Julie Nicknair-Keon, LCMHC, NCC

Director - Health, Counseling

Julie received her MA in Community Counseling from Fairfield University and a BA in Secondary Education from New England College. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has 30+ years of counseling experience in a variety of settings and 10+ years in higher education. She believes in a holistic, strength based, person-centered approach and values supporting an individual’s understanding of their personal development and overall health and wellbeing. Julie also believes in embracing one’s humanness with kindness and humor. She volunteers for the Granite State Critical Incident Response Team providing support to law enforcement, first responders, and health care providers.

In addition to spending time with friends, family, and her pets. Julie enjoys an array of outdoor activities, reading, listening to music, watching TV, and eating good food.

Leigh Bears, ARNP-CNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

Leigh is a family nurse practitioner who has experience providing primary care across all age groups but she particularly enjoys working with adolescents and young adults. While she is skilled in all areas of health care her particular interests are in health maintenance including nutrition, fitness, and stress reduction. Leigh lives in New London with her family.

Heather Astle, RN, B.S.N.

Nurse / Wellness Coordinator

Heather is a graduate of UNH. She has over 40 years of nursing experience in Acute Care as well as Primary Care settings. Heather has worked in a busy Pediatric Primary Care practice, caring for the needs of children, adolescents and young adults. When she is not at Colby-Sawyer College, she also works at a boys’ summer camp on Lake Winnipesaukee in Moultonborough, NH. Heather lives in Warner with her family.

Brian Frenkiewich, MS, D.O.

Consulting Physician

Dr. Frenkiewich works at nearby New London Hospital where he practices family medicine. He is Colby-Sawyer’s consulting physician for Baird Health and Stock Sports Medicine Clinic. Dr.Frenkiewich attained his Doctor of Osteopathy from the University of New England, a Master of Science, Athletic Training at Indiana State University, and we are proud to say, his BS Exercise Sciences, Athletic Training from Colby-Sawyer College. He is a true Charger!

Tom Wilkins, MA, LCMHC

Clinical Counselor

Tom is a graduate of Antioch New England College. He approaches Counseling from a holistic perspective looking at students through the lenses of the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Social and Occupational levels. He believes that to change much of what we see happening around us, we have to start by looking inside ourselves and seeing what needs to be changed.

Tom has experience in all facets of College Counseling, presenting for classes and facilitating various groups on campus. He has strong interests working with: self-discovery (bringing meaning to one's life), anxiety issues, spiritual concerns, working with dreams, anger management, assertiveness training, relationship issues, conflict resolution, grief, issues experienced by students of diversity as they become a part of the CSC community, men's issues, depression, substance abuse, and self-injury.

Masha Coy, LCMHC

Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Masha earned her master’s degree from Fitchburg State University and brings over twenty years of experience in assisting people in their journey towards connecting more deeply to their inner wisdom and accessing their own healing energy.

Her work with students focuses on utilizing intention to access, create and explore meaningful pathways towards personal mastery. She believes students can accomplish anything with the right support, a dash of perseverance, and a presence of hope. Masha is passionate about the mind and body connection and loves to utilize a variety of therapeutic resources, from traditional talk therapy to an array of expressive arts therapy techniques. She is also interested in nutritional psychology, exploring how what we put into our bodies can affect our feelings and behaviors and how our feelings and behaviors can affect our bodies. She also believes humor and laughter have amazing healing potential and makes room for both in her life and work. Masha is bi-cultural and fluent in both English and Russian. During her free time, she enjoys being outdoors: kayaking, gardening, hiking in the summer; skiing and snow shoeing in the winter, as well as practicing yoga year around. Though proudly American, she stays connected to her cultural roots while enjoying the exploration of other cultures through travel and cuisine with her family.

Colleen Porter, MA, LCMHC

Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Colleen has a rich background in therapy, art, and education. She earned her MA in Expressive Arts Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University and a BA in Art History from Stonehill College. Colleen has been a primary therapist and expressive arts therapist at Mountain Valley Treatment Center and at Boston Children’s Hospital. She also operates a private practice where she specializes in treating anxiety and OCD. In addition, she has worked as an adjunct professor of expressive arts therapy at Stonehill College. Colleen strives to have a welcoming, calm, and compassionate presence with all students. Colleen has been with Colby-Sawyer since 2020.

Michael Mariska, PhD, MS, LCMHC, NCC

Clinical Counselor, Part Time

We are fortunate that Mike chooses to volunteer time with Colby-Sawyer College students as a counselor. Mike is the director of Counselor Education, School Psychology and Human Services Leadership and the program coordinator for the Mental Health Counseling program at Plymouth State University. Mike is an asset to our program and enjoys staying “in-tune” with current mental health concerns of young adults through his work and help to Colby-Sawyer’s students.

Bernadette O'Leary Austin

Office Manager

Bernadette is likely the first person that you will talk with or meet when you come to Baird. Bernadette manages the scheduling, filing, and many other things that assure smooth operations in the health & counseling center. She joined the Baird staff in fall 2018 and quickly adapted to the change from prior retail and financial customer service work. Bernadette has spent most of her life living in NH and has a BA in English from Simmons College. She lives in Warner with her family.

Allie Helfrich

Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Allie is a graduate of Plymouth State University where she received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She received her BA in Psychology from Merrimack College. Allie’s clinical interests include practicing integrative approaches, alternative therapies, and the ways in which chronic illness impacts individuals. She utilizes different therapeutic techniques based on the students’ needs. Allie provides a warm and welcoming environment for students.

Elizabeth Foley

Associate Mental Health Counselor

Elizabeth is a Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate student at Plymouth State University. She will be completing her internship experience at the Baird Health and Counseling Center through the Fall 2022 semester. Her clinical interests include: DBT skills, Solution-Focused Theory, Existential Theory, Person-Centered Theory, CBT, Motivational Interviewing, chronic mental illnesses, and LGBTQ+ issues. She strives to really listen to students concerns, develop goals collaboratively, and provide them with support as they practice new ways of responding to challenges.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, going on road trips, listening to podcasts, geocaching, and binge-watching reality TV.

Stock Sports Medicine Staff

Athletic Trainers

We have an excellent staff of licensed Athletic Trainers that work directly with student athletes. The ATs manage the daily operation of the clinic and work collaboratively with the staff of Baird Health and Counseling Center and medically consult with Dr. Brian Frenkiewich, and Concord Orthopedics.

New London Hospital Practices

New London Hospital is 1 mile from Colby-Sawyer. Baird Health and Counseling Center consults with the medical and psychiatric services of New London Hospital as needed.