Meet Our Staff
'Sharleen Professional'
'Sharleen Action'

Sharleen O'Brien

PsyD, Lic. Psychologist, 20314

Sharleen O'Brien is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of health promotion programs & strategies to improve student success at UCSB. She earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 2003 from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and has expertise in the areas of health psychology, mindfulness meditation, sleep health, and psychological well-being. Dr. O’Brien maintains her license of 13 years as a psychologist in the state of California (Psy20314) but, in recent years, was inspired to shift her focus from clinical practice to supporting health from a broader perspective. She is passionate about designing programs to foster habits, knowledge, and an environment that supports the health & well-being of students at UCSB and in the community.

Jo Professional
Jo Action

Joanna Hill


Joanna Hill is originally from “the” Valley (San Fernando). She started as a student in The Department of Health & Wellness in 1996. She was a Relationships Peer, summer theater actor and instructional assistant before she earned her BA in Sociology in 1997. She has worked for the UCSB Arts Library, UCSB Alumni Association, and with autistic men at the Devereux Foundation. Joanna’s staff career in Health & Wellness began in 2001 as advisor for the Sexual Health Peers and the Relationships Peers. Over the years, she has trained students, staff, and faculty on all areas of Health & Wellness, her favorites being body image and meditation. Joanna currently oversees Health & Wellness Internships, the Advocate Program, and the eating disorder prevention/body image program. Joanna enjoys exploring Santa Barbara with her family, their 2 cats and sweet dog, Maisy.

Lorie Professional
Lorie Action

Lorie Morris

Financial Management, Meditation

Lorie Jean Morris grew up in Utah but moved to Santa Barbara to enjoy a more temperate climate! She received her B.A. in Psychology from CSUCI. Lorie is the Office Manager for the Health & Wellness Programs. Coming from a background in banking, customer service and accounts payable, Lorie makes sure the Health & Wellness staff and interns have the resources they need to successfully put on workshops, events, classes and activities. Her favorite quarterly event to be involved in is UCSB Dog Therapy Day. When she’s not helping interns with events, Lorie is out taking photos or Photoshop classes. You can find her on Sundays down at the Cabrillo Art Walk selling her photography.

Jacquie Professional
'Jacquie Action'

Jacqueline Ovalle

Food, Nutrition, and Basic Skills

Jacqueline Ovalle was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Riverside County. Her passion for health, food science and nutrition led her to Davis, CA where she received her B.S. in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis and certification as a National Food Protection Manager. At UC Davis, Jacqueline served as a Resident Advisor for UC Davis Student Housing and conducted research for the Department of Nutrition, as well as a Dietetic Technician at St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital where she applied her expertise in clinical dietetics and food safety management. Her previous work includes Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at the California Department of Public Health, Kaiser Permanente, Camp Kaiser, and Winters Healthcare Foundation. Jacqueline enjoys spending time at the beach with her loved ones, trying new food recipes, traveling with her spouse, and an occasional competitive match of air hockey.

Jason Professional
Jason Action

Jason Stone

Sexual Health & Relationships, Graduate Students, Health Informatics

Jason Stone, a Santa Barbara native, has always been passionate for people, health, and wellness. This led him to receive his BA in Sociology with a minor in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Health Promotion & Physiology with an emphasis in Wellness. With a love of helping people thrive, he holds credentials as NASM CPT, NSCA CSCS, and NASE CSES. He is also a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, and a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist. He currently serves as staff advisor for UC Santa Barbara’s Active Minds chapter, and is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher specializing in queer and trans meditation groups. He is a fitness and wellness fanatic and you will probably see him either at the gym, or cooking up healthful, nourishing meals in his spare time. As a lover of innovation, design, and organization, Jason also engages in hobbies like music composition, interior design, and event planning.

Maka Professional
Maka Action

Michael "Maka" Takahara

Marketing, Positive Psych

Michael Kenji Takahara was raised in Monterey Park and received his B.A. in Psychology from UCSB in 1993. He worked at UCSB Housing, Dining & Auxiliary Services as an assistant resident director before joining Health & Wellness in 1996. Michael is passionate about Health & Wellness because “it allows me to give back to the community that made me who I am. I love helping students develop meaning in their lives, building their skills, strengthen their positive relationships, achieve their goals, and increase their positive emotions.” He thinks it is funny that he stars in a weekly web series, Mondays with Maka. In addition to enjoying his family, Michael volunteers his time with Catholic Engaged Encounter, enjoys comic book geek culture, plays guitar, and enjoys the ocean and clouds everyday.

Emily Professional
Emily Action

Emily Teter

Sleep, Meditation, Stress Reduction, Alcohol & Drugs

Emily Teter grew up in Carpinteria, California and received her Bachelors from UCLA, studying both Anthropology and Film. She worked with various student organizations as an undergrad including The Watts Tutorial Program, where she was a tutor and student mentor. One of her favorite experiences in college was studying abroad in Rome, Italy.  She has completed two Mindfulness Meditation teacher training programs, one with The Center for Koru Mindfulness and one developed specifically for the Department of Health & Wellness. Emily is passionate about helping students discover their own innate ability to be mindful and aware while cultivating tools towards self-compassion and resiliency. 

Mallory Professional
Mallory Action

Mallory Russell

Mallory Russell is a Health Educator with the Department of Health and Wellness. She teaches cooking series and workshops that focus on food, nutrition, and basic skills. With a background in landscape architecture, she always found herself drawn to food and has worked in a variety of culinary worlds: educational farms, commercial kitchens, school gardens, catering, health clinics, and teaching pop-up cooking and nutrition classes. These experiences drove home the power of food to shape our environment, our identity, our communities, and our health. 

Internship Coordinators


Arzoo (she/her/hers)

Intern Coordinator

Arzoo is a fourth-year Biological Sciences B.S major. Her favorite aspect of being an intern is being able to teach several aspects of holistic health that are not normally talked about to the UCSB community. She loves being surrounded by like minded people who are just as passionate about health promotion and public health. Arzoo is pursuing a career in medicine, hoping to travel and work as a doctor in underserved communities in the future. Health & Wellness has solidified her passion to advocate for health equity, diversity and inclusion in the medical field and inspired her to support our underserved populations at UCSB. 



Mia (she/they)

Intern Coordinator

Mia is a fourth-year student earning their Communication B.A and Sociology B.A. as well as minors in Applied Psychology and Education. Her favorite aspect about the Health & Wellness internship is connecting with the UC Santa Barbara community. Mia has met many wonderful, diverse individuals and loves hearing their stories! This internship helped solidify her aspiration to pursue a career in research academia with a concentration on well-being and health inequities. Mia is excited to apply the knowledge she has gained in Health & Wellness to amplify the voices of and create more equitable resources for QTBIPOC communities. 

Health Promotion Interns


Luis (he/him/el)

Alcohol & Drugs Intern

Luis is a fourth-year Pharmacology B.S major. His favorite aspect of being an intern is the freedom to be creative, which is something he truly values in a workspace. Health & Wellness has allowed him to contribute his creative input and also help broaden his thinking. His overall career goal is to go into the pharmaceutical industry as a pharmacist, and eventually establish a community based pharmacy in his hometown, South Central Los Angeles. Health and Wellness has taught Luis various practices and given him the tools he needs to pursue these endeavours in his community.  



Hy (he/him/his)

Sexual Health & Relationships Intern

Hy is a fourth-year Psychology and Brain Science B.S major. His favorite event is the Safer Sex Peers Workshop. It is a great opportunity to reach out to a group of students and help educate them about a subject that he feels is not talked about enough. His favorite part of being an intern is working with students through events and workshops. Being able to give back to the UCSB student community is a unique aspect of Health and Wellness that grabbed his attention.


Jamileth (she/her/ella)

Health Promotion Intern 

Jamileth is a third-year Global Studies B.A. major pursuing a minor in Education. She has always been a huge advocate on all aspects of health and wellbeing before this internship. This internship has provided her with the perfect space to learn, appreciate and share everything she already enjoyed with others. Jamileth is passionate about health equity, advocacy, and making the world a better place than how she entered it. She aspires to create a positive impact on our campus by nourishing students’ well being in order for all to thrive and live the healthy lives we all deserve. 


Stella  (she/her/hers)

Sleep Intern

Stella is a third-year Psychological and Brain Sciences B.S major. Health and Wellness is her dream job. She feels extremely lucky that she gets to work every day on projects that give students the resources they need to pave the path towards happiness and health in their day to day lives, and that she gets to do it with such an amazing team of students and staff. Stella spends most of her time working on the Sleep Challenge so students can not only learn more about how important sleep is to their physical and mental wellbeing, but also so they can feel more in control of their own sleep. Her favorite Health and Wellness event is Nap Station because she gets to see firsthand how big the impact of something as short as a 20-minute nap is for students. 


Val (she/her/hers)

Sexual Health & Relationships Intern
Val is a third-year Pharmacology B.S major pursuing a minor in Philosophy. Her favorite Health and Wellness event is the Rejuvenation Station because we all need a pick-me-up during our long days. She loves being able to recharge with mindful activities, healthy snacks, and a quick massage. She is currently on the pre-medical route, aspiring to become a general physician one day. Health and Wellness promotes a holistic approach to health, which can help students thrive and flourish while trying to navigate our busy campus. Her career goals and the internship allow her to intertwine the importance of one's mental and physical health.


Heyu (she/her/hers)

International Student Liaison
Heyu is a fourth-year Psychological and Brain sciences B.S major with a minor in Applied Psychology.
She is aware that many international students have a hard transition into the UCSB culture and environment during their freshman year. She hopes to help more students, especially non-native speakers reduce and manage their stress effectively. She is passionate about mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and hopes to promote wellbeing through positive psychology interventions and meditation practice as a Health and Wellness intern this year.

Food Nutrition & Basic Skills Interns


Em (she/her/hers)

FNBS Intern
Em is a third-year Biology B.S major with a minor in Spanish. She first got involved with the Health & Wellness department as an advocate, where she discovered a way to connect to the UCSB community and was excited to collaborate with people passionate about health promotion. Em loves being a part of the UCSB Cooks program, where she enjoys teaching hands-on cooking skills and creating yummy meals to share with other students! She loves being able to make a positive impact on campus by helping to increase students’ food security through workshops, classes, and online programming. 


Kat (she/her/hers)

FNBS Intern
Kat is a fourth-year Psychological and Brain Sciences B.S. major, pursuing minors in History and Applied Psychology. She started out as a Health and Wellness advocate, and really enjoyed learning about different health topics at the advocate meetings. Once she heard that there were more ways to get even more involved, she applied to become a FNBS intern and things worked out! Her favorite event is “Why the Fruit?” because it holds a special place in her heart; it was the first event that she clicked with while volunteering as an advocate and became friends with the interns who worked during that time! Now, nothing says Monday quite like driving EVE to pass out fruit and feeling the wind in her face.

Marketing Interns


Camille (she/her/hers)

Marketing Coordinator

Camille is a fourth-year Biological Sciences B.S. major. Her favorite Health & Wellness event is  UCSB Sexual Health Week because she is amazed seeing just how many resources and support is available to the student community! Her favorite aspect of being an intern is the community that Health and Wellness fosters! She loves collaborating with people who have the same passions as her every day. Camille wants to get her Masters in Public Health before going into the medical field. Health & Wellness has given her a unique health education perspective and the opportunity to work directly with the UCSB community, which has inspired her to pursue a career in the healthcare professions. 


Bella (she/they)

Bella is a third-year Film & Media Studies B.A. major with a minor in Asian American Studies. She loves working in an environment that strongly promotes health and wellness to its interns because it has introduced her to more sustainable, long-term methods of self-care and self-preservation. Her favorite aspect of being a Health and Wellness intern is getting to meet and work with passionate people who inspire her to share what she’s passionate about. Her career goals are to continue growing as a visual storyteller, and create projects that amplify the voices and stories of marginalized communities. Her internship with Health and Wellness has encouraged her to share her ideas and amplify her own voice. 


Yvonne (she/her/hers)

Graphic Designer
Yvonne is a third-year Sociology B.A. and Statistics & Data Science B.A. double major. She wanted to be a Health & Wellness intern because self-care has always been something she has advocated for, as it allows her to maintain good health, have steady motivation, and grow as an individual. Because of Health and Wellness’s commitment to helping improve all aspects of student health, she found herself wanting to intern for this program that greatly aligned with her values. As a marketing intern, she is looking forward to developing a stronger grasp of content marketing strategies and how to improve them. Excited to work with such an accomplished team of individuals, she wants to take full advantage of this learning opportunity that matches her field of interest. 

Health Informatics Interns


Austin (he/him/his)

Web Developer Intern

Austin is a fourth-year Computer Science B.S major. He wanted to become an Health and Wellness intern to improve his technical skills as the website's developer while also making a meaningful contribution to his peers. As an intern, he hopes to help refine the means by which we share Health and Wellness events and challenges that have made such a positive impact on his experience at UCSB. Austin’s favorite Health and Wellness event is Dog Therapy Day! He loves stopping by between classes and meeting the doggos for a nice dopamine boost.


Ishana (she/her/hers)

Data Science Intern
Ishana is a third-year Statistics and Data Science B.S. and Computer Science B.S. double major. She applied to be a Health & Wellness intern because she wanted to be part of the movement that improves mental, physical, and social health resources for students at our campus. Self-care is more important now than ever, given these unprecedented times, so this position seemed like a great way to apply her technical background to this cause. Through this now remote internship, Ishana hopes to learn more about how to develop interpersonal relationships and team collaboration in a distant setting. Her favorite Health & Wellness event is Mindfulness Meditation because taking time out of her day to meditate helps her recenter, focus, and destress.