Faculty

Lisa Cochran-Navarra, Ph.D.
Lisa Cochran-Navarra, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Cochran-Navarra received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Birmingham, England (2018). Her research and thesis centered around autism spectrum disorder symptomatology in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. Prior to her graduate studies in the UK, she worked for several years at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

Dr. Cochran-Navarra, a native Californian, got her B.A. in Psychology from the California State University, Sacramento (2007). She has a long work history in neurodevelopmental disorders and neuropsychological testing (as a psychometrist). She has worked in research, hospital, and private practice settings.

Ruth Cohn, Psy.D.
Ruth Cohn, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Assistant Professor

Dr. Ruth Cohn is a licensed psychologist who received her Psy.D. from John F. Kennedy University.  She also received a concentration in neuropsychology and a postgraduate certification in trauma studies.  Dr. Cohn has spent her career working in a variety of different clinical settings including community mental health, schools, hospitals, private practices, and substance abuse clinics.  She is currently running her own private practice and supervises trainees.  She is passionate about working with trauma and completing neuropsychological/psychological assessments.  Dr. Cohn’s core belief is that every person has a unique history combined with biopsychosocial factors that should each be given proper recognition and understanding regardless of whether she is teaching, supervising, evaluating, or providing therapy.  When Dr. Cohn is not working, she enjoys being at home spending time with her cats and playing videogames.

Kristee Haggins, Ph.D.
Kristee Haggins, PhD
Associate Professor

Founding Faculty Member

Dr. Haggins received her B.A. in Psychology with Honors from the University of Southern California in Psychology and her M.A. and PhD in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University. She worked at UC Davis for 18 years as a psychologist, supervisor, professor and administrator in Counseling and Psychological Services where she served as the Associate Director of Training. After leaving UC Davis, Dr. Haggins worked as a project manager for five years at the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, where she led projects focused on promoting excellence and the integration of cultural competence into mental health and substance use services. Dr. Haggins is also an adjunct faculty at the California School of Professional Psychology-Sacramento/Alliant International University. Her areas of interest include: supervision and training; diversity issues; African-centered psychology; and spirituality and mental health.

David Jull-Patterson, Ph.D.
David Jull-Patterson, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Associate Professor

A sixth-generation Californian, Dr. Jull-Patterson completed a master’s degree in counselor education with an emphasis in thanatological counseling at New York University. He earned his PhD at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (APA accredited) with an internship (APA accredited) and fellowship at University of California, San Francisco in health psychology. He is a licensed psychologist, a Certified Group Psychotherapist, and a Fellow in Thanatology with the Association of Death Education and Counseling.

Currently, Dr. Jull-Patterson is the chair of the California Psychological Association Ethics Committee and teaches in an ethics institute before each CPA annual convention. He is the CPA liaison to the APA’s Ethics Committee Task Force, which is responsible for a complete revision of our profession’s ethics code.

Prior to moving to the Sacramento area, he was a clinical professor at the UCSF School of Medicine for over 20 years. He received numerous teaching nominations and awards during that time, including Inspirational Teacher, and is inducted into the Academy of Medical Educators. His professional interests are in the areas of palliative care, ethics, faculty development, the science of teaching and learning, and social justice.

Katherine Kruser, Psy.D.
Katherine Kruser, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist
Assistant Professor

Dr. Katherine Kruser is a licensed psychologist with specialized fellowship postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology. She has 10 years of experience and training in assessing individuals in forensic settings. She now works as a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist in Sacramento and Los Angeles. She is the Director of Nexus Triage, a telemedicine-based company providing neurobehavioral health examinations for patients who have experienced emotional trauma or brain injury. At Valley Neuropsychological Services and Sacramento Center for Neuropsychology, Dr. Kruser primarily evaluates and treats patients who file law suits about their injuries. She also seasonally works with professional athletes with the NBA and NFL, serves on the Board of Directors for the California Psychological Association’s Division of Neuropsychology, supervises doctoral students from various clinical programs, and lobbies annually at our State Capital on behalf of the mental health field and our collective patients.

Education
– Psy.D., Alliant International University, Sacramento
– M.A., Clinical Psychology, Alliant International University, Sacramento
– B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, University of California, Davis

Jason Lillis, Ph.D.
Jason Lillis, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Associate Professor

Dr. Lillis received his B.A. in Psychology from Loyola University Maryland and his MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno and then completed a postdoc at Stanford University. He has worked for almost 10 years an NIH grant-funded research scientist and faculty member at the Brown Medical School and the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition, he regularly teaches, mostly recently at California State University- Sacramento before joining the CNSU faculty. Dr. Lillis has more than 50 publications and 3 books and is considered a leading researcher of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a mindfulness and acceptance-based CBT intervention for treating mental and behavioral health issues.

Tiffany Mimms, Ph.D.
Tiffany Mimms, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Assistant Professor
Founding Faculty Member

Dr. Mimms earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary (APA accredited) in Pasadena, CA. She completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the University of California, Davis Counseling Center (APA accredited) where, in addition to providing psychotherapy to university students, she coordinated the Multicultural Immersion Program. After being in private practice for several years, she expanded her practice and opened The Rosetta Center for Counseling and Wellness: A Place for Health, Healing and Hope. The Rosetta Center is a community counseling agency that focuses on serving the African American community. Dr. Mimms’s clinical and research interests include women’s issues, multicultural competence, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She has previously taught at John F. Kennedy University and Western Seminary.

Lori Roberto, Ph.D.
Lori Roberto, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Assistant Professor

Dr. Lori Roberto earned her B.A. in Psychology from UC Irvine, her M.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago. She completed her internship at Rush University Medical Center (APA approved) in their health psychology track and her dissertation explored factors related to psychological distress in cancer patients. She completed postdoctoral work in Tucson, Arizona that included integrative pain management and medical rehabilitation settings. Upon moving back to California, Dr. Roberto worked as a psychologist at Sacramento State University where she split her time between the Health Center and Counseling Services as a clinician, coordinator of health psychology and eating disorder services, and supervisor of psychology interns.

Dr. Roberto transitioned to private practice in 2011 and she specializes in clinical health psychology for individuals with chronic medical conditions, stress, pain, insomnia/sleep disorders, and eating related issues. She is fascinated by the interplay of mind and body and often utilizes clinical hypnosis, mindfulness based practices, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in her clinical work. Dr. Roberto is enthusiastic about teaching and community involvement: she is also a Lecturer at Sacramento State University, she provides Resiliency Consultations for physicians through the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, and she serves on the board of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association.

Haleigh Scott, Ph.D.
Haleigh Scott, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Assistant Professor

Dr. Haleigh Scott received her PhD in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Psychology from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her internship at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and received postdoctoral training at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the MIND Institute at UC Davis. Her research focuses on the health and wellness of people with neurodevelopmental disabilities, particularly on diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders in this population. Dr. Scott is a licensed psychologist and specializes in assessment and treatment of mental and behavioral challenges in people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. She is also a passionate advocate for the environment and human powered recreation and serves on the board of CRAGS- Climbing Resource Advocates of Greater Sacramento.

Deann Smetana, Psy.D.
Deann Smetana, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Associate Professor

Dr. Smetana holds a doctorate in psychology (PsyD) from California Southern University, a doctorate in behavioral health (DBH) from Arizona State University, and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from George Fox University. She maintains licensure in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, practicing as a psychotherapist. Dr. Smetana’s research, training, and experience include several areas of focus. The first being the integration of a team-based healthcare approach by incorporating behavioral health practices into the medical model. This meets the predominant healthcare delivery demands of the Quadruple Aim, a person-centered approach to healthcare. Research includes physician well-being, occupational exhaustion, and stress reduction for primary care physicians.
Next, attention was directed to the military population with Dr. Smetana having served on a national research and evaluation project for PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and all psychological health related programs for the Department of Defense. For over a decade, Dr. Smetana partnered with the Military Medical-Command units to provide services to Military Services Members and their families, both domestic and abroad. Interventions included: Evaluation, assessment, rapid therapeutic approaches, suicide interventions, and counseling services that were designed to assist Service Members improve their psychology health, thereby, allowing them to remain world-wide deployable. Dr. Smetana provided resiliency workshops and led suicide prevention efforts across the state of Oregon, as well as all other psychoeducation topics determined by population needs.

Lastly, Dr. Smetana served as adjunct faculty at Arizona State University and Warner Pacific University teaching doctorate, masters, and undergraduate courses in behavioral health, psychology, and human development. She was also a Director for Training and Engagement for a large federal contract organization and was tasked with educating 1500 psychologists, counselors, and social workers who work with military Service Members.

Clary Tepper, Ph.D.
Clary Tepper, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Assistant Professor

Dr. Tepper received her Ph.D. in clinical developmental psychology and her master’s degree in social services from Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to California Northstate University, her university experience included working as a clinician with students, faculty and staff at three different universities, where she also developed specialized counseling programs and was the supervising psychologist for those programs. Dr. Tepper is currently in private practice and has specializations in several areas: working with physicians around the psychological challenges unique to the field of medicine; with issues related to maternal mental health; with trauma, and with grief and loss. She has a strong passion for issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and in her free time, she creates digital art to raise funds for organizations that are dedicated to social justice and/or protecting the environment. She is on the board of directors for both the Sacramento Psychoanalytical Society and the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association.

Craig Wetterer, Ph.D., J.D.
Craig Wetterer, PhD, JD
Licensed Psychologist
Associate Professor
Founding Faculty Member

Dr. Craig Wetterer earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University (2015; APA Accredited) and an MA (2001) and BA (1996) in Psychology from the California State University, Sacramento. His clinical internship training focused on forensic and neuropsychological assessment, and therapeutic interventions targeting acute stress, trauma and PTSD. Dr. Wetterer completed postdoctoral training with the California Correctional Healthcare Services (CDCR), where he was part of a treatment team providing interventions treating the most seriously mentally ill inmate-patients in a maximum-security prison setting. In 2017, he was appointed to the position of Clinical Director of the inpatient Mental Health Crisis Bed unit at California State Prison, Sacramento, where he supervised an interdisciplinary treatment team of clinicians providing acute mental health care to hospitalized patients. Dr. Wetterer has experience as a forensic psychologist at Lake’s Crossing Center (2019-2021), a maximum-security forensic psychiatric hospital in Nevada, where he was part of an interdisciplinary treatment team conducting forensically focused assessments for the Courts. He is licensed as a clinical psychologist in California and Nevada, and as a member of the California Bar since 2007.

Dr. Wetterer has previously served as a sworn police officer with the Sacramento Police Department working in a variety of assignments, including patrol, field training officer, neighborhood policing, and on the mental health/crisis response team. He provides ongoing training support to new officers in understanding mental illness, teaching them best practices in crisis intervention.  His clinical and research interests include the assessment of personality and psychopathology, risk of suicide, and interventions that target acute stress, trauma, and PTSD. His teaching focus at is in Personality & Intellectual Assessment, Psychometrics, Statistics, and Forensic Psychology. He has held faculty appointments at the University of California, Davis as a visiting lecturer, and a current appointment as an adjunct professor at Brandman University, which is merging with UMass Global in late 2021. Dr. Wetterer is also a member of the community faculty as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.