Meet Our Staff & Therapists
De Anza College Psychological Services is staffed by therapists from Bay Area Clinical Psychology Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs. These practicum interns are supervised by William Firmender, Ph.D.
Click here to learn how to make an appointment. *
Suzanna Ramirez, Administrative Assistant (she/her)
|Monday - Thursday 8:30am- 5:30pm | Friday 8:30am-2pm|
Suzanna is the administrative assistant of Psychological Services at De Anza College. She is a proud alumni of De Anza College. She has her Associates in Liberal Arts - Social & behavioral Science Emphasis, as well as an Associates in Communication studies for transfer. Suzanna looks forward to continuing her education to receive a Bachelor’s degree in communication studies. She is passionate about helping her community and providing support to students in need. Her dedication started in 2012 helping low income students within after school programs creating a safe space for them. Suzanna started working a temp position for Psychological Services at De Anza in 2019, which led her to a full time position. Her devotion is making resources available to her team and students about mental health. She is a proud fur mom to a maltipoo named Mela, who she adores and spoils. Suzanna is an outstanding employee who is compassionate and empathetic to her students and staff.
William Firmender, Ph.D. (he/him)
Available: |Monday - Thursday 10am-5:30pm|
Dr. Firmender is a licensed psychologist and the Director of Psychological Services at De Anza College. He moved to California after spending his childhood, adolescence, and early adult years in South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and New York City. His clinical and research interests include diversity and community mental health, public policy, program development and evaluation, and therapeutic sports interventions. He has a great deal of experience helping clients deal with stressful life transitions. Using a combination of humanistic, behavioral, and attachment approaches to psychotherapy, he aims to help clients feel comfortable with themselves, feel less self-critical, and feel capable of making and maintaining meaningful life changes. Such changes are based on substantive collaboration with clients to create tangible, realistic, and attainable goals.
Derrick E Felton, MSW, MPA, MBA (he/him)
Available:|Tuesday & Thursday 9am to 5pm| Friday 10am to 2pm|
Mr. Felton is an Army Veteran and originally hails from Mississippi. Previously, he has worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs Readjustment Counseling Services. He is currently a part-time faculty member with the Social Sciences & Humanities Division, teaching Psychology Classes, as well as being the Veteran Liaison Social Worker with Vitas Healthcare. Mr. Felton has experience in trauma, depression, and anxiety. He has run several men’s groups, covering numerous relevant topics, and offers a mindful approach to coping strategies. Mr. Felton recently joined the Psychological Service department in Spring 2020.
Brian Lippincott, Ph.D. (he/him)
Available: |Wednesday & Friday 10am-3pm|
Brian Lippincott Ph.D is a Psychologist and Supervisor for Psych Services at De Anza College. Dr. Lippincott earned his Bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College of California in 1978 in the Integral Curriculum of the Liberal Arts which is a Great Books program. He immediately went on to John F Kennedy University to earn his Master’s degree in Psychology in 1981 and eventually matriculated to Pacifica Graduate Institute where he earned his doctorate degree in 1992 with a specialization in depth psychology. Dr. Lippincott is both a licensed marriage family therapist and licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California. He has had a private practice since 1985. Dr. Lippincott returned to John F Kennedy University in 1992 and has been a faculty since then teaching every quarter in either the masters in psychology program for MFT, LPCC program or in the PsyD program.Dr. Lippincott has taught a wide variety of classes ranging from clinical case seminar, group process and other clinical classes to research and advanced research. Dr. Lippincott spent 20 years working in community mental health where he was the supervisor of the transition age youth program for Monterey County which dealt with first episode psychosis. In 2013
Dr. Lippincott founded the Center for Humanistic Development, a training center in Aptos, Watsonville and Salinas California, which trains practicum students and interns in Humanistic psychology and Creative Depth Psychology (CDP.) CDP embraces the ideas of Jung and others regarding the depth of the human spirit and has a holistic approach. It also involves depth perception in the outer world and is a community-based psychology aligned with the work of Michael White and David Epston in Narrative therapy.
Kimberly "Kim" Lee, Psy.D. (she/her)
Available: |Monday - Thursday 9am- 4:30pm|Friday 9am-12pm|
Dr. Lee is a recent graduate from the Doctor of Clinical Psychology program at NU's JFK School of Psychology. She received her B.S. in psychology from Saint Mary’s College of California and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology during her graduate program. Dr. Lee has experience working at inpatient hospitals, school-based and university settings, as well as severe mental health community clinics. She has provided individual, dyadic, and group therapy across life developmental stages with a focus on complex and severe trauma. Dr. Lee also has experience in treating a variety of clinical issues including but not limited to mood disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, persistent depressive disorder, formerly dysthymia), phobias, the spectrum of psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia with active psychosis, schizoaffective disorder), personality disorders, self-esteem, acculturation, cultural discrimination, multigenerational differences/individuation, family and relationship stress, as well as complex grief. Dr. Lee's modality of treatment is strength-based and trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She has experience in providing other modalities of treatment such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and client-centered therapy, among others.
Dr. Lee is passionate about increasing accessibility to mental health services for marginalized communities and providing trauma-informed care. She aims to spread awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as promote social justice for discriminated, stereotyped, and marginalized populations. Additionally, she is passionate about the benefits of animals in mental health treatment, as well as animal rights. Dr. Lee is the mother of a rescued American Staffordshire Terrier mix, Roxy, who is in training to be her service dog. Just as with her clients, Dr. Lee seeks social justice for stereotyped and discriminated dog breeds, since Roxy is often mislabeled as dangerous and a "pitbull". Together they are working to break stereotypes and presumptions of people with disabilities and service animals.
Anita Vazifdar, MMFT, LMFT #110606 (she/her)
Available: |Monday & Tuesday 6pm-7pm|
Anita is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She holds a Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from University of Wisconsin – Madison. Anita is passionate about empowering young adults to find their authentic selves, increase self-esteem, and build coping skills to overcome life’s difficulties. As a bi-cultural individual, she understands the significance of cultural identity, & works from a client-centered approach to create a strong and compassionate alliance with her clients. She works with individuals to develop their unique cultural identities and make sense of the world and society around them.
Much of her experience has focused on working with young adults transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. She fosters a supportive environment for young adults to explore the difficulties that surface during this challenging phase of life. In her own life she has seen the significant impact of a mindfulness practice and utilizes this approach in her work to promote emotional regulation and emphasize the importance of living more fervently in the present moment. Anita is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is an evidence-based practice that incorporates mindfulness techniques with other coping skills to ease emotional distress, increase interpersonal effectiveness, and increase emotional well-being. Specialties: Individual and group psychotherapy; creating coping skills for anxiety, depression, and trauma; working with college-age young adults to overcome life-transition obstacles; women’s empowerment; and supporting individuals with disabilities.
Genavae Dixon, LMFT #102988 (she/her)
Available: |Wednesday - Friday 4:30- 6:30pm|
Genavae Pierre Dixon is a licensed marriage and family therapist, who is currently
the mental health and wellness coordinator at Gunn High School and has been for that
past 4 years. She is also now eligible to be a clinical supervisor for associate marriage
and family therapists. She received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology, with an
emphasis in marriage and family therapy from University of San Francisco and completed
her BA at the University of California, Riverside in Psychology. Genavae specializes
in trauma-focused CBT practices, client centered care, and motivational interviewing,
having worked in community mental health settings since 2015. Her previous placements
were Bill Wilson Center, Community Solutions, Unity Care, and CASSY (counseling and
support services for youth),
where she gained experience working with children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults. Genavae’s greatest goal is to reduce mental health stigma, increase access to care, and better the lives of children and families in her community!
Jacob Cameron, M.S. (he/him/his)
Available:|Wednesday - Friday 9am-2pm|
Jacob Cameron is a doctoral candidate at Palo Alto University where he is pursuing his PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in LGBTQ+ Psychology. He obtained his BA in Psychology at California State University, Sacramento and his MS in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University. His previous training includes college counseling, community mental health, and a federal school program where he gained experience conducting psychotherapy from cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and narrative modalities. Jacob utilizes feminist theory as a strength-based approach to meet clients where they are at. He considers himself a generalist who to date has experience with a wide variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, stress, anger, grief, motivation, relationships, ADHD, substance use, trauma, suicidality, gender and sexual identity questioning/concerns, and leading a balanced life. Jacob has worked with individuals and groups ranging in age from youth to older adults. He has a passion for social justice, young adult development, and working with diverse individuals within their sociocultural context. Jacob has volunteered his time in community organizing and improving education/access to mental and physical health services for those in marginalized communities.
Karen Firestone, M.A. (she/her/hers)
Available: |Tuesday - Thursday 10am-3pm|
Karen is a fourth-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. She received her B.A. in psychology from the University of California Berkeley and her M.A. in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute. She has experience working with adolescents in a school-based setting and adults in a community mental health setting. She has training in psychodynamic psychotherapy and treating youth who have experienced complex trauma. She particularly enjoys working with young adults who are coping with life transitions, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. Her approach to therapy is collaborative, explorative and strengths based. This is her second year at De Anza Psych Services and she is excited to continue serving De Anza’s students. She is very passionate about decreasing mental health stigma and making mental health care accessible to all students.
Katie Karimian, M.A. (she/her)
Available: |Monday & Wednesday 9am-4:30pm| Friday 9am-12pm|
Katie is a third-year student at the University of San Francisco. She has a passion with working with young adults who are experiencing life transitions, relationship difficulties and anxiety. Katie works from a strength-based model and believes that is where all of the growth starts. Katie received her Bachelor's in Communication Studies at Chapman University and her Master's in Arts in Psychology from Pepperdine University. She integrates the two to ensure transparency in communication while understanding the psyche. She has experience working at an outpatient substance abuse facility and the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, working with individuals and families with critically ill children. Katie teaches pilates during her free time and believes that overall health is a mix of the mind, body, and soul.
Mariel Alano, M.A. (she/her)
Available: |Monday 9am-3:30pm|Thursday 9am- 4:30pm |Friday 9am-12pm|
Mariel is a third-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Palo Alto University. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Human Development from the University of California, Davis and completed her M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She recently completed clinical training at the Gronowski Center’s Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic (SGIC) where she was trained in feminist therapy and worked with individuals identifying as LGBTQ+. She is passionate about working with historically marginalized populations particularly racial and cultural minorities, sexual and gender minorities, and immigrant communities.
Elizabeth Holden B.A. (she/her/hers)
Available: |Monday 9am-2:30pm|Wednesday 9am-5pm| Friday 9-12pm|
Elizabeth is a third-year student of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D) at the University of San Francisco. She studied History at the University of CA, Santa Barbara which allowed her to follow her passion of studying people and their stories and in this way, finds the study of psychology to be history’s natural partner. Elizabeth finds her theoretical home primarily through a humanistic, person-centered approach and has worked in community mental health and crisis support. Elizabeth has been trained in crisis intervention and suicide prevention and she has been trained under an interpersonal/relational framework (Family Systems Theory). Elizabeth believes deeply in the value and power of human connection. She considers every individual as the expert of their own journey and comes from a place of honor, respect, and gratitude to be invited on that journey.
Jakob Hopper,B.A. (he/him)
Available:|Tues. 9am-11am & 1-3pm|Wed. 9am-3pm| Thur. 9am-12pm|Fri. 9am-12pm
Jakob graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is currently a third-year Ph.D. student at Palo Alto University. He has experience practicing as a student therapist at a specialty clinic that offered affordable and affirming psychological services for LGBTQ+ individuals. He is pursuing a career focused broadly on community mental health, with a particular emphasis on work with LGBTQ+ folks and people struggling with various forms of trauma. However, he has past experience working with a variety of people and is more than happy to work with individuals outside of these specific areas. Beyond that, when not in the therapy room, he can often be found working on a research project for a neuropsychology lab or potentially playing video games to scratch his gamer itch.
Madi Marcus, B.A. (she/her)
Available: |Monday & Wednesday 9am-5pm|Friday 9am-12|
Alan Palmer, M.S. (He/Him/His)
Available:|Tuesday 9am-5pm|Wednesday 9am-1pm|Thursday 9am-4:30pm|Friday 10am-12pm
Sredha Shine, B.A. (she/her)
Available:|Tuesday & Thursday 9am-5pm| Friday 10am-12pm|
Sredha is a second-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. She received her B.A in Anthropology from University of Southern California. Her identities as an immigrant and South Indian woman drive her passion to provide culturally competent, trauma informed care to BIPOC individuals and make mental health more accessible to marginalized populations. Sredha works from a relational, social justice, and feminist perspective. She has experience working with families and systems. She also has experience in crisis intervention and working with those who have experienced trauma. Sredha is excited to be a part of De Anza’s psych services and support college students through a critical time of development and transition. In her free time, Sredha enjoys lifting weights and spending time with her family and friends.