Meet the Counselors-in-Residence

Friday, September 2, 2022 Meet the Counselors-in-Residence

A student stops by the Counselor-in-Residence booth at the Wellness Fest on the Nebraska Union Plaza as part of Big Red Welcome.

Trained mental health staff serving as “Counselors-in-Residence” (CIR) are available to meet with students close to home in the residence halls. While located in a designated hall, counselors can meet with any student. There is no cost and no session limit.

Perhaps you stopped by their table to chat or make a beaded bracelet during the Wellness Fest that was part of Big Red Welcome, but if not, we’re pleased to introduce you to Malaz Lain, Olivia Schmidt and Hannah Thiele, the Counselors-in-Residence for 2022-23.

Each counselor is a second-year student in UNL’s Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program. In addition to bringing counseling knowledge, they also understand present-day challenges of being a student. The counselors commonly help students with homesickness, school stress, depression, anxiety, family struggles, roommate and relationship challenges, trauma, racial injustice and offer assistance in developing healthy habits.

  • Malaz Lain represents Knoll, Eastside and University Suites and Selleck Hall. She is located in Selleck Hall in Room 7019. Outside the classroom and workplace, Lain is a mother, an outdoor enthusiast and a creative writer.

    She encourages students to practice self-compassion by thinking about what they say to a dear friend or family member when having a rough time, as well as writing down or saying those same words to yourself. She says, “Be kind to yourself! It’s not easy being a college student.”
  • Olivia Schmidt focuses on Harper, Schramm and Smith halls. Her office can be found in the Harper Dining Center, Room 115. Schmidt attended UNL as an undergrad and enjoys binge-watching TV shots, cuddling her dog and cat and getting lost on Tik-Tok.

    She says it's important to check in with yourself. She recommends taking even 2 minutes out of your day to check in with yourself to ask - "Am I taking on too much?" or "Am I giving myself the space to breathe today?" and thinking of ways to help your mind and body regulate. This could include doing something for yourself like getting a fun snack or beverage from the union, listening to a new song, or whatever brings you joy and makes you feel like you're creating that space for yourself.
  • Hannah Thiele's office is located in Abel Hall, within Room 132 of the Abel/ Sandoz Welcome Center. Thiele also attended UNL for her undergraduate degree and enjoys spending time with family, baking and cooking, going on a walk or run, or sitting down with a good book.

    She recommends that students spend time reflecting on their self-care needs—whatever fills your cup physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. She says it is important to recognize when you feel “empty” and reflect on what areas in your life need most attention.

Multiple types of appointments are available to students. Anyone can stop by for a drop-in consultation, schedule a one-on-one appointment or register for group sessions by emailing

Students are encouraged to stop by whenever they are in search of someone to talk to. The counselors can be a helping hand or simply a shoulder to lean on. They share a passion for creating a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment to work toward personal growth.

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