Research Assistants

img1_edited.jpg

Alejandra Toledo

Alejandra Toledo is a second-year master's student in the Clinical and Counseling program at William Paterson University. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from The College of New Jersey in 2021. She has co-led the Spanish Cultural Adjustment group for recently arrived middle school Latinx youth in Paterson, NJ.  

 

Alejandra’s research interests include focusing on understanding and improving mental health services and disparities for racial and ethnic minority individuals. She would like to work with the Latinx, immigrant, and LGBTQIA+ populations.

Arohan Rimal, B.A.

Arohan Rimal is a second-year student in the Clinical/Counseling Psychology Master’s program at William Paterson University. He graduated with a BA in Psychology from University of Louisiana Monroe in 2021. Arohan currently works as a Graduate Assistant at the WPUNJ Office of Student Transitions and assists the office with social media management, student consultations, event-planning, and administrative support.

 

His research interests contain cultural differences in experience of trauma, resilience, and existential issues. Arohan is working on developing a project to assess the influence of cultural variables (time/duration of acculturation, language proficiency, etc.) on existential isolation. Arohan is looking forward to applying for Clinical Psychology PhD programs after graduating from the clinical/counseling program at WPU.

Picture3.png

Avianne Smith-Cordice, M.A.
Team Coordinator

Avianne is a third-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Psy.D program at William Paterson University. She graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.A in Psychology and a minor in Linguistics. She also graduated with a M.A in Forensic Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a M.A in General Psychology from The New School. Her clinical work focuses on the treatment and assessment of both adolescents and adults diagnosed with a serious mental illness (SMI), specifically in the criminal justice system. 

 

Her research interests include cultural influences on personality and psychopathology, the societal stigma surrounding sexual offenders and clinicians willingness or lack thereof to work with individuals who commit such acts, as well as the differences in individuals susceptibility to the adverse outcomes of child abuse and neglect.

Headshot.jpg
Research Team Picture_edited.jpg

Brittany Juncosa, M.A.

Brittany is a third-year student in the William Paterson University PsyD program. While previously attending John Jay College, she worked as a research assistant on the Investigative Psychology Research Unit (IPRU) Sex Offender Profiling (SOP) Project. After graduating with a MA in Forensic Psychology, she worked as a Crisis Response Worker for Care Plus NJ, conducting crisis risk assessment for youth and families throughout Bergen County. Brittany's research interests include risk factors associated with violence including trauma, cognitive functioning, and personality.

Brayan Ospina

Brayan Ospina is a first-year student for the Master's in Clinical and Counseling Program. He recently graduated from New Jersey City University with a Bachelor's in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Brayan is from Colombia where mental health is not paid attention to. Instead a religious approach is taken, where a schizophrenic episode can be seen as someone being possessed. 

Brayan has conducted Research at NJCU throughout the summer of 2021 which focused on Health Disparities Among Minority College Students. Brayan is a participant in the All of US Research Program and is a current Graduate Assistant at the office of sponsor programs. Brayan hopes to become a Clinical Psychologist and work for the CIA, FBI, or a Clinic and hopes to expand his research expertise with the current team. 

Bryan Alava, M.A.

Bryan is a fourth-year student in the Psyd program and is currently an adjunct professor teaching Abnormal Psychology. He graduated with a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and a master’s in clinical psychology from Montclair State University. After graduating with his masters, he worked as a Clinical Team Lead for a Mental Health Crisis Intervention Program. Bryan’s research interest includes protective factors associated with adverse childhood experiences. He currently is an extern at Rikers Island providing individual and group therapy to clients with serious mental illness.  

 

As part of the Culture and Resilience Team, Bryan has participated on a project exploring the relationship between racial Microaggressions and Clinical Symptomatology in Ethnic Minority College Students with Christopher Watkins, Keshani Perera, and Fernanda Moura. He has provided group therapy to recently immigrated Latinx youths from Paterson, NJ.  

Picture14.png

Chana Becher

Chana Becher is a fourth- year student in the William Paterson University PsyD program who received her BA in Psychology/Education at Touro College. Chana studies intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescent and young adult romantic relationships to prevent relationship violence. Additional research includes dating relationships within religious groups. She has also spent several years working with children and adolescents facing emotional, social, and educational challenges.

 

Her research interests include shifts in behaviors that lead to violence and aggression and the relationship between IPV and different religious groups or cultures. Additionally, aggression against children both at home and in school settings is an important interest. Chana’s dissertation study will investigate the identification of violent shifts in behaviors across middle, high school and college students and probe for possibilities of prevention and earlier identification of aggression and violence.

16711911_1304485596285987_7504867963513479712_n_edited.jpg

Christine Varghese

Christine Varghese is a first-year student in the Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology program here at William Paterson University. She recently moved from her hometown of Chicago, IL to pursue her graduate studies in New Jersey in hopes of providing mental health services to youth and young adults from minority, specifically immigrant, communities in America.  

  

Christine’s research experience has included working with the Chicago Asian American Psychology Lab where they focused on partnering with the Rohingya refugee community in Chicago's diverse Rogers Park neighborhood to better understand the needs of this community from a social psychology lens. Christine is looking forward to working with the Culture and Resiliency Team and hopes to explore New Jersey during her time here.  

56387510_10157128110223890_2686321865474965504_n.jpg

Christine Wang, M.A.

Christine is a second-year doctoral student in the PsyD program. She has worked as a Telemental Health Care intern at Mantra Health offering comprehensive treatment service for young adults. She worked at Prof. Lawrence Yang's lab in Columbia University on effects of epigenetic malleability framing to the clinical high-risk youth. She's been a crisis counselor at WMC since 2018, providing hotline service and in-person accompaniment. Her interests in the field include multicultural counseling, anxiety, depression, telemental health care and CBT.

 

Christine enjoys nature, hiking with friends, walking along the Hudson River, and traveling to learn other cultures. She is also a certified yoga teacher who loves practicing yoga and daily meditation. She likes cooking at home, drawing, and reading while listening to music in her downtime.

 

IMG_9731_edited.jpg

Deanna Enunwa

Deanna is a first-year student in the PsyD program at William Paterson University. She completed her master's in counseling psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a licensed mental health counselor. Deanna has worked in a variety of clinical settings including community mental health clinics and private practice, primarily serving women of color.

 

Deanna's research interests include working with new mothers, veterans, military children, and bicultural parents, and exploring trauma, maternal mental health, and intersectional identities. 

Farhana Uddin

Farhana is a first year student in the Clinical and Counseling Psychology Masters program at William Paterson University. She graduated from WPUNJ in May 2021 with a Bachelors in Psychology. 

Farhana is very excited to work with adolescents as a clinician. Additionally, she is interested in research on depression and anxiety and the root cause of of these disorders. As a Research Assistant on the Cultural and Resilience team, Farhana has assisted with the Bengali group at JFK high school alongside Nuu Grenier.

Fernanda Moura_edited.png

Fernanda Moura

Fernanda is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at William Paterson University. She received her MA in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from WPU in 2022 and graduated from Kean University in 2019 with a BA in Psychology. Fernanda is currently an adjunct professor teaching Child Abuse and Neglect at WPU and she also works as a clinician at the Metro Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Wynona’s House conducting psychosocial evaluations for children and adolescents due to concerns for child maltreatment and abuse.

 

Fernanda’s primary clinical and research interests are grounded in trauma, victimization, its attendant features, and the individual and systemic contexts in which these experiences occur. Through her clinical and research efforts, Fernanda seeks to explore child and family development, psychopathology, the nature and impact of various types of abuse, and most of all, the individual and cultural differences that impact resilience and post-traumatic growth.

ID Photo-WPU_edited.jpg

Gabriella Juarez

Gabriella Juarez is a first-year student in the MA for Clinical & Counseling Psychology program and the GA for the Center of Diversity & Inclusion. She supports Gender and Sexuality resources and programs in this role. Two projects she leads include the LGBTQIA+ Student Support Group and the LGBTea+ Mentorship Program.

 

Gabriella graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors from Rutgers University in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. Gabriella's major was psychology, with a minor in Women & Gender Studies. She intends to pursue a PsyD in clinical and counseling psychology when she finishes her Masters degree.

 

Gabriella is passionate about supporting and bringing awareness of early childhood mental health disparities to diverse communities. This is due to her personal experience coming from a Latino background where mental health and invisible disabilities were not part of household discussions. Gabriella wants to work with the Latino population to create early detection and intervention to advocate for invisible disabilities like depression and anxiety that may be due to generational trauma.

Bio pic2.jpg

Gladys Martinez, M.Ed, LPC, NCC
Program Coordinator

Gladys is a second-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology PsyD. Program at William Paterson University. She received her B.A. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology with a cert. in School Counseling from Rutgers State University. In addition, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a certified N.J. Disaster Response Crisis Counselor.

 

Gladys worked as an Intensive In-community Counselor, and Outpatient therapist providing therapy to youths in crisis situations and therapeutic services to adult minorities. She also worked as a School Counselor for public schools in Union and Middlesex Counties. Currently, she externs at High Focus Centers servicing children and adolescents struggling with addiction or mental health disorders. Her research interests include working with the Latinx population, immigration, children & adolescents, personality disorders, and trauma.

Pic_for_lab.jpg

Isreal Salmeron-Flores

Israel Salmeron-Flores is a transfer student at William Paterson University. Israel is an undergraduate psychology major in his final year. Israel is a part of the honor’s college and is currently involved in the Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology track. Israel hopes to pursue a Master’s in Clinical Psychology.  

 

IMG_2933.heic

Jacob Perone
He / Him

Jacob Perone is a first-year student for the Master's in Clinical and Counseling program. He recently graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in May, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. 

 

The past two summers Jacob has worked for Homeless Solutions Inc. in Morristown, New Jersey. His experiences at HSI encouraged him to consider the risk factors for homelessness, drug addiction, and general family issues. 

IMG_7218.JPG

Jennifer Pineda

Jennifer is a second-year master's student in the Clinical and Counseling program. She graduated from Montclair State University in 2019 with a master's degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in child and adolescent psychology.

 

Her research interests include adolescent trauma, behavioral issues, and the correlation between delinquency and adverse childhood experiences. She currently works as a psychiatric clinician for an outpatient program that treats court referred adolescents to help safely maintain them in the community through individual, family, and group services.

Profile Picture.jpg

Joe Wrobleski, M.A.

Joe is a first-year student in the Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program at William Paterson University. He received a BA in Psychology at Hofstra University and a MA in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.

 

While pursuing his Masters degree, he worked as a research assistant at the Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families, as well as the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Joe's clinical and research interests include issues of identity and transition stress associated with major life events, namely in populations navigating recent separation from the military or immigration to the United States.

Kimberly Perez-Lucero, B.A.

Kimberly is a second-year master's student in the Clinical and Counseling program at William Paterson University. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Latin American Studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2019. She co-led the Spanish Cultural Adjustment group for recently arrived Latinx youth from Paterson, NJ in the Spring of 2022. 

Kimberly works as a Support Coordinator for adults with disabilities. Her research interests in the field include multicultural counseling, trauma, and the risk factors that contribute to mental health disparities amongst racial and ethnic minorities, including socioeconomic status, undocumented status, and cultural stigma. Kimberly was granted the American Psychological Association (APA) 2022-2023 Minority Fellowship Program awards for Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY). 

Screen Shot 2022-09-10 at 3.28.50 PM.png

Melissa Zea

Melissa Zea is a second-year Master’s student in the Clinical and Counseling program at William Paterson University. She graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Social Work in 2021. She co-led the Spanish Cultural Adjustment group for recently arrived Latinx youth in Paterson, NJ in the Spring of 2022. 

 

Her research interests include working with the Latinx population, immigration, children & adolescents and behavioral issues. She is working on creating a child development program for children who are referred for misconduct issues, depression, anxiety, or other diagnoses for low-income, minority populations. 

 

Melissa received the APA’s Interdisciplinary Minority Fellowship Program (IMFP) award for graduate students who commit to significantly improving the quality of care provided to ethnic and racial minorities who have a mental or co-occurring mental and substance use disorder.

Nicole Guevara_edited.jpg

Nicole Guevara, M.A.

Nicole is a first-year doctoral student in the PsyD program. In 2017, she graduated with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in biology from Rutgers University. She recently received her M.A. in clinical psychology, with a forensic concentration, from Montclair State University. While attending Montclair State University, she was a research assistant on projects focused on forensic psychology, correctional psychology, police and public safety psychology, and mental health law. She was responsible for interviewing incarcerated persons for the measurement of, among other things, developmental maturity and criminal sophistication.

 

For the past five years, she has worked as a behavioral group specialist and intake coordinator at a Child and Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program. She enjoys working with children and adolescents; she wishes to specialize in the population. To better serve the Hispanic/Latinx community, she obtained her Language Proficiency certification in Spanish to assist with therapeutic translations. Nicole’s research interest includes racial identity development, cultural bias, help-seeking behavior, juvenile offending, neuropsychology, anxiety, and psychosis.

 

She enjoys drinking cafecito, roller skating, horror films, and reading dystopian novels.

Nisrine Fetteh

IMG_7076.jpg

Nuu Grenier, M. Ed, MA
Media Coordinator
They / Them

Nuu Grenier is a third-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Psy.D program at William Paterson University. Nuu graduated with a  M.Ed. in School Counseling at Frostburg State University, and they are a recent graduate (2022) of the M.A. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology program at William Paterson University. They are a current Graduate Assistant Researcher for the Culture and Resilience Team as well as the Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Psychotherapy Lab, and a Research Assistant in the Cognition and Emotion Lab. Additionally, Nuu is completing their 3rd year externship at Purchase College Counseling Center and conducting outreach with the campus' queer population.

 

As a part of their studies, Nuu is currently researching resiliency within the LGBTQIA+ community and their dissertation is investigating the impact of Tabletop Roleplaying games (TTRPGs) on Gender Dysphoria in Trans and Non-Binary folx. Nuu's additional research interests include LGBTQIA+ health, sexual and gender identity development, and sexual assault and suicide prevention strategies for LGBTQIA+

individuals. 

Pat Scensny

Picture10.png

Raghad Hassalbelnaby

Raghad is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at William Paterson University (WPU). She received her MA in counseling and clinical psychology from WPU in 2022. Raghad graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in criminal justice from the University of Toledo in 2018. Previously, Raghad worked for a domestic violence agency supporting women and their children, while also serving as a court advocate.

 

Overall, Raghad’s research interests are grounded in the development and processing of anxiety, trauma, and violence among youth. Specifically, she has assisted in projects related to the development of childhood fears from the transmission of negative information from parents and the development of a novel adolescent intimate partner violence measure for psychological abuse. Raghad’s dissertation is focused on the relationship between dispositional factors and the disclosure of positive/negative autobiographical memories in children.

 

Raghad is also interested in the role of cultural factors in resilience, identify, and acculturation. She has assisted with the Arabic group for the Paterson Project in this lab, along with the group leaders Marawa Ahmed and Ghada Saleh.

Profile picture 3.jpg

Steven Hauck

Steven Hauck is a second-year master’s student in William Paterson’s Clinical and Counseling Psychology Program. He graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Rowan University in 2020.
 

Steven currently is performing his internship at community psychiatric institute, where he helps provide group therapy for those experiencing serious mental illness.

 

Steven is currently interested in researching topics pertaining to trauma and substance use and hopes to go on to become a licensed professional counselor.

Image_edited_edited.jpg

Sydney Cheron

Sydney Cheron is a first year Masters student in the Clinical and Counseling program. Sydney spent her undergraduate years at William Paterson University. While she was there she dedicated her last two years as the public relations officer for the psychology club and was a part of the Cross-cultural research group.

 

Some of Sydney's clinical interests include working with minority people of color and organizational counseling. Sydney grew up in Paterson, NJ, where mental health often gets put on the back burner. Coming from a low-middle class city, the people she was surrounded by were primarily focused on working to survive. Sydney wants to help those in the business field deal with work stressors and conflicts to create a better environment for them and better their mental health.

Image (1).jpeg

Caelan Jimenez

Caelan is a first-year student in the Clinical and Counseling Psychology Master's program at William Paterson University. They graduated from William Paterson University with bachelor's degrees in History and Political Science and a minor in Public Policy & Administration.

 

Caelan's research interests include the LGBTQIA+ community and the different mechanisms that account for the mental health disparities within the community. Their interests also lie in borderline personality disorder and the developmental precursors that are attributed to the disorder.