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A branch of the American Counseling Association

Meet Your 2023-2024 FCDA Leadership

Galaxina G. Wright, Ph.D. NCC

FCDA President

(Read: President's Address)

Galaxina G. Wright, Ph.D. NCC is an Assistant Professor at Nova Southeastern University in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of Central Florida. She completed her master’s degree in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling from Regent University, and is currently a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern (RMHCI) for the state of Florida working towards completing her hours for licensure. Galaxina carries a wide range of expertise providing career counseling and career education to diverse populations, including social services with low-income populations, a college career center, a non-profit organization, and academic advising within higher education.

As a researcher, her primary research interest surrounds career challenges among individuals and families from traditionally underrepresented populations, such as unemployment and job search. In her research, Galaxina examines how barriers and noncognitive factors, such as job search self-efficacy and employment hope, impact 56% of unemployed individuals with increased mental health issues. She also helps to positively address these issues with tailored interventions for specific populations, such as youth transitioning out of the foster care system.

Some of her publications related to career challenges may be found in the Career Development Quarterly, the Journal of Employment Counseling, and the Professional School Counseling journal. Galaxina is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the Florida Counseling Association (FCA), and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES).

MaryAnn Sewell, M.A.

FCDA Secretary

MaryAnn Sewell, M.A. is a workforce development professional with over 20 years of higher education and training design experience. Serving for five years as Vice President of Strategic Business Development and Career Services for NUC University Florida Technical College and DAVE School, she is involved in serving the community and employers by providing the best skilled and talented graduates of top in-demand programs. Her team is composed of multi-lingual of multi-cultures to strengthen the customer service of a diverse group of students and graduates all over Florida. Promoting programs to the minority groups, Ms. Sewell is active in the Asian American, Hispanic, and African American Chambers of Commerce and lead projects in minority mentoring and women in trades initiatives.

Ms. Sewell received her M.A. in Human Resource Development at Webster University, B.A. in Corporate Communications at College of Charleston, and is a candidate for Ph.D. in Psychology with emphasis in Cognition and Instruction at Grand Canyon University. She is a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator Instructor for over 16 years.

Christopher R. LaFever, Ph.D., NCC

Membership Committee Chair

Christopher R. LaFever, Ph.D., NCC (he | him) is a teaching faculty member at Florida State University where he works with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and coordinates the Career Counseling program. Chris began his journey as a professional counselor with his M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Freed-Hardeman University; after which he worked in community mental health center, residential substance use treatment, and integrated health care in the commonwealth of Kentucky where he maintains independent licensure as a professional clinical counselor and supervisor (LPCC-S) and as a clinical alcohol and drug counselor (LCADC).While pursuing his doctorate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, he worked as a career counselor at the university.

His current research has been focused on factors that support wellness, career, supervision, counselor development, and posttraumatic growth. He is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), a committee member and leader in some of its divisions and state branches (ACES, NCDA, & FCA), and a committee member of the counselor honor society, Chi Sigma Iota (CSI). With NCDA he serves on the ethics committee and as an editor for the ethic’s committee article in Career Developments, “Ethics in a Nutshell”.

FCDA President-elect


FCDA Past President 


Danielle Copeland

FCDA Treasurer

Danielle Copeland is a dedicated professional with a strong background in education, workforce development, and leadership. She holds a degree in Business Management from Western Governors University, reflecting her commitment to both business acumen and personal growth.

With a passion for fostering career success, Danielle currently excels in the Workforce Development Industry at CareerSource Tampa Bay. In her role, she leads the youth department team, guiding individuals aged 16-24 toward their desired paths in the world of work. Her innovative approach involves developing and implementing creative ideas that remove barriers hindering the pursuit of professional growth. By facilitating meaningful connections between local businesses and talented youth, Danielle actively contributes to lowering the unemployment rate within the community.

Danielle brings a wealth of experience from her more than 15 years in leadership positions, showcasing her expertise as a servant leader. Her well-rounded career includes over 6 years in the Higher Education Industry, where she held diverse responsibilities such as overseeing Student Services, Career Services, Admissions, and Adjunct Professors specializing in Professional Certifications.

Beyond her professional achievements, Danielle Copeland is known for her unwavering commitment to guiding individuals towards their full potential. Her dedication to fostering a dynamic, inclusive workforce that thrives on collaboration and innovation is truly commendable.

Christina Williams, M.A.

FCDA Professional Development Committee Chair

Christina Williams, M.A. is a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern working towards completing her hours for licensure in the state of Florida. Currently she is a Therapist at Central Florida Behavioral Hospital and New Hope Counseling. She earned her master's degree from University of Central Florida in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Christina has experience facilitating therapy groups focused on career development and provides career counseling through New Hope Counseling, in Orlando. Christina is interested in providing much needed guidance within the career counseling field to those who don't readily have access to career services.

Communications & Social Media Committee Chair


Yavellie M. Cervantes 

Graduate Student Representative

Yavellie M. Cervantes is an Operations Review Specialist with the Department of Children and Families with over 13 years of experience working in public assistance. Ms. Cervantes received her A.S. degree in Business Management, Marketing, and Administration from Central Florida and her B.S in Business Administration from Liberty University.

Yavellie was accepted at Columbia International University in the Clinical Counseling program Spring 2023 and is currently finishing her first year. Mrs. Cervantes is also part of the worship ministry for 16 years and began this year co-facilitating the Living Free Ministry within her church that focuses on helping those battling with addictions. Mrs. Cervantes passion is to help those individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, and addictions as she lived a life of addictions for 10 years. 

Today Mrs. Cervantes is working on becoming a LMHC and believes that being a part of the FCDA committee will help her accomplish her goals and her purpose in life so that she can better serve others.

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