Counseling & Psychological Services' Faculty and Staff

The professionally licensed Counselor Faculty of the Counseling & Psychological Services include licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists and Clinical Social Workers, trained to work with San Francisco State's multicultural student body. Several of our counselors are bilingual.

All staff and faculty can be reached at 415-338-2208



Stephen Chen portrait

Stephen Chen, Psy.D., Director

Professional Areas of Interest: Multiculturalism, social justice, relationships, groups, training.

Personal Interests: Movies, sports, and nature.

Motto: "Grit is sticking with your future—day in, day out, not just for a week, not just for a month, but for years—and working really hard to make that future a reality.'." ~ Angela Duckworth


Yolanda Gamboa portrait

Yolanda Gamboa*, PhD., Coordinator of Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic and Clinical Counselor (away on sabbatical AY 2020-2021)

Professional Areas of Interest: Multicultural issues, first generation college students, AB 540 undocumented students, women of color, Chicano/a and Latino/a population, LGBTQ, and underserved and underrepresented students. Training and supervision of graduate and post graduates.

Personal Interests: Spending time with family, walking my dog, cooking/baking, hiking, and meditation.

Motto: "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'." ~ Mary Ann Radmacher


Stacy Peterson portrait

Stacy Peterson, LCSW, The SAFE Place - Manager

Professional Areas of Interest: Trauma due to sexual violence, social justice, transformative justice, harm reduction, and solution focused interventions.

Personal Interests: Reading, spending time with loved ones, being creative, and enjoying the outdoors.

Motto: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ~ James Baldwin

Clinical Counselor Faculty


Taghi Amjadi portrait

Taghi Amjadi, PhD., LMFT*, Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: East-West psychology, mindfulness-based anxiety management, relationships, trauma work with refugees and immigrants (PTSD), impact of social justice on mental health, and transpersonal psychology.

Personal Interests: Music, nature, and movies.

Motto: "And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." ~ Nelson Mandela


Nicole Buitrago portrait

Nicole Buitrago, Psy.D., Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Social Justice and minority stress, LGBTQ+, identity development, complex trauma, ADHD, non-monogamy, spirituality, mindfulness and skills-based approaches, harm reduction for behavioral change, first-generation college students, and adjustment to life transitions. 

Personal Interests: Sitting in the sunshine, being in community, trying new things, music, cooking, cleaning, exercising, traveling, and relaxing. 

Motto: “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” –Joseph Campbell 

“We have been raised to fear the yes in ourselves.” –Audre Lorde


Karla Castillo portrait

Karla Castillo, LMFT*, LPCC,  Clinical Counselor & Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Substance use disorders, EMDR, trauma, mindfulness, multicultural issues, issues affecting undocumented students, harm reduction, and crisis counseling.

Personal Interests: Swimming, biking, jogging, dancing, music, and travel.

Motto: "I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." ~ Audre Lourde


Susan Chen portrait

Susan Chen, LMFT*, Clinical Counselor & Liaison to International Programs

Professional Areas of Interest: Social anxiety, excessive internet and social media use, harm reduction, LGBTQ issues, anti-racism, and meditation.

Motto: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~ Various

"It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found." ~ DW Winnicott


Laurene Domínguez portrait

Laurene Domínguez, LCSW, Clinical Counselor & Interim Coordinator of Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic

Professional Areas of Interest :  cultural identity/multicultural issues, Chicanx/Latinx support, first generation students, crisis/trauma especially sexual violence support, EMDR, somatic healing methods, anxiety, healthy relationships, and social justice issues and the integration of western and indigenous ways of healing.

Personal Interests: music, dancing, travel, watching b films on Netflix, and my puppy Maya.

Motto:  "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare." - Audre L

Leslie Jaeyoun Shin portrait

Leslie Jaeyoun Shin, LMFT & LPCC*, Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Relationship issues, trauma work, racial discrimination and microaggressions, social justice related issues, multicultural counseling, self-esteem and personal growth, depression, anxiety, and adjustment challenges.

Motto: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.   

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." ~ Soren Kierkegaard


Catherine Jolly portrait

Catherine Jolly, LMFT & FAMI, Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Expression arts therapy, LGBTQI issues, social justice and advocacy, and FAMI (Fellow of the Association of Music and Imagery).

Personal Interests: Spending time in nature, playing and writing music, and connecting with people of all ages.

Motto: Compassion is never wasted.


Rick Nizzardini portrait

Rick Nizzardini, LCSW, Residential Life Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Interpersonal processes, trauma, relationships, LGBTQIIA+ issues, and University Residential Life.

Motto: “I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.” ~ Carl Jung


Lightfoot Wilhite portrait

Lightfoot Wilhite, LCSW, Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Thought as creation myth, deconstruction of stressful beliefs via internal awareness.

Personal Interests: Reading, music, basketball, cooking, anime, British crime/drama, and doing yoga when nobody's looking.

Motto: The Truth is also seeking the Seeker.

Educational Psychologist


Gwen A. Agustin-Nodora portrait

Gwen A. Agustin-Nodora, Ed.D., Educational Psychologist, ASPIRE (provides psychological testing only)

Professional Areas of Interest: Educational Interests: Learning Disabilities, Psycho-Educational Assessments, Social Justice, Equity, Transformative Education, Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities, and First Generation Immigrant Youth.

Personal Interests: Travel, hip-hop, art, and music. 

Motto: "Education is Freedom." ~ Paulo Freire​

Asian American and Pacific Islander Retention and Education (ASPIRE) is a collaboration with the Asian American Studies (AAS) Department and Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (SAEM). The goal of ASPIRE is to improve and expand SF State’s capacity to serve high-need Asian American and Native American Pacific Islanders (AANAPI) and low-income degree-seeking undergraduate students, improve the learning environment, and strengthen academic outcomes. To learn more about ASPIRE and their mission and services, please visit their website at

Mental Health Case Manager


Leandra Peloquin portrait

Leandra Peloquin, LCSW, Mental Health Case Manager

Professional Areas of Interest: Working with survivors of sexual trauma, trauma, and interpersonal violence; crisis counseling and social justice advocacy.

Motto: "Stand for what's right, even if it means you are standing alone." ~ Unknown

Administrative Staff


Ricky Lui portrait

Ricky Lui, Administrative Support Coordinator

Professional Areas of Interest: SFSU Master of Public Health in Community Health Education candidate

Personal Interests:  Spending time with the people I love and making memories that will last more than my lifetime.

Motto: "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear."


*Counseling available in the following languages: Farsi, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish

**(Bilingual in Mandarin and Cantonese)