Our Team

Our Team

Karen Ross
Associate Director of Student Health & Wellness

New to the role of Associate Director of Student Health & Wellness but not new to Teachers College, Karen is happy to be able to collaborate with other departments to create a community that addresses the well-being of TC students as a whole. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Karen firmly believes in empowering and helping others. With the usage of evidence-based therapy modalities Karen has focused most of her work on child and family welfare. In joining TC in 2018, Karen has been able to further utilize those tools to assist TC students. 

Karen earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Baruch College. Initially entering Baruch College for Actuarial Science, taking a psychology course was so impactful that she changed her major to Psychology with a minor in Black and Latino studies. Karen then went on to receive a Master’s in Social Work from Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus and obtained her licensure shortly thereafter. 

With most of her experience in working with families within the Administration for Children’s Services, Heartshare Human Services, Sheltering Arms, and within the Department of Homeless Services, Karen was able to hone in her skills of remaining person centered and strengths focused. This has laid a solid foundation in all of her work in order to be able to meet people where they are and connect. 

It is Karen’s hope that amidst the many uncertainties we face at this time that students will realize that they can count on TC and the TC community to be reliable and stable. It is also her hope that she can be a part of a community that ensures that students will be able to learn how to navigate TC successfully and use that knowledge once they graduate. 

Outside of TC Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends and taking the occasional dance class. 

Rachel Paikoff
Administrative Coordinator

Rachel Paikoff is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Doctor of Public Health Education program (higher education administration concentration) at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and graduated from the University of Alabama Honors College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.  She received her Master's in Public Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2018 and started working at Teachers College in the summer of 2016 in the Division of Student Affairs.  Rachel first worked in the Office of Student Affairs before the Health Insurance & Immunization process moved to the newly created Office of Student Health & Wellness.  In her spare time, Rachel enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her dogs, staying active, watching all Philadelphia sports teams and the Alabama Crimson Tide, traveling, and exploring all the great food New York City has to offer.  

Jonathan Johnson
Assistant Director of Student Health & Wellness Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Jonathan Johnson comes to Teachers College from the Sexual Violence Response Office at Columbia University.  As a Prevention Coordinator he co-managed the peer education program supervising and training a team of students on how to facilitate trainings on healthy interpersonal relationships, sexual consent and building a culture of accountability.  Additionally, he managed the Men’s Engagement initiatives and provided consultation for staff and faculty on working with male identified students.   

Prior to Columbia Jonathan worked for the Office of Special Programs at the City University of New York where he supported students enrolled in the Foster Youth collaborative.  He provided individual life coaching, crisis intervention, advocacy and leadership development for students across three campuses.  

Jonathan’s career includes work in article 31 mental health clinics providing evidenced based trauma therapy and family therapy services.  He specialized in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).  He has consulted for the NYC Department of Probation and the NYC Department of Health on implementing evidenced based strategies for addressing complex trauma in communities of color.  Additionally, he completed training with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond on the Undoing Racism framework and he has supported organizations in developing anti-racist practices.  

Jonathan in committed to approaching health through an integrated lens and he blends his background as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Fitness Educator.  He is an active member of the American College Health Association, the American College Professional Association and, the Society for Public Health Educators where he serves as the co-chair of the anti-racism task force. 

Student Support Services Fellow & Graduate Assistant

Fabio Marcovski, M.Sc., is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Fabio obtained his B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Cognitive Science, from the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn, he specialized in mindfulness-based interventions and research and soon joined the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion (CMC), at Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, Fabio make mindfulness-based programs accessible to the underserved Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking communities around Boston. For his doctoral studies at TC, Fabio currently investigates the concept of sense of belonging, and the relationship between mindfulness and spirituality. Fabio speaks fluently Portuguese, Spanish, and English. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program at TC, Fabio learned a variety of spiritual and meditation practices in India, Thailand, and Nepal.

Mental Health Counseling Intern

Gabriela Baquero-Henao is a second-year Ed.M. student in Mental Health Counseling at Teachers College. She is from Bogotá, Colombia and she earned her B.A. in Psychology from Universidad de los Andes. Gabriela has experience as a research assistant in studies related to women’s health and psychological interventions for victims of gender violence. She is passionate about promoting mental health and fighting the stigma associated with this topic. Gabriela believes mental health services should be available for anyone that needs them, regardless of their identities or socioeconomic status. She speaks fluent English and Spanish. In her free time, Gabriela enjoys listening to music, ice skating, watching movies, and hanging out with family and friends.

Before joining the Office of Student Health and Wellness, Sara worked with Columbia University's Earth Institute and at Teachers College's Consortium for Policy Research in Education, where she was heavily involved in program management and administrative coordination. Sara holds a Master's degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and has always had a dedication to the natural world and environmental consciousness. She is also a licensed massage therapist and a professional member of the New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists. She spent several years working with physical therapy and acupuncture offices in Manhattan and continues to support clients as they work to sustain and improve their health. Sara enjoys leisurely bicycling, hiking, good meals, fiction novels, and a strong cup of coffee.
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