Counselor Education

The University of Mississippi School of Education


Meet Our Faculty!

The counselor education program is comprised of faculty members committed to their students, the program, and the profession of counseling, as well as their own professional development. They are involved in professional activities at the state, national, and international levels, including research and publication, conference presentations, and engagement in professional organizations.

Faculty offices are located on the first floor of Guyton Hall.  The telephone number for the Department of Leadership & Counselor Education office is 662-915-7069.  Each faculty member can also be reached directly.  Their office numbers and email addresses are listed below.

Dr. Rick BalkinRick Balkin, Ph.D., LPC, NCC

Department Chair and Professor of Counselor Education

117 GuytonB.S.Ed., University of Missouri
(662) 915-2155M.Ed., University of Missouri
rsbalkin@olemiss.eduPh.D., University of Arkansas

Dr. Balkin has been a counselor educator since 2003. He practiced for seven years in an inpatient psychiatric hospital working with adolescents, adults, and geriatric clients Dr. Balkin has worked as an outpatient counselor since 1996, and He has taught courses related to research, assessment, theories, and counseling practice. His research interests include counseling outcomes, instrument development, research methods, forgiveness, and religious diversity. Dr. Balkin is currently serving as  the doctoral program coordinator.

Dr. Kenya BledsoeKenya Bledsoe, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, NCSC

Assistant Professor of Counselor Education

143 GuytonB.S., The University of Southern Mississippi
(662) 915-8821M.S., Mississippi State University
kbledsoe@olemiss.eduEd.S., The University of Alabama at Birmingham
VitaPh.D. The University of Alabama

Dr. Bledsoe is a licensed professional counselor, supervising counselor, and certified school counselor with 15 years of school counseling experience. Her research interests include clinical supervision, school counseling, and college access for underrepresented student groups. Dr. Bledsoe is a member of the American Counseling Association and American School Counseling Association.

Dr. Alex KerwinAlexandria K. Kerwin, PhD, LPC-S, NCC

Associate Professor of Counselor Education

142 GuytonB.A., The University of Southern Mississippi
(662) 915-2342
2301 S. Lamar Blvd.M.S., The University of Southern Mississippi
(662) 915-2426
akkerwin@olemiss.eduPh.D., Idaho State University

Dr. Kerwin has experience as a mental health counselor in a K-12 school-based setting, adolescent offenders program, and in university counseling centers.  She also has worked as a community-based advocate for refugees.  Courses you are likely to take from Dr. Kerwin are Introduction to Professional Counseling, Lifespan Development, and Addictions. Her research interests include professional identity, social justice, and counselor education. Dr. Kerwin is currently the clinic coordinator of Counselor Education Clinic for Outreach and Personal Enrichment (COPE Clinic).

Dr. Stephanie Lusk

Stephanie L. Lusk, Ph.D., CRC

Associate Professor of Counselor Education

106 GuytonB.A., University of Arkansas
(662) 915-7069M.R.C., Arkansas State University
sllusk@olemiss.eduPh.D., University of Arkansas

Dr. Lusk has taught and researched in the areas of addiction and rehabilitation for approximately 20 years. She is the recipient of over $4 million in grant funding from the Department of Education/Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Center for International Rehabilitation Research and Information Exchange (CIRRIE). She has also served on advisory and editorial boards for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and has developed addiction curricula for national and international organizations including SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program and the Colombo Plan, which is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her research interests include alternative treatments for chronic pain (i.e., CBD and medical marijuana) and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Dr. Mandy PerrymanMandy L. Perryman, Ph.D., LPC, NCC

Associate Professor of Counselor Education and Program Coordinator

139 GuytonB.A., Louisiana Tech University
(662) 915-7816M.A., Nicholls State University
perryman@olemiss.eduPh.D., University of New Mexico

Mandy L. Perryman, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in Counselor Education. She has been a counselor educator for thirteen years and teaches in the master’s, doctoral, and Ed.S. in play therapy programs. Before joining the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education at Ole Miss in 2014, she worked in Virgina, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Dr. Perryman enjoys counseling college students, adolescents, and providing play therapy to children. Her research areas include counselor wellness, counselor educator grief and multicultural issues in the counseling process.

Dr. Amanda WinburnAmanda M. Winburn. Ph.D., LPC, RPT, NCC, NCSC

Associate Professor of Counselor Education

109 GuytonB.S., Kentucky Wesleyan College
(662) 915-8823M.Ed., Indiana University
amwinbur@olemiss.eduEd.S. and Ph.D., The University of Mississippi

Dr. Winburn is currently serving as an associate professor at the University of Mississippi within the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education and program coordinator of the Ed.S. in Play Therapy. Dr. Winburn is a licensed educator with endorsements in secondary english, counseling, and administration.  She currently teaches courses within the school counseling and play therapy specialty area and serves as the faculty supervisor for school counseling students.  Dr. Winburn also has a strong interest in school based play therapy, she has been actively involved in play therapy at the University of Mississippi both at the clinical setting as well as actively conducting research within the field.  Other research interests include the use of technology in counseling, wellness, and bullying.

Dr. Erika LeBlancErika LeBlanc, LPC

Associate Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education

142 GuytonB.S., University of Louisiana-Lafayette
(662) 915-5376M.S., University of Louisiana- Monroe
elschmi1@olemiss.eduPh.D., Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Dr. Erika L. LeBlanc is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education. Before joining the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education at University of Mississippi, she was a faculty member for 7 years in Texas. Dr. LeBlanc’s experience was in clinical mental health settings working with a wide variety of ages and issues in community agencies, schools, and inpatient hospital settings. She is the recipient of grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration for Community Living (ACL). She serves on several editorial boards and is an Associate Editor for the International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. Dr. LeBlanc is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC), and Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES). Dr. LeBlanc’s research includes suicide prevention, intervention, and training and mental health issues of adolescents, young adults, and women.