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 Wellness Center Staff

 
 
 
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J. Ramirez.png
Ms. Ramirez is a Bilingual Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
 with a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Argosy University Chicago. Prior to working at Malcom X College, Jenniffel worked as Behavioral Health Coordinator at Alivio Medical Center. There she directed the Behavioral Health Program in six medical health centers and three school-based sites. She received the 40-hour Domestic Violence training as she provided administrative and clinical supervision to the Domestic Violence Program clinicians. She has supervised clinical staff and master level internship and practicum students.  
              
                        
Jenniffel applies cognitive behavioral and solution-focused approaches in therapy; she believes in creating a therapeutic alliance with individuals to actively work towards achieving goals, healing, and empowerment. At Malcolm X College she provides supportive counseling and focuses on creating an environment where students can feel safe and heard as they explore life’s challenges.  Her approach to training and supervision is developmental, acknowledging the supervisee’s current stage and providing feedback and support appropriate to that developmental stage.               

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Mercedes Kaltenecker, Wellness Center Coordinator (She/Her)         

Mercedes_K_Photo.jpgMercedes Kaltenecker has been the Wellness CEnter Coordinator since 2014.  She graduated from DeVry University with her BA in Business Administration. She works with outside organizations to provide free services in-house to all students of Malcolm X College such as free HIV/STD, SNAP/Link assistance, flu shots, and wellness checks through the Kidney Mobile foundation. She engages in outreach to students through classroom visits, stress management activities, and supportive awareness events such as for Domestic Violence survivors.  She is usually the welcoming front desk face for clients and visitors and manages the daily activities of the Wellness Center. Mercedes also runs the Fresh Market and supervises the volunteers and work-study students who work in it.​             
             

Ms. Seals is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Dominican University’s School of Social Work. Prior to working at Malcom X College, Porcia worked as a Medical Social Worker at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. There she provided patient and family education that promoted wellness and increased knowledge of the healthcare system. Additionally, she provided psychosocial interventions to decrease hospital readmissions which included crisis intervention, coping with post-hospital care needs and linkage to community resources. Her previous experiences includes working in such settings as addiction recovery and rehabilitation center, employee assistance program, insurance providers and Catholic Charities of Chicago. She has contributed to hospital wide initiatives, multidisciplinary treatment teams and supervised a master level internship and practicum student.              

a’s orientation is existential, as she believes that there is a meaning to all life experiences. She believes in the importance of building healthy relationships founded on mutual respect and empowerment. She values the privilege to walk alongside individuals as they work towards their journey to healing. Her approach to training and supervision aims to use self-awareness and feedback to foster an environment for personal and professional development.                 

Emily A. Hallendy, PsyD, Staff Psychologist (She/Her)             

Dr. Hallendy is a Clinical Psychologist with a Doctoral Degree in Psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. Prior to working at Malcolm X College, she worked in the Homeless Veteran’s Rehabilitation Program at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (Lovell FHCC). During her time at Lovell FHCC, Dr. Hallendy provided psychological services for active-duty military members and veterans within outpatient, residential, and inpatient levels of care. As part of the services she provided at Lovell FHCC, she emphasized in areas of trauma-related disorders, substance use disorders, serious mental illness, and homelessness. Her previous experiences also includes working in such settings as dual-diagnosis substance abuse facility, acute psychiatric hospital, and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. She has assisted in psychology program development, served on psychology trainee committees, contributed to multidisciplinary treatment teams, and supervised doctoral level practicum students.                

                     

Dr. Hallendy approaches treatment through acceptance and commitment therapy under relational frame theory. She also utilizes interventions from additional third-wave approaches such as DBT, and traditional and manualized cognitive-behavioral protocols such as cognitive processing therapy, CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I), and prolonged exposure. She believes in helping individuals identify their values towards creating a personally meaningful life. She helps individuals address struggles in life through increasing cognitive flexibility and acceptance of distressing thoughts and emotions. For training and supervision, her approach is developmental wherein she meets the supervisee at their current stage of training while providing feedback and support in creating growth in competency, self-reflection, and autonomy. ​​               


                  

Latoya Cole, LCPC Clinical Counselor, Title IX Confidential Advisor (She/Her)            

Ms. Cole is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Concordia University-Chicago. Prior to working at Malcolm X College, Latoya worked as a therapist for Metropolitan Family Services (MFS). There she provided individual and group counseling services to residents in the South Chicago neighborhood. Latoya also provided clinical supervision to Master’s level students during practicum and internship training. Her previous experiences also include working for The Chicago Public Schools with children with special needs. In addition, to obtaining a 40-hour certificate with Domestic Violence training, Latoya has extensive trauma and empowerment training.                 

Latoya’s clinical orientation is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. She utilizes this technique to advocate for her clients to find their voice, and to speak their truth even in unfavorable environments. She believes that anyone can reverse adverse conditions into positive ones with the right support. Her approach to training and supervision, is to provide an open-door policy where supervisee’s gain a mentor who can ultimately transform them into successful, licensed clinicians.            

         

2021-22 Intern Co-hort    

       
Alex Bond       
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Alex is a third-year student in Roosevelt University's Clinical Psychology (Counseling Practice) Master's program. They hold a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Bachelor of Journalism, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. They are a lifelong Midwesterner, originally from Northbrook, Illinois. Their approach to therapy is primarily psychodynamic, existential and holistic, with an emphasis on strengthening self-efficacy and defining one's own sense of satisfaction and self-actualization. They subscribe to the maxim "Nothing human is alien to me." In their spare time, they enjoy savoring all flavors of food, drink and media, being outdoors, and making music on their laptop.       

       

       
 Aneeta Johnson 
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 Aneeta’s previous experiences include both working in acute care facilities and outpatient settings. As a therapist, she has worked with individuals with a broad range of diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, trauma, and substance abuse. Most recently, she worked with adults and adolescents who struggled with complex trauma, substance abuse, self-harm behaviors, and suicidal/homicidal ideation.    
       
Aneeta is dedicated to helping her clients develop skills that will enable them to lead a fulfilling life that is in alignment with their values. Her treatment philosophy emphasizes the importance of collaborative, respectable, caring, and trust-based therapeutic relationships. In addition to her training in cognitive-behavioral therapies, she practices a client-centered, integrative approach, recognizing that every client is different and deserves tailored treatment.     
       
Aneeta offers a compassionate, non-judgmental presence while bringing her own authentic identity to the therapy room. Her multi-cultural background allows her to understand the importance of examining the intersectionality of identity and will work with clients to find a deeper sense of belonging.     

       
Caroline Frogozo       
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Caroline is a Master’s level graduate student from Roosevelt University studying Clinical Psychology. Caroline’s previous experience includes working in behavioral health and university settings where she’s had the opportunity to serve and support people of all ages and backgrounds. She approaches her work through a multicultural, holistic lens and her orientation is CBT-focused. With the passion of working closely with people of color and marginalized populations as a whole, Caroline hopes to end the stigma behind mental health and the communities it affects most.

  

  
Erica Jaime       
Erica Jaime.jpgErica is a second-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Adler University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Central Michigan University. Prior to being a student at Adler University, Erica worked at A Safe Place, a domestic violence agency in Lake County. There she received the 40-hour Domestic Violence training and provided administrative assistance to the clinicians. She also worked closely with the grant director securing grants for the agency. Her clinical interests are in trauma, stigma, refugees, and immigrants, and working with individuals from diverse backgrounds. She is passionate about social justice and advocating for others.   
   
      
Jeanie Chang       
Jeanie Chang.jpgJeanie is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a second-year Counseling Psychology doctoral student at Loyola University Chicago. She completed her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Wheaton College and her bachelor's in social work at the University of Texas at Austin. She has interned at elementary school, private practice and outpatient hospital settings and is a board member of the Community of Asian American Therapists in Chicagoland. She has facilitated community workshops on her research interests which include navigating bicultural identities, unlearning anti-Blackness and internalized racism, and coping with racism.        
       
Jeanie integrates Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Attachment theory and Internal Family Systems in her therapeutic approach. Through these modalities, she helps clients explore and learn to unconditionally accept all the different parts of themselves. She believes in the importance of healthy, growth-fostering relationships and the potential for therapeutic relationships in helping clients learn about themselves and the way they relate to others.       

       
Kelly Pattison       
Kelly Pattison.jpgKelly Pattison (they/them) is a fourth-year doctoral graduate student at Adler University in the Traumatic Stress Emphasis. They are currently an advanced therapy extern at Malcolm X College Wellness Center with prior experience working in college counseling centers, inpatient hospital programs, community mental health centers, and group counseling practices. Kelly regularly participates in restorative practices such as talking circles and is grateful for the opportunity to heal and learn alongside others.      
       
Kelly approaches treatment through a humanistic/existential lens, with a focus on liberation psychology. They believe that each person is an essential part of the community and that as individuals heal, they also bring healing to their communities. Kelly hopes to co-create spaces where folx can feel empowered to share their stories, move toward healing, and know that they bring goodness to this world simply by being who they are.        

       
Maia Wilson
Maia Wilson.jpegMs. Wilson is a student working towards a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University in Chicago, IL. Prior to working as an intern at Malcom X College, Maia worked as a teacher at Trails School for Early Learning. She graduated with honors from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Her previous experiences also include working in the public education system with children K-8.     

Maia's orientation is primarily existential but overall, she takes a holistic approach when working with clients. She believes in the importance of assessing the needs of each person, and the importance of mindfulness in everyday practice. Maia believes in a collaborative approach to encourage and reinforce autonomy.        

       
      
Matthew McCarthy       
Matt McCarthy.jpgMatt is a current master’s student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Before interning at the Wellness Center, Matt worked in employee assistance program (EAP) and residential settings, providing crisis support, trauma-informed care, and case management services. Matt has worked with individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and has spent significant time serving as an unlicensed social worker with adolescents and young adults experiencing homelessness and LGBTQIA+ clients.        
       
As a counselor-in-training, Matt uses a client-centered approach. He views each individual as an expert on their own lives and needs, and seeks to create a collaborative and nurturing space for clients. Matt believes that each of us has unique strengths and inner resources, and that more deeply connecting with those inner strengths can build confidence, improve mental health, and support meaningful daily living.      
   
       
Michelle Jarzebowski      
Michelle Jarzebowski.jpgMichelle Jarzebowski is a graduate student working toward her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University. Upon graduation she will obtain licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Michelle is also a certified Yoga Teacher who specializes in Psychologically Sensitive Yoga. This type of yoga is trauma-informed and utilizes language and physical postures that are inclusive and sensitive to practitioners’ psychological needs. Prior to training at Malcolm X College, Michelle offered psychological support to individuals as they navigated chronic illness and emotional trauma. She also moderated groups online for individuals coping with anxiety and depression. As a yoga teacher, Michelle has partnered with various organizations around the city of Chicago providing body-based ways of processing anxiety, depression, trauma, and chronic health issues.      
Michelle has a psychodynamic approach to therapy. She believes that by understanding the roots of psychological suffering through self-reflection and self-examination, individuals can resolve current life circumstances resulting in more fulfilling lives and relationships. She takes a supportive role in therapy and approaches clients from a lens of empathy and empowerment. Michelle’s clinical interests include anxiety, depression, and body-based ways to support healing trauma.        
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