Student Clinical Herbalist Interns for 2014

Meet our excellent and diverse group of interns! If you’d like to see someone in particular, please email them by clicking on their name below or contact our office to be connected to them via phone.

Vilde Chaya is a meddler, a tinkerer, a questioner. Think of him as your personal health Columbo–friendly, calm, a bit disheveled, but honing in quickly and determinedly on the cause of your ailments. Living according to our dreams and dealing with our health challenges is not easy work, and it can be helpful to have a partner. Vilde is eager to work by your side to find pathways to your life goals, using the medicines offered by the plants, foods, and thoughtful life choices, and helping find ways to cope with the real and serious difficulties that this society places on us. He’s been studying healing with herbs since 2006, when he first met plants and immediately fell in love. He’s worked at a number of free clinics, most recently at a queer and trans clinic on the rusty banks of Lake Erie, and is ecstatic about the VCIH ethic of accessibility.


Leilani Courtney  has dedicated her life to working with medicinal plants and their relationship with humans. She believes healing is an art, not just a science–and therefore by blending safe and effective traditional therapies with modern scientific knowledge, she educates individuals about whole body wellness. Able to explain how symptoms may serve as guides to underlying imbalances and causes of illness, Leilani is excited to empower clients to embrace their own healing journey. Passionate about using plants as the medium to connect mind, body, spirit with cycles of life and patterns of nature, she is also able to educate around conventional treatments and alternative/adjunctive herbal approaches. Beyond working with plants, Leilani is passionate about playing outside, traveling the world, and spending time with friends, family and her community.

Linden de Voil blends the art and traditions of herbalism with the science of modern botanical medicine, working to support clients in strengthening the roots of their unique physical and emotional health. She believes that you can be the best advocate for your own wellness; she offers compassionate, affirming and practical guidance to help integrate plant-based traditional medicines into daily life, supporting a lasting vitality and wellbeing.

Kimberly Hotelling is rooted in the strong belief that plants can provide incredible vitality, healing and balance for our body systems, organs, tissues and emotions. Apart from deep physiological healing, plants can also work as catalysts providing that extra spark that is often needed for us to make positive changes in our lives. Along with herbs, she also offers nutritional education, suggested rituals for connecting with nature and supportive strategies and tools for learning how to incorporate meditation into one’s life. She is open to seeing clients with any health concerns, however some areas that she has focused on are asthma, allergies, chronic digestive imbalances and Lyme disease/tick pathogens. She is grateful to be able to deeply listen and connect with her clients to work together to discover how the healing power of plants can help them on their own personal journey to attaining more balance, health and joy in their lives.

Kelly McCarthy is a clinical herbalist, a radical community organizer, and a queer from a long line of sassy ladies. Kelly looks forward to creating a healing partnership with clients who want to explore ways to integrate plants into their daily life through whole foods, herbal medicine, and flower essences.

Emily Peters views herbalism as deeply rooted in the relationship with the local land-base, and in the desire to create autonomous, healthy communities. In clinic she views each person as a unique, resilient, self-directed person and the expert of their own body. She aspires to view each person in their whole, to try and uncover with them the root causes of their imbalances and health concerns. Emily is particularly excited to work with people on long-term stress, chronic pain, nutrition, harm-reduction, incarceration and many other health issues. She wants to meet people where they’re at in terms of barriers to resources, experience, identity, etc, and she aspires to create a healing space for all genders, races, abilities and ages. Emily practices herbalism from a deep sense of love and gratitude towards the plants and towards all medicine people who have risked their lives for the survival of this sacred knowledge of healing.

Anna Powell lives in the woods in northern Vermont and spends her days working on an organic farm. They use biodynamic principles, diversity, and trace minerals to build soil fertility and create nutrient dense food for microorganisms, plants, and creatures alike. She is inspired and enlivened by the plants and believes in their power to feed our souls and bodies and to encourage our innate will and capacity to heal. She believes in educating ourselves and others, taking charge of our own health, and establishing better systems for healing–whether it be for soil, plant, animal, or human.

Danielle Rissen-Rosenfeld is dedicated to providing a warm, supportive and accepting healing environment. She has worked as a youth worker, mental health counselor and personal support worker in youth shelters and community clinics. Danielle is a gardener, wild crafter and medicine maker. She strives to create a space that is gay, queer, trans* inclusive, and comfortable for people of all races, abilities and bodies. She recognizes that health is influenced by socioeconomic circumstances, environmental factors, access to resources, and personal and ancestral history. Her client-based approach recognizes that people know their own bodies best and ultimately heal themselves. She approaches each consultation as a partnership, and aims to assist her clients in finding plant allies, and to feel empowered in their healing process.

Sila Rood began formal study of holistic care with Ayurveda and Reiki in Auroville, India in 2006. She completed her yoga teacher training in 2009 with Psalm Isadora, and her level II prenatal yoga teacher training in 2013 with Nine Moons Prenatal Yoga, and is currently working toward her doula certification. As a professional belly dancer in LA, she taught this traditional method of toning the body for perinatal purposes. There, she also practiced the art of crystal therapy. In 2011, she began studying herbalism through introductory courses at the Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine. She proceeded with her education at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in 2012. Sila also works with Graceful Entry Birth Services bringing women well-rounded care through herbs, yoga, and dance, and offering preparation for conception, prenatal, and post natal services.

Robin Shapero has been learning about health and herbs for over a decade. Robin strongly believes in people’s abilities to take control of their own lives and health, and in the power of community to create non-capitalist strategies of inter-reliance. Robin’s interests are many, with special focus on a range of issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction issues, interstitial cystitis, Crohn’s, PTSD and trauma, endometriosis and fertility. Robin is excited about working with all sorts of people, with all different experiences of health. For more about Robin, check out www.hemlockandpine.wordpress.com.

Kate Westdijk grew up in the green hills of Central Vermont and revels in the opportunity to connect with clients around a shared love of place and nature through whole foods nutrition and herbal medicine. She views clinical herbalism as an opportunity to partner with others in a healing journey towards peace with oneself and the world. Ultimately, she seeks to empower clients to develop (or rediscover) their own self-care strategies. She is specializing in working with women and families. In addition to aspirations as a clinical herbalist, Kate is a childbirth mentor (Birthing from Within), a mom, and a lecturer and Food Systems researcher at the University of Vermont.