Meet the Social Services Staff

meet the primary care providers meet the health coachesmeet the health promotion staff meet the medical assistants registered dietitians button meet the nurse practicioners meet the social services staff meet the physical therapy staff nurses meet the specialists meet the counseling staff  

specialty, compassionate counselingSocial Services Counseling Staff

The UHS Social Services Counseling staff provides compassionate, specialty counseling. Support services include alcohol and other drugs, chronic medical conditions and new diagnoses, eating disorders and body image, medical withdrawal administration, nutrition, pregnancy resources and referrals, relationship violence, stalking, sexual health, sexual violence, and victims of crime.

Our counselors provide education, counseling, advocacy, referrals and assistance with academic, financial and related issues that may arise as a result of the above.

Counselors

Justin Castello, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

Pronouns: he/him/his

Justin Castello, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist within UHS Social Services where he's served Berkeley students since 2016. He provides individual and group counseling on alcohol and other drug use and related mental health concerns from Harm Reduction Therapy prospective. He also supports students who have survived trauma including sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking and harassment, as well as those who have caused related harm. Justin's work with Berkeley students is very client-centered, tailored to their needs, collaborative, and respects their self-determination.

Prior to joining UHS, Justin was the program/intake coordinator and a harm reduction psychotherapist at The Harm Reduction Therapy Center (a nonprofit with community programs and private practices in the SF Bay Area) for 8 ½ yrs. He's provided therapy (individual, couples, family, and group) in many settings inclduing The Homeless Youth Alliance for transitional aged youth in the SF Haight, E.C. Reems K-8 Charter School in East Oakland, Hospitality House/a community program in the SF Tenderloin, and Pretrial Diversion of SF County. Justin has also provided therapy for people in a locked acute mental illness facility, a social rehabilitation home, and in SF and East Bay private practice offices. He's presented workshops and trainings on Harm Reduction and Harm Reduction Therapy Alcohol and Other Drugs Group facilitation and has over 15 years of experience in the field.

Clinical interests: Harm reduction therapy, alcohol and other drugs counseling, trauma counseling, couples and family counseling, multicultural/intersecting identity issues, and LGBTQ+ issues.

Maayan Greene, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Interests: Eating disorders, trauma issues, healthy relationships, identity development, mindfulness practices (including MBCT and DBT techniques), depression and anxiety, and wellness and self-care.

Zenaida Hernandez, LCSW

Zenaida Hernandez, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, University Village

Interests: Trauma-informed care, first generation and transfer students, student parents, students of color (specialty in working with Latinx population). 

Additional languages: Spanish

Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW

Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Pronouns: she/they

Interests: Healing after trauma, sexual violence and intimate partner violence interventions, health conditions, LGBTQI and non-binary issues, women of color and SSWANA communities, and EMDR.

Tobirus M. Newby, LCSW

Social Services Manager

Tobirus M. Newby is a licensed clinical social worker and the manager of the UHS' Social Services department. Over the past 17 years, Tobirus has worked in the field of violence prevention and intervention by supporting the healing journeys of survivors and by educating and fostering change with those who have caused harm in their relationships and communities. In addition, he is an educator at UC Berkeley Extension and the University of San Francisco and has a private consulting practice through which he provides organizational equity and inclusion services. A quote that guides his life and his practice comes from James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Clinical interests: Alcohol and other drugs counseling, domestic violence and sexual assault intervention, sexual health risk reduction, LGBTQ issues, trauma counseling, spirituality, intersectionality, and multiculturalism.

Erin O'Connor LCSW

Erin O'Connor, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Erin O’Connor, LCSW, joined UHS in 2020 as a Trauma and Health Concerns Social Worker. She was previously working as an outpatient therapist and trauma specialist at a community non-profit outside of Detroit, MI. Erin received her BA in Psychology from Michigan State University and her MSW from Wayne State University. She is nationally certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Erin loves to travel domestically and internationally with her spouse — she’s been to five continents! She enjoys yoga, music, writing poetry, baking, hiking, and playing board games.

Clinical interests: Trauma-informed and trauma-specific care, relationship and sexual violence, mindfulness, self-care, integrated health & wellness: Tapping/Emotional Freedom Techniques, body image, sociocultural identity, mental health among Muslim Americans and other underserved communities.

Viviana Urdaneta Melo, LCSW

Viviana Urdaneta Melo, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Viviana Urdaneta joined the Social Services Team in 2016. She is from Colombia, South America and has lived in the United States since 2006. Viviana earned her MSW and Master of Divinities from Baylor University. She is a EMDR Certified Therapist and Approved Consultant. Viviana utilizes a strengths perspective approach to work with survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and trauma in individual and group settings. Previous to joining UHS, Viviana worked in domestic violence and homeless shelters and community mental health. She enjoys reading, running, drinking coffee, and watching Netflix with her family. 

Clinical Interest: Trauma-informed care and treatment, Latinx, multicultural identities, working with survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, underserved populations, immigrants, undocumented, and international students, EMDR therapy and somatic interventions, empowerment, faith and spirituality, and cultural competency and humility. 

Additional languages: Spanish

Robin Walley, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Robin Walley, LCSW, joined the Social Services team in 2003. She received her MSW from UC Berkeley and her BA in Psychology from Pomona College. As the alcohol and other drug counseling team lead, Robin has been a steadfast advocate for a cross-UHS harm reduction orientation and motivational interviewing-informed practice, which has impacted the language used at UHS to talk about alcohol and other drugs, the services provided to students, and how UHS collaborates with campus and community partners.  
 
Clinical Interests: Alcohol and other drugs counseling, harm reduction, motivational interviewing, LGBTQ+ experiences, polyamory and consensual non-monogamy, kink/BDSM, self-injury, sexual and racial identity development, and identity intersectionality.

1st Year Post-MSW Clinical Social Work Fellows

2nd Year Post-MSW Clinical Social Work Fellows

Andrea Godinez

Andrea Godinez, MA

University of Chicago

Andrea Godinez, AM, received her AM in Social Service Administration with a clinical concentration from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining UHS, she was a counseling intern in Little Village, Chicago, a family and relationships workshop facilitator, and a Zumba instructor. Andrea identifies as a Latinx, cisgender counselor who recognizes and is interested in the intersectional identities we each hold and and how they shape our experiences. She is able to provide sessions in English or Spanish. Andrea is the happiest when she's dancing - she's an amateur salsa and bachata dancer. Her family is everything and she's very excited to now have time for naps and reading. 

Andrea's interests include body image, emotional awareness, empowerment, relationships, anxiety, depression, intimate partner violence, trauma, transition and adjustment, career development, multicultural identities, underrepresented students, LatinX, international students, immigrant & next generations, refugee, and transfer students.

Additional Languages: Spanish

Lisa Quach

Lisa Quach, MSW

Columbia University

Lisa Quach (she, her) identifies as a first-generation Vietnamese/Chinese/Cambodian born in Toranto and raised in Ottawa, Canada. She received her BA in International Development from the University of Ottawa. Lisa moved to Oakland in 2013 where she worked with children and families on abuse prevention and anti-human trafficking as a community organizer and case manager. Prior to joining UHS, Lisa resided in New York City where she completed her MSW at Columbia University.

Lisa has a collaborative approach to working with individuals, couples, and families and comes into therapy with a lens of culturally-attuned and social justice-oriented framework. Her clinical approaches include Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Lisa's interests include supporting the resilience of Southeast Asian/AAPI, BIPOC, first-generation, Muslim, LGTBQ, low-income, undocumented, and underrepresented students. She enjoys playing basketball, drinking good coffee, and watching anime.

Jason Straussman

Jason Straussman, AM

University of Chicago

Jason Straussman, AM, received his AM from the University of Chicago, his MA in Religious Studies from Baylor University, and his BA in Music and Religion from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Prior to joining UHS, Jason was working in a refugee mental health agency providing therapy and case management to refugees and their families while living and studying at the University of Chicago.

Jason enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends, and reading books about fiction, history, and interesting people. Jason is interested in music, community, alternative living, and becoming involved in community empowerment efforts.

Clinical Interests: Families, religion and spirituality, cultural identity, stress management, depression, relationships, and trauma-informed healing.

Registered Dietitians

The UHS Registered Dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy and nutrition counseling for any UC Berkeley student with nutrition-related health concerns.

Elizabeth Aong, MPH, RD

Elizabeth Aong, MPH, RD

Elizabeth Aong joined UHS in 2017 as a part-time clinical dietitian. She completed her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego and received her MPH in Nutrition from the University of Washington. Elizabeth has a clinical interest in community public health, food security, and weight management

Karen Johal

Karen Johal, MSc, RDN

Occupational Health Clinic

Karen Johal joined UHS in 2018. She received both her BS in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics and her BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, completed a Dietetic Internship at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and received her MSc in Health Psychology from the University of Surrey. Karen serves as the Diversity Liaison for the Bay Area District of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and volunteers with a UC Berkeley club that organizes free health clinics across the Bay Area (she also volunteered here as an undergraduate). She has a clinical interest in weight management for overweight and underweight individuals, plant-based lifestyles, holistic health, and behavior change.

Sarah Minkow, MS, RD

Sarah Minkow, MPH, RD

Sarah Minkow joined UHS in 2017 as a clinical dietitian. She completed her BA in Psychology with a minor in Exercise and Health Science at UC Santa Barbara (2006) and her MS in Nutritional Science at California State University, Long Beach (2016). Sarah has a clinical interest in nutrition for disease prevention and treatment, mindful eating, and food security.

Toby Morris

Toby Morris, MS, RD

Lead Clinical Dietitian

Toby Morris has been the lead clinical dietitian for students at UHS since 2012. She received her BA in Communication Studies from UCLA, her MS in Nutrition from San Jose State University, and completed her dietetic training at UCSF Medical Center. Toby specializes in eating disorders and mindful eating. 

Social Services Administrative Staff

Kimberly Mims

Kimberley Mims

Medical Withdrawl & Academic Adjustments Resource Specialist

Gerald Suarez headshot

Gerald Suarez

Administrative Assistant

Gerald Suarez joined the UHS SOS team in 2018. He previously worked at the Opiate Treatment Outpatient Program at UCSF-Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Gerald received his BS in Health Education (emphasis on Community-Based Public Health) from San Francisco State University. He is also a certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT). Gerald enjoys traveling to new places, being outdoors, and trying food from all different cultures (he’s a foodie)!

Additional langauges: Tagalog