Let's Talk Counselor Bios

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Chia-Chen Tu

Chia-Chen Tu

Let's Talk session: Tuesdays 10-12pm

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Interim 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.

Nina Hernandez Beithon

Nina Hernandez Beithon

Let's Talk session: Mondays 12-2PM

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Diversity Liaison Counselor.
Education: M.S.W. Social Work, University of Minnesota.

About Me: My work is deeply rooted in relationships, as I believe that healing happens in relationship with others and ourselves. I approach therapy with a social justice and anti-oppressive lens which includes a profound understanding of the systems at play that impact students from oppressed communities. My personal and professional work also includes macro-level work to change systems at a larger institutional level in addition to individual and group counseling. As a mixed (Mexican/White) person I am committed to serving students from a variety of backgrounds and enjoy co-creating and exploring together in therapy what healing looks like for you. I take a holistic approach to healing as I believe that our mental wellbeing is strongly connected and in balance with other life components including academics, spirituality, politics, relationships, finances and physical health. I provide therapy in English and Spanish. In my free time, I enjoy practicing and performing with our Indigenous Mexica Danza group, reading, and spending time in nature.

Professional Interests: My professional interests include:  race-based traumatic stress, student activism, police violence, political-based oppression, Latinx populations and issues, oppression fatigue, indigenous and students of color populations and issues, traditional indigenous healing practices, interpersonal trauma, inter-generational and/or historical trauma, gender based violence (domestic and sexual violence), self-esteem, body positivity, identity exploration, LGBTQ populations and issues,  harm reduction, and cultural adjustment for 1st generation college students.

Melanie Johnson

Melanie Johnson - updated

Let's Talk session: Wednesdays 2-4pm

Pronouns:She/Her/Hers
Academic Advisor in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program

About me: I graduated from Humboldt State University in northern California with a BS in social work and completed a master's of social work at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where I had a  concentration in community organization and community and social systems.I  was born in Compton, California and the first in my family to receive a bachelor's and master's degree. Prior to coming to University of Minnesota, I dedicated my time to providing crisis related services in marginalized communities, coordinating service providers for individuals in partnership with the Department of Developmental Disabilities, and organizing social change. When I am not working, I enjoy singing, going to the movies, and going on food adventures around the US with my family.  

Professional Interests: Unpacking intergenerational trauma, relationship distress and trauma, student centered approach, first generation students of color resiliency, survivor support.  
 

Jake Loeffler

Jake Loeffler

Let's Talk Substitute

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: Thursdays 1-3PM and Fridays 12-2PM

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.