Health & Counseling Center News

Winter Term 2016

Advocacy Hours

Janell McGruder, Staff Counselor & Sexual Assault Advocate, will be offering advocacy hours for the Winter term on Monday and Tuesday from 3:30-4:30pm. This is a time for individuals to come ask questions regarding Title IX in a confidential manner. Thirty minute appointments can be scheduled by emailing Janell McGruder at JMcGruder@knox.edu.

"Addressing Reality" Group

Hope Pendleton will be offering a support group for Knox students who identify as African-American. This is a safe, confidential space to discuss real situations that affect the lives of African-American college students. This group strives to address how cultural and racial identity influence all areas of our lives. Group will be held biweekly on Wednesdays at 6pm starting January 20th. Please email Janell McGruder at JMcGruder@knox.edu if you are interested in participating. Please indicate that you are interested in this group.

"Mind & Body Wellness" Group

Kim Scardina, LCPC from OSF Eating Disorders Program, will be offering a biweekly group that will cover a variety of topics, including; healthy eating, body image, media influence and more. The group will be held biweekly on Thursdays at 4pm starting January 21st! Please email Janell McGruder at JMcGruder@knox.edu if you are interested in participating. In your email, indicate that you are interested in this group.

"Stress and Anxiety Reduction" Group (Two Sessions Offered)

Janell McGruder, LPC, will again be offering the Stress and Anxiety Reduction group. This group will focus on learning techniques to handle stress and anxiety. It will be a four week group that meets weekly. The first group will start on Wednesday, January 20th at 4pm. The second group will start Tuesday, February 16th at 4pm. If you are interested in participating, please contact Janell McGruder at JMcGruder@knox.edu. Please indicate that you are interested in this group and which session.

"Survivors of Sexual Assault" Group

The Western Illinois Regional Council will once again be offering a survivors group for Knox students. Group will be held biweekly on Thursdays at 6pm starting Thursday January 21st. If you are interested in participating, please contact Carol Smith at Carol@wirpc.org or call 309.837.6622 for screening.

Did you know?

There is no problem too big or too small for counseling. Yep! You read that correctly. You can get counseling for whatever you need! Too often people believe that their "problems don't matter" or they will be "taking away time" from another. Not the case. The amount of sessions you receive is based on need and is completely voluntary. It is a sign of health to recognize when you need assistance, and to ask for help. All you have to do is schedule an appointment.

It is easy to schedule an appointment at the Counseling Center! All you have to do is email your class schedule to Vicki Swedlund at VSwedlun@knox.edu and she will get you scheduled! How simple is that!

Meet the Staff of the Counseling Center

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Dan Larson

Ed.D., Psychologist, Director of Health & Counseling

Dan, Director of Health & Counseling, is a licensed clinical psychologist. He has been at Knox since 1999. Dan's areas of professional interest include anxiety, depression, crisis intervention, and relationship issues. Dan will use an array of clinical approaches when working with students focusing on the unique attributes of each person.


In his free time Dan enjoys running and biking and spending time with his family.

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Janell McGruder

MSEd, LPC, NCC, Staff Counselor & Sexual Assault Advocate

Janell started at Knox in the Fall 2015 term and continues to enjoy her time here. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and a certified "Stop The Hate" trainer. She has completed several trainings focused on a variety of topics including the 40-hour sexual assault training. Her areas of professional interest include trauma, crisis stabilization, depression, anxiety, and acculturation concerns.

In her free time she enjoys hanging with her two sons, painting, and traveling to new places.
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Kaleena Williams

MSW, LCSW

Kaleena graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois in 2010. While continuing her private practice in Galesburg, she started working at Knox in 2014. Over the last few years, she divides her time between the two and truly enjoys it. She utilizes a variety of practices in counseling, such as Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, and Solution Focused.

In her free time, she enjoy crocheting, drawing, painting, scrapbooking, and photography.
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Megan Downs

MSEd, NCC, LPC

Megan is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois and a National Certified Counselor. She received her degree of Master of Science in Education at Western Illinois University. She has competed several trainings in areas such as sexual assault and domestic violence. Megan has counseled individuals, couples, and families that have presented with a variety of mental health disorders. She also has experience in crisis stabilization and substance abuse treatment.

In her free time, Megan enjoys traveling, watching movies, and trying new things.
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Vicki Swedlund

Administrative Assistant

Vicki is originally from Galesburg and is a graduate of Carl Sandburg College and Midstate College in Peoria. She began working at Knox in September 2002 in the Counseling Center. She is very proud to be apart of the Division of Student Development and being able to work with and assist students.

She has been married to her husband Sid for 28 years and has one son, Josh, who is a Junior in college. In her free time she enjoys going for walks, learning about new places, and attending sporting events.