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Student Counseling | NSU

Meet The Staff

Meet The NSU Center for Student Counseling and Well-being Henderson Behavioral Health Staff!


Administrative Staff


Suzelle Guinart, LMHC

Suzelle Guinart a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the State of Florida, and serves as the Director for the Center for Student Counseling and Well-being at NSU. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Florida, as well as an Ed.S., and M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling.

Suzelle began her career at Henderson Behavioral Health, in January of 2013. Since then, she has worked with both adults and adolescents, providing behavioral health services in multiple capacities. In 2014, Suzelle joined the Early Treatment Program (First Episode Psychosis Program) at Henderson Behavioral health, one of the first teams in the state of Florida to provide early intervention to young adults recently diagnosed with an initial episode of psychosis. In 2021, Suzelle launched a second Early Treatment Program in Broward County, Fl, marking the states 8th Early Treatment Team.

Suzelle continues to focus her work on early intervention, prevention, and increasing the access of young adults to mental health services and support. Suzelle brings vast experience in program implementation, administration, and crisis intervention.

Pronouns Preferred: She/Her/Hers

Natalia Gutierrez, LMFT
Assistant Director

Natalia Gutierrez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University and her B.S. in Psychology with a second major in Women and Gender Studies from Florida International University. She has worked for several years in the community serving youth and families by providing individual and family counseling. Natalia enjoys stepping into her clients world and exploring how their life experiences, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and other identity factors influence the clients world view.  Her goal is to collaborate with her clients in identifying and reinforcing their strengths and talents. Natalia utilizes a culturally sensitive and client-centered approach when working with her clients and draws from Solution-Focused Therapy, Feminist Therapy, Intersectional Theory, Systems Theory, and Attachment Theory, and utilizes Accelerated Resolution Therapy to assist clients in processing their past traumas.

In her free time, Natalia enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading fiction, trying new recipes, yoga, reflection/art/junk journaling, iced Matcha Lattes, and playing with her dog Roxy.


Daiya Persaud, Office Manager

Daiya Persaud has been with Henderson Behavioral Health since 2004. Daiya has a lot of experience providing support to individuals that struggle with various mental health issues, and overall, enjoys helping individuals in different areas of life. She values and shows respect to all individuals no matter what the circumstances. Her favorite self-care practices include singing, meditation, listening to music, and spending quality time with her family, including her pet cat, Samantha.

Full-Time Clinical Staff  

Karl Backman, MD

Dr. Karl Backman is a graduate of University of Texas Medical Branch medical school in Galveston, Texas and completed his Psychiatry residency training at University of Miami. After residency, he worked in private practice before joining Henderson Behavioral Health and has experience working with various populations. He has history working with several populations including the Severe Mentally Ill and has provided psychiatric services for Nova Southeastern University students through Henderson Student Counseling Services since 2010. He also serves as Medical Director of Broward Sheriff’s Office Drug Court Treatment Program.

Veronica Ashwal, LMHC, M.B.A.

Veronica is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults. She tailors her approaches to your unique goals, blending cognitive behavior and solution focused techniques. She has concentrated her clinical experience to working with individuals for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and trauma. Additionally, Veronica conducts therapy in both Spanish and English. Veronica also works with children and families with innovative play therapy techniques. Her background working as a principal for behaviorally challenged students adds to her clinical insights with children. Veronica is committed to providing a safe, nurturing environment for patients. She is a compassionate and caring psychotherapist with extensive clinical experience

Carolyn Lenz, LMHC

Carolyn Lenz is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Board Certified Counselor with over ten years’ experience.  She has a clinical concentration in anxiety, trauma, and self-esteem along with collegiate mental health. Carolyn earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina and a Masters of Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. She is a Certified Trauma-Informed Practitioner and an EMDR II practitioner.  Carolyn believes in the importance of normalizing mental health care as an integral part of our overall well-being. Additionally, she loves working with students on the goals that help them to feel personally and professionally confident. Carolyn is based at the Tampa Bay NSU campus and offers in-person sessions at this location and telehealth sessions for NSU students across the state of Florida.

Jennifer “Jenny” Lopez, LMFT

Jennifer “Jenny” Lopez is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Florida with over 11 years of experience. She earned her BA in Psychology and minor in Sociology from the University of San Francisco and her MA in counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s College of California.  She has been trained in trauma informed care and is a certified clinical trauma professional. She practices with a person-centered approach. She has experience in working with school aged children, adolescents, young adults, adults, couples, and families with a variety of mental health backgrounds. She also has experience in advocating and working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other traumas. She can provide treatment in English and in Spanish. As a clinician, her focus in treatment is helping the client heal, increase self-compassion, and help gain new healthy perspective of self.

Sheree Akangbe, LCSW

Mrs. Akangbe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is very passionate about helping to improve the lives of others. She has experience working with individuals and families, specializing in trauma informed therapy, depression, anxiety, and domestic violence. She uses evidence-based approaches in therapy to help meet the needs of her clients.  Mrs. Akangbe is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), which is used to treat trauma and other symptoms. She provides a judgment free zone where you can work together overcoming challenges and gain the tools needed to feel better physically and psychologically. Mrs. Akangbe earned her Master of Social Work Degree and her B.S. in Social Work from Florida International University, Florida.

Alicia Cody, LMHC

Alicia is a Licensed Mental Health counselor (LMHC) who is dedicated to helping clients navigate life's challenges, embracing their journeys and broadening their perspectives. Alicia holds a Master’s degree in counseling from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Alicia is experienced in working with challenges pertaining to but not limited to anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, and attachment styles. Alicia prioritizes the importance of diversity, childhood foundations, self-regulation, and acceptance. No one knows you better than you! Alicia is dedicated to normalizing self-discovery within a therapeutic setting but most importantly, being human in an ever-changing world.

Her approach to therapy is collaborative and client-centered, working closely with each individual to create a supportive environment where they can collaboratively explore their thoughts, and experiences. Alicia utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques and approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based practices, expressive art-therapy, person-centered approaches, and solution-focused therapy. Each session is tailored to meet the unique needs of clients while promoting self-efficacy as there is no "one size fits all" approach.

Ania Torres, LMHC

Ania Torres is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida. She obtained an M.S Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. Ania comes from a Hispanic background, fluent in both English and Spanish. She has worked in community mental health with school aged children, their families, and young adults. Ania also has experience in advocating and working with first responders and victims of crime. She has a passion for working with young adults, focusing on a person-centered approach. Ania’s goal is to collaborate with her clients in their journey to self-discovery and authenticity. Together we will identify triggers, uncover a deeper sense of self-awareness, and develop healthy coping mechanism that will work uniquely for your specific needs. Techniques used are evidenced-based and are known to help with decreasing negative thought patterns, valuing self-worth and improving interpersonal relationships.

Support Staff

Tiara Parks, Client Support Specialist

Tiara Parks has exposure with working in the healthcare field. Her enjoyment for the healthcare field comes from her aspiration to be a helpmate. She has great enthusiasm for assisting those in need of help and being a part of making some feel happier. For self-care she enjoys dancing, coaching cheerleading, baking and being a mom to be her favorite hobbies that she loves.

Katherine Fernandez, Client Support Specialist

Katherine Fernandez is passionate about the mental health field and finds fulfillment in assisting others on their journey to well-being. She makes sure she brings compassion and empathy to her work. Outside of work, you’ll often find her exploring new places and cherishing moments with friends.

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