Meet the Staff

The staff is a multi-disciplinary treatment team of health and mental health professionals. Physicians, nurses, counselors and administrators are dedicated to serving our campus community. The Center also employs student workers to assist with clerical duties. Student workers have limited access to patient information. All staff members sign a confidentiality agreement upon employment.

Michele Manassah, M.A., L.C.P.C.
Director, Counseling Services

Michele is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois and has been working in the mental health field since 1991.  She completed her bachelor degree in Community Services at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio and earned her M.A. in Guidance and Counseling at Bowling Green State University, as well.  Prior to coming to Lewis University, Michele provided clinical care and supervisory oversight in several community mental health settings.   Her experience includes working with trauma, depression and other mood disorders, anxiety disorders, relationship problems, substance abuse, grief, and psychotic disorders.  Especially interested in crisis intervention, trauma and brief therapies, Michele has extensive experience in suicide assessment and intervention.  She is a member of the Illinois Counseling Association, the American College Counseling Association and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

She resides in Plainfield with her husband and their three children.

Michelle Ronchetti, BSN, RN
Director, Health Services

Michelle is an RN who started working at Lewis University in March 2008. She serves as the Director of Health Services at the Center. She earned her BSN here at Lewis, graduating in 1989. Michelle has worked in a variety of roles and settings throughout her career as a Registered Nurse. Her experience as an RN includes working in ambulatory care as well as the hospital. She was a labor and delivery nurse for over 12 years; thereafter, she spent part of her career working in an industrial health setting and then worked at a large federally funded community health center, here in Will County, serving as their Quality/Risk manager.

Michelle very much enjoys working in the college setting and with the college student population to promote health and wellness. She finds it stimulating to work with people like college students who are eager to become equal partners in their health care and who are, in most instances, motivated to learn what they can do to stay well. She has always loved being a nurse and working with people. Michelle has been married to her high school sweetheart, Mark, since 1989 and they are blessed with two wonderful sons.

Lauren Dalicandro M.A.
Mental Health Counselor

Lauren is a mental health counselor who has experience working with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, college transition issues, relationship concerns, substance abuse, and identity concerns. She has previous experience working in a university counseling center. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Purdue University in psychology. She received two master’s degrees from Ball State University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Sport and Exercise Psychology.  She has not only worked at a university counseling center but also with university athletic teams providing mental skills training. Lauren is interested in providing alcohol and drug education to college students. She is also interested in being an ally to the LGBT community. Lauren has a strengths based approach to counseling and strives to empower students to make changes in their lives. Lauren is a member of the American Counseling Association.

Sandy Speva
Administrative Assistant

Sandy has been the Administrative Assistant at The Center for Health & Counseling Services since 1998. She is a Lewis Alumna receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration in May 2008.  In the future, she hopes to continue her education and complete her master’s degree. She has lived in the Plainfield area most of her life with her husband, Jayme, and their two children.   

Heidi Stukel M.A., L.C.P.C.
Mental Health Counselor

Heidi has experience working with a wide range of mental health conditions, as she has been a professional in the social service field for twelve years.  Heidi has experience in crisis counseling, as well as school counseling and guidance. Heidi is particularity interested in working to empower students to create more meaning and purpose in their life, as well as living a more fulfilled life.  Heidi is known for her warm, relaxed, and comfortable approach to counseling. Her integrative approach involves genuine caring, acceptance, and non-judgment.  She works with students from a strength-based, positive, and affirming perspective, focusing on the whole person. Heidi considers herself to be very blessed to be able to work in a profession that she truly loves and feels passionate about. Heidi is committed to inspire all students in just the same way the experienced faculty, dedicated staff and friendships she made while she was a student at Lewis University, inspired within her.  Heidi is a member of the American Counseling Association and she is also a Will County Emergency Preparedness and Response Volunteer.

Heidi resides in Joliet with her husband, three children and yellow lab.

Jill Whitaker, M.S., L.C.P.C.

Jill is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and current member of the Illinois Counseling Association.  She has has been working in the human service field since 1998.  She completed her bachelor degree in Psychology and English Literature at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned her M.S. in Counseling at National Louis University in Chicago.  Jill has worked in a variety of community based agency and school settings providing individual and family development counseling, psycho-educational groups and prevention services.  She has experience providing crisis intervention counseling, and supporting those who have experienced significant trauma and loss.  Using motivational and interpersonal strategies, Jill partners with students to encourage positive development of their self-awareness and esteem, strengths, and support systems. 

Markisha J. Woodson, PhD
Prevention Education Coordinator

Markisha is a strong advocate for health education and promotion. She enjoys programming for college students as well as families with children. She recently earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a concentration in health education and promotion. She also earned a Master of Science in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Community Health: Health Planning and Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Markisha has a passion for educating people on the importance of taking care of the whole self. In her previous experience she was worked with various populations of all ethnicities and ages. She particularly enjoys working with college students that are in a transitional phase in their lives and helping them develop techniques and strategies for healthier living.