Counseling Center Staff

Sarah Perry, Director, LPCC-S

Sarah joined the Counseling Center team in November 2022 and is thrilled to bring her nearly 15 years of counseling, supervision and program coordination experience to benefit the students and staff of the Otterbein Community. Sarah received a B.A. from The Ohio State University and obtained her M.A. in Counseling from Nyack College/Alliance Graduate School of Counseling in Nyack, NY along with coursework from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio. Sarah most recently comes to Otterbein from Syntero, Inc. where she provided outpatient counseling and was a school prevention clinician, supervisor and mental health and substance use school program coordinator for three K-12 public school districts in Franklin County Ohio. She has also worked in the private practice setting seeing clients ages 13+. Sarah is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trained and also incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI) strategies and skills into her work with students. As a counselor, Sarah believes that it is her job and privilege to help empower students to learn about and use external and internal tools and resources to create their own journey towards healing and health. She is client-centered and strengths-based in her approach to helping others. When not working, Sarah enjoys going to concerts and listening to live music, traveling, and checking out new coffee shops and restaurants with family and friends in the Columbus area. She is also a dog lover and Disney fan and frequently wishes she had a magic wand! (Don’t we all?!)

Sarah Perry, Director, LPCC-S

Denise Harrison, MSW, LISW-S

Denise Harrison, MSW, LISW (she/her) believes that healing and transformation occurs through connection and an individualized approach to counseling. She will help you by developing your personal strengths and by teaching you practical skills to get you through change and stressful situations, perfectionism, depression and/or issues with motivation or focus. As a therapist, she is described as understanding, knowledgeable, and eclectic in her therapeutic approach. Denise is recognized as an Anti-Oppression-Informed Practitioner by the NASW Ohio Chapter and strives to create safe counseling spaces for BIPOC and LQBTQ students. She is originally from Chicago, IL, and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received a bachelor’s and Master’s degree in clinical social work. In her free time, Denise likes to attend local festivals with her family, listen to music, and stream shows (anything supernatural or that makes her laugh).

Denise Harrison, LISW Counselor

Lesley Cross, MA, LPCC-S, Counselor

Lesley joined the Otterbein University Counseling Center in January 2024.  Having worked in her own private practice for the last decade, she is excited to be on campus and working with the Otterbein community. 

Lesley’s mission is to help people live intentionally and wholly, even when life presents challenges and pain. Lesley believes that counseling is not a “quick fix” to the struggles of life, but by using an empathetic and results-oriented approach she works with students to ensure goals are identified and a therapeutic plan is used to push forward toward healing and progress. In the counseling office, she uses behavioral and cognitive approaches, equips students with effective behavioral strategies and also helps them to process mental blocks and traumatic triggers.

Lesley’s professional experience consists of over 20 years of working with populations she is passionate about helping, including working with adults and teens, students at the collegiate level, with survivors of sexual assault, couples at all stages of their relationship and those facing career confusion, family struggle or feeling stuck.  She has been a speaker for churches, schools, women’s groups, collegiate and business functions.

Lesley holds a B.A. in Business Management & Economics from University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio and received her M.A. in Clinical Counseling from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina. She is also currently working toward obtaining her doctorate degree in Marriage & Family Counseling. Lesley can empathize with Otterbein students because she also understands what it takes to balance school and life! 

Outside of work Lesley enjoys traveling (her goal is to visit all 50 states with her children, they only have a handful left!), concerts, event planning and spending time with her family & friends.  She also enjoys reading, walking her dogs and spending time with friends and family. 

Lesley Cross, MA, LPCC-S

Savannah Cannon, Counseling Intern

Savannah Cannon (she/her) is an emerging counseling and art therapy intern, and Otterbein Counseling Center’s first ever counseling intern! She is pursuing an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy from Antioch University New England. She obtained her Bachelor in Art from Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. Despite being early into her career, she has been afforded a diverse experience of settings and clients to learn and grow with. Savannah aims to provide a safe space for expression and foster personal growth while helping clients achieve their goals. Savannah uses a strength-based approach to guide clients towards effective solutions, and processing along the way. Savannah uses art therapy in moments where words are difficult to find and to enrich the counseling process. In her free time Savannah enjoys time with her family, time spent in nature, painting, and concerts.

Savannah will be available on a limited basis, with a hybrid of in-person and telehealth meeting options through the rest of the Spring 2024 semester.

Savannah Cannon, Counseling Intern

Julie Doel, MLS Administrative Assistant

Julie went to Ohio State University and holds a Master’s degree in Library Science from the State University of New York at Albany. She has worked in public, academic and school libraries and taught courses at Ohio Dominican University. She enjoys helping people and solving problems. In her free time, she likes reading time travel novels, quilting and playing catch with her chiweenie.

Julie Doel, MLS Administrative Assistant

We are more alike than we are unalike.

Maya Angelou