MCC Counseling Offices: Call 816-604-1000 and asked to be transferred to the Counseling Office of the campus you attend.
Victorie J. Edwards, Lead Counselor, Education Center Building, Room 115
Dr. Victorie Edwards has worked in education for the past 27 years; 18 of which has been with the Metropolitan Community College in a variety of roles. Her roles included Division Chair, CDA Coordinator, and Faculty teaching Early Childhood, Psychology, Guidance, Human Sciences, Education, and Sociology.
She has served as counselor since 2008. She has had the opportunity to work as Counselor, Lead Counselor and/or Disability Support Services Coordinator on 3 of MCC’s campuses.
Her counseling background comes from the University of Central Missouri, however, she is no stranger to continuing education. She has been a student at the Metropolitan Community College, Kansas State University, University of Missouri- Columbia, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She holds a Career Education Certification in Secondary/Post-Secondary Human Development and Childcare and degrees in Psychology/Rehabilitation, Adult Occupational and Continuing Education, Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in College Student Personnel Administration and Education Leadership and Policy Studies.
Dr. Edwards' values the uniqueness of every student. Her passion is to meet students where they are and assist them to meet their goals academically and personally utilizing a person-centered, solution-based approach.
Dr. Edwards' service interests include First Generation College Students, Women’s Health & Nutrition, Human Sexuality, Relational Dynamics in Marriage and Relationships, Finance and Budgeting, Work-Life Balance and Critical Race Theory, Religious Identity, Adult Development and Learning, Organizational and Social Justice Theories, and culturally-relevant pedagogical constructs.
Donna Drake, Education Center Building, Room 115
Donna has twenty-five years of experience with higher education as a counselor. She holds license as a Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She has served in various positions ranging from foster care therapist, alcohol and drug counselor, mental health counselor, and biofeedback counselor. She prefers college counseling centers.
Donna feels privileged to be able to work with students on their journey towards their dreams. She grew up in Brooklyn NY and is a New York Yankee fan; just like everyone should be! Donna enjoys baseball, theater, painting and especially her grandson.
Stephanie Schoening, Campus Center, Room 176B
“When a student walks onto our campus, my goals are to make their journey smoother because I come alongside to help them to discover their career interests and connect them with the classes, staff and services to support them along the way.” Her professional experiences include high school, community college and four-year colleges.
Her office will be to the left when you enter east lobby in the Library/Testing Center. Please stop by and say “Hello.”
Gretchen Blythe, Lead Counselor, Learning Resources, Room 204
Gretchen has worked in higher education for more than 25 years. She has been a counselor at MCC - Longview since 2000.
Previously, she worked in Vermont as the Director of Student Support Services and at MCC-Penn Valley as the Access Counselor. Prior to her work in higher education, she worked on job-seeking skills and job placement for people with disabilities.
She is very committed to the students at MCC-Longview. She strives to meet each student in his/ her unique situation. She especially enjoys working with students on transition issues, career exploration, relationship issues, relaxation techniques, and academic concerns. If you find yourself with some spare time (what's that?!) in between classes stop by and say "hi." She'd love to meet you. Please stop by the Career and Counseling Services Office in the LR building.
Jim McGraw, Business, Room 201R
Jim has been a counselor at Longview Community College since 1993. Prior to Longview, he worked at other college counseling centers, community mental health centers, and psychiatric hospitals.
His fundamental approach to counseling is person-centered, based on the belief that people are able to work-through difficulties and enhance their lives given the appropriate conditions.
Other influences on his counseling practice include family systems thinking, brain-compatible learning strategies, and narrative approaches to counseling. He also coordinates and supervises the graduate-level counseling interns at the Longview Counseling Center.
Along with the other counselors at Longview Community College, he utilizes a holistic approach to college, career, and personal success. One dimension of this includes teaching relaxation training and using the biofeedback equipment in Longview's Relaxation Center to help people manage stress and enhance personal wellness.
In his free time, he enjoys reading and travel with his spouse, daughter, and two dogs (however, the dogs can't travel or read very well). Other interests include exercise, guitar, and volunteering in the community.
Burke Maxted, Science and Technology, Room 102A
Burke’s journey as a Counselor was set in motion when he attended and graduated from a community college in Michigan. The support and resources he received there helped pave the way for him to become the first in his family to receive a college degree. This influenced other family members to also attend and complete college.
Later, he worked as an Orientation Leader and Recruiter for MCC which encouraged his interest in working with community college students.
His goal is to help each individual feel more empowered in their lives and the decisions they make. Each individual is unique and worthy of unconditional acceptance, regardless of their personal circumstances or struggles. This perspective has led him to a student-centered counseling approach which involves assisting students in the recognition of their own strengths and resources and adopting goal-oriented and solution-focused behaviors.
Professional interests and work include addressing first-year transitional issues, assisting individuals with career direction, and providing emotional and academic support to students in math and science coursework. Pastime pursuits include hiking, cycling, kayaking, golfing, hot yoga, and learning to speak Spanish. He hopes your paths cross on campus and that he’ll get the chance to meet and support you in some way.
Deah Robinson, Liberal Arts, Room 202L
Like most people, Deah wears many hats in life. She is a daughter, a mother of four (Lily – a teacup Yorkie, Winston – a Pomeranian, and two Calico cats – Catty and Paisley), a meditation guru (- in training), a social activist, and a psychology instructor. And of course, she is a counselor too!
Life brought her to MCC-Longview in 2008 after several years of working in Human Services when she felt she needed to go deeper into counseling work. Since her graduate studies concentrated on student affairs in higher education, working as a community college counselor was the best of both worlds.
Her counseling approach with students is solution-focused. Most of the time she works with students from a cognitive behavioral therapy framework to support students in achieving their goals. She feels like her greatest role as a counselor is to help students overcome obstacles and become successful!
Her areas of specialization include working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students, as well as first-generation college students and students of color.
When she is not at work, she enjoys learning about alternative healing therapies, reading, volunteering for civil rights organizations, and being an unofficial taste tester for Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Cindy Castillon, Administration Building, Room 102E
Cindy Castillon, a native of southwest Missouri, joined the counseling staff at MCC-Maple Woods in 2005. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Missouri State University, where she focused on counseling education. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Missouri State University, where she was a 4-year basketball student-athlete.
Cindy has taught a variety of courses including Career Exploration Seminar (GUID 109), First-Year Seminar (COLL 100), and Educational Psychology (EDUC 270). She helps students with academic planning, career concerns, and crisis management.
Cindy has 23 years of counseling experience in the community college, university, and K-12 settings. Cindy believes in students and does whatever she can to help students to believe in themselves. Her areas of counseling interest include anxiety, motivation, time management, confidence, sexual assault recovery, procrastination, student success, nutrition and wellness, depression, gender/sexuality issues. She is dedicated to helping students overcome individual barriers to achieve success at MCC–Maple Woods, and in life.
Outside of work, Cindy enjoys spending time with family. She has a firm focus on fitness and nutrition, and believes that wellness requires that you practice good health in all facets of life.
Clayton Robinson, Lead Counselor, Administration Building, Room 102B
Clayton Robinson, Jr., a native of Kansas, joined the Counseling staff at MCC-Maple Woods in 1997. He holds a master's in Counseling from Webster University, where he focused on clinical counseling practices. He also holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Emporia State University, where he was a 4-year basketball student-athlete and calls his degree the greatest trophy he received.
Clayton has taught a variety of courses during his tenure, from Personal Skills (GUID 100), to Career Exploration Seminar (GUID 109), to Stress Management (GUID 116), to First Year Seminar (COLL 100), to Special Topics in Guided Studies (GUID 199). He also helps students with academic planning in addition to his daily counseling duties. He has a wide range of clinical training and experience in which he has worked therapeutically at several mental health and social service organizations in Kansas and Missouri. In these settings, he gained experience working with diverse mental health populations.
Clayton’s counseling career spans more than 24 years. He has a simple passion and purpose mantra, to genuinely serve, advocate for, and help every day to try and make a positive impact and difference in someone’s life. His counseling interests include anxiety, speech anxiety, math anxiety, time management, confidence, procrastination, mindfulness, academic success strategies, depression, trauma, career exploration and planning, gender/sexuality issues, and community outreach. He is also has a passion and interested in the retention, development, and persistence of our students in reaching their academic and personal goals at MCC-Maple Woods.
When not on campus, Clayton enjoys learning and practicing mindfulness subjects. He also has a passion for bass fishing, an addiction for cycling, a love of the great outdoors, a spirit for his close friends and family, and an interest in “watching” all sports as he states, “my knees have too many basketball miles on them to play anymore and I don’t heal as quickly as I used to.”
Jeff Wilt, Administration Building, Room 102C
Jeff has worked in education for more than 20 years and been a counselor at MCC since 2005. He grew up in North Carolina where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Education at UNC-Chapel Hill and his Master of Science in Counseling at UNC-Greensboro.
His passion is to assist students in achieving their dreams. His job is to help you overcome obstacles to be your best self and meet your goals. He is happy to assist you with personal, academic and/or career concerns. While each student is unique, he generally has a person-centered, solution-focused approach.
His priorities outside of work are his daughter, social justice and pancakes. Usually in that order.
Brian Chasteen, Lead Counselor, Campus Center, Room 224
Brian has worked in student services and higher education for more than 28 years. He is actively committed to the leadership education of students, employees, the public, and community agencies and being of service to them. His Doctorate program in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia focused on a well-rounded curriculum exposing him to the many skills necessary to be successful in forming, facilitating and promoting collaborative partnerships. His Master’s degree in Higher Education and Counseling from Emporia State University propelled his desire to assist students in achieving their academic, personal and career-related goals. Consequently, his experiences as Director of Retention / Student Services, Director of Student Development, Student Affairs Coordinator and Assessment / Placement / Tracking Counselor gave him the organizational and interpersonal skills necessary for assisting students and programs in reaching their fullest potential.
Preparing students, serving communities, creating opportunities is the mission of Metropolitan Community College. His personal goal is to assist students during their transitional stage of becoming a World Class Person while understanding who they are and the strengths and talents they have to offer the world around them. E. G. Williamson might have said it best, “Student needs should be interpreted by the student.”
What he would like for every student to know: that you are unique, one of a kind, tailor made in an off-the-track world. You are not a photocopy. You are an original. You bring to life something nobody else has or can in a world of nearly six billion; there is no one just like you. Without each of us, the world would be a significantly different place.
Dawn Brady, Campus Center, Room 227
Dawn Brady has been on the MCC-Penn Valley Counseling staff since 2011 and has over 19 years of counseling experience. She chose to work in a college setting because she enjoys working with students who are in the process of making or “re-making” plans and goals for the future. Dawn is experienced working with students on a variety of issues such as career exploration and development, college success strategies, organization and time management. She also works with students who have personal concerns that may interfere or impact their performance in school. Dawn assists prospective and current students in reaching their potential. Dawn also coordinates a free reading and writing skills course named GEARS.
Dawn has served in a counseling capacity since 1997. Dawn has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Missouri Western State University and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwest Missouri State University.
Students report that Dawn makes them feel welcome, respected, valued and is genuinely concerned about students.
In Dawn’s spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, traveling, spending time with family and friends. Dawn reports that one of the best parts of the winter weather season, is watching college basketball!
Dachia Busch, Campus Center, Room 226
Dachia has enjoyed being a valuable member of the Counseling Department at MCC-Penn Valley since 2007. She is a Kansas native who is credited with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and a Master of Education degree in Sports Administration from Wichita State University. She later achieved a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University.
Students say “Ms. Dachia,” as she is affectionately called, is always honest, hardworking, and straight-forward when offering advice. She challenges students to go beyond their immediate knowledge and experience – to think beyond current situations and realities. “All students have a purpose and an opportunity to be great – even beyond their mishaps, shortcomings and negative experiences.”
Dachia’s passion for Diversity and Inclusion has directed her towards membership, and to chair many of the district’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. She enjoys finding ways to give voice to those who don’t have opportunity. She credits her work ethic and resiliency to life experience, college education and being a student-athlete.
“The best parts to my job are lifelong learning, being accessible to students, and focusing on my personal and career development – it’s the only way I can prepare students, serve communities and create opportunities.”
Connie Spies, Disability Support Services Counselor, Humanities, Room 001
Connie has been a counselor at MCC-Penn Valley since 1996. Prior to Penn Valley, she worked for the State of Missouri, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (an agency that works with people who have disabilities) as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.
She received her Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Missouri Western State University. She is a first-generation college student who began her college career at MCC-Maple Woods.
She is thoroughly committed to the students at MCC-Penn Valley. Her mission is for all students to feel welcome and safe no matter what their background or what issues they come in with. Her greatest pleasure is seeing the growth that students go through as they progress through Penn Valley.
One of her favorite quotes is by Desmond Tutu: “Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
She is a dog person, nature lover, and decoupage enthusiast.
Julianne Jacques, International Counselor, Campus Center, Room 228
As the International Counselor for MCC – Penn Valley, Julianne is considered an expert at creating positive learning experiences for students who are here from countries around the world. In 2006, Julianne was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to Russia. Upon her return, she co-taught the Intercultural Communication class at Penn Valley. Her course module is now being used at 4 other community colleges. She serves as an advocate for all students who speak English as their second language. She has created a variety of opportunities for staff, faculty and administrators to become informed and involved in international issues.
Julianne is a native Floridian who has made Kansas City her home for the last 21 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Florida and Master’s in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland.
Julianne is known for her love of animals and travel. She volunteers at Great Plains SPCA and is the proud parent of one dog and two cats. She has traveled to more than 35 countries around the world.