About | Committee Members


Dr. Stephen Flynn | Faculty Advisor

Dr. Stephen Flynn is the faculty advisor for the Plymouth State University (PSU) Graduate Research Society. He is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and School Psychology, Graduate Program Coordinator for Couples and Family Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Majors. Dr. Flynn teaches clinical and research oriented courses in the couples and family therapy, clinical mental health, and school counseling programs and serves as teh vice chair of the PSU Institutional Review Board. His research has five areas (threads), including (a) the relationship of the constructs of altruism and self-interest, (b) multicultural and diversity issues, (c) qualitative research methodology, (d) professional issues within the counseling occupation, and (e) professional issues within the field of marriage and family therapy. Dr. Flynn has led multiple empirical investigations in the helping professions. His research has been accepted for publication in a variety of journals, including: The Journal of Counseling and Development,Counselor Education and Supervision, Career Development Quarterly, The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, and The Professional Counselor: Research and Practice. He has been appointed as a full-time Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Counseling and Development and Counselor Education and Supervision.

Gabriel Vega | President, Chair Recruitment Committee

Gabriel Vega is a second-year graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Gabe is originally from Clifton, New Jersey and received his bachelor’s degree in English and Mass Communications at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. Gabe’s research interests include the practice of mindfulness for healing, as well as GLBT trauma and crisis intervention. Gabe’s downtime includes meditation, exploring nutrition, hiking, and making as many people he meets smile while I serve tables at The Common Man Family of Restaurants in Lincon, N.H. You can learn more about his passion and past experiences at his professional portfolio: gabrieljvega.weebly.com

Chelsea Merritt | President-Elect, Chair of Symposium Application Committee

Chelsea Merritt is a first year Elementary Education major who recently completed her undergraduate in Interdisciplinary Studies at Plymouth State! Chelsea’s major was self designed, and focused on how to support children with special needs through music, theatre, and dance. She is interested in exploring how the arts can transform and improve the lives/communities of individuals with special needs. To learn more about Chelsea and her passions, feel free to visit her personal website (http://cmmerritt.wix.com/chelsea-merritt ) or her senior capstone website ( http://cmmerritt.wix.com/growingplace ).

Erica Stickel | Secretary

Erica Stickel Is a second-year School Counseling graduate student, currently working toward my Play Therapy certification. Erica is originally from Pennsylvania, where she received two Bachelor of Arts’ Degrees in Theater and Elementary Education at Point Park University. Erica moved to New Hampshire after spending five years living and teaching above the Arctic Circle in Wainwright, Alaska. Her primary research interest includes trauma and the neurological benefits of play. I love directing, reading, marathon-movie days, and spending time with my family.

Jacob Topliffee | Treasurer

Jacob Topliffe is a first-year graduate student in the School Counseling program. Jacob is from New Durham and received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology (mental health option) at Plymouth State University. Jacob’s research interests include feminism as well as false consensus and false uniqueness. Jacob’s hobbies include competitive online e-sports as well as casual video games and almost all forms of music. He works in his hometown at Being Cool After School sharpening his skills working with children ages five to thirteen.

Christopher Gonzalez, Chair of the Writing Committee

Chris Gonzalez is a second-year graduate student in the Biology program. Chris has lived in New Hampshire for years and received his bachelor’s in biology from PSU, but he originally hails from Connecticut. His research interest is in the evolution and development of novel appendages, particularly among arthropods such as insects. For Chris’s thesis, he is focusing on the unique morphology of nymphal gills in mayflies. When not in the lab, Chris enjoys activities ranging from biking and hiking to reading socio-political commentaries on the web.

Donovan King | Chair of the Methodology and Data Analysis Committee

Donovan King is from Concord, New Hampshire. After finishing high school, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he was stationed in San Diego. He spent over two years out to sea and saw much of the South Pacific and Persian Gulf regions. Donovan spent a few years trying to fit into the world after earning an honorable discharge. Finally, after catching up with his family in Georgia, he went back to school. Donovan fell in love with academia and pursued a degree in language arts before leaping across the curriculum to biology, finishing his BS in West Virginia. He is now studying stream ecology here at Plymouth State. Donovan says, “I love ecology because it has so many interesting aspects to it, from the behavior of fish to the behavior of oxygen molecules. Every day presents new things to learn, and every data set hides an epic story”. Donovan’s focus is on disturbance response. Hydrographs can show how the river rises and falls as a result of rain or spring melt, but what does that mean for the organisms that live in that river? How do changes in the flow regime effect the services humans obtain from our rivers? To answer these questions, Donovan uses stream insects as indicator organisms by monitoring changes in their community make-up. His hobbies fit with my research interests perfectly. Donovan enjoys fishing, hiking and camping with his daughter”.


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