Elizabeth Mondragon, Psy.D.
Director of Counseling and Psychological Services(CAPS)
Licensed Psychologist – CA PSY 21471
Dr. Mondragon is a licensed psychologist who received her Psy.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology at the University of La Verne, with a M.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Criminology.
Dr. Mondragon has over 20 years of clinical experience, with University Counseling Center experience going back from 2003. Dr. Mondragon joined UCR in 2006 as a CAPS staff clinician and completed training as a Psychology intern in the CAPS counseling center. Some areas of particular interest to Dr. Mondragon include: supporting academic success through increased access to mental and physical health care services to students; reducing stigma and barriers to help-seeking for mental health concerns of a diverse campus community; supporting the unique needs and challenges of first generation college students; working with individuals who have experienced trauma and sexual abuse; processing clinical issues around grief and loss; and supporting campus diversity, equity and inclusion through advocacy and education.
Identifying as a first-generation college student, first generation USA citizen, and proud Latina, Dr. Mondragon has a particular passion for the unique and highly diverse UCR campus community and supporting students to feel empowered through their educational experience and beyond.
Dr. Mondragon is a great animal lover but especially her cats and dogs, considers herself a Sci-Fi and Horror fanatic, and loves to spend time listening/singing along to music with friends and family!
Loretta Mead, Psy.D
Assistant Director/Clinical Director
Licensed Psychologist, CA 24298
Dr. Mead joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2010. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles.
Dr. Mead is committed to helping others feel better, grow as individuals and have healthy, satisfying relationships. In her role as assistant director/clinical director, she assists in overseeing the daily operations and clinical services of CAPS. She also provided individual, couples and group therapy, is involved in the center’s training of psychological interns, and participates in committees within the campus community.
Dr. Mead values working with diverse individuals with a variety of challenges that include relational dynamics, loss and grief, identity, cultural identity and self-development, as well as first generation college student experiences. She is grateful to be a member of the talented and diverse CAPS team.
Lee Stillerman, Ph.D.
Assistant Director/Crisis Director
Licensed Psychologist, CA PSY21971
Dr. Stillerman has worked at UCR CAPS since 2009. He has extensive training in multicultural competencies and enjoys working with diverse orientations, cultures and worldviews. Dr. Stillerman has a special interest in humor and is interested in the intersection between humor and well-being.
Before UCR, Dr. Stillerman worked at counseling centers at New Mexico State University, the University of Hawaii, Boston College, CSU Long Beach and UCLA. He earned his Master's degree in counseling psychology from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and his Ph.D. from New Mexico State University.
In his current role as Assistant Director/ Crisis Director Dr. Stillerman helps to plan, direct, and oversee the day to day operations in the center and assumes additional oversight and responsibility for urgent care services, working closely with campus partners to coordinate crisis intervention and stabilization for students with high acuity. Dr. Stillerman is a College & University Suicide Prevention Specialist, accredited by the American Association of Suicidology.
Jennifer Hung, Psy.D.
Training Director/Assistant Director
Licensed Psychologist, CA PSY 21949
Hello! Welcome to CAPS! Dr. Hung has had the honor of serving UCR college students for more than 10 years, and one of her favorite aspects of UCR is the rich and resilient life stories UCR students bring to campus. While Dr. Hung did not receive her undergraduate training at UCR, she attended our sister campus at UC Irvine. Dr. Hung went on to complete her doctorate in clinical-community psychology at the University of La Verne. Throughout Dr. Hung’s career she has worked in various settings that include college counseling centers, psychiatric hospital, community mental health clinics and private practice. Despite having worked in all these settings, Dr. Hung’s clinical interests remain the same. She has particular interest in identity issues, social justice, immigration, acculturation, trauma, BIPOC, and the impact of racism/discrimination.
As the training director/assistant director at CAPS, Dr. Hung oversees the APA accredited doctoral health service psychology internship program. Aside from her training director role, Dr. Hung provides a wide range of clinical services to the campus community. Dr. Hung utilizes an integrative approach in working with students of different backgrounds that take into consideration the interactions of larger systems (e.g family, community, societal…etc) and the individual. Finally, the underlying principle in Dr. Hung’s clinical practice is to honor the student’s identities, values, life experiences, strengths and other aspects that make up who they are as a person.
Dr. Hung loves Lego, marvel movies, puzzles, and biography books.
Farid Azhir, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, CA LMFT 48161
Farid joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2015. Prior to earning his Master's degree in Counseling at California State University Fullerton, Farid also received a B.S. in kinesiology with an emphasis on physiology of exercise. During his research which was to investigate the impact of physiological changes on weight control exercises. He gravitated towards undeniably power of psychological constructs to maintain a healthy life style, that's when he decided to focus his graduate study in the area of psychotherapy and his journey continues to enrich his enthusiasm in everlasting learning and how to serve others humbly and sincerely.
Prior to joining UCR, he had the privilege to serve K-12 students and their families who required a variety of mental health services. His passion for exploring the influence of cultures and how it impacts therapy has taken him to five continents around the world. He immersed himself in cultural experiences that at first glance did not seem alike, however became a firm believer that a nonjudgmental deeper view reveals credulous simplicity of the very fabric that tightly bounds us together “Love & Respect."
Farid loves nature and enjoys learning about different cultures. He believes nature influences culture and culture influences our perspective. This perspective then filters our thoughts and, our thoughts cradle our feelings, our relationships, and our lives.
Sarah Pemberton MSW, MS
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, CA LCS # 25339
Sarah studied psychology at Scripps College where she received her B.A. She went on to receive her master’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004.
Sarah comes to UCR with a varying degree of experiences. She started her professional career as a therapist in Los Angeles county working in an outpatient Department of Mental Health contracted clinic, serving a diverse population of families. Sarah then went on to work in community mental health in Orange county, working with children and families as well as provided mental health assessment for school districts. She came to work at UCR in 2008 working within Student Affairs as the first Student Affairs Case Manager for the campus. She worked to advocate for students that were facing a variety of challenges navigate the university and access all the resources it has to offer. Sarah helped to lead the training of staff and students on campus through “Campus Connect”, which focuses on increasing awareness of suicide and how to help someone who is contemplating suicide.
Sarah started as a Staff Therapist at UCR CAPS in 2013, working in individual and group settings to support UCR students with their mental health needs. For Sarah years now Sarah has conducted the mandated substance abuse assessments for the campus. She is a member of the Health Campus subcommittee for substance use and abuse. She continues to provide training and outreach around the important topic of suicide awareness on college campuses.
Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and spending time with her sweet little Yorkshire Terrier.
Ayoka Bell, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist - CA PSY 27676
After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Sacramento, Dr. Bell earned both master’s and doctoral degrees from John F. Kennedy University.
Dr. Bell brings clinical experience from past work in public education and safety, community mental health, inpatient behavioral health, and primary care-behavioral health integration. Dr. Bell provides clinical supervision to pre-doctoral interns at CAPS, serves as liaison with UCR African Student Programs, and is a founding member of the UCR Transgender and Gender Diverse Clinical Consultation Team. Dr. Bell’s therapeutic approach is integrative and collaborative, drawing from various treatment modalities based on individuals’ unique needs. Dr. Bell is passionate about providing support around issues of diversity. With the aim of empowering people of all abilities, backgrounds, and identities, Dr. Bell strives to create a therapeutic space that feels safe and free of judgement.
As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Dr. Bell enjoys birding, hiking, biking, boating, and travelling as well as spending quality time with loved ones worldwide.
Nicole Pitsavas, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY 29303
Dr. Nicole Pitsavas (Nicky) obtained a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago. As a generalist, Nicky offers a variety of service modalities, including individual, couples, groups, and outreach presentations. Nicky is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Nicky’s clinical conceptualization is grounded in psychodynamic and attachment theories. She sees the therapeutic relationship as an important vehicle for change through which clients can explore and practice new ways of relating to others. She describes her work as relational, collaborative and transparent, encouraging clients to participate actively in their treatment planning and to provide feedback openly on their experience of counseling. Nicky believes that all individuals strive toward healthier lives and that people make the best decisions they can based on their background and the options available to them. Thus, Nicky also strongly believes in psychoeducation to help her clients expand their knowledge of community resources. Nicky regularly incorporates cognitive behavioral strategies to help clients reshape unhelpful ways of thinking and acting and to develop more adaptive coping strategies. Nicky has a particular passion for working with sexual and gender minorities, undocumented immigrants and other marginalized populations. Social justice guides not only her clinical work but also her professional and personal life.
Nicky enjoys many hobbies in her spare time. These include camping, playing with her dogs and cats, and a host of manual and creative activities. She, her wife, and their child love to sing and go on hikes together. Science fiction and fantasy are among her favorite genres whether for reading or watching movies. As a previous Senior Desktop Analyst, she is an avid technology consumer and thrives on learning how things work.
Eryn Parks, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY 20429
Eyrn majored in Psychology and Public Service at UC Riverside and then earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California in 2002. He has worked with a number of different ethnic and cultural groups of different ages across a variety of settings including substance abuse, community mental health, residential, and outpatient settings. Most of his experience, however, has been from his 11 years at Riverside County Behavioral Health where he worked as a psychologist, trainer, chair of the Adverse Incidents Committee, and supervisor at an adult services clinic. He has worked at UCR CAPS since 2017 as a licensed Counseling Psychologist and has been an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine since 2015.
Eyrn strives to work collaboratively with a style and method that most suits the individual. He enjoys working with and learning from people from all cultures and backgrounds. His theoretical orientation is primarily person-centered and cognitive-behavioral, attempting to integrate the latest research findings when possible. His therapeutic interests include self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and anger-management.
His personal interests include cycling, running, and travel. He currently hosts the podcast and KUCR radio show “Let’s Get Psyched.”
Tina Luis-Brown, M.S.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, CA LMFT 33683
As a first-generation graduate of the UC and Cal State University systems, Tina strives to help students. As a bi-racial, bilingual woman of color, Tina provides a safe, confidential space for students and invites first-generation college students, BIPOC, QTPOC/LGBTQIA+ students, undocumented students, and others to consider the counseling experience. She uses a multicultural healing framework that includes an integration of therapeutic approaches such as mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral (MBCBT) modalities informed by neuroscience. In her work, Tina invites each person to share their unique experiences and needs and to develop or enhance nurturing practices, emphasizing affirming and humanizing care that is insight-oriented, person-centered, trauma-informed and body inclusive.
Tina has devoted much of her career to the healing arts as well as training and educating community members in mental health awareness, wellness practices and destigmatizing mental health, among other topics. She has had extensive experience working with young adults, student parents and families who feel marginalized. Her approach prioritizes helping individuals increase their sense of empowerment, agency, authenticity, and self-knowledge while developing skills needed to navigate and minimize barriers to care. She is the Undocumented Students Program liaison and engages in other forms of outreach on campus with an understanding of a student’s unique life experiences in the context of multicultural and intersectional identities.
Heather Johnson M.S.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, CA LMFT 103173
Heather Johnson was born and raised in Southern California and studied psychology and philosophy at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Heather received her Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University. She has special training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Heather has a diverse professional background working with those experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, and various other diagnoses. Heather has a special interest in working with those who have experienced sexual and relationship violence, as well as those who have experienced trauma related to the criminal justice system. Heather uses an integrative and varied approach to tailor services to the individual, family, or couple. Heather believes in working together as a team to determine goals and treatment that meet the client’s needs, while providing a safe and empathetic environment. In addition to her work as a therapist, Heather enjoys providing professional training and consultation in the areas of trauma informed care, self-advocacy, and mental health awareness.
Heather enjoys Disneyland, building Legos, reading, exploring new restaurants and cuisines, and baking. "Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” – Albus Dumbledore
Danielle Larin, MA
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, CA LMFT #103879 (CCTS-I, CLES)
Danielle Larin is a CA Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and identifies as Native Hawaiian. She received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Riverside and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Danielle is a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist (Individual Services) with Trauma Institute International. She also has extensive experience with Perinatal & Postpartum mental health concerns, having completed her instruction with Postpartum Support International and the Seleni Institute. Danielle is also a Certified Lactation Education Specialist. She has advanced proficiency in Italian and can read and write in Spanish.
Danielle has a diverse professional background and has spent much of her career working in community mental health settings supporting individuals with a range of mental health concerns. She was also an Educationally Related Mental Health Specialist within Special Education departments in various school districts in LA and the IE. She has extensive experience with underserved communities (Immigrant, Urban, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Parents), foster care/transitioning youth, and gang affiliated individuals. Selected highlights over the span of her career include:
- Development of guidebooks for DACA recipients (and families) to navigate constitutional rights
- Advocating for the adoption of gender inclusive pronouns for LGBTQ+ youth within schools
- Establishment of inter-agency collaboration for pregnant youth with mental health concerns
- Collaboration to provide and distribute basic needs to homeless school-aged youth and their families
- Providing immersive seminars demonstrating the effectiveness of art in mental health recovery
In addition to her work at UCR, she provides individual, couple, and group therapy, supervision for associate MFTs/MSWs/PCCs, and is a community advocate on mental health issues. She is particularly interested in the intersectionality of trauma, child-rearing practices, and partnership satisfaction in couples. She is a liaison with the UCR Women’s Resource Center and R’Kids.
Danielle enjoys Almond Milk Boba tea and her favorite animé is “Bleach.” She is passionate about travel and the humbling experience it affords.
Jarrett Ellington, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, CA PSY 24978
Jarrett received his Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree from Fuller Seminary Graduate School of Psychology in 2010. Jarrett completed a post-doctoral residency at Kaiser Permanente’s Center Bay Consortium (Chemical Dependency Recovery Program) in 2011.
Prior to joining UCR, Jarrett worked at the University of San Diego and Caltech as a staff psychologist, supporting students struggling with anxiety, depression, alcohol & other drug concerns, adjustment/transition, relationship issues, spiritual concerns, etc.
Jarrett is the CAPS liaison to UCR Athletics & Sports Medicine. Jarrett is also a clinical supervisor within the APA-accredited Health Psychology Internship program at CAPS. Jarrett strives to “meet people where they are at” and provide a safe, non-judgmental environment in which students can explore their concerns.
Jarrett’s hobbies include running, hiking (being outdoors in general), traveling, watching Laker’s basketball, and drinking iced coffee.
Crystal Saidi, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist, CA PSY 29022
Dr. Saidi received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology at UC Irvine, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.
Dr. Saidi completed her doctoral internship at CSUF Counseling and Psychological Services and completed post-doctoral training at Monsour Counseling Center in the Claremont University Consortium. Dr. Saidi’s previous positions have also included clinic director of an outpatient substance abuse program, as well as faculty and training director for a graduate program in counseling psychology.
Dr. Saidi enjoys working with and learning from individuals from all backgrounds and cultures. She strives to create a safe space for students where they can process and explore their concerns free of judgment. Dr. Saidi is involved in the doctoral training program at UCR and serves as a direct clinical supervisor for the pre-doctoral interns.
Dr. Saidi enjoys reading and traveling and is fluent in Farsi.
Geena Guerrido, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, CA PSY 31102
Geena studied psychology at University of California Santa Barbara where she received her B.A. She went on to receive both her master’s and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Rosemead School of Psychology in 2017.
Geena comes to UCR with years of experience at university counseling centers. She completed four years of training at the Biola University Counseling center and completed her predoctoral internship at CSU Fullerton. Upon graduating, Geena went on to work at the counseling center at Whittier College and in community mental health, where she continued to serve diverse populations. Geena completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Kaiser Permanente San Jose where she worked with a general adult population with diverse clinical diagnoses. Because of her passion for working with college aged students, Geena returned to her roots of working at a college counseling center.
As an Afro-Latina, Geena is passionate with working with students of color, exploring and navigating how our identities shape our experiences. Additionally, Geena enjoys exploring issues concerning family of origin, boundaries, romantic relationships, and spirituality.
Geena enjoys all things Marvel, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. She loves to sing and dance, going to concerts and watching musicals.
Hana Carmona-Martinez, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist – CA PSY 25510
Dr. Carmona is a licensed clinical psychologist who completed her undergraduate degree at UC Los Angeles and earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Fuller Seminary Graduate School of Psychology. She completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, specializing in young adult mental health and identity development. Her clinical interest is in supporting healthy transition to adulthood, especially helping clients navigate experiences of cultural diversity, neurodiversity, chronic illness, financial stress, and trauma.
Dr. Carmona has been providing therapy services, psychological assessment, clinical supervision and organizational consultation for over 10 years in a variety of community-based clinics and hospitals. She is certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-focused CBT, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and other evidence-based therapy practices. However, her approach is to tailor treatment to each person based on their needs and what would be most culturally congruent for them. For her own self-care and enjoyment, she explores new restaurants, bakes cookies, watches murder mystery shows, and plays with her dog.
Administrative Assistant III
Gloria has been with the UC system for 19 years. Prior to working at UC Riverside in 2005, she was a staff member at UC Irvine. Gloria has been with CAPS for 11 years and has held various positions in her time here at UCR. Gloria is really enjoying her current role as Administrative Assistant III, she works behind the scenes to take care of the needs of the staff and students at CAPS. She also helps back up the front desk to help students get appointments when needed. Gloria loves working at UCR and finds joy in seeing how CAPS can help students with their mental health and connection to resources.
Gloria enjoys spending time with her family and baking goodies to share with her family and friends.
Administrative Assistant II
Maria started as a temp in 2014 and became staff in 2016, she is currently enjoying her role as Administrative Assistant II. She is an essential part of CAPS, who you can expect to interact with in many different capacities. She schedules student appointments, provides general information to callers and is one of the first faces to greet everyone who walks into the office. You can also expect to work with her if you are collaborating with CAPS on an event. Maria loves working at UCR and is proud to assist CAPS in the process of helping students in need with their mental health and connection to resources.
Maria loves to cook, bake, decorate, gardening and do home improvements. She loves people and enjoys helping others. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family as well as taking mini vacations.
Administrative Assistant II
Sidney has been with UCR for 3 years and is currently enjoying her role with CAPS as an Administrative Assistant II. She is an essential part of CAPS who you can expect to interact with in many different capacities. She schedules student appointments, answers general questions that callers may have, supports staff needs and is one of the first faces to greet everyone who walks into the office. You can also expect to work with her if you are collaborating with CAPS on an event. Sidney loves working at UCR and is proud to assist CAPS in the process of helping students in need with their mental health and connection to resources.
Sidney enjoys cooking delicious meals, working out and visiting Southern California’s many beautiful destinations in her free time.
Nichole Sparks, MPA
Business Operations Manager
Nichole Sparks is the Business Operations Manager for Health and Psychological Services (HAPSS) which consists of Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services and Student Affairs Case Management departments. As HAPSS Business Operations Manager, Nichole oversees the financial, human resources, and administrative processes for the HAPSS departments. Nichole has worked as a finance, human resources and administrative operations professional for over 20 years, which includes positions at UCOP, UC Berkeley, CSU East Bay, Stanford University and the San Francisco Sherriff’s Department. She is a graduate of CSU Hayward with a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
DeAndrea Knight, M.A.
Predoctoral Psychology Intern
Currently attending: Alliant International University
Working towards: Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Dissertation Topic: Black American Couples and Attachment Styles, Racial Discrimination, Emotional Intimacy, Couple Rituals
- Anxiety & Stress
Fun Facts: Andrea is first in her family to obtain a Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and to pursue a PhD. She is the youngest in her family. Her favorite holiday is Halloween. Andrea loves music, comedy, poetry, D.I.Y., decorating, nail art, make up, and organizing.
Amy Nannan, M.A.
Predoctoral Psychology Intern
Amy Nannan is finishing her final year of Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Rosemead school of Psychology, Biola University. Previously, she finished her bachelor's in psychology, master's in counseling psychology, and a master's in philosophy in psychology from India.
In the past Amy was trained at Biola Counseling Center for 3.5 years, supporting the mental health needs of college students through therapy. She finished a yearlong training at Didi Hirsch, a community mental health center, where she supported the mental health needs of high-risk older adults through therapy. Additionally, she also provided cognitive and personality assessments to college students at Whittier college for the past academic year.
Through her past therapy and assessment experience, Amy has learned to support the mental health needs of clients from various backgrounds. She is passionate about helping clients struggling with relational challenges, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, trauma, addiction, and exploring one’s identity. She is passionate to support college students in their mental health journey. In therapy, Amy utilizes an integrative approach between brief psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients examine their negative thought patterns and help establish healthier relationships with themselves and others.
Amy enjoys traveling and has visited 5 countries. She loves all things outdoors such as the beach, walking at the park or going hiking. She loves reading mystery books and watching mystery movies.
Suzana Pilipossian, M.A.
Predoctoral Psychology Intern
Suzy received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge, her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Phillips Graduate University, and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.
Suzy completed her doctoral practicums at BHC Alhambra Hospital and Pasadena City College (where she worked for 2 years). Suzy’s previous experiences also include working with older adults in a community mental health setting and working with individuals struggling with addiction in a treatment center for 3 years.
Suzy enjoys working with diverse students – learning from and providing psychoeducation to students who are struggling with transitioning to college life. She provides a space for clients to feel comfortable and safe to share what they are going through. Suzy works to explore client’s experiences while also providing ways to reduce symptoms by using mindfulness and meditation, healthy coping skills, and creating support systems. Suzy incorporates a trauma-informed therapy style in order to increase feelings of safety in the therapy room.
In her free time, Suzy enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, spending time with her dog, taking mindful walks, doing her nails, organizing, playing video games, and shopping online.
Sarah Sawaf, DSW
Dr. Sawaf received her B.A. in psychology from UCR in 2012. She went on to receive her MSW from the University of Southern California in 2015. She then earned her Doctor of Social Work degree from California Baptist University in 2022.
Before UCR, Dr. Sawaf worked at the California State University, San Bernardino Counseling Center. She is passionate about mental health promotion, prevention, and stigma reduction. She is dedicated to providing education about mental health and CAPS services, promoting social justice, working with and supporting underrepresented and marginalized groups, and giving back to UCR.