Meet the Staff of the Health & Wellness Center!
Alireza Rezapour M.D.
Dr. Rezapour (or "Dr. Ali" to many students) is a physician, graduate of the American University of the Caribbean, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at UCSF Fresno in 1996. He was in a private practice for 12 years in Fresno and later moved to the Bay Area in 2008. He's been with Saint Mary's College ever since. He has been an active member of the Physicians for a National Health Program since 2003, and received "The Way of Peace" award from Fresno Center for Nonviolence in 2008. As a lifelong learner, he enjoys having conversations with students-- "One of the most endearing parts of my work is the interaction with the youth, their openness to new ideas and information, and the energy and eagerness they show in changing the world." His passion lies in social justice and peace, striving towards access to quality health care, education, and economic equity.
Rachel Garcia, N.P.
Rachel Garcia is the newest member of our team and an Alum to Saint Mary's College! Rachel studied Psychology at Saint Mary's and has many fond memories of her time at SMC. A few years after graduating she took her studies to the East Coast where she received her Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Nursing from Columbia University. After many years working in the hospital in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU, and some traveling around the world, she came back to her original alma mater to work in the Health Center. She really enjoys helping students navigate this unique time in their lives and teaching them how to be advocates for their health. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and the Associate Director of the Health and Wellness Center. She loves to travel and really enjoys time spent with family and friends.
Erin Perkins N.P.
Erin started her career in college health at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where she worked as a nurse practitioner and associate director of student health services. She and her husband moved to Oakland in 2009 just before the birth of their daughter. Erin worked at a family practice in Oakland until she was able to return to practicing college health at Saint Mary’s Health and Wellness Center in 2012. She loves all aspects of working with the college population, but is especially interested in women’s health, sexually transmitted infection counseling and treatment, and anxiety and depression management. Erin is also a writer and performer. You can see some of her work at www.strindbergandhelium.com
Charlene Soots, R.N.
Charlene began her nursing career 25 years ago working in the Newborn Nursery and Postpartum units of John Muir Hospital. In 1993, she changed her focus to college students and began working at Saint Mary's College Health & Wellness Center. Charlene often says that interacting with the students is the best part of her job, along with spending time on this beautiful campus. She loves her free time with her husband, children, and grandsons and enjoys cooking, going for walks, and cheering at the Raider games.
Sue Peters, R.N.
Sue Peters began her college health nursing career in 1977 at the University of Michigan Health Center where she worked until 1984. This is when she and her husband brought their family to sunny California. She began working at Saint Mary’s College in 1989 and has watched college health services grow over her years at SMC. She enjoys working with the students and watching them mature as they learn to make healthy choices and lifestyle changes. In her free time, Sue enjoys her travels to Michigan’s UP during the summer, playing with her grandsons and cooking and treating her family to good eats.
Carol Graham M.A.
Carol begain her career as a Medical Assistant in 1982. She's worked with Doctor's offices in different specialties and brings a wealth of expertise to our team. Carol came to Saint Mary's College in 2010 and says the best part of her job is her student workers and meeting the other students on campus. When you come to the Health & Wellness Center she will be one of the first people to welcome you! In her off time, Carol loves to spend time with her college age kids, cook, kayak, and camp in the mountains.
Coordinator for Health Promotion and Education:
Irene Umipig, MPH
Irene Umipig has been in the field of Health Promotion and Education for over nine years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and continued her academic career by attaining a Master’s in Public Health with a focus on Community Health and Disease Prevention. She has joined our team and manages the wellness programming and PATCH Peer Health leaders on our campus. Her programs focus on a variety of health issues that help to build a culture of wellness in our community. Outside of work, she is also an RD in Justin Hall! Keep a look out for her on campus and strike up a conversation about her fun programs and travels around the world.