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.

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. 

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.

Health Promotion Interns


Jamileth (she/her/ella)

Health Promotion Intern 

Jamileth is a fourth-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 fourth-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)

Physical Health Intern
Val is a fourth-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.


Em (she/her/hers)

Physical Health Intern
Em is a fourth-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. 

Food Nutrition & Basic Skills Interns


Anahi (she/her/hers)

FNBS Intern
Bio Coming Soon!

Marketing Interns

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Rachel (she/her/hers)

Graphic Designer & Marketing Intern
Bio Coming Soon!

Health Informatics Interns


Yvonne (she/her/hers)

Data Science Intern

Yvonne is a fourth-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.