Our Staff

The CAPS staff is dedicated and committed to a respectful understanding and honoring of the social, emotional and cultural contexts represented by each individual student.

CAPS provides individual and group counseling, emergency and crisis intervention, prevention-oriented outreach and educational presentations, consultation and training. CAPS maintains strict confidentiality, establishes a professional atmosphere, and holds to the highest clinical and ethical standards.

In response to the changing needs of the Saint Mary’s College Community, the CAPS staff is committed to training, life-long learning and its own professional growth and development.

Headshot of Dai To
Dai To, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Wellness, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services

Dr. To is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and received her doctorate from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA.  As Director, she is available for consultation to Faculty, Staff and family members  to address any concerns or questions about how to intervene and help a student.  She also provides individual and group psychotherapy with an emphasis on First Generation College Students.  Whether in her own clinical work or supervising the work of trainees, Dr. To is informed by her understanding of people both psychologically and socioculturally.  She has a deep appreciation for the developmental challenges of college students and understands that these challenges are often complicated by familial, cultural demands and expectations as well as internal conflicts.  Dr. To works with students to navigate this important time of transition and growth through providing support and insight oriented therapy that will allow students to understand the connections between their emotions, behavior and academic success.

Headshot of Cynthia Cutshall
Cynthia Cutshall, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Clinical Services and Operations / Outreach Coordinator

Dr. Cutshall received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa. She provides assessment, crisis intervention, case management, and psychotherapy to Saint Mary’s students as well as consultation to faculty, staff, and concerned others. In collaboration with the Director, Dr. Cutshall oversees clinical services and operations at CAPS. She is interested in researching alternative methods of service delivery and potential obstacles to treatment seeking in order to better meet the diverse needs of all students. Cynthia also works with the Training Coordinator to provide clinical supervision to postdoctoral therapists at CAPS, and she manages a comprehensive psychoeducational program designed to serve the multicultural student population at Saint Mary’s. Cynthia believes that a person's psychology is impacted by a number of factors, including but not limited to heredity, culture, and early relationships. Ideally, therapy allows students to feel understood and less alone so that they can better navigate challenges in their personal and academic lives. Cynthia enjoys working with college and graduate students, and she has a particular interest in supporting student veterans.

Headshot of Dr Jennifer Panish
Jennifer Panish, Psy.D.
Training Coordinator / Staff Psychologist

Dr. Panish is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. For the past 15+ years she has focused primarily on working with college students from a psychodynamic, multicultural and relational approach. Dr. Panish has worked with students dealing with a range of issues with a particular understanding of the pressures of higher education, as well as young adult development. Her special interests include crisis intervention, anxiety, depression, identity related issues (e.g. gender, sexual orientation, race), and life transitions. In addition to her work with college students, Dr. Panish also has a private practice in Oakland.

Carnetta Porter
Carnetta Porter, Psy.D.
Staff Therapist

Dr. Carnetta Porter earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology/AIU in San Francisco.  Her research and clinical interests include linguistic code-switching and acculturative experiences, cultural/racial identity development and racial trauma.  As a Black identified therapist, she brings to CAPS 30+ years of professional/clinical development operating through a multi-cultural lens working with diverse populations as a therapist and educator.  As a staff therapist at Mills College-CAPS, Dr. Porter provided individual and group therapy to students, and facilitated a Healing Circle to address the unique challenges and needs of Black/African-American identified students on campus.  Dr. Porter has held an adjunct faculty position at AIU/CSPP where she taught a course designed to develop first-year graduate students’ awareness of their individual cultural identities and acceptance of cultural differences in others.  As a clinician, she embraces an integrative approach to therapy that includes psychodynamic, multicultural, cognitive-behavioral and trauma-focused modalities with a goal of empowering individuals to develop coping strategies to overcome and manage traumatic stressors that can produce identity crises and life/relational transitions in adulthood.  She lives in Oakland, CA and currently practices as a professional therapist in San Leandro, CA.

Headshot of Dr. Thomas Jones
Thomas Jones, FSC, Ed.D.
Staff Psychologist

Dr. Jones is a Christian Brother who holds California state licenses as both a Clinical Psychologist and an Educational Psychologist.  He received his doctorate from the University of San Francisco. With experience in educational, correctional, and medical settings, Dr. Jones brings considerable experience in supporting the development of individuals who struggle to take care of their personal needs as they respond to institutional expectations. As a staff psychologist in CAPS, he is available to students regarding issues pertaining to the social, emotional, and academic challenges of collegiate life. He is also available to faculty and staff for consultation. Drawing on a number of paradigms, Dr. Jones incorporates elements of learning, multicultural, and psychodynamic theories into his practice.  He has worked with a wide range of issues that impact the well-being and development of students, including addressing learning differences; facing transition; managing family and peer relationships; building self-esteem; setting and attaining goals; coping with stress; and managing depression, mood swings and anxiety.

Headshot of Tess O'Neil
Tess O’Neil, Psy.D.
Postdoctoral Resident

Dr. Tess O’Neil completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Her research interests and dissertation focused on survivors of suicide (people who have lost a loved one to death by suicide) and how their adaptation to such a traumatic loss has impacted their identities. Dr. O’Neil completed her APA-accredited internship with Suffolk University’s Counseling, Health & Wellness center in Boston, MA. She is currently fulfilling requirements for her post-doctoral training under the supervision of Drs. Cutshall, Panish, and To. Dr. O’Neil most closely identifies with a more integrative clinical style, primarily including psychodynamic and relational approaches, but strongly values meeting students where they are in terms of support unique to their needs. This academic year, Dr. O’Neil is providing individual and group counseling for undergraduate and graduate SMC students, forming campus connections through outreach services, and delivering crisis interventions. She takes pride in her sincerity, openness, curiosity, humility, humor, and empathy. She values people being given the opportunity to tell their stories as an important element of humanity and sees this as a foundation of her work as a clinician. In her personal time, Dr. O’Neil enjoys making memories with friends and family, being anywhere near San Diego beaches, exploring good food and music, challenging herself with new experiences, and recharging with necessary self-care to reflect and unwind. 

Headshot of Heidi Tend
Heidi Tend
Office Manager

Heidi brings more than 25 years of logistics, managerial, and administrative experience. Prior to joining Saint Mary's, she served as Logistics Manager for EPC, where she managed such projects as courseware curriculum development, training certification, and training coordination.  When you come to CAPS, Heidi will be your first point of contact. She will help to navigate you through the process of filling out a questionnaire and setting up an appointment to see a therapist.  In her free time, Heidi LOVES DOGS, volunteers at a local animal shelter, and has one pet therapy dog of her own and one pup in training - you can follow them on Instagram @oscarjoeycaps.  She is also responsible for coordinating the pet therapy events on the SMC campus.