The Student Health and Wellness Center at Otis College of Art and Design has a dedicated and qualified staff who are passionate about working in student health. Meet the staff below!
Julie Spencer, M.D., M.P.H
Welcome to Otis College of Art and Design Student Health and Wellness Center. We, the staff of the Student Health and Wellness Center, hope to provide you with the best care and teach you the tools to have you be the healthiest student you can be while at Otis College.
I welcome you as the Director and Physician of the Student Health and Wellness Center.
A little about my background… I am an LA native, having grown up in Pasadena and currently reside in Manhattan Beach with my husband, son and two Pomeranians. I am also a Loyola Marymount University Alum, class of 2003, and after graduating, I attended St. George’s University School of Medicine for a combined Masters of Public Health and Medical Degree.
I completed my first two years of residency training in general pediatrics at Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn, New York and my last year, back in sunny Southern California, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Carson. During my pediatric residency, I developed a passion for working with adolescents and young adults and decided to complete a sub-specialty fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. At CHLA, I learned to work with adolescents and young adults from ages 12-24 years old with specific health concerns such as reproductive health, eating disorders, general primary care as well as other health concerns particular to this population.
I am very excited to help Otis College fulfill its dream of having a Student Health and Wellness Center on campus. As the medical director and physician, it is my goal to ensure good health and wellness during your time at Otis College.
Trisha Chiang, FNP-C
Greetings from the Student Health and Wellness Center! As a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) in the SHWC, my role is to provide you with the highest quality of care; which includes, treating any illnesses and focusing on prevention and education to help keep you healthy (so that you can achieve your dreams and aspirations)!
A little bit about me… I grew up in Southern California and completed two Bachelor’s Degrees: A Sociology Degree from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Nursing Degree from Concordia University Irvine. I also obtained my Master’s Degree in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). My previous experience includes working in primary and urgent care, as well as working in the field of Otorhinolaryngology (where I treated patients with diseases or injuries of the ear, nose, and throat).
In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, baking, watching true crime documentaries, and going on walks with my husband, daughter, and our quirky shepherd-mix. It is an honor to be a part of the Student Health and Wellness team and we are here to help!
Bell Charkarutpahu, R.N.
Welcome to the Student Health and Wellness Center!
I am very excited to be a part of the Otis community and provide our students with the highest quality of care. As a Registered Nurse, I believe in a holistic approach focusing on the physical, emotional, social, and mental wellbeing of our students. My role is to provide nursing interventions using evidence-based practice, promote health and wellness through education, and collaborate with other SHWC staff to deliver above standard levels of care.
About me… I was born in Thailand and moved to LA at the age of 11. I received my first bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Then I moved to Boston and worked as a Mental Health Specialist in the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program before returning for school in Chi-town. I completed my second Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Loyola University Chicago. My previous experience includes working on an acute psychiatric unit, caring for patients with various mental health disorders, such as substance abuse, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, psychosis etc.
In my free time, I enjoy traveling and meeting new people. I love spending time with my family and friends and trying new dishes. My gender pronouns are she, her, and hers. I am very excited to be a part of the team and look forward to meeting you all.
Cindy Nguyen Hong, R.N.
As the Covid Registered Nurse here at the Student Health and Wellness Center, my role is to ensure your safety as you return to campus for in-person learning and activities!
I grew up in Southern California and completed two Bachelor’s Degrees: A Psychology Degree from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and a Nursing Degree from Roseman University of Health Sciences in Henderson, Nevada. I am currently in school at Samuel Merritt University to obtain my Master’s Degree in Nursing. Prior to joining the Otis community, I provided care to laboring moms as a labor and delivery nurse.
When I am not working or studying, I am spending my time with my husband and son. We love taking him to explore new places and we enjoy spending lots of time with our extended families. I am so happy to be a part of the Student Health and Wellness team and I look forward to serving the Otis community.
James Birks, LMFT
Hello and welcome to Student Counseling Services at the Student Health and Wellness Center!
As the Director of Student Counseling Services here at Otis College, it is my goal to help students accomplish their mental health and wellness needs so that they are able to focus on their education and on becoming their best selves.
About me…. I am a Southern California native and completed my Bachelors of Psychology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and my Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Southern California (USC). I trained at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and, prior to joining the Student Health and Wellness Center team, I worked with youth at a community mental health agency.
I truly love working with students and will strive to create safe and containing spaces where diversity of culture, thought and experience will be encouraged. Some of my areas of expertise include trauma, depression, identity development, LGBT affirmative therapy and working with transitional age youth 18-25.
In my free time I enjoy swimming, hiking, the beach and spending time with family and friends over a meal. My gender pronouns are he, him his. It is a pleasure to be a part of the Student Health and Wellness team and I look forward to serving the Otis College of Art and Design community.
Janet Park, LMFT
Hello and welcome to the Student Health and Wellness Center! As a Staff Counselor, I am very excited to help and serve the students at Otis College. My role is to provide emotional support to students as they seek to fulfill their mental health and wellness needs.
I grew up in Southern California and went to University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to complete my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After working in substance abuse counseling for two years, I attended California State University, Long Beach and obtained my Master’s degree in Counseling, with a focus in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have worked at a variety of organizations in the community, gaining a wide experience working with kids, young adults, middle age, and older adults.
My passion particularly lies in working with college age students, with an emphasis on addressing diversity in my clinical work. My goal is to provide students with a safe and nonjudgmental space for them to openly share their thoughts and feelings, as they work to discover themselves and their life vision.
My areas of specialty include: depression, psychosis, substance abuse, identity development, relationship skills, and mindfulness. Other areas of interest are multiculturalism, social justice, intersectionality (culture, gender, LGBTQ+, etc), and building self-compassion.
When I’m free, I enjoy spending time with loved ones, reading books, and reblogging the occasional post on Tumblr. My gender pronouns are she, her, and hers. I am happy to be a part of the Student Health and Wellness Team and look forward working with the students at Otis College of Art and Design!
Namele Gutierrez, LMFT
My hope is that my office can be a safe space where your difficulties and struggles can be met with empathy and understanding. I am passionate about supporting students so that those difficulties and struggles are no longer barriers to having healthy relationships with themselves and others or to achieving their own hopes and aspirations personally or academically.
A little bit about me, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. I am passionate about journeying with people through life transitions, depression, anxiety, trauma, loss, relationship issues and those who have been marginalized due to factors in their identity. Outside of work, I love getting lost in a good book, exploring hiking trails (preferably not getting lost on those!) and having game nights with my friends and family.
I look forward to meeting you and getting to support you!
Kimberly Seko Roark, M.A.
Cheers from the Student Health and Wellness Center! As the Operations Manager, I am here to support the needs of my colleagues and students. My goal is to ensure everyone’s experiences are positive, seamless and efficient. Prior to joining the Otis family, I was an Account Supervisor and Commercial Coordinator specializing in the creative film and television industry.
I am from Southern California and attended San Diego State University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After obtaining my Master’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations, I was provided with countless opportunities to delve into management, improve processes, overall budget and tactical business leadership.
When I'm not working, you can find me outside enjoying the California sunshine, reading, cooking (or eating) and spending time with my husband, family, and friends. I am excited to be part of the Student Health and Wellness Center family and look forward to meeting you!