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Student Counseling Staff

20140625-Jeff-Rutter-Staff-Headshot-1087Dr. Jeff Rutter

A Tennessee native, Dr. Rutter received his bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and his masters in theology from Vanderbilt University. After six years of ministry he went on to earn his doctorate in clinical psychology from Wright State University. He then entered the military as a psychologist and served for seven years before discovering a deep passion for working with college students. His experience in higher education has included service as a professor, department chair, division chair, and counseling center administrator.

Dr. Rutter’s professional interests include psychological assessment and psychotherapy. While his clinical training and experience have emphasized brief forms of therapy (CBT), he is keenly interested in metaphor, spirituality, relationship, and other holistic forms of exploration and self expression. Personal interests include lifelong learning, motorcycling, spending time with his wife and two teenage sons, and keeping up with his oldest daughter who attends college in Australia.


Laszlo J. Stojalowsky, M.A., LPC-MHSP
Assistant Director

Laszlo J. Stojalowsky, Assistant Director of Student Counseling Services, joined Austin Peay State University in January 2012.  He has over 16 years of counseling experience, the last 7 of which he has dedicated to working with students in higher education.  Prior to his current position at Austin Peay, Laszlo served as a student mental health counselor at Lewis University for over 4 years, and prior to this, he worked as an adjunct counselor and psychology instructor at Moraine Valley Community College for nearly 3 years.  Before his experience in higher education, Laszlo worked as a therapist for several community-based mental health agencies for over 7 years and as a residential/intensive outpatient adult addictions therapist for 2 years.

Laszlo earned his B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Central College in Pella, Iowa, and his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University.  In addition to being a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider designation in Tennessee, he has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois since 2002.  He is fluent in Spanish and Hungarian, and has lived and studied abroad in Spain, Mexico and Hungary for extended periods of time.   


Michelle Barnhart, LPC-MHSP, CPSII
Counselor / AOD Prevention Coordinator

Michelle Barnhart began as a counselor at Austin Peay in November 2011.  Prior to coming to Austin Peay, Michelle worked with Bradford Health Services, an outpatient alcohol and drug facility here in Clarksville.  During the 5 years she was employed there she worked with addiction and co-occurring disorders as a counselor and clinical director.

Prior to beginning work in the field of addiction, Michelle worked in an outpatient mental health setting in West Tennessee for 5 years. She has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a M.A. in Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University.  Michelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Service Provider and a Certified Prevention Specialist II. 


Teresa Prendes, M.A., Ed.S., LPCT
Counselor / Outreach Coordinator

Teresa Prendes returns to the Nashville area after receiving her Master’s and Education Specialist degrees in Professional Counseling from Seton Hall University.  She completed a clinical internship at William Paterson University where she provided individual psychotherapy to students and used her sport psychology training to do group integration work within athletics. Teresa also has experience counseling  individuals with co-ocurring disorders and doing group work with women who have experienced trauma. In addition, she was a professor and academic advisor for the Department of Freshman Studies at Seton Hall University.  She is currently a Licensed Associate Counselor in the state of New Jersey and is in the process of getting licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Tennessee.  Teresa is fluent in Spanish and provides counseling in both languages.

Teresa has a number of areas of interest.  While at Seton Hall University she pursued a Certificate in Sport and Exercise Psychology and is working toward certification as a Master’s Level Sport Psychology Consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology. Teresa also appreciates the creative arts and often uses art, music, and writing as tools for developing insight and healing.   


Ms. Priscilla Dale
Administrative Assistant

Priscilla Dale is the administrative assistant for Student Counseling Services and has been with Austin Peay State University since August 2007.  She received her Bachelor of Social Work degree with minors in psychology and sociology from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro Tennessee.  Prior to her employment with Austin Peay, she worked 15 years in residential treatment providing case management to at risk adolescents.  Other work experiences include case management and supervision in foster care/adoption and work with developmentally disabled adults.  

Clare.jpgClare Coyle Taylor, B.A.
Director Graduate Assistant/M.A. Intern

Clare joins the department as a proud alumnus of Austin Peay. First arriving on campus from her native Michigan to join the Lady Gov’s on the basketball court. After obtaining her BFA, Clare settled in Clarksville and began her career as an artist.  While working and teaching out of her private studio, Clare has also been instrumental in supporting the Arts in the Clarksville community.  She is a founding member of the Downtown Artists Co-op, and has served as the house artist for The Roxy Regional Theatre.  Clare has also serves the Clarksville community as a group facilitator the YMCA Restore Ministries. 

The culmination of these experiences brought Clare back to APSU to pursue advanced studies in mental health counseling. Today Clare serves as the graduate assistant for Student Counseling Services where she continues to enmesh the healing process of art with her academic studies; bringing both to bear on the issues confronting those she serves. Clare will finish her studies this year with the successful completion of a thesis focusing on group counseling for bereaved college students.