Counseling Staff

Leslie Bautista, Psy.D., L.P.

Leslie

Groups Coordinator, Staff Psychologist. Clinical Psychology, Wright State University School of Professional Psychology.
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Interests: Interpersonal violence, trauma, gender issues, diversity and multicultural awareness, training and supervision of psychology trainees. Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Member: MPA, AWP, NLPA.

Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff, Ph.D., L.P., L.M.F.T.

Sarra

Senior Supervising Psychologist. Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Indiana State University.
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Interests: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender psychology; feminist psychology; clinical supervision; grief counseling. Member: AWP, LGBT Mental Health Providers' Network.

Alexa Fetzer, Ph.D., L.P.

Alexa

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Training Director, Staff Psychologist.

Education:  Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, University at Albany, SUNY..

About Me:  In my counseling work, I like to help students gain a better understanding of their current struggles, and help them identify new ways of being or relating to others that feel more genuine and meet their goals more effectively.  I believe that in coming to know ourselves and forming relationships with others, we often rely on what we’ve learned from previous experiences, or what has seemed to work in the past.  When we enter periods of transition that bring new roles, new relationships, and new experiences, our previous learned ways of being or forming relationships may not be as effective, which can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, or relationship and identity concerns.  I enjoy working with students to gain insight into the possible “whys” of what isn’t working, and “hows” for moving forward in a way that is more genuine to who they are and to what their values and goals may be.  This inherently includes a multicultural approach, as I believe we receive many messages and “shoulds” about how to be and how to form relationships from our diverse experiences—from our family systems, our cultural values and beliefs, and surrounding sociopolitical messages and experiences.

When I’m not at work, I like to nurture my northern MN roots by camping, canoeing, and working on my loon call in the wilderness.  I also enjoy yoga, eating delicious food (emphasis on the eating—not so much on the cooking), and keeping up with an ever-growing Netflix queue

Professional Interests: My professional interests include clinical supervision and training, group counseling, diversity awareness and social justice issues, identity development, interpersonal relationship concerns, emotion regulation, mindfulness, anxiety, and depression.

Mark Groberski, Ph.D., L.P.

Mark

Staff Psychologist; Coordinator, Advanced Practicum Program. Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Loyola Loyola University of Chicago. 1996 - Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders, APA College of Professional Psychology.

Interests: Substance abuse assessment, intervention, and prevention; clinical supervision and training; psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and integrative approaches to therapy; harm reduction; stages of change; motivational interviewing; LGBT issues. Member: APA; APA Divisions 29 and 50 (Education and Training Committee Member).

Shari Gubash Black, Ph.D.

Shari Gubash Black

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Staff Counselor.
Education:  Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Auburn University.

About Me:  I work to create strong, authentic relationships with therapy clients. My goal is that an open, non-judgmental relationship will give clients encouragement and space to explore their identities, try out new ways of being, make positive changes, and/or see things from a different, helpful perspective. I view my work through a feminist lens, meaning that I see clients as holistic experts on their own experience, believe therapy is an equal partnership, view concerns within a cultural context, honor and celebrate intersecting identities, and personally work towards increased inclusivity in our world. I identify as both White and Arab-American, and also as a lover of books, sewing, dogs, and theater.

Professional Interests:  Relationships, gender-based concerns, sexual/relational trauma, body positivity, eating concerns, cultural identity exploration/development, adjustment for first-generation college students, religion/spirituality, interpersonal process group therapy.

Vesna Hampel-Kozar, Ph.D., L.P.

Vesna Hampel-Kozar

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
St. Paul Office Coordinator, Staff Psychologist.
Education: Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Iowa State University.

About Me: I enjoy helping students grow and develop in ways that are consistent with and honor their values. Prior to joining the SCS staff at the University of Minnesota, I worked in a variety of higher education institutions; residential, non-residential, online, primarily adult-serving, in rural and urban settings. I’ve served as an academic advisor, career counselor, teaching faculty, and administrator in addition to providing direct counseling services. These roles have influenced me to take a holistic perspective on my work with students, including finding ways to make use of natural supports, strengths, and resources. I recognize the importance of the context and systems within which students’ lives are happening, both within the University and in communities outside of the institution.  I continue to be impacted by my own past experiences as a first generation college student, from an immigrant family, and the experiences of students with whom I’ve worked.  I am honored to accompany students on part of their journeys, and work to build a foundation of respect in the counseling relationship. In my spare time, I enjoy introvert things that ground me including: time with my partner, children, and dog; laughs with friends; cooking; books; music; and movies.

 Professional Interests: My professional interests include relationships with self and others, navigating significant life change, graduate and professional school student issues, career development, managing stress and anxiety, self-compassion, self-care, and clinical supervision and training. I especially enjoy working with students who are the first in their families to navigate college, and students who began their academic journey elsewhere and are negotiating the transition to the University.  I provide services on the St. Paul campus of the University, and have liaison relationships with faculty and staff who work with students whose majors are housed in St. Paul, or who live on or near the St. Paul campus.

Nina Hernandez Beithon, M.S.W., L.G.S.W.

Nina Hernandez Beithon

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.

Molly King, M.A., L.P.C.C.

Molly King

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Interim Assistant Director, Staff Counselor, Community Resource Specialist.
Education: M.A. Counseling Psychology, University of St. Thomas.

About Me: I am a Minnesotan, have two schnauzers, and enjoy hiking, swimming, gardening, yoga, cooking, reading, and live comedy. I speak Spanish fluently and fumble with Portuguese when given the opportunity.

I see counseling as a place where students can be supported while they sort through painful experiences - a change in a relationship, a troubling incident, low self-confidence, grief and loss, adapting to a new place, or simply not feeling like themselves.  This is an inherently collaborative process I approach from a wellness and strengths-based perspective, taking time to learn each student’s unique identities and background. In doing so, I strive to offer each student a place of compassion and respite in what can be a chaotic world. My work often focuses on understanding emotions, helping students increase their self-compassion, confidence, and knowledge, identifying and reinforcing their unique values and finding sources of comfort and belonging.

In addition to counseling, part of my role at SCS is helping students connect to resources in the community, on- or off-campus. In this role, I provide information about local resources (e.g., food support, financial assistance programs), how to understand and access insurance benefits, and how to connect with a variety of off-campus health care providers, including therapists for longer-term care.

Professional Interests: My special interests include emotional wellness; mindfulness; multicultural issues; self-acceptance & compassion; anxiety & stress management; spirituality; healthy relationships; and career development.

Donna Kulakowski, Ph.D., L.P.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Staff Psychologist. Embedded counselor at Carlson School of Management.
Education:  Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, niversity of Minnesota.

Professional Interests:  Mindfulness, emotional wellness, managing anxiety and depression,  1st-gen students, LGBT concerns, identity and transitional issues, managing emotions.

Jake Loeffler, Psy.D

Jake Loeffler

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.

Jodi Pendroy, Psy.D., L.P.

Jodi Pendroy

Staff Psychologist. Psy.D. Counseling Psychology, University of St. Thomas.
Pronouns: She/Her
/Hers

Interests: Jodi believes therapy is most effective when conducted in an open, safe, and nurturing environment with respect given to the strengths, wisdom, and humanity of each client. Professional interests include working with suicidal college students, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, identity exploration, existential issues, addictions, and sexual identity, with specific focus on well-being, balance, self-care, compassion, and self acceptanceNarrative therapy, GLBT affirmative counseling, multi-cultural counseling, anxiety/stress management, spirituality. Member: APA, AGPA.

Jerry Shih, Ph.D., L.P.

Jerry Shih

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Interim Director, Senior Psychologist.
Education: Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, University of Minnesota
.

About Me: I am the first person in my family who was born in the United States, and I identify as Asian- and European-American, having both Chinese and Western European ancestry.  I grew up in an ethnically and culturally diverse community in New York City where I learned the importance of having respect for people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The purpose of counseling is to help people make positive change; in counseling we focus on changing thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are causing problems.  The counseling process is one of exploring and gaining insight about oneself and one’s situation, and then taking action based on the insight gained.  I believe that counseling is successful when we agree on the goals we are working on and the strategies used to reach those goals, and our working relationship is characterized by mutual liking, trust and respect.  

Professional Interests: I enjoy helping students make steady progress towards their goals, which vary from person to person.  Some examples are: to reduce and manage symptoms of depression and/or anxiety; to heal from a relationship breakup; to improve academic performance; to find a satisfying career path; to improve social skills; to resolve an interpersonal problem; to feel good about oneself.   No matter what problems you may have and what your counseling goals may be, I start with a practical solution-focused approach, first doing my best to understand what you have been experiencing, and then working with you to tackle those problems and to improve your mental, emotional and behavioral health.

Predoctoral Staff

Administrative Staff