Staff Spotlight: Kerry Varela

Describe briefly what you do and how long have you been at Brown
I am one of the psychotherapists at Counseling and Psychological Services(CAPS). In November 2020, I joined the CAPS transition leadership team. I have been at Brown for two years.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
The professional accomplishment that I am most proud of is when I am able to form a therapeutic relationship with a student who may not have had good experiences with counseling in the past.

What are your home office must-haves?
One of my home office must-haves is my beauty rest office chair. This has been a real game-changer for working remotely!

What work projects excite you?
Appointments with students excite me the most. I find it extremely rewarding to help students improve quality of life. Other work projects that excite me involve problem solving and organization..

Name something about you most people don't know.
This may come as a surprise to some of my CAPS cat-loving team, but I am terrified of cats. However, I do enjoy a good cat story(from afar!).

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I would be living in Cape Verde and owning a juice bar on the beach. Cape Verde’s motto is “No stress” and life is so different there. I love visiting and I can't think of anywhere else I rather be.

Can you recommend a book that is important to you?
As a black woman who grew up in the United States, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou was and still is a very important book to me. I’d also recommend reading Slave by Mende Nazer