Psychologists

Annie Ahn, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Annie Ahn, Ph.D.
Annie Ahn, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, UC Santa Barbara

Bio

Hello and welcome to the Counseling Center! College can be an exciting time personally, academically, socially and spiritually. I feel fortunate to be part of students’ journey of self-discovery and growth. I am passionate about assisting students overcome challenges and attain lifelong skills. Working at three UC counseling centers and being UC undergraduate and graduate alumni, I am familiar with the quick pace of the quarter system and invested in helping students lead a balanced life that fits their values and priorities. I have special interests in multicultural counseling, Asian American mental health, child-parent intergenerational conflict, identity, intimate relationships, trauma and resilience, family concerns, anxiety, depression, and mindfulness. As the liaison for Graduate Division, I am also committed to enhancing the wellbeing of graduate students.

Liaison: Graduate Division 

Publications

  • Kim, B. S. K., Ahn, A. J., Lam, A. N. (2009). Theories and Research on acculturation and enculturation experiences among Asian American families. In N. T. Trinh, Y. C. Rho, F. G. Lu, & K. M. Sanders (Eds.), Handbook of mental health in Asian American families (pp. 25-43). New York: Humana Press.
  • Kim, B. S. K., Ng, G. F., & Ahn, A. J. (2009). Client adherence to Asian cultural values, common factors in counseling, and session outcome with Asian American clients at a university counseling center. Journal of Counseling and Development, 87, 131-142.
  • Ahn, A. J. (2008). Bridging Intergenerational Gaps among Korean American Families. Germany: VDM Verlag.
  • Ahn, A. J., Kim, B. S. K., & Park, Y. S. (2008). Asian cultural values gap, cognitive flexibility, coping strategies, and parent-child conflicts among Korean Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 14, 353-363.
  • Kim, B. S. K., Ng, G. F., & Ahn, A. J. (2005). Effects of client expectation for counseling success, client-counselor worldview match, and client adherence to Asian and European American cultural values on counseling process with Asian Americans. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52, 67-76.

Zer Alon, Psy.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Zer Alon, Psy.D.
Zer Alon, Psy.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Clinical Psychology, Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago

Bio

I am passionate about providing high quality psychological services using established theories, science and practices. I am an empathetic psychologist who uses an integrative approach to promote psychological health and wellness. My clinical interests include anxiety and stress, depression, relationship and family issues, addiction and substance abuse, the psychology of men, self-esteem, veterans, multiculturalism and identity. As liaison to both the Veteran Services Center and Campus Village Housing, I am committed to the concerns and wellbeing of students across our campus.

Liaison: Veteran Service Center and Campus Village Undergrauate Apartments 

Sheva Assar, Psy.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Clinical Psychology, Pepperdine University

Hello and Welcome to the UCI Counseling Center! As a UCI alum, I am thrilled to support you during this exciting, yet potential stressful time in your life. I am devoted to empowering you to reach your full potential- academically, emotionally, and interpersonally. As a first generation Iranian-American, I understand myself and others within a multicultural context. I am passionate about helping students navigate their intersecting identities in a meaningful manner. I believe that healing occurs through authentic connection with another, as well as through drawing upon one’s inherent strengths. I hope to provide a safe and warm space for you to discuss the beauties and challenges of your current experiences. My areas of interests include: adjustment and life transitions, emotional vulnerability, relationships, social anxiety, trauma, and identity development. I have a special interest and experience in working with Middle Eastern and Muslim identified students, as well as Student Veterans. I look forward to collaborating with you to help make your experience at UCI what you would like it to be!

 

Liaison: Women’s Hub

Uyen Bui, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Uyen Bui, Ph.D.
Uyen Bui, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, UC Santa Barbara

Bio

Hello ~ I enjoy working with students from a warm, collaborative and positive approach. I feel privileged to be able to be a part of students’ journeys in prioritizing and maintaining a sense of wellness while here at UCI. I am passionate and interested in the following clinical areas: multicultural competency and diversity training, healthy relationships, sexuality and sexual wellness, couples therapy, LGBT and Asian American mental health, and mindfulness psychology.

Diana Chan, Psy.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Diana Chan, Psy.D.
Diana Chan, Psy.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles

Bio

When working with a student, my goal is to understand how that student’s unique life experiences and past relationships have influenced the student’s overall sense of well being. My clinical interests include depression, trauma, relationships, self-esteem, identity, family or intergenerational conflict, Asian American mental health, multiculturalism, and the assessment of learning disabilities. I am bilingual in Mandarin Chinese/English, and enjoy working with students from diverse background.

Liaison: UCI Law School and Disability Services Center 

Frances Diaz, Psy.D Director

Frances Diaz, Psy.D
Frances Diaz, Psy.D
Director

Clinical Psychology, Pepperdine University

Bio

Hello and Welcome to the Counseling Center! As a licensed bilingual psychologist I have had the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life through a number of settings. As an alumnus of UCI, I feel honored to return and have the opportunity to work with the diverse student population of this university. While I enjoy working with individuals facing a variety of challenges, my special interests are in addressing personal development, impact of family on academic achievement, first-generation college students, acculturation, international students, issues of adjustment, and Latino mental health. I recognize that higher education, whether it is undergraduate or graduate school, can be a difficult yet rewarding time in your life. Know that there are resources available to help you reach your full potential and goals. I look forward to meeting you!

Milo L. Dodson, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Milo L. Dodson, Ph.D.
Milo L. Dodson, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Graduate Program: University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign

Bio

Greetings! It is an honor and privilege to serve the UC Irvine community as a Senior Staff Psychologist after completing both my internship, as well as my Post-Doctoral Fellowship here at the Counseling Center.

I describe my clinical work with clients as theoretically integrative and technically eclectic. My approach to psychotherapy is grounded in multiculturalism and integrates interpersonal, person-centered, and CBT theoretical perspectives. Like a trained musician, I use myself as an instrument for change by cultivating a strong therapeutic relationship with clients. I adopt a strengths based approach to empower clients to arrive at their own “answers” by collaboratively helping them create short-term and long-term goals.

My outreach efforts include collaborations with and advocacy for the African American/Black community and serving as the Counseling Center liaison to the Athletics Department.

I genuinely look forward to the possibility of working with you! Peace and Blessings.

Liaison: Athletics Department and e-Sports 

Publications and Professional Presentations

  • Dodson, M. L. (2016) A mother’s love and a mother’s language. Published in Ryan, A. (2016). At mama’s knee: Mothers and race in black and white. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Dodson, M. L. (Writer/Director/Producer). (2012). Counseling psychology: Beyond “the couch” [Video]. Created for Division 17 of APA; presented at the 2012 APA Convention Division 17 Business Meeting, Orlando, FL.
  • Neville, H. A., Flores, M., & Dodson, M. L. (2012). Being an ally: Learning from and respecting the contributions of ethnic minority psychological associations, The Counseling Psychologist, 40, 738-745.
  • Turner, B. L, Henderson, R., & Dodson, M. L. (2012). At the top of the game: Providing relevant support for African American male athletes. Presentation at the annual Black Male Summit, Akron, OH.

Katy Dorsheimer, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Katy Dorsheimer, Ph.D.
Katy Dorsheimer, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University at Albany, SUNY

Bio

I am both grateful and proud to be a part of the Counseling Center team and the UCI community! My objective is to enact social justice by supporting the well-being of our diverse and outstanding student body. I am passionate about providing care and healing through an integration of mental health interventions with attention to intersections of diversity. As a generalist, I work with such issues as depression, anxiety, identity concerns, and relationship issues. Also, I specialize in working with survivors of sexual violence, and am excited to be the liaison to the CARE Office. Other areas of special interest include prevention, training, and supporting the LGBTQ population.

Jessica Eldridge, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Jessica Eldridge, Ph.D.
Jessica Eldridge, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles at Alliant International University

Bio

Hello and welcome to the UCI Counseling Center!   In my work with students, I believe that the therapeutic alliance that develops between the client and the therapist is very important. I put effort and energy into developing a relationship that is caring, trusting, and collaborative. In this way, I think the best work can be done and you can get the most out of your therapy experience.  I enjoy working with a variety of concerns, and my areas of special interest include multiculturalism, identity and interpersonal relationship concerns, the incorporation of art into therapy and self-care, managing stress, anxiety, and depression, LGBTQ issues, and adjustment to transitions and new circumstances. I look forward to meeting you!

Liaison: UCI Medical School 

Jonathan Flojo, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Jonathan Flojo, Ph.D.
Jonathan Flojo, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University of Oregon

Bio

Students and I work together to overcome barriers to their success. We focus on developing awareness and acquiring pragmatic skills. I believe that being a psychologist is a combination of coach, educator, problem-solver, therapist, and advocate. My work centers on equity in healthcare and in education, especially where activism, community, and policy intersect. My professional areas of interest include: multicultural mental health, Asian American Studies, LGBT issues, men’s health, and mindfulness-based approaches. In addition, I am interested in large-scale evaluation and policy analysis research.

Liaison: Middle Earth Residence Hall 

Meladee Garst, Ph.D. Director of Student Educational Programming and Outreach/ Assistant Director

Welcome to the UCI Counseling Center! Working with the college student population has been my passion since graduate school. I have had the pleasure of working at several college counseling centers all over the United States, recently coming from Kansas! I am proud and excited to be in Califorinia and join the UCI Anteater family. My goal as a psychologist is to help clients reach their academic, social, and emotional goals by providing support, advocacy, coaching, and therapy. I find it very important to have a strong therapeutic alliance in working with clients and provide a space where they can feel safe and comfortable in exploring their presenting concerns. I enjoy working with a variety of presenting concerns but have areas of emphasis in working with LGBTQ identifed students, first-generation college students, students from diverse or marginalized backgrounds, identity development concerns, and relationship issues. I also have a special area of interest in providing outreach and educational programming to the campus community. I find it important to provide educational programming and outreach to our campus as a ways of prevention, but also in reaching students who are in need of counseling services. I look forward to working with you as a potential Counseling Center client or seeing you around campus at an outreach event! In my free time I love to craft by brining new life to old things, cook, hiking and biking, and playing with my nieces and nephews.

Dianna M. Gonzalez, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Dianna M. Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Dianna M. Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, New Mexico State University - Las Cruces

Bio

Hello and welcome to the Counseling Center! I have had the privilege of working with college students at several universities and look forward to continuing to do so at UCI. My approach to working with clients is informed by an ecological, developmental, strength-based, social justice, and multicultural lens. Through this perspective I contextualize student concerns within their environment, considering how power, privilege, and oppression impact student well-being. Although I consider myself a generalist counseling psychologist, I have an interest in mental health disparities, non-traditional and first-generation college students, and Latino mental health. I am currently the liaison for Student Support Services/Transfer Student Services and Undocumented/AB540/Dreamers community at UCI. I look forward to working with you!

 Liaison: Dreamers Resource Center and Student Success Initiatives 

Jennifer F. Hsia, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Jennifer F. Hsia, Ph.D.
Jennifer F. Hsia, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University of South Dakota

Bio

I am excited to return to my alma mater and rejoin the UCI community as a part-time Staff Psychologist at UCI Counseling Center. I work from a personal philosophy of striving to help you reach the therapy goals that you set. I aim to walk alongside you in your journey towards a destination that you define rather than one that I set for you. I have specific interests in addressing issues of acculturation, stress, depression, and healthy lifestyle changes. I also encourage the use of traditional healing methods to promote holistic wellness.  

Heather Jett, Psy.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Heather Jett, Psy.D.
Heather Jett, Psy.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Clinical Psychology, Azusa Pacific University

Bio

Greetings and welcome to the Counseling Center! I am both privileged and honored to work with students during their time at UCI. I work collaboratively and employ a humanistic approach to help empower and support students through life’s challenges. My clinical focus includes a wide range of areas such as anxiety, stress, depression, adjustment problems, relationship issues, cross-cultural issues, gender identity issues, LGBTQ community, trauma and intimate partner violence. I have a special interest in working with first generation students and also issues surrounding African-American mental health. Currently, I serve as the liaison to the Black Resource Center. I am excited to serve the campus community with compassion and support in order to help improve our student’s college experience and overall quality of life. I look forward to working with you!

Liaison: Center for Black Cultures and Research 

Mary Pat Kelly , Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Mary Pat Kelly , Ph.D.
Mary Pat Kelly , Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University of Utah

Bio

Greetings - I am excited to be on staff here because I know that your Counseling Center is an amazing resource for the campus community and for you as a student of the University of California, Irvine. I am privileged to have trained here as an intern at the very start of my career and now to be back working with this dynamic population of students among a team of incredible professional colleagues. I believe that the college years are among the best period in life to take advantage of counseling opportunities because there is so much change going on in your lives and so much potential for positive growth that serves you for a lifetime.

My approach to student concerns combines a cognitive-behavioral framework with a developmental perspective on how your challenges have come to be and how best to overcome them towards optimal personal satisfaction and capability. I work with students on a variety of concerns including academic, personal and relationships issues in a collaborative style where you and I work together to identify, practice and strengthen the understandings and skills that best work to relieve your concerns and remove obstacles in the way of your best life.

Debbie Liu, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Debbie Liu, Ph.D.
Debbie Liu, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California

Bio

Welcome to the Counseling Center!  I feel it is a privilege to be part of my clients’ journey as I help students to develop coping skills to manage depression and anxiety, and to begin to live the life that brings them happiness.  I am trained as a cognitive-behavioral therapist and use tools from that framework specifically tailored to the needs of my clients.  My clinical interests include social anxiety, PTSD, identity issues and depression.  I look forward to working with you!

Yuli Liu, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Yuli Liu, Ph.D.
Yuli Liu, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California

Bio

I have specialized in working with college students at several universities and enjoy assisting students with their personal growth and development. I often work with students around concerns about their self-esteem, stress, anxiety, adjustment, and relationships with others. My other interests include multicultural counseling and training, Asian American mental health, career development, acculturation and identity development, immigrant communities, diversity education, and gender issues.

Publications

  • Tsong, Y. and Liu, Y. (2008). Parachute kids and astronaut families. In N. Tewari & A. Alvarez (Eds.), Asian American Psychology: Current Perspectives (Psychology Press).
  • Liu, Y., Tsong, Y., & Hayashino, D. (2007). Group counseling with Asian American women: Reflections and effective practices. Women and Therapy, 30, 193-208. Co-published simultaneously in D. Kawahara & O. Espin (Eds.) Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformation: Asian American Women in Therapy (The Haworth Press, Inc.).

Shruti Mukkamala, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Shruti Mukkamala, Ph.D.
Shruti Mukkamala, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Clinical Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Bio

Hello and welcome to the Counseling Center! I am a former international student who has been living in the U.S. since I came here more than a decade ago. I value education and the opportunities it brings, and look forward to helping students as they navigate their educational journey. My experiences of being a first-generation immigrant and a woman of color in the U.S. have deeply impacted my personal identity and professional interests. I have a particular interest in working with women of color in STEM fields, international and immigrant students, graduate students and Asian and Asian American students. While I enjoy working with a wide range of students related to their concerns, particular areas of experience include body image difficulties, relationships, acculturation, intergenerational communication, anxiety and stress related to discrimination. I work collaboratively within a Cognitive-Behavioral framework and am an advocate for my clients. Along with individual therapy, I enjoy conducting group therapy and engaging in outreach and consultation with the greater campus community. My research intersects with my clinical interests and is broadly focused on racial discrimination and its impact on mental health and lived experience. I look forward to working with you soon!

Publications

  • Mukkamala, S. & Suyemoto, K.L. (in press). Racialized Sexism/Sexualized Racism: A multimethod study of intersectional experiences of discrimination for Asian American women. Asian American Journal of Psychology

Jessica R. Ortega, Ph.D. Interim Training Director/ Associate Director

Jessica R. Ortega, Ph.D.
Jessica R. Ortega, Ph.D.
Interim Training Director/ Associate Director

Counseling Psychology, Arizona State University

Bio

Bienvenidos! (Welcome!) I am delighted and privileged to be able to work with you amazingly gifted UCI students whether it be through therapy or community outreach, which may include teaching, workshops, and mentoring.  My work with students is guided by a multicultural lens that seeks to understand and honor their unique stories and intersectional identities within their social-cultural communities.  I feel that cultural humility is salient in my role as a therapist. As a first generation to college, Latina, I am mindful of my own story, how that has shaped my worldview and the importance of cultivating a space of inclusivity. I intentionally seek to facilitate opportunities for authentic expression from my clients and encourage them to honor their strength and resiliency. I too learn from my clients.  Although I work from a generalist approach, I do possess clinical interests that include working with issues related to college adjustment and academic persistence, Latin@/x mental health, the 1st generation and transfer student experience, eating disorder/body image concerns and spirituality in the healing process. I embrace an additional passion for leadership development, training and peer program coordination and supervision. Ultimately I see myself as an advocate to our students and seek to serve as a resource and bridge for them as they navigate the college experience. It brings me great joy serving our student community, and ultimately empowering them to own their stories, and strengthen their voice, spirit and leadership as agents of change. On a personal note, I have a passion for dance, teaching Zumba and enjoying quality time with my family and friends. Have a blessed day!  Zot Zot Zot!!!

Liaison: Mesa Court Residence Hall 

PUBLICATIONS

  • Dixon Rayle, A., Sand, J. K., Brucato, T., & Ortega, J. (2006). The “Comadre” group approach: A Wellness-based group model for monolingual Mexican women. Journal of Specialists in Group Work, 31, 1-20.
  • Ortega, J. (2019). Supervising paraprofessionals: A multicultural perspective. In T.R. Burnes & J. E. Manese (Eds.), Cases in multicultural clinical supervision: Models, lenses, and applications (pp. 97-113). Cognella, Inc.

Kanwarjit Pahwa, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Kanwarjit Pahwa, Ph.D.
Kanwarjit Pahwa, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University of Tennessee At Knoxville

Bio

Ylena D. Parks, Psy.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Ylena D. Parks, Psy.D.
Ylena D. Parks, Psy.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Clinical Psychology, Biola University

Greetings and welcome to the Counseling Center! I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to come alongside and assist UCI students as they work towards achieving their academic and personal life goals. I approach students’ concerns with benign curiosity, compassion and tenderness and encourage students to do the same. Using an integrative treatment approach, I facilitate deep, mindful reflection upon personal experiences and authentic expression of affect, with the intention of moving students toward greater insight, self-awareness and overall wellbeing. I also welcome humor into the therapeutic process, recognizing that levity can often provide relief from challenges and facilitate positive change. I work with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, self-esteem, grief/loss, partner relationship issues, adjustment to college/career, and personal/sexual/gender identity development. I also have a special interest in working through issues associated with the intersection of spirituality and mental health, sexuality and/or sexual identity; concerns related to diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder; and animal-assisted therapy as a health service psychology intervention.

Liaison: Disability Services Center 

Saimir Thano, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Saimir Thano, Ph.D.
Saimir Thano, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Clinical Psychology, Alliant IU/ CSPP - Los Angeles

Bio

Mirësevini (Welcome) to UCI Counseling Center. I feel fortunate to be part of the CC team and for the opportunity to give back to the UCI Community. I am dedicated to providing the support needed for students to live a more successful and healthier life. I have a holistic approach to working with students, which includes the mind, body, and emotions. I view individuals as whole beings who are made up of interdependent parts with each part playing an important role for optimal psychological wellbeing. I work with students to obtain physical, mental, and emotional balance. As a first generation immigrant I am also sensitive to issues of diversity, thus in my work I utilize a multicultural lens while focusing on the therapeutic relationship. My clinical areas of interest include acculturation related issues, adjustment to college, men's issues, first generation and/or transfer students, non-traditional and international students, and ethnic identity issues. My research focuses on multicultural/multiracial relationships, the impact of acculturation on psychological wellbeing and romantic relationship satisfaction, and ethnic identity as a protective factor. I look forward to hearing from you and working together to reach your goals.

Liaison: Arroyo Vista Residence Hall 

Jas Tilghman, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Jas Tilghman, Ph.D.
Jas Tilghman, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri - Columbia

Bio

Greetings UCI Anteaters!  I am so proud to be a part of this university and help serve your mental health needs.  As an African-American woman, my experiences have shaped my worldview and my work with clients.  Therapeutically, I integrate both Feminist/Multicultural and Person-Centered frameworks.  My goal is to help the college student population embrace an understanding of their identities, be secure in themselves, and develop skills to better navigate college and the greater society.  My clinical interests include multicultural counseling, anxiety and depression, stress management, mindfulness and relaxation, interpersonal relationships, adjustment, identity concerns, African-American mental health, race-related stress, first-generation college students, disenfranchised students, while emphasizing one’s strengths. I also have a passion for working with creative performers (i.e., musicians, dancers, actors, etc.) and the unique challenges faced by this population. Let’s work together to make your journey through college a success!

Liaison: Verano Place Graduate Housing, Cross Cultural Center, and Claire Trevor School for the Arts 

Rodolfo Victoria, Ph.D. Senior Staff Psychologist

Rodolfo Victoria, Ph.D.
Rodolfo Victoria, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Psychologist

Counseling Psychology, Teachers College - Columbia University

Bio

Bienvenidos! (Welcome!) It is a tremendous pleasure to be part of the Counseling Center here at UC Irvine. As a first-generation college student, my personal experiences have influenced my research and clinical interests which have focused on racial & ethnic identity development as well understanding how individuals navigate through various, and often conflicting, cultural demands. Together, students and I work collaboratively in enhancing self-awareness and exploring how our personal and collective, cultural histories influence our present day-to-day functioning.

I strongly believe that each of us has the resiliency to work through life’s hurdles and I help students identify these inner strengths with empathic support & insight. While therapy can be a challenging process, I encourage students to challenge and identify potential psychological barriers & patterns that prevent them from achieving their personal/professional goals as well as developing meaningful relationships. I look forward to working with you!!!

Publications

  • Carter, R. T., Mazzula, S., Victoria, R., Vazquez, R., Hall, S., Smith, S, Sant, S., Forsyth, J., Bazelais, K., & Williams, B. (In Press). Initial Development of the Race-Based Traumatic Stress Symptom Scale: Assessing the emotional impact of racism. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy.
  • Kohatsu, E., Victoria, R., Lau, A., Flores, M., & Salazar A. (2011). Analyzing anti-Asian prejudice from a racial identity and color-blind perspective. Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(1), 63-72.

Vivian Yamada, Psy.D. Clinical Director/ Associate Director

Vivian Yamada, Psy.D.
Vivian Yamada, Psy.D.
Clinical Director/ Associate Director

Clinical Psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Bio

Welcome! College and graduate school can be so fulfilling, but can also lead to many stressors and challenges. I greatly value the opportunity to work with UCI students to help them navigate their roles as students and their additional relationships with family members, friends, romantic partners, colleagues and others. I enjoy working with students who have a variety of concerns and adapt my therapeutic approach to what a particular student needs. Most importantly, I believe a client needs to feel safe and understood given the vulnerability that can be present in counseling. In addition, I frequently find it helpful to explore how a client’s various relationships can function better in the client’s life as these relationships are often connected to their concerns. Some of my special interests are couples therapy, trauma and abuse, and multicultural issues including LGBT and multiracial/multi-ethnic issues.

Liaison: Student Health Center Primary Care 

Clinical Social Worker

Diana Nguyen, LCSW Clinical Social Worker

Diana Nguyen, LCSW
Diana Nguyen, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker

University of Southern California

Bio

Hello and welcome to the Counseling Center! I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and am here to provide UCI students with support, information, and resources that they may need to be successful in both their personal and academic areas of their lives. I am bilingual and fluent in English and Vietnamese and am committed to working with students to help them reach their goals.  I look forward to working with you! 

Ilana Rosenberg, LCSW Clinical Social Worker

Ilana Rosenberg, LCSW
Ilana Rosenberg, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker

The University of Toronto

Bio

I am thrilled to be a part of the Counseling Center team and the UCI community! I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker originally from Canada and have also lived and worked in the mid-west.  As a Counseling Center social worker, I can advocate for UCI students and provide them with referrals, resources and support if required.  I hope I can help you thrive and succeed here at UCI!

Psychiatrists

Yujuan Choy, M.D. Chief Psychiatrist

Yujuan Choy, M.D.
Yujuan Choy, M.D.
Chief Psychiatrist

MD from Weil Medical College of Cornell University, Psychiatry Residency at NYU Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital, Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Anxiety Disorders, Columbia University Diplomate, & American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Bio

I have been working in the field of college mental health since 2006. I am committed to providing students with the highest standard of care. As a consultant to the therapists at the Counseling Center, I conduct psychiatric evaluations and time-limited medication management. I treat a wide range of psychiatric disorders with an expertise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, generalized anxiety and panic disorder.

I am Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UCI, and am involved in the UCI psychiatry residency training program.

Publications

    • Choy, Y. (2012). Acute Procedure Anxiety in Adults: Epidemiology and Clinical Presentation. In Basow, DS (Ed) UpToDate, Waltham, MA.
    • Choy, Y. (2012). Acute Procedure Anxiety in Adults: Course, Screening, Assessment, and Differential Diagnosis. In Basow, DS (Ed) UpToDate, Waltham, MA.
    • Choy, Y. (2012). Treatment of Acute Procedure Anxiety in Adults. In Basow, DS (Ed) UpToDate, Waltham, MA.
    • Choy, Y. (2012). Treatment of Specific Phobias of Medical and Dental Procedures. In Basow, DS (Ed) UpToDate, Waltham, MA.
    • Choy (2008). Treatment planning for panic disorder: Evidence based treatments. Special Report. Psychiatric Times. 25(2):40.
    • Kinoshita Y, Chen J, Rapee RM, Bogels S, Schneier FR, Choy Y, Kwon JH, Liu X, Schramm E, Chavira DA, Nakano Y, Watanabe N, Ietzugu T, Ogawa S, Emmelkamp P, Zhang J, Kingdon D,, Nagata T, Furukawa TA. (2008) Cross-cultural study of conviction subtype Taijin Kyofu: proposal and reliability of Nagoya-Osaka diagnostic criteria for social anxiety disorder. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 196:307-313.
    • Choy, Y. and FR Schneier (2008). New and Recent Drugs for Anxiety Disorders. Primary Psychiatry 15 (12): 50-56.
    • Choy, Y., A.J. Fyer & J. Lipsitz. I (2007). Treatment of specific phobia in adults. Clinical Psychology Review. 27 (3): 266-286
    • Choy, Y., AJ Fyer and RD Goodwin.(2007) Specific Phobia and Depression: A Closer Look at the NCS Data. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 48 (2): 132-6
    • Choy, Y., FR Schneier, RG Heimberg, KS Oh, ML Liebowitz (2007) Features of the Offensive Subtype of TaijinKyoFusho in U.S. and Korean Patients with DSM-IV Social Anxiety Disorder. Depression and Anxiety 0: 1-11
    • Choy. Y. (2007) Managing Side Effects of Anxiolytics. Primary Psychiatry. 14 (7): 68-76
    • Choy, Y., ED Peselow, BG Case, MA Pressman, JA Luff, G Laje, M Paizis, P Ying, MT Guardino. (2007). Three-year medication prophylaxis of panic disorder: to continue or discontinue? A naturalistic study. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 48: 419-425
    • Choy, Y. (2006). The Anxious Patient. In: C. Bernstein, Z. Levin, M. Poag, M Rubinstein (Eds). On Call Psychiatry (3rd ed.): Elsevier.
    • Choy, Y. (2006). Telephone Consultation. In: C. Bernstein, Z. Levin, M. Poag, M Rubinstein (Eds). On Call Psychiatry (3rd ed.): Elsevier.

Psychology Interns

Janice E. Castro, M.A.

Graduate Program:Counseling Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Bio 

¡Bienvenidos! (Welcome!) I am so excited and honored to have been given the opportunity to complete my pre-doctoral internship at the University of California-Irvine Counseling Center! I am originally from Silver Spring, Maryland with Peruvian heritage. I enjoy working with a variety of concerns and my specific area of interest is in multiculturalism and diversity, specifically with the Latina/o/x community, domestic violence, and first-generation college students. In my spare time I enjoy being with loved ones, exercising, and dancing. 

Xiao He, M.Ed. CRC

Graduate Program: Counseling Psychology, Texas A&M University

Bio

Hi Anteaters, welcome to the UCI Counseling Center! I am an international student from China, bilingual in Mandarin and English. My passion to become a counseling psychologist emerged in 2005, and I embarked on this journey in 2010 when I first landed in the U.S. Therapeutically, I strive to provide an affirming and supportive environment in which students can safely explore, acknowledge, and express their affective constellations without unwanted consequences. My role in therapy is to empower students to realistically come to terms with the good and bad in the pasts and to develop new responses to life situations. I believe that students’ interactions with me are a powerful foundation for bringing about corrective emotional experiences, and resolution occurs through the dynamics of therapeutic interactions. My special clinical interests include international students, acculturation and ethnic identities, adjustment difficulties, anger management, disability issues, and career counseling. In leisure time, I like writing novels, singing, playing guitar and ukulele, and sweating out in the gym. I look forward to working with you.

Matthew Kridel, M.S.

Graduate Program: Clinical/Counseling Psychology, University of South Alabama

Bio

Welcome to the UCI Counseling Center! I'm excited to be joining the staff for my internship year, coming all the way from Mobile, Alabama. I've been passionate about college student mental health since my time as an undergrad, and this passion continues today. My areas of clinical and research focus include LGBTQ identities and issues, mental health outreach and stigma, anxiety, academic success, and theatre and performing arts.

My work with students primarily comes from the perspective of Metacognitive Therapy, with integration of techniques and ideas from cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, solution-focused, psychodrama, and multicultural perspectives. College is a time of rich growth and I look forward to helping you explore yourself and the world around you!

Publications

Borgogna, N.C., McDermott, R.C., Aita, S.L., Kridel, M. (in press). Anxiety and Depression Across Gender and Sexual Minorities: Implications for Transgender, Genderqueer/Non-Binary, Pansexual, Demisexual, Asexual, Queer and Questioning College Students. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Kridel, M. (2018). Metacognitive Therapy: Introduction to a Third-Wave Therapy. Presented at the American College Counseling Association Conference, Charlotte, South Carolina.

Rebecca Hill LeCroix, M.S.

Graduate Program: Clinical and Community Psychology, Georgia State University

Bio

Welcome to the UCI Counseling Center! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to join the staff as a pre-doctoral intern following my training in Atlanta, Georgia. I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama and identify as a multiracial woman with both Native and European roots. My clinical, teaching, and research interest areas focus on stigma and disclosure, particularly related to gender and sexual minority identities as well as HIV. Further, I appreciate working with a variety of presenting concerns, and I take a client-centered and empowerment approach that includes integration of cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and multicultural perspectives. I look forward to meeting you!

Support Staff

Mary Bailey Operations Manager

Linda Doan, MPH Center Compliance Coordinator

Linda Doan, MPH
Linda Doan, MPH
Center Compliance Coordinator

Agene Jhee Administrative Assistant

Agene Jhee
Agene Jhee
Administrative Assistant

Jamie Jones Administrative Assistant

Jamie Jones
Jamie Jones
Administrative Assistant

Denise Long Assistant to the Director

Denise Long
Denise Long
Assistant to the Director