Our Staff   

  • Liz Mondragon

    Elizabeth Mondragon, Psy.D.

    Interim Senior Director Student Health, Counseling and Case Management
    Licensed Psychologist – AZ PSY21471
    951-827-5531  elizabeth.mondragon@ucr.edu

    Dr. Mondragon provides a full range of clinical services including individual, couples, and group therapy in the center; provides outreach and consultation to the campus community; serves as a clinical and administrative supervisor; and is former Assistant Director/Clinical Coordinator.

    As a first-generation college student, Dr. Mondragon has a passion for working in a campus setting, as well as interests in working with individuals who are coping with trauma/sexual assault, or processing their reactions to grief and loss. Dr. Mondragon is dedicated to supporting students through their university experience. She has a variety of clinical interests and enjoys working with UCR's diverse and multiculturally complex community.

    Dr. Mondragon joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2006 as a full time Counseling Psychologist II, and a former UCR Counseling and Psychological Services psychology intern. Dr. Mondragon received a B.S. in criminology, and her doctorate degree in clinical-community psychology from the University of La Verne.

  • Ted Swigart

    Ted Swigart, Ph.D.

    Assistant Director/Training Director
    Licensed Psychologist – CA PSY19842
    951-827-5531 ted.swigart@ucr.edu

    Dr. Swigart has been at UCR since 2006. He has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Memphis and is Training Director for our APA accredited doctoral internship in psychology. His areas of interest include supervsion and training, adjustment and developmental concerns, assessment, brief psychotherapy, depression, anxiety, graduate students and student veterans. He completed his doctoral internship at Indiana University Counseling and Psychological Services, and completed postdoctoral training at Humboldt State University Counseling and Psychological Services.

  • Loretaa Mead

    Loretta Mead, Psy.D

    Interim Director
    Licensed Psychologist - CA PSY24298
    951-827-5531  loretta.mead@ucr.edu

    Dr. Mead provides individual, couples and group therapy at Counseling and Psychological Services and is also involved in the center's training of psychology interns. while she enjoys working with diverse individuals with a variety of challenges, her particular areas of interest include Latino/Chicano mental health, relational dynamics, loss and grief, identity and self-development, and first-generation college students.

    Dr. Mead joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2010. She received her master's and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in Los Angeles.

  • Lee Stillerman

    Lee Stillerman, Ph.D.

    Interim Assistant Director/Clinical Director
    Licensed Psychologist, CA PSY21971
    951-827-5531  lee.stillerman@ucr.edu

    Dr. Stillerman spends most of his time providing brief individual counseling. He also coordinates the group therapy program and is actively involved in Counseling and Psychological Services' training and supervision program.

    Dr. Stillerman has worked at UCR since 2009. The majority of his clinical experiences have been in college mental health. He has extensive training in multicultural competencies and enjoys working with diverse orientations, cultures and worldviews. Before UCR, Dr. Stillerman worked at counseling centers at New Mexico State University, the University of Hawaii, Boston College, CSU Long Beach and UCLA. He earned his Master's degree in counseling psychology from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and his Ph.D. from New Mexico State University.

  • Jennifer

    Jennifer Hung, Psy.D.

    Counseling Psychologist III
    Licensed Psychologist – CA PSY 21949

    (951) 827-5531 | jennifer.hung@ucr.edu

    Dr. Hung joined the Counseling Center in 2008 and worked as a full-time counseling psychologist until 2013. Since August, 2016, Dr. Hung rejoined the center as a part-time counseling psychologist. She received her doctorate in clinical-community psychology at the University of La Verne. As a counseling psychologist, she provides individual, couples and group therapy. She is also a clinical supervisor in the pre-doctoral internship training program. She often collaborates with other on-campus cultural/gender offices to facilitate different mental health outreach programs.

    Dr. Hung has a particular interest in women’s issues, Asian Pacific Islander concerns, immigration, acculturation and identity issues. She is open to working with diverse students on campus and is a support and advocate during their time at UCR

  • Andrea

    Andrea Saavedra-Metoyer, LMFT.

    Counseling Psychologist lll
    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist- CA LMFT 53924

    (951) 827-5531 | andrea.saavedra-metoyer@ucr.edu

    Andrea Saavedra-Metoyer, LMFT, provides a full range of clinical services at CAPS including individuals, couples, and group therapy. Her approach to treatment varies to meet the needs of clients. Her background in treatment consists of cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems, and feminist theory. She provides outreach and consultation to the campus community, as well as collaborating with other departments in efforts to increase awareness of mental health issues and services.

    As a first-generation college student and a child of immigrants, she has a passion for working in a campus setting, as well as interests in working with individuals who are living in a bicultural atmosphere. She has extensive experience working with victims of trauma, sexual abuse/assault, and helping individuals with anxiety and depressive disorders. She has a great passion working for the college community and helping UCR students manage the challenges that come with college life.

    She joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2016 as a full-time clinician. Prior to UCR, she provided therapy in a community mental health setting. She received a B.A. in Psychology at Azusa Pacific University and her M.S. at University of La Verne

  • Farid

    Farid Azhir, LMFT

    Counseling Psychologist III
    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist- CA LMFT 48161

    (951) 827-5531 | farid.azhir@ucr.edu

    Farid Azhir, LMFT loves nature and enjoys learning about different cultures. He believes nature influences culture and culture influences our perspective. This perspective then filters our thoughts and, our thoughts cradle our feelings, our relationships, and our lives.

    Farid Azhir joined Counseling and Psychological Services in 2015. Prior to joining UCR, he had the privilege to serve K-12 students and their families who required a variety of mental health services. His passion for exploring the influence of cultures and how it impacts therapy has taken him to five continents around the world. He immersed himself in cultural experiences that at first glance did not seem alike, however became a firm believer that a nonjudgmental deeper view reveals credulous simplicity of the very fabric that tightly bounds us together “Love & Respect."

    Prior to earning his Master's degree in counseling at California State University Fullerton, Farid Azhir also received a B.S. in kinesiology with an emphasis on physiology of exercise. During his research which was to investigate the impact of physiological changes on weight control exercises. He gravitated towards undeniably power of psychological constructs to maintain a healthy life style, that's when he decided to focus his graduate study in the area of psychotherapy and his journey continues to enrich his enthusiasm in everlasting learning and how to serve others humbly and sincerely.

  • Sara Pemberton

    Sarah Pemberton MSW, LCSW

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker - CA LCS 25339

    (951) 827-5531 |

    Sarah Pemberton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and she provides individual, couples and group therapy at Counseling and Psychological Services, as well as collaborates with campus partners to support the mental health and wellbeing of the UCR campus.

    Sarah was born and raised in Southern California and studies psychology at Scripps College and received her Master's Degree in Social Welfare with a focus on mental health from UCLA in 2004.

    Sarah began working at UCR in 2008 as the Case Manager in the Dean of Students Office and began working in Counseling and Psychological Services in 2012. She has a diverse background of experience after spending 6 years as a therapist in outpatient mental health clinics in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, before coming to UCR.

    While she enjoys working with individuals and a variety of challenges, her particular areas of interest include developing healthy relationships, identity development, grief and loss, as well as first generation college students. Sarah is passionate about working in a helping field, especially with college students

  • AyokaBell

    Ayoka Bell, Psy.D.

    Licensed Psychologist – CA PSY 27676

    (951) 827-5531 |

    Dr. Bell provides individual, couples, and group therapy at Counseling and Psychological Services. In addition to providing clinical supervision and support with training of psychology interns, she is the group therapy program coordinator.

    With and integrative approach, she draws from various treatment modalities including biopsychosocial, person-centered, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness-based, solution-focused, and motivational interviewing. She is adept at working with individuals who have a variety of issues such as difficulties with transitions and with grief, anxiety, depression, bipolar, addictions, PTSD, and co-occurring issues. An emphasis of Dr. Bell’s experience and training has been helping to support individuals who have temporary or chronic health conditions.

    Dr. Bell is passionate about providing support around issues of diversity. She enjoys working with people of all abilities, backgrounds, and identities. With the belief that each person is an expert of their own experience, she strives to create a collaborative space that feels safe and free of judgment.

    Dr. Bell comes to CAPS from the field of Primary Care - Behavioral Health Integration. She completed her doctoral internship at UC, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital- Trauma Recovery Center, and completed postdoctoral training at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View California. She received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from CSU, Sacramento and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at John F. Kennedy University.

  • Jason Vasquez

    Jason Vasquez, Ph.D.

    Counseling Psychologist III
    Licensed Psychologist – CA PSY
    (951) 827-5531 |

    Dr. Vasquez comes to CAPS with extensive experience working in brief individual counseling, group counseling, crisis consultation, assessment, outreach and prevention, teaching, and training. Dr. Vasquez is a generalist who works from a variety of different clinical approaches including client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, family systems, psychosocial, and multicultural frameworks. He enjoys working with diverse student populations and first generation college students. He has worked with a variety of client concerns, such as college adjustment, anxiety, and depression, family of origin issues, interpersonal concerns, men’s issues, identity development, and career issues. His research interests mainly involve the relationship between Latino college student adjustment, sociocultural factors (e.g., acculturation, ethnic and racial identity, perceived discrimination), and psychosocial factors (e.g., career development, subjective well-being, life satisfaction). Prior to working at UCR, he worked at Illinois State University. He has a Masters of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State University.

  • Nicole Pitsavas

    Nicole Pitsavas, Psy.D. Counseling

    Psychologist III Licensed Psychologist
    – CA PSY 29303
    (951) 827-5531 |

    Nicole Pitsavas obtained her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago. As a generalist, Dr. Pitsavas offers a variety of service modalities, including individual, couples, groups, and outreach presentations. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.

    Dr. Pitsavas’ clinical conceptualization is grounded in psychodynamic and attachment theories yet she borrows from several orientations to best fit her clients’ needs. She describes her work as relational, collaborative and transparent. Dr. Pitsavas has a particular passion for working with sexual and gender minorities, undocumented immigrants and other marginalized populations on a variety of concerns, including trauma, substance abuse, mood and anxiety disorders, and grief and loss. Social justice guides not only her clinical work but also her professional and personal life.

    Dr. Pitsavas enjoys many hobbies in her spare time. These include camping, playing with her dog and cats, and manual activities such as cross-stitching, model building and carving. She and her wife love to sing and go on hikes together. Science fiction and fantasy are among her favorite genres whether for reading or watching movies. As a previous Senior Desktop Analyst, she is an avid technology consumer and thrives on learning how things work.

  • Walidah Thrift

    Walidah Thrift, MA

    Psychology Intern

    (951) 827-5531 |

    Walidah Thrift is a psychology intern completing her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University in San Diego. Prior to attending CSPP, Walidah earned a terminal Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Chapman University. She is experienced in providing crisis intervention, mental health counseling, and outreach services. She has worked over a number of years within a multitude of different settings, including outpatient mental health clinics, community mental health agencies, chronic pain clinical care, and inpatient psychiatric hospital care.

    Walidah is authentic in her approach to treatment. She utilizes a person-centered strength-based brief therapy model, and consistently considers the uniqueness of each individual she works with. She works to provide a supportive environment in which individuals feel safe and secure to identify, explore, and resolve their concerns. She is dedicated to helping people with diverse cultural backgrounds access their full potential to lead healthy and joy-filled lives.

  • DanQing_Huo.jpg

    DanQing Huo, M.A.

    Psychology Intern

    (951) 827-5531 |

    Danqing Huo is a doctoral intern at UCR CAPS. She is currently completing her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Adler University. She also completed a Master of Counseling Psychology in Shanghai, China. She has clinical experience working with a variety of individuals in different settings, such as college counseling center, psychiatric hospital, and private practice. Danqing provides individual therapy, couple therapy, group therapy, and outreaches at CAPS, with the possibility to conduct services in both English and Mandarin. She receives supervision from licensed clinical psychologists at the counseling center.

    Danqing is passionate about helping undergraduate and graduate students, who are struggling with a wide range of concerns, including anxiety, depression, interpersonal relationships, gender or sexuality issues, substance use, identity and spiritual issues, grief and loss, eating related issues, and trauma. Danqing is strongly committed to multicultural competency and social justice, and she hopes to support and empower our diverse and culturally rich student body. In addition, Danqing wants to provide outreach programs and consultations for the international student population at UCR, as herself is an international student and understands related situations and difficulties well.

    Danqing is looking forward to completing a journey with you!

  • Kristen Nielsen

    Kristen Nielsen, M.A., MACL

    Psychology Intern

    (951) 827-5531 |

    It is from a humanistic foundation of authenticity, acceptance, and nonjudgment that Kristen approaches her conceptualization of and work with each client. Deep listening and respect for the individual’s health as well as their problems allows her to forge strong working relationships with clients. She enjoys working with diverse populations including: different races, sexual orientations, gender identities, religious and cultural backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, abilities, and ages.
    Her clinical diagnostic and therapy training has taken place in a variety of settings including: residential substance treatment centers, health and human services, therapeutic day schools, and college counseling centers. Much of her work has been with underserved populations, first generation college students, and individuals with complex trauma and severe mental illness.
    In the future she plans to continue her work with such diversified populations while combining it with animal assisted therapy.
    She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology – Schaumburg Campus and is currently completing requirements for her doctorate (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology – Chicago Campus.

Did You Know?

Counseling and Psychological Services does not provide academic advising. For academic counseling, call 951-827-3411.
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A Counselor On Duty is available at Counseling and Psychological Services weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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All students who pay UCR registration fees are eligible for free Counseling and Psychological Services.
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Counseling and Psychological Services serves as a national test center for the LSAT and PRAXIS.
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Group therapy allows you to connect to others with similar concerns and to listen to shared issues.
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Couples Counseling is available for students and their partners or spouses.
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Counseling and Psychological Services has designed an online guide to help faculty and staff respond to distressed students.
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Counseling and Psychological Services staff includes licensed psychologists, marriage and family counselors, and pre-doctoral interns.
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Counselors are available by phone 24 hours daily by dialing 951-827-5531 or 951-UCR- TALK
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You can take an online assessment right now to see how you're doing emotionally.
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Everything you discuss with a UCR counselor is confidential unless it falls under the legal exceptions.
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Counselors are available for workshops and presentations, including weekly meditation classes.
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