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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.

  • OPEN

    Elshadaye Eshete

    Healthcare Administrative Specialist

    Pronouns: Coming Soon

    Professional Interests: Coming Soon

    Professional Experience: Coming Soon 

  • 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

    Maria Rios-Gomez

    Healthcare Administrative Specialist

    Pronouns: Coming Soon

    Education: Coming Soon

    Professional Interests: Coming Soon

    Professional Experience: Coming Soon

    Personal Interests: 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 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-mutilating 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.

    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.

  • Nahed Barakat

    Nahed Barakat, PsyD

    Staff Psychologist / Coordinator of the Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ann Leibovitz

    Ann Leibovitz, PsyD

    Sport & Performance Psychologist

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PsyD, PGSP-Stanford Consortium, 2015
    MS, PGSP-Stanford Consortium, 2013
    BA, Dartmouth College, 2006

    Professional Interests: Sport & Performance, Trauma, Anxiety, Pain, Sleep, Relationships & Sexual Health

    Professional Experience: Sport Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Health & Rehabilitation Psychology, Couples Psychotherapy

    Personal Interests: My family, skiing, the great outdoors, U.S. history

  • 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.

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    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.

  • 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

    John Whittier, MD

    Psychiatry Resident 2020-2021


  • Amanda Weaver

    Amanda Weaver, PsyD 

    Postdoctoral Fellow 2020-2021

    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.

  • Kaity Brock

    Kaity Brock, MEd, LPC

    Doctoral Intern 2020-2021

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Doctoral Psychology Intern from the Counseling Psychology PhD program at Texas Woman's University
    Masters of Education (MEd) from the University of Oklahoma, 2014

    Professional Interests: College counseling, relational trauma, couples therapy, creativity, wellness, psychological assessment, group therapy, campus outreach, and diversity.

    Professional Experience: I am currently a doctoral candidate working on my Ph.D. in counseling psychology. Prior to starting my current degree program, I obtained a Master's of Education degree in Community Counseling from the University of Oklahoma. I am certified as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the states of Colorado and Oklahoma. I have previously worked with victims of natural disasters and trauma, pre-school populations, as a Mental Health and Disabilities Coordinator, college students at university counseling centers, and with clients in both outpatient and inpatient settings. I have worked with a diverse range of clientele, including children from four years of age to adults in elderly adulthood.

    Personal Interests: Hiking, puzzles, binge-watching television series, playing with my dogs and cat, spending time with friends and family, and sewing.

  • Tom Gaus

    Tom Gaus, MA 

    Doctoral Intern 2020-2021

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    MA Clinical Psychology, Spalding University, 2018
    BA Psychology, University of Tulsa, 2014 

    Professional Interests: I have a generalist background with a focus on anxiety disorders, OCD, and trauma. I am particularly interested in working with clients who are interested in learning how to better manage their strong, sometimes uncomfortable emotions. I aim to facilitate a safe, understanding, collaborative, and genuine therapeutic relationship while predominantly utilizing Cognitive-Behavioral and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy techniques.

    Professional Experience: I have experience in both college counseling and private practice settings. I began my clinical work at the University of Indiana – Southeast Counseling Center where I saw students presenting to treatment for a variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, trauma, disordered eating, and interpersonal difficulties. I then spent the next two years working in private practices specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders, OCD, and eating disorders. I also have experience working with athletes who are interested in improving their mental health and mental approach to performance.

    Personal Interests: I love getting outside to camp, hike, ski, fish, play sports, and spend time with friends and family. I also enjoy listing to a wide range of music and exploring new places with my partner.

  • Mike Hart

    Mike Hart, MS 

    Doctoral Intern 2020-2021

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    MS, Counseling Psychology, University of Kentucky, 2013
    BA, Mass Communication, Illinois State University, 2005 

    Professional Interests: My clinical interests include anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, assessment, forgiveness, grief, career concerns, and substance abuse. I typically work integrating a humanistic approach with cognitive behavioral therapy. I also have experience using acceptance and commitment therapy, forgiveness therapy, motivational interviewing and interpersonal approaches.

    Professional Experience: I have worked with college students providing individual therapy, assessment (e.g., ADHD evaluations), and outreach services while training at college counseling centers at the University of Louisville, Indiana University Southeast, and Bellarmine University. I also have experience in group therapy, teaching, and consulting with university faculty and staff. Prior to my doctoral training, I worked for a period in substance abuse counseling and completing intake evaluations at a psychiatric hospital.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy listening to music, playing guitar, running, hiking, playing games (including D&D), and watching baseball. I love to travel and have been privileged to make several international trips (my favorite countries visited are Italy and Japan).

  • Rich Williams

    Rich Williams, MA 

    Doctoral Intern 2020-2021

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    MA Clinical Psychology, University of Denver, 2019
    MFA Theatre Studies, Brown University, 2011
    BA English Literature, Washington & Lee University, 2004 

    Professional Interests: College Counseling, relational and psychodynamic therapy, systems, couples and relationship concerns, ADHD, depression and anxiety, working with athletes and artists, cognitive health, and business consulting.

    Professional Experience: Externship at –

    Regis University, Aug 2019 – May 2020
    Ardent Grove, June 2019 – June 2020
    KPLA, July 2018 – July 2019
    New Start Clinic, Sept 2017 – Sept 2018
    NYU RUSK Rehab Hospital, Sept 2016 – Aug 2017

    Personal Interests: Playing music, fishing, skiing, golf, tennis, reading & writing, and film & theater

  • Breigh Jones-Coplin

    Breigh Jones-Coplin, MA 

    Advanced Practicum Student in Sport Psychology 2020-2021

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Candidate, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver, 2022
    Master of Arts in Sport and Professional Psychology, University of Denver, 2018
    Bachelor of Arts in Psychology minor in Journalism and Coaching, 2016

    Professional Interests: Sport and Performance Psychology, Perinatal Mental Health, Black Mental Health, Couples and Family Therapy, and Group Therapy

    Professional Experience: Clinical Extern providing psychological services at Girls Athletic Leadership School (2018-2019), Mariposa Family Enrichment Center (2019-2020), Caring for You and Baby Clinic (2019-Present), Professional Psychology Clinic (2018-Present), and Center for Performance Excellence (2016-Present)

    Personal Interests: Interior design, floral design, blogging, trying out new foods, and spending time with family and friends

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    Courtney Agorsor, MS 

    Graduate Student Trainee 2020-2021


    Professional Interests

    Professional Experience

    Personal Interests

  • Devin Kelly

    Devin Kelly, BA 

    Graduate Student Trainee 2020-2021

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BA in Psychology and Legal Studies from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, 2018 

    Professional Interests: I strive to provide a trauma-informed, collaborative, and authentic environment to help clients process and thrive through confusing, challenging, or painful experiences. In particular, I enjoy working with clients to explore the ways that gender, sexuality, and relationships interact with their experiences of violence, anxiety, depression, and substance use. I have an interest in helping clients heal their relationship with their bodies and eating through a weight-inclusive approach and meet often-stigmatized concerns such as self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and substance use with a compassionate and strengths-based attitude.

    Professional Experience: I have experience in advocacy and crisis support to survivors of gender-based and relationship violence as well as those experiencing severe mental health crises requiring inpatient mental health support. I have also worked in outpatient settings providing individual and group therapies to those struggling with substance use, trauma, LGBTQ+ identity exploration, and eating disorders.

    Personal Interests: As a former collegiate downhill ski racer, I enjoy skiing and all things snow and mountains in the winter. I also enjoy traveling to new places (mainly in search of good food!), both locally and internationally but also hanging out at home with a good book and my cat.

  • Anne Neuweiler

    Anne Neuweiler, MA 

    Graduate Student Trainee 2020-2021

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    MA Counseling Psychology, University of Denver, 2020
    BS Psychology, Saint Mary's College of California, 2017 

    Professional Interests: Individual and group psychotherapy, trauma, correctional populations, LGBTQIA+ populations

    Professional Experience: Worked at Denver County Jail and Porter Adventist Hospital

    Personal Interests: Spending time with family, catching up with friends, and playing sports

  • Tye Stephens

    Tye Stephens, MA 

    Graduate Student Trainee 2020-2021

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    MA in Forensic Psychology from DU GSPP, 2018 

    Professional Interests: I enjoy working with clients who have experienced life-changing events and are now redefining themselves on their own terms. I have worked with people with histories of substance abuse, trauma, or relationship violence, and I enjoy helping clients regain meaning and purpose in their lives. I believe in normalizing therapy and digging into shame to help people become their most empowered, authentic selves, regardless of what labels or judgments may have been cast upon them.

    Professional Experience: While in my master's program, I worked at Mental Health Center of Denver, where I provided therapy and case management to people with substance abuse histories and various mental health concerns. After that, I worked at Creative Treatment Options as a therapist, specializing in addiction, trauma, and domestic violence.

    Personal Interests: Like many Coloradans, I enjoy spending time outside, traveling, and finding new places to eat.

  • Dallas Vallar

    Dallas Vallar, BA 

    Practicum Student for Alcohol and Other Drugs 2020-2021

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BA Psychology, Skidmore College, 2019 

    Professional Interests: College Counseling, substance use, interpersonal and relationship concerns, academic student issues, career, multicultural and diversity, mindfulness, adjustment, and anxiety

    Professional Experience: I have experience providing individual therapy, crisis counseling, and mediations for students in a public-school environment. Prior, I have worked to support the development of conflict resolution skills and workplace skills within families and for individual family members. I also have experience providing community outreach and advocating awareness of eating disorders and student anxiety on a college campus

    Personal Interests: Painting, puzzles, exploring galleries, spending time outdoors, tennis, and playing video games

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

    • 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

    • Kaleigh Kessel photo

      Kaleigh Kessel, BA

      Graduate Intern- Gender Violence Prevention and Education

      Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

      Pursuing Master of Social Work, University of Denver, 2021
      Bachelor of Arts, Social Sciences, Washington State University, 2018

      Professional Interests: Violence prevention, higher education, disability accessibility, harm reduction

      Professional Experience: Vocational Evaluation Intern, Bayaud Enterprises, Denver, CO; Access Center Staff, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

      Personal Interests: Coffee, cats, crafting, hammocking, music, and watching Denver Broncos or WSU Cougar football

    • Lia Wolfe photo

      Lia Wolfe, BS

      Graduate Intern- Mental Health

      Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

      Pursuing Master of Social Work, University of Denver, 2022
      Bachelor of Science, Psychology and Biology, Florida State University, 2019

      Professional Interests : Eating disorders, mental health advocacy, suicide prevention, LGBTQ+ inclusivity, mindfulness

      Professional Experience: Peer Counselor for Realizing Everyone's Needs for Emotional Wellness, Florida State University; Body Project Facilitator, Florida State University; Counselor, Sunrise Shelter for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence, Pasco County FL

      Personal Interests: Skydiving, tunnel flying, climbing, hiking, pole fitness, taxidermy, skiing

    • 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)

    • Haley Roberts photo

      Haley Roberts, BS

      Graduate Intern-Gender Violence Prevention and Education

      Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

      Pursuing Master of Social Work, University of Denver, 2021
      Bachelor of Science, Health Science, Minor, Health Disparities in Society, University of Florida, 2019

      Professional Interests: Social justice, gender and health, health equity and access, mental health, suicide prevention, consensual allyship, student advocacy

      Professional Experience: Mental Health Promotion Graduate Intern, University of Denver; Department of Epidemiology Research Assistant, University of Florida; Program Operations and Health Disparities Assessment Intern, Elder Options Gainesville, FL; College of Public Health and Health Professions Student Ambassador, University of Florida

      Personal Interests: Cats, espresso, piano, music, camping, thrifting, and astrology

    • Anit Tyagi photo

      Anit Tyagi

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns :  He/Him/His

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

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

    • Dyna Arriaga photo

      Dyna Arriaga

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

      Majors: Gender and Women's Studies, Psychology

      Personal Interests: Scary movies and boba

    • Gracie Jacobson photo

      Gracie Jacobson

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

      Majors: Theatre & Finance

      Personal Interests: Guitar, backpacking, mountain biking

    • Jackson Burow photo

      Jackson Burow

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : He/Him/His

      Major: BA/MA candidate in International Studies

      Personal Interests: Politics, sports, social justice, skiing, hiking, music

    • Jill Girardeau photo

      Jill Girardeau

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

      Major: Undeclared

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

    • John Haddock photo

      John Haddock

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : He/Him/His

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

      Personal Interests: Politics, dogs, meditation

    • Kameron Gottlieb photo

      Kameron Gottlieb

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

      Major: Molecular Biology, Minors- Chemistry and Sustainability

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

    • Kate Maegley photo

      Kate Maegley

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

      Major: Psychology

      Personal Interests: Yoga, cooking, reading, menstrual equity

    • Kendrick Choong photo

      Kendrick Choong

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns:   He/Him/His

      Major: Business Analytics

      Personal Interests:   Weight-lifting, video games, college education

    • Lanie Cohen photo

      Lanie Cohen

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

      Majors: Gender & Women's Studies, Strategic Communications/ Intercultural Global Studies

      Personal Interests: Travel, skiing, childcare, reading, fashion, politics

    • Maya Bhowmik photo

      Maya Bhowmik

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

      Major: International Studies; Minors- Biology, Leadership Studies, Critical Race & Ethnic Studies

      Personal Interests: Reading, art, walks, live music, learning, deconstructing systems of oppression, cooking new things/family recipes, quality time with loved ones

    • Megan Morrell photo

      Megan Morrell

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : She/Her/Hers

      Major: Political Science

      Personal Interests: Reading, debate, environmentalism

    • Morgan Martin photo

      Morgan Martin

      Thrive Peer Educator

      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

      Naitra Ramchander

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

      Majors: Molecular Biology & Psychology; Minors: Chemistry, Leadership, and Gender & Women's Studies

      Personal Interests: Hiking/backpacking, traveling, reading

    • Paige Otto photo

      Paige Otto

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

      Majors: Public Policy & Socio-Legal Studies

      Personal Interests: Cross stitching, yoga, dogs, & a cappella

    • Sara Loughran photo

      Sara Loughran

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

      Major: International Studies; Minors: English & Spanish

      Personal Interests: Writing, improv, video games, listening to music (k-pop especially), spending time with animals

    • Sarah Liang photo

      Sarah Liang

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns:  She/Her/Hers

      Majors: Psychology, Chinese; Minor- Marketing

      Personal Interests: Baking/cooking, shopping, reading, playing piano, listening to music

    • Susanna Skaran photo

      Susanna Skaran

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

      Majors: Psychology, Communication

      Personal Interests: Crafting, journaling, watching TV, sometimes reading

    • Victoria Rubio photo

      Victoria Rubio

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

      Major: Bio Chemistry; Minors: Psychology, Math, & Medical Physics

      Personal Interests: Skiing & painting

    • Wesley Mysinger photo

      Wesley Mysinger

      Thrive Peer Educator

      Pronouns : He/Him/His

      Majors: Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience concentration), French

      Personal Interests: Making/drinking coffee, working out, cooking, reading research literature

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.

  • 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
  • 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

  • OPEN

    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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • OPEN

    Carla Torres-Zegarra, MD


    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

  • 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
  • OPEN

    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.