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.
Trudy Kao, MSN, FNP-BC
Hello and welcome to the SHWC! My pronouns are she, her, hers. As one of the clinic’s family nurse practitioners, I am here to support you in becoming the best, healthiest version of yourself, now at Otis and beyond.
I grew up in Southern California, and studied Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). My college experience was definitely a formative time, during which I decided to pursue a career in nursing. I then attended the University of Pennsylvania for a joint BSN/MSN program in Family Health Nursing, graduating in 2013. While in Philadelphia, I worked as a Registered Nurse (RN) for 2 years in the hospital. And during my Master’s, had the opportunity to train at the Mazzoni Center, a primary care clinic serving the LGBTQ community.
After graduation in 2013, my husband and I moved to Mahesana, a village city in the state of Gujarat in India. While living there for almost a year, I learned to speak Gujarati as well as my 3-year-old neighbor. After enough moving back and forth across the country, my family is finally back in Southern California. I speak Cantonese with my own toddler and can understand some of the Gujarati she speaks with my husband – at least enough to know if they’re talking about me. I love hanging out with my family, seeing friends, exploring LA, and drinking boba.
Working in college health is special to me because college creates a unique space for you to explore diversity and identity on so many intersecting levels. Specific areas of interest of mine include preventative care, LGBTQ health, and sexual and reproductive health, amongst others. My goal as a nurse practitioner is to help you become the best advocate for your own health. I look forward to working with you here 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!
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!
Allie Pashi, MHA
Hello and welcome to the SHWC! As the Operations Manager of the Student Health and Wellness Center, my role is to help with anything that you may need! I specialize in the Student Health Insurance Plan, assist in the scheduling and changing of any medical or counseling appointments that you have and also develop Health Promotion programming for the Otis College campus! College was a transformational time in my life, and I know that the idea of healthcare and health insurance can be difficult for college students. I am passionate about making healthcare an easy to understand and common practice for college students!
A little about me: I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended Otterbein University located in Columbus, Ohio to obtain both my Bachelor of Science as well as my Master of Science in Healthcare Administration. I love all things sports, especially the NBA! Trying new restaurants and exploring different museums with my daughter are a couple of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles. IPlease feel free to drop in and say hi anytime!