Let’s Talk Professionals

Meet the Let’s Trained Professionals

Yacob Tekie, PhD (He/Him/His) is the Let’s Talk program coordinator and a staff psychologist at CAPS. He is originally from Eritrea, East Africa. His clinical and professional interests focus on trauma, anxiety and depression. He strongly believes and values the importance of resilience and self-efficacy. Yacob frequently uses different mindfulness and acceptance based coping skills to help students deal with daily stressors. He strongly believes in making a difference and has a longstanding commitment to social justice and advocacy related concerns. He is experienced in supporting students with issues related to gender and sexuality, men’s concerns, discrimination, adjustment/transition issues, sexual assault, FGLI (first-generation low-income) students, as well as immigration and international students. He approaches Let’s Talk from a relational approach that allows everyone to feel heard and understood. Yacob is excited to provide opportunities for students to meet with a mental health professional outside of the traditional counseling environment.
Eddie D. Burks, PsyD, MEd (He/They) is an Outreach & Prevention Postdoctoral Fellow and Staff Clinician at CAPS. Eddie’s areas of clinical focus are identity exploration, psychological implications of racial trauma and other oppressive systems, anxiety and stress, human sexuality (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, sex and intimacy issues), relationship conflict, life-altering experiences (trauma, grief, death, dying, loss, bereavement), career and life transitions, and academic performance and functioning. Eddie’s approach to psychotherapy is integrative with a multicultural, intersectional, and social justice focus. Eddie uses cognitive, behavioral, relational, systems, and an emotion-focused approach with students. Eddie is excited about the opportunity to engage with students through Let’s Talk.
Mara Capistrano, LCSW (She/Her/Hers) is a staff social worker and therapist at CAPS. She is a generalist and has experience supporting students through a range of concerns and struggles including grief, family of origin, relationships and life transitions. Mara approaches counseling through a multi-cultural and social justice lens, mindful of the systems that impact our mental health. In particular, she has experience talking to students about immigration, culture and discrimination. At CAPS, Mara participates in the Drop-In team, Eating Concerns team, STTOP (Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention) team, and the Social Work training program. She is originally from the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s excited to be at the ARCH this fall and looking forward to supporting students through Let’s Talk.
Brittan Davis, PhD (She/Her/Hers) is a staff clinician at CAPS. She is originally from Ohio, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate education and competed in soccer as a collegiate athlete. While at CAPS, Brittan serves on the STTOP (Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention) team, Eating Concerns team, and Drop-In team, and she is a liaison to Athletics, PVP (Penn Violence Prevention), and the LGBT Center. Brittan is a generalist practitioner but has special clinical interest in working with survivors of sexual assault and interpersonal violence, student athletes, and individuals with marginalized identities. At the core of Brittan’s work is an emphasis on social justice, advocacy and empowerment within various relational and contextual dynamics. She strongly believes in destigmatizing mental health by situating presenting concerns within relationships and contexts, and therefore, also positions the healing process within the reparative nature of the therapeutic relationship. And as a feminist and social justice advocate Brittan is experienced in supporting students with multiple intersecting oppressed identities, LGBTQIA+ identities, and students with concerns related to sexuality. Her clinical work is trauma-informed, values an ethic of consent, and is sex positive. Brittan approaches Let’s Talk from a relational-cultural and advocacy approach that allows students to feel seen and heard, while also providing brief interventions and planning to support students in getting their needs met.
Nicole Nardone, LCSW, MLSP (She/Her/Hers) is a social worker and staff clinician at CAPS. Nicole serves on the Drop-In team, Eating Concerns team, and on the STTOP (Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention) team. Nicole is also a liaison to multiple campus partners and provides various workshops at CAPS and in the Penn community. Nicole joined the Let’s Talk team to help make supportive safe conversations with clinicians more accessible. She enjoys being out and about on campus where the pulse of the Penn community lies. 
Alaina Spiegel, PsyD (She/Her/Hers) is a staff psychologist and the Coordinator of Prevention Programs at CAPS. Alaina is passionate about enhancing student well-being through clinical care and community outreach and prevention. She facilitates various outreach initiatives including the I CARE program, a gatekeeper training that provides faculty, staff, and students the skills and resources to intervene in student stress, distress, and crisis. Clinically, Alaina supports students with concerns related to depression, anxiety, relationship issues, identity development, emerging adulthood, and more. Alaina works with students through a social justice lens and uses acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches, as well as cognitive-behavioral frameworks. Alaina is excited to be part of the Let’s Talk team to empower students to gain insight and coping skills to support their mental health and well-being.
Vincent G. Walford, PhD (He/Him/His) is staff psychologist at CAPS. Vincent completed his undergraduate studies at Baylor
University and obtained a Master’s in Public Health from Morehouse
School of Medicine, with a specialty in Health Education and Health
Promotion. He pursued and completed his doctoral training in
Counseling Psychology from Howard University, and completed his
clinical internship with the University of Houston Counseling Center.
From there, he completed a post-doctoral Trauma Fellowship at the
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Vincent enjoys working with college students.
Derik Yager-Elorriaga, PhD (He/Him/His) is a staff psychologist at CAPS. His clinical and professional interests focus on multicultural counseling, identity-related issues, and Latinx issues. Derik’s professional approach centers the therapeutic relationship, aiming to empower students through a strength-based, trauma-informed approach. He recognizes that we exist in a socio-cultural-political context that interacts with our mental health, and thus approaches his work through multicultural and feminist lenses. Derik is excited about the opportunity to engage with students through Let’s Talk.