Isidro Alvaro, B.S. (Evening Receptionist)

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Isidro earned his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce at Far Eastern University from the Philippines. Prior to coming to USG, he worked for more than 15 years as an Accountant for a Defense Contractor Company. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Phoenix. Isidro is excited to be a part of the USG Center for Counseling and Consultation and looking forward to helping students, faculty, and staff.
Professional Interests:  Career Growth and Development; System Administration: Program Control Analyst; Accounting; and Business Management
Personal Interests:  Traveling; Swimming; Cooking; Biking; Reading; and Watching Movies
B.S., 2015, Commerce, Far Eastern University, Philippines
Isidro is currently not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jessica Branch, LCPC (Counselor and Workshop Facilitator)

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Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has worked extensively with college students, adolescents, kids, and families since 1997. She specializes in individual and family work and can provide therapy in Spanish, too. She has a B.A. in Spanish and became fluent by studying and living abroad in both Mexico, and Colombia, South America. She has maintained a private practice in Silver Spring, Maryland, for the past nine years, and likes to really try to understand what each person might need in the therapy process. She really enjoys working with young people, but also those of different ages and backgrounds. She strives to provide kindness, attentive listening, and collaboration in the therapy room.
Jessica received her Masters degree at Virginia Tech in 1997. She has worked in various, university student support services including Career Services, International Student Services, and Women Center positions. She went on to do internship work with the YMCA Youth and Family Services, which placed her in Silver Spring public schools working with students and families coming from different parts of the world, like Central America, South America, the Phillipines, Ethiopia, Africa, and the U.S. Working with a variety of folks has shaped her thinking and training choices in Narrative therapy, Family Systems, Mindfulness, and EMDR.
Professional Interests   Working with People to Battle the Effects of Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Self-harm, and Trauma on Their Lives and Relationships
Personal Interests:  Avid West Coast Swing Dancer and Practitioner of Aikido; Enjoy Being Outside; Reading; and Many Kinds of Music
EMDR Certification
MA.Ed, Counselor Education, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
B.A., Spanish, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Jessica works for the Center on Mondays, 9am - 12pm, Wednesdays, 9am - 3pm, and Fridays, 10am-5pm.


Carl V. Coleman, LCPC (Counselor)

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Carl V. Coleman, LCPC comes to the Center for Counseling and Consultation with over 35 years of professional experience in the private and public sectors. Upon receiving his undergraduate degree, Carl got his start in corporate America. Carl later moved to the public education sector and earned a Master’s in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. He taught middle school for Montgomery County Public School System for a number of years before moving to the higher education arena. Carl worked as a Disability Support Counselor for Montgomery College before his Academic Advising position with The School of Business at George Washington University (GW). It was during his GW tenure that Carl fully embraced his true calling and pursued his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health at GW. While his private practice is in Germantown, MD (CVC Consulting Services), Carl also sees clients in Frederick, MD and Washington DC.
As a behaviorist, using person-centered and ecological approaches, sessions with Carl will likely be intuitive, interactive and with concrete or thoughtful “take-aways.” Carl appreciates the positive changes he sees in clients who seek help with self-esteem, depression, anxiety, anger, sexuality, growing older, other life transitions, academic matters, mood disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Carl particularly likes working with military personnel (including veterans), students, couples and men.
Professional Interests:  Professional Interests:  Speaking Engagements; Mental Health Awareness Benefits for “Everyday People;” Helping to Reduce the Stigma; Colleague Connecting and Collaboration; Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland, member; National Board of Certified Counselors, member
Personal Interests: Reunions; Celebrations; Music; Meaningful Activities with Friends and Family, Including Alumni. Enjoys Engagement in Spiritual Communities.
M.A., 2010, Clinical Mental Health, George Washington University
M.S., 1994, Special Education, Johns Hopkins University
B.S., 1980, Marketing, Hampton University
Carl is currently not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Lynne Dingle, LCSW-C (Counselor)


Lynne has extensive experience working with couples, individuals, and families. She has also run groups with a variety of themes, such as self-esteem, empowerment, and the aftermath of being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. Part of her work has been to consult with counselors who work in an agency setting. She trained addiction counselors in the techniques of family therapy, active listening, and improving communications within the family.
Currently Lynne is a volunteer at Give an Hour. She provides free therapy for returning veterans and/or their family. She has experience working with individuals suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her training in this area has included a multitude of workshops that cover not only veterans, but individuals who have suffered trauma from abuse. She maintains a private practice in Gaithersburg, MD. Lynne's college degrees came while she was raising her family. She has a working knowledge and understanding of the stress of being a returning student while managing the many tasks of a family.
Lynne's approach with her clients is open and direct, teaching people to be aware of their outside world and how it impacts their emotions. She uses a psychodynamic approach with theory also based in Gestalt and Object Relations. The environment she hopes to create is one where a person feels comfortable and safe. She is capable of addressing most client concerns that deal with anxiety or depression, PTSD, relationships, and parenting, as well as coping with and learning time management to help deal with the stressors we all experience in our lives.
Professional Interests:  PTSD; Addiction Issues; Anxiety and Depression; Relationship Issues; Life Stage Developmental Concerns
Personal Interests: Knitting, reading and traveling top the list. Love the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox! Spending time at the beach.
M.S.W., 1983, Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Certificate - Object Relations/Self Psychology, 1988
Certificate - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Traumatic Brain Injury, 2012
Lynne works for the Center on Mondays, 11am - 5pm and Wednesdays, 11am - 5pm.


Jonathan Kandell, Ph.D. (Director)


Following his internship at the University of Maryland, College Park Counseling Center (1989-90), Dr. Kandell was hired by that agency and worked there for 22 years, the last 18 as Assistant Director overseeing the Center’s Counseling Service.  While at UM, he also was an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the College Student Personnel program, teaching counseling techniques.  On the national level, Jonathan has spent much of his career involved with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), especially with the Association's Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services (CCAPS), including a two-year term as its Chair.  In August, 2012, Jonathan joined the Universities at Shady Grove to create and develop a brand-new counseling center on the campus, the Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC).  He appreciates the opportunity to work with the students, faculty, and staff of such a dynamic and growing campus as USG.
Professional Interests:  Counseling Center Administration; Group and Couples Counseling; Impact of Advancing Technology on Individuals and Society, including Internet Addiction; Grief and Loss Issues; Organizational Behavior and Consultation
Personal Interests:  Popular Culture (Music, TV, Film); Sports; Fantasy Football; Computers and Other Technologies; Card and Other Games
Ph.D., 1991, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park
M.S., 1986, Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Maryland, College Park
B.S., 1970, Chemistry, University of Maryland, College Park
Jonathan works for the Center full-time (currently M-F, 9am - 5pm).


Linda M. Kaplan, LCSW-C (Counselor)

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In her 30 plus years of experience, Linda M. Kaplan, LCSW-C has been fortunate to work in both the public and private sector; including child abuse and neglect agencies and family service agencies. She has also maintained a private practice in Gaithersburg, Maryland since 1990. Ms. Kaplan has worked with complex multi-problem families, couples, groups and individuals. She has worked with adolescent clients through clients in late adulthood. She has a particular interest in college-age students and returning older students.

Along with the more traditional modalities of therapy, Linda has found that the use of mindfulness and spirituality has strengthened and empowered her clients. She has attended numerous workshops over the years that support her view of Integrative Mental Health. She has found the integration of cognitive-behavioral techniques and psychodynamic work, along with bodywork and awareness (mindfulness), maximizes a person’s happiness and well-being.
Professional Interests:  Depression; Anxiety; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Eating Disorders/Disordered Eating; Addictions; Relationship Issues; Self-Esteem
Personal Interests:  The Outdoors; Reading; Travel; Meditating; Dogs; Dancing
M.S.W., 1980, Clinical Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore
B.S., 1978, Family Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
Linda works for the Center on Tuesdays, 9am - 12pm..


Anchal Khanna, LCMFT (Counselor)


Anchal is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist with over fourteen years of experience providing individual, couples and group therapy. She is in private practice in Rockville, MD and has worked for many years in college counseling centers. In her most recent experience at George Mason University’s Counseling Center, she served in the role of the Assistant Director managing crisis and clinical services.
Anchal has significant experience working with diverse clinical issues including mood concerns, relationship difficulties, trauma, life transitions, cultural adjustments and sexual assault. She uses an integrative approach in therapy with the goal to facilitate a collaborative and solution focused dialogue towards creating change and movement.
Anchal has advanced training in the Gottman Method of couples therapy and is also a Gottman Educator trained to work with couples as they transition to parenthood. She is a seasoned presenter and workshop facilitator.
Personal Interests:  Swimming; Reading; Art; and spending time with family and friends
M.S., 2002, Marriage and Family Therapy, Northern Illinois University
Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist, State of Maryland
Licensed Professional Counselor, Commonwealth of Virginia
Certified Gottman Educator
Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, Level III Trained
Anchal works for the Center Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9am - 4pm.


Ruth Najera (Administrative Assistant)


Right after high school Ruth attended Mountainview Community College and in 2005 she transferred to the University of North Texas in pursuit of her Teacher Certificate in Early Education. During this time she worked with the Dallas Independent School District until 2010. Looking to try something new she worked as a Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant for a small business. After working there for two years she came to the conclusion that corporate America wasn’t for her. Her family decided to move to Maryland this year in search for better opportunities and a chance for her to once again work in the education field. She is excited and happy to be working with the Center for Counseling and Consultation at USG and she hopes to be a part of this great team for years to come.
Professional Interests   To one day be able to give back either as a School Psychologist or Social Worker
Personal Interests:  Cooking; Watching Movies; DIY Projects; Visiting New Places; Trying New Foods; Meeting New People; Learning as Much as She Can from Those Around Her