Dr. John Massella

Professor; Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities

Department of Student Affairs


Dr. Massella is the director of the Office of Students with Disabilities at PennWest California and teaches in the Department of Counselor Education. He has a clinical background and has worked in the counseling field for more than three decades. His master's degree work is in rehabilitation counseling, and he has used this keen sense to identify individual's struggles to best be able to address physical, psychological, neurological, and intellectual diversity. 


  • Eliason, G., Lepore, M., Samide, J., & Patrick, J. (Eds.). (contracted). Career Development Across the Lifespan: Counseling for Community, Schools, Higher Education, and Beyond (2nd edition). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. Chapter.
  • Simons, L. Haas, D., Young, J., Massella, J., & Toth, P. (2018). The influence of gender, race and education on professional responsibility of addiction professionals: implications for multicultural practice. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 36 (2), 255-273. 
  • Simons, L. Haas, D., Massella, J. Young, J., & Toth, P. (2017). Exploring the professional development of alcohol and drug counselors in the 21st century: Who are they and what are their training needs? Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 61 (2), 40-61 
  • Simons, L. Haas, D., Young, J., Massella, J. & Toth, P. (2017). The value of certification in the era of licensure: An exploratory study of professional identity development in alcohol and drug professionals. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 35 (2), 130-150.  
  •  Massella, J., Simons, L., Young, J., Toth, P., & Haas, D. (2013). A Pilot Study of  Addiction Professionals' Views of Certification. Addictive Disorders and their Treatment, 12 (4), 201-212. 
  • Massella, John (2001), Self-Pity in Recovery. Pennsylvania Certification Board Newsletter.  PCB:  Fall 2001 
  • Massella, John (1987), Breaking the Addictive Chain:  Treating the Chemically Dependent and Their Family.  Daley:  NY

Research Interests
Dr. Massella is in ongoing studies associated with autism spectrum disorders, the use of medical marijuana in individuals with substance use disorders, and the use of medical marijuana to address impulse control disorders and autism.

  • Undergraduate: Washington and Jefferson College
  • Master's, Rehabilitation Counseling: University of Pittsburgh
  • Doctorate, Counselor Education and Supervision: Duquesne University

Email: massella@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-4012

Office: Carter Hall G35