2018 Participant Bios

Sarah Arango, Ed.M., M.A.

Sarah Arango is a Counseling Psychology doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. She received an Ed.M. and an M.A. in Psychological Counseling with a concentration in Bilingual Latina/o Mental Health from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in Psychology from George Mason University. Sarah was raised in a bilingual (Spanish and English) household in Colombia and the Netherlands. Her research interests focus on identity development and intersectionality, the experiences of refugees and immigrants, LGBTQ youth, gender diverse children and their families, resilience and coping, and international/cross-cultural issues in psychology. Sarah uses a social justice and multicultural lens in her approach to research and practice. In the future, Sarah hopes to focus on research, teaching, and mentoring. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to countries she has never been to before, painting, and spending time with family and friends.


Marissa Floro, M.A.

Marissa Floro, is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Loyola University Chicago. She received her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara, her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, and is now gratefully back at UCSB for her pre-doctoral internship. Throughout her graduate work, she has focused on intersections of identity, social justice values, and marginalized communities. She has been a part of a range of projects such as focusing on increasing resilience in Chicago African American youth, measuring stereotypes of Asian American women, and identifying sex education for LGBTQ youth with disabilities. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of biracial, bisexual women and their identity formation. Marissa has also advocated to work with marginalized communities and intersectionalities while within a rape crisis center, LGBTQ community mental health center, and university counseling center through projects like co-creating an LGBTQ People of Color group, LGBTQ-inclusive sex positivity workshop, and drop in spaces for those affected by political events. Currently at UCSB, she’s continued this work by predominantly serving students of color and LGBTQ students, cultivating relationships and outreach collaborations with multiple departments and student organizations, and acting as both an advocate and community member for LGBTQ students of color in campus events. When not discussing identity and power dynamics, Marissa enjoys Netflix bingeing, exploring cities and their food scenes, finding good sales, and DIY anything.


Oliver J. Lees, B.S.

Oliver J. Lees is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Indiana University-Bloomington. He completed his Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Oliver is involved in a number of ongoing research projects, on a wide range of topics. These include promoting academic persistence among women of color in STEM, exploring factors that influence the decisions of international students to stay or leave their host nations, and the implementation of values affirmation interventions. As an undergraduate, Oliver was involved in several student organizations. He co-founded and led Project Freshmen 15,000, an organization that broke the world record for the largest Rice Krispies treat, raising around $14,000 for charitable organizations along the way. Additionally, he founded BundleUp, an organization that worked to provide warm clothing and hygiene products for individuals experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin. He led BundleUp for two years, and the organization is still active since Oliver moved out of the state. In the future, Oliver hopes to work at a research intensive university, focusing on building effective interventions and programs to help marginalized and underrepresented groups.


Gilbert Jew

Gilbert Jew is currently in his fifth year as a doctoral candidate in the Counseling Psychology program. He has clinical experience working in a variety of treatment settings including: a national suicide prevention hotline, a partial hospital setting, a university counseling setting, a substance abuse treatment center for Black Americans, and in hospital settings.  His research interests are primarily in the realm of facilitative factors associated with social justice attitudes and behaviors.   Gilbert considers himself a scholar-activist and believe that social justice research must be applied in the field.  He was one of the primary organizers of the Solidarity March for Black Lives at the 2016 APA conference.


Monica J. Johnson, B.S.

Monica J. Johnson is a graduate student at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. At UB, she is currently a third year doctoral student in the combined Counseling Psychology/School Psychology program, on track to earn a Ph.D. in 2020. Monica’s research interests include African American acculturation, religiosity, multiculturalism, and minority mental health. She is part of a research team studying the infusion of multiculturalism into the curriculum in various counseling psychology Ph.D. programs. Monica has also conducted research regarding factors that influence academic success in African American woman. Monica, a Philadelphia native, is an active participant on the University at Buffalo campus. Monica is passionate about social justice issues, and works closely with graduate student association to help provide safe spaces for students to dialogue about the sociopolitical climate and its clinical relevance. Ultimately, after graduation Monica plans to practice clinically and continue research, in an effort to add to the limited research involving marginalized populations. Monica is grateful to have the unending support of her family, friends, and mentors.


Shavonne J. Moore, Ph.D.

Dr. Shavonne J. Moore received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Purdue University. She completed her pre-doctoral training at Boston University School of Medicine’s Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology, and her post-doctoral fellowship at the Boston Veteran Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. She is currently a licensed psychologist and health care provider in Boston, Massachusetts. Clinically, she specializes in the assessment and treatment of trauma and severe and persistent mental illness, within a multicultural framework. She also provides education and advocacy services for ending sexual victimization against women and men, through multiples venues. For example, Dr. Moore serves on the Board of Directors for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center; she develops curriculum on sexual and interpersonal trauma for the Trauma Center in Boston; and she has been called to participate in local government efforts to reduce the demand of sexual exploitation in Boston. She is passionate about raising awareness and engaging the community around these important issues. Dr. Moore is actively engaged in the American Psychological Association, and within Division 17, she is the chair of Practitioner Engagement for the Section on Professional Practice. She is also a Diversity Delegate for the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA), as well as a member of MPA’s Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs. She has a strong commitment to working with marginalized and victimized populations. She is proud to make positive contributions to the field of psychology, and remains motivated to bring those contributions to the local communities that surround us.


Stephanie Carrera, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephanie Carrera received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University in 2017. She completed her doctoral internship at Counseling & Psychological Services at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern University Counseling and Psychological Services. At Northwestern, Stephanie provides individual therapy, group therapy, crisis services, psychoeducational outreach, and consultation with parents, faculty, and staff. She is also a member of the Eating Concerns Assessment and Treatment Team and provides drop-in consultation to traditionally underrepresented students through CAPS’ Let’s Talk program.

Stephanie’s clinical and research interests include working with students of color who hold various intersecting identities and social lenses to navigate family conflict and support, bicultural and multicultural identity development, acculturation gaps between parents and youth, and perfectionism. Stephanie also has experience with assessment/testing. In her clinical work, Stephanie takes on a strengths-based approach to help her students adopt a mindful, empowered, and compassionate outlook on themselves. She is very passionate about fusing her clinical work with social justice advocacy.

When she is not at work, Stephanie enjoys kickboxing, dancing, Zumba, and trying various cuisines. She treasures spending time with her families in Chicago and Ecuador.


Karina Ramos, Ph.D.

Dr. Karina Ramos earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon in 2015. She is currently a senior staff psychologist at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Dr. Ramos completed her APA-accredited doctoral internship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and became a licensed psychologist after completing her postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley’s Counseling and Psychological Services. She completed her bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College and her master’s degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Dr. Ramos is passionate about multicultural issues and enjoys working with diverse clients, including people with marginalized identities and first-generation college students. Her clinical and research areas of expertise are issues related to the mental health well-being and academic resilience among undocumented immigrant populations. Dr. Ramos also has an interest in working with students on concerns related to grief/loss, adjustment, identity development, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. She is a native Spanish speaker and able to provide bilingual therapy services. At UCI, Dr. Ramos is a liaison to the DREAM Center and the American Indian Resource Program. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, photography, and hiking.


Hanna Suh, Ph.D.

Dr. Hanna Suh received her Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida in 2016. She is currently an assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Her research examines stress and resilience, with an emphasis on exploring the effectiveness of mindfulness and positive psychology interventions. Specifically, she explores ways to mitigate the effects of stress on psychological distress through mindfulness-based interventions and explores whether there might be a separate process implicated in cultivating well-being distinguished from reduction of stress and distress. In 2016, she received an outstanding student award from the positive psychology section in Division 17. Clinically, she is interested in working with international students and utilizes relational cultural framework.


Batsirai Bvunzawabaya, Ph.D.

Dr. Batsirai Bvunzawabaya graduated from Auburn University’s Counseling Psychology program in 2012. She is currently working at the University of Pennsylvania’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in Philadelphia. In addition to providing individual and group therapy, Dr. Bvunzawabaya enjoys participating in training, and outreach and prevention services at CAPS. Dr. Bvunzawabaya’s clinical interests include exploring issues related to minority mental health, body image concerns, sexual trauma, racial and ethnic identity development and social justice counseling. Her research interests include exploring how issues of equity and inclusion are incorporated in all aspects of our work. Dr. Bvunzawabaya is originally from Zimbabwe, Africa.  In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, spending time with friends and family, watching TV and reading.


Jennifer Mootz, Ph.D. 

Dr. Jennifer Mootz earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University in 2015. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship with the Southwest Consortium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her research interests concern pathways between gender-based violence and armed conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, mental health outcomes of the same, and behavioral interventions that target indirect pathways. Funded by the Fogarty International Center and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at National Institutes of Health, she was a former Postdoctoral Fellow with the Global Health Equity Scholars Program at the Yale School of Public Health. During this fellowship, she lived in Uganda to complete a mixed methods project regarding prevalence, risk factors, and mental health outcomes of intimate partner violence in conflict-affected communities in Northeastern Uganda. Jennifer was honored to receive two awards from APA Divisions 17 (International Section) and 52 for her research in Uganda and be identified as one of 35 psychologists globally for the Emerging Psychologist Program at the International Congress of Psychology 2016. Jennifer is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Global Mental Health at Columbia University.

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