Counseling center gets a new staff, new feel

The university’s counseling center has a new staff with additional services added to the program for students, including group counseling and couples therapy.


Thalya Baptiste

Morgan students are offered 12 free counseling sessions every academic year.

Thalya Baptiste, Staff Writer

Jada Payne, a senior psychology major, attempted to visit the counseling center before the COVID-19 pandemic, but was disappointed by the lack of resources and communication from the past staff.

Like Payne, many students complained that the counseling center was not very helpful for assistance and mental health services. There was a waitlist to see counselors and some students like Payne left feeling like they did not receive any help from counselors with their mental health. 

However, since Payne’s last visit, the Morgan State University counseling center has undergone many changes since last school year. 

The counseling center is now a place for students to rely on if they need any assistance regarding mental health throughout their time at Morgan. Morgan students are offered 12 free sessions every academic year. 

Payne, who currently serves as Miss Active Minds, said “I think it’s definitely gotten better this year because I know, even for myself, last year I wanted to check out the counseling center just to see how it was, but it was always so hard to get through to them or get an appointment.” 

This year, the counseling center has a whole brand new staff, including Sonya Clyburn, the director of the center. 

Clyburn said following last year, many counselors that previously worked at the center retired on top of staff retention.

The counseling center is now home to seven staff members, all of which have different specialized fields so that students have a plethora of counselors to choose from. 

The current staff working at the counseling center include: Sonya Clyburn, DaVel Kent, Tamra Jones-Brooks, D’Andre Poole, Lauren Highsmith, Annie Sollers, and Stephanie Howard.

The center now also offers group counseling, as well as couples counseling and new hybrid services.

Clyburn said, “I think one of the things that I like to capture is that we have hybrid services.” 

Clyburn expressed that the counseling center was offering virtual services during the pandemic and continued to make the counseling center more accessible to students once students returned on campus. 

Another new feature that the counseling center is offering is Uwill, an agency that offers free counseling services before and after work hours, as well as on holidays and weekends. 

Clyburn said that the center has also done a number of outreach programs on campus to allow students to learn more about the counseling center and its services. They’ve even collaborated with a couple of campus organizations, such as Active Minds. 

Active Minds is the campus’ mental health organization, established at Morgan in January. Their mission is to give students much-needed outlets to express challenging emotions throughout their matriculation at Morgan.

This year, Active Minds has collaborated with the counseling center to host different events that consisted of students writing positive aspirations and painting as a means of relaxation.

Payne said, “They took the summer to kind of reevaluate how they do things, but I feel like we have such an easier opportunity and easier access to get to them, so we have better ways to communicate with them, or plans events with them, or just get in contact with them whenever it’s needed.”

Walk-in appointments at the counseling center are available before 2:30 p.m. The counseling center is located in Holmes Hall, room 326.