Meet the Staff

Brian Smith, MSW, LCSW

815-753-6039 |

As the director, Brian will provide Employee Well-being counseling, consultation and customized training to employees, their families and university staff.

Brian's background includes over 25 years of counseling experience serving all age groups with a wide variety of personal, family and work-related difficulties. His specialties include trauma recovery; anxiety and depression; workplace concerns; family and relationship difficulties; alcohol and drug concerns; grief, loss and bereavement; and life transition challenges.

Vicki Caserno, M.S., LCPC

815-753-9191 |

Vicki earned her Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in human services/counseling from National-Louis University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).

Vicki has over 20 years of experience in community mental health working with individuals with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities and survivors of domestic violence. She uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and psychoeducational interventions to assist adults and families experiencing life adjustment issues as well as anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. Additionally, she has worked in higher education for over eight years as an adjunct faculty/counselor assisting students with their personal counseling needs.

In the counseling role at NIU, Vicki provides Employee Well-being counseling and consultation to employees, retirees and their families. She views counseling as a client-centered journey of self-discovery where each person can increase awareness of their emotional, cognitive and behavioral self towards the fulfillment of personal goals.

Lesley Gilbert, M.A.

Assistant Director, Training and Development
815-753-9196 |

As the assistant director, Lesley is able to assist employees by enhancing their skills in customer service, communication, coping, problem-solving and teamwork. She is available to provide customized departmental training, coaching and coping services.

Prior to coming to NIU, Lesley worked with campus student organizations and was an early intervention specialist. Lesley has been a member of the NIU community for nearly two decades and has experience working with student leaders, parents, and university employees. Lesley has completed numerous training and received certifications in counseling, specialized student services and customer service.

Savili Ngovo-Williams, MSW, LCSW

815-753-1616 |

As a counselor, Savili provides employee assistance counseling and consultation to employees, retirees and their families. The service can address a wide range of needs including anxiety and depression; workplace concerns; family and relationship difficulties; alcohol and drug concerns; grief, loss and bereavement; and life transition challenges.

Savili has over 15 years of varying clinical experience including time spent working with adults, children and families in therapeutic residential treatment centers, substance abuse and co-occurring diagnosis treatment centers and behavioral health agencies. She provided direct care, counseling, case management and care coordination services.

She holds a bachelor's degree in community health education from the University of Arizona and a Master's in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is currently licensed to practice independently in the state of Illinois.

Karen Smith

Program Specialist
815-753-9191 |

Karen Smith, service specialist, is an intake and employee relations specialist. She provides information; completes assessment and referral services; and does brief counseling as a paraprofessional. Karen has attended workshops through the Northern Illinois Employee Assistance Program Association dealing with substance abuse, eldercare and other EAP-related issues. She will listen to your needs, help you consider options and solutions, schedule appointments, and make necessary referrals within and outside the university to assist all employees, retirees and university departments.

Karen coordinates all health events, brown bag training workshops, family support and fitness initiatives. Karen also functions as the training administrator for ethics training on campus and does individual training assistance.

Previous to joining NIU, Karen worked in the counseling field as an intake specialist for over 18 years, as well as in the human resources and employee relations field for more than 20 years. Karen has completed training courses and has experience in budget counseling, elder care, grief and crisis intervention.

Contact Us

Employee Well-being
Holmes Student Center 709
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