Naj Alikhan, M.A., MFTI
Naj Alikhan, M.A. MFT is a Counselor/Educator for the Alcohol and Drug Program. He graduated from UCSB in 2004 with a BA in Philosophy. Naj began his work in mental health in 2009 as a psychology and media intern for the Southern California Neuropsychology Group assisting in neuropsychological testing and performing behavioral interventions. Naj graduated from Antioch university in 2012 and has since worked in a variety of therapeautic settings including the Community Counseling and Education Center, the Mental Wellness Center, and the outpatient program Mainstream. Naj enjoys spending time with his wife outdoors and is always up for a discussion about politics, cars, and music.
Whitney Bruice, M.A., MFT
Whitney Bruice, M.A./ MFT is the Clinical Manager in the Alcohol and Drug Program, leading psycho-educational groups, providing individual therapy to student clients, and making presentations for specific groups on campus. Also, she provides leadership at Embarcadero Hall for the other counselors and interns. Originally from Berkeley, California, Whitney graduated from UCSB with a BA in Psychology, received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in 2005. Her other clinical experience includes working with at-risk youth in foster care and in alternative school settings, working with institutionalized children with autism and other disabilities, and facilitating mental health groups on topics such as anger management, social skills, anxiety, and depression. Whitney’s other interests include spending time with her family, enjoying the beach, teaching and coaching swimming, and training for triathlons.
Angie Tozier Bryan, MEd., M.A., MFT
Angie Tozier Bryan, MEd, MA, MFT is a Counselor and Recovery Specialist for the Alcohol & Drug Program. She has a BA in Studio Art from UC Irvine and a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Counseling in Student Affairs from UCLA. She finished her second Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Prior to joining the ADP staff in 2011, Angie was the Assistant Director of Judicial Affairs at UCSB for 6 years. Angie has worked in a variety of mental health settings, including the Santa Barbara Mental Health Association Fellowship Club, which serves adults with chronic mental illness, Zona Seca, Inc., and the Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Treatment Center, where she worked with adolescents and parents. As the coordinator for the UCSB Gauchos for Recovery program, she is committed to working with students in recovery and their families. In her free time, she enjoys running, road trips, and spending time with her family.
Syreeta Elie is the Operations Assistant for the Alcohol and Drug Program. Syreeta joins the ADP Team from Virginia, where she worked at Georgetown University. Syreeta has years of experience working in higher education and is a vital asset to our team. In her spare time Syreeta loves to spend time with her two daughters and explores her new home of California.
Jackie Kurta, PsyD, MFT
Jacqueline Kurta, M.A., MFT is the Director of the UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program, and concurrently works as Assistant Coordinator of the UCSB Student Mental Health Program. Jackie recently received her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) in Marriage and Family Therapy and she is in the midst of completing her dissertation. She received a B.A. in English from Tufts University and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara.
Originally from New York City, Jackie and her family relocated to Los Angeles in 1987 and they have made Santa Barbara their home since 2000. In addition to her work at UCSB, Jackie currently serves as Clinical Supervisor for Casa Serena, a Women’s Residential Recovery Program and maintains a private practice in Santa Barbara. She serves as an adjunct faculty for Antioch-Santa Barbara and guest lecturer for Pacifica Graduate Institute. Jackie has served on the Board of the Santa Barbara Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists since 2005 in a variety of capacities, ranging from Co-President to her current position as Coordinator of Disaster Mental Health Services.
Over the years, Jackie has also offered her services to valuable Santa Barbara community organizations, including Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County, Family Court Mediation Program of Santa Barbara County, the American Red Cross of SB County, Transition House, El Puente School and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Her additional interests include travel, skiing, cycling and joining her family and friend in enjoying all that Santa Barbara has to offer.
Sarah Porat, M.A., MFT
Sarah F. Porat, M.A., M.F.T. works as a Counselor with UCSB’s Alcohol & Drug Program. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Education Studies, and received an M.A. from Pepperdine University in Clinical Psychology. Sarah is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. At UCSB, Sarah provides empathic, non-judgmental counseling to students as they examine their attitudes and choices regarding alcohol and substance use. Previous clinical experiences include working at a therapeutic high school with students whose emotional limitations interfered with daily functioning and at a psychiatric hospital with patients suffering from mental illness.
Marjan Riazi, B.A.
Marjan Riazi is the Education and Outreach Coordinator. Born and raised in Minnesota, she received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Minor in Education and Applied Psychology from UCSB. During her undergraduate career, she was heavily involved in a number of campus organizations and departments including Associated Students, Residential Life, Recreational Sports, the Leadership and Education Action Program, the Residence Halls Association, and more. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, discovering new music, and photography.
Jennifer Taylor, M.A., MFT
Jennifer Taylor, M.A., MFT works as a Counselor and Educator with the UCSB Alcohol & Drug Program. Born and raised in Goleta, California, Jennifer attended UCLA where she received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Education. She continued her education at Pepperdine University, where she received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology. Jennifer is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her previous clinical experience includes working with transitional age youth in a community mental health outpatient program, providing individual and group therapy to young adults with disorders of emotion regulation in a residential setting, and working with at-risk and special needs youth and their families. Jennifer enjoys spending her free time cooking, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with her friends and family.