Caltech Counseling Center Staff
Kevin P. Austin, Ph.D., Senior Director of Health and Counseling
I came to Caltech because I wanted to help the Counseling Center become a service that students saw as an important campus resource. A service available to students for a whole host of challenges they face at Caltech such as; stress reduction, finding balance, relationship issues, depression and feeling connected. Over the 22 years I’ve been here now I have seen the Counseling Center transform into that kind of service. Each year about 20% of the undergraduates and about 18% of the graduates use the center for help – some for 1 or 2 times to talk and get advice, and some to work on issues that may be longer standing or that need more time to resolve. Working with Caltech students is a pleasure because they use their same abilities to analyze and understand complex issues to understand themselves and the challenges they face. I also like working with the diversity of students who are here at Caltech. In a given day I can meet with a student from India, another from Indiana, and others who can be from anywhere in the world. Each student brings their unique perspective on the world shaped by their personal and cultural backgrounds. Understanding each student’s uniqueness and helping them overcome whatever issue they are struggling with is really very rewarding.
Lee H. Coleman, Ph.D., ABPP, Assistant Director and Director of Training
I received my doctorate in clinical psychology from Miami University in 1999 and have worked at Caltech since 2004. I’ve developed a specialty in university mental health in the counseling centers at the University of Virginia (internship), Boston College (postdoc), and Ohio University (staff psychologist). I see myself mostly as a generalist, but I particularly enjoy working with clients with depression, problems with affect regulation, and personality disorders. I love working with Caltech students, and it's a privilege to support them in their personal development. My first book, Depression: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, was published in 2012 by New Harbinger Publications, and has been translated into French, German, and Chinese.
Maggie Ateia, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist
I attended the University of Southern California, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I received a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant University, Los Angeles. I strongly believe in the usefulness of therapy as a means to grow. It is my opinion that everyone needs a person to lean on at some point in their lives, and at times an unbiased trained professional can be exactly what is needed for support and a source of strength. The relationship between a student and myself is extremely important and is a focal point in my work. I look forward to helping students from a wide range of backgrounds and am sensitive to multicultural issues. Relationship issues, depression, anxiety and stress, problems with disordered eating, and multicultural issues are of particular interest to me.
Charisma Bartlett, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist
I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University - Los Angeles. My multicultural clinical and research interests include ethnic identity, spirituality and existential issues, and social justice and advocacy for Asian American mental health concerns. Through my diverse experiences at local universities, I have also developed a particular interest in working with loss and grief as well as eating disorders and body image issues. I am convinced of the possibility of human resiliency and transformation. My therapeutic style integrates psychodynamic theories with a client-centered, strengths-based approach. I see the importance of exploring past relationships and early experiences and how they may be connected to a student's current concerns and cultural contexts. By assessing students' relational skill sets, which may otherwise act as challenges to their functioning as authentic individuals, help students to discover a sense of empowerment resulting in meaningful, healthy relationships and the ability to live purposeful lives. I am a major foodie and love to cook and eat delectable international cuisines.
Jennifer Howes, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist
I completed my undergraduate work at UCLA and received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Prior to arriving at Caltech in 2011, I worked with a diverse group of students at the Claremont Colleges and maintained a small private practice. I believe therapy can be a powerful agent of change, and I work with clients to co-create a meaningful experience through self-discovery and turning insight into action. My approach to therapy is based on the integration of psychodynamic, systems and attachment theories. I am curious about my clients' current range of concerns and how they may be related to early experiences and relationships; I also utilize cognitive behavioral interventions and integrate mindfulness practice where appropriate. I like to work collaboratively with my clients to develop individualized treatment plans that focus on utilizing strengths to foster growth and greater understanding of the self. I am a generalist and enjoy working with students with all types of concerns, but my areas of special interest include anxiety, relationship issues, adjustment, depression, and personal growth.
Maria Oh, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist
I received my M.Ed. in Counselor Education at the University of Virginia in 1991 and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at CSPP, LA in 2001 with a multicultural emphasis. I have been with the Caltech Student Counseling Center as a staff psychologist since June 2002. My clinical approach is integrative, and I draw on various theories including psychodynamic, attachment, and cognitive behavioral in my work with students. My style in both therapy and supervision is relationally based and believe that growth stems from experiencing significant connections. I have a personal specialty working with individuals with Asperger’s and on the Autism spectrum. I also have a strong interest in diversity/multicultural issues, Asian American mental health, and have enjoyed working with our international students on campus over the years. I have a private practice in Pasadena providing individual therapy, social skills training and clinical consultation to Asian Pacific Islander community-based organizations.
Maria Lopez, Administrative Assistant to Health and Counseling
Maria Lopez is the Administrative Assistant for the Health & Counseling Center. She has a background in the medical field doing Administrative/Secretarial work and as a Surgical Scrub Tech. Maria provides administrative support to the Health & Counseling Centers’ professional staff, and her responsibilities are to do the many tasks required by the Director and the staff to keep the office running smoothly. When Maria is not at work she enjoys spending time with her family.
Kim Quintana, Administrative Coordinator for Health and Counseling
I am currently the newest member in the Counseling Center, and I take care of some of the Counseling Center’s administrative duties. Prior to coming to the Counseling Center, I worked in the Undergraduate Dean’s office for about four years. After work I like to walk and spend time with my family.
Mariel Tourani, M.D., Consulting Psychiatrist
Amanda Cassil, Ph.D.
I recently completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology here in Pasadena. I have an interest in working with undergraduate and graduate students and have tailored my training accordingly. I completed placements at Cal State Fullerton, Caltech, and UC Riverside and returned to Caltech this year to complete a postdoctoral internship. I enjoy helping students with concerns related to work/life balance, identity development, women's issues, spirituality, social anxiety, adult survivors of abuse, family dynamics, time management, and more. I value diversity and encourage students to consider how various life experiences, cultural influences, and socioeconomic factors contribute to who they are and how they engage with others. My therapeutic approach is an integrative combination of psychodynamic, interpersonal, and cognitive-behavioral theories and techniques. Early life relationships and experiences can be valuable to explore, as they shape how a student engages with the world. I invite students to consider this with regard to their current concerns and work collaboratively to identify potential problem solving approaches.