Interested in our program, let’s discuss and make sure you are eligible, then we’ll get you the application.
Jose Salazar. Dr.PH., MPH
Vice President and COO
Vice President and COO
Dr. Salazar holds a Master’s and Doctoral degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1988, he has worked in the substance use disorder, HIV/AIDS, and mental health fields as a counselor, health educator, community organizer, researcher, and administrator. He has been the primary translator (English to Spanish) of various research studies and has co-translated The Wellness Guide published by the UC Berkeley Center for Community Wellness. He is also the co-author of Essential Spanish for Social Services, a Living Language/Random House publication. During his career Dr. Salazar has served as the Project Director/Principle Investigator (PD/PI) on various programs funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), CA Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS), and LA County Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) with an emphasis on delivering the full continuum of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) services ranging from prevention to medical detoxification/maintenance. He is currently the Director of SUD/MH program that serves youth in LA County and also oversees two Narcotic Treatment Programs (NTP’s) and Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) programs designed for both adults and youth. Dr. Salazar regularly conducts trainings and classes on SUD counseling and new and emerging behavioral health trends, evidence based practices (EBP’s), current research in the SUD/MH field, and provision of SUD and MH treatment services to special populations such as youth, women and older adults. Since 2014, Dr. Salazar has held a Lecturer position with the California State University of Northridge (CSUN) and has taught various healthcare leadership and public health courses, including those on SUD, to both undergraduate and graduate master’s level students. Dr. Salazar has served on various non-profit boards, private education boards, and currently serves on CSUN’s MPH Program Community Advisory Board which provides guidance and support on matters related to curriculum development.
James B. Golden, Psy.D.
Chief Academic Officer
James B. Golden is a Los Angeles based Learning & Development Specialist with over 10 years of organizational development experience in training methodology, design, executive coaching, systems improvement, motivation, cultural competence, and inclusion. Dr. Golden is a natural leader with compassion and emotionally intelligent praxis. He has several years of business consulting experience along with assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of major programs and events for non-profits, corporations, and government departments. Golden regularly presents research and data at national conferences including: The National Council of Black Studies, the American Psychological Association, the National Hip Hop Political Convention; and he has been invited to speak at colleges including: Howard University, Pepperdine University, University of California at Los Angeles, Sierra Nevada College, and Cal State University, Northridge.
Golden earned a Doctor of Psychology degree from Phillips Graduate University, a Master’s of Humanities from Tiffin University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Cal State Northridge. He has worked as a curriculum advocate, K-12 teacher, and developer of educational programs. He has published several articles for leading magazines/publications such as The Root, LinkedIn, Vibe, and Clutch; as well as four books including an NAACP Image Award winner.
Haben Berhe, MSHEA
Dean of Student Affairs
Haben is an alumnus at California State University, Long Beach with her Bachelor of Arts in Human Development with a minor in Africana Studies. She is working on her Master of Science Degree, Higher Education Administration at National University.
Haben has been involved with students that are first generations, low income, and unrepresentative to assist them through the college readiness programs, and mental health. She also worked with different youth nonprofits around the greater Long Beach area and So-Cal area to advocate for students safe environment, mental health, voices, education, and physical activity. Haben has also planned multiple curriculums, implemented, and evaluation programs and events for non-profits.
My goal is to help empower students through their educational journey through TTCC, and also help create advocate leaders to empower and educate others on SUD, while reducing the stigma of drugs abuse.
In my free time I love to go on adventures, travel, hang out with family, and read new exciting books.
Rhonda Petrini, Ed.D
Dean of Academics
Rhonda Lee Petrini, Ed.D. has joined Tarzana Treatment Centers College (TTCC) as Dean of Academic Affairs (Program Operations Supervisor II). Dr. Petrini was hired to provide administrative oversight to the Academic Department at TTCC. She will be responsible for leading our full-time faculty/trainers and the academic support team. Dr. Petrini is also the primary resource for our educational programs and curriculum management for the SUD Certification Program and impending Peer Support Certification Program. We are very excited that Dr. Petrini is undertaking the development and launch of Project Open Doors, our brand-new educational program which will provide GED classes and testing to our community members, with emphasis on underserved communities—re-entry, people experiencing homelessness, at-risk youth, and LGBTQ+.
Dr. Petrini earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, master’s degree in executive leadership, and doctorate in adult education while raising two daughters as a single mom. Her doctoral research was a program evaluation of a tutoring program focused on helping culturally diverse, lower socioeconomic, marginalized, inner-city youth become first-generation college students. She has served as an Urgent Care Center Manager, Medical Assisting Instructor, Director of Education at a Medical Careers College, Director of Education & Team Development at a hospital, GED Program Administrator, and Quality Assurance & Education Program Administrator.
Gary Lowery is a Midwest native from Ohio but has mostly resided in California’s central valley. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a minor in Leadership Studies and Practice from the University of Arizona. In addition, Gary possesses a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management with research focused on social justice and inequalities pertaining to the African American and LGBT+ experience.
Gary has a background in event planning, leadership programming, healthcare administration, and education management. He has a passion for working with students from underrepresented communities within educational training and career development. His goal is to expand the amount of SUD educated professionals to further educate and assist the public in understanding substance abuse.
As a former central valley resident, Gary enjoys planting, hiking, and preparing for his favorite holiday, Christmas.
Susan Knoll, MPH
Susan Knoll possesses a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from California State University, San Diego, a Multi-Subject Teaching Credential from National University, a Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Saddleback College and Master’s degree in Public Health from California State University, Fullerton. The focus of her research in her Master’s program was on mental health awareness, prevention and intervention amongst college students. Susan previously worked as an instructor delivering substance abuse and parenting classes in the Orange County Jail and Juvenile Hall facilities. In addition, she has experience working as a case worker serving at risk populations. Susan regularly participates as a volunteer with organizations providing community prevention and harm reduction services for those struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders. Susan is an advocate for the decriminalization of addiction.
Outreach & Recruitment Specialist
Valerie Ipatzi joined our team as the Outreach & Recruitment Specialist for TTC College (TTCC). Valerie will be primarily working as the primary student recruiter for TTC College’s 2022 cohorts. Valerie will be working with Los Angeles County SUD/MH organizations to enroll their direct-service employees into TTCC to earn the SUD Counseling Certificate. As part of the Student Services team at TTCC, Valerie will be leading the enrollment process and student bridge programs which seek to provide students with prerequisite learning to ensure they are ready for the first day of classes. You all will probably hear from Valerie at some point within the next few months to access some of your professional contacts to assist in our recruitment efforts at TTCC. Valerie will be monitoring and posting on TTCC’s Instagram page regularly (feel free to add and follow us). Please provide requested support, as her work is essential to the growth of our department and programs.
Valerie attended California State University, Northridge where she received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Human Lactation. Prior to this role, she provided support to first-generation students as a Peer Academic Adviser.
During her time as an undergraduate student, Valerie volunteered as a Peer Health Educator—facilitating health/wellness workshops and creating health-related education materials for the Klotz Student Health Center’s social media accounts. She has enjoyed working on projects through internships with non-profit organizations such as March of Dimes and the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Valerie states her goal is to “empower individuals with the knowledge, skills, and resources to make healthy decisions for their mental and physical well-being.” In her free time she enjoys exploring different hiking trails near the area and watching baseball with her family.
Belen Contreras joined our team as the Academic Specialist for TTC College (TTCC). Belen will be primarily working as the primary support team member for the Academic Department at TTCC. Belen will be working closely with me on scheduling and facilitating academic-related items at the college including the Advisory Committee, Student Symposiums and Instructor Evaluations. Additionally, Belen provides administrative support to our academic leadership and works directly on administrative pieces with all full-time and adjunct faculty.
Belen earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Administration from CSUN. They have devoted their time and energy in volunteering within Ventura County by serving various roles in multiple organizations from being a safety ambassador for CalWalks, to campaign manager for Gonzaga 2020 campaign, vendor coordinator for Conejo Valley Pride Festival for T.O, and translator for Buen Vecino citizenship fairs and the Chumash museum. Belen is an ambivert and proud Chicana. They are interested in long-term healthcare to formulate a safe environment for the aging LGBTQIA+ community. Their favorite past times include playing animal crossing, watching foreign/psychological thriller movies, taking care of her pets, reading, writing and traveling.
Mahbubur Rahman, MPH
Dr. Rahman oversees training-related activities hosted by Tarzana Treatment Centers. He joined Program Development Department in 2005 as a graduate intern. Since then, Dr. Rahman is actively engaged in event management, online learning systems, curriculum development, facilitation, data management, audit reporting and evaluation. He is an active member of in-house Environment of Care, Substance Use Mental Health, Joint Commission, and several other committees. Since 1997, Dr. Rahman has been a registered medical practitioner (physician) with the Bangladesh Medical & Dental Council. Dr. Rahman completed his MBBS & MS (Nutrition) from University of Dhaka and MPH in Community Health Education from CSU Northridge.
Student Services Representative
Sebrin Yousef joined our team as the Student Services Representative for TTC College (TTCC). Sebrin will be primarily working as the direct support for enrolled students as a team member in the Student Services Department at TTCC. Sebrin will be working closely with our Outreach & Recruitment Specialist, Valerie, to schedule student interviews, assist students with enrollment documents, and provide students with resources while they are in our program. Sebrin manages the TTCC email address and phone line, as well as updating and maintaining student records. She will be the administrator for all our TTC College podcasts and supporting student recruitment internally at TTC.
Sebrin is currently attending CSUN’s Master of Public Health program with an emphasis on Community Health Education. She has a B.S. in Public Health from Cal State LA. Previously, Sebrin interned with non-profit organizations in the areas of domestic violence and mental health as well as with California Department of Public Health in their Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Division. At DPH, she focused her work on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) by reaching out to stakeholders, researched more on Title V funds, and collecting data on home visiting and CYSHCN.
With her background, Sebrin is interested in Maternal Mental Health among minorities and being an advocate to provide more resources for mothers. In her spare time, she loves to read and try new foods.