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Career and Educational Paths in Social Work: Insights from YC3 Professionals

April 10 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

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Location: Dwight Hall Library, 67 High St

Join us for an enlightening and informal discussion on the educational trajectory and profession of social workers. Explore what the role entails, learn more about the experience of pursuing a master’s in social work, and hear about the personal journeys of our esteemed panelists. From clinical practice to community outreach, explore the impactful work that social workers do every day. Whether you’re considering a master’s program or curious about the field, join us for an engaging conversation and a valuable opportunity to learn and connect with others interested in mental health and psychology.

Learn more about the panelists below:

Clara Mesa, LCSW

Clara Mesa (clara.mesa@yale.edu) joined Yale Health/ Yale College Community Care (YC3) in 2024. Clara is a Colombian-American, bilingual Clinical Social Worker, who completed both her Bachelor’s degree and MSW from Boston College.  Since completing her Master of Social Work degree, Clara has worked in various settings. Her first job was as a Bilingual Clinician at an Extended Day Treatment Program working with children ages 5-12 with significant behavioral and emotional challenges. After being in this role for several years, Clara then became a Clinician at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Children’s Intensive Outpatient Program. During the pandemic, Clara also began working per-diem at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Emergency Department as well as a Mental Health Consultant for Juvenile Detention Centers through Yale University’s contract with the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division. Prior to joining YC3, Clara most recently served as Director of the Latinx Integrated Care Program and System of Care Program at Mid-Fairfield Community Care Center. As a first-generation college student, Clara is passionate about empowering students to navigate their college experience while prioritizing their mental health. She employs culturally sensitive and affirming therapeutic interventions in a range of specialties from trauma, anxiety and depression, to acculturation issues and identity exploration. Clara fosters a safe and inclusive environment in order to help each individual embrace their strengths, navigate challenges, and achieve their fullest potential. 

Kayla Reid, LCSW

Kayla Reid (kayla.reid@yale.edu), LCSW  joined Yealth Health/ Yale College Community Care (YC3) in 2023. Kayla is a Black American clinician, who completed her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Central Connecticut State University followed by a Masters in Social Work at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Work. Kayla is a New Haven native and familiar with the culture of the neighborhoods and communities surrounding Yale. Kayla’s background is in therapy with adolescents, families and young adults. After completing her Masters in Social Work, her first job in the social work field was as an in-home clinician with Yale Child Study Center on their Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) team. A few years after that, Kayla became a clinician with Yale New Haven Health’s Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program. Followed by a clinician role with Clifford Beers Mobile Crisis Intervention Services, and now a YC3 college care clinician. Her clinical expertise includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and integrative approaches to overall health and wellness. Kayla is passionate about working with diverse populations and specializes in culturally appropriate and evidence-based practice strategies to effectively engage with individuals at their respective stages of identity development, life circumstances, or cultural, economic and religious backgrounds. Kayla is dedicated to providing a safe, non-judgmental, therapeutic space for all individuals and looks forward to working with students to cultivate growth, wellness and healing.

Nicole Cepeda, LCSW

Nicole joined Yale Health/Yale College Community Care (YC3) in 2021. She completed her Master of Social Work at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College with a specialized training from the National Traumatic Stress Network.  Nicole is expected to complete her Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) May 2025 at Souther Connecticut State University. She obtained her Bachelor of Science at New York University. Prior to joining Yale Health, Nicole was a Student Psychological Counselor at a University in New York and worked several years as an Outpatient Psychiatric Social Worker.  

Nicole is passionate about contributing to the cultural consciousness and social justice advancement of the mental health field, particularly on college campuses. Through a student-centered and culturally-sensitive lens she enjoys working with students on a range of life experiences including identity development, trauma/intergenerational trauma, peer and romantic relationships, depression, anxiety, life transitions, FGLI specific stressors, and overall holistic wellness.

Corinne Coia, Director of Yale College Wellness Programs

Corinne Coia is the Director of Yale College Wellness Programs. Corinne provides oversight and leadership for the Good Life Center and the Yale College Community Care (YC3) program and provides a limited number of 1:1 wellness appointments with students. She loves working with students through a holistic lens to help support them through their unique life challenges. She has experience working with members of the LGBTQ+ community and has extensive experience working with topics such as stress management, relationships, sleep, body image and athlete specific issues. Prior to Yale, Corinne spent several years working clinically with eating disorders, anxiety and athlete issues before transitioning into the wellness and prevention area. Corinne was most recently working at the University of Notre Dame, helping support athlete well-being and education for coaches and support staff around mental health and best practices. Corinne has worked on an inpatient and residential treatment programs for eating disorders and co-occurring disorders as well as in outpatient settings in an intensive outpatient program. Corinne has also worked as an emergency services clinician in a hospital setting. 

Corinne earned her Master’s in Social Work and Bachelor’s in Kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire where she was a member and captain of the Women’s Basketball team. Corinne currently resides in New Haven with her wife Elizabeth, their daughter and two dogs. Corinne enjoys hiking, home renovations and painting/photography.