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Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence

Health & Counseling Center

Health & Counseling Center

Our Staff

Administrative Staff
  • Michael LaFarr

    Michael J. LaFarr, PsyD

    Executive Director

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    PsyD Clinical Psychology, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, 2010
    MA Higher Education Administration, University of Denver, 2008
    BA Education, Johnson State College, 1993

    Professional Interests: Health care disparity & access, health and wellness, college mental health, differences in learning, grief counseling, giftedness, psychodynamic treatment, sexual therapy, non-majority sexual orientation & transgender mental health.

    Professional Experience: Leading the HCC team since 2017. Former Executive Director of Health and Wellness at Brandeis University. Former Director of Student Affairs at the Harvard School of Public Health. Education and Health Promotion, Peace Corps of the United States, served in Mali, West Africa.

  • Chris Wera

    Chris Wera, PhD, CPA, CMA, CFA

    Director of Administration & Finance

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    MACC, Master of Accountancy, University of Denver
    Ph.D. in Research Methods and Statistics, University of Denver

    Certifications: CPA, CMA, CFA

    Professional Interests: Responsible for the day to day Financial and IT operations of the Health and Counseling Center. Serves on the HCC management team.

    Professional Experience: Over fifteen years of financial experience, including a dozen years of controlling, financing, planning and developing budgets, with 15 in healthcare. I have served in various financial capacities including Business and Finance Officer, Controller and Chief Financial Officer. I have also served on served on the Board of the Butterfly Pavilion, and have advised several non-profit boards and committees

  • Erica Mischke

    Erica Mischke, BA

    Assistant Director of Budget and Finance

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America, 1990
    BA Leadership and Organization Studies, University of Denver (2014)

    Professional Experience: DU Health and Counseling Center since 2005

  • Sarah Johnson

    Sarah Johnson, BA

    Assistant Director of Information and Systems

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BA Management, Metropolitan State College of Denver, 2004

    Professional Experience: Accounts receivable, accounts payable, internal reporting and data analysis, process integration, streamlining communications, learning new software and instructing staff

  • James Larcus

    James Larcus, MA

    Project Manager for Strategic Initiatives

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    Masters of Arts, Higher Education and Student Affairs, The Ohio State University, 2015
    Bachelors of Science, Sports Management, The Ohio State University, 2013

    Professional Interests: Holistic student development, positive psychology interventions, social justice, diversity and inclusion, intersectionality, self-authorship, building capacity for resilience, mental health, peer education and leadership development.

    Professional Experience: James is a new member of the University of Denver Health and Counseling Center as of September 2017. Previously, James worked at Ohio State where he served the Wellness Coaching program.

  • Lee Puckett

    Lee Puckett, BS

    Manager, Healthcare Administrative Specialists

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management, 2018

    Professional Interests: Lee is interested in Empowering Teams to deliver high-quality clinical care, Integrated Health Care & Patient Advocacy.

    Professional Experience: Lee is a new member of the Health & Counseling Center as of February 2019. Previously, Lee worked for Kaiser Permanente for the last 7 years, where her last job was in leadership with the Surgical Specialty departments.

    Personal Interests: Traveling, reading, spending time with family.

  • Elshadaye Eshete

    Elshadaye Eshete, BS

    Healthcare Administrative Specialist

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    ​Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and psychology, 2018

    Professional Interests: ​I am passionate about patient experience, quality healthcare, and leadership. I have worked in healthcare collaboratively with team members dedicated to delivering the best patient experience through a professional environment, compassion, empathy, and excellent patient service skills. I aspire to continuously grow my leadership through graduate education, development, and learning to become a Senior Healthcare Leader.

    Professional Experience: ​Previously, I have worked for Swedish medical center as a Patient Access Registration Specialist and Slimgenics as a Program Advisor.

  • Linda Kim

    Linda Kim, BS

    Healthcare Administrative Specialist

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    ​Bachelor of Science in Public Health, 2020

    Professional Interests: Patient-centered care​​ and promoting health wellness. ​Diversity in care - understanding ​​different backgrounds, religion, and ethnicity to provide adequate care.

    Professional Experience: ​I have worked in the acupuncture clinic as a receptionist and a program site director at an elementary school.​

  • Chism Mattson

    Chism Mattson, BA

    Healthcare Administrative Specialist - Finance and Billing

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies/Theatre at MSU Denver 2018

    Professional Interests: Interpersonal Communication and Human Relations, Student life and development in Higher Education.

    Professional Experience: Chism is a new member of the Health and Counseling Center as of April 2019, he has 6 years of previous customer service experience as well as experience collegiately as a respondent/co-host for Met Media. He has spent time as a student and peer coach in public speaking & performance and is very passionate about working with students.

  • OPEN

    Open Position

    Healthcare Administrative Specialist

    Education: Coming Soon

    Professional Interests: Coming Soon

    Professional Experience: Coming Soon

Counseling Staff
  • Jacaranda Palmateer

    Jacaranda Palmateer, PsyD

    Director of Counseling Services

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PsyD Clinical Psychology, University of Denver, 2005
    MA Clinical Psychology, University of Denver, 2002
    BA Psychology, Colgate University, 1997

    Professional Interests: College Counseling, trauma, cognitive and personality assessment, ADHD, LDs, grief counseling, individual/group psychotherapy, couple's therapy, giftedness, psychodynamic treatment, eating disorders, Prolonged Exposure, DBT.

    Professional Experience: Employed at DU HCC August 2004-August 2005, and August 2006- present. Completed other training experiences at UC Boulder's CAPS, and at Metro State University's counseling center. At DU's HCC, I have also coordinated the assessment, outreach and training programs prior to becoming director.

  • Chaney Cook

    Chaney Cook, PsyD

    Associate Director and Clinical Director of Counseling Services

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University, 1990
    Masters of Education degree in Community Counseling from University of Oklahoma, 1994
    Masters of Arts and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from University of Denver, 2001

    Colorado licensed Clinical Psychologist

    Professional Interests: Dr. Cook's areas of interest include working with clients who are struggling with issues related to depression, anxiety, personality disorders and self- harming behaviors. She uses clients’ strengths and a collaborative approach to determine the best course of treatment. Dr. Cook also enjoyed providing clinical supervision to trainees and new professionals seeking mental health licensure. Dr. Cook is currently pursuing an Animals and Human Health Certification through DUGSSW program in order to implement animal-assisted therapy into her work. Her puppy, Rylie (a mini goldendoodle) is a therapy-dog-in-training and accompanies Dr. Cook in her sessions on campus Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    Professional Experience: She has over twenty years of experience working with young adults, couples, families and adolescents, especially those within college and university settings. Dr. Cook was the Director of Counseling and worked on staff at Regis University for 17 years before coming to DU as the Associate Director/Clinical Director. In addition, she has maintained a small private practice for over 20 years.

    Personal Interests: Dr. Cook enjoys watching football (big Broncos fan and raised a Cowboys fan), traveling to foreign countries (on country number 58), playing/walking her dog and spending time creating stone art with her partner.

  • Rylie Cook

    Rylie Cook


    Pronouns: She/Her

    ​Baxter & Bella Puppy Training program--in process

    Professional Interests: As a 4 month old mini-goldendoodle, I enjoy cuddling and giving kisses to the clients that my mom sees, interacting and providing support to HCC staff and learning more how I can be helpful for DU students in general.

    Professional Experience: ​I am in my first month of working in my mom's office but think I learn something new with every visit! My mom says I get to work on campus Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    Personal Interests: ​I enjoying fet​ching whatever toys people throw for me, taking long walks around campus and chewing on anything and everything!

  • Nahed Barakat

    Nahed Barakat, PsyD

    Staff Psychologist / Coordinator of the Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives/ Interim Training Director 

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Doctor of Psychology, University of Denver, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
    MA Psychology, Pepperdine University

    Professional Interests: Focus on anxiety, depression, OCD, multicultural issues, as well as identity and interpersonal issues. I particularly enjoy working with international students, and students who identify as holding a minority status or is from a historically marginalized population.

    Professional Experience: My main experience and interest is working on college campuses with college students. I received my final year of training at the University of Denver’s Health & Counseling Center, then finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I worked at Regis University’s counseling center for the past 3 years.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy snowboarding, road biking, stand up paddle boarding and kite surfing. I do not have any pets, but I am the official dog sitter for all of my neighbors!

  • Anand Desai

    Anand Desai, PsyD

    Staff Psychologist / Group and Outreach Coordinator

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    PsyD: Counseling Psychology, 2012, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN
    MS: Counseling Psychology, 2005, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
    BA: Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

    Professional Interests: College counseling, group therapy, couples therapy, grief/loss concerns, relational trauma, experiences of oppression/discrimination, sexual assault/dating violence, family of origin concerns, disordered eating, relationship concerns, psychodynamic treatment, emotionally-focused treatment, multiculturally-focused treatment.

    Professional Experience: I have worked mostly as a therapist in college counseling centers (University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, and University of North Carolina) and also have experience in assessment (LD/ADHD, personality, vocational). I have an extensive background in group therapy and am currently serving as the group and outreach coordinator at HCC. I also enjoy experiences with supervision/training.

  • Briana Johnson

    Briana Johnson, MA, LPC, LAC

    Coordinator of Alcohol and Other Drug Support Services /Staff Counselor

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BS in Psychology and French from Furman University, 2009
    MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary, 2013

    Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Addiction Counselor

    Professional Interests: I believe we do what works and that people are brilliant and creative at meeting their needs but some solutions have unintended consequences down the road. I ask clients to examine the consequences they're facing and work to help clients find authentic ways of meeting their needs with consequences they can live with. I enjoy working with substance use, LGBTQIA (particularly trans & non-binary) issues, making big decisions, relationship problems, etc. I am also trained in EMDR via the Maiberger Institute to treat trauma-related symptoms.

    Professional Experience: I specialize in substance use work and I have worked previously performing biopsychosocial assessments for healthcare professionals with behavioral health concerns, providing group and individual substance use treatment at the outpatient and intensive outpatient level of care including DUI Education and Therapy, and providing counseling for LGBTQIA individuals in a private practice setting.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy being outside, reading, good conversation, traveling to new places, dreaming about traveling to new places, doing art (not often enough), practicing yoga, and eating good food with friends and family.

  • Wendy Morrison

    Wendy Morrison, PhD

    Psychological Assessment Coordinator / Staff Psychologist

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PhD in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016.
    MA in Counseling Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012.
    MS in Psychology, Villanova University, 2008.
    BA in Psychology and Spanish, Muhlenberg College, 2005

    Professional Interests: University student mental health, cognitive and personality assessment, therapeutic assessment, ADHD, family of origin concerns, relationship concerns, trauma, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, multicultural and diversity issues, graduate student issues, community outreach, individual and group counseling, early intervention, crisis intervention.

    Professional Experience: Doctoral internship at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Wardenburg Health Center. Post-doctoral fellowship providing wellness interventions at the Jefferson Center for Mental Health and CU Anschutz Medical School.

    Personal Interests: Playing with my dog, exploring Denver, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Jennifer Schroeder

    Jennifer Schroeder, LCSW

    Behavioral Health Consultant

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BA in Psychology The University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006. Masters of Social Work and Trauma certificate: The University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work, 2008. LCSW obtained in 2011

    Professional Interests: I come from a generalist background with specific interests in working with individuals struggling with grief and loss, anxiety, depression, stress management, interpersonal violence, and trauma.

    Professional Experience: I have been in the social work field for over a decade predominantly in the medical setting. I have worked in hospitals both in Colorado and Washington DC with individuals and families. I have expertise in providing counseling to individuals in crisis and struggling with complex or overwhelming situations.

    Personal Interests: I love to read, spend time outside hiking with my partner and dogs, travel, and game nights with friends and family.

  • OPEN

    Open Position

    Sport & Performance Psychologist

    Pronouns: Coming Soon

    Education: Coming Soon

    Professional Interests: Coming Soon

    Professional Experience: Coming Soon

    Personal Interests: Coming Soon

  • Ashley Hunt

    Ashley Hunt, MS

    Assistant Director of Advocacy Services, CAPE

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Conflict Resolution/Peace Education, MS from Portland State University 2013
    Gender Studies, Religious Studies, BA from Iowa State University 2011
    Victim Advocacy Certification, State of Colorado 2020
    Green Dot Certification, 2017

    Professional Interests: ​Survivor/Victim Advocacy, Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Harrassment, Stalking, Trauma, LGBTQ+, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives, Violence Prevention Education, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, Restorative Justice, Men's Engagement.

    Professional Experience: ​I have over seven years' experience facilitating trainings on topics of violence prevention, anti-oppression, and social justice. Most recently I was the Leadership and Engagement Manager for the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking. Before then, I served as a sexual assault victim advocate and prevention educator, both within community-based sexual assault programs and higher education settings. As a victim advocate, I primarily served LGBTQ+ survivors, incarcerated survivors, and college-aged youth.

    Previously, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I managed an online violence prevention program administered to 4,000 students each year and led program evaluation efforts to ensure the program met the needs of students disproportionately impacted by violence, specifically students with marginalized identities. While at UW-Madison I also offered victim advocacy services, supervised and mentored a feminist activist organization dedicated to ending violence, instructed a course for fraternity men through the School of Social Work to support their engagement in the anti-violence movement, and was a leader in diversity, equity, and social justice initiatives across campus.​

    Personal Interests: ​Star Trek [most Sci-Fi and Fantasy and Geeky genres], Board Games and Video Games, Comic Books, Hiking and the Outdoors, Thrift Shopping, Sewing, Cats, Creative Writing.

  • Stacy Kolcum

    Stacy Kolcum, MNO

    CAPE Advocate

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Master of Nonprofit Organizations: Case Western Reserve University, 2016; BA Psychology: Syracuse University, 2013

    Professional Interests:Providing support to victims of gender-based violence, trauma, crisis intervention, self-esteem, empowerment-based wilderness/adventure therapy, working with marginalized populations including LGBTQ+.

    Professional Experience: Primarily in the nonprofit sector including domestic violence shelter advocacy, sexual assault hotline advocacy, guiding and coordinating outdoor trips, and at a resource center for at-risk teens and young adults.

    Personal Interests: Hiking, backpacking, yoga, climbing, podcasts, reading, and spending time snuggling my dogs and cat.

  • Marjorie Lavin

    Marjorie Lavin, MD

    Staff Psychiatrist

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    MD, Cornell University
    Psychiatric Residency, Boston University

    Professional Interests: Psychopharmacology, nutrition, wellness, and alternative therapies.

    Professional Experience: Chief at Mental Health Kaiser (1983-1986); Chief at Mental Health Harvard Community Health Plan (1986-1991); Consultant/Editor at McKesson, Inc. (2000-present); Lecturer, supervisor, teacher in psychopharmacology, time limited therapies.

  • Kevin Cowperthwaite

    Kevin Cowperthwaite, MD


    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    MD, 1992, University of Colorado Internship and Residency, University of Colorado Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology since 1998

    Professional Interests: Young Adult Mental Health and Development, psychopharmacology, mood and anxiety disorders

    Professional Experience: 2012-Present: Outpatient and Hospital Psychiatrist, Denver, CO
    1999-2011: Psychiatrist, Health Center at Auraria, serving Metro and UCD

    Personal Interests: People, Travel, Books, History, Food, Getting outdoors

  • OPEN

    Kyle Kemp, MD

    Psychiatry Resident 2021-2122

    Pronouns: Coming Soon

    Education: Coming Soon

    Professional Interests: Coming Soon

    Professional Experience: Coming Soon

    Personal Interests: Coming Soon

  • Amanda Weaver

    Amanda Weaver, PsyD

    Contracted Counselor

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Psychology, The Illinois School of Professional Psychology, 2020
    Masters of Arts, Clinical Psychology, The Illinois School of Professional Psychology, 2018
    Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, DePaul University, 2015 

    Professional Interests: I have a strong interest in college counseling, relational feminist therapy, helping clients tolerate difficult emotions, identifying and expanding upon client's strengths, increasing self-compassion, and understanding how societal context influences client's concerns. I am invested in anti-racism and exploring psychology's place in that endeavor. I also have interests in trauma, relational concerns, identity exploration, anxiety, and family of origin difficulties.

    Professional Experience: I have worked with adolescents and young adults throughout my training and have spent the last two years working specifically with college students. During that time I have gained experience in providing therapy to clients struggling with adjustment difficulties, relational and familial concerns, trauma, depression, anxiety, body image, and discrimination. I also gained experience facilitating interpersonal process groups, anxiety skills groups, and trauma support groups.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time outside, cooking and baking, listening to podcasts and music, reading, watching reality tv competition shows, forcing my cats to snuggle with me, playing a variety of games, and traveling/exploring new places.

  • Patty Gonzalez

    Patty Gonzalez, PhD

    Post-Doctoral Resident 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Hers/Ella

    Doctor of Philosophy, Counseling Psychology, Indiana University Bloomington, 2021
    Master of Science in Education, Learning and Developmental Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington, 2018
    Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Asian Studies, Cornell University, 2015

    Professional Interests: As a bilingual Latina therapist and child of immigrants, I view counseling and daily life through an intersectional feminist and multicultural lens. I also draw from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and an Interpersonal Processing Approach in my counseling approach. I enjoy working with folx on concerns related to identity exploration, alcohol use, intergenerational trauma, oppression and resistance, and adjustment difficulties. I especially love working with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students, Spanish/Spanglish-speakers, undocumented and DACA students, international students, first-generation students, children of immigrants, members of the LGBTQIA community, and members of fandom communities (e.g. Harry Potter, anime, K-pop, book series, etc.). I value getting to know my clients’ salient identities, passions, hobbies, and background to be able to integrate them into their counseling experience.

    Professional Experience: I was trained to provide bilingual services in English/Spanish with university students and community members. I most recently completed my doctoral psychology internship at Colorado State University, where I provided group/individual services and served on several multidisciplinary teams and rotations (Behavioral Health rotation, BIPOC rotation, DBT-informed post-hospitalization program, Eating Disorder Treatment Team, and Transgender Treatment Team). I also was Assistant Director of the Center of Human Growth at Indiana University (2018-2020), where I supervised counselors-in-training and supported students experiencing crises. Throughout the course of my training, I was a part of a Spanish-speaking team of counselors who provided community workshops, outreach, and individual services to Latinx/e/@-identified students and community members. As a member of this team, I especially valued my role in working with undocumented Spanish-speaking adults with alcohol use concerns.

    Personal Interests: Proud nerd here! Anime/manga, East Asian dramas, and K-pop are big aspects of my self-care. I also love reading, languages, Latin dance (I grew up with salsa, bachata, merengue & have spent time learning some Flamenco and Baile Folklórico), musicals, finding new places to eat, spending time with my dog, and traveling.

  • Anna Mokry

    Anna Mokry, PsyD

    Post-Doctoral Resident 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PsyD: Counseling Psychology from Carlow University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2021
    MS: Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 2017
    BA: Psychology from Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 2015

    Professional Interests: I have experience working in a variety of diverse clinical settings and really value getting to work with people coming from different circumstances and areas of want or need. I find a lot of purpose and joy in walking with the people I work with to navigate the following areas of life: Adoption/foster care experience, Refugee or other international experience, identity discovery/processing (racial, LGBTQIA+, religion/spirituality), life transitions, trauma (identity, relational, or society focused), depression, and family conflict.

    Professional Experience: My training was geared towards doing general collaborative work with clients with medical or forensic concerns, couples and family therapy, and clients in crisis. Most recently, I completed my predoctoral internship through the Regis University college counseling center. I often embark on therapeutic journeys with clients through an integrative systemic and multicultural lens. I truly believe that it can be really hard to work towards change without also paying attention to the ways in which everyone’s individual identities interact with the society they are a part of. Being a queer, woman of color, I understand that it matters the ways in which we move through the world, both in how we see ourselves and with how others may perceive us to be.

    Personal Interests: Having lived in Denver for a little over a year, I have found it to be a lot of fun exploring all the different outdoor spaces that Colorado has to offer and specifically spend some of my free time at the city’s lakes, trails, and parks! Being a big fan of rain and snow, in the winter, I try to get out and snowshoe up in the mountains whenever possible. The rest of the time is mostly spent trying out new coffee shops, reading, and taking absolutely too many pictures of my 3-legged cat.

  • Bree Armer

    Gabrielle (Bree) Armer, PsyM

    Doctoral Intern 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Master of Clinical Psychology, Wright State University School of Professional Psychology, 2019
    Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Southeast Missouri State University, 2015​

    Professional Interests: My clinical interests include women’s issues, multicultural and diversity issues, social justice and community outreach, identity exploration and development, anxiety, depression, cultivating self-compassion, trauma, interpersonal issues, first generation college students, grad students, and personality disorders. I aim to nurture a safe, understanding, collaborative, and authentic therapeutic relationship with my clients. I generally work from a feminist and humanistic approach while flexibly incorporating techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

    Professional Experience: ​I have had training in a variety of clinical settings including college counseling, community mental health, and private practice. I have experience providing individual and group therapy, assessment services, and outreach services. I have worked with a diverse range of clientele, spanning from early childhood to late adulthood. I particularly enjoy working with young adults as I have a deep appreciation for both the joys and the challenges that they must often navigate such as adjustment difficulties, interpersonal issues, and identity exploration. Additionally, I am dedicated to working from an anti-oppression framework, and greatly value working with clients who hold historically marginalized identities. Prior to my doctoral training, I worked with women and their families at two separate substance use treatment centers

    Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time with friends and family, snuggling my dog, hiking, spending time outdoors, watching tv shows and movies, cooking, discovering new restaurants with my partner, listening to live music, and reading.

  • Max Birdnow

    Max Birdnow, MS

    Doctoral Intern 2021-2022

    Pronouns: He/Him, Any/All

    MS Counseling Psychology, University of Kansas, 2018
    BS Psychology, University of Central Missouri
    BA Music, University of Central Missouri

    Professional Interests: I have a strong interest in working with clients who identify as gender, sexual, and/or romantic minorities (GSRM, aka LGBTQIPA+), especially trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming clients. I am invested in how systems of power and privilege influence mental health both outside of and within the therapy room. I incorporate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and elements of positive psychology/strengths-based practice into my work with clients, with a focus on client self-compassion. I am particularly interested in working with clients who have anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, relational concerns, personality disorders, adjustment issues, ADHD, and difficulties surrounding career exploration and decision-making. I have a special interest in working with fine artists, performing artists, and other creative people.

    Professional Experience: I have previously worked at three college counseling centers. Starting with the most recent experience, these include: Kansas City Art Institute Counseling Center (Kansas City, MO), August 2019 – April 2020, University of Kansas Counseling and Psychological Services (Lawrence, KS), and August 2017 – May 2018, University of St. Mary Counseling Center (Leavenworth, KS), August 2016 – May 2017 I received generalist training from these sites and have served clients with a number of issues common for post-secondary students. I have also been a counselor, supervisor, and coordinator with the Counseling Laboratory for the Exploration of Optimal States (CLEOS) at the University of Kansas for three years. CLEOS is a unique research-through-service program that learns more about creative adolescents while providing them with psychoeducation and career guidance.

    Personal Interests: In my free time I like to make music, listen to music, play video games (I’m a big JRPG fan), have good conversation, and read fiction and nonfiction. I enjoy playing with my dogs (two huskies and an Aussie cattle dog mix) and relaxing with my partner over some King of the Hill, [RuPaul’s] Drag Race, or Star Wars media. I’m excited to get out in the beautiful nature of Colorado!

  • Monica Smith-Acuña

    Monica Smith-Acuña, MA

    Doctoral Intern 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    MA Clinical Psychology, University of Denver, 2019
    BA International Economics, George Washington University, 2014

    Professional Interests: My primary area of interest is working with relationships, both individually and in a system. I love couples therapy, and I specifically work from a systems theory and emotionally focused therapy lens. Working with clients I use an interpersonal approach, often working on the relationship in the room, and utilizing "here and now" behavioral interventions.

    Professional Experience: I have spent the last two years working at Metro State University's counseling center, working as an individual therapist, group therapist and doing crisis work. At MSU I cultivated an interest in working with graduate students, first generation college students and Latinx individuals. Previously I worked at Denver South high school and the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program. I have experience with LD/ ADHD assessments and have a personal passion for personality assessments.

    Personal Interests: I am from Denver originally and adore exploring the local restaurant scene! I also enjoy playing tennis, skiing, cooking and going to art museums. My favorite pass time is reading, everything from novels to memoirs, and I will often integrate literature into my clinical work. I have two adorable, feisty cats.

  • Chelse Song

    Chelse Song, MA

    Doctoral Intern 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

    Masters of Arts: Counseling Psychology From Towson University, 2015

    Certifications in U-Visa Training for Survivors of Violence (Maryland Governor's Office, 2015), Multiculturalism in Integrated Behavioral Health (New Mexico State University, 2019), and Psychological First Aid (Johns Hopkins University, 2020).

    Professional Interests: I believe in our shared responsibility to promote social justice, uplift marginalized communities, and engage in grassroots activism/protest against oppressive structures. I practice in English and Spanish from an integrated Feminist Multicultural Therapy perspective, with emphasis on serving (un)documented Latine immigrants, survivors of abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. As a queer therapist, I find joy in my clinical work uplifting and encouraging fellow LGBTQ+ folks. Lastly, I enjoy teaching and practicing mindfulness and movement-based therapeutic techniques (e.g., acupressure, hatha yoga, qigong, walking meditations).

    Professional Experience: I most recently practiced assessments at a private practice in New Mexico, including neuropsychological assessments, Disability Determination evaluations, assessments for learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and dementia/memory issues. I also served in the Veterans Health Administration where I provided behavioral health consultation, caregiver support and psychoeducation about dementia and cognitive impairment, bilingual Spanish/English counseling and assessment. Before that, I served in a college counseling setting in New Mexico providing counseling and psychoeducation to students of diverse genders and sexualities, students with history of trauma, Spanish/English counseling to Latine (primarily Mexican-American) students, and students facing adjustment and life transition difficulties.

    Personal Interests: Community is incredibly important to me - I enjoy grassroots organizing and marching/protesting (particularly around immigration/asylum, antiracism, healthcare reform, and human rights. I am also a huge nerd; I enjoy cosplaying, going to conventions, playing Dungeons and Dragons, writing fan-created fiction works, laser tag, and tabletop gaming.

  • Kat Becker

    Kat Becker, BA

    Graduate Student Trainee 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/ They

    ​B.S. Public Health: Concentration in Behavioral Health, The University of Tampa, 2019
    M.A. Counseling Psychology: Addictions Specialization, University of Denver, 2021

    Professional Interests: Kat finds great meaning in providing LGBTQIA+ affirming care with an intersectional approach, and working with clients experiencing concerns around addiction, trauma, chronic health conditions, and grief and loss. Kat takes an Existential approach to psychotherapy, and appreciates a psychosomatic approach which emphasizes the mind/ body/ spirit connection.

    Professional Experience: Kat has provided substance misuse treatment and counseling services at IDEA Recovery Center and Colorado University Anschutz School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, at ARTS (Addiction Research and Treatment Services).​​ Prior to her role as a Counselor, Kat has worked at The University of Tampa Wellness Center to provide health promotion outreach for college students surrounding substance use prevention efforts.

    Personal Interests: ​Kat enjoys meditation, cooking, reading and learning about Psychology, and Philosophy, spending time with her big fluffy dog, and taking time to be grateful for our beautiful earth. ​

  • OPEN

    Lena Blum, MFTC

    Graduate Student Trainee 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    ​MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, Northwestern University, 2020
    BA, Fine Arts, Syracuse University, 2017

    Professional Interests: I am versed in working with individuals and couples. My clinical interest include: working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community, identity exploration, non-monogamy/polyamory, family conflict, transgenerational concerns, high conflict relationships, anxiety, and depression. My role as the therapist is to establish a warm and safe environment that empowers my clients' strengths that in turn enables them to take risks and challenge familiar patterns that are no longer serving them. Using empirically informed interventions, I work collaboratively with my clients to reach their goals.​

    Professional Experience: I utilize Integrative Systemic Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in my approach. Most recently I worked at a private practice, Center for Resilience Strategies, as a Marriage and Family therapist candidate. Prior to working in private practice in Colorado, I worked in Chicago at the Bette D Harris Family & Child Clinic.

    Personal Interests: ​I have two dogs and therefore living my dream. ​Outside of work my life tends to revolve around them and sharing meals with friends and family.

  • Calvin Lee

    Calvin Lee, MA, NCC

    Graduate Student Trainee 2021-2022

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    ​​​​MA in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 2021
    BA in Elementary Education, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2017​​

    Professional Interests: ​Ethnic minorities, immigrants (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation), marginalized groups/populations, men's issues, self-esteem and personal identity, substance use/addiction, anxiety, depression. I often take mindfulness-based approaches and pay attention to narratives and the way we share stories about ourselves and others. I also use motivational interviewing and like to focus on my clients' strengths.​

    Professional Experience: ​I have 5 years of experience working with people across the lifespan from early childhood to adulthood. I have a background in behavioral therapy through working with children and adolescents diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. While attending my master's program I worked with Boston Emergency Services Team (B.E.S.T.) providing crisis intervention and emergency psychiatric services for people in the greater Boston area. Most recently, I worked in a dual-diagnosis partial hospitalization program utilizing individual and group therapy to serve people diagnosed with mental health disorders who were also recovering from substance abuse/addiction.

    Personal Interests: ​I'm regaining my appreciation of the outdoors by hiking when it's warm and skiing when it's not. I also enjoy working out, playing board games, and going to museums. In reality, most of my free time is spent with my golden retriever, Rusty.

  • OPEN

    Xavier Bird, BA

    Graduate Student Trainee 2021-2022

    Pronouns: Coming Soon

    Education: Coming Soon

    Professional Interests: Coming Soon

    Professional Experience: Coming Soon

    Personal Interests: Coming Soon

  • OPEN

    Ellie Brown, MA

    Advanced Practicum Student in Sport Psychology 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    ​Bachelor of Arts: Sociology From Colorado College, 2013
    Master of Arts: Sport and Performance Psychology From University of Denver, 2018

    Professional Interests: ​Utilizing psychological principles of change and human performance, I enjoy providing collaborative therapeutic services to athletes, performers, and coaches to enhance performance and personal growth. Specialites and clinical preferences include: Eating disorders, performance issues, injury rehabilitation, chronic pain, women's issues, personality disorders, complex trauma, interpersonal issues, anxiety, depression, ADHD, academic stress, life transition, identity development, perfectionism, and ​grief/loss.

    Professional Experience: ​Behavioral Health Consultant, UCHealth. Doctoral Extern Therapist, Denver Mental Health Collective. Connections House Therapist, EDCare

    Personal Interests: ​I love staying active and exploring all the Southwest has to offer when I am not working with clients. In the summer, I enjoy riding my horse and hiking all over Colorado with my dog, Rio. In the winter, you can usually find me on a ski mountain looking for the best powder in the trees.

  • OPEN

    Evelyn Ohaus, MA, NCC

    Advanced Practicum Student 2021-2022

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    M.A; Clinical Psychology; University of Denver; 2021​

    Professional Interests: ​Assessment, Couples Counseling, and Trauma Work

    Professional Experience: Assessment Extern at Jefferson Center. Counseling extern at Regis University​. Counseling extern at GALS. Counseling extern at ARTS.

    Personal Interests: ​Hiking, camping, skiing, and generally anything outdoors!

Health Promotion Staff
      • Kim Liao

        Kim Liao, MPH

        Louis Richard Girouard III Director of Health Promotion

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Master of Public Health, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011
        Bachelor of Science, Biobehavioral Health, Penn State University, 2009

        Professional Interests: Health communications, built environment, health policy, peer education, health equity, program planning, assessment and evaluation

        Professional Experience: Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Coordinator, Chester County Health Department
        Assistant Director of Health Promotion, Penn State University
        Community Health Educator, Penn State University

        Personal Interests: Hiking, rock climbing, tea, cooking, trying new restaurants, crafting, cats

      • Andrea Thyrring

        Andrea Thyrring, MA

        Coordinator of Gender Violence Prevention and Education

        Pronouns: She/Her or They/Them

        Doctor of Education – Anticipated June 2021
        Learning & Design Certificate – Anticipated Fall 2021
        Master of Arts, Higher Education - DU 2013
        Bachelor of Science, Health and Exercise Science; Minor, Women and Gender Studies - TCNJ, 2011

        Professional Interests: ​Power-conscious prevention progr​ams, sexual health, reproductive justice, strategic change management, holistic health and coaching

        Professional Experience: ​Consultant, Array Strategies; Trauma-informed Yoga Instructor; Colorado Doula Project, Board of Trustees; Violence Prevention Program Coordinator and Confidential Advocate for Victims, Regis University; Health Specialist, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver; Case Administrator, University of Denver

        Personal Interests: ​Music, food, fitness and well-being, hanging out with my dog Duncan

      • Eva Esakoff

        Eva Esakoff, MA

        Coordinator of Health Promotion- Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Master of Arts, Higher Education Administration,
        University of Denver, 2019
        Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Minor, Health & Wellness, California State University, Monterey Bay, 2016

        Professional Interests: Health & wellbeing, student affairs/higher education, social justice, gender equity, sustainability

        Professional Experience: Inclusive Excellence Fellow for Health Promotion at DU; Resident Advisor at CSU Monterey Bay; Area Council Advisor at CSU Monterey Bay; Bedsider sexual health organization member at CSU Monterey Bay

        Personal Interests: Biking, hiking, crafting, exercise/fitness, and vegetarian food

      • Katelynn DeLavan photo

        Katelynn DeLavan, BA

        Coordinator of Health Promotion- Mental Health

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Bachelor of Arts, Humanities
        Shimer College

        Professional Interests: Mental health equity, social justice, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, trauma informed care, harm reduction, anti-violence advocacy

        Professional Experience: Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, Rose Andom Center, Denver CO; Crisis Services Supervisor, National Runaway Safeline, Chicago IL

        Personal Interests: Sewing, crafts, carpentry, gardening, biking, sci-fi

      • Katie Johnson

        Katie Johnson, BA

        Graduate Assistant- Peer Education Supervisor

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Pursuing Master of Arts, Higher Education Administration, University of Denver, 2022
        Bachelor of Arts, Social Science, San Diego State University, 2019

        Professional Interests: Equity and access in higher education, education and class, career and academic development, student well-being and success, sustainability, gender

        Professional Experience: Peer Education Graduate Assistant, Elementary Program Assistant, Santa Rosa, CA, Academic Mentor, San Diego State University, Women's Resource Center Fellow, San Diego State University

        Personal Interests: Cooking & baking, floral design, hiking, music, and her dog, Ruth

      • Natalie Frias

        Natalie Frias, BSW

        Graduate Assistant- Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and Education

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Pursuing Master of Social Work with an emphasis on Mental Health and a certificate in human-animal-environment interactions in social work through University of Denver's 3-2 program
        Bachelor of Arts, Psychology; Minor, Communication

        Professional Interests: Clinical Social Work, Counseling, Trauma-informed care, Intimate Partner Violence, drug and alcohol addiction, animal and people interactions to find healing, mental health advocacy

        Professional Experience: Life Skills Education Intern, Denver Rescue Mission; Family Program Intern, SafeHouse Denver; Domestic Violence Advocate, Wellness Chair, Alpha Delta Chi

        Personal Interests: Traveling, Hiking, Yoga, Running, spending time with my cat, Calypso, getting fast food, learning, and watching movies

      • Nicole Tabor

        Nicole Tabor, BS

        Graduate Assistant- Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and Education

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Pursuing Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health, 2023
        Bachelor of Science, Rehabilitation Services; Minors, Psychology, Art; Southern Illinois University

        Professional Interests: Social Justice, Community Engagement, Program Evaluation, Health Policy, Harm Reduction, Health Equity

        Professional Experience: Behavioral/Mental Health Case Manager, Women's Resource Center; Graduate Coordinator for Southen Illinois University

        Personal Interests: Photography, DIY/Upcycle, Hiking/Camping, Thrifting, and Asiago (my cat) 

      • Amanda Kallach photo

        Amanda Kallach, BA

        Graduate Fellow- Gender Violence Prevention and Education

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Pursuing Master of Arts, Higher Education Administration, University of Denver, 2022
        Bachelor of Science, Middle Childhood Education, Ohio State University, 2018

        Professional Interests : Student higher education experience, including their health, safety, programming, and general overall experience at their higher education institution; equity and inclusion in higher education; general wellbeing of students; student affairs

        Professional Experience: Middle childhood teaching and coaching, Graduate Intern for Summer Bridge Programming at MSU Denver, Graduate Intern for College and Career Success with Aurora Public Schools

        Personal Interests: Sports (Specifically the Ohio State Buckeyes), hiking, snowboarding, coffee, music, live concerts/music, trying new restaurants and good food in Denver

      • Natalie Siegel photo

        Natalie Siegel, BA

        Graduate Intern- Gender Violence Prevention and Education

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Pursuing Masters of Social Work, University of Denver, 2022
        Bachelors of the Arts, Psychology, Minors, Sociology & Women and Gender Studies, DePaul University, 2020  

        Professional Interests: Human sexuality, sexual wellness, LGBTQ+ advocacy, crashing the cis-tem and dismantling the patriarchy

        Professional Experience: Supervised parenting time Intern, The Karlis Center at Family Tree of Denver; Health and Wellness Chair, Alpha Xi Delta Iota Ro DePaul University; International Wellness Intern, Students for International Training, Amsterdam, NL; Staff Intern, Sex with Emily, Los Angeles, CA  

        Personal Interests: Adult animation television, coffee, Drag Race, exercise, and painting 

      • Olivia Bahr photo

        Olivia Bahr, BSW

        Graduate Intern- Gender Violence Prevention and Education

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Pursuing a Master of Social Work at the University of Denver with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership and Policy Practice and a certificate in Animal-Assisted Therapies
        Bachelor of Social Work, University of Missouri, 2020

        Professional Interests: Trauma-informed care, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), the healing power of human-animal relationships, intimate partner violence, suicide prevention, mental health advocacy

        Professional Experience: Search Engine Optimization Specialist and Website Content Writing, Simplified SEO Consulting; Domestic Violence Victim Advocate, True North of Columbia; Residential Victim Advocate, True North of Columbia; Mizzou Students Suicide Prevention Coalition, University of Missouri

        Personal Interests: Coffee, traveling, hiking, yoga, trying new restaurants, watching Broad City, and spending time with my dog, Sopi 

      • Julia Richardson photo

        Julia Richardson

        Gender Violence Prevention and Education Intern

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Major: Accounting; Minor- Japanese

        Personal Interests: Writing, reading, music (of all genres and forms), animated movies, and art in any form (especially classic style oil painting and character design) 

      • Jenna Johnson photo

        Jenna Johnson, BS

        Social Media & Marketing Coordinator

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Pursuing Master of Arts, International Studies, University of Denver, 2022
        Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Oklahoma State University, 2017

        Professional Interests : Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, International Development, Human Rights, Social Media & Marketing, Business Development

        Professional Experience: Campaign Manager, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Development Assistant, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters; Community Economic Development Volunteer, Peace Corps (Senegal)

        Personal Interests: Traveling, Writing, Documentaries, Reading, Cooking, Sewing, & Animals (Especially her own, Rosie & Ramen)

      • Anit Tyagi photo

        Anit Tyagi

        Pronouns :  He/Him/His

        Majors: Chemistry, Political Science; Minors- Biology, Math

        Personal Interests: Playing pickleball, reading current events, watching TV

      • Caitlin Clemens photo

        Caitlin Clemens

        Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

        Majors: International Studies, Geography; Minors- French, Sustainability

        Other Campus Activities: Officer, National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCG) 

        Personal Interests: Hiking, skiing, reading, going on adventures 

      • Caroline Kemp photo

        Caroline Kemp

        Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

        Major: Sociology; Minor- Wellness Studies

        Other Campus Activities: Member & Philanthropy Assistant of Delta Zeta Sorority, Happy Tampers 

        Personal Interests: Fashion forecasting, swimming, popular culture, hiking, wellness, baking, meditation 

      • Chyna Tillman photo

        Chyna Tillman

        Pronouns : Fae/Faer/Faers

        Major: Psychology; Minors- Criminology, English

        Other Campus Activities: President- Neurodiversity Resource Group, DU Dungeons and Dragons Club, 1GenU 

        Personal Interests: Reading, writing, and baking 

      • Emma Robson photo

        Emma Robson

        Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

        Major: Biology, concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience

        Other Campus Activities: Globe Med, Happy Tampers, Gamma Phi Beta, Youth Gymnastics Coach on Campus

        Personal Interests: Reading, baking, hiking with my dog, and beach bumming 

      • Jill Girardeau photo

        Jill Girardeau | Team Leader

        Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

        Majors: International Studies, Spanish

        Other Campus Activities: Alpha Phi Omega, University Honors Program 

        Personal Interests: Running, hiking, being outside, making art 

      • John Haddock photo

        John Haddock

        Pronouns : He/Him/His

        Majors: Political Science, Public Policy; Minors: Leadership Studies, Statistics

        Personal Interests: Politics, dogs, meditation

      • Julianne Wertz photo

        Julianne Wertz

        Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

        Major: Business Analytics; Minors- Accounting, Management, Marketing

        Other Campus Activities: ASA, Kappa Phi Lamda, Volunteer at EBC

        Personal Interests: Playing sports, working out, going outside, animals, talking and socializing with people

      • Kameron Gottlieb photo

        Kameron Gottlieb

        Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

        Major: Molecular Biology, Minors- Chemistry, Sustainability

        Personal Interests: Playing guitar, dancing, knitting, skiing, and doing pretty much anything outdoors

      • Luke Fish photo

        Luke Fish

        Pronouns:   He/Him/His

        Major: Psychology

        Personal Interests: Musical theatre/performing and all contained fields, board games, video games, baking, and guitar

      • Megan Morrell photo

        Megan Morrell | Team Leader

        Pronouns : She/They

        Major: Political Science; Minors- Philsophy, Sustainability

        Other Campus Activities: HRE Apartments Staff, DU Debate, USG Sustainability Committee 

        Personal Interests: Reading, debate, environmentalism

      • Morgan Martin photo

        Morgan Martin

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Major: Molecular Biology; Minors- Spanish, Chemistry, Leadership Studies

        Personal Interests: Singing, playing the guitar, writing, reading, politics, listening to podcasts

      • Naitra Ramchander photo

        Peyton Howsden

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        Majors: Biology, Criminology; Minors- Chemistry, Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience), Health Sciences

        Other Campus Activities: Panhellenic Executive Board, Gamma Phi Beta, Pre-Health Society, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, DU Programming Board, Club Lacrosse Team 

        Personal Interests: Yoga, lacrosse, hiking 

      • Sam Levering photo

        Sam Levering

        Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

        Major: Anthropology; Minor- Leadership

        Other Campus Activities: Chi Omega Sorority, DU EMS, and Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP) 

        Personal Interests: Baking, yoga, reading, travel, listening to music, watching tv, and mochas 

      • Tarini Sharma photo

        Tarini Sharma

        Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

        Major: Economics; Minor- Psychology

        Other Campus Activities: Engagement Assistant at the Burwell Center for Career Achievement, Happy Tampers 

        Personal Interests: Reading, doodling, and aggressively headbanging 

      • Zainab Alikhan photo

        Zainab Alikhan

        Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

        Major: Biochemistry; Minor- Leadership Studies

        Other Campus Activities: HRE Residential Assistant, Doctors Without Borders, FeelGoodDU, PreMed Club 

        Personal Interests: Trying new restaurants, yoga, playing frisbee 

Interested in Becoming a Peer Educator?

Thrive Peer Health EducatorsThe Thrive Peer Education team interviews and hires new members in the Winter Quarter each year. Applications for 2021-2022 are now closed. Please check back in Winter 2022 for applications for the 2022-2023 academic year. To receive information about applications for 2022-2023 or for general questions, please contact Katie Johnson, Graduate Assistant Peer Education Supervisor, at

Medical Staff
  • David Odell

    David Odell, MD

    Medical Director / Staff Physician

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    MD, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1995
    Residency, Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver, Family Medicine, 1998
    Fellowship, Ohio State University, Columbus, Sports Medicine, 1999

    Professional Experience: Board Certified Family Medicine Physician; private family practice, 2000-2003; urgent care medicine, 2003-2013; University of Denver Health & Counseling Center Medical Director, 2012 to present.

  • Gigi Cotton

    Georgianne “Gigi” Cotton, MCMSc, PA-C

    Associate Director of Medical Services / Staff Physician Assistant, Certified

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Education: Master of Clinical Medical Science and Physician Assistant Studies, Barry University (Miami, FL), 2015
    BS in Journalism, University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), 2011

    Professional Interests: Medical treatment of eating disorders, women’s health, and mental health

    Professional Experience: I have worked as a PA in family medicine since 2016. During my undergraduate years I worked with the community health program at the University of Colorado, and have a passion for college health.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy skiing, paddle boarding, music, travel, and spending time with my family and friends.

  • Abbey Drake

    Abbey Drake, PA-C

    Physician Assistant, Certified

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Education: Bachelors of Science in Human Physiology, Boston University, 2003
    Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 2006

    Professional Interests: Women’s Health, Urgent Care, Public Health & STI Prevention

    Professional Experience: Johnson & Wales University Health and Counseling Services, 2013-2021; urgent care medicine, 2011-present; Child Family Health International and Para el Mundo, 2009-2010; North Shore Fertility, 2006-2008

    Personal Interests: I love international travel, good food, trains, backpacking, and used book stores.

  • Girish Paranjape

    Girish Paranjape, DO

    Staff Physician

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    DO, Oklahoma State University, 1996
    BA, University of Oklahoma, 1992
    CAQSM, Fellowship, Primary Care Sports Medicine, University of Colorado, 2000
    Residency, Family Medicine, University of Colorado, 1999

    Board Certifications - Sports Medicine and Family Medicine - (CAQSM and ABFM)

    Professional Interests: Musculoskeletal Injuries and Rehabilitation, Preventative Care, Travel Medicine

    Professional Experience: (2002-present) - Staff Physician University of Denver Student Health and Counseling Center. (2002 - present) - Medical Director, Head Medical Team Physician University of Denver Pioneers.

  • Annie Kate Randall

    Annie Kate Randall, RDN

    Registered Dietitian

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences Texas Christian University, 2017
    Coordinated Program of Nutrition and Dietetics, Texas Christian University
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, 2017 

    Professional Interests: I am interested in helping anyone who is motivated to make changes in their life to better their health. I aim to stray away from the negative connotation of a "diet" and a dietitian as restriction and move towards enjoying a variety of foods and taking care of the body you have been given. I specialize and have the most experience with weight loss and management, nutrition for cardiac and diabetic patients, women's health, eating disorder patients, athletes and overall healthy eating.

    Professional Experience: I attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas and went through the Coordinated Program of Nutrition and Dietetics to be eligible to become a RDN with all the required interning hours and courses. I graduated in May of 2017. I interned 1200 hours over the course of two years in a variety of locations such as hospitals, private practice, schools, senior living homes, and several others. After graduating, I became the Dietitian for a private practice working with a wide variety of patients who all wanted to better their health, one way or another. After that, I worked at the cardiac rehabilitation center for Baylor Scott & White hospital. I taught a nutrition class called Leap for Life and worked one-on-one with the cardiac and diabetic patients recovering from heart procedures and various heart conditions. I also got a second job at the one and only Trader Joe's!

    Personal Interests: Outside of work I enjoy hiking and skiing in the mountains. I love to travel and experience new cultures. I also like to cook, bake, host people at our house and take care of my plants, garden and puppy.

  • Heather Rowley

    Heather Rowley, FNP-BC

    Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

    Master’s in Nursing, Columbia University (New York, NY) 2012
    Master’s in Fine Art, Photography, California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA) 2003
    Bachelor’s in Science, Biology, Brown University (Providence, RI) 1997

    Professional Interests: Transgender health and advocacy; Sexual and Reproductive health; Mental health; Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant health

    Professional Experience: Highland Hospital Adult Medicine, Oakland, CA (primary care and urgent care for adults) 2016-2021
    Lyon-Martin Health Services, San Francisco, CA (Primary care for women, transgender and gender-non-conforming people) 2014-2016
    Institute for Family Health, New York, NY (School-based/adolescent health and urgent care) 2012-2014
    Callen-Lorde Community Health Clinic, New York, NY (RN triage in primary care clinic for LGBTQ people) 2010-2011

    Personal Interests: I love hiking, kayaking, reading in hammocks, looking at and discussing art, and making meals with loved ones. I am also an aspiring ukulele player and capoeirista.

  • Jennifer Rysavy

    Jennifer Rysavy, PA-C

    Physician Assistant, Certified

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BS in Biology, University of Minnesota, 2001
    MPAS- Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, Augsburg College (Minneapolis, MN), 2004

    Professional Interests: Women’s health, preventative care and acute care

    Professional Experience: I have worked in family practice for 12 years in the Denver area.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy running, reading, and spending time with my husband and two children.

  • Lori Graybill

    Lori Graybill, RN

    Registered Nurse

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Los Angeles College of Nursing At USC Medical Center, 2006
    Certified in ALCS, PALS, Trauma Nursing Core Curriculum and Emergency Nursing Pediatric Curriculum, S.A.N.E. Nurse

    Professional Experience: UCLA Medical Center Emergency Trauma Technician, Phlebotomy Education Program Director at UCLA Center for Prehospital Care at the David Geffin School of Medicine, Emergency Department the Medical Center of Aurora, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at North Suburban Medical Center​

    Professional Interests: Orthopedic injuries. Trauma and wound care. General Family Medicine issues​

  • Sarah Hwang

    Sarah Hwang, RN

    Registered Nurse

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BS in Nursing from Regis University in Denver, 2009 

    Professional Interests: Women's Health, Public Health

    Professional Experience: ER, Public Health, Urgent Care

    Personal Interests: Outdoor activities and cooking

  • Strephine Stroz

    Stephanie Stroz, RN

    Registered Nurse

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    B.S. in Nursing from Neumann University, Aston PA; 1988

    Professional Interests: college health nursing and pediatrics

    Professional Experience: Staff Nurse at The University of Delaware Student Health Center and School Nurse Consultant for Douglas County School District

  • Denise Gubrud

    Denise Gubrud, CMA

    Certified Medical Assistant

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Certified Medical Assistant, Red Rocks Community College

    Professional Experience: CMA, DU Health & Counseling Center since 2005

    Professional Interests: Orthopedic injuries. Trauma and wound care. General Family Medicine issues

  • Cornelia Nelson

    Cornelia Nelson, CMA

    Certified Medical Assistant

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BSBA, University of Denver

    Certified Medical Assistant, Red Rocks Community College

    Professional Experience: CMA, DU Health & Counseling Center since 2005

  • Kacie Worth

    Kacie Worth, CMA

    Certified Medical Assistant

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    EMT, Front Range Community College, 2012
    Associates of Applied Science in Medical Assisting, Red Rocks Community College, 2016

    Professional Interests: Women’s health. I’m all about women empowerment and being in charge of your health is an important part of that.

    Professional Experience: I worked in a drug and alcohol testing facility for almost 2 years and before that I worked on an ambulance as an EMT.

Collegiate Recovery Staff
  • Waltrina Defrantz-Dufor

    Waltrina Defrantz-Dufor, PhD

    Director of Collegiate Recovery Community

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PhD Higher Education - Leadership, Indiana State University, 2007
    MS Organizational Management, Misericordia University, 2004
    BA Communications, The Pennsylvania State University – University Park, 1991

    Professional Interests: Recovery advocacy and education, transdisciplinary competencies, overdose prevention, holistic wellness, substance prevention and intervention, student success and persistence, intersectionality, appreciative inquiry, leadership development, and social justice.

    Professional Experience: New member of the DU HCC October 2018. Former Academic Advisor/Instructor at Ohio University. Served as the Interim Dean of Academic Affairs at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Associate Dean of Students at Taylor University, and Behavioral Health Technician for Westbrook Health Services Amity Treatment Center. Other experience includes teaching graduate students, student activities, multicultural and international affairs, and admissions.

    Personal Interests: Yoga, meditation, wellness, and beginner triathlete.

  • Jessica Medovich

    Jessica Medovich

    Coordinator of Collegiate Recovery Center

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BFA in Printmaking, Kennesaw State University, 2014
    BFA in Art History, Kennesaw State University, 2014
    BS in Psychology, Kennesaw State University, 2006​

    Professional Interests: Relationship between environmental sustainability and achieving psychosocial wellness and stability in the recovery population, Intersectional environmentalism, Collegiate Recovery and transformative identity development, Collegiate Recovery’s role for building a pathway out of incarceration and into higher education.

    Professional Experience: My experience is both personal and professional. I am a person living in long-term recovery and am also the living result of the power and impact involvement in a Collegiate Recovery Community has on a student’s academic experience and long-term success. I have worked in the field of addiction and recovery since 2010. I join the DU Collegiate Recovery Program with several years of specialized experience in the field of Collegiate Recovery. Supporting students in recovery to have a mainstream college experience and equitable access to education is the bright spot of my life. I believe Collegiate Recovery is not only vital to a recovery student’s academic success but is also an integral component to a students’ long-term sustainability in recovery.

    Personal Interests: ​Backpacking, Mountain biking, Hiking, Kayaking, Art and Museums, Meditation, Conservation and Sustainability, and hanging out with my dog, rabbit, and 2 cats.​