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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.

      • Sara Robbins

        Sara Robbins, BA

        Healthcare Administrative Specialist - Patient Advocate

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        BA at Colorado College, Class of 2014. Major in Biology, Minor in Spanish

        Professional Experience: Public Interest Fellow at the Colorado Health Institute, former EMT and a summer intern at the American Embassy in New Delhi, India Health Unit. Most recently, Sara was the Business and Training Specialist for Old Navy.

      • Rachel Murray

        Rachel Murray, BA

        Healthcare Administrative Specialist - Medical Records and Information

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        BA in Communication from The University of Colorado Boulder, 2017.

        Professional Interests: Research in interpersonal communication, family communication, and mental and behavioral health with an emphasis in eating disorders among college-aged women.

        Professional Experience: Community Service and Philanthropy Director at Kappa Alpha Theta Beta Iota, Associate member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Sales Associate at Athleta Inc.

      • Kasey Johnson

        Kasey Johnson, BS, CHES

        Healthcare Administrative Specialist - Communications

        Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

        BS in Health with a specialization in community from University of Texas San Antonio, 2014 Certified Health Education Specialist, CHES

        Professional Interests: sexual health, community outreach, mental health, and peer education.

        Professional Experience: Prior experience assisting students of all ages with varying degrees of developmental disabilities. Also worked as a Health Educator, at Healthy Futures of Texas, implementing various evidence-based, abstinence-plus sexual health education and teen pregnancy prevention programs.

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 directo

  • Nissa Baker

    Nissa Baker, BA

    Victim's Advocate

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BA: Psychology, The University of Colorado at Boulder, 2001

    Professional Interests: Providing assistance to victims of gender-based violence since 2000, I have a strong passion for helping vulnerable populations and have experience working with mentally ill individuals, victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, families of homicide victims, and people with physical and developmental disabilities.

    Professional Experience: Case management background, experience training, supervising, and managing volunteers on a crisis hotline, providing crisis intervention to victims of crime for the police department and ongoing emotional support and advocacy to victims involved in the legal process at the district attorney’s office. I serve on the board of directors to The Blue Bench and was a contributor in the production of the Sexual Assault Advocacy and Crisis Line Training Manual, used to train rape crisis hotline advocates across Colorado. I am also bilingual Spanish-speaking.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time with my family and love to ski, cook, run, and travel.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Kayla Ham

    Kayla Ham, MSW

    Coordinator of CAPE Advocacy Services & Staff Counselor

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    M.S.W., Master of Social Work, 2016; University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
    A.A.S.W., Animal Assisted Social Work Certificate, 2016; University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
    B.S.W., Bachelor of Social Work, 2012; Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

    Professional Interests: Generalist background with special interests in individual counseling, advocacy, Animal Assisted Social Work, organizational leadership, and prevention/education. I like working in areas of self-esteem, trauma, and interpersonal violence on all levels—individual, community, and policy.

    Professional Experience: Domestic violence shelters, resource center for individuals experiencing homelessness, gender-based violence prevention and education, facilitation, advocacy, intake, case management, crisis intervention, interpersonal violence, trauma, and trauma informed practice.

    Personal Interest: I enjoy an array of outdoor activities, traveling to new places, and connecting with friends or family over good food!

  • Briana Johnson

    Briana Johnson, MA, LPC, LAC

    Coordinator of Alcohol and Other Drug Support Services /Staff Counselor

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    B.S. in Psychology and French from Furman University, 2009
    M.A. 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, grief/loss, stress, feeling "stuck," making big decisions, low self-esteem, relationship problems, etc. I prefer Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, mindfulness and body-centered interventions. 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.

  • 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.

  • Ann Leibovitz

    Ann Leibovitz, PsyD

    Sport & Performance Psychologist

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Psy.D., PGSP-Stanford Consortium, 2015
    M.S., PGSP-Stanford Consortium, 2013
    B.A., 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

    Ph.D. 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.

  • Carolee Nimmer

    Carolee Nimmer, PhD

    Training Director / Staff Psychologist

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PhD Clinical Psychology, 1987

    Professional Interests: ​Eating disorders; Trauma, character disorders, mood disorders, EMDR, DBT, EFT

    Professional Experience: Interned with a psychosocial rehabilitation center working with adults who have a persistent mental illness. Interned with the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence by teaching about bystander intervention, vicarious trauma, and domestic and sexual violence.

  • OPEN

    Jennifer Schroeder, LCSW

    Behavioral Health Consultant

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BA: 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.

  • 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

    Lucas Salg, MD

    Psychiatry Resident 2018-2019

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

  • Jacqueline Blanco

    Jacqueline Blanco, PsyD

    Postdoctoral Fellow 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PsyD, Clinical Psychology, 2018, Carlos Albizu University, Miami, FL
    MS, Clinical Psychology, 2012, Carlos Albizu University, Miami, FL
    BS, Psychology, 2010, Carlos Albizu University, Miami, FL

    Professional Interests: My professional interests include working with marginalized populations, first generation and international students, substance use, trauma, crisis intervention, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, and relationship concerns. Additionally, I enjoy conducting cognitive and personality assessments.

    Professional Experience: I have worked in a variety of mental health settings including a community mental health center, a residential treatment facility for substance users with co-occurring disorders, a forensic private practice, and college counseling. I am also passionate about connecting with the community through outreach activities and I have coordinated various evidence-based campaigns for drug prevention programs.

    Personal Interests: On my spare time, I enjoy playing musical instruments, watching great films, cooking, and exploring Colorado with my dog.

  • OPEN

    Natalie Stemati, PsyD

    Postdoctoral Fellow 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PsyD Clinical Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2018
    MA Clinical Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2015
    MEd Counseling, DePaul University, 2011
    BS Psychology, College of Charleston, 2007

    Professional Interests: College counseling, trauma, family of origin concerns, identity development, relationships, sexuality, mood disorders, LGBTQ, transgender health and sexuality, mindfulness, self-compassion, and psychodynamic treatment. My approach to therapy begins with building a collaborative relationship with my clients to help instill trust, compassion, and healing. I also use integrative strategies to help build the most effective course of treatment.

    Professional Experience: I am excited to begin my third year in college counseling as a Post Doctoral Fellow at DU!. Last year, I completed my doctoral internship at The University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to my time in college counseling, I worked in multiple diverse settings that include community mental health, private practice, outpatient, and behavioral health/crisis consultation.

    Personal Interests: I love spending time with my dog, playing guitar, going to comedy shows, traveling, and being active outdoors. I have a long-term goal to run 50 half marathons in 50 states and have completed 17 so far!

  • Tommy Fritze

    Tommy Fritze, MA, LPC

    Doctoral Intern 2018-2019

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    (anticipated 2019) PsyD Clinical Psychology, University of Denver
    MA Sport & Performance Psychology, University of Denver, 2014
    BS Health Science, Bradley University, 2011

    Professional Interests: Individual and group therapy, contextual behavioral therapy and exposure therapy; Clinical sport/performance psychology, mental performance enhancement consultation

    Professional Experience:Mental health/sport psychology trainee at University of Denver HCC (2017-18); Specialist in treatment of anxiety and related disorders at Anxiety Solutions of Denver (2017-18); Practicum therapist at CU Boulder counseling center (2016-17)

    Personal Interests: food/cooking, movies, sports (endurance triathlon and soccer).

  • OPEN

    Molly Shmerling, MA

    Doctoral Intern 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PsyD (Anticipated), Clinical Psychology, 2019, University of Denver, Denver, CO
    MA, Clinical Psychology, 2019, University of Denver, Denver, CO BA, Psychology, 2013, American University, Washington, DC

  • Professional Interests: My professional interests include college counseling focusing on anxiety, depression, interpersonal concerns, and identity through individual, group, family, and couple's therapy. I also have an interest in multiculturalism, women's health, and eating disorders.

    Professional Experience: My professional experience has been in university counseling centers, private practice, and community mental health utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy as well as personality and ADHD/LD assessment.

    Personal Interests: Outside of work I love to hike, run, and play with my dog. I also enjoy traveling and trying new restaurants.

  • OPEN

    Colter Snethen, MA

    Doctoral Intern 2018-2019

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    Associate’s Degree from Northwest Missouri State University (2011),
    Bachelor’s Degree from University of Missouri, Columbia (2014), Master’s Degree from University of Indianapolis (2016)

    Professional Interests: OCD and anxiety-related disorders, Relationship issues, Severe psychopathology.

    Professional Experience: University Counseling Center, Psychiatric Hospital

    Personal Interests: Writing, Theater and Improv, Video Games

  • OPEN

    Madison Taylor, MA

    Doctoral Intern 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PsyD, (Anticipated 2019) Clinical Psychology University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
    MA, Clinical Psychology, 2017 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
    BA, Psychology, 2013 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

    Professional Interests: University counseling, anxiety, depression, relational issues, eating disorders, substance-use disorders, ADHD psychological assessment, issues of identity formation, struggles with family of origin.

    Professional Experience: University counseling centers, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment in an integrated healthcare setting, treatment of forensic and court-mandated substance-use disorder clients.

    Personal Interests: Watching and reading about true crime, being outdoors, cooking, exploring new restaurants, live music, travel.

  • OPEN

    Emily Clark

    Advanced Practicum Student in Sport Psychology 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

  • OPEN

    Lily Clark, MEd

    Graduate Student Trainee 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PhD, Counseling Psychology - University of Denver (Anticipated 2022)
    MEd, Counseling & College Student Personnel - University of Maryland, College Park, 2012
    BA, Linguistics - University of California, Santa Cruz, 2009

    Professional Interests: My professional interests include transitional issues for college students, help seeking behaviors, depression, anxiety, trauma, and managing crisis. I am very interested in supporting marginalized populations, identity formation, and issues relating to power and privilege. I enjoy using mindfulness and self-compassion modalities in session.

    Professional Experience: I have been working closely with students in higher education for a decade, both domestically and abroad, primarily in residence life and academic advising settings. I have taught orientation courses, designed and delivered leadership development programs of various stripes, and served in an on-call capacity managing crisis for several years. I also have experience working on crisis hotlines and have worked in a college counseling center.

    Personal Interests: I have been singing in choirs since childhood, I love to read, do crafts, and run. I'm certified to teach yoga and love live music and travel.

  • OPEN

    Anna Hangge, MA

    Graduate Student Trainee 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PhD, Counseling Psychology - University of Denver (Anticipated 2022)
    MA, Counseling & Student Personnel Psychology - University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2017
    BA, Psychology & Family Studies - University of St. Thomas, 2015

    Professional Interests: Identity, adjustment, relationships, first-year college students, interpersonal violence prevention/intervention/advocacy, and international students.

    Professional Experience: During my Master's program, I was a practicum student at University of Minnesota's International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) providing international students with counseling regarding personal and academic concerns. I have also held volunteer positions as an interpersonal violence educator and advocate, most recently serving as a Violence Prevention Educator at University of Minnesota's Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education. Additionally, I have experience with Orientation programming from my time at University of St. Thomas.

    Personal Interests: In my free time, I enjoy cooking and baking, practicing yoga, playing on recreational sports teams, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

  • OPEN

    Joey Hsiao, MEd

    Graduate Student Trainee 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PhD, Counseling Psychology - University of Denver (Anticipated 2022)
    MEd, 3+2 Program, Counseling Psychology - University of Missouri-Columbia, 2013
    BEd, 3+2 Program, Educational Psychology & Counseling - National Taiwan Normal University, 2013

    Professional Interests: Cross-cultural adjustment, multicultural counseling; depression, anxiety, trauma; career counseling and decision making; family, relationships and other interpersonal concerns.

    Professional Experience: I had experiences working in school settings such as high school and college as a guidance counselor and counseling psychologist. Therefore, I worked closely with teenagers and young adults and found myself enjoy working through developmental challenges and adjustment with this population.

    Personal Interests: In my free time, I enjoy good movies, TV shows, practicing yoga and recently found my passion for hiking and biking.

  • OPEN

    Stella Ko, MEd

    Graduate Student Trainee 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    PhD, Counseling Psychology - University of Denver (Anticipated 2022)
    3+2 Dual Degree Program (BEd + MEd)
    MEd, Counseling Psychology - University of Missouri-Columbia, 2018
    BEd, Educational Psychology & Counseling - National Taiwan Normal University, 2018

    Professional Interests: Cross-cultural adjustment for international students and immigrants, multicultural issues for minority college students, LGBTQ population, career and vocational concerns for college students, and transitional issues for first-generation college students and transfer students.

    Professional Experience: I have been working and volunteering at the college career center, state crisis line, and junior high schools as a bilingual service provider (English and Mandarin Chinese). Additionally, I served as the International Student Mentor to assist international students with transitioning issues under the College of Education while pursuing my Master's Degree. As a strong advocate for multiculturalism and social justice, I actively participated in LGBTQ educational and career programs to support gender and sex minority students and facilitate diversity and inclusivity.

    Personal Interests: I enjoy doing arts (watercolor and sketch), baking, cooking, hiking, traveling, and hanging out with friends.

  • OPEN

    Debora Fernandes, BS

    Graduate Student Trainee 2018-2019

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    MA, Candidate Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Denver, 2019
    BS, Psychology from the University of Florida, 2016

    Professional Interests: Anxiety, depression, trauma, sexual assault, multicultural issues, experiences of oppression/discrimination, substance use, LGBTQIA issues, grief/loss, stress, mood disorders as well as interpersonal and relationship issues. I am passionate about helping first generation college students as they acclimate to and navigate college life. I provide students with therapy from a mixture of positive psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), feminist theory, and adlerian psychotherapy techniques.

    Professional Experience: I previously interned at a nonprofit providing therapy to high school students. Beforehand, I was a behavior intervention specialist at an alternative school in Florida. I majored in psychology at UF and, like now, I focused on social justice, diversity, and advocacy.

    Personal Interests:I enjoy hiking, biking, binging movies and TV shows, listening to music, and going to concerts. I also enjoy art, reading, and hanging out with loved ones. A lot of my time is spent with my three cats: Lampy, Liv, and Elliot.

Health Promotion Staff
  • Kim Liao

    Kimberly 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

  • Alex Leach

    Alex Leach, MSW, LSW, MPH, CHES

    Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, Dartmouth College, 2014
    Master of Public Health, Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan, 2016
    Master of Social Work, Interpersonal Practice, University of Michigan, 2016
    Certified Health Education Specialist, NCHEC

    Professional Interests: Mental Health, social justice, program evaluation, suicide prevention

    Professional Experience: Peer Health Education and Promotion at Dartmouth College Office of Student Wellness, Counseling Intern at Affirmations LGBTQ Community Center in Michigan, Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line.

    Personal Interests: Cooking, anything arts & crafts related, reading

  • Andrea Thyrring

    Andrea Thyrring, MA

    Coordinator of Gender Violence Prevention and Education

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    ​Bachelor of Science, Health and Exercise Science; Minor, Women and Gender Studies - TCNJ, 2011
    Master of Arts, Higher Education - DU 2013

    Professional Interests: ​Sexual Violence, Dating Abuse, Stalking, and Harassment Prevention; Educational and restorative justice programming

    Professional Experience: Violence Prevention Program Coordinator and Confidential Advocate for Victims, Regis University
    Health Specialist, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver

  • 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

  • Austin Johnson

    Austin Johnson

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    Major: Biology; Minors: Psychology, Medical Physics, & Leadership

    Public Health Interests: Medicine, dual degree MPH/MS

    Personal Interests: Fitness/nutrition, sci-fi movies, anything technology, foodie

    What health means to me: Health means a sound body and mind that are synchronized in a way that allows one to pursue their dreams unencumbered by sickness, fear, or anxiety.

  • Cable Jackson

    Cable Jackson

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

    Major: Philosophy, Theatre

    Personal Interests: Hammocking with a good book, cooking, going to concerts, watching plays

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I felt the impact of toxic masculinity in my life, and it made it harder for me to figure out who I was, and how I could be confident in myself. It took a lot of intervening in my friends' choice of words or jokes to find a space in which I felt at home. I wanted to make sure that I could help ensure this was a reality for as many people as possible in my shared community.

    Favorite way to intervene: Favorite intervention style is distraction.

  • Courtney Cuff

    Courtney Cuff

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Psychology, Gender and Women's Studies

    Personal Interests: Netflix, doing yoga, and spending time with friends

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I became a peer educator because I think it is our responsibility as students on this campus and people in general to watch out for each other and I want to be a part of giving others the tools to do so.

    Favorite way to intervene: I think my favorite moments intervening come when I can step in when people make a problematic comment and I can see that by saying something I was able to help them stop and think and will hopefully influence their actions in the future.

  • Gracie Jacobson

    Gracie Jacobson

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Theatre, Finance

    Personal Interests: Running, playing guitar, big fan of old horror movies

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I believe awareness and the spreading of information is an effective way to encourage intervening.

    Favorite way to intervene: Sticking close to my friends if they look like someone is making them uncomfortable so the other person knows I’m there.

  • OPEN

    Isabella Kent

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Psychology, Gender & Women's Studies

    Personal Interests: I love hiking and being outside.

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I am passionate about creating change in my own community.

    Favorite way to intervene: My favorite way to intervene is directly addressing the issue at hand by approaching people as a friend, with care.

  • Jane Zunamon

    Jane Zunamon

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Strategic Communication & Art

    Public Health Interests: Mental healthcare

    Personal Interests: Soccer & jigsaw puzzles

    What health means to me: Health means to care for yourself mentally and physically in a positive way.

  • JJ Khan

    JJ Khan

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    Major: Psychology, Socio-Legal Studies

    Personal Interests: Soccer, movies, crossword puzzles

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I believe in how powerful peer intervention can be and I see it as more important than ever on our campus and across the World as a whole when it comes to issues surrounding identity-based bias and violence. I hope to utilize my identities and experiences to empower my peers to intervene in difficult situations as well.

    Favorite way to intervene: While out at a party Freshman or Sophomore year, I noticed two individuals that I was concerned about. I went over to see if they were doing alright and much to my delight, they both stated that they were fine and were super appreciative of my concern. It was really cool to have that validation and realize how appreciative intervening is on our campus.

  • Julia Norton

    Julia Norton

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Psychology; Minor: English

    Public Health Interests: Mental health & sexual health

    Personal Interests: Skiing, hiking, and making art

    Why I'm interested in health education: I am interested in health education because I am particularly passionate about mental health advocacy and education.

  • Kate Maegly

    Kate Maegly

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Psychology, Communication Studies

    Personal Interests: Yoga, reading, movies, cooking

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I wanted to be able to make a positive difference in our DU community by getting the word out about bystander intervention, something I wholeheartedly believe in.

    Favorite way to intervene: I really love moments when I am able to help someone realize that a behavior being perpetrated against them is not okay and being able to guide them through all the options they have of how to improve the situation.

  • Ken Fowler

    Ken Fowler

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: International Studies

    Personal Interests: Hiking, camping, painting and fitness

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I became an Intervene Peer Educator because I believe in what the Intervene course teaches and that the access to such information for our community has the power to change culture surrounding sexual assault, mental health, alcohol and drug abuse as well as other important topics.

    Favorite way to intervene: My favorite way of intervention is group intervention. I love seeing a group of people working together to stand up for what is right and putting a stop to harmful behaviors on our campus.

  • Kate Petty

    Kate Petty

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Molecular Biology; Minors: Math & Chemistry

    Public Health Interests: Mental health advocacy

    Personal Interests: CrossFit, painting, knitting, flute, cooking, hiking, Star Trek, elephants

    What health means to me: Being able to live without any physical, mental, social, or emotional problems that limit what a person would normally do. And finding a sustainable balance between these four areas in life.

  • Kayla Franklin

    Kayla Franklin

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

    Major: Sociology, minors in Spanish, Gender & Women's Studies

    Personal Interests: Wire wrapping crystals, yoga, hiking, writing, spending time with family and friends

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: I decided to become an Intervene Peer Educator because gender violence is a very prevalent issue among U.S. universities and has personally impacted both mine and many of my peers' lives. I just want to help change a culture that normalizes gender violence and allows for it to continue.

    Favorite way to intervene: My favorite type of intervention is when I don't even have to intervene, because my presence in a room is enough for people to correct themselves. On several occasions I have witness people correcting their use of derogatory terms simply because I was there and they knew I would say something if they did not.

  • Lois Shih

    Lois Shih

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Theatre, Communication Studies, minors in Leadership Studies, Chinese

    Personal Interests: Coffee, long romantic walks (indoors), and crying over Meryl Streep

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: At its simplest level, I care about people. I think it's basic human decency to look out for one another and it's not enough, nor okay, to be a passive bystander.

    Favorite way to intervene: THE CHIP GUY. If you don't know about the Chip Guy, please YouTube him. Classic.

  • Maddy Klaysmat

    Maddy Klaysmat

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Molecular Biology; Minors: Psychology, Chemistry, & Spanish

    Public Health Interests: Sexual & mental health

    Personal Interests: Hiking, camping, traveling

    Why I'm interested in health education: I think it is very important that everyone has all the information and knowledge to live a healthy life. I've noticed many gaps in the DU community and would like to do my part in helping give people the education they need to be healthy and successful.

  • Naitra Ramchander

    Naitra Ramchander

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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

    Public Health Interests: Mental health, women's health, sexual health

    Personal Interests: Hiking/backpacking, traveling, reading

    Why I'm interested in health education: I believe that it is so important for students to be aware of their resources that are available to them and to utilize these resources to better themselves.

  • Paige Otto

    Paige Otto

    Intervene Peer Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Socio-Legal Studies, Public Policy

    Personal Interests: A capella (in the on campus all female group!), musical theatre, yoga

    Why I became an Intervene Peer Educator: To be a part of this impetus for change.

    Favorite way to intervene: Sitting down with someone and explaining to them why something that’s been said to them is problematic and they are valid in feeling how they are.

  • Rae Woody

    Rae Woody

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Major: Psychology; Minor: Sociology & Communication

    Public Health Interests: Health inequities and public health

    Personal Interests: Playing softball and chess

    Why I'm interested in health education: I am interested in health education because it has many factors that aren't just limited to medical services but includes social engagement and outreach.

  • Victoria Rubio

    Victoria Rubio

    Thrive Peer Health Educator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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

    Public Health Interests: Mental health

    Personal Interests: Skiing & painting

    What health means to me: Health means maintaining a balance of life choices for your mind and body in order to feel your best.

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.

  • Callie Johnson

    Callie Johnson, MSN, RN, ANP-BC

    Practice Manager / Nurse Practitioner

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Bachelor’s in Biology from Ursinus College, 2003.
    Master’s Degree in Nursing from Boston College, 2009

    ANCC certified Adult Nurse Practitioner

    Professional Interests: Preventative care, sexual health, LGBTQ health

    Professional Experience: Full-time staff nurse practitioner at The George Washington University Colonial Health Center (the health center for students) in Washington, DC 2011-2017, Nurse practitioner Woburn Family Practice in Woburn, MA from 2009

    Personal Interests:Spending time with my husband and son and skiing in Colorado’s beautiful mountains

  • 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
  • Ashley McGrath

    Ashley McGrath, CMA

    Certified Medical Assistant

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Associates of Applied Science Medical Assisting from Red Rocks Community College 2017
    AAMA Certified Medical Assistant 2017

    Professional Interests: Clinical Lab Work, Sexual Health, Health Education

    Professional Experience: Primary Care

    Personal Interests: My dogs are number one! I'm also a Harry Potter nerd and love to read in general.

  • Grae Nakama

    Grae Nakama, PA-C

    Physician Assistant, Certified

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Undergraduate education at Trinity University and University of Colorado at Boulder
    Physician Assistant program Wake Forest School of Medicine 1996

    Professional Interests: I am especially interested in prevention, nutrition and women’s health

    Professional Experience: I have worked in family practice in the Denver area for 20 years, and recently at the Health Center at Auraria.  I am familiar with alternative medicine treatments after working in an integrative medicine clinic for 13 years.

  • OPEN

    Open Position

    Registered Nurse



    Professional Interests

    Professional Experience

    Personal Interests

  • 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.

  • Nancy Pudwill

    Nancy Pudwill, RD

    Registered Dietitian

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    BS in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University, 1974
    Internship: Kansas University Medical Center

    Professional Interests: My specialties are sports nutrition, eating disorders, and weight management.

    Professional Experience: I was in private practice for 31 years with expertise in sports nutrition, eating disorders and weight management.

    Personal Interests: I love to be active outdoors. This would include running, hiking, gardening and snowshoeing.

  • 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.

  • Tish Mobley

    Tish Mobley, APN-NP

    Nurse Practitioner, Certified

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Post-Masters Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate, Emory University, 1995
    Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Kent State University 1983
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Medical College of Georgia, 1978
    ANCC Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

    Professional Interests: Helping individuals choose healthy behaviors and meet their individual health care goals

    Professional Experience: Nurse Practitioner providing primary care/urgent care for the homeless at Stout Street Health Center/Health Outreach Mobile Van in Denver 2014-18, Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana 2011-13, Nurse Practitioner/Diabetes Educator in Atlanta 1995-2010

    Personal Interests: Travel - international and local - trying to visit all the National Parks, anything outdoors - hiking, biking, snowshoeing; independent films; trying new recipes, baking

  • 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


  • Afton Williamson

    Afton Williamson, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    Doctor of Nursing Practice, University of Washington 2013
    Masters in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, University of Washington 2012
    ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner, 2012
    Bachelor of Arts in Nursing, St Olaf College, 2007

    Professional Interests: Women’s healthcare, travel medicine, health promotion and education.

    Professional Experience: Family Nurse Practitioner, private family practice; Seattle, WA. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Harborview Medical Center; Seattle, WA. Registered Nurse, Mayo Clinic; Rochester, MN

    Personal Interests: Alpine and cross country skiing, playing the piano, and spending time with my family.

  • 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 Bailey

    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.

  • OPEN


    Open Position