New campus counselors available to Marshall students

Marshall University expanded students’ access to mental health care after hiring two new counselors this summer who are both eager to work with new students in the fall, counselor Stephanie Shaffer said.

“I hope to just bring a new perspective to this team,” Shaffer said. “I’m excited, [and] I’m ready for the new semester. I like to be busy.”

Stephanie Shaffer and Ryan Majher were both hired to work in Marshall’s Counseling Center as mental health specialists after an extensive hiring process. Both have worked in K-12 schools and said they are excited to start working with college students.

Both Shaffer and Majher said they are no strangers to Marshall’s campus, as they both grew up locally and graduated from the university. Both also said they did not originally plan to pursue careers in counseling.

Shaffer grew up in Chesapeake, Ohio and graduated from Marshall’s graduate program in December 2018. Having grown up watching her mother teach, Shaffer said she came into college fully believing that teaching was the right profession for her.

She wanted to teach art or English, but a realization that perhaps teaching was not her best option came just after an experience visiting a third-grade classroom, Shaffer said.

“My mom was a teacher, so I watched her growing up, [and] it was in my head that’s what I was going to do,” Shaffer said. “Then I got to a third-grade classroom, and I just didn’t get that feeling, so I started exploring. Then I had some psychology classes, and I was just like, ‘That’s it!’ It just sucked me in, and from there I’ve been total mental health.”

Majher grew up in Huntington and graduated from Marshall with degrees in Fine Arts and Psychology and a master’s in education. He spent a few years substitute teaching and found that he wanted to pursue psychology after speaking with school counselors, he said.

“It was when I was substitute teaching in the school districts over in Ashland, I would see therapists coming in and out, and I would talk to school psychologists in and out,” Majher said. “It’s how I got my love for mental health: going down one route and discovering something else.”

Shaffer and Majher have worked in K-12 schools practicing with all age ranges, but both said they also enjoy working with adults.

While counselors are currently working with walk-in students at the Counseling Center, they will begin accepting regular appointments in the fall.

Majher said he is excited both to bring his experience to Marshall and to continue learning more as he goes.

“I hope to bring not only my expertise, but I also want to bring a sense of fun,” Majher said. “I hope to also further expand my knowledge. I love learning [and] becoming a better clinician. There’s always room for improvement.”

Both mental health specialists have experience in family counseling, grief counseling and more. Majher also has trauma experience and has specialized in transgender transitioning.

Both Shaffer and Majher also said they want students to know everyone working in the counseling center is there to help them.

“It can be overwhelming and intimidating to talk about our feelings,” Shaffer said, “but if you just give it a chance, it can be really beneficial.”

Sarah Ingram can be contacted at [email protected].