Meet Counseling Services!

Staff & Peer Educators

Counseling Services Update

Due to COVID-19, all services are being offered virtually for the remainder of the academic year.

Counseling Services is not available for walk-in appointments. To request an appointment or enquire about eligibility for services, please call our office during office hours. You can also send us an email to

If you are in crisis, please call our office. After hours, contact Campus Safety at 309-341-7979. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Office Hours
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Virtual Counseling Hours

We are offering a variety of counseling sessions with some that fall outside of our regular office hours, including weekend hours.


We will continue to keep you posted regarding additional services we will be providing.

Counseling Services Eligibility

Confidential counseling is available free of charge to currently enrolled Knox College students who are:

  • Residing on campus
  • Residing in the following states: Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas

If you are residing in another state, Counseling Services can assist you in finding counseling in your area.

Administrative Staff

Janell McGruder

Assistant Dean for Student Wellness; Director of Counseling Services; Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Janell started her career in higher education at Western Illinois University in 2006, where she also obtained her Master of Science in Education-Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree. She worked in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access and later moved to the Centennial Honors College. She developed several successful programs geared towards inclusivity and strives to continue to do this while at Knox. She is a Certified EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist and National Board Certified Counselor.

Her areas of focus include; trauma, adverse childhood experiences, crisis intervention, sexual violence, and working with students of color and LGBTQ+ students. She has worked with students in a variety of areas and actively promotes a stigma-free campus.

In her free time, Janell loves spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

Megan McGruder

Assistant Director of Counseling Services; Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Outreach Coordinator

Megan graduated from Western Illinois University with a Master of Science in Education degree, with a focus on clinical mental health. She is a Certified EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist and utilizes a cognitive-behavioral approach in working with students.

Some of her areas of expertise include trauma, crisis intervention, substance abuse, interpersonal relationships, family and couples counseling, and group counseling. She has worked with clients with various mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and psychotic disorders. She also provides counseling and maintenance for students with learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder.

Megan enjoys traveling, watching and learning about movies and film, and spending time with loved ones. She has a 10-year-old Australian Shepherd named Hurley.

Vicki Swedlund

Administrative Assistant

Vicki grew up in Galesburg (just down the street on South St.) and remembers roller skating -metal skates with key- through the Knox College campus when she was young.

She graduated from Galesburg Sr. High School and earned an Associate in Arts degree from Carl Sandburg Junior College. She began working at Knox College in 2002.

Vicki especially enjoys the fall term, when the new students arrive. She enjoys going for walks, attending sporting events, listening to music (is a Beatles fan) and looking at maps, which she used to collect.

Clinical Staff

Dr. Phyllis Mogielski-Watson

Doctor of Psychology, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor

Dr. Mogielski-Watson is an experienced clinician with specialties working with persons in recovery from addictions and substance use disorders, grief and loss, multiethnic identity development, women’s issues, and generalized life challenges. Dr. Mogielski-Watson uses the motto: Love YOUR Journey ~Live YOUR Life.

Additionally, Dr. Mogielski-Watson is a Certified Instructor for the Mental Health First Aid national curriculum and speaks to community organizations raising awareness and understanding about mental health and diversity inclusion. She teaches at the university level and presents at local, regional, and national workshops. Dr. Mogielski-Watson has been a subject matter expert featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and local cable news.

Dr. Mogielski-Watson earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of St. Francis, a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Benedictine University, and a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago Campus.

Rhonda Nelson

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Rhonda received a master’s degree in Counseling from Western Illinois University and then became a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She works part-time as an adjunct instructor at Carl Sandburg College and enjoys her role as a National trainer for Mental Health First Aid where she educates people about mental health and how to provide help to individuals and communities who are impacted. Rhonda enjoys spending time with her family and the outdoors.

Erica Taylor

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

Erica earned her Bachelor of Sociology from The University of Texas Permian Basin and a Master in Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Science Center.

Erica approaches counseling with kindness, compassion, genuineness, and respect. She seeks to actively understand each person's unique circumstances, all while ensuring their individual values and beliefs are respected within the therapeutic relationship. Her clinical areas of focus include Stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflict(s), grief/ frozen grief, trauma and abuse, depression, vocational counseling, adjustment disorders, and PTSD.

Erica loves spending time with her family, grand-dog Diego and traveling. She is an avid reader, tik tok dance connoisseur & music lover.

Gia Washington

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

In the 15 years that Gia has been in the mental health field, she has realized that participating in therapy can be an important part of self-care. She also understands that it can be a bit scary. Her goal is to provide students with a safe space where they are able to discuss their concerns, develop new skills and feel that they have been heard.

She specializes in working with people experiencing challenges related to anxiety disorders, depression, relationship conflict and cultural concerns. She believes that therapy should be a collaborative process in which you work together to help identify and achieve your goals.

Crystal Williams

Licensed Professional Counselor

Crystal Williams completed her Master's of Science degree in Counseling Education at Western Illinois University-QC. She is a National Certified and Licensed Counselor.

Her clinical experience includes working with undergraduate and graduate students. She has presented throughout the region on various topics including, but not limited to, self-esteem, body image, and toxic thinking. Crystal's goal while working at Knox is to help students create change, feel heard, and feel empowered.

In her spare time, Crystal enjoys singing, dancing, working out, spending time with her family and friends, and going to the movie theater.

Counseling Services Peer Educators

Peer Educators

Our Peer Educators are available for outreach opportunities on campus! If you are interested in having a peer educator present on a topic, please fill out the Outreach Request Form below. Our Peer Educators can provide workshops, informative presentations, and educate about resources.

Examples of topics include depression, anxiety, stress management, general mental health, coping skills, and self-care.

Aamy George

Aamy is currently a sophomore, majoring in neuroscience and a minor in health studies. Her favorite way to practice self-care is by taking long showers with the music blasting while she sings along. She wanted to be a counseling peer educator because she believes in the importance of spreading awareness of mental health and eliminating the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

Aditi Parkh

Aditi is a Sophomore at Knox, majoring in Creative Writing and Political Science. She goes by she/her/hers pronouns and is originally from Mumbai, India. A fun fact about her is that she greatly enjoys bubble tea and dogs. She chose to become a Counseling Services Peer Educator because, as a first year, she was afraid of using the Counseling Services on campus due to the misinformation she had created for herself and wants to prevent other international students from going through that as well.

Alyssa Habschmidt

Alyssa’s pronouns are she/hers/her. She is from Santa Monica, CA. She is a junior here at Knox and is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Literature. She became a Counseling Peer Educator because she believes in educating others on mental health and ways to practice self-care. She wants to be an available resource for every student on campus.

Becca Gadiel

Becca (she/her) is a current junior here at Knox and is majoring in psychology. She is passionate about mental health awareness and, in her role as a Counseling Center Peer Educator, she hopes to inform students about the available resources on campus and empower them to take steps to improve their own mental health.

Tori Johnson

Tori uses she/her/hers pronouns and is a junior at Knox. She is majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Spanish and Psychology. In addition to being a Counseling Services peer educator, she is also a Dare to Care peer educator. To her, Counseling Services is an incredibly important part of Knox, as it helps everyone prioritize and take care of their mental health. She is doing this work so that she can play an active role in helping her community take care of themselves and others.

Social Media & Resources

Counseling Services

To inquire about an appointment, or for any questions or concerns, please contact the office by calling 309-341-7492 or sending an email to

Current Staff:

Janell McGruder – Asst. Dean for Student Wellness/Director

Megan McGruder – Asst. Director, Counselor, Outreach

Vicki Swedlund – Administrative Assistant

Dr. Phyllis Mogielski-Watson – Counselor

Rhonda Nelson – Counselor

Erica Taylor – Counselor

Gia Washington – Counselor

Crystal Williams – Counselor