Leadership

 

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Section Chair
Stephanie Graham / 2016 – 2020

Stephanie is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her role, she teaches in both the doctoral and master’s programs and is the Director of the Counseling Psychology Training Clinic. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Auburn University and completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Counseling & Consultation Services.

Prior to her position at UW-Madison, she worked in college counseling and maintained a private psychotherapy practice. Her research, teaching, clinical interests focus on vocational development and counseling, supervision and training, and working with LGBTQi individuals and couples in counseling. When not working, Stephanie enjoys going to the dog park, spending time with her partner and their twin girls, cooking, and hanging with friends!


 

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Past Chair
Dustin Shepler / 2014 – 2018

Dr. Shepler is a faculty member at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology (MiSPP). In addition to running research teams, he teaches and supervises doctoral students in clinical psychology. He received his PhD in counseling psychology from Ball State University in 2012 and completed his predoctoral internship at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He has incorporated his interest in LGBT issues in all aspects of his professional work.

In addition to his role at MiSPP, Dr. Shepler works with clients in private practice. He enjoys visiting family and spending time outdoors. He hopes to see SLGBTI grow in membership and continue contributing to the advancement of LGBT issues in society and within the profession.


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Past Chair
Bobby Reis / 2012 – 2016


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Secretary
Bonnie Benson-Palmgren / 2016 – 2018

Dr. Benson-Palmgren (she/her/hers) is Diversity Coordinator and Staff Psychologist at the University of Tennessee Knoxville Student Counseling Center. She is engaged in all aspects of university counseling center work and coordinates the intern multicultural seminar and the center’s diversity committee. She is a member of the Student Life Diversity Committee at UT and the Chancellor’s Commission for LGBT People and its Trans and Non-Binary Issues subcommittee.

 Prior to her position at UT Knoxville, she worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Counseling & Consultation Service 2012-2015 as Psychologist and Trans Specialist. She helped develop a multi-disciplinary social transition model at UW-Madison to support trans and non-binary students in all aspects of transitioning while in college, including training/supervising practitioners in writing letters of support for hormones. She received the Honorary Rainbow Degree in 2015 from the LGBT Campus Center at UW.

 Dr. Benson-Palmgren received the Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University, M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from University of Missouri-Columbia, and B.A. in Human Development and Social Relations from Earlham College (Richmond, IN). She completed both her doctoral internship and her 2-year post-internship fellowship (specializing in Gender and Sexual Minorities) at The Ohio State University Counseling & Consultation Services.


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Treasurer
Christopher Davids / 2016 – 2018

Chris (he/him/his) received his M.A. in counseling and guidance, and Ph.D. in counseling psychology, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, located in Kansas City, Missouri. Following this, he completed his clinical internship at the University of Utah University Counseling Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he remained and is currently an assistant professor of psychology at Westminster College. Chris maintains a research agenda examining topics including eating behavior, body image concern, masculinity, sexual objectification, and LGBT considerations.


Membership Chair
Ryan Ebersole / 2015 – 2017

 Ryan Ebersole, M.S. (he/him/his) is a third year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He received his M.S. in counseling psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. During his time at the University at Albany, he was the research coordinator for a NIMHD-funded grant examining HIV-testing behaviors among Latino men who have sex with men. His current research focus is on lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB)-affirmative psychotherapy. Specifically, he is interested in exploring the factors that improve clinicians’ competence in practicing affirmatively as well as the experience of LGB clients in psychotherapy.  In his free time, Ryan enjoys reading, horror movies, playing with his two dogs, and good beer.


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Diversity Officer
T. Shavuan Sam /2016 – 2018

Dr. Sam is Senior Psychologist of the Forensic Treatment Mall at Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System located in Jackson, Louisiana. In this role, she is responsible for assessment of all female forensic patients receiving care to restore competency as well as supervising interns who facilitate competency restoration groups. Additionally, she performs risk assessments, is a member of review panels for forensic patients and leads the suicide prevention training for all new security and nursing staff.

Prior to her position at Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System, Dr. Sam worked in college counseling and community mental health in such roles as: Assessment Psychologist, Outreach Coordinator and Culture and Gender Specialist. Her areas of interest are culturally curious clinician development, mindfulness practice, mental health first aid (crisis response) and cross-cultural and gender issues in assessment, treatment and supervision.


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Program Committee Chair
Mirella Flores / 2016 – 2018

Mirella J. Flores (she/her/hers) is a third-year doctoral student in the University of Missouri-Kansas City counseling psychology program. Mirella is originally from Peru but grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, and earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida. Her research interests focus on the influence of interpersonal violence and discrimination on the mental health of individuals with multiple intersecting marginalized identities, with a particular emphasis on the experiences of transgender people of color and sexual minority people of color.  Mirella is a proud mother of three cats and a dog, and she also loves animals. Some non-academic interests of Mirella include attending concerts and art events, drawing and painting, enjoying red wine and good beer, spending time with loved ones (including her fur-babies), and CrossFit.


Members-at-Large

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Kodee Walls / 2015 – 2017

Kodee L. Walls (she/her/hers) is an ECP currently working as a Staff Psychologist at Kansas State University.  In addition to providing support to predoctoral interns, she also runs the Stress Management program in the counseling center. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University in 2016 and completed her predoctoral internship training at University of Tennessee—Knoxville.  Her areas of interest including the intersectionality of race and sexual orientation, experiences of sexual and gender minorities in rural America, and diversity/multicultural education.  She and her partner currently have one fur-baby and they enjoy spending time at home with one another.  Occasionally, the outdoors do beckon and they enjoy brisk walks when possible.  She hopes to continue increasing awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ population in more conservative/less inclusive environments.

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Todd Raymond Avellar / 2016 – 2018

Todd (he/him/his) received his Ph.D in counseling, clinical, and school psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He completed his doctoral internship at the University of Delaware’s Center for Counseling and Student Development. He is currently a postdoctoral resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s integrated University Health Services. Todd maintains a research agenda which aims to develop and implement evidence-based community and mental health services for sexual and gender minorities. Clinically, Todd specializes in culturally sensitive mindfulness, cognitive behavioral, and general holistic wellness interventions for a range of adult populations.

Adrian Rodriguez / 2016 – 2018

I received my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in summer 2016.  I am very interested in mental health as it relates to student development in higher education, in particular for students of color and those within the LGBT community.  For example, with my dissertation, I explored qualitatively the risks and protective factors perceived by Native American-identified students in their transition to a Predominately White Institution.  Outside of teaching, I love music and film, and am building a nice collection of vinyl records!  I’m also an avid dog lover, and have been blessed to be best friends with my cockapoo (George) for the past 9.5 years.


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Communications Chair
Douglas Knutson / 2016 – 2018

Douglas Knutson, Ph.D. (he/him/his) is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Douglas also earned a Masters of Theology (M.T.S.) from Boston University School of Theology and a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in Applied Behavioral Studies with Professional Counseling from Oklahoma City University. Douglas conducts research in multicultural competence and diversity (broadly defined). His current projects are: an exploration of health care access among transgender individuals in rural areas, an investigation of depression among drag performers, and a study of self-harm and related factors among LGBTI transitional-aged youth in the State of Oklahoma.


SLGBTI Historian
David Whitcomb


Student Representatives

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Louis Rivera / 2015 – 2017

Louis A. Rivera (he/him/his) is a third-year student in the counseling psychology doctoral program at Lehigh University. Louis earned his B.A in Psychology from East Stroudsburg University, and his M.Ed. in Secondary School Counseling at Lehigh University. His current research focuses on the intersections between help seeking behaviors, masculinity ideology, psychological health, and sexual trauma in Veterans. Louis is also interested in examining the intersections between religion and sexual orientation in Black men. During his free time, Louis enjoys playing competitive tennis, spending quality time with friends, and visiting family in the Virgin Islands.

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Taymy Caso / 2015 – 2017

Taymy J. Caso, M.A., (she/her/hers) is a doctoral fellow in the Counseling Psychology Program in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University, under the mentorship of Dr. Sumie Okazaki. During her first year at NYU, Taymy worked as a doctoral research assistant for an NIH-funded, large cohort study on syndemic production among emerging young men who have sex with men (YMSM) at the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies under the Supervision of Dr. Perry Halkitis. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Transgender Identity Formation Study (TIFS), a grounded theory study aimed at understanding how transgender people who identify as LGBQ perceive fluidity in their sexual orientation and gender identity, particularly in intimate relationships, as well as barriers to culturally competent community resources. She is on the Student Committee for the National Latina/o Psychological Association and a Student Representative for the for APA Division 17’s Section for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues. Currently, she is conducting a grounded theory study aimed at understanding how transgender people who identify as LGBQ perceive fluidity in their sexual orientation and gender identity, particularly in intimate relationships, as well as barriers to culturally competent community resources. The focus of her research centers around examining intersectionality, consensual non-monogamy, polyamory, and exploring identity development and reconfigurations, among Latinx, transgender or gender nonconforming people of color (POC), and other marginalized communities over the life course from a multidimensional, dynamic systems theoretical model informed by social cognitive theory, dynamic systems theory, life course theory, and network theory. She is also particularly interested in examining how life events such as, transitioning through hormone replacement therapy and gender confirmation surgery, and periods of sexual fluidity might impact these identity shifts over time. Additional areas of interest include: power dynamics, privilege, relationship hierarchies, and tensions in polyamorous partnerships among LGBTQ and cisgender, heterosexual persons.

Hunter Sully / 2016 – 2018

 Hunter Sully, M.A., (he/him/his) is a first-year student in the counseling psychology doctoral program at Ball State University. Hunter earned his B.A. in Psychology and Criminology from Capital University, and his M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Ball State University. His areas of interest include neuroscience, intersectionality of race and sexual identity, and resiliency. Hunter’s career goals include becoming the training director of a university counseling center, seeing clients at a private practice, and adjunct teaching. During his free time, Hunter enjoys singing and listening to music, playing video games, and spending quality time with his husband, friends, and family.


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Officer Nominations for SLGBTI

Congratulations to all those who won their nominations to positions within our executive Board. For a list of our Board members, please go to our leadership page. If you remain interested in an open position, please contact the Section Chair, Stephanie Graham.

ALL POSITIONS FILLED