Interested in our program, let’s discuss and make sure you are eligible, then we’ll get you the application.
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.
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.
Richard Taylor earned a Double Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and African American Studies and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 2005 and 2010. Richard has worked in the field of Mental Health for the past 15 years. Richard is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in substance use treatment with the chronically mentally ill. Also, Richard serves as an adjunct professor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). Richard works closely with the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) and the BBS (Board of Behavioral Sciences) as an item writer and subject matter expert. Richard is passionate about cultural competency, diversity, socioeconomic justice and equitable mental health and wellness opportunities for all. Richard is originally from the Bay Area. Richard loves sports and he is a lifelong Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers fan. He enjoys spending free with his wife and two daughters, going to church, listening to music, shopping, exercise and indulging in spicy foods.
Gloria V. Sistos
Gloria is a compassionate Program Developer with assessment, development, implementation,
quality assurance, and evaluation. Skilled at developing relationships with stakeholders to
accomplish organizational objectives and improve overall service delivery. A forward-thinking
leader who fosters a positive work environment through strong communication skills that
builds trust among staff members. Utilizes a collaborative approach to meet the needs of
individuals as well as the organization.
Richard is originally from Rialto, California, but has spent half of his life as a San Diegan. He attended San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication and a Master’s in Counseling in 2005 and 2011 respectively. He went on to work for SDSU as a Student Life Advisor for 4 years before transitioning to Southwestern College in 2015 where he currently works as the Student Activities Coordinator. He is responsible for all things student development including co-curricular activities like the Student Government, Clubs & Organizations and on/off-campus events, trainings, retreats, and conferences. He has taught courses on identity development and navigating higher education at the high school level and has created/delivered dozens of presentations and workshops on topics ranging from conflict resolution and personality assessment to bias, anti-blackness, equity-minded leadership.
As a talented orator, equity-minded activist for social justice, educator and trained Anti-Bias facilitator (via the Anti-Defamation League), he is passionate about finding engaging, innovative ways to teach, support and advocate for students at all levels of education. Richard is a champion for student success and is always excited to see the light in students’ eyes as they have their “ah-ha” moments. When he is not helping students grow and develop, he enjoys traveling, movies, sports and spending time with friends and family including his best friends; his awesome, beautiful wife, Kendall, his 3-year old daughter Riley Rae and his ferocious, energetic, 10-pound Malte-Poo, Megatron.
Kendall is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who focuses on supporting children, family, parents, and maternal mental health at all stages of a family’s journey. She finds that it is important that we understand that every family and individual is different and every journey is different. There in not one path and It is an honor to help clients understand the path they are on and how they can embrace, or change, and grow their journey.
Kendall is also a healer by nature and a therapist by trade. Having received her bachelor’s in Psychology from San Diego State University and Masters in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University she has found herself to have expanded on the ability to meet people where they are. In addition to healing mental health she has also found herself on the path of healing through social justice. She is an advocate, an interrupter, an organizer, and person supporting people. She supports people who are learning to heal from social injustice and address Anti-Blackness as it impacts all aspects of the world we live in.
Katherine D. Emerson
Katherine (Kate) D. Emerson, earned her Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of La Verne (2012), a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in the City of New York (1997), and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles (1994). As a social work practitioner in the field for over 25 years, she has successfully worked with diverse populations. In addition to her work as a social worker, Kate has over 20 years in higher education teaching social work courses at three California State Universities and most recently at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work. Passionate about women’s issues, Kate is on the Board of Directors of East Los Angeles Women’s Center, where she serves as Vice Chair.
Dr. Carroll Brown III
Carroll J. Brown III graduated from Phillips Graduate University (2018) where he obtained his Doctorate degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Organizational Management and Consulting. He is a a proud Matador Alumni, with a B.A. in Pan African Studies. Dr. Brown currently sits on the board of the USU at CSUN as the Alumni Representative, and President of the Black Alumni Association.
Working in mental health for over a decade, he is a program coordinator with a strong commitment to serving the community in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area.
Dr. Brown has a passion for helping individuals develop as leaders to improve organizations efficiency. In his free time, he spends time with friends, family and my new wife Dr. Kristyl JL. Brown and being an advocate for speaking about Black Men’s Mental Health.
Alisia Thompson is a teacher and curriculum developer with 10 years of experience working in K-20 education.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California, Thompson began her career as a high school biology teacher. She developed a passion for teaching pedagogy which motivated her to pursue a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Long Beach.
Since graduating, Thompson has spent the last 5 years of her career developing teacher preparation pathways for community colleges in Orange County. She currently works as a curriculum developer and is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern California.
Janice Boafo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and valley girl whose professional life is informed by her lived experiences as well as over 25 years of work in human services and behavioral health. She believes in engaging the whole person, liberatory practices and the importance of being authentically seen and heard. Janice graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California (USC).
In all spaces, Ms. Boafo is dedicated to culturally responsive practice, community healing and the transformational power of story sharing. Her interests include educational equity, culture & identity formation, public child welfare reform, pedagogy as activism, and exploring the intersections of art, culture & social justice. When she is not teaching, Janice is a mother, nature lover, volunteer and writer who sees beauty in struggle and finds power in community.
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.