2014 Participant Bios

2014 Leadership Academy

German Cadenas

German Cadenas SP14German Cadenas is a third year Counseling Psychology doctoral student at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the relationship between social justice and academic persistence in college students, particularly Latinas/os and undocumented students. He is an active advocate for immigration and higher education, and has been involved with several non-profits and student-led groups. He is currently completing a counseling field placement at a residential vocational training facility for disadvantaged young adults. His goal is to have a career that advances the science of psychology to address issues related to access and the achievement gaps among cultural groups in the U.S.

Milo Dodson

Milo Dodson LA14Milo L. Dodson, M.S. is a doctoral candidate, finishing his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame. In July 2014, he will complete his Psychology Internship at the UC Irvine Counseling Center. Because of his extensive outreach and consultation experience, Milo is the first intern to be appointed as a liaison for the Athletics Department at UC Irvine, and is working towards developing a specialization in Sports Psychology. A committed advocate for service based leadership in his outreach, Milo also serves as Camp Director for the Hip-Hop artist/actor/author/philanthropist Common’s Dreamers and Believers Summer Youth Camp. Milo consistently aims to create purpose and meaning in all of his commitments by utilizing the tenets of compassion, humility, and excellence. After licensure as a Psychologist, Milo intends on creating/hosting a television show to holistically discuss wellness and mental health concerns, grounded in a multicultural framework.

Lisa Ferdinand, PhD

Lisa FerdinandDr. Lisa Ferdinand received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida and her Masters of Education in Counseling from Boston University. She completed her doctoral internship at the Georgia State University Counseling Center and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida Counseling Center. She is currently a licensed psychologist working at the University of South Florida Counseling Center, where she coordinates the Health Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship training program and serves as a liaison for the International Services and Education Abroad Offices. She also coordinates the Center’s crisis training and response initiatives and serves on the Student Affairs crisis response planning team. Dr. Ferdinand’s research interests have focused on exploring the role of counseling psychologists in providing culturally sensitive healthcare and on examining the experiences of international students at universities in the US. Her clinical interests include multiculturalism and social justice, health psychology, training and supervision, globalization issues, trauma and crisis intervention and resolution, group counseling, and outreach.  A major emphasis of her work is providing services to traditionally underserved campus populations.

Dianna Marisol González, PhD

Dianna Marisol GonzalezDianna Marisol González received her doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State University in 2013. Her dissertation explored the development of linguistic identity for Guatemalan-American Heritage Spanish Speakers. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine Counseling Center and currently pursuing licensure requirements for the state of California. She completed her undergraduate education at Santa Monica Community College and the University of California, Los Angeles and her Masters in Psychological Counseling at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has an interest in research that addresses bilingual counseling issues, culturally responsive interventions, mental health disparities and social justice advocacy.  She has a special interest in working with non-traditional, first-generation, underserved college students and the Latino community.

Amber Hewitt, PhD

Amber HewittAmber A. Hewitt, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor who joined the Psychology Department at the University of Akron in Fall 2013. She is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana. Dr. Hewitt received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California and her M.A. in Psychology from Boston University. Dr. Hewitt received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2013. Her scholarly interests include: gendered-racial identity development of African American young men, the psychology of men and masculinity, the development of critical consciousness among adolescents, and prevention programming for ethnic minority youth. She is a member of the Association of Black Psychologists and the American Psychological Association.

Catherine Hsieh, PhD

Catherine HsiehDr. Catherine Hsieh is a licensed staff psychologist at the Student Health and Psychological Counseling Center at the California State University San Bernardino. Dr. Hsieh also has a small independent practice. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri in 2012. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services and her post-doctoral fellowship at Loyola Marymount University Student Psychological Services.  Dr. Hsieh’s clinical and scholarly interests include the cultural context of coping, treatment of anxiety-spectrum disorders, Asian American/immigrants/international student issues, and healing from interpersonal trauma. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Hsieh is also interested in outreach prevention, clinical supervision, and consultation to the campus community. In the past, Dr. Hsieh served on APAGS convention committee, APA Division 35, Section 5 student representative, and Asian American Psychological Association conference program co-chair. She received awards from the Asian American Psychological Association, specifically the Dissertation Award and their Division of Women Award.

Dominique Malebranche

Dominique Malebranche LA14Dominique A. Malebranche is a Counseling Psychology doctoral student at the University of Missouri in Columbia. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she was a McNair Scholar and traveled for a research assistantship at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. Her program of research focuses on the intersections of gendered-violence prevention, sexualization, and commercial sexual exploitation across multiethnic cultures. Additionally, her advocacy and clinical interests include: promoting multicultural/cross-cultural competencies and creative interventions for culturally informed preventative and restorative mental health approaches. She currently educates about the intersections of violence, trauma and social justice, through her graduate assistantship. She also interns as a counselor at the local women’s shelter, and serves on the board of directors of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition (CMSHTC). She intends to pursue a passionate career, promoting social justice as a psychologist, scholar and social change agent, while remaining grounded in her spirituality and Haitian American identity.

Val Spektor

Val Spektor LA14Valeriya Spektor is a Counseling Psychology doctoral student at Lehigh University. Originally from Kiev, Ukraine, she has a personal and professional interest in working with international and immigrant populations. Currently, she serves as a graduate assistant for Lehigh University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, where she co-facilitates outreach programs for international and exchange students. She is also the Membership and Publicity Chair for the International Mentoring and Orientation Committee (IMOC) of the International Section of Division 17. In addition, Valeriya has an interest in supervision and training, and hopes to better understand how cultural, affective, and interpersonal characteristics of the supervisee influence his or her perception of the supervisory working alliance through her dissertation research.

Christopher Stults

Christopher Stults LA14Christopher Stults, MS, LMHC, is a first year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at New York University, working under the mentorship of Dr. Perry N. Halkitis.  Prior to relocating from South Florida to attend NYU, he worked as a counselor in private practice, in research settings for the University of Delaware and University of Miami, and as an adjunct college instructor.  He received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Miami and a M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Florida International University.  His clinical training includes FIU’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center and The Maesk Group, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  He is most interested in research related to at-risk minority groups.  More specifically, he is interested in LGBT mental and physical health, HIV-prevention, identity development, the reduction of risk behaviors, and novel interventions that promote wellness.

Laurel Watson, PhD

Laurel WatsonLaurel Watson received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University in 2012. She completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Oregon’s Counseling and Testing Center. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her clinical and research interests include sexual objectification, body image and disordered eating, interpersonal trauma, LGBTQ-related concerns, intersecting identities, and the intersections of each of these topics. In 2011, she received the Janet Shibley Hyde Doctoral Student Dissertation Award, granted by Division 35. She currently serves on the editorial board of Psychology of Women Quarterly. In 2013, she was granted the University of Missouri-Kansas City PRIDE Award for outstanding faculty and staff members. For fun, she enjoys organic gardening, sewing, tending to her chickens and cats, hiking, and reading.