Mental Health Advisory Committee

Membership (2014 – 2017)

*For the 2017-18 year, we will be redesigning the advisory committee board. More information to follow.

Ben Peralta, Staff, Campus Police Services 

IMG_0321 Officer Peralta’s statement:

I’m humbled and honored to represent the Ohlone Community College Campus Police Department in this most important advisory committee.  During the past 16 years as a Police Officer at the college, I have had the privilege to serve the community  as a patrol officer, trainer, peer mentor and supervisor.  My goal on serving on this committee is to help coordinate the response of Law Enforcement to aid people in behavioral crisis resulting from known, or suspected mental illness and or substance abuse.  The Ohlone Community College Campus Police Department is committed to continuously improve its response to mental health related issues as it relates to the colleges’ most vulnerable population.

Donna Christner-Lile, Faculty, Sociology/Psychology

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Donna Christner-Lile has been an adjunct with the Psychology and Sociology department since 2007. Donna received her Masters in Counseling from USF in 1998. After graduation, she used her internship at the City of Fremont Human Services to springboard to her private eldercare counseling practice. She works with families advising and referring them to the legal, governmental, and age related entities they need to help their loved ones age in comfort. In 2002 she published the book Aging-In-Place, Until Your 100+ . While working with her clients she realized the need for trusted individuals to help seniors coordinate and actually downsize their homes, or move to senior communities without stress. In 2003 she joined the National Association of Senior Move Managers. From that organization she received the training to work with the moving side of the transition. With the help of several women she trained to do the downsizing and moving, she was able to counsel, and have this service available to her clients. Thanks to Ohlone, she now enjoys the balance of the very young and the very old and stay in touch with both eras.

Jennifer Hurley, Faculty, English Department

jen hurley

Jennifer Hurley is an Associate Professor of English at Ohlone College. She has been teaching composition, literature, critical thinking, and reading at Ohlone College since 2001. She is passionate about her role as an educator, student advocate, and facilitator of meaningful classroom discussion. A longtime writer (creative and otherwise), Jennifer holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University and a B.A. in Literature/Writing from UC San Diego. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, reading, and sewing.

Juliette Robelo, Student, Ohlone College

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Juliette Robelo just started her first year at Ohlone College. She comes to us from Mission San Jose High School. When she is not studying and running between meetings, Juliette enjoys learning about healthy cooking and appreciates an intense workout. Juliette believes that success naturally occurs when we make our health and well-being a number one priority. With that, she seeks to inspire people to always put their health and well being first to ensure that we are always putting our best foot forward in all that we choose to endeavor upon.

Lea Witmer, Staff, Business Services

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Lea is an Accounting Technician IV in the Business Services Department of Ohlone College where she has worked for 8 years. She has the pleasure of serving on the CSEA Negotiation Team and Professional Development Committee at Ohlone College. She has a BA Degree in Liberal Studies (Teaching K-8th grade). She is honored and excited to be part of the team serving on the Mental Health Advisory Committee. She is confident that the program will help in educating and eliminating the stereotype and misunderstanding of mental health disease, and help bring awareness to the students of the resources available to them on campus. Most importantly her hope is the program will provide students a comfortable venue to talk and seek help. She enjoys friends, walking, exploring nature, movies, laughing and cheering on the 49ers. Her philosophy is live every moment, laugh every day, love beyond words.

Mandy Yip, Counselor, Academic Counseling Department

Mandy Kwok-YipMandy Yip is an associate professor at Ohlone College; she is one of the Counseling Faculty members and she teaches Personal Development.  She received her master degree from San Jose State University and has been working as a counselor in the California community college system for over 10 years.  Mandy served on the Mental Health Advisory Committee in Fall 2012 to Spring 2014, she would like to continue partnering with faculty and staff to promote student mental health.

Nancy Dinsmore, Faculty, Nursing Department

Nancy D cropped Nancy teaches a beginning medical/surgical nursing and  mental health nursing courses at the Newark Campus.  She is also the faculty advisor for the nursing peer mentor program and the nursing success group.  She began her work at Ohlone as an adjunct in 2012 and became full time faculty in 2013.  Her nursing career has spanned over three decades and has taken her from Cruise Ship nursing in the Caribbean to developing community health programs in Gazan refugee camps.  Nancy has lived in Cairo and East Jerusalem and consulted in many health education projects, teaching nurses in both locations.  She worked at Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital at Stanford for 15 years, much of this in an adolescent and young adult medical  psychiatric inpatient unit.  When not at work, she loves reading science fiction/fantasy, watching the ocean, traveling, working in the garden, napping and being entertained by Amira the dog and Panther the cat.

Rachel Cunningham, Faculty, Geography Department

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Rachel Cunningham is an adjunct professor of Geography at Ohlone College. She has been teaching at Ohlone since Spring of 2014, focusing on Physical Geography lecture and laboratories. Rachel’s research interests include natural hazards, emergency preparedness, environmental perceptions, California water resources, and biodiversity. She holds a BS in Environmental Horticulture & Urban Forestry from UC Davis and an MA in Geography from San Francisco State. In her free time, Rachel enjoys home-brewing, reading, and live theatre.

Click here for archive of 2012-14 Mental Health Advisory Committee pages