Consulting partnerships

Achieving Mental Health Equity in Higher Education

Young people of color face numerous stressors that affect their mental health and academic success. Some face serious risk because population-specific factors influencing mental health are too poorly understood and not acted upon. Together, we can take action and make a positive impact in the lives of young people on and off campus.

Expert Consulting Services

Our consulting services focus on transformational change for systems and organizations to benefit the mental health and wellness of BIPOC students. We partner with diverse organizations and institutions to define and adopt effective strategies, programs, policies, practices, and inclusive cultures that improve the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. Together we create a welcoming and supportive environment for the higher education community to help young people, faculty, staff, and leaders thrive and flourish on campus and in the community.

students laughing

Consulting Portfolio

Delivered in-person and virtually, experts from the Steve Fund excel at:

Needs Assessments

to develop recommendations for change

Strategic Retreats

for leaders

Targeted Educational Workshops & Seminars

for administrators, faculty, and staff

Community Building

to address campus climate and community collaboration

Campus Convenings

and roundtables focused on mental health

Mental Health & Wellness Programs

for students

Expert-led Consulting Features

  • Our seasoned experts partner with campus leaders to promote best practices for the mental and emotional well-being of BIPOC students
  • We build and support the capacity of leaders, faculty, and staff to sustain culturally appropriate responses to the mental health needs of students
  • Our teams take a creative approach to pioneering new and innovative paths to success amid the current crises

Our Framework

Our mental health experts use a proven mental health framework tailored to the unique needs of our partners and the populations they serve


We start by defining the mental health needs of students of color, mapping needs and customizing evidence-based responses to campus circumstances.


Using current research-based strategies, our experts support campus leaders in preparing students of color to return to classes virtually and/or on campus.


With needs and strategies in place, we aid in developing cross-functional advisory groups, including students, to advise campus leadership on mental health needs.


Based on a learning-in-action model, we respond to immediate campus mental health needs and crises as they arise.


Sustain progress with action-oriented plans grounded in best practices to implement identified responses.


To ensure authentic, lasting change, we examine the impact of our engagements, programs, and services to build on successes, address challenges, and formulate additional lines of action and learning.

Our Team

jan collins eaglin

Senior Advisor

Dr. Jan Collins-Eaglin serves as the Senior Advisor for the Steve Fund and facilitated the Equity in Mental Health Framework Project. In her role as Senior Advisor, she consults with colleges and universities on ways to make mental health a priority for students of color. Prior to her role with the Steve Fund, Dr. Collins Eaglin served as the Interim Dean of Students, the Senior Associate Dean of Students for Wellness and Personal Success and the Disability Coordinator at Pomona College. She was responsible for mental health and wellness initiatives, staff development, and all ADA cases. She also served as the Intergroup Dialogue consultant for the college. She is an independent consultant for higher education institutions and organizational effectiveness.

As a psychologist, Dr. Collins Eaglin directed of the Michigan State University Counseling Center that included the Testing Center, Sexual Assault Services and Alcohol Education and Counseling.  She also served as Director of Wayne State University Student Support Services, which included Counseling and Psychological Services, Disability Services and the Academic Success Center. She participated as a senior advisor for the National College Depression Partnership and the 20×30 Health Initiative.

Dr. Collins Eaglin is also active in the community. She developed a nationwide mental health program for African American women through Alpha Kappa Alpha and The Links, an international African American women’s community service organization. She served on the board of the House of Ruth, a sexual assault survivor and homeless shelter for women, is president of the board at her local church, and board member of the African American Quilt Guild of Los Angeles.

Dr. Collins Eaglin holds a BA degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills and Master of Psychology, Education Specialist, and Doctorate from the University of Michigan.

jeanne manese

National Advisor

Jeanne E. Manese, Ph.D. received her doctoral degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also attained a M.Ed. from Harvard University. Dr. Manese is an independent consultant and serves as a national advisor with The Steve Fund. As an advocate, practitioner, and scholar, Dr. Manese is currently focused on helping organizational transformation aimed at diversity, equity, and inclusion through capacity building, promoting leadership development among BIPOC professionals, and radical healing.

Dr. Manese’s counseling center career has spanned four decades including serving as the Director at UC Irvine and as Training Director at UC San Diego. She has also worked internationally as the shipboard psychologist with the Semester at Sea program. In these roles, her passions included implementing strengths-based programs for first generation college students, community building, mentoring BIPOC students through the higher education pipeline, and clinical supervision. In 2018, Dr. Manese was honored with the Lifetime Achievement in Service from the APA Minority Fellowship Program, and continues her role as a Mentor for the MFP Psychology Summer Institute. She was also honored by the Society of Counseling Psychology with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award. Dr. Manese is an AAPA Fellow, an APA Fellow in Divisions 45 and 17 and holds emeriti status in AUCCCD.

david rivera

National Advisor

Dr. David P. Rivera is an associate professor of counselor education at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), where he is also the Founding Director of the CUNY LGBTQI Student Leadership Program. He holds degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Wyoming. His professional experience includes college counseling, higher education administration, and consultations on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Rivera has worked at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Prince George’s Community College, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, among others. A counseling psychologist, his research is guided by critical theories and social justice frameworks and explores cultural competency development and issues impacting the marginalization and wellbeing of people of color and oppressed sexual orientation and gender identity groups, with a focus on microaggressions.

Dr. Rivera has published books, journal articles, and book chapters in various areas of multicultural psychology, education, and social justice, and his latest co-edited books, Affirming LGBTQ+ Students in Higher Education and Critical Theories for School Psychology and Counseling: A Foundation for Equity and Inclusion in School-Based Practice were released in 2022. Dr. Rivera holds leadership positions with the American Psychological Association, The Steve Fund, and The Council for Opportunity in Education. Dr. Rivera is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and has received national honors from the American College Counseling Association, and the American College Personnel Association.

Get Started

Tell us about your needs and project and schedule a free initial consultation.

Our Higher Education Transformation brochure

Upcoming Event

girl outside

Supporting Black young women and girls

Wednesday, August 24
1:00-2:30 PM ET

Discuss the concept of “Black Joy” and what it means for Black young women and girls to thrive, not just survive. This session will be interactive and creative, and invite participants to reimagine and reflect on their own survival and thrival practices.

In the news

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Join the Steve Fund in supporting the mental health and wellness of young people of color.

Our Mission: Promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color