Meet the Social Services 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 including 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 

Maayan Greene joined the UHS SOS team in 2013. She received her MSW from UC Berkeley. Maayan also currently works in private practice and at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital as a psychiatric social worker. She enjoys swimming and hiking in her spare time.

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

Tiffany Hsiang Lin, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Tiffany Hsiang Lin first joined UC Berkeley as a student, receiving her BA in Ethnic Studies and Sociology. She then went on to earn her masters degrees in Social Work at Columbia University and Social Science at University of Chicago. Tiffany returned to UC Berkeley in 2015 as the first dedicated Confidential Advocate at the PATH to Care Center. She's also part of the UHS Transgender Care Team. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys knitting, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, and video/board games.

Clinical interests: trauma (EMDR trained), sexual/intimate partner violence, LGBTQ care, vicarious trauma and burnout, identity development, family systems, social justice, and multicultural/intersectional counseling.

Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW

Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Pronouns: she/they

Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW, has worked at UHS Social Services since 2016. She self-identifies as a South Asian American, queer, cis-woman of color. Her social work education at the University of Michigan is blended with clinical training about body, mind, and spirit healing after trauma. Shanta is a social worker, psychotherapist, educator, and organizational consultant. A primary focus of her practice is to decolonize wellness by creating community and accessibility to healing for BIPOC. Her services are holistic, cultural, and indigenous informed to support communities experiencing intersectionality, and queer and trans people enduring adversity. Shanta is honored to witness and support students to access material resources, build self awareness and insight, and find pathways toward calm, purpose, and joy.

Clinical Interests: Healing after trauma, EMDR treatment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence survivorship, health conditions, LGBTQI, non-binary and BIPOC women, immigrant and next generation SSWANA communities.

Tobirus M. Newby, LCSW

Director of Social Services

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 Clinical Social Worker. She previously worked 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 (TF-CBT) and the Trauma-Conscious Yoga Method (TCYM) and has advanced training in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Erin has traveled to five continents and enjoys yoga, hiking, writing, baking desserts, and playing board games.

Clinical Interests: Trauma, sexual and relationship violence, mindfulness, mind-body healing, chronic illness, body image, disordered eating, EFT Tapping, Muslim mental health.

Clinical Interests: Trauma-informed healing, sexual and relationship violence, chronic health impacts, body image, disordered eating, mindfulness, wholistic wellness, EFT Tapping, Muslim mental health.

Karen Tsai, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Clinical interests: Trauma-informed counseling, psychodynamic psychotherapies, multicultural and social-justice oriented counseling, mind-body-spirit wellness.

Robin Walley, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Interim Post-MSW Fellowship Coordinator

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.
Hez Wollin, LCSW

Hez Wollin, LCSW

AOD and Trauma Specialist

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Hez Wollin LCSW joined Social Services and focuses on AOD and Trauma. Hez received their MSW from Smith College School for Social Work. Hez is also in the process of becoming a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. They have many years of experience working with LGB and transgender communities and have led trainings on providing gender-affirming care for mental health providers. Hez was formerly an adjunct instructor at the University of Washington School of Social Work and a clinician at UCSF Alliance Health Project. Hez aims to provide trauma-informed, holistic, embodied support while holding a decolonizing lens. 

Clinical Interests: relational-cultural therapy, healing from PTSD and complex trauma, attachment, somatics, LGBTQ+ and gender-affirming care, perinatal mental health, undocumented communities, harm reduction, intersections of identity, and mental health/substance use.  In their spare time, Hez enjoys reading fiction, making pottery, riding their bike, and running around after their toddler.

Additional languages spoken: Spanish

1st YearPost-MSW Clinical Social Work Fellows

Krystin Gehrich, MSW

Krystin Gehrich, MSW

KG Gehrich (she/her), received her MSW from the University of Montana, her MA in Intercultural Youth and Family Development from the University of Montana, and her BA in Psychology from Ohio University.

She has worked for the last 12 years in various nonprofits, including at a Child Advocacy Center (CAC), where she advocated for children who experienced harm and supported their caregivers, and at the University of Montana's Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC), where she provided counseling and advocacy to students who experienced identity-based harm including sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and harassment, as well as gender identity discrimination and racism.

KG believes the work that people do to process and make meaning from their experiences is sacred and beholds their passages through the heartbreaks and celebrations of life with great reverence. She enjoys employing somatic approaches, mindfulness, and internal family systems/parts work into her practice. She is passionate about social justice; abolition, restorative justice, harm reduction, tribal sovereignty, and reproductive justice inform her work with students. She believes in bell hooks’ assertion that “rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.”

KG identifies as queer and pansexual, and finds her spiritual home in the outdoors. Soccer was a near-daily part of her life until a devastating injury in 2019. Now, she is learning to harness her body as a resource for resiliency. KG loves to travel and try new foods. She feels most invigorated and connected while hiking and trail running among natural landscapes that make her feel small. She enjoys live music, avidly listens to podcasts and watches documentaries, and awes at as many wildflowers as possible.

Clinical interests: trauma, attachment, LGBTQ+ identity development, spirituality, aging, children and families, and holistic healing and wellness.

Jennifer Tai, MSW

Jennifer Tai, MSW

Jennifer Tai, MSW, ASW, is a 1st-year Post-MSW Clinical Social Work Fellow. She received her BA in Communication Studies and Child and Adolescent Development, with a minor in Psychology at San Jose State University. She received her MSW and PPSC (Pupil Personnel Services Credentials) from San Jose State University as well.

Prior to joining UHS, Jennifer interned at the Department of Family and Children’s Services within the foster care and adoption units. She also has experience as an academic coach at Pivotal, a nonprofit that supports foster youth in high school and higher education settings. Jennifer also has experience in school social work settings within the Berryessa Union School District and East Side Union High School District. There, she provided mental health counseling and group counseling sessions to students at Brooktree Elementary along with students at Andrew Hill High in the Emotional Disability/Special Education programs in therapeutic classroom settings.

Jennifer identifies as a former foster youth and first-generation Asian American. She has experience facilitating spaces for socio-emotional skills building, grief and trauma groups, and foster youth communities.

Jennifer’s clinical interests include trauma-informed care, holistic care, strengths-based therapy, social justice, intimate partner violence and sexual assault, intersectionality, foster youth identity, API/Asian American identity, grief counseling, women of color’s mental health and healing, PTSD, anxiety, and depression disorders.

Jennifer enjoys creative outlets such as making arts and crafts, watching musicals, and music, including attending music concerts. She also enjoys trying new food, especially dessert places, cooking, and exploring nature and beaches.

2nd Year Post-MSW Clinical Social Work Fellows

Sarah Abbas, MSW, ASW

Sarah Abbas, MSW, ASW

Sarah received her BA in Psychology from Oakland University. Sarah is an awardee and member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and The National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. She completed her clinical social work internship in a federally qualified health center, providing outpatient substance use services and integrated behavioral health care.

Sarah’s clinical interests include integrative mental health and wellness, anxiety and mood disorders, holistic care, trauma-informed care, mindfulness-based therapies, adventure therapy, experiential therapy, nature therapy, laughter therapy, and interpersonal therapy. She’s also interested in substance use treatment and harm reduction, intersectional identity development, women’s health and healing, social justice, community preventive services, support, outreach and BIPOC, SSWANA, and Muslim mental health and well-being. 

Hailing from Dearborn, MI, Sarah enjoys taking scenic drives, going on road trips, exploring nature trails, kayaking, camping, and dabbling in art.

Angelica Yi, MSW, ASW

Angelica Yi, MSW

Pronouns: she/her/hers and they/them/theirs

Angelica received her MSW from Cal State LA and a BA in Gender Studies from UCLA. 

Angelica’s clinical interests include decolonizing therapy, strengths-based therapy, harm-reduction therapy, intersectional/multicultural counseling, LGBTQ+ identity and related concerns, API/Asian American identity, disordered eating/eating disorders, body image, self-compassion, religion, and spirituality (particularly Christian faith), perfectionism, self-care, and mindfulness.  She has worked as a mental health counselor at a middle school in East LA and as an adult outpatient clinician within the Department of Mental Health in LA County. 

Angelica identifies as a queer and bisexual, second-generation Korean American person. She has experience facilitating spaces for those who identify as LGBTQ+, Christian, and POC (predominantly API communities).

Angelica loves cultivating creativity daily through playing guitar and piano, singing, and dancing. She also enjoys staying active, cooking, baking, and reading. In her spare time, you can find her exploring local farmers’ markets, thrift stores, parks, and libraries.

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 chronic disease prevention, food security, and weight concerns.

Sarah Minkow, MS, RD

Sarah Minkow, MS, 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 Withdrawal & Academic Adjustments Resource Specialist

Kimberley Mims is the lead administrative specialist for Social Services. She has been at UHS for 25 years. Over the span of her career, Kimberly has worked as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) in Primary Care and as an Administrative Assistant in Social Services. Her areas of specialty are medical withdrawals and academic adjustments. One of Kimberly's favorite aspects of her work is connecting with students who have mental and physical challenges, and seeing them overcome those barriers so that they can successfully complete their education. She is dedicated, caring, skilled, and is beloved by her team and clients. 

Kimberly's hobbies include gardening, walking, and hosting one of her homes for temporary housing to traveling healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially her son Terrell, granddaughter Avery, and grandson, Zakari.

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 languages: Tagalog