2012 Participant Bios


Cirleen DeBlaere, PhD

DeBlaere2011Cirleen DeBlaere received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida in 2009. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the APA-Accredited Counseling Psychology Program at Lehigh University. Her program of research focuses on intersectionality of multiple marginalized identities, the links of multiple discrimination experiences (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism) to mental health, and potential intervening variables in the discrimination-mental health relation. In particular, her work examines the experiences of racial/ethnic minority women and sexual minority individuals. Dr. DeBlaere was the recipient of anAPA Dissertation Research Award and a Special Recognitionfor the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Program’sOutstanding Graduate Student Award. Most recently, Dr. DeBlaere and her colleagues received the 2010 TCP Outstanding Major Contribution Award for their Major Contribution on “Research with LGB People of Color.”

Franco Dispenza

DispenzaFranco Dispenza is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at Georgia State University and is currently completing his pre-doctoral psychology internship at the Georgia Institute of Technology Counseling Center.  A native of Brooklyn, New York, Franco completed his Bachelor’s (Psychology and English) and Master’s (Rehabilitation Counseling) degree from SUNY Albany, and is a nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). His professional interests include sexual and gender identity, social justice, and mental health practitioner education. He also has scholarly interests in stress, trauma, vocational psychology, and quantitative/qualitative research methodologies.

Zoeann Finzi-Smith

Finzi-Smith-PhotoZoeann Finzi-Smith is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Howard University in Washington, DC. She is originally from Miami, FL and is of Jamaican parentage. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a minor in Sociology/Anthropology and Women’s Studies, her Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, as well as her Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Florida International University (FIU).  While pursuing her Masters degree at FIU she acted as the Graduate Assistant for the Women’s Center, where she assisted in providing women with programs and services related to their intellectual, professional, social and emotional growth, while educating and advocating for systemic changes that will improve the lives of women and men. Currently, she serves as the student representative for APA’s Division One. She is a Frederick Douglass Doctoral Scholars Fellow at Howard University and a member of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Her research investigates the influence of skin color/hair texture, as a function of self-esteem, on obesity among women of African descent. Her future career goals include running a private practice with a specialization on the psychological influence of eating behaviors while pursuing a career in the professoriate.

Carlton Green

Green-photoCarlton Green is currently a pre-doctoral intern at the University of Maryland Counseling Center. Additionally, he is a Diversity Fellow and a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at Boston College. His emerging expertise in psychology revolves mostly around racial-cultural competence in training mental health professionals.  He has co-authored multiple scholarly publications including, “An Examination of People of Color Supervision Dyads: Racial Identity Matters as Much as Race,” a peer-reviewed article exploring the supervisory dynamics between supervisors and clinicians of Color. Additionally, he taught an undergraduate “Adult Psychology” course. For his teaching efforts, Boston College recognized him with the Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award, which celebrates graduate teaching fellows and assistants who distinguish themselves in classroom instruction. For two years, he served as the co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the counseling psychology program at BC. The committee developed initiatives to foreground social justice as a core principle within the training program. For his service at BC, he was awarded the university’s “Ever to Excel” Award in 2010; the honor is given to the graduate student who has demonstrated rigorous intellectual development as well as ethical and personal formation, in preparation for service and leadership in a global society.

Joseph Hammer

JoeHammerJoseph (Joe) Hammer grew up in the Chicago suburbs and earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Joe was first introduced to the field of Counseling Psychology by Dr. Lisa Spanierman, for whom he worked as a research assistant. Joe went on to pursue a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Joe is in his third year of doctoral studies in Counseling Psychology at Iowa State University. He hopes to obtain a tenure-track faculty position at an institution devoted to excellence in research and teaching upon the completion of his training. His primary research interest is stigma, in particular its impact on diverse individuals’ willingness to seek counseling and psychological well-being. One source of his excitement about the SCP Leadership Academy is the prospect of learning how to utilize this research interest to design and implement projects that bolster the relevance of Counseling Psychology in the eyes of other psychologists and the general public. Joe hopes to give back to the SCP community as both a team member and leader, and anticipates the SCP Leadership Academy will help make this a reality.

Kimberly Langrehr

Kimberly LangrehrKimberly Langrehr is a Doctoral Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Loyola University Chicago and is currently in her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Akron.  She is active in research relating to the impact of stereotypes, non-traditional college students, and transracial adoption issues. Kim is a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois and is also a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor. She will graduate in the summer of 2012 and plans to pursue an academic career in counseling psychology.

Robert (Bobby) Reis II, PhD

Reis-photoRobert (Bobby) Reis II, Ph.D. currently works as a Co-Coordinator of Clinical Services at the College of William and Mary Counseling Center in Williamsburg, VA. Prior to working at W&M, Bobby completed his degree at the University of North Dakota, his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Missouri, and his postdoctoral fellowship at Loyola College in Maryland. Bobby served on the APAGS Convention Committee during his doctoral studies and currently serves as the treasurer for the Division 17 Section for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues. Bobby’s clinical interests include college counseling, working with LGBT individuals, helping students understand and explore their multiple identities, and supervision and training. For fun, Bobby enjoys going to movies, trying new restaurants, reading fiction, and spending time with friends and family.

Kimber Shelton, PhD

SheltonKimber Shelton received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia and masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Niagara University. She completed her internship and postdoc at the Georgia State University Counseling and Testing Center. She is currently a licensed psychologist and Coordinator of Diversity Programming at the Georgia Tech Counseling Center. Kimber is an APA Minority Fellowship program fellow and was the recipient of UGA’s 1st Annual Diversity Research Scholarship for Graduate Students. Her clinical and research interests include multiculturalism, microaggressions, LGBTQ issues, racial identity, working with couples, and groups.

Femina P. Varghese, PhD

VargheseFemina P. Varghese received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2008 from Texas Tech University. She is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Central Arkansas, which launched its Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology the semester she began her faculty appointment. Her research interests include vocational issues of criminal justice populations and mental well-being of Asian Indians.  She has received awards and grants from the American Psychology-Law Society, the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and the National Career Development Association for her dissertation research, which examined racial differences in the career attitudes of incarcerated offenders. Her leadership experiences include serving as chair of the ad-hoc membership committee for the Criminal Justice section of APA’s Division 18. In this position, she began several initiatives to increase membership for the section. Her work as membership chair has been recognized by her recent election to serve as the chair of the Criminal Justice section of Division 18.

Shuangmei/Christine Zhou, PhD

Zhou-photoShuangmei/Christine Zhou received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities in 2008. She has worked as a staff psychologist at Michigan State University’s Counseling Center since August of 2009. Prior to coming to MSU, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at UCLA and her post-doctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. Shuangmei/Christine is a generalist and adopts an integrative approach when working with clients. She enjoys working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds with particular emphasis on reaching out to international students and other underserved communities. Originally from Chengdu, P.R. China, she has been in the U.S. since 2000. She is a strong advocate for mental health and social justice issues specially related to Asian and AAPI women. She understands how often these women’s voices are silenced and how many of them internalized their sufferings due to the tremendous amount of social and familial pressures. Shuangmei/Christine is committed and passionate about the training and development of young professionals, particularly those bi/multi-lingual, bi/multicultural minority women from underserved communities. Shuangmei/Christine is a dreamer and her ambition is to introduce and adapt the field of counseling psychology to Asia, particularly to her home country, P.R . China.