Student Health & Wellness Organizational Updates

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to give you some organizational updates regarding Student Health & Wellness. At a time when we are turning to our health and wellness experts on a daily basis, we are reminded of the important role our Student Health & Wellness colleagues play in keeping the campus community safe and well, and we are grateful for their leadership in this area.

As many of you know, Dr. Mary Knudtson retired from the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Health & Wellness earlier this year. We are indebted to Mary for nearly 10 years of dedicated service to UC Santa Cruz. As Mary prepared for her retirement and took some time away from campus, we were fortunate to have Dr. Gina Fleming leading the team for the last several months. Gina’s steadfast leadership and medical expertise have provided stability and reassurance that are impossible to overstate, and I am deeply grateful to her. As Gina prepares to end her temporary assignment with UC Santa Cruz, we are implementing an interim leadership structure for Student Health & Wellness, one that will provide strong leadership and stability during this unprecedented time, pending a completed search for a permanent AVC for Student Health & Wellness. 

Effective May 1, 2020, Dr. Gary Dunn, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), is appointed interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Health & Wellness. As interim AVC, Gary will be responsible for ensuring that all of the programs and services in the Health & Wellness unit continue to provide exceptional services to our students. Gary will directly supervise CAPS, Psychiatry, CARE, and SHOP. Gary will work collaboratively with Dr. Elizabeth Miller, Medical Director, on establishing the overall strategic vision and planning for Student Health & Wellness. Gary’s biography follows below.

In addition, effective May 1, 2020, Dr. Elizabeth Miller, Medical Director, will assume additional responsibilities as the Chief Medical Officer for the unit. Elizabeth will supervise all health center, clinical, and ancillary services operations. Elizabeth’s biography follows below. 

As Gary and Elizabeth take on these roles, I am pleased to share two additional changes. Dr. Maryjan Murphy will serve as Interim Director of CAPS. Maryjan’s experience as a leader and long-term manager in the unit will provide steady and expert leadership for our counseling and psychological services programs. In addition, Dr. Sandy Lai, Associate Medical Director, will be stepping in to assume additional responsibilities with the health center operations.

Please join me in thanking our colleagues for accepting these new roles and responsibilities. This is the right team to lead Student Health & Wellness through the months ahead. The Division anticipates relaunching the search for the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Health & Wellness later this year; we will keep you and the community apprised of the next steps.


Dr. Gary Dunn (he, him, his) is a licensed psychologist who received his Ph.D. in Clinical/School Psychology from Hofstra University.  Gary has been working in mental health, hospital, and educational settings for more than 30 years.  Since 2011, he has been the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) here at UC Santa Cruz. In that role, he has been a long-standing member of our Behavioral Intervention Team, Slug Support Committee, Student Success Committee, and our Resilience Initiative. He also sits on the UC-wide Student Mental Health Oversight Committee, and is a past Chair of the UC CAPS Directors group and the Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education. Prior to coming to Santa Cruz, he served as the Director of a hospital-based community mental health center in New York and oversaw psychology and other allied health services at a large tertiary care hospital in North Carolina. Areas of interest include responding to critical incidents, understanding suicidal thoughts and behaviors of college students, and developing a health center to meet diverse, multicultural, and intersectional needs. Most recently Gary has been focusing on transforming CAPS to a telehealth delivery model and responding to the unique needs of UC Santa Cruz students in light of the current pandemic. 

Dr. Elizabeth Miller (she, her, hers) is a board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist with over 30 years’ experience in caring for children and young adults. She graduated from North Texas State University, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1984. After graduation, she went on to complete a 1-year medicine internship, followed by a 3-year pediatrics residency and an 18-month adolescent medicine fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. After completing her training, she moved to Boston to take a position as the director of adolescent health services at the Cambridge Hospital, one of Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospitals. She has also worked at Harvard University Student Health Services and North Carolina State University Student Health Services where she held teaching, administrative and patient-care positions. She joined UCSC Student Health Services in 2019 as the medical director and has enjoyed providing medical care to its wonderful students and working with an amazing group of medical professionals.  Her fields of interest include all aspects of young adult health care, especially preventive health care, infectious disease management, and travel medicine.