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Team Alumni


A. Keshani Perera

Dissertation Topic (In Progress): Bicultural Identity Integration as a Protective Factor Against the Stress Appraisal of Color Based Racial Discrimination Among First and 1.5 Generation Immigrant College Students.

Ashley Sandoval, M.A.

Ashley is a 2022 graduate of the M.A in Clinical and Counseling Psychology program at William Paterson University. 

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Christopher Watkins

Dissertation Topic (In Progress):

Identifying and understanding internal barriers in black male college students that impact their openness to treatment

Jose Manalansan, B.A.

Jose is a 2022 graduate of the BA in Psychology program at William Paterson University. Jose is part of The International Honor Society in Psychology called Psi Chi. In his spare time, he works as a Home Health-Aide, assisting elderly people in their daily needs, routines, and activities.


Prior to transferring to William Paterson University, he was studying Mechanical Engineering at Mapua University in the Philippines. There he was able to volunteer a lot of his time to help feed families in the poverty-stricken parts of the community and teach children there who did not have access to schools . He also acted as a formator to some students there as part of a student organization. As a part of his studies, he researched The Correlation of Aggression and Competitiveness to Aggressive Driving Behaviors. 

Meredith DeDilectis, M.A.

Meredith is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at William Paterson. She graduated from Montclair State University in 2013 with a BA in psychology and child advocacy, and in 2016, she completed her MA degree in clinical psychology with a specialization in children and adolescents. Her clinical work focuses on the treatment and assessment of children who have been impacted by trauma, specifically child maltreatment, and at-risk adolescents who are involved in the legal system. Additionally, her research interests include the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment and attachment, developmental trauma disorder, and child maltreatment.

Dissertation Topic (In Progress): Personality Styles Associated to Non-Offending Caregiver’s Reactions to Child Sexual Abuse

Nafin Elias, M.A.

Nafin Elias is a 2022 graduate of the M.A in clinical/counseling psychology master’s program at William Paterson University. Her professional interests and goals developed from her own cultural identity and journey as a multicultural student. As an immigrant, she felt that it was important to explore and navigate the intersectionality that she and many other students have experienced. Elias has extensively volunteered and worked within her local communities and at William Paterson University.


During her undergraduate experience, some of the work she has done includes volunteering her time to mentor students enrolled in the course “Psychology of Women”, worked as co-researcher in the Social Cognition/Perception Research Lab Team, and has been a part of the Circassian Benevolent Association in Wayne, New Jersey for nearly a decade. Nafin believes that strong communities are shaped by individuals who want to help others achieve their goals; Elias hopes to do just that through her future work in the field of clinical/counseling psychology.

Ryan Puebla, B.A.

Ryan is a 2022 graduate of the M.A in Clinical and Counseling Psychology program at William Paterson University. He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2019 with a BA in psychology and a minor in biology. Additionally, he attended Passaic County Community College and in 2017 earned his Associates of Arts in Psychology. Ryan is a part of an international honors society for two-year community colleges called Phi Theta Kappa and on his spare time provides workshops and activities to community college students to empower and improve their leadership abilities.


His research interests include developmental anxiety and depression in children/adolescents living in non-traditional families, coping mechanisms for those children/adolescents, and communication between first generation students and family members in a hispanic household.

Sekinat Kuku ("Jojo")

Sekinat Kuku (“Jojo”) has been a member of the Paterson project team and has received a Graduate Student Research Award from the New Jersey Psychological Association from her work on a separate project with Dr. Torres.

Tarek Hijazi, M.A.

Tarek Hijazi is a fourth-year student in the Psy D program in Clinical Psychology at William Paterson University. He has obtained a M.A in Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Prior to enrolling in the Psy D program at William Paterson University, Tarek worked as a neuropsychological technician at the Rutgers Behavioral Neuroscience Center and as a research coordinator at Columbia University Medical Center. More recently, Tarek has completed a practicum at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, primarily working with patients suffering from brain injury and neurodegenerative disease. Throughout his academic and professional career he has worked with a diverse client population.


His primary interest is in neuropsychology. While he is primarily interested in neuropsychological assessment, he is also intent on honing his therapeutic skills to provide evidence-based psychotherapy and cognitive remediation in a competent manner. Tarek strongly believes in the utility and necessity for cultural competence in clinical practice.  His research interests include exploring cognitive correlates of psychopathology and brain injury, particularly with stress-related disorders.

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