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Counseling Center


Counseling Center staff group photo


Our mission is simple – helping students succeed! Through culturally sensitive counseling and psychological services and outreach, the Counseling Center assists students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals. Counselors work collaboratively with students to improve their emotional well-being, balance priorities, enhance interpersonal relationships, and empower them with useful coping skills to attain success in and out of the classroom.

To schedule an appointment, please call the counseling center at 646-312-2155 during the regular business hours, email or submit an online appointment request.

Teresa Hurst, Ph.D., Director
Dr. Teresa Hurst is a NYS licensed psychologist with over 17 years of clinical experience in inpatient, outpatient and community settings. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the New School. Dr. Hurst's research interests include the impact of violence and abuse, anxiety disorders, addictions, personality disorders, resiliency, and LGBTQI and HIV stigma. Prior to becoming the Director of the Baruch College Counseling Center, Dr. Hurst served as the Director of the Mount Sinai Institute of Advanced Medicine's Morningside Clinic. She is committed to the prevention and treatment of familial, community, and institutional trauma, and her integrative training in body-centered gestalt therapy, psychodynamic therapy, multicultural counseling, attachment-based interventions, creative arts therapy, MI, CBT, and DBT support these efforts. In addition, through an anti-oppressive lens, Dr. Hurst strives to remove the barriers preventing students from receiving the counseling and mental health services they need in order to thrive at Baruch.

Lynn Kaplan, Psy.D., Associate Director
Dr. Lynn Kaplan is a NYS licensed psychologist with over 23 years of clinical experience. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University. Dr. Kaplan has provided clinical services in on-site school, outpatient, day treatment, inpatient and crisis intervention settings. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to mental health advocacy and outreach, chairing community mental health committees over the last two decades. Prior to becoming Associate Director, she was the Director of Training and Public Education for the mental health contact center at Vibrant Emotional Health. Dr. Kaplan takes a holistic approach to clinical work that is grounded in Psychodynamic Therapy, Family Systems Therapy and Group Psychotherapy practices. Her person centered approach incorporates Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as self-care, stress management and mindfulness. Dr. Kaplan's clinical interests include trauma treatment, suicide and self-harm, and deaf studies.

Jael Amador, Ph.D., Student Psychological Counselor
Dr. Jael Amador is NYS licensed psychologist who provides individual therapy, supervision, and outreach services at the Baruch College Counseling Center. She has worked within college mental health for four years, including her internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Georgia State University. Her clinical approach integrates cognitive behavioral therapy with feminist/multicultural theory to treat a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, relational issues, stress management, performance anxiety, and the impostor phenomenon. Dr. Amador earned her doctorate degree from Loma Linda University where she specialized in socio-cultural behavioral health. In her research, she explores the impact of culture on psychological processes and behavior. She has shared her work on this topic through conference presentations and peer-reviewed articles. She currently serves as a member of the International Behavioral Health Trauma Team and the APA Health Equity Ambassadors program.

Nancy Ziehler, Ph.D., Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Dr. Nancy Ziehler, a staff member of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, has provided psychological counseling and support to students at Baruch College Counseling Center since 2004. Dr. Ziehler also delivers outreach services to Italian American high school students on Staten Island and works as a mental health and career counselor at the Calandra Institute Counseling Center located in midtown Manhattan. When she is not counseling and advising students, Dr. Ziehler engages in research activities as part of her commitment to the mission of the Calandra Institute. For example, she is the editor of a recently published book, Italian American Students in New York City, 1975-2000: A Research Anthology. Intended to address the paucity of multicultural counseling literature pertaining to Italian Americans, the Research Anthology presents findings from ten student-focused studies that have not appeared in social science journals. Dr. Ziehler was an adjunct professor in the Mental Health and Wellness graduate program at NYU from 1996 through 2017. She is a licensed mental health counselor in NY and NJ and is a member of the American Counseling Association.

Alex Levine, Psy.D., Trauma Counselor
Dr. Alex Levine is a NYS licensed psychologist and certified yoga instructor who has been working at the Baruch College Counseling Center for over 3 years. Dr. Levine serves as the Baruch College Counseling Center's trauma counselor and is working to bring a more evidence-based and trauma-informed lens to the Counseling Center. He is passionate about integrating mindfulness and psychotherapy and helping students reach their potential. Dr. Levine has worked extensively with international, LGBTQ, and many other student populations and has experience with couples therapy.

Gavin Ryan Shafron, Ph.D., College Prevention Coordinator, Substance Abuse Prevention
Dr. Shafron holds an M.A. in Psychology in Education from Columbia University and a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco. Dr. Shafron works with both the Counseling Center and the Office of Health and Wellness to coordinate prevention-centered research and administer campus-wide substance abuse prevention outreach. Dr. Shafron's roles at the counseling center involve the administration of substance use assessments and facilitation of brief interventions to students with substance use concerns. Dr. Shafron's approach emphasizes the use and integration of empirically supported treatments such as Time-Limited Dynamic Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing within substance abusing populations. Dr. Shafron also provides supplemental training and consultation to externs, interns, and CUNY fellows who work with students with substance use concerns. For more information on Substance Abuse Prevention at Baruch, please click here.

Elizabeth Ruggieri, M.P.A., Administrative Coordinator
Ms. Ruggieri joined the Counseling Center in 2012 to provide administrative support while working alongside the director and associate director in the development and implementation of the Center's strategic initiatives. With over 10 years of higher education administration experience, she has a strong background in database management, preparing reports and presentations that inform strategic plans and program initiatives, coordinating the Center's daily functions, financial/ budgeting and staffing management activities. Ms. Ruggieri has worked for CUNY since 2004 and earned a B.A. degree in English from Queens College in 2008 then went on to receive her master's degree in public administration with a concentration in non-profit administration from Baruch College in 2013.


Robert Kayne, Psy.D.
Dr. Kayne currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the Baruch College Counseling Center, where he provides weekly supervision to interns and externs, in assessment/testing and individual psychotherapy. Dr. Kayne received his Psy.D. degree from Pace University in 1988 and obtained his NYS license in 1989. He worked for twenty years as a psychologist in an inpatient New York State facility, ultimately serving there as the Psychology Training Director and Director of the Psychology Department. Since leaving state service he has been an Adjunct Faculty member at a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology for nine years. In his private practice, Dr. Kayne has focused on child and family assessment and treatment, as well as psychological testing for ADHD, Learning Disorders, Mood Disorders, and other diagnostic issues.

Jairo N. Fuertes, Ph.D.
Dr. Fuertes is licensed as a Psychologist and as a Mental Health Counselor in New York State, and is board certified by the American Board of Counseling Psychology and the American Board of Clinical Psychology. He is also listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He is currently Associate Professor at the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (within Division 12: Clinical Psychology and Division 29: Psychotherapy), and a Fellow of the American Academies of Counseling and Clinical Psychology. He is the author of two books and co-editor of one book, and has published 37 refereed research studies, and nine scholarly chapters.

Elizabeth Merrick, Ph.D.
Dr. Merrick holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from NYU. She is a licensed psychologist working with adolescents and young adults in New York City. She is currently an adjunct professor at Baruch College, City University of New York, where in addition to seeing patients and supervising trainees, she holds a weekly Multicultural Competencies class for the training staff and provides an in depth weekly seminar for the interns on character styles during the spring semester.

Stacie Kessler, Psy.D.
Dr. Kessler currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the Baruch College Counseling Center, where she provides weekly supervision and individual psychotherapy, as well as instructional seminars. She earned a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2004 from George Washington University and graduated summa cum laude with a focus in child and adolescent psychotherapy. Dr. Kessler has held a New York State license in psychology since 2005. She worked as a psychologist and supervisor in an inner city hospital, delivering outpatient services to adults, children and families. During that time, she also worked with The National Child Traumatic Stress Network learning collaborative focusing on adolescent female victims of trauma. Dr. Kessler joined the Baruch College Counseling Center as the substitute assistant director in 2006, providing counseling services and overseeing the internship and externship programs. In her private practice, Dr. Kessler has focused on adult and adolescent treatment, utilizing a psychodynamic and developmental framework to treat depression, anxiety and trauma.

Jung Rok Shin, Ph.D.
Dr. Jung Rok Shin holds a Master's degree and a PhD degree in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. Dr. Shin has over 5 years of experience in college mental health counseling. His clinical interests include identity development, acculturation and immigrant experiences, grief and loss, and relationships. Dr. Shin views the counseling experience as a collaborative journey and seeks to provide a safe and supportive environment to help individuals to fulfill their goals and improve their lives.


Ria Brown, L.C.S.W.
Ria Brown is a licensed NYS Clinical Social Worker who provides individual therapy, crisis intervention, and outreach services at the Baruch College Counseling Center. Ms. Brown has experience providing couples and family therapy, as well as extensive work with the serious and persistent mentally ill population in outpatient settings. Her work is integrative, as she utilizes her background in relational and intergenerational therapeutic approaches in addition to evidence-based modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Activation, and Motivational Interviewing. Ms. Brown received her MSW from the New York University Silver School of Social Work.

Emily Kastner, L.M.S.W.
Emily Kastner is a NYS licensed social worker with a Master's degree from Fordham University. She has experience working with a variety of clients, including individual adults, veterans, adolescents, families, and the LGBTQ community. She has also provided crisis counseling with New York's mental health call center. She works with individuals and groups and utilizes a variety of approaches depending on individual needs - including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a Psychodynamic approach, and Relational frameworks.


Tim Chi, PsyD Candidate
University of Denver

Joanna Rooney, PsyD Candidate
Columbia University

Chiroshri Bhattacharjee, PhD Candidate
Seton Hall University

Tania Chowdhury, PhD Candidate
New York University

Joshua Finkelstein, PhD Candidate
The New School

Rhea Kishnani, EdM Candidate
Columbia University

Arielle Jean-Pierre, PhD Candidate
Columbia University

Kellie Lee, PsyD Candidate
The New School

Shoshana May, PsyD Candidate
Rutgers University

Gabrielle Rieckhof, MA Candidate
New York University

City College/CUNY

Yoni Berkowitz, PhD Candidate

Josh Weinstein, PhD Candidate