Meet the Counseling Services Staff

Counseling Services is staffed by licensed professional clinicians including a consulting psychiatrist. The staff members of Counseling Services are committed to providing comprehensive care in an atmosphere of confidentiality and respect. It is our belief that the whole person (mind, body and spirit) must be addressed for the individual to achieve wellness.

Malkia Johnson, DSW, LCSW-C

Dr. Malkia Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a concentration in Recreation Therapy from East Carolina University in 1998. She received a Master of Social Work Degree from Salisbury University in 2008 and a Doctorate in Social Work from Capella University in 2017.  Dr. Johnson has served in community mental health for 20 years and has worked with individuals across the lifespan.  She has experience in chronic and severe mental disorders with a focus on recovery and person-centered care.  Dispelling stereotypes, fighting mental health stigma, and compassionate care are important to Dr. Johnson.  She has participated in various committee workgroups that addressed overcoming mental health disparities, disproportionality, advocacy, community outreach and engagement, and cultural competency.   She is interested in promotion of mental wellness, bridging mental health gaps in ethnic and communities of color, supporting families and youth, and training on resilience and spirituality. Dr. Johnson is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and is a board approved supervisor for clinicians seeking advanced licensure.  She can reached by email at

Donnell Pinder Jr., M.Ed., LCPC, Counselor

Mr. Donnell Pinder Jr. earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University Maryland Eastern Shore in 2006. He received a master’s degree in education with a concentration in guidance and counseling from Wilmington University in 2012 and a Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in School Administration in 2018. In addition, Mr. Pinder continued graduate level studies at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for licensure as a mental health counselor and is enrolled in the
educational leadership doctoral program. Mr. Pinder has gained counseling experience in the areas of residential treatment facilities, public education, and community male outreach. Mr. Pinder’s counseling philosophy embodies a focus on client’s strengths as well as a holistic approach that takes into account the mind, body, and spirit. He can be reached by email at

Lamar Waul-Branson, M.Ed., LGPC

Mr. Lamar Waul-Branson is a staff intern counselor with counseling service and is a two-time alumnus of University of Maryland Eastern Shore earning an undergraduate degree in applied design with concentration in commercial photography in 2012 and a Master in counselor education with a specialization in clinical mental health in 2021. He is a full-time academic counselor for the university athletic department. Mr. Waul-Branson’s approach is to look at the whole student’s wellbeing. While working in the counseling center works part time his focus ranges from anxiety or depression to academics or personal relationships. He is an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and hopes to keep UMES a safe place for those individuals. Mr. Waul-Branson is a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC) and is in progress of a Doctor of Psychology in human and organizational psychology degree.

Justin T King, M.Ed, LCPC,CPRP, Counselor

Justin King obtained a Bachelor’s in Behavioral Science from Wilmington University. He subsequently obtained his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from THE University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Before taking his current role at UMES, Mr. King spent thirteen years at the Worcester County Health Department. He had various roles in Mental Health Case Management and the Adult and Adolescent Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program working with diverse populations. Justin co-facilitated several specialty mental health groups which included Anger Management, Sex Offenders and Co-Occurring disorders with a focus on mindfulness and grounding strategies, Mr. King remains committed to assisting others learning techniques to promote a better understanding of how negative core beliefs affect our reactions in everyday life. Besides mindfulness, Mr. King is interested in training and providing therapy from a solution focused and rational emotive behavioral therapy perspective. Justin currently devotes some of his time serving as the President of the local UMES Tri-county Alumni Chapter and a member of the UMES National Alumni Association’s executive board. To refill his own cup after giving to others, Justin likes to read, work out, and play video games when he has the time.

Ms. Melanie Spencer, M.Ed, LCPC, NBCC Counselor

Ms. Melanie Spencer earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Ms. Spencer graduated in 2004 with her undergraduate degree in Human Ecology, and in 2012 with her masters in Education. Since graduation, Ms. Spencer has gained experience in outpatient clinical settings working with diverse populations with mental health and substance abuse issues, and has also been trained in crisis response and treating trauma.   Ms. Spencer’s counseling philosophy embodies a holistic approach that examines the mind, body, and spirit.  She can be reached by email at

Deborah Williams, M.S., Case Manager Specialist/Support Counselor-

Mrs. Deborah Williams graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with both her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Counseling and her
undergraduate degree in Business Administration. She provides continuity of care through the coordination of on-campus and off-campus services and
support resources. She uses a positive and optimistic manner to help individuals improve the quality of their life.  She has worked in the counseling center for 20
years providing administrative support and creating a comfortable environment for all the students at UMES.
Mrs. Williams joined the counseling team as a Mental Health Counselor in 2017. She has been trained to provide initial help to individuals experiencing mental
health problems. Some of her areas of interests include self-esteem, depression, anxiety, grief, and stress management. She also continuously seeking to gain more
skills and broaden her education. She can be reached by email at

Scroll to Top