Our Team

Jennifer Duffecy, PhD

Jennifer Duffecy, PhD

Dr. Duffecy is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders program at UIC. She is the director of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Research and Services as well as the Director of Clinical Research for The Center for Research for Women and Gender. She specializes in providing intervention for stress management and burnout with a focus on issues relevant for students, including anxiety, lifestyle changes and professional development.

Dr. Duffecy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from North Central College. She received her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She completed her APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at Rush University Medical Center. Her postdoctoral fellowship was at UIC. She was faculty at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine prior to returning to UIC.

Jaclyn Weisman, PhD

Jaclyn Weisman, PhD

Dr. Weisman is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders program at UIC. She specializes in empirically-supported treatments for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, with emphasis on exposure therapy as well as transdiagnostic approaches to comorbid anxiety and depression. She also treats body-focused repetitive behaviors (e.g., trichotillomania, skin-picking) and holds a certification in prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for posttraumatic stress disorder conferred through Emory University’s consultant training program.

Dr. Weisman received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Spanish, from Northwestern University. She received her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Clinical Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at the University of Chicago (Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience). She subsequently remained at UCM for a one-year postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology prior to joining UIC.

Gustavo Medrano, PhD

Dr. Medrano is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders program at UIC, and is board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He specializes in the use of behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapies in treating depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, emotion dysregulation, couples conflict and other related difficulties. As a native Spanish speaker, Dr. Medrano is a bicultural and bilingual provider.

Dr. Medrano received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Journalism from Northwestern University, and became a high school teacher through Teach for America, concurrently enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania for Urban Education. Dr. Medrano received his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He completed his APA-approved pre-doctoral internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Department of Psychiatry), and then completed a 2-year postdoctoral clinical fellowship in couples therapy and DBT at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. He was a staff psychologist and the DBT group supervisor at The Family Institute prior to joining UIC.

Linzi Swisher, LCSW

Linzi Swisher, LCSW

Linzi Swisher is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides individual therapy for adults in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders clinic within the Department of Psychiatry. Her work in the mental health field includes providing treatment in community-based, inpatient and outpatient settings. Her clinical experience has been working with adults facing a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, major life changes and difficulty managing everyday life stressors. She uses an integrative approach in therapy to accommodate an individual’s clinical needs.

Kristina Stevens, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Kristina Stevens, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Kristina Stevens is a psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties included mood disorders (depression, bipolar), anxiety, women’s mental health, and working with students attending the University. Ms. Stevens is passionate about advocating to destigmatize mental health, and providing non-judgmental space for patients to heal.

Maria Caserta MD

Maria T. Caserta, MD, PhD, is Professor emeritus of Psychiatry and former Vice Chair for Clinical Services. Dr. Caserta joined Department of Psychiatry in July 2009 and has held a variety of roles in the department including Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatry and interim director of Women’s Mental Health.  . She is the past recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career Development Award in Geriatric Mental Health and has received numerous award for teaching. She is board certified in Psychiatry as well as Geriatric Psychiatry and serves on various committees of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Overall, she is an experienced clinician, educator and academic leader in Psychiatry

Olusola Ajilore, MD, PhD

Dr. Ajilore is a psychiatrist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in biology. Dr. Ajilore went on to do his MD/PhD degree at Stanford University where he studied the deleterious effects of stress hormones on the brain. He joined the research track residency at UCLA where he transitioned into neuroimaging in major depression. He is currently using novel neuroimaging techniques to better understand the pathophysiology of mood disorders. He plays a role in medical student education as the co-director of Phase 1 Block 6: Brain and Behavior.

Alvie Bender, LCSW

Alvie Bender is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides individual and supportive psychotherapy to adults in the College of Medicine. Her therapeutic approach consists of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness interventions to help facilitate change behaviors. Much of her work has focused on treatment of mood disorders, anxiety, adjustment to life transitions, and trauma. In practice, Alvie emphasizes a strengths-based approach working in partnership with clients, using their strengths to help them sort out their challenges and achieve their goals. 

J. Konadu Fokuo, Ph.D.

Dr. J. Konadu (pronounced: Koonaydoo) Fokuo (pronounced: Foecuoh) is a Clinical Instructor with the Mood and Anxiety Disorder clinic. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Rehabilitation Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Her internship and postdoctoral fellowships (clinical and research) were at University of California, San Francisco. Her clinical, supervision, leadership and research efforts focus on developing targeted interventions for persons with behavioral health disorders. Dr. Fokuo’s primary research interest is in reducing stigma (structural, public, and self) as a barrier to health service utilization for stigmatized populations. Her clinical skills include motivational interviewing, and behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapies for individual and group psychotherapy.