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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.
Jorge Silva, Ed.S
Jorge Silva earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech therapy from Northern Arizona University (NAU), a Master of Arts degree in Performance Psychology from National University May 2015, and an Education Specialist (Ed.S) in Educational Technology from Walden University. Jorge has worked in the education system for 15 years, as a Spanish medical interpreter for 10 years, and as an Outpatient Services – Case Manager for 2 years. He is passionate about adult education and issues that are specific to the Latino community such as mental health (PTSD), socio-economic justice (advocacy), LGBTQ+ issues, and substance abuse. Jorge is a big foodie, coffee lover, and love classic movies (documentaries, horror and Latin American films) and classic TV (Twilight Zone, Golden Girls, and I Love Lucy). He enjoys spending his free time exploring LA and its surroundings while visiting museums and bookstores, trying new restaurants and coffeehouses.
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.
Cathy Rusch, MSHA
Cathy Rusch has worked in behavioral health, almost exclusively with Tarzana Treatment Centers, for the best part of 25 years. This has provided her with a unique experience and understanding of the Substance Use Disorder field, more specifically allowing her to appreciate growth in its capacity to serve diverse community needs and integrate with other healthcare fields. Currently, Cathy is the Senior Trainer for staff and community training, acting as the liaison for iStart, a grant addressing the service gaps for STD and HIV testing in partnership with California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and developing curriculum for TTCC.
Ms. Rusch’s academic background is in both Sociology and Healthcare Administration. For the past 8 years, Cathy has been a Professor of Health Sciences at California State University, Northridge. teaching for the Department of Health Sciences Program for both Health Administration and Public Health. She brings a wealth of experience and passion to the SUD Certification Program of TTCC.
Elle Schwab, PhD
Dr. Schwab is a retired police chief and hostage negotiator who found great passion in studying psychology and substance abuse to educate herself during her career. Dr. Schwab started her educational journey at Penn State University, and has since earned a Bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology, Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Psychology, and Doctorate Degree in Neuroclinical Psychology specializing in Trauma, PTSD, and Traumatic Brain Injury. She has also conducted significant research on SUD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Neurological issues. In her free time, she volunteers as a K9 Search and Rescue Member for the CA Governors dog team CARDA and enjoys the great outdoors.
Lorraine Ragosta, LMFT
As one of Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc. Senior Supervisor, Ms. Lorraine Ragosta currently oversees several programs within the Program Development Department. Ms. Ragosta joined Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc in July of 2015 where she for over 4 year she oversaw a variety of Department of Mental Health contracted mental health programs including an Integrated Mental Health programs for the Latinx community. These programs integrated traditional mental health services with physical care, substance use treatment and non-traditional culturally defined services so they can treat the whole person: mind, body and soul. In her current role, she leads a team of supervisors and coordinators in mental health integrated programs, Department of Public Health Tobacco Control policy grants, housing and homeless linkage grants as well as Re-entry Intensive Case Management Program. Prior to joining Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc., Ms. Ragosta’s discovered a love for community mental health in South Los Angeles where for close to 6 years she worked for Kedren Acute Psychiatric Hospital and Community Mental Health Program. Working in the South Los Angeles, Watts and Compton community in schools and in the field, she learned how to help others through individual, family and couple’s mental health therapy and targeted case management utilizing linkage to community resources. Ms. Ragosta also spent time working as Quality Assurance/ Quality Improvement and Training Program Manager for a mental health agency, Child and Family Center, in Santa Clarita, CA.