Staff

Jackie Kurta, PsyD, MFT

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Jacqueline Kurta, PsyD, the Director of the UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and received her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) in Marriage and Family Therapy from Ryokan College in Los Angeles. She earned her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and received a B.A. in English from Tufts University in Boston. 

Originally from New York City, Jackie and her family relocated to Los Angeles in 1987 and they have made Santa Barbara their home since 2000. In addition to her work at UCSB, Jackie currently serves as Clinical Supervisor for Casa Serena, a Women’s Residential Recovery Program in Santa Barbara and  serves as Adjunct Faculty for Antioch-Santa Barbara. Jackie serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for New Beginnings Counseling Center, a community agency in Santa Barbara serving the most vulnerable populations. She served on the Board of the Santa Barbara Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists in a variety of capacities and volunteers with a number of local disaster relief agencies. 

Over the years, Jackie has also offered her services to valuable Santa Barbara community organizations, including Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County, Family Court Mediation Program of Santa Barbara County, the American Red Cross of SB County, Transition House, and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Her additional interests include travel, skiing, cycling, hiking and joining her family and friends in enjoying all that Santa Barbara has to offer.

 

Whitney Bruice, M.A., MFT 

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Whitney Bruice, M.A./ MFT is a counselor and educator in the Alcohol and Drug Program, leading psycho-educational groups, providing individual therapy, and is the liaison to Rec Sports and the Intercollegiate Athletics Program. Originally from Berkeley, California, Whitney graduated from UCSB with a BA in Psychology, received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in 2005. Her other clinical experience includes working with at-risk youth in foster care and in alternative school settings, working with institutionalized children with autism and other disabilities, and facilitating mental health groups on topics such as anger management, social skills, anxiety, and depression. Whitney’s other interests include spending time with her family, enjoying the beach, teaching swimming, and coaching and training for triathlons.



Justin Smith, M.A., MFT

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Justin Smith M.A., MFT is a Counselor/ Educator for the Alcohol and Drug Program. In addition to providing one on one counseling for students surrounding substance related issues, he also facilitates psycho educational groups, presents to various student body and UCSB faculty/staff, and creates group curriculum.

He is a Santa Barbara native and has been fortunate to call Santa Barbara his home for over 25 years.  In 2008 he moved to Northern California to attend UCSC and received his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology in 2012. Shortly thereafter he moved back to Santa Barbara to obtain his Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Prior to joining the Alcohol and Drug Program, Justin provided his services as a therapist in a wide range of clinical settings all over the greater Santa Barbara area including, AHA!, Goleta Union School District, Catholic Charities, Trinity Group Homes Inc., a private practice that specializes in treating victims of trauma  and an online telehealth platform. In his free time Justin enjoys: playing guitar, surfing, hiking, camping, and creative writing.

Specialties and Areas of Interest: Trauma; child abuse; substance misuse.


Syreeta Elie

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Syreeta Elie is the Operations Assistant for the Alcohol and Drug Program.  Syreeta joins the ADP Team from Virginia, where she worked at Georgetown University.  Syreeta has years of experience working in higher education and is a vital asset to our team.  In her spare time Syreeta loves to spend time with her two daughters and explores her new home of California.





Angie Tozier Bryan, MEd., M.A., MFT

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Angie Tozier Bryan, MEd, MA, MFT is a Counselor and Recovery Specialist for the Alcohol & DrugProgram.  She has a BA in Studio Art from UC Irvine and a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Counseling in Student Affairs from UCLA.  She finished her second Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Prior to joining the ADP staff in 2011, Angie was the Assistant Director of Judicial Affairs at UCSB for 6 years. Angie has worked in a variety of mental health settings, including the Santa Barbara Mental Health Association Fellowship Club, which serves adults with chronic mental illness, Zona Seca, Inc., and the Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Treatment Center, where she worked with adolescents and parents.  As the coordinator for the UCSB Gauchos for Recovery program, she is committed to working with students in recovery and their families. In her free time, she enjoys running, road trips, and spending time with her family.


Sarah Porat, M.A., MFT

Sara_Porat003 Sarah F. Porat, M.A., M.F.T. works as a Counselor with UCSB’s Alcohol & Drug Program. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Education Studies, and received an M.A. from Pepperdine University in Clinical Psychology. Sarah is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. At UCSB, Sarah provides empathic, non-judgmental counseling to students as they examine their attitudes and choices regarding alcohol and substance use. Previous clinical experiences include working at a therapeutic high school with students whose emotional limitations interfered with daily functioning and at a psychiatric hospital with patients suffering from mental illness.



Omari Pryor

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I am Omari Pryor, the new ADP Communication Manager. I've lived in Santa Barbara/Ventura for the last 24 years and love it! I have a BA in Psychology from Cal State Northridge and an MA in Organizational Management from Antioch. I have provided extensive administrative support for social service programs serving a wide range of populations in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Away from work I enjoy travelling with my family (and two adopted dogs). My hobbies include DIY home projects, motorcycles, and concerts (especially at the Santa Barbara Bowl).

Jennifer Taylor, M.A., MFT

Jen TaylorJennifer Taylor, M.A., MFT works as a Counselor and Educator with the UCSB Alcohol & Drug Program. Born and raised in Goleta, California, Jennifer attended UCLA where she received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Education. She continued her education at Pepperdine University, where she received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology. Jennifer is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her previous clinical experience includes working with transitional age youth in a community mental health outpatient program, providing individual and group therapy to young adults with disorders of emotion regulation in a residential setting, and working with at-risk and special needs youth and their families. Jennifer enjoys spending her free time cooking, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with her friends and family.