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Student Counseling Services Staff Information

Director of Health and Counseling Services
Jennifer Howes, Ph.D.

Assistant Director of Counseling Services
Lee H. Coleman, Ph.D., ABPP

Staff Clinicians
Maggie Ateia, Psy.D.
Charisma Bartlett, Ph.D.
Jarrett Ellington, Psy.D.
Ashwini Lal, Psy.D.
Denise Lin, LCSW

Psychiatrist
Mariel Tourani, M.D.

Administrative Staff
Maria Lopez
Kim Quintana

STAFF BIOGRAPHIES

Jennifer Howes, Ph.D.
Director of the Student Health and Counseling Services

pronouns: she/her/hers

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 working with LGBTQ and all gender non-conforming/GRSM students, as well as helping students navigate anxiety, relationship issues, adjustment, depression, and personal growth.

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Lee H. Coleman, Ph.D., ABPP
Assistant Director of Counseling Services and Coordinator of Groups and Outreach

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 and problems with affect regulation.  Depression and suicide prevention are special interests of mine, and I enjoy working with students to prevent relapse into depressive states of mind.  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.  

I recently became a Certfied Mindfulness Facilitator through the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles, to gain more experience using mindful awareness techniques in my clinical work. I'm pleased to offer Mindfully Resilient, a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) group focused on preventing depressive relapse.  I also facilitate the Caltech Meditation Mob on Tuesdays at noon - it's one of my favorite parts of the week.

I love working with Caltech students, and it's a privilege to support them in their personal development.

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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.  Couples therapy, relationship issues, depression, anxiety and stress, problems with disordered eating, and multicultural issues are of particular interest to me.

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Charisma Agonoy Bartlett, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist, Asian/Asian-American Focus

After traveling through 39 countries around the world as a student, tourist, and self-proclaimed international food taster, I completed my doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2010 and joined the Student Counseling Services in 2011. My interest areas include cultural identity, spirituality and existential issues, and advocacy for the mental health needs of Asian and Asian American students. As a liaison to International Student Programs (ISP), I provide adjustment and ongoing support to international students. Through my diverse experiences at local universities and hospital settings, I am also able to work with a student’s relationship with food and body image. 

I believe it’s never too late to make mindset shifts that can make a significant impact on one’s present circumstances and future trajectory. My therapeutic style is warm, relational, and focuses on your strengths and goals, in addition to managing areas of impasse. I assess how past relationships and experiences may be connected to arrested development in your current context. Through collaborative exploration, I can help you discover deeper connections in your relationships and move toward a greater sense of purpose and work-life balance.

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Jarrett Ellington, Psy.D.
Staff Psychologist and Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Clinical Services and Outreach Coordinator

I completed my graduate work at Fuller Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology in 2010, receiving my PsyD in Clinical Psychology. After graduation, I completed a post-doctoral residency with Kaiser Permanente’s Chemical Dependency Recovery Program in Oakland, CA. Prior to joining Caltech, I worked at the University of San Diego as a staff psychologist, supporting students with alcohol and other drugs concerns (as well as anxiety, depression, adjustment/transition, etc.) I strive to “meet people where they are at” and provide a safe, non-judgmental environment in which students can explore their concerns. I find cognitive-behavioral, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness strategies to be quite useful in my work with students and utilize other approaches when needed. I believe that everyone has unique strengths. Counseling is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate in identifying those strengths and leveraging them for positive change. I am very excited to be part of the Caltech team and consider it an honor and privilege to support students during their journey at Caltech!

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Ashwini Lal, Psy.D.
Staff Psychologist and Residence Life Liaison

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine and a Doctorate in Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago with a concentration in Health Psychology. I have trained and worked in different hospitals (County, State, Veterans affairs) and in the university health setting. Throughout the early years of my career, I have contributed to the research literature in the area of social media, have written online articles addressing issues of loss, disappointment, and health behavior change, and have been involved in radio shows with a local physician addressing the etiology and impact of mental health issues on the individual. I was most recently working as a Staff Psychologist in the university health center at Stanford University and left to relocate back to Southern California to work at Caltech and be close to home.

I have experience working with a variety of clinical presentations and find that I am passionate about working with adolescents and adults struggling with mood and anxiety disorders, those who have experienced loss, those struggling with adjusting to various life events/transitions, and those dealing with issues of coming out and identity development. I work using an integrative approach to psychotherapy that involves increasing an individual’s awareness into factors contributing to their current struggles and working collaboratively with individuals to increase his/her/their ability to manage current symptoms. Increasing symptom management will provide the individual with immediate symptom relief while allowing for the therapist and the patient to work collaboratively to gain an in-depth understanding of the patient’s struggles. I believe that this increased awareness will lead to long term improvement and increased life satisfaction.

I am very happy to be working as a Staff Psychologist/Residential Life Liaison at Caltech and look forward to working with students and staff to positively impact the mental health and well-being of the campus community.

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Denise Lin, LCSW
Crisis Intervention Coordinator

 

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Mariel Tourani, M.D.
Consulting Psychiatrist

 

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Maria Lopez
Office Manager for the Student Health and Counseling Services

I am the Office Manager for the Student Health & Counseling Services and provide administrative support to the centers’ professional staff. My responsibilities are to do the many tasks required by the Director and the staff to keep the office running smoothly.  I have a background in the medical field doing Administrative/Secretarial work and as a Surgical Scrub Tech.  When I am not at work Ienjoys spending time with my family.

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Kim Quintana
Administrative Coordinator for the Student Counseling Services

I have been working with the Student Counseling Services since 2012. My responsibility is to take care of front office duties as well as other administrative responsibilities. You will most likely see me or talk to me when scheduling or coming in for your first appointment. You may also contact me if you need to schedule other appointments, such as follow up appointments with your therapist or with the psychiatrist.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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