Sophia Center is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania and is a member of Sylvania Franciscan Ministries

Sophia Center Staff

Our team is comprised of experienced, licensed professionals and staff who want to serve for the betterment of our local communities.

Sister Rachel Nijakowski

Sister Rachel Nijakowski

Psychologist/Executive Director

Licensure
Psychologist, Ohio 4699
Degree/Certification/
Experience
Ph.D. (Ball State University 1990), Masters of Education (Bowling Green State University 1982)
Philosophy
I believe that everyone has the ability and the right to become balanced in their mind, body, and spirit. It is my privilege to walk the journey with them as their life coach.
Shana Bentley

Shana Bentley, MA, LPCC

License Professional Clinical Counselor

Licensure
LPCC
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Bachelors degree in Psychology from Cleveland State University (2013) • Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Bowling Green State University (2016) • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
Philosophy
I specialize in working with those in their early stages of life – from early childhood to adolescents to transitional youth. I strive to create a safe, fun, and engaging environment to examine and explore emotional and behavioral issues. I will walk beside you as we navigate the rough waters while working together to create a more positive future.
Leah Cavanaugh

Leah Cavanaugh

Clinical Therapist

Licensure
LISW-S
Degree/Certification/
Experience
Master of Social Work (University of Michigan, 2000)
Philosophy
Leah Cavanaugh, MSW, LISW is a clinical social worker specializing in childhood and adolescent behavioral health issues. Trained primarily as a cognitive behavioral therapist, Leah utilizes a short-term, goal-focused approach for treatment with individuals, families, and groups. Her focus includes depression, anxiety, argumentative and oppositional behaviors, adjustment to divorce and remarriage, and young adult identity formation. Leah also works with clients on individuation and separation issues and healthy relationship development. Her past work experience involved school-based mental health services, crisis intervention and suicide prevention training.
Ildiko Crawford

Ildiko E. Crawford

Clinical Social Worker, LISW, ICDC

Licensure
LISW, ICDC (Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor)
Degree/Certification/
Experience
Master’s in Clinical Social Work, Ohio State University (1989)
Philosophy
Individual, Marriage and Family Counseling- Depression, Anxiety, Self-esteem, Grief, Client Centered, strength based, Cognitive Behavior Brief Therapy
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Linda Joan Dvorak

Specialist in Learning & Behavior Disorders, ADHD and Executive Function

Licensure
Ohio
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Bachelor of Education K-8 • Bachelor of Special Education K-12 • Specific Learning Disability, Severe Behavioral Disorder, Cognitive Delay
Philosophy
To help students of all ages reach their full potential.
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Polly Taylor-Gerken

Program Director/School Psychologist

Licensure
Ohio Board of Psychology: Licensed School Psychologist, Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• B.S., M.Ed., Ed.S • 15 years K-12 Education • 9 years private practice
Philosophy
As a School Psychologist I understand that barriers to success in educational endeavors – across the life span – can and should be responded to. Supporting social-emotional development, learning challenges and mental health problems that interfere with school and learning is among the most important work we can do. As Sophia’s Program Director I work to oversee grant funded programs that help build and restore respectful family relationships, help prevent and reduce violence in the home and prevent or reduce youth penetration into the Juvenile Justice system. We work with courts, schools, law enforcement and other providers to provide youth resiliency building programs and parent education opportunities.
Melinda Kostecky

Melinda Kostecky, MS, ATR-BC

Art Therapist/Program Assistant

Licensure
Board Certified Art Therapist
Degree/Certification
Master of Science in Art Therapy with Concentration in Counseling
Philosophy
Melinda is a nationally Board-Certified Art Therapist specializing in working with individuals and families, primarily with ages in adolescence through older adulthood. Trained in trauma-informed, compassion-focused, and person-centered approaches, Melinda integrates cognitive behavioral therapy with body-based practices using verbal and creative expression, as well as mindfulness and somatic interventions. Her specialties include strength-based goal setting and skill building with concerns related to stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, attachment relationships, and medical illness such as cancer and other health conditions.
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Diane Sweinhagen

Counselor-Supervisor

Licensure
LPCC-S and LPSC
Degree/Certification/
Experience
Master of Arts in Counseling Master of Arts in School Counseling TF-CBT, Theraplay, and CPP certified A Healing Journey, Step-up, and STRONG family’s therapy trained
Philosophy
I enjoy working with children, families, and adults using evidence-based treatment modalities to help foster growth, create positive change, and instill hope for the future.
Alison Kuhr

Allison Kuhr, MA, LPCC, R-DMT

Counselor

Licensure
• Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist • Board Licensed Professional Clinical • Registered Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT)
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Sister Eileen Marie Ripsin, OSF

Counselor

Licensure
Licensed Professional Counselor
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Master of Arts in Education • Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling Sister Eileen has experience working with all ages on a variety of life issues including: anxiety, depression, addiction, grief and loss, and issues of self-worth.
Philosophy
Reverencing the resilience of the human spirit, S. Eileen provides a strengths-focused approach in therapy using a variety of modalities to help engender self-compassion, hope and a willingness to change while discovering deeper meaning and purpose in life.
John_Brindley

John Brindley

Counselor

Licensure
Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Ohio and Michigan
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Bachelors degree in Psychology from Lourdes University • Masters of Art in Counseling from Bowling Green State University (BGSU)
Philosophy
Every person deserves to succeed in life given the right tools.
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Linda Kolopajlo

Counselor for Lourdes University students, Bethany House

Licensure
Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Ohio Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)
Degree/Certification/
Experience
Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling Bowling Green State University
Philosophy
Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.
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Bonnie Schrock

Psychometric Assistant

Licensure
Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Ohio and Michigan
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Bachelors degree in Psychology from Lourdes University • Masters of Art in Counseling from Bowling Green State University (BGSU)
Philosophy
We conduct assessments on children and adults, looking at all aspects including educational and emotional well-being. We also offer tools that will strengthen mind and spirit.
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Rachel Shields

Clinical Social Worker

Licensure
LSW
Degree/Certification/
Experience
Masters of Social Work (MSW)
Philosophy
Rachel helps clients to work toward their goals using a variety of evidence-based practices with a strengths-focused, person-centered, holistic foundation.
Sister Judy Ann Beaudry

Sister Judy Ann Beaudry

Administrative Assistant

Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Bachelor of Education • 40+ years of teaching in Elementary Education
Linda Fadden

Linda Ann Fadden

Administrative Assistant

Licensure
NA
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Have worked at Sophia Center, Inc. for 28 years (since 1990) • Taught early childhood and special education for 10 years.
Philosophy
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Michael Kaucher

Controller

Licensure
NA
Degree/Certification/
Experience
Master of Science (MS), The University of Dayton, Educational Leadership Master of Business Administration (MBA), Tiffin University, Business Administration Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), The Ohio State University, Accounting
Philosophy
Retired after 31 years in Catholic education including positions as Superintendent, Principal, Treasurer, Assistant Principal, Teacher, and Coach with two systems – Tiffin Calvert Catholic Schools and Central Catholic High School, Toledo. Now I enjoy focusing on the accounting functions at the Sophia Center, an organization that allows me to continue serving the Catholic Church.
Sandra Lentz

Sandra Lentz

Office Manager

Degree/Certification/
Experience
Associate of Business Administration (ABA)
Bronsing_Sr Claudia-2

Sister Claudia Bronsing, OSF

Sophia Center, Inc.

Degree/Certification
BA in Education, Parish Administrator/ Associate for over 35 years in Ohio and North Carolina.
Philosophy
As a helper for the counselors/psychologists here at Sophia, I try to make their work with clients easier by scoring and graphing tests given to clients. As a Sylvania Franciscan, I welcome the clients I meet with the care Francis would have given.
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Megan Braida

Intern

Licensure
NA
Degree/Certification/
Experience
• Have worked at Sophia Center, Inc. for 28 years (since 1990) • Taught early childhood and special education for 10 years.
Philosophy

ACADEMIC SUCCESS

“Our daughter struggled through her middle grades to keep up with her peers and her grades. Thanks to the great team of testers and especially the way results were explained to us by Dr. Nijakowski. She is now succeeding academically with a 504 plan and medication for her ADHD/Inattentive type.”

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