The counselors at SUNY Polytechnic Institute are experienced, licensed mental health clinicians with an extensive background in both mental health and college counseling. They are dedicated to the personal development and growth of SUNY Poly’s students. It is important that you have confidence in your counselor’s ability to help you. Please take a look at our bios below and feel free to ask questions about our training and the way we work.
Sandra A. Mizerak NCC, LMHC
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. I am also a member of the American Counseling Association. I graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Master’s Degree in counseling specializing in Community Mental Health. I am trained to use Energy Tapping in my counseling sessions. Tapping is a set of techniques which utilizes the body's energy meridian points. You can stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your finger tips, thus releasing your negative emotions.
I joined SUNY Poly as a full time mental health counselor in 2011. I began working as a college counselor in 2003 at Herkimer County Community College. In addition to counseling students I have facilitated various psycho-educational groups, been involved with the college’s Alcohol & Other Drug Board and Sexual Assault Committee, participated in RA trainings, and used to be advisor of Herkimer County Community College’s Gay Straight Alliance Club.
My story began years ago in the field of human services, working with individuals with developmental disabilities and chronic mental illness. Although I loved my work I knew eventually I wanted to pursue my real passion which was to become a therapist. The second part of my journey led me to work in a variety of clinical settings; as a therapist in a mental health clinic, a crisis counselor in a hospital, a family therapist, and a sexual assault/domestic violence counselor. These experiences all have helped me in my current role as a college counselor, which I have been doing since 2003.
My clinical orientation is a bit eclectic, ranging from a variety of techniques including, but not limited to Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. My professional interests are in childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, partner abuse, sexual violence, self-esteem, LGBTQ issues, women's empowerment and grief issues. For the past five years I have incorporated Positive Psychology into my work. My strengths lie in my ability to be empathetic, compassionate, helping a person find their “inner voice” and teaching them how to use it. My motto has always been “ know your own worth.”
I really enjoy working with college students and feel fortunate to be a part of the SUNY Poly Wellness Center.
Nicole Ollerenshaw NCC, LMHC
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). I graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2013 with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
My experience includes working with diverse populations in a community mental health clinic, private practice, and most recently with community college students. Very early in my career I realized I had a passion for working with college students, both traditional and returning adults, which has only been solidified through my work on college campuses.
I have extensive training and experience supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, I have experience and interests in sexual assault/domestic violence, Autism spectrum, anxiety, depression, and trauma. My therapeutic style includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.
I aim to create an empathetic, comfortable, and safe space for students where no issue is too big or small. As a first-generation college graduate, I have experienced how navigating college while balancing other aspects of life can have its obstacles. I work to help students develop and improve their self-advocacy skills while also working to decrease the stigma around counseling and mental health.