Leslie Rith-Najarian, PhD (she/her/hers)
As your Resident Dean...
I am so excited to be joining Kirkland House! Harvard first became my home when I was undergraduate in 2008, and it is an honor to continue serving this community. After completing a PhD in clinical psychology at UCLA, I returned to the Harvard Psychology Department in 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher and instructor. My approach to advising students focuses on empowering each student through their unique strengths, goals, and values.
Along with Kirkland House’s Academic Coordinator, Linda, I am here to support your academic and personal welfare at Harvard. My door is open to all. You can sign up for a time during my support hours here (options for in-person or Zoom).
More about me...
My academic research aims to develop mental health interventions for young people, with a focus on accessibility and underserved populations. Example interventions include an online stress management program for university students, and a primary care screening program for adolescents with recent trauma. Complimenting my research, I worked as a clinician at a high school and at the UCLA Counseling Center. I am currently a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts, with a specialty in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance use, and crisis management. I will also be teaching as lecturer in the Psychology Department, with planned course topics including: technology and mental health, evidence-based treatments, and the psychology of culture and identity.
Practicing what I preach, self-care is crucial. Having grown up in northern Minnesota, I love the outdoors. I am an avid rock climber along with my spouse, Eric (he/him), and we enjoy taking our senior dog, Zwiebel (“onion” in German), on hikes. My other hobbies include cooking (especially vegan, Armenian, and German food), board games, and planning elaborate pranks.