Santa Clara University


Counseling and Psychological Services Staff

Welcome to the Cowell Center Counseling and Psychological Services. Below you will find a team of mental health providers who work hard to assure the psychological health of our students. 

Marie G. Herbert, Ph.D.
Assistant Director and Staff Psychologist
Dr. Herbert is a licensed psychologist who practices from an integrative and growth-oriented perspective. Her special clinical interests include working with students with depression, anxiety, identity and developmental issues, problematic eating behaviors and body image concerns, and relationship conflicts. Her approach uses insight-oriented, cognitive behavioral, and mindfulness acceptance and change strategies. Her administrative interests include supervision, training, and campus mental health policies. This is Dr. Herbert's twentieth year at CAPS.

Rosemary Ellmer, Ph.D.
Training Director and Staff Psychologist
Dr. Ellmer is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her B.A. degree from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ellmer also has a Masters of Divinity and an M.A. in Psychology and Religion which she received through the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She is particularly interested in the interface between psychological and spiritual issues. In addition to working at CAPS, Dr. Ellmer has a private practice in San Jose.

Mohammad A. Oveissi, Ed.D.
Staff Psychologist
Dr. Oveissi is a licensed psychologist, a licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist, a board-certified hypnotherapist, and a certified EMDR therapist. Dr. Oveissi received his BS in Psychology from Pars College in Iran, his MS in counseling psychology from Cal State University Hayward, and his Ed.D. in counseling psychology from University of San Francisco. Dr. Oveissi is skilled in treating young adult issues such as separation and individuation, self-esteem, depression, anxiety disorders, family of origin issues, substance abuse, and stress reduction and relaxation. He also teaches at JFK University Graduate School of Professional Psychology and is in private practice in Campbell. Dr. Oveissi is fluent in Farsi and English.

Michelle Bebb, Psy.D.
Staff Psychologist
Dr. Michelle Bebb is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her B.A. degree in both Psychology and History from Westmont College. She received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Wright Institute. Dr. Bebb conducted dissertation research on the relationship between involvement in a spiritual community and the mental health of young adults and continues to be interested in the intersection of psychology and spirituality. Dr. Bebb is passionate about providing supportive, holistic care to her clients, as they present with an array of concerns, including: depression, anxiety, relationship patterns, substance use, self-care, vocation, and identity development.

Michael Wood, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist 
Dr. Wood is a working towards licensure. He received his B.S. from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Wood also has a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Wood specializes in providing brief, solution-focused therapy drawing from interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, and feminist frameworks. A critical component of his work with students is tailoring their treatment to their intersecting cultural identities. He is passionate about working with underserved student populations and enjoys assisting LGBTQ students with questions and challenges they may have regarding their faith and spirituality. He is also passionate about enhancing the emotional well-being of college students, particularly those who suffer from significant emotional, behavioral, or chronic mental health issues that may impede their academic performance and psychosocial development.

Cynthia Oei, Psy.D.
Staff Psychologist
Dr. Oei is working towards licensure. She received her B.A. from Humbolt State University and her Psy.D. from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She also has a M.S. in Nursing from the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Oei is a skilled generalist and has a passion for working with young adults. She enjoys working with a university population presenting with a wide range of concerns. She also possesses a special interest in working with students that have past trauma, depression/anxiety disorders, issues related to bi-culturalism, relationship challenges, and intrapersonal development.

Sujata Patel, M.D.
After graduating from Stanford University, Dr. Patel attended medical school at Indiana University. She completed a psychiatry residency at the University of Michigan followed by a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Stanford University. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings as a staff psychiatrist and consultant as well as in private practice. She has spent most of her career as a staff psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). She is currently working part time at CAPS Cowell Center, Santa Clara University and Vaden Health Center, Stanford University. 

“I enjoy the collaborative aspects of working in a counseling center. I find the student population fascinating and rewarding to treat. Helping young adults navigate issues of identity, separation, and relationships while also treating the range of psychiatric issues that present at this stage of life is both challenging and gratifying. I have been fortunate to be able to work with students from all over the world, and from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds.” 

Dr. Patel is interested in all aspects of clinical care. 

Zankhana Smith, M.A., M.S.
Predoctoral Intern
Zankhana is currently a doctoral candidate in her sixth year at the Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA. She has completed her clinical training working with individuals integrating physical health and mental well-being, individuals in crisis, helping students support their mental health and academic success, and those recovering from substance use issues. Zankhana has a variety of clinical interests including, but not limited to, integrating physical and mental health, supporting those experiencing anxiety and depression, helping sort out acculturation and racial identity concerns, and working with individuals in crisis. She also is extremely interested in short term therapies, multicultural and social justice issues, and her dissertation focuses on interracial couples. Zankhana's approach in therapy tends to integrate a diversity of perspectives, including noticing our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and building coping skills and problem-solving strategies that focus on personal growth, self-esteem, and self-reflection.

Monica Torreiro-Casal, M.A.
Predoctoral Intern
Monica Torreiro-Casal has earned her M.A. in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy with Latino Emphasis from Santa Clara University in California where she worked as a bilingual clinician. She is currently a Ph.D. student candidate in Counseling Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She has counseled children, adults, college and graduate students, couples as well families from different backgrounds, gender and sexual orientations. Monica’s research interests focus on women’s health specifically among under-served populations. She has worked with an array of clinical presentations including trauma, domestic violence, substance abuse, depression and developmental transitions. In her work, Monica integrates humanistic relational approaches with emphasis for diversity and multiculturalism using different therapeutic tools. She is originally from Spain and lived in The Netherlands before moving to USA. She is fluent in four languages.