Meet Our Faculty


Paul Rakowski, M.A. & M.Sc.

Head of Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Trauma Informed Therapy, Addiction/Recovery

Paul Rakowski holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Colorado and a Master of Science degree in Biology from Missouri State University. He is credentialed in the United states as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), National Certified Counselor (NCC), Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) and Master Addiction Counselor (MAC). He has over 12 years of experience as a trauma informed therapist and specializes in trauma, addiction/recovery, couples' therapy and clinical supervision. Motivational Interviewing and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) provide a strong foundation for his work with clients.

In addition to his clinical practice, Paul has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education program at the University of Colorado Denver and at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. He has also taught courses in Biology, Health/Wellness and Animal Behavior as well as First Year Experience courses for incoming university students. Paul is a strong advocate for social justice within public health and currently volunteers at De Regenboog Groep in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Sheetal Shah, Ph.D.


Sheetal (Agarwal) Shah has been a Consulting Psychologist and Counselor in practice since 1999. She specializes in the field of counseling for chronic illnesses viz. epilepsy and HIV/AIDS. She was responsible for designing, setting up, and managing a help line for telephonic counseling in India (the 1st of its kind in Asia for Population Services International, Washington), specializing in issues related to HIV/ AIDS and sexuality. She has also been affiliated with various academic institutions for training and supervising counselors at the post graduate level. Having completed her M.A. (Psy.) in U.K. (University of Sussex) and M.Phil. and Ph.D. in India (S.N.D.T. University) she is well sensitized towards the cultural issues that influence the clientcounselor dynamics.

She is currently Head of Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences at Webster and is working on a research project for Webster Leiden Campus called the BIJLMER PROJECT. The project's main objective is to address the psychosocial needs of trafficked women and men in the Netherlands.


Sali Al-Ansari, M.Sc.


Drs. Sali Al-Ansari is a medical doctor and a researcher. She finished her Master’s of Science degree in Medicine (University of Groningen, The Netherlands).

She worked for the surgery department, finding her position in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery unit. She is currently completing her PhD at the University of Amsterdam. In addition, she works part time at the prison hospital and has experience treating psychiatric patients.


Christine Fitzgerald, M.A.

Christine Fitzgerald is one of the co-founders of Vivace: Professional Development, an organization specializing in management training, seminars, workshops, and coaching. Before moving to Holland in 1985, she worked in marketing research & strategic long-term planning, project management, and corporate training for Chemical Bank (now Chase) in New York City. A magna cum laude graduate of Pace University, she received her M.A. in developmental psychology from Columbia University. 


Despoina Kairi, M.A.

Clinical Psychology

Despoina Kairi acquired her Bachelor of Psychology in Athens. During that time, she studied for 6 months in South France, as an exchange student. In 2011, after having worked in a community house with people suffering from psychological disorders and mental retardation, she came to the Netherlands and acquired her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Leiden University. She was trained in life coaching during her studies, and her main interest is on how therapy contributes to the improvement of people’s life suffering due to psychological/psychosomatic disorders.

Currently, she is participating in a project in Amsterdam regarding intercultural adaptation of expatriates in the Netherlands. 



Stephanie Kustner, M.Sc.


Ms. Baumgarten-Kustner obtained her B.A. Psychology from the University of Oregon (USA) and her M.Sc./drs. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Leiden (NL).  She has worked as a psychologist for the Dutch special education system as well as in pediatric mental health. In addition, she works privately as a psychologist, primarily as a diagnostician.

Along with teaching at Webster, she currently teaches at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (HHS) and has had experience teaching English within the Dutch school system at primary, secondary, and adult levels as well as translating works from Dutch into English. She lives in Voorburg with her husband and three children.


Erika O’Donnel, M.A.

Health Psychology, Clinical Psychology

 Erika O’Donnell is a registered psychologist. She has completed two Master’s degrees in Psychology, one in Clinical Psychology and one in Health Psychology, and is therefore specialized in the treatment of both clinical and behavioral psychological issues. In the past, she worked in forensics, dealing with aggression and personality disorders and set up the expat division of PSYQ in the Hague. She is currently in a private practice, where she incorporates a variety of psychological approaches (CBT, Person Centered, Psychodynamic, Narrative, Self-Regulation), tailoring interventions to suit each individual’s unique needs and way of being. She works with individuals, couples, families, and groups and does a lot of supervision of counsellors in training, starting out in private practice or as the external supervisor of counsellors in the workplace. She is a registered member of The Psychological Society of Ireland and a member of The British Psychological Society and the Nederlandse Instituut van Psychologen.


Gerard van der Ree, Ph.D.

International Relations Theory

Gerard van der Ree studied Latin American studies and International Relations at Utrecht University. He graduated on the subject of the Chilean democracy and democratization after the dictatorship of Pinochet. In 2007, he obtained his Ph.D. from Leiden University on modernization through elite projects in Chile. Currently, he is working as a teacher in International Relations theory at Utrecht University College. His specialties are IR theory, methodology, and philosophy of science. 


Humberto Sanchez, Ph.D.

Biologist Dr. Humberto Sánchez was educated in Madrid (Universidad Autónoma, Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry: 2001) with research and teaching experience at universities in Spain, Japan, and the Netherlands. He is currently developing his research activities at the Technical University of Delft, where he studies the individual ‘behavior’ of molecules that maintain genetic information. He has published more than 20 research articles, as well as several book chapters, on different aspects of the genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology of DNA metabolism.


Katie Lee Weille, Ph.D.

Organizational Behavior

K.L. Weille is a licensed psychotherapist who has practiced (since 1987) and taught (since 1992) in a variety of clinical and university settings in the United States, England, and the Netherlands. Her areas of special interest, teaching, research, and publication have included specific issues in psychoanalytic personality and developmental theories, sexuality and paraphilia, psychological trauma, and child psychotherapy. Ms. Weille did her undergraduate and graduate work in the United States at, respectively, Wesleyan University and Smith College. Currently, she is completing doctoral research for the University of London, while living and maintaining a part-time psychotherapy practice in Amsterdam.  

Kate Avis

Kate Avis, M.Sc.

Clinical Psychology

Kate graduated from Leiden University with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She has   worked for a number of years as a therapist at PsyQ International treating patients with a wide variety of  disorders including depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, bipolar disorder, trauma and personality disorders. Kate has also worked for two years as an academic teacher at Erasmus University teaching international psychology students. She is currently doing her PhD at the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam. Her PhD focuses on developing an eHealth intervention to prevent the development of chronic psychiatric symptoms in youth.   


Stella Gryllia, Ph.D.

Economics, Statistics

Dr. Stella Gryllia earned her PhD in Linguistics from Leiden University in 2009. Prior to that, she obtained her MPhil in Linguistics from Leiden University, and her BA in Philology from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece). After receiving her PhD, she moved to Berlin and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Potsdam (Germany). During the past four years (2014 – 2018), she was employed by Leiden University, carrying out research for the project “Understanding Questions”.

During these years, she also taught statistics to BSc and MA students of linguistics and supervised a number of MA and PhD theses. Her research interests include prosody and its interfaces with other modules of the grammar, as well as quantitative methods in linguistics.


Elisabetta Iberni, Ph.D.

Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Diagnostic assessment

Elisabetta Iberni is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, trained in both analytical psychology and relational psychoanalysis. Since September 2016, she has been an individual member of the International Association of Analytical Psychology as well as contributing to the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Born and raised in Italy, she completed her PhD on the clinical applications of attachment theory at the University of Rome ‘Sapienza,’ and later completed a second doctoral research project within the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytical Studies at the University of Essex.

Currently she works bilingually (Italian/English) for a private practice in The Hague, Netherlands. Between 2009 and 2016, she worked as a clinical psychologist from a multicultural perspective in different organizations in a post-conflict setting and as a human rights observer with minority groups in Kosovo. 


Mihriban Heval Ozgen, MD, Ph.D.

Psychiatric genetics, psychopathology, psychopharmacology

 Mihriban Heval Ozgen is a psychiatrist at Parnassia Academy, the Netherlands. Ozgen received her PhD on the genetics of Autism from the University of Utrecht, department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and department of Medical Genetics. Then she completed her residency on psychiatry in the Netherlands, with a final product synthesizing her genetics and psychiatry backgrounds, by focusing on the pharmacogenetics of addiction.

Currently, her research is focused on understanding the role of stress and trauma, their intergenerational inheritance and possible consequences for addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, with a particular focus on cultural psychiatry. She has published extensively in research journals and has delivered many invited presentations on both research and training matters and has supervised numerous projects at the post graduate level. She is the research coordinator of i-psy (intercultural psychiatry department) at Parnassia Groep and serves on the board of the Transcultural Psychiatry section of the Dutch Psychiatric Association (NvVP).


Marcel de Lijster, M.B.A.

Strategic Management, Organizational Behavior

Marcel de Lijster is the business owner of "Down 2 Earth Dutch," With his company, he helps organizations to build programs for skills management and lifelong learning that support the continued employability of employees.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Marcel de Lijster worked in the financial industry as a banker. He has 27 years of working experience in the financial industry, for 23 of which he held leadership and management positions. He worked at one of the largest banks in Holland. He can be branded as a real people manager. He is also an "acknowledged" coach and helps people with their personal and career development. He has experience and knowledge of Strategic Management, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, Change Management, Risk management, and Financial Control.

He holds an M.B.A. degree with an emphasis on Management from Webster Leiden Campus. He has been a member of the Webster faculty since 2004 and teaches courses in Organizational Behavior, Management, Managerial Leadership, Decision Making, and Strategic Management.


Maja Micevska, Ph.D.

Economics, Statistics

 Maja Micevska Scharf holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Claremont Graduate University, USA. She has held appointments at universities and research institutes in the USA and several European countries. She has been mainly engaged in applied research, and has extensive experience in modeling and policy analysis using large datasets. Her work has been published in academic journals and collections.


Carley Benton, Ph.D.

Biology, Neuroscience

Dr. Carley Benton was educated in Canada (University of Waterloo: MSc-2001 and Ph.D.-2006 in Kinesiology and Health Sciences) before completing three years of post-doctoral research at Université catholique de Louvain, in Brussels. She then held an Assistant Professor position at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, where she performed neuroscience research and lectured in an International Medical Degree Program.

Her research interests include metabolism, exercise, neuroscience, and (most recently) mechanisms of learning, and have earned her 20 research publications. After relocating to The Netherlands, she completed a Master's Degree in International Education (Biology) from the University of Utrecht-UTEACH program and is currently employed as Adjunct Senior Faculty at Webster Leiden and as an IB teacher at an International School in The Netherlands.


Forensic psychology (adults and children), Trauma, Assessment

Dylan is a NIP registered psychologist who completed an M.Sc. in Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University. He is currently a consultant Psychosocial Expert at the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he provides expert advice and support for interviewing vulnerable witnesses and victims.

Alongside this he runs his private practice and provides trainings to international organizations on subjects such as interviewing children, working cross-culturally, secondary trauma, and witness management.

He previously worked as a Psychologist for the Victims and Witnesses Section of the ICC where he conducted research on witness wellbeing during international criminal trials. Dylan has worked with diverse client groups from around the world and specializes in forensic issues.


Diane Macy, M.A.

Journalism, travel writing, advertising, and translations

Diane Macy is a freelance writer and English language instructor who moved to the Netherlands from the U.S. almost 40 years ago. She worked in advertising (ING bank, Paolo Salotto, i.a.) and education (teaching business English to government and corporate clients) before returning to Webster for a degree in Media Communications. She has worked for The Hague/Amsterdam Times as a journalist and for The Hague Online, where she was the Arts & Entertainment editor. She has taught in the Media and General Studies departments at Webster in addition to her writing and translation projects.


Erin Amundson, M.A., LPC

Depth Psychotherapy and Counseling

Erin Amundson has been in private practice as a depth psychotherapist since 2014. In her practice, she specializes in dream work, active imagination and other Jungian modalities of the subconscious mind. Prior to opening her practice, Erin specialized as a social worker supporting families dealing with the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse.

Throughout her career, Erin has served as adjunct faculty for the University of Colorado, Metropolitan State University and Denver University in Colorado teaching Research Methods, Introduction to Counseling, Social Psychology, Sociology of Education and Social Change courses as well as supervising student thesis projects.

Erin holds a Master's Degree in Community Counseling from Regis University as well as a Master's Degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado.


Kim O'Meara, M.A.

Mathematics and Statistics

Kim obtained a M.A. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Counseling, and a B.A. in Psychology from the Webster Leiden Campus. Previously, she also completed a B.A. with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Hampshire College (Amherst, MA, USA). Additionally, Kim has done training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Emotion Focused (Process-Experiential) Therapy for individuals.

Her areas of interest include: existential psychology and issues around gender, sexuality, relationships and social justice. She is a registered Counselor with the Algemene Beroepsvereniging voor Counselling (ABvC) in the Netherlands.

Kim has a private practice in Amsterdam, and is Adjunct Junior Faculty at the Webster Leiden Campus.


Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

 Malinda Werth is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) from the United States and holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Counseling. She is a Certified Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CAADC) and an intensively-trained Dialectical Behavior Therapist (DBT). She has over 15 years of experience in the mental health and substance use disorder field with co-occurring disorders. She has been an educator of addiction awareness for court-ordered individuals in group settings, along with substance use disorder groups based on stages of change.

She has experience teaching about the effects of trauma, substance use disorders, motivational interviewing, and the management of crisis behaviors in a variety of settings. She has a private counseling practice that is based in The Hague, and volunteers at an NGO that provides help/support to victims of human trafficking.