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Kara Cattani appointed new executive director of Student Development Services

BYU Student Life Vice President Julie Franklin announced the hire of Kara Cattani as the new executive director of Student Development Services.

“Kara is highly qualified with strong credentials and years of experience leading Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) as the clinical director and associate director of Student Development Services,” Franklin said.

Kara Cattani Portrait small.jpg
Photo by BYU Photo

Cattani will begin her tenure as the executive director on July 1 and will replace Steve Smith, who has held that position since 2011.

“Steve has been a strong advocate for the student experience,” Franklin said. “BYU has been blessed by Steve’s expertise and care.”

Since 2012, Cattani has worked as a clinical professor and associate director of CAPS. She divides her time between administrative work, clinical practice, training of graduate students, consultations and clinical research. Her clinical interests are in adult outpatient counseling with individuals exhibiting a wide range of difficulties, including anxiety (particularly generalized anxiety and trauma), depression and identity development challenges or conflicts.

Cattani earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a business management minor from BYU. She went on to earn her doctorate in clinical psychology from Florida State University, researching methods to evaluate psychotherapy outcomes and predict and prevent psychotherapy treatment failures.

In her spare time, Cattani operates a taxi service for her kids (usually to tennis courts and basketball gyms), enjoys hiking, biking and traveling with her family and spoils her English golden retriever.

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