M.A. Program Team | Clinical Psychology | Counseling & Clinical Psychology

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Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology

In the Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department

M.A. Program Team

Program Director

Randall  Richardson

Randall Richardson

Full-Time Lecturer/Program Director

Randall Richardson-Vejlgaard, Ph.D. received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the New School for Social Research, and completed post-doctoral training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yale School of Medicine. Previous to joining the clinical faculty at Teacher's College, Dr. Richardson-Vejlgaard was a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and holds a joint appointment as Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Dept. of Psychiatry of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. His research examines the psychological factors that contribute to the initiation of behavior. Specifically, his current work examines the precipitants of suicidal behavior in individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder to better understand the cognitive and emotional states associated with suicide attempts. He teaches Psychological Assessment, Neuropsychological Assessment, Clinical Neuropsychology, and Personality and Behavior Change. Email: rr2761@tc.columbia.edu


To make an appointment during Dr. Richardson's office hours, please follow this link: Office Hours

Academic Advisors


Assistant Program Coordinator

Adjunct Faculty Liaison

Academic Program Advisor


Office Hours:
Office Location: Horace Mann 330A
Office Number: 212-678-4185


Integrative Project Advisor

Assistant Program Coordinator

Academic Program Advisor


Office Hours: 
Office Location: Horace Mann 325
Office Number: 212-678-4186


Academic Program Advisor


Office Hours: 
Office Location: Horace Mann 325
Office Number: 212-678-4186


Academic Program Advisor


Office Hours:  
Office Location: Horace Mann 325
Office Number: 212-678-4186

Academic Advisement Mission

The educational mission of Academic Advisement is to assist students through their academic journey in all possible ways. Thus, it is an on-going educational partnership between an advisor and his/her assigned student.  Our Academic Program Advisors truly care about student’s success. Some have even completed the MA Program themselves. By the end of the first semester students should know the name and contact information of their advisor and have met with them at least once during their office hours.

Important things to keep in mind regarding Academic Advisement:

  • Inform yourself of program expectations, graduation requirements, and TC policies.
  • Make sure to discuss your concerns, don’t keep it to yourself.
  • Ask right away for clarification if you don’t understand something in the handbook.
  • Make contact regularly each semester (especially before registration!).
  • Be an active learner: use campus resources.
  • Keep a record of your progress, outline goals (e.g., classes to take, when to start Special Project, whether to apply to doctoral programs etc.)
  • Use advisement to learn how to develop a relationship with faculty members.

Anne  Renaud

Anne Renaud

Anne Renaud, MA is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program. She graduated from Kalamazoo College with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Social Relations and completed her MA at Teachers College in Spring of 2016. As an MA student, Anne worked on qualitative and quantitative projects in the labs of Dr. Richardson and Dr. Verdeli. Anne is returning to TC to continue work in Dr. Verdeli’s Global Mental Health lab. After spending the past year working with adults with severe mental illnesses in a community-based setting in Chicago, she looks forward to developing skills to effectively adapt mental health interventions to benefit under-resourced communities domestically and abroad. 

The role of the Academic Program Advisor as I see it: 

TC's clinical psychology MA program creates a space for students to both broadly explore and  hone in on those areas of our field that really captivate them academically and/or clinically. With such a wide breadth of coursework and research content available to students, my job is to assist in tailoring one's tenure here to their specific needs and interests. I hope I can serve as a useful resource in the selection of relevant coursework, identification of professional opportunities, and even in the sorting out of those moments of existential crisis we all experience from time to time. My job is to help, with problems both big and small.

Amar  Mandavia

Amar Mandavia

Amar Mandavia, MA is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. During his time in the Master's program at TC, his integrative project focused on analyzing longitudinal epidemiological data to identify prospective psychosocial factors that impact transition to and recovery from homelessness among adults in the US. His current research examines the intersection of bio-psycho-social factors among individuals who are homeless and its impact upon their risk for developing severe mental illnesses.

The Role of the Academic Program Advisor as I See It:

My job is to connect students with the people, courses, and ideas that will make their time at Teachers College as effective as it can be.Taken together, TC, Columbia University and New York City offer opportunities to match almost any ambition in the mental health field. It takes patience and confidence to map out one's own path. It's hard work with no shortage of anxiety. But as an MA program advisor I'm always eager to help students stay calm and on target.

Melanie  Love

Melanie Love

Melanie Love, MS is a fourth-year doctoral student in Dr. Farber's lab. She did her undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and Psychology at Johns Hopkins University, and completed her MA in Psychology in Education at Teachers College in 2014. Her research is on lying and disclosure in psychotherapy, and this year, the Farber Lying Lab will be focused on work for their impending book, Lies and Secrets in Psychotherapy, to be published by the APA Press.

The Role of the Academic Program Advisor as I See It:‌

As a graduate of the M.A. program, I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced and opportunities afforded students in the program.  Given that no two students enter the program with the same experiences or goals, I hope to offer guidance with the technical aspects of the graduate student experience at TC, as well as a space to discuss and reflect upon one’s own personal goals and professional development.  Students in the program ought to graduate with foundational knowledge of the field and a clear idea of what their next professional or academic step will be.  I see my role as helping students achieve both of these goals while facilitating as positive of an educational experience as possible.‌

Jillian  Arenz

Jillian Arenz

Jillian M. Arenz, MA is a doctoral student in the Global Mental Health Lab under Dr. Verdeli. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Kenyon College in 2011 and earned a M.A. in Psychology in Education from Teachers College in 2016. As a masters student, Jillian concentrated in Research Methods and Global Mental Health and Trauma and worked with Drs. Bonanno and Verdeli in the Loss, Trauma, Emotion Lab, Global Mental Health Lab, and The Resilience Center for Veterans and Families. She wrote her IP on the relationship between coping flexibility and PTSD in veterans recently transitioned out of the military. She continues research with adaptation and implementation of evidence based therapies for underserved populations experiencing trauma and stress as part of the Global Mental Health Lab. Current projects include IPT for veterans, undergraduate students, Syrian refugees, and maternal depression.

The Role of the Academic Program Advisor as I See It:

The role of the academic adviser in this program is to help each student explore his/her own interests and strengths. The students in our program come from very different backgrounds in psychology and beyond. I try to guide these students in the right direction by appreciating each student's needs and professional goals. It is important to cater one's approach to the individual, taking into account their past experiences and working to identify the thread of contuinuity that ties to the present and future.

Fieldwork Coordinator

Dr. Defne  Akol

Dr. Defne Akol


For MA students looking to apply to doctoral programs, volunteering is part of life. Doctoral programs like to see that students have both research experience and clinical experience.  For clinical experience, students often seek positions that will give them experience working with a client population. The possibilities for such clinical fieldwork are extremely diverse: psychiatric patients, the elderly, homeless youth, study participants, and so on.

Although the effort to find clinical fieldwork placements is largely an individual effort, the department has a Field Placement Coordinator, Dr. Defne Akol, who is available for brainstorming about possibilities and to answer specific questions. Dr. Akol supports students in searching for suitable fieldwork opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the field.

Dr. Akol has also created a Fieldwork Portal accessible by all TC MA students. Simply log on to your myTC portal, and then click the “Drive” icon in the upper-right-hand corner. On the new page that opens, go back to the upper right hand corner and click on the tiny grid of squares. Then click “Sites”. You will have already been invited to the site: “Clinical Psychology Fieldwork”.

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