Hillary Adams, Ed.D

  • Graduate Assistant for H.E.L.P. Program in 2008-2009
  • B.A., Psychology, Marshall University, 2006
  • M.A., Mental Health Counseling, Marshall University, 2010
  • Ed.D, Higher Education Leadership, Marshall University, 2018

Dr. Hillary Adams was appointed Director of the H.E.L.P. Program in January 2022. She began tutoring for the H.E.L.P. Program in 2008 as a Graduate Assistant and briefly worked as a mental health counselor at Cammack Children’s Center in Huntington, WV. Hillary served the roles of Student Support Specialist, Employment Coordinator, and Director of the College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall for nearly a decade before returning to her roots at the H.E.L.P. Program as Director. In 2018, she earned her Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership, focusing her dissertation on employer perspectives of autistic employees entering the workforce. She is highly dedicated to ensuring all students have the opportunity to capitalize on their academic strengths and cultivate skills in the areas that need support. Hillary lives in Huntington, WV, with her husband, Reid Adams, a surgical nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital. They welcomed their first daughter, Charlie Greer Adams, in March of 2021.


 K. Renna Moore, C.P.S., MA
Coordinator, Registration and Tutor Development
Learning Specialist

  • Member of the H.E.L.P. staff since 1993
  • Attended Bluefield State College – Business Administration (’82)
  • R.B.A. Marshall University – Psychology (’11)
  • M.A. Marshall University – Mental Health Counseling 
  • Certified Professional Secretary Status (CPS)
  • Marshall University Employee of the Month (’01)
  • National Affiliations: National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Certified Professional Secretary’s Association

Renna initially served as the secretary to the director of the H.E.L.P. Program in 1993 and later was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant to the Director of the H.E.L.P. Program. Now she is Coordinator of Tutor Development. Her duties include matching students with tutors who are qualified to work with them in their specific classes and serving as the College H.E.L.P. tutors’ direct supervisor. As Administrative Assistant, Renna –in addition to providing assistance to the Director and H.E.L.P. staff members–communicates with prospective parents and students to ensure a smooth application process, serves as a liaison between parents, students and professors and serves as a lead staff member in the absence of the Director as needed. Renna has represented H.E.L.P. at college fairs and the International Dyslexia Association Conferences. While working at H.E.L.P., Renna suffered a debilitating accident that caused her to have to spend weeks in a rehabilitation hospital where she had to learn to walk again.  This experience allowed her to better empathize with the feelings experienced by many of our students when facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Her persistence and faith have allowed her to return to work, complete her undergraduate degree while working full time, and complete a Master’s Degree in Counseling and work alongside her husband, Samuel, in the ministry.



Sara L. Barker
Coordinator, Skills and Student Development

  • Member of H.E.L.P. staff since 1992
  • B.A. – West Virginia University – (’81) – Elementary Education, Specialization in Mentally Impaired
  • M.A. – Marshall University – (’94) – Learning Disabilities
  • Wilson Reading Level I Certification (’07)
  • National Affiliations:  Learning Disabilities Association, International Dyslexia Association

Sara came to H.E.L.P. as a graduate assistant in 1992 where she worked part-time for the next 15 years as a Learning Specialist and an Educational Diagnostician.  She became Coordinator of Summer Prep in 2005 and Coordinator of Skills and Student Development in 2007.  Before moving to Huntington, Sara was employed at Wood County Schools as a teacher.  Sara resides in Ona, West Virginia with her husband Mike and they have two adult sons, Derek and Zachary.


Amy Moffat Jones-Burdick
Coordinator, Life Coaching & Summer Prep Program

  • Member of H.E.L.P. staff since 2013
  • B.A. – Vanderbilt University – (’86) – Fine Arts/Chemistry
  • M.A. – Marshall University – (’89) – Clinical Psychology
  • University of Louisville Medical School – (’93) – Bingham Child Guidance Clinic, Doctoral Psychology Internship
  • University of Southern Mississippi – Ph.D. Candidate, Counseling Psychology

Amy began working with the H.E.L.P. Program as a Learning Specialist in 2013. Her career experiences include psychological and neuropsychological assessments of children and adults, crisis intervention, inpatient and outpatient therapy, and coordinating child/adolescent services for a psychiatric hospital. Amy’s background and experience have equipped her with the ability to coach students to recognize and utilize their strengths as they pursue their academic goals. She resides in Huntington with her husband, Hoyt, and daughter, Anastasia.


Nancy McCormick
Coordinator, Medical H.E.L.P.

  • Member of H.E.L.P Staff since 1993
  • B.A. Marshall University  – History – Psychology (1993)
  • M.A. Marshall University – History (1997)
  • Ed.D Walden University – Higher Education Leadership (In Progress)

Nancy is responsible for recruiting, course planning, and instructing for Medical H.E.L.P. program.  Prior to her appointment to her current position, Nancy worked as an academic tutor in College H.E.L.P., as the Coordinator for Tutor Development, as an instructor in Medical H.E.L.P., as an Academic Tutor, and as a Graduate Assistant tutor (while completing her Masters at Marshall).  Nancy is a native of Presque Isle, Maine, the proud grandmother of Iris and Oscar, and an instructor with the Piecemakers Quilt Group.


Laura Rowden
Coordinator, Community H.E.L.P.

  • Member of H.E.L.P Staff since 1995
  • B.A. West Virginia Wesleyan College – History and Secondary Education(’94)
  • M.A. Marshall University – History (’07)
  • M.A. Marshall University – Learning Disabilities (’07)
  • National Affliations: Member of C.H.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), LDA National Conference, IDA National Conference, Former Officer of WVLDA

Laura has served as the Coordinator of Community H.E.L.P. since the beginning of the program in 1999.  Her job involves managing all aspects of Community H.E.L.P. including: initial intake testing, developing curriculum, teaching students, training tutors, assisting parents, and working with the local school systems.  Laura is well versed in the Orton-Gillingham approach and has instructed a class on teaching multisensory phonics for several years at Marshall University. Prior to her appointment to her current position, Laura worked as a Learning Specialist and served as a Graduate Assistant tutor while completing her Masters at Marshall.  Diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, Laura has had a passion for working with girls with ADHD and assisting them with interventions and accomodations. Laura lives in Huntington.


Diane F. Williams
Coordinator, Student Affairs and Special Projects

  • Member of H.E.L.P Staff since 1990
  • B.A. Marshall University – Elementary Education with Specialization in Mental Retardation (1975)
  • M.A. Marshall University – Learning Disabilities (1977)
  • National Affiliations:   International Dyslexia Association

Diane began working at H.E.L.P. in 1990 as Coordinator of Remediation and is currently serving as Coordinator of Student Affairs and Special Projects.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities with additional training in a variety of multisensory techniques.  Diane has also taught graduate classes in Diagnostics as well as supervising graduate students in the Learning Disabilities Practicum. Prior to coming to H.E.L.P., she taught Learning Disabilities at Huntington, WV’s Cammack Junior High for 13 years.  In 2009, Diane was honored as the Marshall University Employee of the Year.  Suffering a major stroke in January 2010, Diane was unable to work for 18 months, during which time she went through extensive rehabilitation. During that period of time her goal and motivation was to be able to return to work at H.E.L.P.  Diane says, “I am passionate about the students in the H.E.L.P. Program, and my desire is to do all I can to empower them to succeed.”\








Brett Jones
Business Manager

  • Business Manager of HELP since May 1, 2019
  • Bachelor Business Administration, Marshall University, 1987
  • Major:  Management; Minor: Accounting

A lifelong resident of Wayne, West Virginia, Brett has been married for 32 years to his high school sweetheart.  Together they have a daughter and son.  In April, they welcomed their first grandchild into the family.

A volunteer at heart, Brett is President of Wayne Family Resource Network and Wayne County Habitat for Humanity, and he is a  community volunteer with youth leagues in the Wayne, WV area. In addition, Brett is a member of the Cabell-Huntington-Wayne Housing Consortium and CommunityWorks in WV, Inc., a non-profit housing lender.


Hannah Dean-SearlsAssistant Coordinator, Medical HELP 

  • Member of H.E.L.P. staff since 2021
  • B.A. – Marshall University – (’19) – English
  • M.S. – Marshall University – (’20) – Human Resource Management

Hannah began working with the H.E.L.P. Program as a graduate assistant tutor in 2019. Hannah then transitioned to the role of learning specialist and administrative assistant in 2021 and then started working as assistant coordinator of medical HELP in 2023. She resides in Wayne, WV, with her husband, Nate


Cindy Clay, MA
Part-time Diagnostician

  • WV Licensed Psychologist
  • Coordinator of Diagnostics
  • Graduate Student, H.E.L.P. 1987-89
  • Member of H.E.L.P. Staff since 2017
  • B.A., Marshall University, 1987 and M.A., Clinical Psychology, 1989
  • Board Member, WV Learning Disabilities Association

Cynthia has been on H.E.L.P. Program staff since 2017. Her role includes coordinating all services in the Diagnostics Division. This includes intake of new clients, providing information regarding diagnostic services, completing testing, evaluation reports, and supervising graduate students in the division. Cynthia also has a history of work as a psychotherapist with various diagnostic groups and clinical problems. She lives in the Huntington area with her husband David, son Samuel, and two ornery dogs and enjoys volunteer work at her church.

Cheryl C. Lawson
Assistant Coordinator of Skills and Student Development, College HELP

  • Graduate Assistant for H.E.L.P Program 1983-1984
  • B.A. Elementary Education, Marshall University, 1983
  • M.A. Learning Disabilities, Marshall University, 1984
  • Reading Specialist, Georgia State University, 2014

Cheryl moved back to Huntington, where she grew up, and started working at the H.E.L.P. Program as a Learning Specialist in 2015. Before that she worked in the public school system as a Special Education teacher and IEP specialist for 31 years both in West Virginia and Georgia. Cheryl resides in Huntington. She has four children and two grandchildren and enjoys spending time with her family.


Caleigh Carter
Administrative Assistant   

  • Member of HELP Staff since 2023 
  • A.A. Mountwest Community and Technical College – Information Technology (‘17) 
  • B.A. Marshall University – Visual Arts (’21) 

 As Administrative Assistant, Caleigh is responsible for ensuring that all clients are welcomed and directed to the appropriate resources.  She also proctors exams and provides support on a variety of administrative, I.T., and graphic design projects. A native of Huntington, Caleigh enjoys a variety of artistic pursuits and spending time with her husband, Ben, and two daughters, Cambria and Haydin. 





Emilee Dearing
Assistant Coordinator of Skills & Student Development, Athletic HELP 

  • Graduate Assistant for HELP Program, 2020-2022
  • Community HELLP Learning Specialist, 2021-2022
  • S., Communication Disorders, Marshall University, 2019
  • A., Special Education, Marshall University, 2022

Emilee began working with the H.E.L.P. Program as a Graduate Assistant in 2020, while she pursued her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Marshall University. During this time, she also briefly worked as a Community H.E.L.P. Learning Specialist, where she provided multi-sensory tutoring in reading to K-12 students. Throughout her academic journey, Emilee developed a deep passion for helping college students with ADHD and learning disabilities. In the Fall of 2022, Emilee’s passion led her into the role of Assistant Coordinator of Skills and Student Development, College HELP. In this position, she provided support to the Skills team in various capacities, as well as tutoring college students in the areas of executive functioning and reading. Most recently, Emilee has been appointed the Assistant Coordinator of Skills and Student Development, Athletic HELP. Emilee will be working in the new Athletic HELP Division to support student athletes in skill development. Emilee lives in Barboursville, WV with her partner, Dominic, and their cat, Mimi. 








Baeley Blake
Life Coaching Specialist

  • Member of H.E.L.P. Staff since 2024
  • B.A. Psychology, Marshall University 2021
  • M.S. Psychology, Southern New Hampshire University, 2023

Baeley began working as a Life Coaching Specialist for the H.E.L.P. Program in 2024. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marshall University, Baeley went on to pursue her master’s degree in psychology with a focus on child and adolescent development from Southern New Hampshire University. Before working for Marshall University, Baeley previously worked in case management and held a role as a registered behavior technician where she conducted ABA therapy. Though Baeley is a native of Hurricane, WV, she currently resides in Culloden with her husband Eric and their cats Cebu, Gato, and Kiki.









Grey Leffingwell
Diagnostics Specialist

  • BA, Psychology, Marshall University, 2020
  • MA, Psychology, Marshall University, 2022
  • MA, Mental Health Counseling, Marshall University, In Progress
  • Graduate Assistant for H.E.L.P. Program in 2021-2022

Grey graduated with a bachelor’s in 2020 and a master’s in 2022, both in psychology. Currently, Grey is pursuing a second master’s in clinical mental health counseling. They have worked professionally in inpatient and outpatient settings in the local community. Grey has been working for the H.E.L.P. Program in multiple capacities since 2021.

H.E.L.P. Contact and Updates

Contact Us

Marshall University HELP Program
520 18th St.
Huntington, WV 25703

What’s New

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