Let's Talk 2023 Counselor Bios

gold line

Expand all

Chia-Chen Tu

Chia-Chen Tu

Let's Talk session: Tuesdays 9:00-11:00AM Virtual; Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 PM Virtual 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Assistant Director/Training Director.
Education: Ph.D. Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, University of Minnesota.
Languages Spoken: English, Mandarin Chinese.

About Me: I believe human beings have the potential to grow and my role is to enhance people’s awareness and foster change through human connections. I strive to work collaboratively with clients to create a trusting and respectful relationship in which they can gain perspectives or develop new skills and confidence to meet life's challenges. I have extensive experience doing psychotherapy at university counseling centers and providing supervision and training to psychology trainees. I have a special interest in understanding the complexities of human connections as well as exploring the personal and social factors that can lead to disconnection. I work closely with International Student and Scholar Services staff to support international students, and I also develop workshops to assist graduate and professional school students in coping with academic stress and enhancing professional skills. I am fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese and experienced in providing bi-lingual counseling and clinical supervision. When I am not working, I enjoy visiting local farmers markets or art fairs, attending performance art events or film festivals, and travel.  

Professional Interests: Resilience to shame, relationship distress, anxiety, childhood trauma, cultural adjustment and identity development for international students, common concerns for first generation students or students of color, training and supervision of psychology trainees, mind-body integration.

Jake Loeffler

Jake Loeffler

Let's Talk session: Mondays 2:30-4:30 PM Rec Well 370D

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Outreach Coordinator, Staff Counselor.
Education: Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology.

About Me: Sometimes life happens faster than we can adapt to it and often it can be helpful to have someone navigate life during these times. I view caring for one's’ mental health as an ongoing process which requires more work during difficult chapters in life. As a counselor, I help students build resiliency through supporting their strengths and equipping them with skills to make changes to their lives. Each of us are weathering a unique season in our lives and I aim to provide assistance for today’s battles as well as confidence in one’s abilities to effectively build a life for the future. Some of my own personal values include watching and playing sports. I am a MN sports fan. I enjoy woodworking and collaborating with different makers. I cherish sunny days on the lake paddle boarding and nights under the stars. I completed my graduate school at Rosemead School of Psychology in La Mirada, CA and moved back to Minneapolis for the friendly people, nature, and seasons. I am a foodie and enjoy frequenting the great eateries and gathering spaces around the Twin Cities. I value my faith and enjoy sharing life with other members of my faith community.

Professional Interests: Trained as a generalist, I work with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety/stress, mood disorders, trauma, academic skills development, grief, identity development, family and relationship issues, and spirituality. I work from an integrated holistic framework that incorporates person-centered, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented theories that values individual differences and diversity with the goal of identifying and developing personal strengths that will foster empowerment.

Greg Sawyer

Greg Sawyer

Let's Talk session: Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 PM  2nd Floor Student Union (East Bank); Wednesdays 12:00-2:00 PM Virtual 

Pronouns: He/His/Him
Counselor/Care Coordinator.
Education: M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy, St. Mary's University.

About Me: I am an African American male, social justice advocate, educator, advisor, and counselor.  I am committed to providing advocacy and support to our student population using a student-centered approach as my guidance modality.  I am a graduate of the U of M and was born and raised in the Twin Cities. I’m also a father to 3 exceptional daughters.

Professional Interests: I am a strong believer in the systems approach to understanding and learning ways to best navigate our world.  I am a proponent of well managed mental health and work to guide and support students in their journey.

Ned McCully

Ned McCully

Let's Talk session: Mondays 2:00-4:00 PM Virtual 

Pronouns: he, him, his
School of Public Health Program Coordinator
Education: MA Educational Psychology - Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, University of Minnesota
About Me: I started my time at the U as a graduate student in the College of Education and Human Development and have since worked in various units across campus including Carlson School of Management, Athletics, Student Counseling Services, and the College of Biological Sciences. I currently work for the School of Public Health as a Program Coordinator, focused on advising prospective and newly admitted students. Experiencing the U as a student and staff member, I've learned that the U is a web of dynamic systems. These systems provide a lot of opportunities and a lot of barriers for students. In my work, I use empathy and active listening to understand individual student goals and help students navigate these systems. I identify as a white, gay, cisgender man and a Minnesota transplant (originally from the Chicagoland area). Outside of work, I enjoy being a foodie, reading, discovering new music, and doing yoga. 

Maureen Maslinski

Maureen Maslinski

Let's Talk session: Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 PM Virtual (Only available to CSOM undergraduate students)

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Wellness Counselor/Embedded Counselor-Carlson School of Management (CSOM) Undergraduate program
Education: MSW, Social Work, University of St Thomas/College of St. Catherine

About Me: My hope is to help students improve their quality of life and get to know themselves better. I believe, as humans, we inherently have within us what we need to feel better and experience life more fully.  Oftentimes, we need help accessing those capabilities, as well as navigating through and healing from the environmental and life stressors that we deal with along the way. As a counselor, I provide that help.

As the embedded Wellness Counselor within the Carlson School, I meet with undergraduate students for individual counseling. I provide monthly workshops on wellness topics, and host monthly Wellness Connection Wednesdays as a time for students to connect over food and share their wellness ideas/tips with one another. I am also available to provide support/training/resources for student groups, staff and faculty. I am located on the West Bank in Hanson Hall and meet in-person and virtually. 

I enjoy connecting with students to form a trusting, inclusive and open space. I utilize relationship-based, strength-focused, empowerment, social justice, and system perspectives in my work. As a white, cisgender woman, I am committed to doing my own daily work to address biases, combat systematic racism, and educate myself and others of the consequences of oppression and marginalization on individuals from the BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities.  

In my free time, I enjoy taking my golden retriever out on sniffing excursions, traveling, spending time in nature, being with family and friends, and watching a variety of sports on TV and in person.  

Professional Interests:  I have extensive experience helping people heal from and work through trauma, attachment injuries and grief and loss. I enjoy helping individuals on their own journey of identity exploration as it relates to sexuality, gender, spirituality, race, culture, being a student, adoption, etc. I am also interested in helping students dealing with depression, anxiety, and other adjustment stressors.

Sumitra Madhuri Ramachandran








Lets Talk session: Fridays 1:00-3:00 PM Virtual 

Pronouns: She/Her
Education: MS (Scientific & Technical Communication), University of Minnesota, MA (Multicultural College Teaching & Learning), University of Minnesota, M.Ed. (Adult Education), University of Minnesota 

About Me: I started at the U as a graduate student, and now, I am working as the Graduate Program Coordinator at the Dept. of Family Social Science, CEHD. My work involves advising and guiding prospective students as they are considering our program and graduate school, and supporting our graduate students from the start of their academic journey through their graduation.

I’ve been in leadership roles in different student groups at the U, and it has helped me understand both the opportunities and challenges students face when navigating the various university systems. I started the Council of International Graduate Students (CIGS) to advocate for the unique needs of the international students on our campus. I’m a trained UMN Mental Health Advocate. 

Cyndi Kimball


Lets Talk session: Wednesdays 9:00-11:00 AM Virtual 

About Me: I am a California native with a BS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from BYU, and an MA in Psychology from Pepperdine University. Currently, I am completing my MPS in Sexual Health and actively engaged in researching compulsive sexual behavior disorder. I am a cisgender, heterosexual female, married, and have a son studying computer science and electrical engineering at UC Davis, and a cat named Shadow.

My professional journey has included working extensively with students with disabilities and learning differences. As a first-generation student and parent, I resonate with the challenges faced by those balancing educational pursuits with family responsibilities. My own experience returning to school after a personal loss has given me valuable insights into the emotional and academic complexities of such transitions. Furthermore, as a member of the Latter-Day Saint faith, I bring a unique understanding of religiously conservative backgrounds, making me well-equipped to offer support at the intersection of faith, mental health, and sexuality.

Melanie Johnson


Lets Talk session: Thursdays 9:00-11:00 AM 135 Appleby Hall

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Education: BSW, MSW: Community Organizing, Community Systems

About Me: I am committed to the liberation of the marginalized and disenfranchised. As a person committed to liberation, I place high importance on rest as resistance, existence is resistance and the work to address and heal intergenerational trauma. As a first generation graduate, I also have personal connection and experience around familial and societal pressures as well as imposter syndrome. I am passionate about providing a non-judgemental space for folks to say the spoken and unspoken things and provide space to unpack their truths. I seek in this life to provide a listening ear and understanding heart in ways that I was not in my early adolescence. My hope is to guide folks in a journey of discovering and uncovering their personal power and finding ways to use that power in everyday life.

Meredith Martyr


Lets Talk session: Fridays 9:00-11:00 AM Virtual 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Staff Psychologist, Graduate Student Services
Education: Ph.D. Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, University of Minnesota.

About Me: Hello! I have been at the UMN since 2006 on-and-off, obtaining my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education & Human Development. In addition to going to school here, I have also worked at The Aurora Center for Advocacy & Education, Office for Fraternity & Sorority Life, and Student Counseling Services with a continual focus on student mental health, gender-based violence prevention, and increasing accessibility to wellness services on campus. I currently work as a Staff Psychologist specializing in graduate student mental health at Student Counseling Services. I consider it to be a great honor to support UMN students through times of difficulty, stress, transition, and deep pain. I identify as a Queer, white, Radical Feminist who spends my time going to concerts, running around the lakes, and watching reality TV with my spouse & 3 cats.

Marnie Andrews


Lets Talk session: Mondays 9:00-11:00 AM CSE Office Lind Hall 105 and Virtual (hybrid)

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Assistant Director of Academic Advising 
Education: BA in Social Work; Master of Social Work from the University of Denver; Licensed Graduate Social Worker

About Me: I grew up in a small, rural farming community in Iowa. My education took me from Iowa to Colorado for a while, and I made my home here in Minnesota several years ago. Since 2012, I have worked with both undergraduate and graduate students with diverse identities including first-generation, women in STEM, BIPOC, international, former foster youth, and veteran students.  As a first-generation student, I personally came to college underprepared for the rigor and expectations of college-level work and struggled to balance various changing life dynamics while acclimating to the culture of a university setting. I didn't know it at the time, but that experience would shape the trajectory of my entire career.

There are few things in life that I have found to be more fulfilling than working collaboratively with students to help them achieve success in their personal and professional lives during college. In my role, I regularly connect students to campus resources and support them in identifying and accomplishing concrete goals using a strengths-based, solution-focused approach. I identify as a first-gen, cis, white woman. In my free time I enjoy cooking new recipes, traveling, and spending time with my 2 children and husband.

Mae Moua

Mae Moua

Lets Talk session: Thursdays 1:00-3:00 PM Virtual 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Intake Counselor 
Education: Argosy University, M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy 

About Me: Hello! My name is Mae Moua (she/her/hers) and I have been at SCS for five years as an intake counselor. One of my goals as a mental health practitioner is to ensure students are aware of their resources and are receiving the support they need to have a successful academic career. 

Outside of my role at SCS, I am a full-time student working on my doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy and also work in private practice where I provide individual, family, and relationship counseling. I find joy in adventures, food, music, and sparkling moments with people I love and care about