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Counseling Center Staff

The Furman Counseling Center staff is made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and interns in these fields.   As a group, we represent a wide variety of professional interests and specializations, including multicultural issues, wellness, sexual identity, women's issues, eating disorders, and social justice. All of us are committed to providing services in ways that recognize, respect, and value the diversity of Barnard students.

Click on a name or scroll down for a short biography.

Mary Commerford, Ph.D., Director

Hilary Colenso, Ph.D, L.S.W. Associate Director

Elizabeth Hantman, M.D.

Sarah Harte, LCSW, Coordinator, ASAP

Karen Gelder, Ph.D.

Lawrence Maayan, M.D.

Mayowa Obasaju, Ph.D.

Gillian Scott-Ward, Ph.D.



Post Doctoral Fellow:

Erin Jeanette, Ph.D.

Doctoral Intern:

Georgina Hollick, M.A.

Doctoral Externs:

Sevan Basil, M.A.

Chloe Goldstein, B.A.

Aziza Platt, M.S.Ed.

Social Work Interns:

Jessica Gordon, B.A.

Jayson Jones, B.S.

Denna Levine, B.A.

Nino Makharadze, B.A.

Administrative Staff:

Norinda Del Fierro, B.A., Office Coordinator/Admin. Asst.

Cachaundra Tarvin, Receptionist/Admin. Asst.


Mary Commerford, Ph.D., Director, Furman Counseling Center

Education History:

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Fordham University
  • M.Div. Ministry, Yale University Divinity School
  • A.B. Theology, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Eating Disorders
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Spirituality/Religion
  • Women and Young Adult concerns

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Hilary Colenso, Ph.D., L.S.W., Associate Director


Education History:

  • Ph.D. New York University
  • M.Sc. University of Oxford, England
  • B.A. University of Leicester, England

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Interested in a broad range of women’s psychological and relationship issues including the loss and transitions, affective disorders, substance use, trauma and abuse.

Research Interests:

  • Women’s Substance Abuse and Treatment

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Karen Gelder, Ph.D.,    Staff Psychotherapist/Eating Disorder Specialist


Education History:

Ph.D., Counseling Psychology; Teachers College, Columbia University

 M.A., Ed.M., Teachers College, Columbia University

 B.A., English; University of Pennsylvania

Professional and Research Interests:

  • Eating Disorders
  • Spirituality
  • Developmental and Psychological Issues of Young Adulthood
  • Influence of Cultural Values on Career and Professional Development Among Women of Color

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Elizabeth Hantman, M.D. Staff Psychiatrist

Education History:

  • Residency in Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University
  • Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York Presbyterian
  • Hospital of Columbia and Cornell Universities
  • M.D.Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • B.A. Psychology, Rutgers College, Rutgers University

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Evaluation and treatment of psychiatric illness
  • Psychological development throughout childhood and adulthood

Research Interests:

  • Pain symptoms, stress, and psychiatric illness

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Lawrence Maayan, M.D., Staff Psychiatrist

Education History:

  • Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Yale University Child Study Center
  • Residency in Psychiatry, School of Medicine, New York University
  • M.D. School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A. Psychology, Columbia University

Professional Specialties:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Investigator in studies on ADHD, pediatric psychosis, adolescent suicide

Research Interests:

  • Safety and efficacy of psychotropic medication
  • Relationship between adverse experience  and development of psychiatric and medical illness

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Mayowa Obasaju, Ph.D., Staff  Psychologist


Education History:

  • PhD, Clinical and Community Psychology, Georgia State University
  • BA, Psychology and Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Professional and Research Interests:

  • Systemic, clinical and community based approaches to trauma intervention and  prevention.
  • Interpersonal, relational, and community violence with a focus on childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, and work with women of color.
  • Substance use, psychological problems, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Transformative and social justice

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Gillian Scott-Ward, Ph.D., Staff  Psychologist/Outreach Coordinator


Education History:

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
  • M.Phil, City College of New York
  • B.A., Cornell University

Professional Interest and Specialties:

  • Multiculturalism and counseling issues with diverse groups
  • LGBTQ issues
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Integration of mindfulness in psychotherapy
  • Suicide prevention
  • Developmental issues in young adulthood  

Research Issues:

  • The media and its impact on youth development

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Erin Jeanette, Ph.D., Post Doctoral Fellow

Education History:

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Adelphi University
  • M.M. Choral Conducting, Temple University
  • B.A. Music, English, Vassar College

Professional and research interests:

  • Emotion regulation
  • Identity formation and the development of a solid and comfortable sense of self
  • Concerns about food, eating, body and shape
  • Money and socio-economic class in undergraduate life
  • Psychoanalysis and society
  • Psychological health for individuals in the arts and creative fields