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Fall 2020

Read MassArt's plan: Return to Learning & Making

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Meet the Staff

Jennie Knott, LICSW - Interim Director of Counseling and Wellness
jknott701@massart.edu • 617.879.7762

Jennie Knott is a licensed clinical social worker and received her Master’s in Social Work from Simmons College in 2013. She has advanced training in the treatment of developmental trauma, issues related to substance use, and gender and sexual identity development. She cares a lot about exploring the intersectionality between how race, culture, class, and other sociopolitical structures impact individual and community identity development, mental health, wellness, and a sense of belonging in the world. Her clinical practice is grounded in harm reduction psychotherapy, liberation healing and innovations in trauma-informed care; and she prioritizes therapeutic interventions that support people in recognizing, honoring and building upon their internal resilience. This philosophical orientation has been shaped through her previous work in a variety of settings, including the Cambridge Hospital, Healthcare for the Homeless, AIDS Action Committee, and as a former- contract therapist with the CWC here at MassArt.

Jennie is deeply committed to meeting people where they are, and to leading sessions with curiosity, compassion and humility. A “wounded therapist” herself, she recognizes the courage required to investigate suffering with a stranger – in addition to the power that connection and community contribute to the ability to heal and to thrive.

When she’s not working as a therapist, Jennie loves practicing Pilates, reading books by Jeannette Winterson, Roxanne Gay or Zadi Smith (among others), hitting the open road, turning up her music real loud and eating food prepared by people better at cooking than she is.

Kyra Babakian, LICSW - Case Manager and Psychotherapist
kbabakian@massart.edu • 617.879.7763

Kyra Babakian is a licensed clinical social worker. She received her degree from the School of Social Work at Boston College. Prior to coming to MassArt, she worked at McLean Hospital in an adolescent residential program and then on an adult inpatient unit specializing in trauma and dissociative disorders. Kyra was also a graduate intern at Berklee College of Music’s counseling center, and is thrilled to be back on a college campus. She is dedicated to providing strengths-based, trauma-informed care with a particular interest in dissociation. Outside of work, Kyra spends a lot of time scheming about her next cooking or baking project. 

Pei-Hsuan Lu, LMFT - Staff Psychotherapist, Artward Bound/COMPASS Community Liaison
plu@massart.edu •  617.879.7760

Pei-Hsuan Lu is a bilingual (Mandarin Chinese/English speaking) licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). She received her degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2012. She then started working for a non-profit organization, The Home for Little Wanderers, Safe At Home-In Home Therapy Program as an In-Home Therapist providing intensive family therapy serving multicultural and multi-stressed families in the greater Boston area; She then became a supervisor supporting awesome people who were serving through In-Home Therapy, Therapeutic Mentor, and Intensive Care Coordination services until Jan 2020. It’s been such a pleasure to serve the students at MassArt. She really appreciates the reflective, authentic, and multi-talented you!!

As a Therapist, She is passionate and committed to supporting any individuals, couples, and families in finding more hope in their preferred lives and relationships. Being non-judgmental, collaborative, transparent, and respectful are the main principles in her practice. She mainly practices narrative therapy and solution-focused therapy via postmodern worldviews. She is excited to co-create possibilities to see that there is Light despite all of the darkness.

Similar to many of you, the experiences of  “the hurt and the healer collide” have brought her to wanting to be more understanding and curious about people. By the way, she loves babies, reading, and tasting different foods from various cultures.

Nicole Pimentel - Administrative Assistant
npimentel@massart.edu • 617.879.7760

Nicole has a B.S. in Communications with a concentration in Advertising from Salem State University. Prior to joining MassArt, Nicole worked with first-generation and low-income high school aged youth at a college access progam for six years. She also worked at various publishing companies in sales and marketing. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys baking, cooking, reading, traveling, blogging, and attending book events.

Mohammad Zafar, LICSW - Psychotherapist/Justice & Equity Outreach
mzafar@massart.edu • 617.879.7571

Mohammad is a licensed independent clinical social worker and received his Master’s in Social Work from Florida State University. He has had the fortunate privilege of working in a variety of settings hearing people’s stories, which has left him feeling honored, humbled and grateful. Prior to coming to MassArt, Mohammad was at the Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida where he was able to work with children and young adults diagnosed with terminal disease. There, Mohammad spent much of his time studying, teaching, and addressing health disparities specifically linked to racial and economic inequality. Before that, Mohammad worked with the criminal legal system as a substance abuse counselor and advocate for those incarcerated. Some of his most impactful learning experiences came volunteering as a suicide hotline counselor, trainee at a psychiatric hospital, and student leader and mentor at the University of Florida. Outside of work, Mohammad spends most of his time with his large family travelling where affordable, snorkeling in his hometown, hiking the Great Smokies, looking for the next big giga-coaster to ride, and learning about his religious and cultural identity.