Meet Our Staff
Sprague Simonds, Psy.D.
Dr. Simonds was born and raised in southern Connecticut. After earning a degree in Psychology and Economics at Connecticut College, Dr. Simonds worked in the financial services industry for nearly a decade and earned his M.B.A. from Georgetown University prior to exploring a clinical career. After completing his doctoral work at The George Washington University, Dr. Simonds completed a pre-doctoral internship in Wyoming before accepting a two-year postdoctoral fellowship the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry in Topeka, Kansas.
Since completing his training, Dr. Simonds has developed a specialty practice working with young adults and adolescents, and has held a number of senior administrative and leadership roles in private, public and not-for-profit clinical agencies catering primarily to the needs of these individuals. Prior to joining Western Connecticut State University, Dr. Simonds served as Chief of Psychology for the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, Maine, where he developed and implemented a new, evidenced-based programming model for incarcerated youth based on the principles of motivational enhancement rather than punishment. As a result of these efforts, Long Creek was nationally recognized and awarded the Barbara-Allen Hagen prize for excellence in correctional programming and Dr. Simonds was promoted to Director of Mental Health Services for the Maine State Prison.
Dr. Simonds is thrilled to join WCSU as the Director of the Counseling Center.
Anna Karashik, LCSW
Ms. Karashik is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Technology from Fordham University in 1985 before transitioning into Social work and received her Master’s degree from New York University in 1990. She has worked in private practice, in psychiatric hospitals, and in an academic environment. The core of Anna’s practice has been working with young adults and adolescents. She has been certified and trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dynamic Psychotherapy, and Abuse Recovery. Anna has specialized in the treatment of a broad array of issues/diagnoses such as ADD/ADHD, Spectrum Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Abuse, Self-harm Behaviors, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Mood Disorders, Sexual Abuse, Family Issues, and Relationship Issues.
Rachel A. Sampson, Psy.D.
Dr. Sampson is a native of the Boston area. She attended the University of Hartford where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Arts in Clinical Practices. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at Antioch University. She has been a licensed psychologist since 1998 and was credentialed as a mediator in 2004. Dr. Sampson worked at Hartford Hospital in various capacities, completed her internship at the Institute of Living, was employed at Gaylord Hospital and has sustained a diverse private practice in clinical and neuropsychology for families and individuals of all ages for over twenty years in Northwestern CT. Dr. Sampson is passionate about the field of psychology and maximizing each individual’s capacity to live a meaningful and healthy life. Dr. Sampson is a member of a number of professional organizations and philanthropic efforts. She is very excited about joining the Counseling Center Staff.
MaryAnne Spencer, Psy.D.
Dr. Spencer is originally from upstate New York. She identifies herself as a strong communicator and compassionate listener. As a “lifelong learner”, she received a B.S. in Education and a M.S. in Television Radio & Film from Syracuse University. While working as a writer on a project that focused on women transforming their lives through counseling and education, she was inspired to pursue a career in clinical psychology. After earning a M.A. in Psychology from Brockport College and a Doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Hartford, Dr. Spencer administered services to college students with disabilities at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut and to children, adolescents, young adults and families at Andrus Children’s Center in White Plains, NY. Dr. Spencer is most proud of her work helping young people identify and address the barriers interfering with their best school, social and family experiences while helping them identify their strengths and unique potential. She joins the counseling center with great enthusiasm!
Ms. Donnelly has been a member of the university community since 1993. Her experience here at the university has well prepared her for the challenges and intricacies of working with sensitive and confidential student issues. Prior to her joining the Counseling Center in March/2001 Linda was a university assistant in the Football Office where she worked with the coaching staff for 6 years. She joined the Undergraduate Admissions office in May/1999 where she worked closely with International Students and transfer students. Due to upward mobility she joined the Counseling Center. Her administrative and interpersonal skills lend to the difficult task of managing high volume phone calls, walk-ins, and emergency situations that arise in the office. She is able to communicate effectively and sensitively to students in distress and quickly directs the student to the help they need.