently pursuing licensure as a psychologist in the state of Oklahoma.

Work Experience

Dr. Choate began his career as a public school teacher in Tulsa Public Schools before becoming a counselor-in-training at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, OK, working with Traumatic Brain Injured adolescents and adults. After receiving his master’s degree, Dr. Choate was employed at Northern Oklahoma Resource Center in Enid, OK where he worked with individuals with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and mental retardation. During this time, Dr. Choate was an adjunct instructor for Northern Oklahoma College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University. After returning to his doctoral studies, Dr. Choate provided school psychological services at Broken Arrow Public Schools and at the Oklahoma State University Reading and Math Clinic. As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Choate worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a public school consultant and in the hospital’s ADHD clinic. Returning to San Antonio, TX, Dr. Choate led the development for several nationally standardized test instruments through Pearson/Harcourt Assessment/The Psychological Corporation and taught at St. Mary’s University. Returning to Tulsa, OK, Dr. Choate is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology & Counseling at the Northeastern State University – Broken Arrow (NSU-BA) campus. He spends his time teaching in the Psychology and Counseling department, working as a consultant in the Reading and Math clinic, consulting with area public schools, and counseling at the Dennis R. Neil Equality Center.

Research Interests

Dr. Choate has several research interests that include test development and assessment, consultation with teachers, parents and schools concerning academic and behavioral interventions with students, gender roles, human sexuality, and labeling bias/discrimination.

Dr. Paul Cooper, Associate Professor

Dr. Paul Cooper's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Cooper earned his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1996.  He is a Licensed Psychologist and Health Service Provider in the State of Oklahoma.  He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

Work Experience

Dr. Cooper has 25 years of experience working with mental health inpatient and correctional populations.  He has worked with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of clinical situations.  Dr. Cooper came to NSU in January of 2009 as a full-time faculty.  Prior to this he was the Coordinator of Psychology and Graduate Studies at Langston University-Tulsa.  He began teaching in 1992 at OSU while he was a Doctoral Candidate.  Dr. Cooper currently serves as a Consultant to the Office of Juvenile Affairs for the State of Oklahoma focusing on the treatment and rehabilitation of youthful offenders.

Research Interests

Dr. Cooper's research interests have focused on practical applications of theory in therapy.  He has presented his research at a number of state and national conferences.  Presentations include: Play therapy approaches to child group therapy, recruiting and retention of multi-cultural students in graduate school, treatment of Axis II disorders in community mental health, psychoanalytic approaches to child therapy, and provision of treatment to juvenile sex-offenders.  His current focus is on reducing resistance in therapy and the use of evocative techniques in therapy.

Dr. Steve Grissom, Instructor

Dr. Steve Grissom's Directory Profile

Educational Background

B.S.E.- Missouri Southern State College

Ph.D.- Oklahoma State University

Dr. YoungFei Kao, Professor

Dr. Yungfei Kao's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Kao received her master's degree as well as her doctorate in Cognitive Psychology in 1990 from the University of Nevada at Reno.

Work Experience

Dr. Kao's teaching career started during graduate school years before earning her doctorate, and she has taught at Northeastern State University since 1990.

Research Interests

Dr. Kao has published a text book in Psychological Statistics in 2001 while her research interests focus on Memory and Cognition.  Papers presented in professional conferences concern areas in semantic memory, automatic processing, word perception and color perception.  Currently Dr. Kao is most interested in research on thought processes in the state of meditation and the conscious mind.

Dr. Elizabeth (Bea) Keller-Dupree, Associate Professor

Dr. Elizabeth (Bea) Keller-Dupree's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Keller-Dupree received her master’s degree in counseling in 2008 from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri and her doctorate in Counselor Education in 2011 from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dr. Keller-Dupree is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and pk-12 certified School Counselor.

Work Experience

Dr. Keller-Dupree has counseled and consulted in various school settings in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Additionally, she has counseled individuals, groups, and couples/families in clinical mental health agencies in Oklahoma and currently owns and runs a private practice for counseling and consultation services in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She began her teaching career at the University of Arkansas in 2008 and has taught a variety of psychology and counseling undergraduate and graduate courses. She has also supervised students in international study abroad experiences in North Ireland and Belize. 

Research Interests

Dr. Keller-Dupree studies prosocial development, including empathy, wellness/wellbeing, and experiential education within counselor training. She has presented at numerous local, state, national, regional, national, and international conferences, including most recently at the Health, Wellness, and Society international conference in Madrid, Spain in 2015.

Dr. J. Mark Kirk, Assistant Professor

Dr. J. Mark Kirk's Directory Profile

Education Background

Dr. Kirk received his Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma in May 2014, His Master of Human Relations was conferred by the University of Oklahoma in May 2016 and he received his PhD from Oklahoma State University in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Research and Statistics in May 2012.

Work Experience

Dr. Kirk’s interest in counseling came when he was a firefighter with the Tulsa Fire Department. As a first responder to the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City he received post incident counseling. Seeing an opportunity to help others, Dr. Kirk obtained the required education and is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Behavioral Health Professional. He has worked in private clinics, not-for-profit agencies as a program counselor, clinical supervisor and criminal justice system liaison. Dr. Kirk was Coordinator for the Tulsa County Drug Court Program for 4 years before becoming a full time educator at Rogers State University in 2010. At Rogers State Dr. Kirk taught in the Psychology and Community Counseling program and was also was a member of the Critical Incident Response team and Advisor for Psi Chi and the Community Counseling and Psychology Students Association. He began teaching at NSU for the graduate degree in counseling program in August 2015. A counselor educator must keep clinical skills sharp and stay abreast of current ODMHSAS requirements. To that end, Dr. Kirk, with two partner clinicians, opened an agency, Therapeutic Life Choices, which provided outreach, education, case management and counseling in the Tulsa area. An office in the Tahlequah area is planned for 2016. 

Research Interests

Dr. Kirk has presented and gave seminars at regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Kirk has received awards from the Society for Applied Multivariate Research (2013, 2014) and the International Society for the Study of Subjectivity (2010) for his work examining substance abuse treatment outcomes and measuring psychological constructs such as motivation and self-determination as a product of treatment. In addition to behavioral health treatment research Dr. Kirk is interested in the impact of technology on the physical, psychological and social domains of the individual. Current projects include a factor analysis of an internet infidelity scale, the impact social media usage on face-to-face interactions and measuring psychological reactance in individuals with differing levels of Native American heritage. Projects in preparation for the IRB include a program evaluation of educational interventions to increase nationalism and promote community policing in Guatemala. Finally a mixed measure project to investigate and how Western culture and Capitalism have changed the indigenous culture in Belize is in preparation.

Dr. Beth Melles, Assistant Professor

Dr. Beth Melles' Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Melles earned her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. She completed her MA in Counseling from New Mexico State University, and her BA with a double major in Psychology and English from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor. 

Work Experience

Dr. Melles has experience in a variety of mental health settings, including university counseling centers, community mental health agencies, and schools. She has a passion for working with the LGBTQ community and international students. She has taught psychology courses at the University of Oklahoma prior to teaching at Northeastern State University. 

Research Interests

Dr. Melles has a range of research interests, many of which are focused on multiculturalism and diversity. Much of her work has focused on the experience of liminality, whether that of Third-Culture Kids (individuals who have grown up in a culture other than that of their parents’), immigrants, or the transgender and gender-fluid community. Some of her future research interests include the process of gender transition and the development of multicultural awareness and sensitivity.

Greg Meyer, Assistant Professor

Dr. Greg Meyer's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Meyer attended The University of Kansas, majoring in Psychology, for his undergraduate studies; Richmont Graduate University, in Atlanta, Georgia, for his master’s studies in Professional Counseling; and Auburn University for his doctoral studies in Counselor Education and Supervision. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. 

Work Experience

Dr. Meyer worked in Kansas, Nebraska, and Georgia for a number of years, in various community mental health clinics, hospitals and group homes prior to receiving his master’s degree. He counseled in a private practice in New Mexico, working with individuals, couples, families, and groups, before relocating to Auburn, Alabama where he continued counseling in a community agency clinic and supervised counseling students. He has taught various courses in Psychology and Counseling at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has spent time presenting workshops and seminars on a variety of topics within community programs, as well as regional and national conferences.

Research Interests

Dr. Meyer’s research interests currently include spirituality and spiritual development, specifically its role in the lives of counselors, counselor educators, and counselors-in-training. Additionally, his interest in humanism and the humanistic paradigm have increased with his participation in the Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC), where he currently reviews books and articles for the AHC newsletter. In addition, he has written or presented on topics including reflective practices and training, humanistic vision in counselor training programs, the development of counseling supervisors, and qualitative methods of research.

Dr. Marilon Morgan, Associate Professor

Dr. Marilon Morgan's Directory Profile

Education Background

B.A.- Sam Houston State University

M.Ed.- Angelo State University

Ed.D.- Oklahoma State University

Cynthia Naff, LPC-S, LADC-S

Cynthia Naff's Directory Profile

Educational Experience

Ms. Naff earned her Bachelor’s degree in education at Southeastern Louisiana State University in 1973 and earned her Master’s in Counseling from Northeastern Oklahoma State University in 1993.She completed her LPC in 1995 and her LADC in 2005. 

Work History

Ms. Naff worked at both Resonance Center for Women as a clinical manager, and at St John’s Medical Center as an adolescent counselor before going into private practice in 1996.. She has extensive experience in working with anxiety issues and addictions. She has taught at NSU for the past 10 years and served as the interim chair for the Master’s Program in Addictions at NSU during the 2015 school year. Ms. Naff has also worked extensively with adolescents and their parents, teaching parenting and life skills. In 1996, she published the book, “An Owner’s Guide to Parenting Teenagers”.  She also has trained other LPC’s and LMFT’s to be licensing supervisors for the past 15 years and helped write the statute of LPC/LMFT supervision requirements. 

Research Interests

Ms. Naff is extremely interested in new developments in psychopharmacology and the relationship of nutrition to mental health. She has done research on the effects of attention deficit on addictions, and continues to explore new approaches for teaching applied counseling methods to graduate students.

Dr. Kenny Paris, Professor and Mental Health Emphasis Chair

Dr. Kenny Paris' Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Paris earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology/Sociology from East Central University; master's degree in Psychological Services; and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Paris is licensed as a psychologist in the state of Oklahoma.

Work Experience

Dr. Paris began his first professional job at NorthCare Center in Oklahoma City, OK, working as a case manager. The immediate need for an additional counselor led to Dr. Paris being promoted to a therapist's position. Dr. Paris taught as an adjunct instructor at Rose State College. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Texas Woman's University.  Upon completing his doctorate in 1996, Dr. Paris accepted a position at Northeastern State University in the Department of Psychology & Counseling.

Research Interests

Dr. Paris' research agenda involves encouraging and assisting students in gaining experience in conducting research. He has sponsored many projects for both undergraduate and graduate students over the years. Many of these projects have been presented at state, regional, and national conferences. The topics have been as varied as the students completing them. Rewardingly, Dr. Paris has seen many of his former research students go on to complete their own Ph.D.'s.

Dr. April Phillips, Associate Professor

Dr. April Phillips' Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Phillips earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma in 1994.  She then went on to earn a master's degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2000, and a doctorate in Social Psychology from the University of Oklahoma in 2005. She is trained in Experimental, Social, and Evolutionary psychology. 

Work Experience

Before taking her current position at Northeastern State University, Dr. Phillips was an associate professor of psychology at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She has taught courses in Social Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics, Evolutionary Psychology and Introductory Psychology.

Research Interests

Dr. Phillips' research interests combine traditional social psychology with the newly emerging field of evolutionary psychology.  Her main research interests involve the formation, maintenance and repair of close relationships. Specifically, she has investigated how individuals process and deal with interpersonal transgressions ranging from mild offenses to more severe ones.  In addition, her research has also examined the processes and motivations driving mate selection and retention. She is currently investigating the influence of an offender's mate value on willingness to forgive an interpersonal offense.

Dr. Sharon Roberts, Associate Professor

Dr. Sharon Roberts' Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Roberts earned her associate degree at Hutchinson Community College, Hutchinson, Kansas 1991.  She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology 1994 and Master's Degree in Experimental Psychology 1995 at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas and her doctorate in Human Factors Psychology at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 2002.  She also studied for two years in Behavioral Neuroscience at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Work Experience

During graduate study 1999-2002, Dr. Roberts worked as Associate Evaluator for the PRAIRY Challenge Grant Project that incorporated technology with innovative teaching strategies in three rural Kansas school districts.  She was a Faculty Consultant for the Educational Testing Service Advanced Placement Psychology Program 2000-2005, evaluating and scoring psychology essay examinations in the national program for high school students seeking college credit for advanced course of study.  Dr. Roberts held tenure-track professor positions at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, as well as Texas A & M University, Texarkana, Texas before joining the faculty of the Northeastern State University Psychology and Counseling Department in 2007.

Research Interests

Dr. Roberts has conducted research with rats as well as humans, studying topics as diverse as hormone effects, vision, learning, and attitudes; her dissertation work focused on development and usability testing of an interactive instrument for measuring levels of use in teaching with technology.  Her primary ongoing and current interests are academic and research integrity and dishonesty.  She guides students in research, presents findings and workshops at state and regional conferences with them, and introduces them to professional networking as a means of helping them to define their possible futures.

Dr. Mary Waters-Bilbo, Assistant Professor

Dr. Mary Waters-Bilbo's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Waters-Bilbo earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in Spanish/English, secondary education.  She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in her senior year of college.  Dr. Waters then went on to pursue a Master’s degree in counseling from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.  Finally, Dr. Waters pursued a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Oklahoma State University where her cognate area was Educational Psychology.

Work Experience

Dr. Waters worked for fifteen years as a school counselor at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  Additionally, she assumed a district leadership role with responsibility for coordinating the services of elementary school counselors.  Dr. Waters led the team that wrote the school counseling evaluation rubric that has been adopted by the majority of school districts in Oklahoma.  In addition, Dr. Waters earned her LPC credential by working as a contract therapist at the Tristesse Center, a grief counseling agency.

Research Interests

Dr. Waters is interested in the social justice role of school counselors.  She is promoting the use of data among school counselors to show how school counselors can positively affect the elimination of the achievement gap.  She will be advancing that work in her role as the President-Elect of the Oklahoma School Counseling Association.

Dr. Taka Yamaguchi, Associate Professor

Dr. Taka Yamaquchi's Directory Profile

Educational Background

Dr. Yamaguchi received his master's degree in psychology with clinical emphasis from the University of Central Missouri in 2005 and his doctorate in Experimental Psychology from the University of Nevada Reno in 2008. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northern Michigan University in 2009.

Work Experience

Dr. Yamaguchi began his career as an adjunct instructor at the University of Nevada Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College while pursuing his doctoral degree. At Northern Michigan University, he taught variety of courses and led research projects involving undergraduate students. He and his students presented their works at national conferences.

Research Interests

Dr. Yamaguchi's research background includes detecting malingered cognitive impairment, face perception, hemispheric differences, time perception, and emotions. He has presented his research results at meetings of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Neuroscience. He is currently working with undergraduate and graduate students on multiple research projects, including face perception and social categorization.