School Counseling Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Meet our Second-Year Students: 2023-2025 Cohort

Alexander berner
Lauryl hebenstreit
Alex Berner

Raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Alexander (he/him) grew up in what was once a small town that quickly became a large suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. After graduating from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Alexander went on to work as an Assistant Language Teacher in Okinawa, Japan for three years. It was during this time that - from interview practice and extracurricular activities - he found a passion for working alongside students as they plan for their futures. Alexander was initially attracted to school counseling due to its intersection of mental health, education, and life guidance. He is excited to join the UMD 2025 cohort and continue to learn how to help students reach their fullest potential! In his free time, Alexander enjoys traveling, fitness training, knitting blankets for his family and friends, cooking and general nerding out. After the transplant to Maryland, he hope to find a local sports league to join and continue his (beginner-level) "career" in recreational volleyball!

Lauryl Hebenstreit

Lauryl (she/her) comes from Lincoln, Nebraska as an alumni of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she studied psychology and ethnic studies. Over the course of her twenty-three years, Lauryl has found a deep passion for advocating and empowering others while informing herself about the structures that influence community and life together. Pursuing a career in school counseling is the obvious fit for such passions. Lauryl's hobbies include, but are never limited to, reading, hiking, and spending time around good food and better people.


Vivian (she/her) is a proud native of Silver Spring, Maryland. She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Asian American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. As a first-generation college student, Vivian is dedicated to empowering minority youth, promoting their academic success, and prioritizing their mental well-being. She hopes to confront inequities within the education system to advocate for students. With previous experience as a Special Education Paraeducator at Montgomery County Public Schools, Vivian has already made a significant impact in working with students. Recently, she has rediscovered crocheting, and looking forward to finally finishing a project. Additionally, she is known to be a major foodie and runs a food blog on Instagram called @vvn8it.

Marta Kesete

Marta (she/her) is from Olney, Maryland. She is currently a paraeducator at a Montgomery County Public Elementary School. She wishes to one day be a school counselor after completing her School Counseling program. When Marta is not at work she enjoys painting and exploring museums and enjoying nature. 

meghan mcLees
lilliana mitchell
Meghan McLees

Meghan (she/her) calls Midlothian, Virginia home. Her alma mater is the University of Mary Washington where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minored in Contemplative Studies. Meghan has a passion for working with students, specifically with her volunteer work with one-on-one tutoring with students who come from low-income neighborhoods. Her goal is to advocate for those students to in the end get equal educational opportunity. In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, photography, and biking. Meghan also loves to go out to shops and museums, and also hang out with her family, friends, and her cat, Piper.

Lilliana Mitchell

Lilliana (she/her) was born and raised in Sacramento, California. She graduated from California State University, Chico with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her passion as it relates to school counseling is as simple as helping children. She prides herself in being an active role model and resource for children to feel heard and accepted. In her free time Lilliana loves to visit the beach in San Francisco and explore new food places around different cities. If she's not in a beach town she's on the road to her next adventure, whether it be a new trail to hike, museum to walk through, or ocean to listen to. Lilliana is excited to start a new chapter at the University of Maryland in the M.Ed. School Counseling program and explore all the East Coast has to offer.

rory sullivan
sarahi villasenor hernandez

Rory (he/him) lives in Rockville, Maryland. He graduated from McDaniel College, where he majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. Rory has a passion for making sure that students' mental health is prioritized and making sure that students can succeed in school regardless of any obstacles they face. In his free time, Rory likes to exercise, travel, golf, and try new things with friends. 

Sarahi Villasenor Hernandez

Sarahi, Sara for short, (she/her) calls Des Moines, Iowa home, although she is originally from Connecticut. Her alma mater is Iowa State University. Her passions are being able to help and seeing some sort of relief from students. Sara loves reading and enjoys true crime shows and anything related to that. She likes exploring and flowers, although they often die. However, most of her free time would be to be out and about.