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 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. We provide a wide range of services, including crisis screening, group therapy, educational workshops, brief individual counseling, and some testing and psychiatry.

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.


    Counseling Staff

  • Gary Dunn

    Gary Dunn, Ph.D., CAPS Director

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-2628

    Gary 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

    MaryJan Murphy, Ph.D., CAPS Senior Associate Director

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-2120

    MaryJan 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.
  • Brent Alsaker

    Brent Alsaker, L.C.S.W.

    Merrill College, Academic Bldg., Room 107
    (831) 459-2828

    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

    Glory Blanceagle, Psy.D.

    Porter College, Room D228
    (831) 459-1818

    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.

  • photo of emilie cate

    Emilie Cate, Ph.D.

    Kresge College, Room 206
    (831) 459-2753

    Emilie 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

    Blair Davis, Psy.D.

    Stevenson College, Room 271
    (831) 459-5883

    Blair is a licensed psychologist with experience treating a variety of issues. 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 and takes both individual and contextual factors into consideration, including personal history, family background, and sociocultural factors. Her work combines 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 clinical interest include drug and alcohol problems, cultural/sociological issues, the arts, gender, and body image.
  • Melody Fo

    Melody Fo, Psy.D.

    Student Health Center, Room 2222
    (831) 459-1708

    Melody is a licensed psychologist with experience in individual and group therapy. She is a therapist specializing in behavioral health, with an office at the Student Health Center. 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.
  • Elena Herrera

    Elena Herrera, Psy.D.

    Porter College, Room D229
    (831) 459-2572

    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.
  • Anna Iversen

    Anna Iversen, L.M.F.T.

    Student Health Center, Room 1335
    (831) 502-8129

    Anna is a licensed marriage and family therapist with experience working with a wide variety of clients of diverse ages and backgrounds. She is a case manager for both CAPS and the Student Health Center.

     

  • Audrey Kim

    Audrey Kim, Ph.D.

    Social Sciences 1, Room 259
    (831) 459-1373

    Audrey is a licensed psychologist who especially enjoys working with students of color, first-generation college students, and graduate students.  Audrey works from a feminist, multicultural perspective in which she collaborates with students to help them grow and achieve their personal goals.  Audrey likes to help students gain insight into how their past might be related to their present-day problems and also develop practical skills to improve their academics, relationships, and day-to-day functioning.  Audrey earned her Ph.D. in Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara.  Prior to joining the CAPS staff in 2001, she completed her internship at UCLA and was previously on staff at the University of Michigan.
  • Luisa Ladd

    Luisa Ladd, Psy.D.

    CARE Office, Kresge, Room 714 (by the Owl's Nest Café)
    (831) 502-2316

    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-generation 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

    Amy Mandell, L.M.F.T.

    Social Sciences 1, Room 257
    (831) 502-7193

    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.

  • Julia Ragen

    Julia Ragen, Psy.D.

    The Cove (Mobile Building at Cowell College by Provost House)
    (831) 502-8029

    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.

  • Jenner Rosgen

    Jenner Rosgen, M.A., L.M.F.T.

    CAPS Central Office, Room 2464
    (831) 459-2895

    Jenner 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.
  • Susan Gulbe Walsh

    Susan Gulbe Walsh, Ph.D.

    Family Student Housing, Apt. 712
    (831) 459-2377

    Susan 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.
  • Ashley Wickliffe

    Ashley Wickliffe, Psy.D.

    The Cove (Mobile Building at Cowell College near Provost House)
    (831) 459-5388

    Ashley is a licensed psychologist and holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from Azusa Pacific University. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at UCSC CAPS and her doctoral internship at the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center. She has worked with a variety of populations, including adolescents, university-age adults, and adults with acute psychiatric conditions at an inpatient hospital. She enjoys working with individuals from diverse and multicultural backgrounds, particularly those with LGBTQ identities. Her clinical interests include, but are not limited to, anxiety disorders, complex relational issues, religion/spirituality concerns, and issues related to identity development. She is also passionate about engaging with the campus community through consultation and outreach programing.


  • Psychiatry Staff

  • Shuyun David Lo

    Shuyun David Lo, M.D., Director of Psychiatry

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-2628

    David is a board-certified psychiatrist who has worked in college mental health centers for more than 10 years.  He treats students with a holistic attitude and is interested in both medications as well psychotherapies.  David is interested and experienced in the impact of trauma, mind-body interplay, and the use of creativity and exercise in healing.

  • Sharon Haight-Carter

    Sharon Haight-Carter, R.N., PMHNP-BC

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-2628

    Sharon is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with experience working with a wide variety of patients from various backgrounds.

  • Christine Merriman

    Christine Merriman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-2649

    Christine is the psychiatry case manager at CAPS.  She is a licensed clinical social worker with experience in individual, couples, family, and group therapy on both coasts. Christine has worked in mental health, healthcare, and end-of-life care, as well as residential treatment and school-based prevention/intervention programs. As a multicultural feminist, with a personal experience of emigration and re-entry to the United States, Christine meets each student with openness and respect, utilizing a developmental and systems approach that takes into account cultural factors as well as emotional, physical, and spiritual strengths. She has particular expertise and interest in the areas of sexual abuse/assault; people raised in nontraditional homes, including foster care, guardianship, and adoption; living with serious or chronic illness; death and dying; grief and loss; mindfulness; and integrative therapies.

  • Karen Peterson

    Karen Peterson, M.D.

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-2628

    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.


  • Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Mekeisha Buffaloe

    Mekeisha Buffaloe, Psy.D.

    Rachel Carson College, Room 212
    (831) 459-2109

    Mekeisha is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSC CAPS. She earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Multicultural Community Clinical Psychology, from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. Mekeisha completed her Health Service Psychology APA-Accredited Internship at the University of California, Irvine. She has experience working with current and former foster youth, trauma, anxiety, depression, interpersonal issues, gender identity/expression, racial identity development, and life transitions. Her therapeutic approach to treatment is informed and guided by a multicultural lens and an integrative model (psychodynamic, interpersonal relationship theory, and cognitive behavioral therapy). She is particularly interested in working with underserved and underrepresented students of color, LGBTQIA-identified individuals, students engaging in self-exploration and development, first-generation students, and students needing help with identity formation and acceptance. She is also passionate about providing consultation to campus partners, faculty, staff, and students, as well as providing outreach programming and working collaboratively with other units and departments on campus.

  • José Flores

    José Flores, Psy.D.

    Merrill College, Academic Building, Room 107A
    (831) 459-5346

    José is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSC CAPS with a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Azusa Pacific University. He completed his doctoral internship at Suffolk University's Counseling Health and Wellness. José has experience working with students with a wide range of concerns, including adjustment issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, and interpersonal relationships. His therapeutic approach is framed from the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) perspective, which focuses on helping students identify and move toward their values.

  • Alesha Harris

    Alesha Harris, Ph.D.

    Oakes College, Room 225
    (831) 459-2220

    Alesha is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSC CAPS who completed 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.

  • Claire Holland

    Claire Holland, Psy.D.

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-5446

    Claire is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSC CAPS with a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from George Washington University.  She completed her doctoral internship at The University of Virginia’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center.  Claire approaches therapy from an integrative perspective with an emphasis on contemporary psychodynamic and relational frameworks.  She has experience working with a wide range of concerns, including trauma, eating and body/image issues, relationships, family dynamics, depression, anxiety, and identity development.  

  • Mark Ryan

    Mark Ryan, Psy.D.

    Cowell College, Administration Building Annex, Room 206
    (831) 459-3630

    Mark is a postdoctoral fellow at UCSC CAPS, who graduated from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA, with a Psy.D. in clinical psychology. He completed his doctoral internship at UCSC CAPS. 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 first-generation students 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.


  • Psychology Interns

  • Maria Berardi

    Maria Berardi, M.A.

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 459-2620

    Maria is a bicultural/bilingual (English and Spanish) psychology intern at UCSC CAPS completing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. Maria approaches counseling from an integrative perspective that includes awareness of ethnicity, race, class, gender, and their intersectionality and incorporates cognitive-behavioral techniques into her therapy. She has experience working in a college counseling center, schools, and community mental health clinics with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults coping with grief and bereavement, trauma, sexual abuse, adoption issues, mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, life transitions, acculturation, intercultural communication, and other culturally related syndromes. Maria has a heartfelt interest in diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice and deeply believes that the value of the cultural and gender identity of all people must be viewed as an asset and contributor to meaning, identity, and strengths.

     

  • Brittany Cooper

    Brittany Cooper, M.A.

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 502-7220

    Brittany is a psychology intern at UCSC CAPS completing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. Brittany approaches psychology from an integrative perspective, emphasizing multicultural frameworks while incorporating approaches such as psychodynamic theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and mindfulness. She collaboratively works with her clients to explore how they relate with their identities and how this relationship to self and others impacts well-being. Brittany has worked with a range of diverse populations, including adults, adolescents, families, and children in school, hospital, shelter, and college settings on issues such as anxiety, depression, adjustment, substance use, trauma, and relationships.

  • Kristal Valdovinos

    Kristal Valdovinos, B.A.

    CAPS Central Office
    (831) 502-7192

    Kristal Valdovinos is a psychology intern at CAPS completing her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from New Mexico State University. She has experience working with college students, undocumented immigrants, and domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. She has worked with children, teens, and adults in different settings such as schools, community agencies, and primary care clinics. Her clinical interests are trauma, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and the experiences of undocumented students, first-generation college students, and Latinx. Kristal approaches counseling from a feminist multicultural framework while integrating approaches such as mindfulness and solution-focused therapies to meet the unique needs of each individual. Her focus is on client empowerment, intersectionality, and social justice.


  • Office Staff

  • Debbie Hall

    Debbie Hall

    Central Office
    Assistant to the Director and Office Manager

    (831) 459-2629
  • Chrissie Mullen

    Chrissie Mullen

    Central Office
    CAPS Assistant

    (831) 459-2214
  • Tarini Rae

    Tarini Rae, C.M.A.

    Central Office
    CAPS Medical Assistant

    (831) 459-3944