Counseling Program Faculty

Counseling Program Faculty



Hunter Alessi, Ph.D., LPC
Professor and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Coordinator
Dr. Alessi holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans and a M.Ed. from Southeastern. She taught educational psychology at Southeastern for 6 years before moving to the counseling program. Dr. Alessi has served as Vice-president of the Faculty Senate, Interim Department Head, Interim Graduate School Coordinator, University Ombudsperson, and SACS Liaison. Dr. Alessi is published in national, regional, and state journals in the areas of helping people cope with substance abuse, sexual assault, and aging. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the National Career Development Association, Chi Sigma Iota, the Louisiana Counseling Association, and the Louisiana Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. She has also served as president of the Louisiana Association of Counselor Education and Supervision.


Mary Ballard, Ph.D., LPC
Professor of Counseling and School Counseling Coordinator
Dr. Ballard received her M.Ed. and her Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified School Counselor. Prior to coming to Southeastern, Dr. Ballard worked as a school counselor, principal, and counselor for the U.S. Postal Service. She is currently the president of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and is a past-president of the Louisiana Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. Dr. Ballard is published in national and state journals and regularly presents at international, national, and local conferences. Her research interests include the impact of addiction upon the family, childhood and adolescent obesity, and school counseling issues.


Paul T. Ceasar, Ed.D., LPC-S, LMFT-S
Associate Professor and Marriage and Family Program Coordinator
Dr. Ceasar received his doctorate from Texas A&M Commerce in 1988 and previously served as director of the Counseling Program and interim president at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans. He has been active professionally serving on the national board of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling as well as president of the Louisiana division. He will serve as president of the Louisiana Counseling Association in 2012-2013. He received the 2007 Humane and Caring Person Award from the Louisiana Counseling Association and in 2008 the ACA’s prestigious Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Humanitarian and Caring Person Award. He served on the Louisiana LPC Board for 8 years. He has presented at national and state conferences on such topics as spirituality, life transitions, supervision, and personal and professional development. A current project includes a DVD series, publication and retreats for enriching relationships for couples.


Peter Emerson, Ed.D., LPC
Associate Professor and Clinical Coordinator

Dr. Emerson received his B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University. After graduating, he attended Idaho State University, the first fully accredited CACREP Program in the country. While there, he worked as a counselor in an alternative school, headed a drug prevention program for junior and senior high school age students, and served as a co-director of the Idaho State University Parent Education Program. His first job after completion of his master’s degree was with Upward Bound and Special Services at Southern Utah State College, where he was director of those programs for four years. He came to Southeastern in 1987 for one year, then worked at the University of New Orleans for two years, during which time it became CACREP-accredited. He returned to Southeastern and worked to revise the counseling program from 36 to 48 hours. He is Past President of the American Association of State Counseling Boards and the Association for Adult Development and Aging. He has five children, seven grandchildren (at last count) and his specialty areas are Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling, professional development and supervision.


Laura Fazio-Griffith, Ph.D., LPC-S, LMFT, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor
Assistant Professor
Dr. Fazio-Griffith received her PhD from the University of New Orleans in May of 2002 in Counselor Education. She is a licensed professional counselor supervisor, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a registered play therapist supervisor, and a National Certified Counselor. Dr. Fazio-Griffith was the clinical director for the Counseling and Training Center of Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans for approximately 5 years. She provided individual, group, and family counseling as well as supervision for master’s level counseling interns. She has been an adjunct assistant professor at the University of New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana University, and Louisiana State University. She was the president of LACES from 2004-06. She is the Counselor Education representative on the LACES board until July, 2011. She serves as treasurer on the Louisiana Association for Play Therapy Executive Board. She has presented nationally and statewide on various topics related to supervision, play therapy, and group work. Her research interests include group work, personality disorders, supervision, and play therapy.


June Williams, Ph.D., LPC
Associate Professor, Graduate Coordinator, and Interim Department Head
June Williams, Ph.D., LPC, is the Interim Department Head of the Department of Health and Human Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University and an Associate Professor of Counseling. She received her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of New Orleans. All of her counseling experience has been in college counseling including serving as an academic counselor, assistant director of University Counseling Services, and assistant dean of Student Life. She has served as president of several state and national professional associations including Chi Sigma Iota, International Counseling Honor Society, the Louisiana Counseling Association, the American College Counseling Association, and the Louisiana College Counseling Association. She also served for eight years on the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners. She received the first annual Outstanding Doctoral Alumnus Award from UNO, and her dissertation was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award by the Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Her research interests include gratitude, resilience, and grief and loss.