Who We Are

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) provides brief counseling to students with personal, academic and career concerns. Professional counselors can meet with students to talk about a number of concerns such as: adjusting to school, deciding on a career or major, dealing with family or relationship issues, coping with personal crises.

Susan Bell, Ph.D.
Assistant Director

Susan Bell is the CPS manager of campus outreach and the program director for the SAMHSA grant. Susan is a licensed psychologist who grew up on the East Coast but landed in California as a student intern over 17 years ago. She is committed to student issues and to finding ways to support students who might be wary of counseling or not able to access services in traditional ways.

"As an undergraduate, I found it impossible to ask for help and didn’t even know that there was a counseling center on my campus.  So much of the work I do now is to help students talk about stress, to destigmatize mental health and to address the barriers to seeking help." When away from work, Susan enjoys eating, gardening, spending time with family, and training her out of control cat.

Lililan Chiang
Lillian Chiang, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

My name is Lillian Chiang and I am a psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services. I am originally from Hong Kong. I immigrated to the US at a young age, grew up on the East Coast, and headed out West not too long ago. I spent 2 years in Southern California (I love the beaches of Santa Monica!) before moving North to the Bay Area. I speak Cantonese and Mandarin. I really enjoy food and I love catching up with friends and family over a great meal. Traveling and learning about different cultures of the world are strong interests of mine. You can also find me reading mysteries as well as tabloid magazines on Hollywood gossip and pop culture!

Professionally, I received my Masters and Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. I have a strong commitment to promoting health and wellness in API communities. I provide individual, couples, and group counseling and am active in outreaching to the Asian Pacific American and Asian international students on campus. Asian Pacific American mental health, cultural adjustment, bicultural and multicultural identity development, cultural stigma attached to the utilization of mental health services, and the well-being of immigrants and international students are my areas of interests.

Research literature and observations have shown that having a community of support can be beneficial for Asian Pacific American students. We hope that API Connect will become a part of your community of support at Cal.

Cathy Kodama
Paige A. Lee, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinicial Psychologist

I love Berkeley! I've been on campus since I was 15 years old, taking courses as a Professional Development Program student and then as an undergraduate majoring in Psychology. After being a student at Cal and working as a staff member for the last 23 years in my various roles as a College Adviser in the College of Letters and Science and as a psychologist in Counseling and Psychological Services, I understand the unique pressures that API students endure while trying to attain a first rate education at a large, public institution.

I remember my own experiences as a student when I felt the pressure to study in the sciences and to become a doctor. After many lackluster grades in the pre-med requirements, I finally hit a brick wall and had to face the disappointment, shame and embarrassment of telling my family and friends that I was giving up the sciences. It was a difficult time for me because I had lost my self-confidence and wondered if I was Berkeley’s one mistake. Luckily while exploring the humanities and social sciences, I discovered Psychology. I had finally found my own strengths and niche at Cal and felt like I truly deserved to be here.

Although there were many struggles and challenges along the way, I felt I had grown as a person and had become much stronger. Coming to Berkeley marked a turning point in my life and Cal has become a huge part of my identity which is probably why I never left. My hope for other API students is that their time at Cal is just as memorable and life transforming as it has been for me!

Health Promotion

The Health Promotion Unit at University Health Services coordinates a wide range of educational and outreach activities to promote the health and well-being of Cal students, including academic health courses, individual appointments, workshops, volunteer and internship opportunities, and consultation and training.

Cathy Kodama
Cathy Kodama

Hi! I'm Cathy Kodama: baby boomer, Cal alum, health educator, and firm believer in health, happiness, equality, and social action. I'm a third-generation Japanese-American, with all the cultural richness and assimilation experiences that come along with that.

I came to campus as an open-minded but (mostly) inexperienced freshman in 1973. Being in, and at, Berkeley was a life-changing experience that I am still experiencing. I was pre-law, but in my sophomore year fell into being a peer educator in women's health, and never looked back. I had my first full-time job at University Health Services in Medical Records. From there I hopscotched to the Health Education unit, to graduate school in Public Health, to various community volunteer projects, and back to Health Education, now called Health Promotion, Tang Center, Berkeley, USA.

My passionate interests are: 1) the role of drugs in society, 2) sexuality and relationships, and 3) some TV shows. My particular abilities tend to be daydreaming (in the professional world we call it "visioning") and administrative work. I love talking about life with Cal students, whose perspectives are so enlightening and inspiring.

Karen Gee
Karen Gee, MA
Health Educator

I’m a second generation Chinese-American, born and raised in San Francisco. Having grown up in a bilingual, traditional Chinese family, I have an understanding of some of the issues that come up for students who are navigating family and mainstream social pressures. I have personally learned how to ask for help when I’ve been stressed and overwhelmed—and have benefited greatly from getting support from friends and professional counselors over the years.

I graduated from Cal in 1977 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and later obtained my Master’s degree in Multi-cultural Education from the University of San Francisco.  I was originally hired in 1985 as a health educator at U.C. Berkeley's University Health Services, Health Promotion Unit. I was expecting to stay for a couple of years, and yet, here I am, 25 years later! I’ve stayed in my job this long because I love the students.

Over the years I have talked with thousands of students in the Health & Wellness Education and Coaching Appointments. It’s my job to help students learn how to change lifestyle behaviors in order to be healthy and happy. This usually means working with students on things like how to: lower their stress levels through a relaxation and exercise program; communicate more effectively with family, friends and faculty; and think kind and positive thoughts about themselves.

Campus Partners

Asian American Pacific Islander Student Development

The Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD) office serves the changing needs of Asian Pacific American (APA) students on the UC Berkeley campus. The APASD office provides programs and supports activities that further the educational goals of the APA students and enhance their opportunities for academic success.

Jere Takahashi
Jere Takahashi, Ph.D.

Hi! I’m the Director of Asian Pacific American Student Development, a component of the Multicultural Student Development Office. I grew up in the Bay Area and currently live in Oakland. I first came to the Berkeley campus in the early 1960s and found it to be much too big and impersonal. In those days, roughly 50% of the first-year students didn’t return the following year for a variety of academic and/or personal reasons. I was one of those students. I transferred to UC Santa Barbara where I received a BA in Psychology. Despite transferring, I knew I wanted to return someday and reap the benefits of a Berkeley education. Little did I know then that I would return to Berkeley in the '70s for graduate school in Sociology and a career working in student affairs and teaching in Asian American Studies in the '80s. Since then, I’ve been working with students who are interested in developing programs that address key issues facing Asian American and Pacific Islander students. As a result, it's been very exciting for me and my interns to collaborate with API Connect to help make your experiences at Cal personally meaningful, academically rewarding, and stress-free.