Meet Our Fellows
2021- 2023 Fellows
Megan earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Michigan State University. She earned her counseling degree with a specialization in school counseling from Oakland University. She has been a high school counselor for 7 years. Megan understands that it is a privilege to work with students and loves learning about them and from them. She will continue expand her knowledge so as to serve her students better.
Tim Ossman Jr.
Tim Ossman is the School Counselor at University Prep: Art & Design High School in Detroit, MI. This is his fifth year as a School counselor, and 9th year in education. He provides Academic, College/Career, and Personal-Social Support to students from 9th - 12th grade. Mr. Ossman is essential to making sure his school meets the 90/90 promise by informing students of their progress towards their diploma and working diligently with those who need credit recovery to get back on track for graduation. Mr. Ossman graduated with his BS in Psychology from Western Michigan University then returned home to help bring Mental Health awareness to his community. He is a born and raised Detroiter, so providing opportunity and access to post-secondary education opportunities for Detroit students is one of his biggest passions. Mr. Ossman was a member of the Working with At-Risk Youth (WARY) Fellowship through his alma mater, the University of Detroit Mercy and is currently in fellowships through MCAN and Teach313.
Dr. Danielle Penson is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and a progressive by product
of the Detroit Public School system. Indeed, she is a testament to the infamous inquiry
of the greatness that can, and has emerged from an Urban Utopia. Against all odds
she has obtained an earned two doctoral degrees in Counseling and Psychology which
she has used to establish several active community programs.
Dr. Penson is a licensed school counselor within the Detroit Public School Community District at Southeastern High School. Dr. Penson serves as the 504 Coordinator, Parent Liaison, Counselor, Advocate, Group Facilitator and works in several other capacities. Dr. Penson created a district-wide program for high school recruitment that has led to solid retention.
Dr. Penson has a diverse following, and reaches countless individuals through social media. She hosts a weekly series of motivational messages (Word Up Wednesday), She founded and manages a group, supporting over 1000 women (HealHer Virtual Spa!) and circulates daily inspirational messages from her Facebook Page.
Dr. Penson has always had a passion for community. She was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, in 2002 and she remains an active member committed to service and excellence. Dr. Penson has received several local and state leveled awards acknowledging her academic success and community involvement. Dr. Penson is also the owner of Kaydense Galleria, an online retail establishment for women, HealHer Virtual Spa, A Virtual Mental Health Spa For Women and The Pose Experience, Metro Detroit’s First Female-Owned Premier Selfie Museum and Event Space. She also authored two books, Finding my truth in Pretty and the HealHER Journal.
Dr. Penson is a chartering member of W.I.N (Women InvestHER Network) where she serves as the Co-Chairwoman.
Ms. Prince lives by the motto: "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing" –Pele.
College was not always a walk in the park for Ms. Prince, but with hard work, determination, support from her family and friends, and her faith in God; she was able to beat the odds by being the first person in her family to graduate from college. She now dedicates her life to ensuring that students have the opportunities that she was never afforded through her consulting business:
Rhoad to College Consulting LLC. Carlotta provides assistance to high school students and their families in completing college applications, applying for the FAFSA and other financial aid and presenting on various college-related topics of interest.
Paris Ritter is a Licensed School Counselor at Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center of Excellence serving 5th-8th grade scholars. This is her 2nd year as a School Counselor and 4th year in Education where she played a number of roles like Administrative Assistant, Attendance Officer, College Readiness Instructor and College Success Coordinator. During her time as a College Success Coordinator she developed a program for the alumni students who were at risk of dropping out of college. This program saw an increase in not only college graduation rates but immediate college enrollment as well due to high school students becoming more confident in their ability to attend and graduate from college. Due to the success of the program she was able to secure funding for it to continue and expand to assist not only students who were academically at risk but financially as well. Her vast experience and education has helped shape her counseling style and approach when working with students and their families.
Paris received her Bachelors from Grand Valley State University in Advertising and Public Relations and her Masters in Counseling from Oakland University. She's often asked why she made the switch from Corporate America to Education and it stems from her volunteer work with Mostyn Community Development Services (formerly The RISE Program) where she worked with high school scholars after school to get them on track to graduate, develop postsecondary plans, complete projects and assisted with Camp Impact where students got to spend a week on the campus of University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
Paris is passionate about helping students find their voice, discover their passions and developing a plan to pursue their biggest dreams. She believes this can start early and so her goal as a Middle School Counselor is to introduce the world of postsecondary education to scholars while still providing the social emotional support they need.
Pamela received her BA at Western Michigan University where she triple majored in
Mathematics, English, and Science and earned her degree in Elementary Education. She
earned her MA in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. She is
a NCC and holds an Advanced Specialist Degree in Infancy through Adolescent Counseling
from Oakland University. As a LPC, she is trained and certified to supervise LLPCs.
She has over 19 years’ experience working as a counselor in K-12 classrooms.
Pamela is passionate about forming supportive communities which welcome diversity and encourage growth and learning. She feels it is vital to have positive connections with her staff, district, and community so they can all support their learners. Her current role allows her the opportunity to work with students, staff, and families to build social, emotional, academic, and personal support systems. She looks forward to learning about her students’ needs and goals, factors which might be limiting their opportunities for success, and creating plans to help them reach their postsecondary goals.
Ruby Griggs is in her 4th year as a school counselor at Hamtramck High School where she provides social & emotional, academic, and college & career counseling. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from University of Michigan and her Master's in School Counseling from John's Hopkins University. She is passionate about providing equitable opportunities to students and loves working in the diverse, urban community of Hamtramck. Ruby is always looking to expand her knowledge and learn from fellow student advocates in the education field. Her greatest joy comes from helping students find their path and empowering young people to pursue their dreams.
Read her #SDSUSCFellows blog here.
Stacey Hickman- Jackson
Stacey Hickman-Jackson is a K-8 Counselor in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. As a Licensed School Counselor at Nolan Elementary and Middle School she works closely with the students to help prepare for the next level and beyond. In addition to being a Licensed School Counselor at Nolan, Hickman-Jackson is also the Counselor at Warren Woods Adult Education. She works with adult education students seeking to complete their high school education via the high school diploma track or the high school equivalency track. She also guides her students through post-secondary opportunities including the college admissions process and career pathways.. Lastly, Hickman-Jackson serves as the Study Center Coordinator for Upward Bound (UB), a federally funded TRIO program. UB is a college prep program that helps high school students develop the skills and the motivation necessary for them to successfully complete high school and to enter and succeed in college. Hickman-Jackson holds a BA degree in psychology and MA degree in Counseling from Wayne State University. She is certified in school, community/agency and substance abuse counseling.
Emily Johnson is a Licensed School Counselor and Department Head at Plainwell High School. Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University in Bloomington and a Master of Education in Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago. Emily has worked at Plainwell for seven years. Prior to working at Plainwell, Emily worked as a school counselor in the Chicago area for five years and also spent two years as an English teacher in Indiana. This diverse background in rural Indiana, urban Chicago, and now small-town Plainwell has given Emily an interesting lens when working with students. Emily believes in helping students through a holistic lens and is always interested in helping students find his/her purpose beyond high school. Emily is passionate about social justice and helping all students find success, regardless of background.
John Johnson is the college coordinator at University Prep Art & Design in Detroit, MI. He oversees the college going process for students that include; programming, resources and college coaching. Johnson was instrumental in building the college-going culture at the school and increasing postsecondary options for his students. Helping minority, low-income and first generation students navigate the college-going process, has become his passion and he advocates consistently for these groups of students. In 2020 Johnson was selected By TCF Bank and the Michigan Chronicle for the “Influential Educator Award” for his work with students in Detroit. In 2020, he also was selected for the Detroit’s chapter of the New Leadership Council’s Fellowship. In 2019 he was part of the inaugural cohort for Detroit College Access Network College Bound Fellows. He was featured in 2019’s College Board’s “Counselors Recognition” Program. Johnson has a Bachelor degree from Michigan State University in Communication and a Master of Art in Adult Education & Training. He is also a member of Michigan Association for College Admission (MACAC).
Cathy Longstreet is a public high school counselor and K-12 Counseling Department Chair in Hastings, Michigan. She began her education career as a second grade teacher and transitioned to elementary counseling shorty after. She has worked as a school counselor for a total of 20 years in every level in her district and has been a high school counselor the past ten years. Cathy’s emphasis in her work centers around helping students discover their natural talents and skills and assisting them to forge their own authentic path. She is devoted to diminishing the systemic barriers to college access that all underrepresented students face and seeks any opportunity to advocate on behalf of rural or disadvantaged students. Her other professional interests involve advocating for her profession at the local and state level, such as highlighting the importance of defining the role of a school counselor to ensure they are utilized appropriately within the school setting. Cathy earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and French from Alma College, a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Aquinas College, and a master’s degree in Counselor Education from Western Michigan University.
Read her #SDSUSCFellows blog here.
Rayme Martineau is an Educational Consultant for Marquette-Alger RESA in Marquette, MI. She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling and a Bachelors of Arts in Special Education and Psychology, both from Northern Michigan University. Rayme supports and provides services to the 82 school districts across the U.P., along with specific services for Marquette and Alger school districts. These duties include School Counselor Support, CTE, MATech Middle College, McKinney-Vento Grant Coordinator and Internship Coordinator.
Read her #SDSUSCFellows blog at here.
Rakiba Mitchell, MA, LPC, NCC is a school counselor, adjunct professor and mixed media artist.
During her 22 year tenure as an educator she has received a multitude of honors which are inclusive of being selected for the 2020 Inaugural School Counselor Leadership Fellows Program at San Diego State University, 2019 College Board National Counselor Recognition Program, Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent’s Service Award (2019) and 2015 College Signing Day Panelist featuring FLOTUS Michelle Obama.
Ms. Mitchell is the Founder and CEO of HBC&U Legacies, a team of educators who facilitate professional development workshops that provide the necessary tools for implementing an HBCU inclusive college-going culture. HBC&U Legacies was recognized at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated 88th Great Lakes Regional Conference as Community Superstars for their work with HBCU advocacy & promotion.
In 2019, Ms. Mitchell designed AfroShe Collection©—mixed media acrylic collage paintings that celebrate the essence of black women. She enjoys creating masterpieces that foster representation and was Blac Detroit magazine’s featured artist of the week in January 2021. She is also an expert at creating virtually interactive educational experiences.
Ms. Mitchell is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Eta Iota Omega Chapter.
Read her #SDSUSCFellows blog here.
Stephanie Patrzik, MA, is a Licensed Professional School Counselor at Grand Traverse Academy, Traverse City, Michigan. Stephanie is a Trauma-Informed Educator, and has used this platform to build awareness, and empathy within the school community, empowering the students, families, and faculty she serves to develop resilience, set goals, and triumph over adversity. She is passionate about educating the whole-child. Stephanie teaches Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Focused professional development courses to educators in her district. As a veteran educator with over twenty years of experience in the K-12 setting, Stephanie has used the Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Focused Lens to build a college-going culture, helping students to develop a postsecondary vision. She is currently a member of the inaugural School Counselor Fellows group. The group is a partnership between Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and San Diego State University’s Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment to launch the School Counselor Fellows Program. This 2-year program provides ongoing mentorship and training rooted in leadership and advocacy development for postsecondary attainment for a select group of Michigan school counselors. Her interest and work within the group is just one part of the Call-to-Action Stephanie has felt due to the COVID pandemic.
Read her #SDSUSCFellows blog here.
Kim Twarowski is a junior high counselor at Shelby Junior High in Shelby Township, Michigan, where she has worked for 22 years. During her time at Shelby, she has coordinated peer mediation activities and anti-bullying student groups. Additionally, she has coached cheerleading and track. In her building, she has served as department chair and school improvement chair. Most recently, she has served as district-wide counseling department chair. Kim has been instrumental in her district’s development of a mental wellness support plan that has provided students, parents and staff with mental health resources including printable guides and online videos. She graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a teaching certificate in Psychology and English, and she received her Master’s in School Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Kim has earned Specialist certificates in Anxiety and Stress Management, Leadership, and Career Development from the American School Counselor Association. Kim’s passions are social-emotional learning and trauma-sensitive schools and connecting those skills to post-secondary plans.
Rebekah Ward is a Middle School Counselor at Lincoln Middle School in Ypsilanti, MI. Her interests include helping students navigate the ever changing world of adolescence and the middle school transition. She is also passionate about helping students become aware of postsecondary education at a K-8 level. She received her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry Secondary Education from Eastern Michigan University and both of her Master's degrees (Science Education Curriculum and School Counseling) from the University of Toledo. Rebekah is hopeful that College Counseling Now and the Fellowship program will help to showcase the strengths that school counselors possess and increase the ability of counselors to network and share resources throughout the country in order to help their students and communities be successful.
Read her #SDSUSCFellows Blog post here.
Tannille Winston-McCrary is a School Counselor at Oak Park High School, where she has worked for 21 years as both a Social Studies teacher and a School Counselor. While at Oak Park high School, she has served in leadership roles as Social Studies Department Chair, Social Studies Curriculum Lead and as Summer School Director. She has served on numerous teams and committees in her school as she is passionate about school improvement and providing opportunities for students.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Secondary Education Certification from
the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Master of Education in Counseling from Wayne
Tannille works closely with students to prepare them for graduation. She serves as the Coordinator for Oak Park High Schools credit recovery program, and was instrumental in implementing the program. Now that more students are meeting the graduation requirements, she is striving to better prepare them for the world beyond graduation.
Tannille is hopeful that College Counseling Now and the Fellowship Program will help influence school counselors at all grade levels to make changes in their communities, and make resources more available to students and families as they plan for Post Secondary Education.