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Meet the Staff

The UCC is a united and compassionate team dedicated to social justice, equity, and inclusion. Our doors are open to serve and affirm students of color and students with minoritized identities. Every UCC staff member takes pride in providing a validating and safe space for all of our students who may experience discrimination, prejudice, or violence as a result of white supremacy and additional systems of oppression. Our UCC providers engage in regular staff-wide trainings, educational opportunities, personal introspection, and professional development to increase our cultural humility and advocacy on behalf of the Vanderbilt student community. We are here for you. We welcome you. You are valued.

 

Staff

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Aneesa Anderson, M.S., NCC

Social Justice and Inclusion Counselor
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I believe a good counselor is one that can meet their client where they are while providing empathy, genuineness, and a safe space to share their story. My approach to counseling is one that is relational, collaborative, and not only understands but emphasizes how diverse each person is. I work from a relational, cultural, feminist, and existential approach. Together we will help you shift from managing to thriving academically, socially, and emotionally. I am passionate about serving individuals within systemically oppressed groups and first gen folx.


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    Stephanie Anifant

    Administrative Assistant
    Pronouns: she/her/hers


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      Stacey Appiah-Opoku, MA, LPC-MHSP, NCC

      Assistant Director for Clinical Operations
      Pronouns: she/her/hers

      I believe we all have parts of our identities that influence how we move through the world and process experiences. As such I believe an important part of therapy involves exploring and affirming all salient parts of your identity. I will support you in sharing your story, identifying your values, experiencing your emotions and building skills to work towards your goals.


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        Marlon Bailey, LCSW, Ph.D.

        Athletics Mental Health Provider
        Pronouns: he/him/his

        I approach counseling relationships by partnering with individuals to address the superficial and substantial parts of the obstacles to living and feeling well. This often includes managing the intricacies of identity, environment, hopes, and practical health indicators.


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          Vanessa Bell, Ph.D., HSP

          Psychologist
          Pronouns: she/her/hers

          I support students by providing psychological assessments to better understand various factors that may be adversely impacting their academic, emotional, social, and/or other areas of functioning. Working together, we will collect important pieces of the diagnostic puzzle and  identify the most appropriate diagnoses, treatment recommendations, and supportive resources.


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            Heather Boyd, LCSW

            Therapist
            Pronouns: she/her/hers

            I believe life is all about balance. In therapy, that often means balancing change with acceptance. I try to create a safe place where clients can fully explore areas of life they would like to accept and areas of life they would like to change.


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              Brian Cantrell

              Electronic Health Administrator
              Pronouns: he/him/his

              As an EHR Administrator, I am committed to leveraging technology to enhance the delivery of healthcare services to improve client outcomes. I continuously seek opportunities to enhance the system, integrate new modules and features, and provide training and support to users.


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                Mary Clare Champion, Ph.D., HSP

                Associate Director for Administration and Clinical Services
                Pronouns: she/her/hers

                My goal as a therapist is to meet students from all programs and identities and support them in their time at Vanderbilt, creating a safe space together in which to determine strategies to help navigate stressors and challenges that may have interfered with them succeeding in their academic or personal lives.


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                  Nalini Conner, Ph.D., HSP

                  Assistant Director for Training
                  Pronouns: she/her/hers

                  “It’s okay to feel what you feel- it’s what you do with those feelings that is the most important.” I believe that therapy is a space to learn how to better understand your emotions, what may be contributing to them, and how to respond to them. My goal is to provide a safe, collaborative space for all clients where they can learn the individualized tools they need to help them navigate through any difficulties.


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                    Tara Duffie, MA, DNP, PMHNP-BC

                    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
                    Pronouns: she/her/hers

                    I believe that mental health is self-care. My goal is to promote a collaborative environment where we can build a genuine therapeutic partnership. I strive to promote an inclusive, safe space to welcome all students.


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                      Julia Dyer, BSN, RN

                      Registered Nurse
                      Pronouns: she/her/hers

                      I recently heard, “if the conversation is boring, you are probably not listening.” I believe everyone has a story worth telling, and we can count ourselves privileged if we get to listen. It is an honor to be invited into the lives of others. Whether at work, the grocery store, or on a plane ride, it is my hope to see, delight in, and engage with the person in front of me. As a nurse, I believe much of physical health stems from mental health. Here at the UCC, I hope to assist students toward their mental health goals, allowing them to flourish in their studies, social settings, and overall wellness.


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                        Fanchen Gao, M.S.

                        Practicum Trainee
                        Pronouns: he/him/his

                        As your therapist, I deeply value and respect students’ feelings, experiences, and the words you use to describe them. My foremost aim is to cultivate a warm and safe environment where you feel at ease sharing your unique stories and feelings. My passion lies in working collaboratively with individuals, and I am dedicated to fostering and promoting the well-being of our community, both through hands-on therapy and evidence-based research. Your journey to mental and emotional well-being is paramount, and I am here to support you every step of the way.

                        Fluent in Mandarin, Chinese. 


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                          Ansley Geno, DNP, PMHNP-BC

                          Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
                          Pronouns: she/her/hers

                          My goal as a psychiatric nurse practitioner is to provide holistic, compassionate, and culturally competent care to diverse populations. Specifically, I aim to work with students to improve their mental health by addressing multidimensional aspects of wellness through development of a trusting therapeutic relationship, thorough assessment, and evidence-based medication management.


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                            Viviana Grice, LPC/MHSP, NCC

                            Senior Therapist
                            Pronouns: she/her/hers

                            I strive to offer students a safe and confidential space where they are invited to a journey of self-exploration and growth. I work in collaboration with my clients toward unveiling and ending the cycle of self-defeating behaviors that have been barriers to reaching their full potential.

                            Fluent in Spanish.


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                              Amber Hopkins, MSN, PMHNP-BC

                              Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
                              Pronouns: she/her/hers

                              I strive to provide patient-centered care that is both compassionate and inclusive to all students. My goal as a psychiatric nurse practitioner is to support students through their academic journey by developing strong therapeutic relationships and using evidence-based medication management.


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                                Ruth Howard, Ph.D., HSP

                                Associate Director for Training
                                Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

                                I am humbled by the strength and resilience that students exhibit every day, and it is a privilege to work alongside them at the UCC. As a Latinx therapy provider who immigrated to the US as a child from Venezuela, I find it both personally and professionally rewarding to be rooted in liberation psychology, exploring the impact of sociocultural systems of privilege and oppression and working towards deconstructing deeply rooted systems of inequity. Although this is often an imperfect process for me, I strive to work collaboratively with students to co-create a warm, affirming, and validating space for growth and healing to take place.

                                Speaks conversational Spanish.


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                                  Sofia Huang, M.A.

                                  Doctoral Intern
                                  Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                  I hope to create a safe, warm, and nonjudgmental space for us to collaboratively address any goals and concerns you may have. As a queer, 1.5-generation Chinese American immigrant, I acknowledge the political, sociocultural, and economic barriers that impact mental health and well-being, and aim to address any identity related concerns as they come up in our work together. I engage a trauma-informed, relational cultural, anti-oppressive, and client-centered integrative approach to meet individual students’ needs.


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                                    Claire Jang, MS

                                    Doctoral Intern
                                    Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                    I value authenticity and truth in life which are reflected in my clinical practice. I strive to collaborate with clients by building a warm and trusting relationship to help them navigate stressors in college that can manifest in various ways.

                                    Fluent in Korean. 


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                                      Leah Jesse, MD

                                      Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist
                                      Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                      I consider it a privilege to be entrusted with the care of students as they embark on a journey of healing from some of life’s greatest challenges. My goal is to bring warmth, empathy, and a non-judgmental attitude to every encounter, so that each student feels empowered to be their truest self. I strive to provide patient-centered care through a treatment relationship grounded in mutual respect and guided by students’ unique values and goals. My training in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry has given me a breadth of knowledge on the presentation of mental health disorders across the lifespan and a recognition of how different life stages influence treatment goals.


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                                        Tess M. Kilwein, Ph.D., HSP, ABPP

                                        Athletics Psychologist
                                        Pronouns: name/she/they/Dr.

                                        My treatments are feminist-, multicultural-, and liberation-informed and I am active in creating a non-judgmental, anti-racist, and decolonized therapy experience for student athletes with a variety of lived experiences and identities.


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                                          Elizabeth King

                                          Administrative Assistant
                                          Pronouns: she/her/hers


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                                            Karli LaGrotte, Psy.D.

                                            Postdoctoral Fellow
                                            Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                            As a therapist, I strive to create an open, affirming, non-judgmental, and collaborative therapeutic space. I do my best to understand each client, their presenting concerns, and provide support that addresses their unique needs. In addition, I believe it is important to honor identity/difference and acknowledge the oppressive social forces that impact mental health.


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                                              Hannah Lavoie, LCSW

                                              Clinical Case Manager
                                              Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                              My goal is to meet students where they are & provide a space of kindness and understanding. It is my responsibility as Clinical Case Manager to ensure students feel supported and well-informed as they navigate resources available at Vanderbilt and outside of the university. Working with students brings me so much joy.


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                                                Alexandria Littlejohn, MS

                                                Doctoral Intern
                                                Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                “We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.” I believe we heal and grow in the context of a safe relationship where we feel truly seen by a trusted other. I place an emphasis on the therapeutic relationship and aim to co-create a welcoming, respectful, and truly safe space where you feel empowered to show up as your most authentic self.


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                                                  Jordan D. Mike, M.S., NCC

                                                  Urgent Care Counselor
                                                  Pronouns: He/Him/His

                                                  I believe both clients are on a journey to find a place where they belong, and while it can be confusing to know where one can feel safe and validated there is a place for everyone.  There are inherent systems of both oppression and power that come into play and affect the overall wellness and daily lives of everyone. As a counselor, I aim to create a warm, authentic, and empathetic space where clients can freely explore their identities and share their stories and experiences. I will be there to help you navigate your journey to healing, community building, reconnection, and empowerment.


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                                                    Taeja Mitchell, M.S.

                                                    Practicum Trainee
                                                    Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                    My goal as a therapist is to help students learn to connect and foster growth in their platonic, familial, and romantic relationships. I will always strive to meet clients with kindness, authenticity, and understanding. I have a passion for working with marginalized communities, people who have experienced various forms of trauma, and those struggling with relational concerns.


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                                                      Martez Nelson, LPC-MHSP

                                                      Assistant Director for Community Engagement
                                                      Pronouns: he/him/his

                                                      My goal is to provide you with a safe, welcoming, and empathic space to navigate your challenges and goals. I work from a strengths-based approach, and we will use this approach to help you find new ways of managing your academic, social, and emotional needs. I am passionate about serving individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, and other marginalized groups including, black and brown folx inclusive of all gender identities.


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                                                        Frances Niarhos, Ph.D., HSP

                                                        Psychologist
                                                        Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                        I enjoy helping young adults identify potential barriers to their academic success using well-established measure of cognitive, academic and mental health functioning. I also have a passion for teaching and mentoring trainees across all mental health disciplines as they prepare for professional roles as psychologists, clinical social workers and professional counselors.


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                                                          Wenzhi Pan, M.S.Ed

                                                          Social Justice and Inclusion Counselor
                                                          Pronouns: she/her/她

                                                          Acknowledging how socioeconomic, political, physiological, and other factors impact our college experience, I aim to offer culturally responsive and trauma-informed care to my clients. As a Chinese-born therapy provider who came to U.S. at 18, I recognize the complexities of intersectionality and use an integrated approach drawing from different theories to provide individualized interventions for my clients so they can reconnect with their innate resilience and restart their journey.

                                                          Also provides services in Mandarin. 


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                                                            Keyishi Peters, BS, MA, LPC

                                                            Practicum Trainee
                                                            Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                            There is never a testimony without a test. My goal as a counselor is to help create an environment that is conducive to learning from every experience. I enjoy helping people heal, change and grow through difficult time. I am a person-centered therapist here to help you work through life’s challenges. We all need support at times. Let me guide you through the therapeutic process to be a better you.


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                                                              Melissa Porter, Psy.D, HSP

                                                              Associate Director for Clinical Operations
                                                              Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                              My goal is to provide a space where I can provide support and guidance on working through the various challenges that life brings, where a student can feel heard, validated, and challenged while making decisions that best fit their life.


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                                                                Bhupendra Rajpura, M.D.

                                                                Psychiatrist
                                                                Pronouns: he/him/his

                                                                My approach to your care is to understand you. I want to develop a care plan based on your concerns that is “YOU”-centric and encompasses most recent treatment guidelines within a holistic approach. I like to work with you to achieve optimum outcomes resulting in a healthy body and healthy mind.


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                                                                  Kelly Schmitt

                                                                  Administrative Assistant
                                                                  Pronouns: she/her/hers


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                                                                    Elise Scott, M.D.

                                                                    Associate Director for Medical and Psychiatry Services
                                                                    Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                    I seek to support students through a partnership founded in compassion and mutual respect. My medical background provides me with a strong neuroscience foundation for treating mental illness — one which challenges dualistic views of mind and body. My approach combines open-minded listening, psychotherapy, lifestyle interventions, and medication management to help students gain resilience, discover their personal identity, and work toward authentic, value-driven lives.


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                                                                      Ciera Scott, Ph.D., HSP

                                                                      Associate Director for Community Engagement
                                                                      Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                      While honoring your unique identities, I collaborate with clients in exploring how your background may impact your current thought patterns, your self-esteem, your mood, and how you experience your present relationships.


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                                                                        Kyle Shadrick, LCSW

                                                                        Therapist
                                                                        Pronouns: he/him/his

                                                                        Hi there! My name is Kyle Shadrick. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker(LCSW) in the state of Tennessee, and a therapist at the UCC. In addition to individual therapy, I am also currently the co-chair of the UCC’s diversity alliance, and co-facilitator of the Continuum support group. I am passionate about working with trauma and LGBTQIA+ individuals. I am also a Certified Transgender Care Therapist through ITCA.


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                                                                          Tamaki Silver, Psy.D., HSP

                                                                          Psychologist
                                                                          Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                          My goal is to create a space in which students can feel comfortable discussing challenging experiences and relationships, build resilience and learn how to cope, and develop their own individual identity. I hope to make this a collaborative experience, one where we can engage in problem solving and exploration around all aspects of personal and professional development, while also sharing in some laughter.


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                                                                            Stephanie Singer, LPC-MHSP, NCC

                                                                            Therapist/Practicum Coordinator
                                                                            Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                            As a therapist, I try to create a welcoming space for you to feel comfortable and safe exploring areas in your life that need support. I believe in the importance of allowing yourself to be vulnerable, working towards life balance, and creating boundaries with yourself and others. I hope to help you navigate these areas through a collaborative and unique approach, catered to your needs. My goal is to help you gain the confidence, skills, and tools to continue this growth.


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                                                                              Julie Sutcliffe, PsyD, LP, CMPC

                                                                              Assistant Athletic Director for Sport Psychology and Mental Performance
                                                                              Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                              As a therapist, I work collaboratively with clients to unlock their potential as humans and performers. I utilize an integrative, strengths-based and systemic approach to enhance student-athletes’ holistic growth and performance across social, academic and athletic spheres.


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                                                                                Susie Tharpe

                                                                                Administrative Assistant, Medical Records
                                                                                Pronouns: she/her/hers


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                                                                                  Natalie Thomas, MSN, PMHNP-BC

                                                                                  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
                                                                                  Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                                  In my practice I strive to be authentically present to provide a safe, person-centered, and collaborative space for students to explore their unique treatment needs. I welcome all without judgment and will support students utilizing evidence-based care, as they seek to strengthen their mental health and wellness.


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                                                                                    Ash Weber, LPC-MHSP

                                                                                    Therapist
                                                                                    Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                                    Much of life is about acknowledging what is within or beyond our control, then developing the navigation tools to forge the path ahead. I believe that therapy should be an integrative, collaborative experience uniquely tailored to your identities and goals—as well as a space where you feel empowered to bring your full self to the table. Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or revisiting familiar patterns, I strive to offer a warm partnership conducive to self-discovery, healing, and growth

                                                                                    Speaks conversational French. 


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                                                                                      Kristen Wederski, M.A.

                                                                                      Practicum Trainee
                                                                                      Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                                      It is a great privilege to bear witness to the stories and experiences of students. Humans do not exist in a vacuum; our being is the culmination of experiences, relationships, and the systems surrounding us. I utilize a strengths-based approach that recognizes the unique experiences of diverse identities and aim to create a space that is empathetic and empowering to those wanting to explore and understand themselves at a deeper level. My intention is to build a collaborative relationship with students to help them heal and reach their goals.


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                                                                                        Todd Weinman, Psy.D., HSP

                                                                                        Director
                                                                                        Pronouns: he/him/his

                                                                                        All of us get stuck at different points in our lives and I believe counseling can be an important vehicle for helping us get unstuck and reaching our full potential.  I really enjoy working as a psychologist within a diverse college community and come from a flexible, integrative, collaborative and culturally responsive perspective designed to help you build on your unique strengths and skills as you continue your journey as a student and beyond.


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                                                                                          Sarah Jordan Welch-Moore, LCSW, DSW

                                                                                          Therapist
                                                                                          Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

                                                                                          My goal when working with clients is to help them navigate the challenges that come from their experiences of trauma. As a systematic practitioner with a feminist lens, I work with clients to recognize the ways their unique identities, experiences, and relationships impact the way they move through the world. I hope to support autonomy and growth through the therapeutic process. Through a trauma-informed lens, I work to support students in their work towards healing, and realizing their own resilience.


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                                                                                            Zsanett Williams, PMHNP-BC

                                                                                            Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
                                                                                            Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                                            My approach to patient care is founded on developing a deep understanding of patients’ stories to provide a therapeutic environment that is culturally sensitive, inclusive, and celebrates all forms of diversity


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                                                                                              Courtney Williams, Ph.D., HSP

                                                                                              Licensed Psychologist
                                                                                              Pronouns: she/her/hers

                                                                                              Hey y’all! I’m Dr. Courtney Williams, a North Carolina native and Georgia Bulldog (Go Dawgs!).  I am a licensed psychologist at the UCC and have worked at Vanderbilt University since 2019.  In my role, my deepest passion lies in community healing.  I aim to honor our BIPOC and Indigenous communities’ collectivistic approaches to wellness.  Much of my work at the UCC is anchored in prevention and community engagement via workshops, groups, presentations, trainings, tabling events, and informal conversation.  If you can’t find me at the UCC, I’m somewhere on campus doing outreach.


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                                                                                                Anabella Pavón Wilson, Ph.D., HSP

                                                                                                Psychologist
                                                                                                Pronouns: she/her/ella

                                                                                                I strive to provide an environment in which students can feel welcomed and safe.  I will work with you to address challenges that may come up during your time at Vanderbilt, and/or address what may have impacted you in your past. I will also help you develop strategies to challenge unhelpful thinking patterns and to cope with difficult emotions.

                                                                                                Fluent in Spanish.


                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  This page was last updated July 2023