Staff

Charles F. Lester, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Lester was raised in rural Illinois and joined the Marines immediately after high school. After a four year enlistment, he attended Illinois State University, completing his bachelors and masters degrees in psychology. Dr. Lester earned his doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado.

Dr. Lester moved from Colorado to Alaska in 1986. He is an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys hunting, fishing, snow machining, etc.

Dr. Lester works extensively with individuals experiencing a wide range of behavioral and emotional challenges. He has served as a clinical and behavioral consultant for many different human service agencies and school districts throughout Alaska.

Dr. Lester is an adjunct faculty member for the psychology department at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and was founder of the masters degree program in counseling psychology at Alaska Pacific University.

Currently, Dr. Lester is clinically active in providing parenting support and individual psychotherapy for people experiencing challenges associated with Autism spectrum disorder, severe challenging behaviors, and developmental disabilities.

As well as providing clinical services at Psychology Resources, Dr. Lester is currently conducting research and program development in the area of occupational behavioral health for those who work within the human services field.

Cathy von Hippel, Ph.D.

Dr. von Hippel is a lifelong Alaskan and a licensed clinical psychologist. She earned a bachelors in English Literature at Dartmouth College, a masters in Fine Arts at the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.  Dr. von Hippel completed an American Psychological Association internship in child psychology and serious mental illness. She completed post-doctoral training in pediatric mood and anxiety disorders.

Dr. von Hippel specializes in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and giftedness.  She works with children, adolescents, adults, and parents.  Dr. von Hippel conducts psychological evaluations, individual psychotherapy, group therapy and community training. She facilitates social skills psychotherapy groups for teenagers on the Autism spectrum. Dr. von Hippel incorporates cognitive approaches, art, humor, and play into her work with children.

Dr. von Hippel is an avid traveler and the proud mother of three.

Jennifer O. Spencer, M.S.

Jennifer moved to Alaska from Washington D.C. In Anchorage, she works at Psychology Resources, volunteers with children on the Providence Hospital pediatric unit, and rides dressage with her shiny stallion, Stella.  Jennifer is a special educator experienced in assessing students and generating and implementing strategies to support their learning.  Jennifer excels at helping students of all ages build on their strengths and develop strategies for success.  She assesses the achievement levels of patients undergoing psychological testing.  Additionally, she co-facilitates social skills psychotherapy groups and brings an educator’s perspective to skill development.

Margaret Klatt, M.S., L.P.C.

Margaret Klatt grew up on a homestead in south Anchorage. Margaret’s homestead farming experience nurtured her close ties with family, strong work ethic, respect for nature, and active lifestyle.  Many people are familiar with Klatt Road, which was named after her pioneering family during early road construction.

As an undergraduate, Margaret studied art, psychology, and biological sciences.  She obtained a masters degree in counseling psychology at Alaska Pacific University.

Margaret works with children and teenagers. She is a strong advocate for children and uses a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy.

In Margaret’s spare time she enjoys gardening, music, and occasional home construction projects.

Marie Priest, M.S., L.P.C.

Marie Priest was born and raised in Soldotna, Alaska. Her family is one of the larger homesteading families on the Peninsula. Marie is the youngest of five children.

Marie left Soldotna and earned a bachelors in Human Services at University of Alaska, Anchorage. During her undergraduate years, Marie worked for a Head Start Pre-school Literacy Program. Also she worked with severely emotionally disturbed children and adjudicated sexual offenders at Alaska Children’s Services.

Marie attended graduate school at the University of Laverne California College, where she earned a Masters of Science Degree in Counseling. Marie has worked in residential treatment as well as outpatient settings.

At Psychology Resources, Marie works with children, adolescents and families in psychotherapy.

Marie loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, skiing and running.  She is the sprinting mother of active twins.

Mary Palko, MS, LPC, CDCII

Mary grew up in a military family which traveled around the world and eventually settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mary’s travels taught her respect for cultural diversity and travel.

Mary moved to Alaska in 1998, where she earned a masters degree in counseling psychology from Alaska Pacific University. She has worked in residential, outpatient, and group home settings providing mental health and substance abuse treatment to children, adolescents, and adults. Mary specializes in challenges faced by children and young adults, including AD/HD, Autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, and friendship and relationship issues, as well as more adult issues such as divorce. She provides specialized therapy for deaf clients and is currently among the only two licensed professional counselors fluent in American Sign Language in the state of Alaska.

Mary has volunteered as an adaptive ski instructor for many years. She also volunteered at Camp Erin, a grief camp for children. She spends as much time as possible outdoors, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, ski mountaineering, and cross country and downhill skiing. She also enjoys gardening, walking her husky, and learning to play the guitar.

Susan R. Scott, M.S., L.M.F.T.

Sue grew up in Boise, Idaho and moved with her family to Alaska in 1966. Her extended family worked in the reconstruction of the Seward Alaska airport after the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake.

Sue has worked in a variety of fields – in medical practices, on fishing boats, in engineering firms, and in vocational rehabilitation.  She attended Boise State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.  In 1993 Sue obtained a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Alaska Pacific University.  Since then, she has worked in residential, outpatient, hospital, and private practice and management settings with both adolescents and adults. She has taught various psychology courses at the graduate level and supervised clinical interns since 1990. Sue has extensive experience in adolescent and family problems, college anxiety, marital problems, career change, substance abuse, and trauma. Her career interests include adolescent and adult group psychotherapy.

When not at work, Sue relaxes with her four dogs and two cats. Her hobbies include gardening, music, fishing, animal rescue work, watercolor painting and photography.

Sarah Rabinowitz, LCSW

Sarah was born and raised in Fairbanks. She grew up cross-country skiing and running and attended college in Vermont where she studied history and skied competitively.  Sarah continues to enjoy the outdoors and loves to ski and hike on the trails around Anchorage.

Sarah lived in Southeast Alaska working in social service agencies before moving to Boston for graduate school. She completed her masters degree in Clinical Social Work at Boston College.  Sarah specializes in anxiety disorders, mood disorders and trauma related issues. She practices Solution Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR.

Melissa Tourtillott, M.S. LPA

Melissa grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and moved to Anchorage in 2001 where she completed her masters degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Melissa has experience providing psychotherapy to adolescents in the juvenile justice system, and supporting families impacted by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  At Psychology Resources, she provides psychotherapy for children and teens experiencing anxiety and mood disorders.

Melissa loves the outdoors, particularly hiking, gardening, snowshoeing, and bicycling. She enjoys traveling and has a special interest in nutrition.  Melissa is the mother of Simon, a toddler who runs.

Tad Sumner, LCSW, CDCI

Tad was born and raised in Alaska. He grew up near Girdwood and commercial fished in the summers.  Tad’s childhood community taught him the values of giving and altruism.  Tad works primarily with teenagers and young adults.

Tad enjoys the Alaskan outdoors and believes it is an important part of his own mental health. He enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, fishing, motorcycling and spending time with his wife, young daughter, and dogs.