2020 Mentor Bios

Jeanne Manese, PhD (Co-Chair)

Jeanne E. Manese, Ph.D., received her doctoral degree from the University of Maryland, College Park with a specialization in Counseling Psychology.  She also attained a M.Ed. in Education from Harvard University.  Dr. Manese is a practitioner-scholar-consultant and served as the Director of the University of California Irvine (UCI) Counseling Center for over a decade, retiring in 2018.  In this role, her passions included clinical supervision and implementing strengths-based programs and services for first generation college students, students of color, and students from low income backgrounds.  While at UCI, the Counseling Center was honored with the prestigious American Psychological Association (APA) Suinn Achievement Award for demonstrated excellence in the recruitment, retention and graduation of ethnic minority students in doctoral psychology programs.  Dr. Manese also served as a principal co-investigator for a 6.9M systemwide CalMHSA grant focused on stigma reduction, suicide prevention and peer to peer interventions.  Dr. Manese has additionally worked internationally serving as the shipboard psychologist for the Semester at Sea program.  She has also worked in Veterans Administration hospital settings and private practice.

Dr. Manese is active with the APA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) having previously served as Chair of its Training Advisory Committee; and currently serves as a mentor for the MFP Psychology Summer Institute.  Dr. Manese additionally has a consultant/advisory role with the Steve Fund, a non-profit organization focused on the mental health of college students of color.  Dr. Manese is published in the areas of multicultural supervision and training, mentoring, and university strengths-based outreach programs.  She recently co-edited Cases in Multicultural Clinical Supervision: Models, Lenses and Applications (2019).

Dr. Manese has achieved the distinction of Fellow in the American Psychological Association (Division 17 and 45) and is a Fellow of the Asian American Psychological Association. Dr. Manese has been honored by the Association of Counseling Center Agencies (ACCTA), the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) in the area of multicultural competency training.  She was awarded MFP James Jones Lifetime Achievement Award for Service in 2018.  Dr. Manese continues her lifelong commitment to addressing disparities in mental health treatment for people of color, mentoring students from underrepresented backgrounds through the higher education pipeline and promoting civil rights and social justice.

William Liu, PhD (Co-Chair)

William Ming Liu, PhD., is Professor of Counseling Psychology and Department Chair at the University of Maryland.  He received his Masters degree in College Student Development and his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland. Previously, he was professor and program coordinator at the University of Iowa (2000-2018). His research interests are in social class and classism, men and masculinity, and White supremacy and privilege. He has been identified as one of the most frequent producers of research in the Psychology of Men and Masculinity and most cited in multicultural competency research. He received the Emerging Leader award from the Committee on Socioeconomic Status (APA), Emerging Young Professional Award (Division 45, APA), and the Researcher of the Year Award (Division 51, APA). Additionally, he recently received the Faculty Excellence Award for the Board of Regents in Iowa. He is an editor of the Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology (Sage, 2003), an editor of Culturally Responsive Counseling with Asian American Men (2010, Routledge), the author of Social Class and Classism in the Helping Professions: Research, Theory, and Practice (2011, Sage), the editor of the Handbook of Social Class in Counseling (2013, Oxford University Press), and author of the forthcoming book The Psychology of Privilege, White Supremacy, and Power (Oxford University Press). He serves as the Editor for the APA journal,  Psychology of Men and Masculinity. He is a fellow of Division 17 and 51.

Ruperto “Toti” Perez (Senior Mentor)

Ruperto M. “Toti” Perez, Ph.D. is Associate Vice President, Student Health and Wellbeing at The University of Alabama. He previously served as Director of the Counseling Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA and as Assistant Clinical Director/Assistant Clinical Professor in the Counseling Center at the University of Florida. He previously served as Counseling Services Coordinator, Training Director, and adjunct assistant professor at the Counseling & Testing Center at the University of Georgia. He is a licensed psychologist in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, earning degrees from Boston College (B.S., M.A.) and the University of Missouri-Columbia (PhD, Counseling Psychology).

Toti is active in a number of professional organizations including the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services, and the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology). Within Division 17, Toti served as VP for Communications, VP for Diversity & Public Interest, SERD chair, and Division 17 Fellows Committee Chair.  Toti has also served in a number of roles in APA leadership and governance, including past member of the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI), past member of the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), former member of the Division 17/45 Joint Task Force on Multicultural Guidelines, former member of the Commission on Accreditation, and current member of the APA Board of Educational Affairs Commission on Accreditation Standing Appeal Panel.

Toti is the co-editor of the Handbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Clients (1st ed.) (2nd ed.) and the Handbook of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity in Counseling and Psychotherapy, published by the American Psychological Association. He is a Diamond Honoree Recipient of the American College Personnel Association and an APA Fellow in Division 17 and Division 44.

Melanie M. Wilcox, Ph.D. (Early Career Professional Mentor)

Melanie M. Wilcox, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Doctoral Training for the APA-Accredited Counseling Psychology program at Oklahoma State University. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University at Albany in 2015 after completing her predoctoral internship at the University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center (with emphases in multicultural competence, psychological assessment, and substance abuse). Her research interests are in multicultural psychotherapy (including multicultural competence and multicultural orientation), multicultural training, antiracism, Critical Race and Critical Whiteness studies, social class, and professional issues in psychology education and training. Melanie has served in a number of leadership roles for Division 17 and the APA. She currently serves on the APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) and is a BEA Representative to the Joint BEA-APAGS Work Group on Hallmarks of High-Quality Graduate Education. She also is presently a Tri-Chair of the Evaluations Committee and a member of the Legislative Advocacy Committee for the 2020 Counseling Psychology Conference.

Melanie was recently honored to receive the 2019 Cynthia D. Belar Education Advocacy Distinguished Service Award from the APA Board of Educational Affairs; the 2019 Society of Counseling Psychology Early Career Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Counseling Psychology; and the 2019 Society of Counseling Psychology Section for Supervision and Training Outstanding Early Career Professional Supervisor/Trainer Award. In 2018, she received an Early Career Achievement Award from the APA, and was named Outstanding Faculty Researcher for the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University in 2017. In January 2020, she will begin her term on the Editorial Board of The Counseling Psychologist. In addition to being active in her professional organizations, maintaining an active program of research, and enjoying her teaching and clinical supervision work, Melanie is a Licensed Psychologist and maintains a small private practice in Oklahoma with emphases in cultural issues (e.g., race, social class, LGBTQ+ issues) as well as addiction.

Melissa M. Ertl, M.S. (Student Mentor)

Melissa is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany-State University of New York who expects to receive her Ph.D. in May 2021.  She received an M.S. in Counseling Psychology with a certificate in Health Disparities from University at Albany in 2019 and a B.A. in Spanish and Psychology from University of Wisconsin in 2015.  Melissa’s research interests center on health disparities, health risk behaviors, and intersectionality of identity and health, primarily among Latinx immigrants, college students, LGBTQ folks, informal caregivers, and individuals with neurological disorders.  Her dissertation, which received the 2019 Division 17 Prevention Section Research Award, focuses on risk and protective factors associated with sexual risk behaviors among Latina college students.

Melissa is active in several professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Latinx Psychological Association, and the Psychological Association of Northeastern New York.  Within APA, Melissa is a member of Divisions 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology), 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology), 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women), 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race), and 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology).  Melissa has served as Campus Representative for Division 35 from 2016-2017 and the Student Affiliates of Seventeen (SAS) Program Representative from 2016-2018.  She currently serves as SAS Regional Coordinator for the Northeast (Region 6), the Social Media Coordinator for Ray’s Race and the Running Psychologists (Section 1 of Division 47), a Student Member of the Education and Training Committee of Division 50, and a member of the Psychology of Women Quarterly Student Advisory Board.

In her research and clinical practice, Melissa uses a feminist, social justice orientation.  She has worked in college counseling, community mental health, and VA Medical hospital settings.  At present she works at University at Albany Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) as a Project Coordinator for a Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Suicide grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  At the conclusion of her doctoral program, Melissa hopes to pursue a tenure-track academic position where she can continue to conduct research, teach classes, and mentor students.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running half and full marathons, and tent camping.