Brandeis Counseling Center

Meet the Staff

Leadership Team

Gilbert Hinga
Interim Director
Pronouns: he/him/his

Gilbert has served as interim director at Brandeis Counseling Center since July 2022. This past fall 2022 marked 21+ years as a professional in Student Affairs. Gilbert grew up in Kenya. He received his PsyD degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and his baccalaureate degree in psychology from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. He is married with two children.

His experiences in higher education began as a resident assistant and resident hall director when he was an undergraduate. It wais while living that experience that he saw just how powerful a diverse college setting can be in supporting the educational mission of a university — and in helping students'mental health and sense of belonging. His role as a clinical psychologist years later bolstered that perspective.

He is committed to helping students succeed in college. In fact, his previous work as a psychologist and now as interim director has given him many insights, many student stories, that show just how much resiliency and capacity students have to overcome barriers and succeed.

LaShaun Lockhart
LaShaun Lockhart, BSBA
Administrative Director
Pronouns: she/her/hers

LaShaun is a well-versed and skillful leader and administrator with over 30 years experience in the medical field. She has worked in a variety of health care settings including specialty, community, behavior and mental health services. LaShaun received graduate certificates from Boston University and Suffolk University. She is also a graduate of Eastern Nazarene College where she received her bachelor's degree in business administration.

LaShaun joined the Brandeis Health Services team in 2021 serving as the administrative director for both the Counseling and Health Centers. She is passionate about the patient/client experience, staff development and building community partnerships. Outside of work, LaShaun enjoys traveling, shopping, spending time with family and reading.

Sarah McCann
Sarah McCann, NCC, LPC
Associate Director
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sarah joined the Brandeis Counseling Center in November 2022. Prior to Brandeis, Sarah had been clinical director of an outpatient substance use and mental health treatment program. Sarah’s clinical interests include intersectionality, trauma, substance use, anxiety, depression, and attachment and relationship issues. Her clinical focus is providing culturally-responsive care in line with the BCC mission in overseeing the clinical operations of the BCC.

Outside of work, Sarah enjoys knitting and other creative outlets, being outside, and spending time with family and friends.

Martin Pierre
Martin Pierre, PhD
Staff Therapist
Pronouns: he, him, his

Martin's professional interests include: trauma informed treatments, relationship difficulties, anxiety/depression, self-esteem issues, career/academic concerns, depression, grief and loss, family issues, substance abuse, life transitions, personal growth and development, exploring questions about sexual orientation, gender, racial, cultural, class and spiritual identity issues. He enjoys mentoring undergraduate and graduate students toward academic and professional growth.

Martin enjoys traveling, cooking, outdoor activities, listening to "old school" music, running, spoken word, scientific research and writing movie scripts that focus on both social and psychological issues.

Dennis Tyrell
Dennis Tyrell, PhD
Associate Director
Co-Director of Training
Pronouns: he, him, his

Professional interests include: counseling with adolescents and adults, relationship and family of origin concerns, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, trauma, migration and cultural adjustments. Dennis is passionate about utilizing a multicultural framework in understanding the narratives that impact the lives of clients that he treats. He seeks to better understand marginalized identities that clients hold while promoting a holistic integration of self-acceptance and compassion.

Outside of work, Dennis enjoys finding balance through activities such as singing, writing, hiking, watching sports, and doing life together with those in his church family.

Staff Clinicians

Amy Armstrong, LICSW
Staff Therapist
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Amy’s professional interests include the treatment of those with eating disorders and/or disordered eating, trauma, grief and loss, assertiveness, anxiety and depression. Also, working with individuals to help challenge negative self-talk and create a stronger internal voice and overall self-esteem. Amy utilizes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic modalities in her individual and group work.

Outside of work, Amy enjoys running, writing, reading, being in nature, photography and spending time with her friends and family.

Juanica Buchanan
Juanica Buchanan, MSW, LICSW
LBGTQIA+ Specialist
Pronouns: she/they

Juanica is passionate about intersectionality, LGBTQIA+ mental health, dynamics of oppression and marginalization and identity development. She practices from a strength-based and solution-focused lens with some narrative therapy sprinkled in.

Outside of work, she can be found watching the latest comic book movie, running half-marathons, binge watching the newest Netflix( or Hulu or Prime) show and exploring every coffee shop in a 10-mile radius.

Julia Coleman, LICSW
Julia Coleman, MSW, LICSW
Assistant Director of Training
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Julia’s professional interests include: practical approaches to anxiety, including education about anxiety, and understanding typical anxious thought patterns in order to get distance and separation from the anxiety. She focuses on developing and fostering new skills to practice outside of therapy, to help individuals manage situations and challenges they face in their everyday life. She works with individuals with anxiety, depression, body image issues, self esteem issues, academic concerns and relationship issues and uses an individually tailored and collaborative approach.

Outside of work, Julia enjoys running, yoga, and spending time with family, friends and her dog.

Jacob Howe, MD
Jacob Howe, MD
Pronouns: he, him, his

Jacob’s professional interests include integration of mental and physical health, integration of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, shared decision making, compassionate addiction treatment, recovery from shame and stigma, and teaching and learning from the next generation of mental health providers.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with family and close friends, learning new languages, music, cycling, driving and generally being outdoors.

Julia Horvitz
Julia Horvitz, LICSW
Staff Therapist
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Julia Horvitz is a licensed clinical social worker who received her master’s degree in social work from Boston University and her undergraduate degree from American University. Julia has professional experience in direct clinical work in all different levels of care, non-profit management and managed health care. Julia's professional interests and experiences include anxiety, depression, substance use, low self-esteem and body image-related issues, relationship issues, bereavement as well as infertility and grief counseling. Julia's clinical work is focused on helping others navigate through life transitions.

L. Megan Kersting, LMHC, PsyD
Staff Therapist
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Megan is a licensed psychologist and mental health counselor who has worked with individuals across the lifespan and within the field of college mental health. She has a doctorate in psychology from William James College, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Boston College, and earned her BA at Bowdoin College. She has a demonstrated passion for working with college students and empowering them to learn how to manage their mental health issues. Areas of clinical interest include depression, anxiety disorders, relationship issues, and trauma.

Outside of work, Megan enjoys morning walks, whitewater rafting, listening to podcasts about random celebrities and cooking.

Peining Lo-Bromberg
Peining Lo-Bromberg, MSW, LICSW
Staff Therapist
Community Therapist
Pronouns: she, her, hers

PeiNing’s professional interests include: understanding the effect of intersectionality and immigration on mental health, addressing issues related to life cycles, identity development and transitions, working with individuals with self-harming behaviors through dialectical behavioral therapy and mindfulness, and understanding issues related to oppression/power through a narrative therapy approach.

Outside of work, PeiNng is the mother of one biracial and bilingual child. In her free time, she enjoys exploring different cultures through food and traveling or contemplating her next trip, doing hot yoga, dancing salsa and gardening.

Joanna Bolalek Mann, MSW, LCSW
Joanna Mann, MSW, LCSW
Social Work Fellow, Interim BASICS Coordinator
Pronouns: she/they

Professional interests focus on applying mindfulness and somatic practices to mental health care, advocating for individuals who are navigating alternative lifestyles and non-heteronormative relationship structures, exploring gender and sexual identity, unpacking shame and stigma through sex-positive education, identifying how sociocultural norms impact anxiety and depression, understanding addictive behaviors and developing harm reduction practices through a trauma-informed lens.

Personal pleasures include practicing yoga and dance as meditation, time in and on the water and connecting with friends and family.

Hadassah Margolis, MSW, LICSW
Hadassah Margolis, MSW, LICSW
Lead Therapist, Group Therapy Program
Pronouns: she, her, hers

As a group therapist, Hadassah’s professional clinical interests include psychodynamic, psychoeducational, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches. She focuses on emotional intelligence; interpersonal connection; assertiveness; symptom management, curiosity, and acceptance; and the intersection of spirituality and mental health.

Hadassah’s macro interests span local politics, grassroots community-building initiatives, and craftivism. In all her work, there is a common thread: Hadassah creates civic infrastructure and makes it possible for people to transform themselves through dialogue, reflection, and common action.

Outside of work, Hadassah enjoys visiting open studios, fostering kittens, doing puzzles with her family on Shabbat, and eating popcorn while watching Netflix.

Roxann Mascoll
Roxann Mascoll, MSW, LICSW
Staff Therapist
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Roxann identifies as a Black Nuyorican. Her professional interests include relational therapy, trauma-focused family dynamics, and she is an empathic clinician. Roxann’s interests are counting how many times someone sings the "Roxann" song (The Police/UTFO). She loves working to improve her health and mental wellness. She is an avid Caribbean cruiser.

Anna Meilman
Anna Meilman, LMHC
Staff Therapist
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Vanessa Mena-Gibson
Vanessa Mena-Gibson, MSW, LICSW
Staff Therapist & Case Manager
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Vanessa’s professional interests include: the impact of immigration, relationship issues (interpersonal + intrapersonal), implications of intersectionality, depression, first generation, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, college adjustment, homesickness and mindfulness.

Outside of work, Vanessa’s interests include: speaking Spanglish, anime, architecture and design, healing crystals, astrology, transcendental meditation, gaming, tarot, listening to music, collecting records, coffee, basketball, concerts, fashion, film, traveling and trying new food.

Jonathan Moran
Jonathan Moran, MD/MBA
Staff Psychiatrist
Pronouns: he, him, his

Jon’s professional interests include: wellness, mindfulness, psychodynamics of medications, addictions and sports psychology.

Outside of work, he is an avid Boston sports fan who enjoys spending time with family and friends, competing in a softball league and playing guitar.

Tal Nir
Tal Nir, PhD
Staff Therapist
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Tal’s professional interests include: utilizing cognitive behavioral interventions with adolescents and adults with anxiety and mood disorders, individuals with disordered eating and negative body image as well as LBGTQ identity development.

Outside of her work, Tal enjoys swimming, painting, volleyball and spending time with family and friends.

Amneris Torres
Amneris Torres
Staff Therapist, Community Therapist for Academic Services
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Amneris’ professional interests include: relational therapy, dealing with family stressors, managing healthy relationships, habit formation, implications of intersectionality, depression, anxiety, and college adjustment. She is focused on helping people navigate life challenges by addressing the daily stressors impacting their day-to-day lives. 

Outside of work Amneris enjoys reading, binge watching murder documentaries, yoga, listening to podcasts and cooking.

Meet our Interns

Alissa Assad
Alissa Assad, MA
Clinical Psychology Intern
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Alissa identifies as an Arab-American woman. Her passion for therapy/college counseling stems from her identity and experiences as a first-generation college student. Alissa’s professional interests include working with first-gen students, unpacking (generational) trauma, exploring the interaction of physical and mental health, anxiety and depression, identity exploration and body image. Alissa often utilizes person-centered, developmental, psychoeducational, and solution-focused approaches; meeting students where they are at and supporting them through better understanding themselves and their needs.

Outside of work, Alissa is a full-time and fourth-year graduate student earning her PsyD in clinical psychology. Alissa enjoys working out/running, listening to R&B and afrobeats, watching reality TV or true crime shows and exploring new restaurants.

Shawn Bact
Shawn Bact, MBA
MSW intern
Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Shawn’s professional interests include: somatic-based trauma-informed care, complex trauma and the aftermath of traumatic events, PTSD, EMDR, gender and sexuality-based identity development, LGBTQIA+ affirming mental health care, anxiety, depression, passive or acute suicidal ideation. They also are interested in supporting non-heteronormative relationships, working with substance use through a harm reduction lens, sex positive and body positive/neutral psychoeducation, managing stress induced by marginalization and oppression, and working with people who carry multiple identities and are seeking a space where they can bring their whole selves. Shawn tends to utilize a relational, trauma-informed, strengths-based and solutions-focused approach. Before Brandeis, their previous experience has been doing in-home clinical work with BIPOC LGBTQIA+ adolescents, young adults, and their families.

Outside of work, Shawn enjoys supporting gender diverse youth, community organizing to build the world they want to live in, finding new bodies of water to float in, baking, camping, riding their bike, drinking warm beverages and watching reality television.

Deyanira Enriquez
Deyanira Enriquez, MA
Doctoral Psychology Intern
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Deyja’s professional interests include sport and performance, transition and change, racial injustice and trauma, mindfulness, interpersonal issues, personal growth, depression, stress, body image, mind-body connection and demystifying and normalizing therapy for all.

Deyja identifies as a Latina of Mexican descent. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, getting outside, curating playlists for every mood and occasion, re-binge-watching "Insecure" and "Ted Lasso," drinking matcha or planning her next trip.

Nina Griffin
MSW Intern
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Harshmeet Kaur
Harshmeet Kaur, PhD
Post Doctoral Fellow
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Harshmeet identifies as an Asian Indian female and is multilingual (English, Hindi and Punjabi). She served in higher education institutes as a teaching professional in psychology in India for over a decade. She worked as an outpatient psychology practitioner in leading counseling services in Massachusetts. Her professional interests include conducting assessments and providing counseling services for managing anxiety and depression at BCC. In her therapeutic offerings, she blends Western and Eastern approaches, e.g., follows a combined approach of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. She has published many research papers in national and international journals introducing the benefits of mindfulness and gratitude interventions. Her passion for blended psychotherapeutic approaches is well acknowledged in one of her books "Cross Cultural Psychology" by VikasPublishingHouse, New Delhi, India and Instragram posts @thebloom_org.

Outside her work-life, she loves to travel and explore multicultural cuisine and lifestyle, attends spiritual retreats globally, and indulges in mindfulness movement for an active life.

Aidan Kraus
Aidan Kraus, EdM
Advanced Psychology Intern
Pronouns: they/them

Aidan’s professional interests include sport and performance psychology, LGBTQIA+ affirming mental health care, gender and sexuality exploration, anxiety and stress reduction, depression management, OCD, trauma-informed care, relational conflict, intersectionality identity development and life transitions. Additional interests include advocating for transgender inclusion in sports, increasing help-seeking behavior among college students, and creating more accessible mental health support avenues for historically oppressed and marginalized groups.

Outside of work, Aidan enjoys playing softball/baseball, attending sporting events, spending time outside, sailing, playing/writing/listening to music, petting dogs, spending time with family and friends, board games, traveling, comedy, photography and writing poetry.

Administrative Staff

Jane Baynes
Billing Coordinator
Pronouns: she/her/hers