The Community Advisory Council comprises community leaders and partners from Nova Scotia's counselling profession. The Council meets bi-annually to serve in an advisory role for Acadia's M.Ed. in Counselling Program. Through their varied perspectives and experiences across the profession, members of the Council provide input into the Counselling Program's initiatives and inform the faculty of emerging needs within the Nova Scotia counselling context.


Advisory Members

Alison Arthur

Alison is a clinical supervisor in private practice. An alumnus of the Acadia Counselling Program, she has worked as a school counsellor, a private practitioner, a counsellor educator, and a supervision training facilitator. Alison also continues her committee work with the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT).

Jean Blackler

Bryan Brooks

Steve Carrington

Clarence DeSchiffart

Clarence is an Adjunct Professor at Acadia and has over 32 years of experience in career counselling and development, RPL, and teaching. He retired from Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in 2018 after 29 years of service. Clarence and his former manager received the highest national recognition for their work - the Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Development and Counselling (2017) and the Life Time Achievement Award (2017) from the Nova Scotia Career Development Association. Clarence is passionate about helping people deepen their awareness of their own identity.

Erin Eaves

Meaghan Fullerton

Meaghan works as a clinical psychotherapist in partnership with Sipekne’katik First Nation and other Mi’kmaw organizations. She graduated from Acadia’s Counselling Program (2013) and is passionate about personal and collective transformation, societal change, healing justice, and restorative, anti-colonial, anti-oppressive work.

Maeghan Hill

John Hubert

John is currently the Executive Director and Registrar of the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT). He is a trained philosopher specializing in healthcare ethics and equity-oriented policy analysis. John taught ethics in the Faculty of Medicine and School of Nursing at Dalhousie University and is a former Director of the School of Health Sciences.

A.J. Landon

A.J. is a Clinical Social Worker with Nova Scotia Health’s Child Youth Mental Health program in Kentville and Annapolis Royal. He has obtained a Master of Social Work and an Honours Bachelor of Social Work degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Areas of interest include family-based interventions for eating disorders and rehabilitating youth who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviour. A.J. is a representative of the IWK's “Initiative for Sexually Aggressive Youth” (ISAY) and provides sexual offence-specific treatment in the Annapolis Valley.

Jeff MacDonald

George Maringapasi

George is a former stand-out Olympic Solidarity and NCAA Division 1 Scholar Athlete for his native Zimbabwe and for St. John’s University in New York. After his track and field career, he spent over 15 years providing collaborative, culturally responsive, community-based services to diverse populations, including First Nations, African Canadians and Newcomers to Canada in a broad range of settings from remote northern First Nation communities to rural, urban, and inner-city settings. Since coming to Canada in 2006, George’s work has spanned the lifespan, including facilitating anti-bullying workshops, FASD work, family support, and community-based case management. Currently, he is a Clinical Therapist with the NSH and works in private practice in New Glasgow. George believes in leadership through service and can often be found volunteering his time to learners, mentoring young athletes, participating in local festivals, and coaching. George completed education and leadership preparation programs at St. John’s University and Acadia University.

Sabitha Masih

Sabitha is the Provincial School Counselling Consultant at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. She graduated from the Acadia Counselling Program and has worked in education for over 20 years. Sabitha has been a teacher, school counsellor, vice principal and principal within the Halifax region. She has also worked overseas as a teacher and school counsellor. Sabitha has volunteered on the Board of Directors at Mount Saint Vincent University and the Public School Administrators Association of Nova Scotia and, more recently, worked with newcomer families to support their move to a new community and culture.

Wanda McDonald

Wanda is the Manager of Counselling and Wellness at Nova Scotia Community College. She has Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Social Work and brings 31 years of experience encompassing direct clinical practice, research, policy and program development, teaching, and mentoring. Wanda’s teaching background includes roles at Memorial University and Dalhousie University Schools of Social Work. Much of her work has been in mental health and addictions and, more recently, in post-secondary student affairs. A socio-ecological model underpins her approach to resilience and wellness. She has volunteered with several boards and community groups. She is passionate about human rights, equity, and inclusion and bringing those values into the realm of leadership and workplace well-being. Additionally, she actively cultivates communities of practice, fostering collaborative learning environments. Outside work, Wanda finds joy in diverse pursuits, travel, painting, reading, and biking. She especially cherishes moments outdoors with her husband and twin boys, finding solace in the beauty of nature.

Erica McGill

Erica received her B.A. and M.Ed.(Counselling) from Acadia University, where she is currently the Director of Health, Counselling, and Accessibility Learning Services. She has experience with St. Mary's University and private practice settings and has completed training in Emotionally Focused Therapy. Erica has worked as a site supervisor with the M.Ed. Counselling Program for the last 7 years and being a supervisor for RCT Candidates with the NSCCT. She has also taught the Counselling Adolescents and Children course several times. She works from a trauma-informed, strengths-based, feminist perspective and strives to provide health and wellness supports focusing on prevention and resiliency building with individuals and the campus communities.

Jennifer Moore

Jennifer is a clinical therapist with the Mental Health & Addictions – Child/Youth Team at Digby General Hospital.

Tara Moore

Tara is a social worker and has worked in the Justice, Mental Health, Community Services and Education sectors. She is a board member of Valley Restorative Justice and an alumnus of Acadia University. For the past 15 years, she has been the SchoolsPlus Provincial Coordinator at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. SchoolsPlus is an integrated service delivery model promoting the co-location of services within schools to provide wraparound support to children, youth and their families.

Andrea Noylander

Andrea has been a teacher in the HRCE for 26 years and currently works as a School Counsellor at Hammonds Plains Consolidated Elementary. She is the past president of The Black Educators Association, former Chair of the Council on African Canadian Education, and founding member of the Nova Scotia Alliance of Black School Educators . She has coordinated a variety of summer and after-school programs to provide cultural, social-emotional and academic enrichment to students of African descent.

Ann Sylliboy

Ann is from U’nama’ki and lives in Essissoqnik. She has been working as the Post Secondary Consultant at Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey for 10 years. Ann supports post-secondary students in all Mi’kmaq communities across the province through her work with universities, NSCC, and other provincial organizations. She worked for several years as a social worker at Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services before joining the team at MK.  Ann is the proud mother of three boys. She enjoys spending her free time at the hockey rink in the winter and camping in the summer.

Christina Toplack

Christina is a physician who has been practicing medical psychotherapy for several years.  Pronouns are she/her. Christina has trained in many therapeutic approaches, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Logosynthesis, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Chi Gong, Somatics,and Redecision Therapy. She extensively uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy in her work. She prescribes medications when appropriate. She works with people experiencing depression, anxiety, grief and loss, perfectionism, and other acute and chronic stress reactions.  Christina brings a feminist and gender-diversity-positive perspective to her work and strives to recognize and address the effects of stigma, bias, and violence on mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.  She is happy to be a member of the Acadia Counselling Centre team. Christina was involved for several years in developing sexual and reproductive health care services and resources in the province, including working for many years in rural Well-Women Clinics and at the Halifax Sexual Health Centre, The Red Door, and with prideHealth. Other current activities include advocacy for building safer public spaces for non-binary and gender-diverse people, bringing together members of the queer and ally communities in song and learning about challenging and changing internalized racism. She is also an avid high-tide swimmer.

Patricia Wentzell

Patricia is a long-standing member of this committee, She has experience as a school counsellor in three small rural schools and completed a “hybrid” counselling student practicum placement in agencies and schools. She is currently in private practice, is the Past President of the Nova Scotia Chapter of the CCPA and is a volunteer member of the CCPA Ethics Committee – Complaints Division. Pat’s affiliation with Acadia University began in the 70s as an undergraduate student and again as a graduate student in 2005 and 2012.