Our Staff

Rachel Niemi, Psy.D HSPP,  Executive Director
Rachel Niemi received her doctorate in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Niemi completed her internship at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center working with veterans. She also completed two years of training in Valparaiso at the Porter County Family Counseling Center. She has spent the past three years dedicating part of her time to treating men and women who struggle with homelessness. Dr. Niemi is motivated to use the most effective evidenced based practices to help empower and motivate her clients. Her goal as the Director for Dayspring is to develop a program grounded in research and evidenced based treatment that helps women on their journey to achieving stability and satisfaction.

Aly Gibbons, BSW, Dayspring Program Manager
Aly Gibbons graduated Magma Cum Laude in 2014 from Valparaiso University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Prior to becoming the Program Manager, Aly completed a yearlong internship at Dayspring Women’s Center. She has spent the last year and a half at Dayspring developing the Empowerment Program focusing on assisting women who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, work toward their individualized goals. Her mission as Program Manager is to provide resources for those in the community who are experiencing homelessness so that they can become empowered to move from surviving to thriving. Aly is dedicated to providing support and a sense of community to women on their journey toward stability.

Tracy Traut, MSCC, Director of Program Development
Tracy Traut is a graduate of Indiana University where she received her BA in Psychology and an AA in Women and Gender Studies.  She received her Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling specializing in Addictions Treatment from Indiana University Northwest.  Further, she is a graduate of the Institute of Innovative Leadership and Leadership Northwest Indiana.  She served on the Advisory Committee for Dayspring Women's Center in Valparaiso, is a member of the Indiana University Northwest Alumni Association, the American Counseling Association, Indiana Counseling Association, NAADAC and serves on the Board of Directors for the Porter County Substance Abuse Council.
Her goal as Director of Program Development is to incorporate the latest research and evidence based practices to design and implement cutting edge programming to serve those in our community struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.  www.tracy.trautpoint0.com

Sandra Rodriguez, Director of Community Outreach
Sandra Soczyk Rodriguez is a native of northwest Indiana. After two decades as a creative copywriter in advertising in Chicago, Sandra returned to the Region and began a transition from the corporate to the public sector in the areas of environmental affairs, marketing, community outreach and sustainability. Sandra received a Master's Certificate in Environmental Affairs from Indiana University Northwest, and was inducted into the NWI Society of Innovators in 2010.  She is proud to be joining the staff of Dayspring.

Harold Bernt, LCSW, Clinical Director
With over 40 years experience in the fields of mental health, substance abuse and social services, Mr. Bernt brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to his clinical training and supervision of graduate level counselors. He earned his Master's degree at the University of Chicago and has had post graduate training in family counseling, substance abuse treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy.   His personal goal is to use his skills to fulfill the center's mission of providing quality counseling services to individuals and families and training the next generation of counselors and therapists.

Larry Brewerton, Ph.D, HSPP, Clinical Supervision
Dr. Brewerton has been affiliated with Dayspring since 2007. He works to supervise our doctoral level students on a weekly basis. In addition to his work with Dayspring, Dr. Brewerton has his own clinical practice and is a professor at Indiana University Northwest.