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Counseling Center Staff

The Furman Counseling Center staff is made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and interns in these fields.   As a group, we represent a wide variety of professional interests and specializations, including multicultural issues, wellness, sexual identity, women's issues, eating disorders, and social justice. All of us are committed to providing services in ways that recognize, respect, and value the diversity of Barnard students.

Click on a name or scroll down for a short biography.

Mary Commerford, Ph.D., Director

Hilary Colenso, Ph.D, L.S.W. Associate Director

Elizabeth Hantman, M.D.

Marisa Mabli, LCSW, Coordinator, ASAP

Karen Gelder, Ph.D.

Drew Bianchi, M.D.

Mayowa Obasaju, Ph.D.

Gillian Scott-Ward, Ph.D.

 

 

Post Doctoral Fellow:

Pria Alpern, Ph.D.

Doctoral Intern:

Koyun Chi, M.S.

Doctoral Externs:

Kristin Lipari, M.A.

Rebecca Reed, Ed.M,M.A.

Gregory Welikson, M.S.Ed.

Social Work Interns:

Lauren Bachman, MSW/MPH Candidate

Amber Griffiths, MSW Candidate

Colleen MacPhee, MSW Candidate

 

Administrative Staff:

Norinda Del Fierro, B.A., Office Coordinator/Admin. Asst.

Cachaundra Tarvin, Receptionist/Admin. Asst.

 

Mary Commerford, Ph.D., Director, Furman Counseling Center
mcommerf@barnard.edu

Education History:

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Fordham University
  • M.Div. Ministry, Yale University Divinity School
  • A.B. Theology, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Eating Disorders
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Spirituality/Religion
  • Women and Young Adult concerns

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Hilary Colenso, Ph.D., L.S.W., Associate Director

hcolenso@barnard.edu

Education History:

  • Ph.D. New York University
  • M.Sc. University of Oxford, England
  • B.A. University of Leicester, England

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Interested in a broad range of women’s psychological and relationship issues including the loss and transitions, affective disorders, substance use, trauma and abuse.

Research Interests:

  • Women’s Substance Abuse and Treatment

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Karen Gelder, Ph.D.,    Staff Psychologist / Eating Disorder Specialist

kgelder@barnard.edu

Education History:

Ph.D., Counseling Psychology; Teachers College, Columbia University

 M.A., Ed.M., Teachers College, Columbia University

 B.A., English; University of Pennsylvania

Professional and Research Interests:

  • Eating Disorders
  • Spirituality
  • Developmental and Psychological Issues of Young Adulthood
  • Influence of Cultural Values on Career and Professional Development Among Women of Color

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Elizabeth Hantman, M.D. Staff Psychiatrist

Education History:

  • Residency in Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University
  • Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia and Cornell Universities
  • M.D.Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • B.A. Psychology, Rutgers College, Rutgers University

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Evaluation and treatment of psychiatric illness
  • Psychological development throughout childhood and adulthood

Research Interests:

  • Pain symptoms, stress, and psychiatric illness

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Drew Bianchi, M.D., Staff Psychiatrist

Education History:

  • Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University
  • Residency in Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • M.D. University at Buffalo School of Medicine
  • B.A. Psychology, University at Albany
Professional Specialties:
  • Evaluation and treatment of psychiatric illness in adolescents and young adults
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Spirituality

Research Interests:

 Clinical applications of mindfulness and spirituality in psychiatry

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Mayowa Obasaju, Ph.D., Staff  Psychologist

oobasaju@barnard.edu

Education History:

  • PhD, Clinical and Community Psychology, Georgia State University
  • BA, Psychology and Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Professional and Research Interests:

  • Systemic, clinical and community based approaches to trauma intervention and  prevention.
  • Interpersonal, relational, and community violence with a focus on childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, and work with women of color.
  • Substance use, psychological problems, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Transformative and social justice

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Gillian Scott-Ward, Ph.D., Staff  Psychologist / Outreach Coordinator

gscottwa@barnard.edu

Education History:

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
  • M.Phil, City College of New York
  • B.A., Cornell University
     

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Multiculturalism and counseling issues with diverse groups
  • LGBTQ issues
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Integration of mindfulness in psychotherapy
  • Suicide prevention
  • Developmental issues in young adulthood  
     

Research Issues:

  • The media and its impact on youth development

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Pria Alpern, Ph.D., Post Doctoral Fellow

Education History:

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Long Island University
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Long Island University
  • B.A. Psychology and Art History, Georgetown University

Professional and research interests:

  • Psychoanalytic theories of countertransference
  • Trauma and attachment 
  • Personality disorders
  • The relationship between therapist loss history and emotional responses to termination of psychotherapy
  • Culture and the second individuation of adolescence