Yvette Rhea-Burg joined Columbia Health in 1999. She is a scheduling coordinator at Medical Services.
In 2019 she completed her Masters degree in Human Resource Management.
When she is not at work she enjoys traveling the world, kick boxing, yoga and testing out new vegan recipes.
Yushi Wang joined Columbia Health in 2021 as a licensed clinical social worker. Prior to Columbia, Yushi worked as a bilingual psychotherapist at Rutgers University Counseling Center. Yushi has also worked in the psychiatric emergency room at Rutgers University, where she provided psychiatric evaluations and crisis counseling to children, adolescents and adults. She has also worked in other settings including psychiatric hospitals, prison, and intensive in-home therapy.
Yushi believes in a strengths-based and person-centered approach in working with her clients. She has experience working with a variety of issues, including first-generation immigration issues, multiculturalism, depression, anxiety, relationships, adjustment issues, crisis counseling and intervention. She is passionate in serving ethnic minority students, first generation immigrants, and international students. Yushi is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Yonette Douglas joined Columbia Health in 2012.
Dr. Yaniv Phillips joined Columbia Health in 2004. Prior to Columbia, he was a senior clinical psychologist and supervisor at North Central Bronx Hospital, where he worked with HIV patients and their families, men with sexuality concerns, and couples. Yaniv earned his B.A. at Tel Aviv University, Israel and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Adelphi University Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies. He completed his internship at the Karen Horney Clinic. He continued on to complete specialized training at the advanced couples and family therapy program at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
Dr. Phillips’ professional interests include couples therapy, the psychology of immigration, relationship issues, and men’s experience of intimacy and sexual health. He sees individuals and couples for psychotherapy, and conducts experiential workshops for couples on enhancing relationships, as well as offering ongoing intensive workshop on procrastination. A member of the Counseling and Psychiatric Services' Outreach Team, Yaniv is bilingual, fluent in English and Hebrew.
Wendy Hargraves joined Columbia Health in 2011. In her current role as Administrative Coordinator at Disability Services, Wendy does the following:
- Serves on administrative team
- Handles hiring and payroll for part-time employees, including note-takers, graduate assistants, and exam proctors
- Oversees administrative responsibilities for the department
- Coordinates vendor contracts and payments for services
Wendy loves traveling to new and interesting places both domestically and internationally.
Dr. Weiyen Chung joined Columbia Health in 2019. She received her Psy.D. from William James College, M.Med.Sc. from The University of Hong Kong, and her B.A. in Biology from Boston University. Prior to joining Columbia Health, Weiyen completed her pre-doctoral training at Astor Services for Children & Families in their outpatient and day treatment programs located in the Bronx. She also completed clinical externships at a public high school as well as both outpatient and residential settings, treating patients with adjustment issues, family and relationship conflict, depression, anxiety, self-harm behaviors, survivors of physical and sexual abuse, and veterans with substance use issues.
Weiyen’s clinical interests include neurodevelopmental disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), trauma, anxiety, depression, and acculturation. In her clinical work, Weiyen strives to create a safe and collaborative environment while integrating mindfulness and cognitive behavior therapy strategies.
Wardeh Hattab is a second-generation Arab-American clinical social worker. Prior to joining Columbia Health in 2020, Wardeh worked in psychiatric emergency rooms at Kings County Hospital and Bellevue Hospital. She has also worked in the inpatient detox and inpatient adult psychiatric units, and medical emergency room at Bellevue Hospital and at community mental health clinics where she treated children, couples, and families as well as adult patients. Wardeh served as a mental health volunteer with The Syrian American Medical Society in 2016 providing consultations to clinical staff working with Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Wardeh’s professional interests include cross-cultural counseling, Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) communities, Muslim communities, trauma work, LGBTQ+ students, sex therapy, students managing chronic medical conditions, and grief and bereavement.
Dr. Vincent Kiefner is a licensed psychologist at Columbia Health. Vincent earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Pennsylvania State University and his M.Ed. in College Counseling from the University of Delaware. He completed his B.A. in Psychology at Temple University where he also participated in the Honors Psychology program.
Vincent has a keen interest in college student mental health having served in different roles at four institutions of higher learning since 2003. He has experience in a broad range of counseling center activities, including, among others, crisis intervention, administrative evaluations, and outreach.
Vincent works from a psychodynamic framework but also incorporates multicultural, client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, and motivational interviewing approaches into his practice. He feels it is a privilege to work with college students as they represent a unique population with special interests and challenge. While Vincent is comfortable with a wide variety of client populations and presenting concerns, he has particular expertise working with first generation students, artists, architectural students, students who identify as GLBTIQ, international students, relationship issues, trauma, and body image concerns.
Vincci Ho joined Columbia Health in 2022. Prior to her role as a Financial Analyst, she worked in payroll and human resources in the Department of Computer Science. She received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from New York University in 2018.
Dr. Victoria Grosso joined Columbia Health in 2003. Prior to Columbia, Victoria was a supervising psychologist at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. She has also worked at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Therapeutic Nursery and was a staff psychologist at Trinitas Hospital. She earned her B.A. at Fordham University and her Ph.D. at City University of New York. She completed her internship in clinical psychology at Roosevelt Hospital.
Victoria's professional interests include trauma and bereavement, acculturation, working with international students, and the integration of mindfulness and spirituality into therapeutic practice.
Troy joined Columbia Health in 2021. Previously, T.J. served over 15 years as Administrative Support for various areas within the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center affiliates and worked closely with the Medical Finance, Human Resources, Nephrology, and Radiology departments. He's interested in pursuing a degree in Business Management or Accounting. In Troy's spare time, he enjoys recreational activities and spending time with family and friends.
Tonia Lesesne joined Columbia Health in 1991.
Teshiro Aldonza joined Columbia Health in 2013. Prior to that, he worked at the Educational Alliance as a systems and database administrator. Teshiro grew up in St. Lucia and worked as a forest ranger before migrating to New York.
His interests include technology, sports, nature, hiking, running, and everything related to forests. He sometimes jokes that the forest is his natural habitat.
Dr. Kazmi joined Columbia University in 2020. She is a board-certified Family Physician and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Center for Family and Community Medicine, Columbia University.
Prior to joining Columbia University, Dr. Kazmi was Medical Director with New York University Abu Dhabi. She has extensive global experience and is committed to providing the highest level of health care in culturally diverse and college health populations.
Tania Holguin is a health services assistant at Medical Services.
Tahshann Richards, DO, MPH, is a Board-certified Family Physician with a special interest in reproductive health, behavioral health, and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Dr. Richards joined Columbia Health in 2015.
She received her medical degree from UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her Family Medicine residency training at St. Barnabas Hospital. She later served as the Family Medicine Residency Associate Director and as a staff physician in both the Adolescent & Family Medicine Departments.
Holding a Master’s Degree in Public Health from The George Washington University and through securing a Teen Pregnancy Prevention grant from the NYC Department of Health, Dr. Richards assisted in developing the Teen Health Center as well as creating youth development programs during her tenure at the Union Community Health Center, Bronx NY.
Dr. Richards has served as the Clinical Care Team Leader of the Riverside Practice Team at Columbia Health for the past 2 years. She is the current President of the Empire State Medical Association. Dr. Richards remains committed to improving the overall health of the Columbia University community as well as the health of those living in underserved communities. She enjoys spending time with her family and 14 year old son.
Sylvie Nyamu is a Program Specialist for Epidemiology Surveillance at Columbia University. In this capacity, she works collaboratively to design and implement surveillance techniques to monitor and control infectious disease transmission. She previously worked as a Contact Tracing Manager at Columbia University. In that role, she coordinated disease surveillance efforts through systematic implementation of outbreak control measures, including overseeing case investigations and tracing undertakings. She continues to support contact tracing efforts.
Prior to joining Alice! Health Promotion, she managed clinical research initiatives in Infectious Diseases and Emergency Medicine. Sylvie's primary research interests include epidemiology and pathogenesis of zoonotic infectious diseases, the deployment of interventions for infection control, and the use of electronic laboratory reporting for disease surveillance and population health management.
In her free time, Sylvie is an avid runner, explores hiking trails, practices yoga, and cherishes travelling with friends and family. She also enjoys getting lost in a good book.
Suzannah Rogan (she/her) serves as a Prevention Coordinator in the Sexual Violence Response Office, joining the team as a staff member in May of 2021. Prior to joining Columbia University, Suzannah was integral in shaping campus prevention and intervention strategies and programs at Doane University, a small liberal arts university in Nebraska. While there, she also served as the inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist, focused on leading strategic and grassroots initiatives to create and sustain a more equitable university environment and curriculum.
Beginning at Peace Over Violence, Suzannah has been involved in violence prevention for the better part of a decade. In 2015, she made the choice to leave behind business management after 13 years to return to school and focus on creating a more equitable and peaceful world. At the Gender Institute of the London School of Economics, she focused her research on masculinity construction in the media and the impact that can have on the use of violence and other forms of power. Her research extends beyond the page in her focus on inviting men into this work and helping them see their path as partners in any solutions. She has a background and education in content and curriculum development, anti-oppressive frameworks, leadership development, and utilizing theories of change.
In addition to finding hope and inspiration through students, Suzannah finds the days are best when spent with her partner and her dog, Tilden. She loves baking, theatre, reading, hiking, and the strong women who comprise her support network.
Steven Veach joined Columbia Health in 2009. Prior to joining Columbia, he was employed as the Enrollment/COB Manager at University Health Plans in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Steven joined Columbia Health in 2021. He has 12 years of experience in healthcare and higher education environments, with primary roles for EHR administration and project management. His goals are to provide solutions and better ways to work with technology and understand operations.
Steven enjoys breaks from Information Technology with non-technical books, hiking, and live music.
Dr. Steven Carter is a Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow. Prior to joining Counseling and Psychological Services, he completed a pre-doctoral internship at Pace University’s Counseling Center. Throughout his doctoral training, he engaged in clinical externships at NYU Counseling and Wellness Services, New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center’s Adult Outpatient Unit. His dissertation research focused on exploring the frequency and severity of discrimination experienced by multiracial individuals by developing and piloting the Multiracial Microaggressions Scale (MMS).
Steven has extensive experience working with college-aged students, as well as children, adolescents, and adults. His training has primarily concentrated on psychodynamic theory with focuses on interpersonal and relational approaches. He has also received dedicated training in dialectical behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and multicultural theory. He is committed to using these approaches when working with a diverse student population to address stressors such as adjustment, racial/ethnic identity development, depression, anxiety, acculturation, and interpersonal challenges.
Stacy started her work in the field of advocacy while she was a student at the University of New Hampshire. She volunteered as an advocate and peer educator with SHARPP, the sexual violence program at UNH. She has spent the last twenty years advocating for the needs of survivors of child abuse, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence in Northern California, first as a Child Custody Recommending Counselor for San Mateo Superior Court, and most recently as the manager of the SAFE Place at San Francisco State University. While there, she created a student leader program that focused on creating community healing spaces for survivors from marginalized communities. Stacy was also an active member of SFSU’s Sexual Violence Prevention Collaborative, and she was instrumental in creating the SVPC’s Trauma-Informed Professors and Staff Training curriculum. Stacy has provided trainings at other community agencies in San Francisco, on Title IX, sexual violence, and trauma-informed practices. Stacy is currently pushing her Doctorate in Social Work with an emphasis on with a focus on improving supports for survivors of gender-based violence in college students.
Sophia Savory joined Columbia Health in 2003.
Siobhan joined Columbia Health in 2020, after working for twenty-four years in critical and acute care. She was born and raised in Texas.
Shirley Matthews joined Columbia Health in 2009. Prior to Columbia, Shirley was the director of counseling services at Seton Hall University. She received her B.A. from Hamilton College, M.A. in organizational psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from New York University. Shirley completed her doctoral internship in psychology at Gouverneur Hospital and Bellevue Hospital in New York City.
First and foremost, Shirley sees herself as a generalist who is deeply interested in the developmental issues of young adults. Additional areas of focus include community level mental health interventions, positive psychology, and the development of intuitive eating strategies as a means of developing optimal weight, health and fitness. Shirley also has a strong interest in developmental and acculturation issues, especially those of professional women of color. She also specializes in the treatment of individual, group and relationship counseling.
Dr. Sherina Persaud is a clinical psychologist at Columbia Health. Prior to joining as full-time staff, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Counseling and Psychological Services. Sherina completed a pre-doctoral internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel with rotations in neuropsychology, child and adolescent psychology, inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults. She has also completed clinical externships working with women’s perinatal mental health, crisis intervention, substance use disorders, and community mental health in both Spanish and English.
Sherina earned her B.A. in psychology at Barnard College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The New School for Social Research. She has comprehensive research and clinical experience in sexual and gender identities, trauma-related disorders, substance abuse, attachment theory, and with families who have used assisted reproduction to conceive.
Working from a primarily psychodynamic perspective, Sherina aims to approach treatment in an open, nonjudgmental way to integrate various techniques to best fit the needs of the patient. At Counseling and Psychological Services, Sherina is on the trauma team as well as the sexual and gender identity issues team and the multicultural concerns team. Her professional interests include multicultural and racial issues, sexual and gender identity, women’s health, trauma-related disorders, mindfulness and substance abuse.
Serena joined Columbia Health in February 2018. In her role as Senior Coordinator, Serena does the following:
- Serves on Student Case Management team
- Serves as Coordinator/Case Manager for a cohort of students with disabilities providing ongoing support, specialized services, and coordination of accommodations
- Evaluates medical, psychological, and psycho-educational documentation to identify reasonable disability accommodations
- Provides guidance to faculty, administrators and students regarding disability and accommodation issues; works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations
Serena enjoys spending time with her family at Loon Lake, hiking the Adirondack Mountains, kayaking and reading a good book on the beach. She's looking forward to exploring museums, markets and restaurants in her new Manhattan home.
Sarena joined Columbia Health in September 2021. In her role as Coordinator, Sarena does the following:
- Serves on Student Case Management team
- Serves as Coordinator/Case Manager for a cohort of students with disabilities providing ongoing support, specialized services, and coordination of accommodations
- Evaluates medical, psychological, and psycho-educational documentation to identify reasonable disability accommodations
- Provides guidance to faculty, administrators, and students regarding disability and accommodation issues; works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations
Sarena enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, exploring museums and art galleries, and doing Pilates. She's looking forward to traveling to new destinations. In her free time, Sarena volunteers with her alumni association and continues to mentor under-served high school students.
Sara Berger joined Columbia Health in 2005. Prior to Columbia, Sara was an administrator of outpatient and residential treatment programs. She also provided administrative and quality assurance consultation to a variety of mental health agencies, including the New York State Office of Mental Health.
Sara's professional interests include the administration of clinical programs to ensure that they remain responsive to the populations they serve and provide their client populations with highest level of clinical care. While Sara is licensed to practice social work, she uses her training to enhance her role as a full-time administrator at Counseling and Psychological Services.
Roseann Neuberg joined Columbia Health in 2007. She began her career in women's health, working at several hospitals, two birthing centers, as well as Planned Parenthood. She transitioned to student health, where she worked at the Fordham University Health Service for 12 years. She enjoys the diversity of student health, and focuses on education and prevention as integral parts of treatment.
Dr. Robert Bernales joined Columbia Health in 2020. He is a board-certified physician specializing in primary care and preventive medicine and is also trained in osteopathic manipulative medicine. Prior to Columbia Health, Dr. Bernales practiced as an attending physician with the Long Island FQHC in several locations throughout Nassau County, New York. He completed his residency training at Nassau University Medical Center, a Northwell Health affiliate.
After working in public health and pharmaceutical market research, Dr. Bernales turned his attention to a career in medicine. He received his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, a master's degree in public health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and his undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bernales is a native of Syracuse, New York and an alumnus of Christian Brothers Academy. In his spare time he enjoys family, travel, and community service.
Dr. Rick O’Keefe joined Columbia Health in 2004. Prior to Columbia, Rick worked in academic family medicine with a focus on increasing the quality and access to care for underserved communities in urban areas. O’Keefe developed programs that care for marginalized and LGBT adolescents in school-based and street settings.
As part of Columbia Health, Rick is a member of the men's health team, serves as medical advisor for GHAP (Gay Health Advocacy Project) and facilitates the Integrative Medicine Workgroup. He earned an M.A. in Social and Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2015.
Dr. Richard J. Eichler has a long affiliation with Columbia, having earned his BA, MS, MPhil, and PhD at Columbia. He joined what was then the Columbia College Counseling Service in 1986 as a staff psychologist. Since 1992, Richard served as director and subsequently executive director of the Counseling and Psychological Services division of Columbia Health.
While completing his PhD, Richard trained at a Veterans’ Administration clinic and at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he completed his internship in clinical psychology. Among other professional activities early in his career, he worked on a research project on sex role socialization in nursery schools and day care centers, reflecting a long-standing interest and commitment to gender equality. Prior to joining the Columbia Health team, he provided psychotherapy to a culturally diverse population at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center and concurrently studied the delivery of health care services for disabled and chronically ill children at the Preventive Intervention Research Center for Child Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Richard has taught numerous undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral courses in psychology and psychotherapy, including classes in human development at Columbia College and classes in psychodynamic psychotherapy and developmental psychopathology at Teachers College. He has also taught courses and seminars in adolescent development and college mental health practice at the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program of the William Alanson White Institute.
Dating back to his time at the Veterans Administration, he maintains an ongoing interest in the welfare of military veterans. Other areas of particular professional interest include: psychological opportunities and pitfalls of adolescence and young adulthood; early intervention and prevention strategies; the impact of cultural variables on personal development; evolving relationships through the lifespan; social injustice and trauma; psychological obstacles to academic and career success; and the application of psychoanalytic thinking to brief therapy.
Richard is also especially versed in helping students with learning disabilities navigate university life, and helping young adults and their parents renegotiate their evolving relationships. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and community events, addressing various topics such as transitioning to college, the social and emotional concomitants of learning disabilities, improving access to mental health care, and suicide prevention.
Richard has served as a consultant to the College Mental Health section of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, and in collaboration with its membership, co-authored a paper in response to mental health crises on college campuses. He has also served on the Clinical Advisory Board of the Jed Foundation. He is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy.
Renee Gibbs joined Columbia Health in 2020 after nine years of psychology practice in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Gibbs provided treatment and led program development efforts in eating disorder treatment and training, including serving as the national lead trainer and consultant for the Eating Disorder Initiative. In addition to eating disorder treatment, Dr. Gibbs work has included multidisciplinary treatment for gender transition and gender dysphoria, program development for severe and persistence mental illness, and delivery and adaptations of dialectical behavior therapy. Her primary career goals are to improve multidisciplinary care and psychotherapeutic outcomes for eating disorder patients and increase access to eating disorder treatment in public health settings.
Dr. Gibbs completed her doctoral degree at Seattle Pacific University in 2011 and training experiences in public mental health and VA settings. Her interests outside of work include her family, international travel, and dance.
Dr. Regina Lara joined Columbia Health in 2008. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, and her Medical Degree at the University of the East – Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, also in the Philippines. She came to New York City for her residency in general adult psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center. Afterward she completed her two-year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Mount Sinai Hospital.
Lara worked as an attending physician on the child/adolescent inpatient unit, as well as medical director for the Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic and Integrated Family Care Program at the Mount Sinai Hospital. She also worked for two years as a child psychiatrist with the Staten Island Mental Health Society.
Lara enjoys the opportunity to engage with young adults who are discovering and developing their identities while also navigating the challenges of an exacting academic institution. She is as interested in working with issues of adapting to a new country or culture while remaining steadfast in holding important traditions and beliefs. While working with her will usually entail the use of medications, whether for anxiety, or depression, or ADHD, she always emphasizes that incorporating non-pharmacologic practices and cultivating meaningful and healthy relationships are essential for anyone to achieve true mental and psychological health.
Ramona Lanzo joined Columbia Health in 1994. Prior to Columbia, Ramona worked as a laboratory technologist in various medical facilities and hospitals. She has been in the laboratory services field since 1985. Ramona attended Bronx Community College, where she majored in medical laboratory technology, and Lehman College with a concentration health services administration.
Rachel Rush joined Columbia Health in fall 2016. Prior to Columbia, Rachel worked as a social worker at Bellevue Hospital in both the Psychiatry Walk-in Clinic and the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, where she assisted individuals in getting connected to mental health resources. She also provided triage and crisis management services, conducted individual and group psychotherapy, and supervised graduate social work and psychology students.
Prior to Bellevue Hospital, she worked at the Center for Comprehensive Health Practice, where she provided individual and group psychotherapy to individuals with primary substance use disorders. She received her M.S.W. in clinical social work from New York University and her B.A. in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel also received her seminar in field instruction certification from the Hunter School of Social Work in 2014, and her certificate in relational psychotherapy/psychoanalysis from the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies in 2015.
Rachel’s professional interests include assisting individuals in connecting to mental health services that match their clinical and financial needs, as well as the intersection of spirituality and psychotherapy, identity development, mindfulness for stress reduction, and group psychotherapy.
Padma Entsuah is the Associate Director, Health Promotion at Alice! Health Promotion. She joined the team in June 2015 as a Health Promotion Specialist before transitioning to Senior Health Promotion Specialist. In these roles she supported a number of the peer-led initiatives such as the ROAR @ Columbia Facilitators, the Columbia Health Peer Ambassador Network, and the Keeping Our Community Healthy Ambassadors. She also helped create and facilitate the “Well-Being and the First Year Experience” Physical Education course. Currently, Padma oversees the Health Promotion strategy functional area within Alice!, working to create a campus culture centered around well-being.
Originally from Maryland, Padma has lived throughout the East Coast. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, staying active, traveling, and exploring all the great food New York City has to offer.
Olivia is a Training and Intervention Coordinator with Sexual Violence Response. Prior to coming to Columbia, she was the Campus Advocate and Education Coordinator at California State University, Bakersfield. While there she strived to build a department that is rooted in empathy, inclusivity, and a welcoming environment. In addition to her advocacy and outreach work for sexual misconduct, she also advocated for basic needs and mental health resources. She has presented at national conferences on a diverse range of topics including Imposter Syndrome, BLM & Me Too movements, and the intersectionality of dreamers & advocacy services. Olivia relates to her audience through her personal experience in Greek life, student government, and various clubs.
Dr. Nonso Enekwechi joined Columbia Health in 2016. Nonso completed his residency in psychiatry at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. He also completed his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital of Cornell and Columbia Universities, with a focus on child and adolescent public psychiatry.
Nonso earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and masters of public health degree from the University of Iowa College of Public Health. In addition to his position at Columbia Health, he is also a child and adolescent psychiatrist at New York City Children’s Center.
Nicole joined the Alice! Health Promotion team in September 2020 as the Manager of Operations. In her role, she supports the operational, communication, and administrative needs of the Alice! team. This includes collaborating with her team to increase efficiencies, streamline processes, and build communication pathways both within Alice! and across units of Columbia Health.
Prior to joining the team at Columbia, she was the Program Coordinator for the College of Arts & Sciences Career Development Office at Cornell University. There she focused on marketing, communications, operations, and supporting student career needs. At Cornell, she was also a facilitator for the Enhanced Assess Acknowledge Act program, a sexual assault resistance program for first-year college women. Her health promotion work has focused mainly on sexual violence prevention and hazing prevention.
Originally from central Alabama, Nicole has made her way up the east coast—previously living in Charlottesville, VA and Ithaca, NY—now enjoys living the city life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with her husband (her high school sweetheart!). In her free time, she enjoys yoga; creating art, especially photography and drawing; and exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of the city.
Nicole Vigoda Gonzalez, Psy.D., joined Columbia Health in 2017. Prior to joining Counseling and Psychological Services, Nicole completed a pre-doctoral internship at Jacobi Medical Center with rotations in neuro-pediatric developmental psychology, medical rehabilitation, and inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults. She has also completed clinical externships working with survivors of trauma, cross-cultural issues, crisis intervention and community mental health with English- and Spanish-speaking populations.
Nicole earned her B.A. and M.A. in anthropology from the Universidad de los Andes in her hometown of Bogota, Colombia. Later, she completed an Ed.M in psychological counseling at Teachers College, and a Psy.D. in clinical psychology at Rutgers University. In her clinical work, Nicole uses a primarily psychodynamic approach, yet strives to create an individualized treatment that best fits the needs of the patient. As a bicultural and bilingual woman, Nicole pays particular attention to aspects related to cultural identity that may impact the treatment. In addition to English, she is fluent in Spanish.
Ngozi Okezie joined Columbia Health in 2007. Prior to Columbia, Ngozi was a staff psychiatrist in outpatient mental services and the director of child and adolescent outpatient services at Saint Vincent's Hospital, Westchester. She was also an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College.
Ngozi attended Bryn Mawr College and Yale University School of Medicine. She completed her psychiatry residency at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and went on to do further advanced training in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. She then completed a research fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry, concentrating on child mental services delivery. Ngozi's professional interests include ADHD, mood disorders and cultural issues.
Nelson joined Columbia Health in 2013. He is an engineer and information technology professional. His focus is on healthcare environments, enterprise technology applications, and sustainable development. Nelson considers himself on a mission to increase information management, knowledge development and utilization, and strategic learning for Columbia Health at the enterprise level.
Nedzad joined Columbia Health in 2022 as an IT Support Specialist. He has a tech based-background personally and professionally. His experience revolves around coding and supervisory experience, but his main focus has been on building and maintaining computers for friends, family, and most importantly, his career as an IT professional.
He graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and Informatics. During his time there, he worked at the computer labs as a student supervisor where he led a team of over 100 consultants across 3 different labs on campus. This experience led him to his role at Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT), where he was responsible for all computers and printers for students and ensuring everything was in working order at all times. Supporting organizations’ IT infrastructure has been his bread and butter for many years now, and he draws satisfaction from solving his client’s IT issues and making a positive impact on their day when he resolves a problem, especially ones that have been bothering them for a while.
When he isn’t solving IT issues at work, you can find him working on his latest computer build project (not to mention the 20+ that he’s already built from scratch). In his free time, he’s either playing video games with friends or he’s working on his next goal at the gym.
Naomi Velasquez is a Health Services Assistant at Columbia Health.
Myriam Marques joined Columbia Health-Medical Services in August 2020 as Assistant Nurse Manager. Prior to Columbia she was the Campus Health Nurse and Wellness Coordinator at Manhattan School of Music.
Her professional background includes more than 30 years as a community and public health nurse in the USA, Brazil and Belgium.
She had developed extensive clinical Nursing expertise in primary care settings and had served diverse populations in New York City: immigrants of all backgrounds, youth, women, schoolchildren, LGBTQ + community, adults and performing artists.
Myriam’s professional interests include the organization of health services, College Health, Integrative Nursing, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Wellness and Health Education.
Growing up in Brazil, she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Science of Nursing at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She also received a Master’s in Public Health from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.
Besides being a nurse Myriam volunteer for human rights, access to healthcare and environmental protection social organizations.
Dr. Motoni Fong Hodges joined Columbia Health in 2015. Prior to Columbia, Motoni taught at Teachers College as a lecturer and adjunct assistant professor. Motoni completed her doctoral internship in counseling psychology at University of Oregon Counseling Center, postdoctoral fellowship on feminist psychodynamic psychotherapy at Stony Brook University Wo/Men’s Center, and psychoanalytic training at the William Alanson White Institute.
Motoni’s professional interests include acculturation and marginalization, and working with international students, students of color, and LGBTQ students.
Monica Kunkel joined the Columbia Health team in 2018, after serving as Director of Nursing at Brown University Health Services for 19 years. She is excited to live and work in New York City, and to be able to spend time with her grandson Arlo.
Michele Paolella (she/her/hers) is the Assistant Director of SVR at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, joining the team in October of 2019. Michele has been working with teenage and young adult survivors of violence for over fifteen years. Prior to joining Columbia, Michele was the Director of Social Services and Training at Day One, where she delivered and oversaw prevention, awareness, and intervention services for young survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence and their communities. During her time at Day One, Michele developed and managed several new programs, trained thousands of professionals, and spearheaded key partnerships with city institutions and community partners. She also chaired multiple coalitions including the NYC Domestic Violence Task Force Youth Intervention Prevention and Education Services (YIPES) Committee and a group of culturally specific service providers called Advocates for Safe and Empowering Relationships (ASER). Before Day One, Michele worked primarily with LGBTQ and HIV positive youth, as well as youth involved in the criminal justice system.
Michele joined Columbia Health in 2020. In her role as Learning Specialist, Michele does the following:
- Facilitates individualized sessions and small group skill-building workshops that support the development of compensatory strategies and academic skills for registered DS students
- Specializes in working with students on organizational skills, time management and study strategies, note-taking skills, exam preparation and other areas of academic concerns
- Serves on Disability Services leadership team
In her free time, Michele enjoys doing yoga, reading, singing, walking her dog Val in Astoria Park, and spending time outdoors.
Michele Goldman joined Columbia Health in 2020. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology with a concentration in traumatic stress from Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. Prior to joining Columbia, Michele completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Hampton Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Hampton, VA. She then accepted a full time staff psychologist position at Veteran’s Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn Campus.
Michele has also worked in a variety of settings including residential treatment programs, schools, prisons, and rehabilitation/medical units. Her clinical interests have focused on issues related to trauma, relational patterns, anxiety, depression and Veteran specific issues. Due to the fact that she has worked with individuals across the age span and from multiple settings, Michele approaches treatment in a nonjudgmental way, focused on meeting the individual where they are, integrating techniques to best fit the needs of each person. She will often incorporate a mindfulness-based approach in her work with students.
Michael McNeil joined Columbia Health in 2006. Prior to joining Columbia, Michael led the health promotion office and was an adjunct faculty member at two other universities. He has been involved with a number of professional organizations including the American College Health Association, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, The BACCHUS Network, and the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.
Michael holds a B.A. in Sociology, an M.S. in Health Education, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership. Michael spent the first 12 years of his life living outside the United States. To date he has lived in six countries on four continents. When not working, Michael is an avid traveler (50+ countries on all seven continents and all 50 states), a consumer of good coffee, a commercial aviation enthusiast, and (very) amateur stand-up comedian.
Dr. Melanie Bernitz is the Senior Vice President for Columbia Health. She joined Columbia Health in 2016 and served as Associate Vice President and Medical Director through early 2021. Previously she served as the Executive Director of the Student Health Service at Columbia University Medical Center. Prior to that position, Dr. Bernitz was a resident, chief resident, and faculty member in Columbia’s Center for Family and Community Medicine. Growing up in the United Kingdom, she received both her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a degree in medicine at University College London. She then received her master’s degree in public health at Columbia University.
Dr. Bernitz's professional experience includes teaching and training of medical students and residents as well as inpatient and outpatient primary care. She is an associate professor of clinical medicine in the Center of Family and Community Medicine and remains committed to ensuring that college students have direct access to high-quality, timely medical care.
Mary joined Columbia Health in January 2022. In her role as Coordinator, Mary does the following:
- Serves on Student Case Management team
- Provides guidance to faculty, administrators and students regarding disability and accommodation issues; works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations
Mary enjoys reading, running, trying new ice cream flavors, and spending time with her family and friends.
Dr. Mary O'Brien joined Columbia Health in 1993. Prior to Columbia, Mary worked as the associate director of the emergency room at St. Luke's Hospital.
Mary Anne Segal joined Columbia Health October 2019. Prior to coming to work at Columbia University, Mary Anne was a school nurse at Lighthouse Guild School for 15 years providing nursing care for students aged 5-21 with vision impairments and multiple disabilities. She has also had a 20-year professional relationship at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center providing nursing care to a medically complex population.
Mary Anne is a life-long New York City resident and enjoys the vibrant energy of the city.
Martine Duplan joined Columbia Health in 2017.
Dr. Mariana Nicholls joined Columbia Health in 2021. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Northeastern University and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University. Prior to joining Columbia Health, Dr. Nicholls completed post-doctoral training at Yale Health, providing individual and group psychotherapy to undergrad and graduate students. Dr. Nicholls completed her pre-doctoral internship in clinical and community psychology at Yale University, providing individual and group psychotherapy to monolingual Spanish-speaking populations and children and adolescents. She has also completed clinical rotations in outpatient and residential settings at Mclean Hospital and community health centers in Boston.
Dr. Nicholls enjoys working with students in either English or Spanish to explore concerns regarding identity intersectionality, LGBTQ+ and racial/ethnic identity development, acculturation, and being a first-generation student. Her clinical interests include the treatment of OCD, anxiety, trauma, and depression. In her clinical work, Dr. Nicholls tailors treatment to each patient’s needs exploring techniques from both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches, while implementing a culturally responsive approach to acknowledge the nuances of identity intersectionality.
Margaret B. Walker joined Columbia Health in 1986. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The Derner Institute at Adelphi University, M.A. in French Poetry and Counseling Psychology from Tufts University, and B.A. from Boston University. While at Tufts, she taught French to undergraduates and worked for two years as an intern at the Tufts University Counseling Center. She completed her doctoral internship in clinical psychology at The Bronx State Psychiatric Center.
Maggi's interests have always focused on late adolescent development. She is particularly interested in the issues associated with leaving home for college and forming a separate identity from parents, which was the subject of her doctoral dissertation. She specializes in individual, couples, and group counseling, ADHD screening, body image issues and relationship issues.
Dr. Marco A. Romero García is a Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). Before joining Counseling and Psychological Services, he completed his pre-doctoral internship at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, where he provided individual and group therapy in outpatient and partial hospital settings. As part of his doctoral training, Marco completed clinical practica at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, United Family & Children’s Society, and Rutgers University.
Marco enjoys working with patients struggling with a wide range of issues, including difficulties with adjustment, depression, anxiety, relationships, emotion regulation, and substance misuse. Marco aims to create a therapeutic space that is open, non-judgmental, and collaborative. He works primarily from a psychodynamic perspective while incorporating insights from attachment theory and trauma research and interventions from behavioral, systemic, and multicultural approaches to psychotherapy. As a bilingual and bicultural clinician, Marco is attentive to the impact of cultural identities in therapeutic work. In addition to English, he is fluent in Spanish.
Marcia Stern joined Columbia Health in 2019. Prior to joining Columbia she worked as a Military Sexual Trauma Counselor for the Department of Veterans Affairs Readjustment Counseling Service, providing individual and group therapy. Marcia has supervised numerous treatment and clinical research projects including a treatment effectiveness trial for children and adolescents exposed to the events of 9/11 at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Jewish Board of Children & Family Services, assessment of a school-based suicide prevention screen at the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University, and training student law guardians in mental health issues at the Hofstra University School of Law.
Marcia received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from St. John’s University and her B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College. She completed her internship training in clinical psychology at Hillside Hospital,
Long Island Jewish Medical Center and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Marcia enjoys working with a wide range of students including those concerned with issues of adjustment, anxiety, depression, emotion regulation, and interpersonal problems. Her professional interests include the impact of exposure to trauma, veterans, and women’s issues.
Marcia Malcolm-Alexander is a medical assistant at Columbia Health Medical Services.
Marcel Pierre-Louis joined Columbia Health in 2020 after serving as a General Staff Nurse for Respiratory Care and the Assistant Nurse Manager for Orthopedics at Westchester Medical Center since 2017. Prior to his Nursing career, Marcel worked for Health based non-profits in New York City and Los Angeles. He will be receiving his Master's of Healthcare Administration from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in December 2021.
Dr. Lucia Haladjian joined Columbia Health in August 2020. Prior to joining Counseling and Psychological Services, she completed a pre-doctoral internship at a community mental health clinic, Hamilton-Madison House with a rotation at Gracie-Square Hospital at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She has engaged in clinical and research externships at the Rosemary Furman Counseling Center at Barnard College, Personal Counseling at Brooklyn College, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her dissertation research focused on intergenerational trauma among second-, third-, and fourth-generation Armenian Genocide survivors.
She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in partial, inpatient, and outpatient settings. Her specialized training includes psychodynamic therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and cognitive-behavioral approaches for individuals coping with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. She is especially dedicated to utilizing these approaches within an academic and community setting to address immigration and first-generation stressors including acculturation and adjustment, intergenerational trauma and healing, body image concerns, women’s topics, and interpersonal issues.
Prior to joining Columbia Health, Linda was a senior program coordinator at Rutgers University Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) in which she provided clinical case management to students including triage of immediate needs/crisis management, engagement, assessment of strengths and challenges, facilitation of psychoeducational and creative groups, implementation of action plans, and link and monitor student’s use of services and evaluate outcomes. She has over 15 years of provided services to individuals, families, students, and communities and has experience working in different levels of care in both private and public mental health settings including university students, acute partial hospitals, therapeutic foster care, and case management programs. She is passionate about advocating and providing care that is social justice-oriented, compassionate, supportive, and person-centered.
In addition to having a passion to learn and grow with Sexual Violence Response (SVR), Linda has a true passion for art; any and all forms of art. She believes in the healing power that art holds and has used it within her work in clinical care and loves to engage in art as often as possible. She also adores her three nephews and spends time with them.
Dr. Linda Jordan officially joined Columbia Health Medical Services in May of 2019 when an opportunity to work in the Morningside Practice Group turned into a permanent opportunity to work in Student Health. She has been practicing in primary care for over 19 years serving often in diverse populations with limited access to medical care. Upon completion of medical school at SUNY Downstate in 2000, she went on to residency at Cabrini Hospital in New York City and then stayed on to teach incoming residents until the hospital's closure in 2009.
Prior to joining the staff at Columbia Health Dr Jordan functioned as a Locum Tenens physician which took her to places like Buffalo General Hospital where she worked as an inpatient hospitalist to a remote area of the Catskills Mountain Region where she ran the medical clinic affiliated with UHS Delaware Valley Hospital.
La’Tisa comes to Columbia Health from Mount Sinai Doctors Performing Arts clinic where she was Senior Medical Assistant/Patient Coordinator. She has also worked at the NYU Vascular and Vein Center, as well as St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital doctors offices.
Laura Maudene Nelson is a nutritionist and instructor at the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition and teaches graduate nutrition, medical, dental, nursing, and public health students.
She has been active with the American Diabetes Association, where she serves on the national board of directors, and the American Heart Association, where she previously served on the board of directors of the New York City Affiliate, the Advisory Council, Heart-at-Work, Nutrition Counseling Workshop Planning Committee, and as a member of the Nutrition Committee. She has also served on the editorial board for RN Magazine.
Maudene volunteers for the American Diabetes Association making public presentations and reaching out to elected officials to advocate for people with diabetes. She also coordinates opportunities for work site and community nutrition projects.
Best nutrition advice: Eat mostly foods that grow from roots not feet, and, watch out for shiny food – it may be glazed not polished.
Laura Dayan joined Columbia Health in 2013. In her current role as associate director of student case management, Laura does the following:
- Serves on Student Case-Management Team and Disability Services leadership team
- Evaluates and interprets disability documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations and services
- Serves as coordinator/case manager for a small cohort of students with disabilities
- Support students in resolving disability-related issues that may be a barrier to accessing programs
- Liaises with other departments within Columbia Health as well as academic advising deans, global programs, graduate and professional programs, libraries, and other administrators to implement accommodations
- Supports faculty and administrators regarding strategies for meeting the unique needs of each of each individual student as well as implementing and coordinating accommodations
In her free time, Laura enjoys cheering for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers, watching Broadway shows, and cooking new recipes.
Latisha Culley is a health services assistant at Counseling and Psychological Services.
La’Shawn Rivera, M.A. has served as the Executive Director of Columbia University Sexual Violence Response & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center (SVR) since August 2013. La’Shawn supervises all direct-services and prevention based staff-members, oversees all SVR campus-wide events and initiatives, and acts as a liaison to the Columbia campus and the New York City community through her participation in multiple taskforce initiatives and community collaborative committees. She leads a team of 10 full-time staff members as well as peer advocates, volunteers and casual staff dedicated to the eradication of sexual and gender-based violence.
Prior to joining the team at Columbia University, La’Shawn was the Assistant Coordinator at the University of Central Florida Police Department’s Victim Services Program for 6 years. Her work there focused on providing direct services to survivors and co-survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, elder abuse, and homicide. During this time, she also coordinated sexual violence prevention education programs on-campus and in the community, supervised and trained full-time Victim Advocates, and managed the volunteer program. During that time, she also served on committees implementing statewide violence prevention initiatives like Talk About It! and Coaching Boys Into Men.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Bethune-Cookman University and received her M.A. in Applied Sociology with a concentration in Domestic Violence from the University of Central Florida.
Dr. Kwame Akowuah joined Columbia Health in 2017. Prior to joining Counseling and Psychological Services, Kwame was director of the Continuing Day Treatment program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Audubon Clinic, where he also worked as a staff psychiatrist. Additionally, he was an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Kwame completed his residency training at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. He then went on to complete a fellowship in psychiatry and the law at New York University Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital.
Kwame's professional interests include mood disorders, psychosis, and perceptual disorders, drug and alcohol use, medicolegal ethics, and questions surrounding religion and spiritual identity.
Kori Bennett joined Columbia Health in 2015. Ze received hir doctorate of clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis and completed a doctoral internship at Wichita State University’s Counseling and Testing Center. Prior to joining Columbia, ze completed postdoctoral fellowships at University of California, Merced Counseling and Psychological Services, and Stanford University’s CAPS in the Gender and Sexual Identities Track. Much of Kori’s clinical and outreach work has focused on the wellbeing of students who are gender expansive, sexual minority, international, and first generation.
Ze is also interested in working with students to explore issues relevant to identity intersectionality, gender and sexuality, perfectionism, mindfulness, and relational patterns.
Kirsten (she, her) joined the Columbia Health team in 2021 as Communications Specialist, managing the organization’s digital channels: website, intranet, email, digital screen system, and social media presence. She also provides brand and creative design support, as well as thought partnership on organizational and Unit-level communications campaigns. Most recently, Kirsten was a Marketing Coordinator at McKenney’s, Inc., a mechanical contractor that serves the Southeastern United States. In that role, she led the development and execution of a wide variety of creative collateral; managed the blog; devised methodical campaign strategies, communication plans, print and digital deliverables; and worked on each year’s digital marketing strategy.
She is passionate about digging into her colleagues’ pain points to better understand their needs in order to deliver purposeful support with long-lasting impact.
Her interests include reading and learning about psychology, practicing mindfulness activities, and trying new food. She enjoys volunteering, hiking, working on freelance design projects, and spending time with her cat.
Dr. Kim Nguyen joined Columbia Health in 2021. She received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. She completed her doctoral internship at the National Asian American Psychology Training Center at RAMS Inc., where she worked with survivors of trauma, provided psychotherapy addressing cross-cultural issues, carried out crisis interventions, and conducted therapeutic work with English and Vietnamese-speaking individuals. She completed her postdoctoral training at CUNY Brooklyn College. There, she was the therapist liaison for the LGBTQ Resource Center, and worked with students from diverse backgrounds, including students who were first in their family to attend college. Prior to joining Columbia, she worked in the inpatient unit at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and CUNY The City College of New York Counseling Center.
As a bicultural, bilingual clinician, Kim values one’s cultural identities in therapeutic work and collaborates with individuals to create psychological care that meets the needs of the patient. In addition to English, she is fluent in Vietnamese.
Kelvin joined Columbia Health in 2009. In his current role as part of the IT team, Kelvin works mostly with the non-clinical units to support their systems and tools. Prior to joining the IT team, Kelvin spent nine years as an Assistive Technology Specialist with the Disability Services Unit.
Kelvin enjoys spending time with friends, challenges himself by troubleshooting electronics, and enjoys working on his car or home improvement projects.
Kelly joined the Alice! Health Promotion team as a Health Promotion Specialist at the beginning of 2020. Kelly's professional background includes experience working in a number of different functional areas throughout student affairs, Title IX, and higher education. Kelly currently oversees health promotion initiatives related to flourishing, resilience, stress management and coping, sleep, nutrition, and time management. Her primary professional interests are related to promoting individual and community flourishing.
A native of New York, Kelly is excited to return home with the opportunity to contribute to individual and systems level well-being initiatives that continue to expand the ways we conceptualize and operationalize health and well-being. In her free time, she is an avid golfer and dog-lover, and is continually looking to explore and take advantage of all that the area has to offer.
Keith joined Columbia Health in 1993 and began working in Disability Services in 2008. Outside of work, Keith is a talented artist whose work is sometimes featured in the office. Keith enjoys sketching and drawing using a variety of mediums including markers, charcoal pencil, and acrylic paint.
Katherine McAvoy is the Assistant Director for Public Health Initiatives for Alice! Health Promotion. They first joined the Alice! team in 2020, serving as Manager for Contact Tracing through September 2021. In that role, Katherine built and oversaw the University contact tracing program for the Morningside, Manhattanville, Lamont-Doherty, and Nevis campuses; they approached this work with a trauma-informed and intersectional framework, with the ultimate goal of supporting all members of the Columbia community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In their current role, Katherine's work focuses broadly on building multi-level systems and equity-driven public health infrastructure to tackle burgeoning public health issues, mitigate threats to health, and promote student well-being and flourishing.
An Indiana native, Katherine is a long-time East Coast transplant and new-ish New Yorker. When not at work, they enjoy the Brooklyn food scene, adventures with friends and family, browsing bookstores, and petting other people's cats.
Dr. Kasia J. Garland (she/her/hers) joined Columbia Health in 2022. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from George Washington University and her B.A. in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her doctoral internship at Kings County Hospital. Prior to joining Columbia, she was an attending inpatient psychologist at Bellevue Hospital and a Clinical Instructor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She also previously served as an Associate Director of Mental Health at Rikers Island, working with a justice-involved population.
Kasia practices from a trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and social justice-oriented lens. She is committed to providing a safe, collaborative, and non-judgmental environment for students of all backgrounds in order to promote understanding and well-being. She utilizes a tailored integrative approach that combines a psychodynamic framework with cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral techniques to meet the specific needs of each individual.
Kasia has a broad range of experience working at the intersections of race, gender and sexuality, and identity development. She has particular expertise in treating interpersonal difficulties, mood disorders, anxiety, complex trauma, and unusual experiences often known as “psychosis”. Kasia enjoys working with many common challenges that lead people to therapy and helping her patients achieve their goals.
Karisma Ajodah joined Medical Services in October 2019. Prior to joining Columbia Health, Karisma worked primarily in the hospital setting, including NYU-Langone Hospital and Mount Sinai-Beth Israel. Karisma is excited to return to her Columbia roots having graduated from the School of Social Work in 2002.
Karisma is also certified as a field instructor for social work graduate interns since 2008 and has supervised many students over the years. Besides being a social worker, Karisma is also certified as a meditation teacher and is interested in integrating mindfulness and social work practice.
Karin has been in the insurance industry for 15 years. She worked with Colonial Life as a Regional Instructor as well as in various roles in Territory Sales and Development and Enrollment. Karin also partnered with Blueprint Benefit Advisors as an Account Manager, assisting with proposals, planning, and renewals. She has extensive knowledge of benefits as well as enrollment, claims, and referral processes.
A teacher by nature, Karin is passionate about advocating for others, helping them to understand and utilize their plans in the best way possible. She has been on both sides – experiencing the frustrations first-hand, and now guiding others to better understand insurance and avoid the potential pitfalls.
In her free time, Karin enjoys time with family and friends. On weekends you can find Karin biking along the Hudson, in a park, at a beach, or strolling through museums and galleries.
Kaila Eckstein (she/her) joined Sexual Violence Response in May 2022 and serves as a Prevention Coordinator. Prior to joining Columbia University, Kaila worked with Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts in supporting and organizing the work of volunteers. Kaila is trained as a community organizer and spent over a year working with the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence as their inaugural community organizer.
Kaila studied Public Policy and Political Science with a minor in Social and Economic Justice. Kaila’s love for the field of sexual and interpersonal violence prevention began when she worked as a peer educator and served as co-chair of One ACT at UNC-Chapel Hill, a student-led organization providing training in active bystander prevention of sexual and interpersonal violence. While a student at Chapel Hill she trained as a Delta Advocate, an organization creating peer resources and support for people in Greek Life.
When she’s not being inspired by the work of the students she supports, Kaila enjoys exploring New York, working with embroidery, and buying books she’ll probably never get around to reading.
Dr. Tombackwas born and raised in Freehold, NJ. She loves exploring NYC and going to Broadway shows.
Dr. Jennifer Liu joined Columbia Health in 2020. Prior to joining Counseling and Psychological Services, Jennifer was the Deputy Director of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. She has also been the Associate Director of Training for the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program and the Pediatric/Psychiatry/Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Triple Board) Program at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine. She earned a B.S. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and received her M.D. from Drexel University. She completed her residency and fellowship in the Triple Board Program at Mount Sinai. Jennifer’s professional interests include mood and anxiety disorders, psychopharmacology, and the use of psychotherapy to optimize outcomes.
Jennifer Dunbar joined Columbia Health in 2021 as a licensed clinical social worker. Over the course of her career, Jennifer has provided mental health assessment and treatment to individuals from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in health care and criminal justice settings. She received her M.S.W. in social work from Hunter College and her B.A. in history from Fordham University.
Prior to Columbia, Jennifer worked as a psychotherapist and behavioral science instructor in a primary care clinic at Bronx Lebanon Hospital. She provided psychotherapy, crisis intervention, case management, instruction of behavioral science, and consultation as part of a multidisciplinary team of primary care providers and psychiatrists. Jennifer also worked as the primary clinician in the department’s transgender clinic, where she provided supportive counseling, referral services, and letters of support for hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery.
Jennifer’s professional interests include anxiety, depression, generational trauma, and maternal mental health. Additionally, Jennifer’s identity as a second-generation Liberian American has fostered a special clinical interest in the acculturation of immigrant groups, ethnic minorities and issues of belonging, and cultural influences on mental health access and treatment.
Javier Cordova joined Columbia Health in 2007. Prior to Columbia, Javier worked as an administrative assistant at a nursing and rehabilitation center in New Rochelle, New York. Javier has eight years' experience working as support staff in a clinical setting. Javier's interests include movies, dining, sports, and traveling. He plans to pursue a degree in computer science.
Jamie Zhang joined Columbia Health in 2017.
Jaclyn joined the Alice! Health Promotion team as a Health Promotion Specialist in 2018. Jaclyn’s professional background spans over several functional areas in higher education and student affairs. Some of those experiences focus on social justice education, mental health, residence life, and leadership development. In addition, Jaclyn has served as an instructor for both undergraduate and graduate populations. At Alice!, Jaclyn oversees initiatives for mental health and well-being, alcohol and other drugs (AOD), and wellness coaching.
Jaclyn grew up in the Golden State, California, and is excited to support student health and well-being through a trauma-informed and intersectional lens. When not at work, Jaclyn enjoys spending time with her fur-child, Captain, and being out and about exploring all that the community has to offer!
Dr. Helene Keable joined Columbia Health in 2004, while continuing as a psychiatrist at the Columbia University Medical Center Student Health Service. Prior to joining Columbia, she received her M.D. from Laval University in Canada and completed residencies in internal medicine at McGill Hospital Center, as well as in pediatrics and psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital Center in New York. She went on to further advanced training in consultation-liaison at Long Island Jewish Hospital and psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.
Helene's professional interests include the impact of gender, trauma and culture on the development of young adults, the optimal integration of psychotherapy and medication, learning problems in young adults, and systems of delivering health care. In addition to her work at Columbia, she teaches and supervises the faculty of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital. She has written and lectured on the impact of medical illnesses on the psychological development of teenagers and young adults, and on the integration of psychotherapy and medication.
Helena Jeory joined the Columbia Health Communications team in November 2021 as the new Graphic Design Specialist. In this role, she develops custom creative designs for organizational communications, strategic branding, program marketing, and communication campaigns. She also provides creative support towards the look and feel of communications materials developed for Columbia Health. Prior to this, she was a Marketing Designer at Kasasa – a financial services company headquartered in Austin, Texas. In that role, she led the design of the company app and brand guidelines. She also created over 50 website designs for community banks and credit unions nationwide.
Originally from New Zealand, Helena now lives in Upstate NY. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and painting.
Dr. Gregoriy Grenader joined Columbia Health in 2012. Gregoriy earned his B.A. in psychology from CUNY Brooklyn College, graduating with honors. Prior to earning his D.O. from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, he was a certified emergency medical technician. He completed his post-graduate residency training in family practice at North Shore/Long Island Jewish Plainview Hospital in Long Island, New York. Gregoriy enjoys home improvement, music, and traveling.
Gina joined the Alice! Health Promotion team as a Health Promotion Specialist in 2017. Prior to joining Alice!, Gina worked with the digital health clinic Maven, designing and implementing outreach strategies for Maven Maternity. Additionally, her experiences as a teaching assistant and program facilitator provided her with experience working with students ranging in age from fourth grade to the graduate level. At Alice!, Gina oversees the day-to-day operations of the Go Ask Alice! website, Alice!’s social media presence and other priority projects.
Gina is originally from northwest New Jersey. In her spare time, Gina can often be found reading, seeing musicals, spending time with friends, playing board games or wandering around bookstores.
As Associate Director, Communications, Gayle helps lead the development, implementation and ongoing management of communications strategy and plans for the entire organization
Prior to joining the Columbia team, Gayle was a Marketing and Communications Specialist at Women’s World Banking, a global nonprofit leader in advancing women’s financial inclusion. At Women's World Banking, Gayle managed content marketing and creative communications initiatives for the organization’s field projects. She was also responsible for website, social media and email channels. Prior to Women’s World Banking, she was the Development and Communications Associate for Day One NY, a nonprofit that provides dating abuse and domestic violence education and support to New York City youth. At Day One, Gayle managed digital marketing properties, provided grant writing and reporting support, and helped in the development and execution of the organization’s fundraisers.
Gayle has a MA in Media, Culture and Communication with a concentration in Technology & Society from NYU-Steinhardt and a BA in Communications Studies, Minor in Anthropology from UCLA. She is a native of the Philippines.
Dr. Erika Bach joined Columbia Health in 2021. She received her Psy.D. from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and B.A. from The George Washington University. Prior to joining Columbia Health, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Campus. She has also completed clinical training working with trauma survivors, substance use disorders, eating disorders, crisis intervention, mood disorders, and more in hospitals, schools, mental health clinics, and residential treatment facilities.
Erika’s clinical interests include working with issues related to trauma, identity, multicultural issues, bereavement, Veterans, and relationships. She is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure, psychodynamic approaches, and acceptance/mindfulness-based modalities, and collaborates with students using warmth and humor in order to provide a safe atmosphere to heal.
Dr. Elizabeth Mirabello joined Columbia Health in 2015. Prior to Columbia, Elizabeth was chief of psychiatry at Northern Westchester Hospital. She has worked also as a staff psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in various clinical settings including inpatient, emergency room and the intensive outpatient program. She was also an assistant clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.
Mirabello attended Barnard College and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. She completed her psychiatry residency at the New York Hospital Payne Whitney Clinic (now New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center). Her professional interests include mood and anxiety disorders as well as women’s issues in psychiatry.
Dr. Eduvigis Cruz-Arrieta joined CPS in February 2018. She is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with 20 years of experience in health psychology. Prior to Columbia, she was a supervising psychologist at Lincoln Medical Center, part of the NYC Health & Hospital/Physicians Affiliates Group of NY. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of medical psychology at the CUNY School of Medicine.
She has been dedicated to providing quality care to underserved communities in NYC. As staff member of the CUMC Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Blood & Marrow Transplantation service, she served as Chair of its Diversity & Health Disparities Committee of the Children's Oncology Group. In her role, she participated in advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill representing the viewpoints of stakeholders about disparities in healthcare.
Dr. Cruz-Arrieta received her B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, followed by a M.A. in Clinical Psychology. She completed her clinical internship and pre-doctoral fellowship at NYU Bellevue Clinical Psychology Internship program, and received her doctorate from the City University of New York Graduate Center at City College. Her expertise and interests includes mood disorders, chronic illness, eating disorders, trauma and post-traumatic stress, life transitions (loss, grief, and end of life), multicultural concerns, as well as diversity and health disparity-related issues, complementary medicine (body/mind coping strategies; hypnosis; homeopathy), and psychology and the arts.
Eduvigis is originally from Puerto Rico and Spanish is her first language. She has resided in New York City since 1988, after retiring from professional classical ballet dancing and serving as an educator with Ballets de San Juan. Eduvigis believes in people’s capacity for continuous change and renewal, as they identify and fortify their inner strengths. Her goal is to help members of the Columbia University community to reach their goals.
Earmanese Granger joined Columbia Health in 1995. Prior to Columbia, Earmanese was an administrative assistant at The American Assembly, a public policy forum affiliated with Columbia University.
Dr. Doreen Han-Faver joined Columbia Health in 2015. Prior to Columbia, she worked as an attending psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital inpatient child/adolescent psychiatric unit and the psychiatric emergency room. She also worked in long-term outpatient treatment settings, including Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. She earned a B.A. in biochemistry at Columbia University and received her M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She then completed a psychiatric residency and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Doreen's professional interests include combined psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, mood and anxiety disorders, and cross-cultural issues.
Diana Morrobel, Ph.D., joined Columbia Health in 2013. Prior to joining Columbia Health, Diana worked as a psychologist and supervisor at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic for 11 years. In addition to her work at Columbia, she was an adjunct faculty member at Teachers College and supervised doctoral candidates in Clinical Psychology at City College. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Michigan State University and a B.A. from New York University. She completed her internship in clinical psychology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Diana’s professional interests include acculturative stress and adjustment, multicultural and racial diversity, first-generation college students, developmental issues related to emerging adulthood, family and interpersonal conflicts, trauma and mood disorders.
Diana has over 15 years of experience in financial planning and data-driven analysis, in both corporate and non-profit sectors. She joined Columbia University in 2013, after working as an executive at several investment banks. Diana is skilled in process improvement, financial analysis, budgeting, operations management, sustainable finance, and grant management.
Diana’s personal interests include travel, photography, and hiking.
Dhruv Shejpaul (he/him) is the Temporary Associate Director of Operations at Sexual Violence Response (SVR). Prior to joining SVR, Dhruv has been involved with numerous non-profit and start-up projects.
Dhruv has helped organizations navigate implicit bias through Pearl S. Buck International’s Welcome Workplace program. He has taught for Pearl S. Buck International “Global Leadership” program, where high schoolers participate in a 10-week intensive class on international relations, where they collaborate and create a charity for international relief. Additionally, Dhruv has assisted organizations such as LEAP (Learning through an Expanded Art Program), which provides stellar afterschool art programming in New York City public schools.
Through these experiences, Dhruv has gained a versatile understanding of the modalities of operations. He seeks to build a culture of understanding and improve upon operational efficacy within SVR.
Dr. Debra Domenech joined Columbia Health in 2001. Prior to Columbia, Debra was a supervising psychologist at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. In addition to her degrees from Fordham University and The City University of New York, she completed advanced training at the New York University Postdoctoral Program, where she obtained a certificate in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
Debra's professional interests include psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy, cultural diversity issues, treatment of affective disorders, and couples therapy. In addition to her work at Columbia, she is a clinical instructor at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
Dr. Deborah Ohm joined Columbia Health in 2021. She earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University – Post Campus. The majority of her clinical training has been within inpatient and outpatient hospital settings and community mental health clinics. Prior to Columbia Health, she was a supervising psychologist at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center where she helped coordinate the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program for adolescents, young adults, and their families. Dr. Ohm has extensive training and expertise in treating individuals with a wide range of difficulties including trauma, depression, anxiety, suicidality, intentional self-injury, struggles with identity and sense of self, and difficulties with relationships and family conflict.
Dr. Ohm uses an integrated approach in treatment focused on helping individuals gain insight into their patterns and increase adaptive skills to manage difficult emotions.
Debjani Roy is the Associate Director of Training and Prevention at Sexual Violence Response. She has been a thought leader and an advocate for gender equality and justice in the US and UK for over fifteen years. Most recently, Debjani was the Training Director at Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) and prior to this was the Deputy Director of anti-harassment organization, Hollaback!, where she managed operations, led key initiatives on leadership development and bystander intervention, and contributed to the culture shifts around the issue of street harassment. At Hollaback!, she also co-founded HeartMob, an online platform providing support to victims of online harassment. She has additionally led key culturally specific initiatives as the Program and Development Manager at Manavi, the first organization working to end violence against South Asian women in the United States.
She has expertise in program creation and management, direct service provision, development, training and technical assistance, curriculum development, communications, research, and policy advocacy on issues including domestic violence, street harassment, sexual violence, forced marriage, ‘honor’ based violence, commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, widows’ rights, and hate violence across the lines of identity.
Debjani’s work and commentary has been featured in several media outlets, including The New York Times, BBC World News, Fox News, The Guardian, NPR, Huffington Post and Salon.
Her academic publications include South Asian Battered Women’s Use of Force against Intimate Male Partners in the Violence Against Women Sage Journal and a first ever publication: An Introduction to Forced Marriage in the South Asian Community in the United States, published under Manavi and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. She is an alumni of the Progressive Women’s Voices Class at the Women’s Media Center and is a SheSource expert.
Dr. Dawn McAllister is a Urgent Care Physician at Columbia Health. She studied medicine at the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine and then moved to New York to practice at The Family Medicine Residency Program at Montefiore. Afterwards she went to the Family Medicine Residency Program at Columbia University Medical Center in 1997 and taught medical students and residents there for about nine years as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Center for Family Medicine.
She moved away from the academic setting and worked at Community Health Centers where she could take care of patients regardless of their legal status or ability to pay for their health care. She has one son by birth who is now 16 years old and two by adoption from Ethiopia who are 15 and 10 years old. Dawn says she chose to come back to Columbia University in 2014 at the Student Health Service and truly enjoys with students, both optimizing health and treating health problems. As an androgynous lesbian mom, from a working class background, with African American sons, Dr. McAllister hopes to offer a welcoming and supportive presence in the lives of all the students who come to visit at Columbia Health.
- M.D., University of Cincinnati
- B.A., History, University of California, Berkeley
Certifications and Licensure:
- New York State Medical License
- Board Certified: Diplomat of American Board of Family Medicine
- Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, Center for Family Medicine
- Federal Qualified Community Health Centers in New York City and Westchester
- Montefiore Medical Center, Family Medicine Residency
Dr. David Hittson joined Columbia Health as a psychologist in 2017. He also completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Counseling and Psychological Services. Prior to Columbia, David trained at the Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses of the New York Harbor Veteran’s Administration Hospital, at Interfaith Medical Center, and at Barnard’s Furman Counseling Center. David attended New York University’s counseling psychology program and graduated in the summer of 2016. While there, his research interests focused on the relationship of acculturation to mental health. David’s professional interests include veteran’s issues, issues of acculturation, depression, anxiety, trauma, identity issues, relationship concerns, and adjustment concerns.
Daniel joined Columbia Health in 2017. He graduated from Marist College with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in psychology. He enjoys working as a team to accomplish a unified goal. Daniel looks forward to expanding his knowledge at Columbia and creating new exciting experiences.
- BSN: Columbia University
- MPH Candidate: Dartmouth College
Certifications and Licensure:
- Registered Nurse
- Director of Nursing; NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of STD Control
Daniel has been a part of Columbia Health since 2001, when he began volunteering as an Advocate at GHAP while he was a PhD student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Daniel oversees the GHAP Advocate program, which provides health education and support for students on sexual & reproductive health topics. In addition, Daniel counsels students in tobacco cessation, facilitates support groups, and is a member of the Trans and Gender Expansive Health Team.
Outside of Columbia Health, Daniel is an adjunct assistant professor of music at Columbia and teaches in the Core Curriculum.
A Los Angeles native (go Dodgers!), Cynthia moved to NYC in 2017. She has worked in the health insurance industry for over 17 years in a variety of different roles including Enrollment/Eligibility Representative, Utilization Management Coordinator, Business Analyst, and Review Analyst.
As a recent thyroid cancer survivor, she is dedicated to helping people navigate the insurance world and encouraging everyone to be their own health advocate. In Cynthia's free time, you will find her at a baseball game, a Broadway musical, a museum, or Target.
Colleen Lewis joined Columbia Health in 2004. In her current role as Director of Disability Services (DS), Colleen does the following:
- Serves on Disability Services leadership team
- Provides vision and leadership to the design, organization, development, and implementation of services and programs offered through Disability Services
- Oversight of student case-management, accommodations, services, and training needed to support students with disabilities at Columbia
- Serves as a liaison to the faculty and greater campus community on issues related to a range of disabilities, accessibility, classroom and curricular accommodations, and laws related to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
- Serves as campus expert for the provision and coordination of academic and campus accommodations for students with disabilities
Colleen enjoys baking-her specialties are cakes and rustic fruit desserts! She is also an avid baseball fan and tries to visit at least one new baseball stadium each season.
Colby Golder has provided nutrition therapy since she received a master’s degree in nutrition from Teachers College at Columbia University in 2009. As part of her clinical training in dietetics, Colby worked at the eating disorder unit of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She was part of a multidisciplinary team that focused on the research and treatment of eating disorders for in-patient care.
Most recently, Colby worked at the prestigious Renfrew Center for eating disorders in New York City. Colby was involved in every level of therapeutic care including the day program, the intensive outpatient program, and individual nutrition counseling. She gained vast experience in nutrition therapy for those struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive exercise, and other forms of disordered eating. She routinely conducted weekly group sessions that focused on nutrition education, the management of therapeutic meals, and post-meal support therapy.
In addition to her work in Health Services, Colby also works in a private practice focusing on nutrition, eating disorders, and weight management by working with patients to cultivate a healthy relationship with food.
Christine Napoleon is a medical assistant at Columbia Health, Medical Services.
Christine Janick is the Temporary Training and Onboarding Coordinator for the Sexual Violence Response (SVR) team. Prior to that, she was the Associate Director, Direct Services at SVR. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has been an advocate for Survivors of Crime for over twenty years.
Christine’s previous position began in 2014 when she joined the Student Health Center at New York University, in a new role at that time as the Director of Sexual Misconduct Support Services. At NYU, she primarily worked confidentially with students providing counseling, support, advocacy, and ran Survivor Support groups. She also partnered with her NYU Title IX Office of Equal Opportunity colleagues to conduct Consent Zone workshops on campus. Christine also provided support to various student groups on campus in a non-confidential role.
Prior to NYU, Christine was the Victim Services Program Coordinator at Bellevue Hospital Center; a program that provides comprehensive services to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and all victims of crime, in order to promote resiliency and recovery in the aftermath of a traumatic victimization. Prior to her fifteen years at Bellevue Hospital, she provided assistance to victims of crime in the Witness Aid Services Unit at the New York County District Attorney’s Office for over five years. Additionally, she began her work in the field volunteering and working in a domestic violence shelter in Rockland County, NY.
Christine obtained her Masters in Social Work from New York University. Additionally, Christine is an active member for many years in the Coalitions and Tasks forces in New York City to support the victims’ right movement. Christine’s focus in her work with survivors is providing a safe space to be empowered by understanding rights and resources, while beginning the healing process of trauma.
Catherine first joined Columbia Health in 2013 as the Immunization Compliance Coordinator. After a number of years with Columbia Health followed by Columbia Residential she rejoined the Columbia Health team in 2019 holding Special Projects and Manager of the COVID-19 Testing Center roles. Now the Assistant Director of Operations, Catherine provides leadership for the central operations functions of Columbia Health, including overseeing physical facilities and operations, project management, compliance, accreditation, research, and special projects for Columbia Health. Working with University partners, she ensures compliance with all University requirements related to facilities and operations, provide guidance and consultation to managers and employees on a wide range of policies and procedures, and recommend process improvements and best practice initiatives for core operations.
Prior to joining Columbia, she worked at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in Boston. Catherine is a seasoned professional with a background in administration, public health, and student services. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys taking long walks around the city, people watching, and practicing yoga.
Carol E. Frank joined Columbia Health in 1988. As a health services assistant, Carol does the following:
- Provides a welcoming and hospitable reception to students, faculty, staff, and visitors contacting or visiting Disability Services
- Manages receipt of registration, testing, housing, and other accommodation request forms so these requests can be considered by the appropriate staff member
- Provides initial information regarding a variety of aspects relating to Disability Services
Carissa joined Columbia Health in 2021. She has worked for 8 years as a nurse, starting at a comprehensive ambulatory care center, followed by a clinical nurse position at Montefiore in Maternal Child Health and Pediatrics.
Before beginning her career as a nurse, she spent over a decade as a New York State EMT, an EMT volunteer in Honduras and Guatemala and a public health aide in Rockland County.
Bryan joined Columbia Health in 2021. Previously Bryan was at Johns Hopkins University. Bryan worked as a HRIS Reporting Specialist for Johns Hopkins University’s HR/Payroll Shared Services team. He served as a reporting and functional expert for all entities within Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health Systems. This included conducting routine audits of payroll reports, building and coding queries, and serving as a liaison with the Information Systems team in testing new functionalities and changes. Bryan also functioned as a Payroll Specialist where he routinely processed payroll for Johns Hopkins employees, reviewed and updated tax withholdings records, and assisted the Human Resources and Reporting teams with internal audits, ensuring data integrity.
Bryan has a B.B.A. in Human Resources Management from Temple University. During his spare time, Bryan loves to ride his bike, attend sporting events (go Yankees!), and eat at any and all the delicious establishments that can align with his budget. Bryan will manage day-to-day payroll activities.
Brittany Lewis is a Survivor Advocate in the Sexual Violence Response Office, joining the team in October of 2021. A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Brittany has actively worked in gender-based violence prevention, survivor advocacy, and policy in her home state of Maryland. Prior to relocating to New York, she served as the Chief of Government Affairs for the Office of the City Council President for Baltimore City and worked as a Domestic/Sexual Assault Advocate for Mercy Medical Center. She has also served as a Chief of Staff in the Maryland General Assembly and the Assistant Coordinator for the Maryland Women of Color Network and Underserved Populations for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. In 2019, Brittany had the pleasure of working with Vice President Kamala Harris during her presidential campaign as a member of her National Advance Team.
Brittany is thrilled to return to New York where she trained at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and performed in Musical Theater as a member of the Actors’ Equity Association. She is pleased to have the opportunity to continue supporting survivors as a Survivor Advocate for the Sexual Violence Response Office.
Brianna Saldana joined Sexual Violence Response (SVR) in February 2022 as a Survivor Advocate. Brianna has worked at Safe Horizon as a Crime Victim Advocate at multiple NYPD precincts, assisting survivors of Domestic Violence and all victims of crimes for the past three in half years. She has worked with the police officers in performing home visits, and community outreach events. In addition, she worked at the Bronx Special Victim Division alongside detectives in assisting survivors and co-survivors of sexual assault by accompanying them in interviews and providing them with community-based resources.
Currently, Brianna volunteers as a Rape Crisis Counselor at Columbia Presbyterian DOVE Program. Brianna devotes her time to humanitarian volunteer opportunities and in 2018 she traveled to Puerto Rico to assist victims of Hurricane Maria with rebuilding homes and distributing essential items.
Brianna graduated from John Jay College in 2017 with a bachelor's in Sociology and minor in Psychology, also receiving Cum Laude Honors.
Dr. Brenda Aiken joined Columbia Health in 2000. Brenda served as a physician before being promoted to director of Medical Services in 2012. She is also an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.
Prior to Columbia, she was an assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as an assistant attending physician at the Allen Pavilion. She has worked closely with the faculty and staff of the residency program in social medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.
Dr. Aiken has devoted her professional career to the comprehensive study of medical and health-related issues of under-represented communities.
Bonnie joined Columbia Health in 2018. Prior to joining Columbia Health, she served as a Research and Data Analyst in the CME/CE community, where she collaborated with healthcare organizations to improve quality of care. Previously, she was part of the U54 CCNY-MSKCC Partnership Community Outreach Core, conducting and managing community-based and participatory research that focused on health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities.
Bonnie is also an alumnus of Columbia where she received her Master of Art in Psychology in Education. As a trilingual fluent in English, Spanish, and Cantonese, she actively participated in community outreach activities to promote healthy eating, physical activity, and cancer prevention. When not at work Bonnie is a big fan of traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys researching destinations to include in her must-see places around the world list and making travel plans with family and friends.
Dr. Austin Eklund is a Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow. Before joining Counseling and Psychological Services, he completed a pre-doctoral internship at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in the Bronx. Over the course of his career as a therapist, he has worked in three college counseling settings, two community care settings, two psychiatric hospitals, and a shelter for people experiencing housing insecurity and co-occurring mental illness. Reflecting his longstanding research work at the nexus of applied psychology and public health, his dissertation focused on factors predicting uptake of sexual health promotion information among queer men of color.
In addition to extensive experience treating anxiety and depression, he has specialized training in evidence-based practices for trauma- and stressor-related disorders, substance misuse, emotion dysregulation, and intimate relationship distress. As a person with intersecting marginalized identities, he is passionate about working with members of communities representing a broad diversity spectrum and seeks to approach therapeutic work through multicultural and feminist lenses. He aims to work collaboratively with patients to develop flexible treatment plans and integrates techniques from a variety of psychotherapy theories.
Ashley Schleimer joined Columbia Health in 2010. In her role as Assistant Director, Intake and Registration, Ashley:
- Serves on Registration & Intake team and Disability Services leadership team
- Oversees the intake and registration processes for Disability Services
- Guides prospective and current Columbia students through registration process providing individualized guidance regarding disability documentation and accommodation requests
- Reviews disability documentation and determines eligibility for services and accommodations
- Provides consultation to students, families, faculty, and outside professionals to provide initial assessment, consultation regarding disability and academic concerns, and accommodation needs
In her free time, Ashley enjoys going on tours of various neighborhoods in New York City for the rich cultural and historical experiences the city has to offer-and for the yummy food too!
Dr. Arthur Roh joined Columbia Health in 2022. Prior to Columbia, he worked as a licensed clinical psychologist at North Central Bronx Hospital in various settings including partial hospitalization program, adult inpatient units, and psychiatric emergency room. Dr. Roh also has trained at The New School Student Health Services, Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Assertive Community Treatment Team, and Kings County Hospital’s adult inpatient units. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University and B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA.
Dr. Roh’s clinical interests include working specifically with young adults in acute crises who may be suffering from depression and anxiety in the context of trauma, relationship and adjustment issues, and the effects of marginalization on our personal, individual experiences that often intersect with our broader, social identities. Dr. Roh values working collaboratively to cultivate empathy and understanding of one’s self with the goal of moving towards healing and wellbeing. His professional interests include the impact of systems on marginalized communities, social justice advocacy in the mental health field, and Asian American issues.
Arielle Toporovsky joined Columbia Health in 2018. Prior to joining Counseling and Psychological Services, she completed a pre-doctoral internship at Maimonides Medical Center, where she completed rotations in the Psychiatric Emergency Department and the Adult Inpatient Unit, conducted neuropsychological assessments, and provided outpatient treatment for individuals across the lifespan. She also has trained at Lenox Hill Hospital’s Outpatient Center for Mental Health, Baruch College Counseling Center, Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s adult inpatient unit, and the Center for Psychological Services at Adelphi University.
In her clinical work, she works primarily from a psychodynamic framework while integrating various techniques in order to meet the unique needs of each student. Above all, she strives to create a safe, warm, and collaborative environment that promotes healing and understanding. Her professional interests cover a wide range of concerns, including developmental issues in emerging adulthood (i.e., identity development and relational difficulties), anxiety and depression, trauma, and the impact of pain/chronic illness on mental well-being.
Anuj joined Columbia Health in 2010. In his role as the Assistant Director of Operations, Anuj does the following:
- Serves on Testing team, Administrative team and Disability Services leadership team
- Specializes in implementation of academic accommodations, including note-taking services, exam accommodations and academic assistants such as lab and studio assistants; oversees the planning and execution of final exam administration and accommodations
- Provides administrative leadership, support and assistance in resolving day-to-day operational problems related to the provision and delivery of disability accommodations and coordinates office wide initiative
Anuj hails from the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and is very well known by his friends and colleagues as a travel enthusiast. He enjoys visiting exotic islands, plane spotting, and jetting off on last-minute weekend getaways.
Dr. Annette Santiago-España joined Columbia Health in 2006. She became clinical team leader of the Eating Disorders Team in 2007. Prior to Columbia, Annette served as a psychologist at Princeton University Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services. She earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Indiana State University, M.A. at Andrews University, and B.A. at Rutgers University. She completed an internship in professional psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Counseling Center.
Annette's professional interests include eating disorders and body image, mindfulness and spirituality, acculturation and racial/ethnic identity development. In addition to individual therapy, Annette also facilitates the women of color support group. She enjoys helping students and communities identify strengths and resources that promote healthy development.
Annette joined Columbia Health in 2005. In her current role, she leads the Human Resources team and functions for Columbia Health. Prior to joining Columbia, Annette was a professional recruiter for Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers.
Dr. Anne Goldfield joined Columbia Health in 1994. She received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research and her B.A. in Psychology at the City University of New York. Prior to Columbia, Anne worked as a clinical psychologist at North Central Bronx Hospital (NCB) and the Bronx Psychiatric Center and was director of the psychology externship program at NCB. She completed her doctoral internship in clinical psychology at The Bronx State Psychiatric Center.
Anne's professional interests include depression, anxiety, identity issues, first generation college students, the treatment of students with alcohol and other drug concerns, and developmental issues of emerging adulthood. In her outreach capacity, Anne works closely with many campus partners and student groups, and is committed to promoting mental health awareness on campus.
Anna Combs joined Columbia Health in 1995. Prior to Columbia, Anna was employed with Kelly Temps and had several working assignments in customer service. She is originally from Brooklyn and joined the United States Army after high school. Anna’s interests include indoor and outdoor sports, music, and gardening.
Ann Marie Alexander is a health services assistant at Columbia Health.
Andrew Colitz joined Columbia Health in 2014. Prior to Columbia, he completed a clinical psychology internship at North Shore Long Island Jewish-Lenox Hill Hospital, as well as clinical psychology externships at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy, William Alanson White Institute, Maimonides Hospital and Mount Sinai Beth Israel. He also worked as a university mental health provider at Long Island University.
Andrew is interested in working with a variety of student concerns, including identity development, complicated relational issues and family dynamics, major life changes and adjustment, coping with traumatic experiences, as well as working with couples and students in group settings.
Andrew joined Columbia Health in 2021. Previously Andrew was at Octagon Marketing where he worked as a Revenue Accountant for all North America-based projects. As a Revenue Accountant, Andrew maintained master revenue forecast, validated contracts and audit backup, reconciled monthly revenue reports, tracked completion of events, and projected monthly revenue trends. Andrew also worked at IBM as a Sales & Use Tax Analyst.
When Andrew is not working with numbers, he enjoys cooking, attending classic auto shows, hiking with his German Shepherd, Kepler, or tinkering on one of his classic cars.
Andrea G. Andaya received her BSN from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. She became a commissioned officer in the Navy Nurse Corps in 2007 and cared for service members and their beneficiaries while stationed in the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center), Naval Hospital Okinawa (Japan), and Naval Hospital Lemoore (California). She left the Navy in 2017.
Dr. Allan Cassorla joined Columbia Health in 1997. He has served as associate director since 2001. Prior to Columbia, Allan was associate chief psychologist and director of training at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York.
Allan completed a clinical psychology internship at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and held clinical appointments at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology of The City University of New York, and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Allan's professional interests include the diagnosis and treatment of a wide spectrum of psychological problems, as well as teaching and training mental health professionals.
Aliyah joined Columbia Health in January 2022. In her role as Coordinator, Aliyah does the following:
- Serves on Student Case Management team
- Provides guidance to faculty, administrators, and students regarding disability and accommodation issues; works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations
In her free time, Aliyah enjoys watching classic movies on TCM, exploring the city on foot, and traveling. Aliyah is also an avid reader and enjoys both fiction and non-fiction.
Alexcia joined Columbia Health as a medical assistant in 2008. She is a patient services assistant at Counseling and Psychological Services.
Dr. Alexandra Lane completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Miami and her clinical psychology internship at the Johns Hopkins University Counseling Center. She completed her undergraduate degree at Barnard College and is happy to return to the Morningside campus to work with students.
She has experience working with adults across the lifespan, with a particular interest in emerging adulthood. She works from a relational psychodynamic lens to help students improve their understanding of themselves and navigate relationships in the midst of their transition to adulthood. Her research has focused on cultural adjustment in immigrants and refugees, and the intersection between emotional experience and cultural expectations. She has led bereavement groups, as well as women’s groups and groups for graduate students completing their dissertations. Her background lends itself to helping facilitate the adjustment of first-generation students, international students, and individuals who find themselves in the midst of impactful life changes.
Dr. Aisha Holder joined Columbia Health in 2015 as a postdoctoral psychology fellow. Prior to joining Counseling and Psychological Services, she completed her internship at Princeton House Behavioral Health, as well as clinical psychology externships at Rockland Psychiatric Center, Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia, and Iona College Counseling Center. Prior to pursuing a career in counseling, Aisha was a vice president at JPMorgan Chase in the corporate training group as a facilitator and project manager. During her tenure, she also served as a human resources business partner in the Investment Banking and Consumer Banking divisions, as well as a senior career advisor and project manager in the Career Advancement Program and as an associate in the Human Resources Associate Program.
Aisha received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Fordham University, her M.A. in psychological counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her B.A. in psychology from Spelman College. Aisha’s professional interests include multicultural counseling, racial microaggressions, career development, and eating disorders.
Dr. Addette Williams joined Columbia Health in 1999. Prior to Columbia, Addette completed a clinical psychology internship at North Central Bronx Hospital. She was also a therapist at the Brooklyn Center for Children and Families, and completed a graduate fellowship at the Psychological Counseling and Adult Development Center at The CUNY Graduate Center. She earned a B.A. in economics and political science from Yale University and a Ph.D. from The City University of New York. She has received professional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and the Gottman Method for couples therapy.
Addette has a broad range of professional interests that include the psychological effects of trauma, the mental health of people of color, the integration of psychodynamically informed therapy with mindfulness-based practices, couples and gender issues. In addition, she facilitates a mindfulness group for those interested in learning how to meditate.
Adam Johnson joined Columbia Health in 2017. Adam received his doctorate in clinical psychology with a concentration in traumatic stress from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Ill. He also completed a fellowship in psychoanalysis with the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis in 2012.
Prior to joining Columbia, Adam completed his doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Veterans Affairs Caribbean Healthcare System in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has also worked in a variety of settings including private practice, community mental health and medical clinics. His clinical work and interests have focused on issues related to trauma, loss, bereavement, health psychology (e.g. smoking cessation, weight management, chronic and terminal illness), mindfulness, and relational patterns.
Adam is committed to the mental health of LGBTQ and veterans. He enjoys incorporating an individual’s creative talents (i.e. music, art) and spirituality into therapy. Adam also has extensive experience working with issues related to acculturation and cultural diversity. He has completed international psychology projects focused human rights, education and program development in Mexico, Costa Rica, South Africa and the Dominican Republic.
Abby joined Columbia Health in 2022. Previous to working at Columbia Health, Abby worked for the Department of Mathematics and CUMC Dept. of Pathology & Cell Biology at Columbia University. Prior to that, she spent two years at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C. While completing her bachelor’s degree at New York University, she worked as the HR Assistant in their ITS Department. Abby holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and is completing her Master’s degree this summer.
Her interests include hiking, reading, and art projects.
Aaron joined Columbia Health in 2021. Prior to working at Columbia Health, Aaron was a Patient Coordinator at Mount Sinai Hospital for almost 2 years. He also worked as a case manager at the Puerto Rican Family Institute for 1 year.