Meet Our Staff
Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at UC Santa Cruz is a decentralized service, with professionally trained masters- and doctoral-level clinicians located in our central counseling office in the Cowell Student Health Center complex and in various locations around campus. Our staff members come from a variety of backgrounds and have a special interest in and experience with helping students explore various issues.
Please keep in mind that although some of us have a particular interest in specialty areas, all of us at CAPS are aware of the social pressures and cultural characteristics that affect particular groups in different ways. We have been trained in aspects of multicultural counseling, including working with LGBTQI students, addressing rape and sexual abuse, and counseling students with disabilities. CAPS staff engage in ongoing mandatory and voluntary continuing education for mental health professionals.
The following is a list of our staff members and their locations. Note that we do not provide drop-in counseling, so if you are interested in finding out about and/or starting services with CAPS, please stop by our central office or call us during business hours (Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.) at (831) 459-2628. You can also find more information about our services on our Counseling Services web page.
Gary Dunn, Ph.D., CAPS Director
CAPS Central Office
(831) 459-2628Gary is a licensed psychologist who has experience and training in individual, couples, and group therapy. He has a background in community mental health and hospital-based psychology. He is interested in the treatment of sexual abuse survivors, dissociative identity disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Gary’s primary training is in cognitive-behavioral therapy and strategic therapy. He is also interested in health psychology, healthcare administration, and leadership development.
MaryJan Murphy, Ph.D., Senior Associate Director
CAPS Central Office
(831) 459-2120MaryJan is a licensed psychologist with a Ph.D. in counseling psychology and is the Training Director for our APA-Accredited Predoctoral Internship Program in Professional Psychology. She has experience and training in individual, couples, and group therapy; outreach and consultation; and supervision and training. Her training has included integrative and developmental approaches to psychotherapy. She is interested in training and supervision, women's issues, eating disorders, rape and sexual assault, issues facing reentry students, relationship concerns, and career development.
Melody Fo, Psy.D.
Student Health CenterMelody is a licensed psychologist with experience in individual and group therapy. Prior to joining the CAPS team, she worked at university counseling centers and hospitals providing integrated behavioral health care. Melody values collaborative relationships and tailors her approach to meet individual student needs. She most often utilizes evidence-based treatments, including Cognitive Behavioral and mindfulness-based approaches. Areas of interest include health and wellness, anxiety, stress management, trauma, disordered eating, and evidence-based treatments.
Anna Iversen, Case ManagerCAPS Central Office & Student Health Center
Christine Merriman, L.C.S.W., Psychiatric Case Manager
CAPS Central OfficeChristine is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in individual, couples, family, and group therapy. She has worked in mental health, healthcare, and end-of-life care, as well as residential treatment and school-based prevention/intervention programs providing case management and psychotherapy services. Christine meets each student with openness and respect, and her approach recognizes people's developmental systems and cultural factors as well as their emotional, physical, and spiritual strengths. She has particular expertise in the areas of sexual abuse/assault, people raised in non-traditional homes including foster care, guardianship and adoption, living with a serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss, mindfulness, and integrative therapies.
Karen Peterson, M.D., Psychiatrist
CAPS Central Office
Karen is a board-certified General Psychiatrist and has been a member in good standing with the American Psychiatric Association for more than 20 years. As a former Air Force psychiatrist, Karen has worked all over the world and in widely varying conditions. She has additionally had numerous academic teaching positions and worked with the severely mentally and physically ill in community mental health. She comes to the CAPS team with an expertise and joy in working with young adults. Karen understands the needs, strengths, and challenges of young adults engaged in major life transitions. Her aim is to provide comprehensive assessments and treatment recommendations based on the student's individual needs, personal goals, and clinical condition and in accordance with evidence-based medicine.
Jenner Rosgen, M.A., L.M.F.T., Case Manager
CAPS Central Office
(831) 459-2895Jenner is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Prior to becoming a case manager at CAPS, she worked as a therapist and case manager at a residential treatment facility for adolescents in the foster care system and at a drug and alcohol treatment facility. Jenner’s approach is interactive, empathetic, collaborative, and respectful. Jenner has worked with a variety of issues and has worked with diverse populations and people of all age groups. Her areas of expertise and interest include anxiety, depression, LGBTQI issues, trauma, PTSD, sexual abuse survivors, addiction, divorce, parenting skills, stress management, relationships, grief and loss, foster care, and self-harm.
Paul Schwartz, R.N., N.P., Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Paul is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) with nursing degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University. He has experience in adolescent psychiatry, eating disorders, and psychiatric emergency management from the University of North Carolina Hospitals. He has been on the nursing faculty at Duke University and Oregon Health Sciences University. This is his second tour of duty with UCSC CAPS (which he’ll tell you is due to the view out his office window, but is really because he enjoys working with young adults). He integrates mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral approaches with his psychopharmacology practice.
Brent Alsaker, L.C.S.W.
Merrill College, Academic Bldg., Room 107
Brent Alsaker is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in individual and group therapy in university counseling centers and in private practice. Brent’s approach to counseling is relational and collaborative and draws on interpersonal, attachment, mindfulness, and cognitive strategies to facilitate personal growth and relieve distress. Brent believes that it is important to respect and celebrate the many identities that student have. He is particularly interested in working with students from diverse and multicultural backgrounds, including students who identify as LGBTIQ, students on the Autism Spectrum, and students with family of origin issues. Brent is also passionate about promoting social justice.
Glory Blanceagle, Psy.D.
Porter College, Room D228
Glory is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked with students on university campuses, primarily in Connecticut and New York. Dr. Blanceagle has training and a special interest working with students of color, Latina/Latino, immigrant, first-generation, and international students. She also has training working with diversity and multiculturalism and with students experiencing trauma, grief, and bereavement. She worked for three years in Connecticut with the Department of Justice on the Office on Violence Against Women college consortium grant and has experience working with interpersonal violence, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence. She attended Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus, and was trained in psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, interpersonal, and relational theoretical orientations. She relocated from Cornell University to UCSC in 2015.
Emilie Cate, Ph.D.
Kresge College, Room 162
(831) 459-2753Emilie is a licensed counseling psychologist experienced in providing individual, couples, and group therapy. She enjoys working collaboratively and from a strength-based perspective with all students, particularly international, first-generation, graduate, and transfer students. Emilie specializes in issues associated with stress and mood, relationships, sexuality, LGBTQ identity, disability and ability, social justice issues, and the intersection of multiple identities. Her theoretical orientation integrates mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral, and multicultural approaches to therapy.
Blair Davis, Psy.D.
Stevenson College, Room 271
(831) 459-5883Blair is a licensed psychologist with experience treating a variety of issues in young, middle-aged, and older adults. Originally from the East Coast, Blair obtained her doctorate in psychology in the Bay Area and has provided individual, group, crisis, and couples therapy at several universities in central and northern California, including an art college. She has also worked in the Bay Area at an agency for people with disabilities and a low-fee therapy clinic. Blair tailors her approach to suit the needs and personality of each student, combining cognitive-behavioral, insight-oriented, client-centered, and mindfulness interventions. She enjoys helping students learn about themselves and feel more self-accepting, as well as collaborating with them to plan for change and growth. Her areas of interest include drug and alcohol issues, cultural/sociological issues, the arts, gender, and body image.
Elena Herrera, Psy.D.Porter College, Room D229
Elena is a bilingual (English and Spanish) licensed psychologist with a Doctor of Psychology degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. She has experience working in college counseling centers and in community mental health with low-income and underserved populations. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults coping with anxiety and mood disorders, relational and family difficulties, substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and socioeconomic challenges due to low income, lack of adequate health insurance, language barriers, undocumented status, and discrimination. Elena is passionate about social justice and equality and is committed to working with students from diverse backgrounds, including first-generation college students of color, LGBTQ individuals, and undocumented students.
Audrey Kim, Ph.D.
Social Sciences 1, Room 259
(831) 459-1373Audrey is a licensed psychologist with experience in individual, couples, and group therapy. Audrey generally approaches counseling from a developmental and growth-oriented perspective using insight-oriented as well as cognitive behavioral techniques. Her areas of interest include relationship issues, eating concerns, and career counseling. She especially enjoys working with students of color, first-generation college students, and graduate students.
Luisa Ladd, Psy.D.
CARE Office, Kresge, Room 714 (by the Owl's Nest Café)
Luisa is a licensed psychologist with a degree in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. She completed her internship and postdoctoral residency at UC Davis, with a focus on providing services to AB540 and undocumented students and integrating medical and mental health care to address substance use, trauma, crises, and chronic medical conditions. She has experience working with a wide range of underserved populations in the community and with college students with various concerns and of diverse ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, SES, religious affiliations, and abilities. She has experience providing brief individual and group psychotherapy, initial assessment, and crisis intervention. Luisa loves working with first-gen students, students of color, and veterans and is passionate about social justice, particularly in providing support to students/survivors impacted by stalking, dating/domestic violence, and sexual assault. Luisa’s approach to counseling is to help students collaboratively by drawing on their strengths to reveal their inner resilience and coping skills, using strategies based in acceptance and mindfulness.
Amy Mandell, L.M.F.T.
Social Sciences 1, Room 257
Amy is originally from Minnesota and completed her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Social Justice at New College of CA, San Francisco. In an effort to escape the snowy Midwest, she packed up her car and road tripped to CA to attend Graduate School. While living in the Bay Area for a number of years, she worked as a therapist at multiple community agencies. Her therapeutic approach is collaborative with a focus on insight and skill-building. As a first-generation college student herself, she enjoys working with students who have difficulty adjusting to and navigating the college environment. Her areas of expertise and interest include anxiety management, relationship issues, diversity and multiculturalism, GLBTQ issues, eating and body image concerns, EOP students, and AB540 students. In her free time, you’ll likely find her taking a walk on West Cliff Drive with her partner, loving on her dogs, or reading about her latest interest in health and nutrition.
A. Patrice Monsour, Ph.D.
Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight), Academic Building, Room 212
(831) 459-2109Patrice is a licensed psychologist with a background in clinical/community psychology and Zen Buddhism. Her interests include spirituality, GLBT issues, multicultural counseling (especially with Middle Eastern students), healing from child abuse, and working with transfer and reentry students. She integrates developmental, existential, and Buddhist approaches to counseling.
Julia Ragen, Psy.D.
Kresge College, Room 236
Julia is a licensed psychologist with training and experience at college counseling centers and community mental health settings on both coasts (and in New Mexico!). She works from a collaborative, humanistic, psychodynamic foundation to engage in a broad generalist range of issues incorporating an integrative approach—using therapeutic models that fit best each student's needs to relieve distress and help create change. Julia is devoted to lifelong learning and growth for ourselves and in our communities.
Susan Gulbe Walsh, Ph.D.
Family Student Housing, Apt. 712
(831) 459-2377Susan is a licensed psychologist who has training and experience in individual, couples, and group therapy, as well as a background working in social service, mental health, and educational settings. She is particularly interested in cultural, identity, and eating issues and is passionate about community mental health, social justice, and the interface between psychology and religion. Her therapeutic approach is integrative with an emphasis on imaginal, existential, and psychodynamic perspectives; she also draws on treatment modalities such as expressive arts therapy, mindfulness, and somatic practices.
Maggie Chen, Ph.D.
Hahn Building, Room 241M
Maggie is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSC CAPS with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. She completed her internship at University of Oregon’s Counseling and Testing Center. Maggie has experience working with students struggling with a wide range of concerns, including substance use, relationships, depression, anxiety, racial/ethnic identity development, and trauma. Her therapeutic approach is integrative, combining psychodynamic and feminist perspectives rooted within a multicultural framework; she also incorporates cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based modalities and tailors her approach to meet individual student needs.
Alesha Harris, M.A.
Oakes College, Room 225
Alesha is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSC CAPS soon to complete her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Boston College. She completed her doctoral internship at UCSC CAPS. She has experience working with adjustment issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, interpersonal issues, and racial identity development. Her therapeutic approach is guided by a multicultural framework. She is particularly interested in ADHD, career development, and promoting positive racial identity development in college students. She is also passionate about engaging with the campus community through consultation and outreach programing.
Liang Liao, Ph.D.
Hahn Building, Room 241K
Liang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSC CAPS who graduated from Arizona State University with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and completed his internship at San Jose State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Liang is skilled at working with students with academics, family, and interpersonal relationship concerns. He is multicultural focused and trained in a variety of helping skills. He also leverages his past work experience in business and engineering to help students navigate through college and pursue their professional aspirations.
Tiffany Nowell, Ph.D.Kresge College, Room 234
Tiffany is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSC CAPS who graduated from Saint Louis University with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She completed her internship at Stony Brook University’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center in New York, where she worked with students from a wide range of educational, financial, and cultural backgrounds. Tiffany primarily practices psychotherapy from a psychodynamic and interpersonal perspective and collaborates with each student to tailor therapy to accommodate their specific needs for growth and wellness. She has prior experience working with individuals who are struggling with issues related to alcohol and other drugs, trauma, sexuality and identity development, family of origin difficulties, as well as other obstacles that impact psychological well-being.
Bianca Barrios, B.A.
Central Office, Room 2456
Bianca is a Psychology Intern at UCSC CAPS completing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Washington State University. Bianca approaches counseling from an integrative perspective with an emphasis on interpersonal process therapy and multicultural and feminist frameworks. Through this approach, she collaboratively works with her clients and aims to uncover how they relate with their identities and how the relationship with their identities impacts their well-being. Bianca has extensive experience working with college students, and her clinical interests include first-generation college students, adjustment, trauma, identity development, rape, sexual assault, and Latinx mental health.
Kristen Lohse, M.S.
Central Office, Room 2460
Kristen is a Psychology Intern at UCSC CAPS completing her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. She has experience working with a wide range of psychological concerns, including depression, anxiety, substance use, adjustment issues, stress management, and identity development. Kristen has a particular interest and additional training in the area of eating disorders and body image. She has worked with individuals of all ages, and greatly enjoys working with young adults and helping students navigate and cope with challenges faced while in school. Kristen views therapy as a collaborative process and often incorporates approaches such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Mark Ryan, M.A.
Central Office, Room 2458
Mark is a Psychology Intern at UCSC CAPS completing his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. Mark approaches psychology from an integrative perspective and incorporates cognitive behavioral, solution-focused, and mindfulness techniques into his therapy. He has worked with a number of diverse populations, including adolescents, young adults, and children in schools, hospitals, and clinic settings on issues such as depression, anxiety, adjustment, substance use, and relationships. His focus is to identify a person’s own strengths and build on them, leading to meaningful change.
Debbie HallCentral Office
Assistant to the Director and Office Manager
Tony AyalaCentral Office
Chrissie MullenCentral Office
Tarini Rae, C.M.A.Central Office
CAPS Medical Assistant