Student Profiles - University of Houston
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Andrea Argueta

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. I am a native Houstonian and grew up in the Alief community. I earned my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. After college, I worked as a research assistant at the Children’s Learning Institute at UT Health - McGovern Medical School. My research interests are broadly focused on minority stress, multicultural issues, and the impact of traumatic experiences on mental health outcomes of minority populations. I am also interested in the impostor phenomenon and the influence of racial microaggressions. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching shows/movies, and spending time with my loved ones. aargueta304@gmail.com

Erica Bacourt

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at University of Houston, working with Dr. Nicole Coleman. I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Miami, Florida and attended Florida A&M University (Shout out to the Rattlers!) for my B.A. in Psychology with a minor in English Writing. Then, I moved to Petersburg, Virginia to pursue my M.S. in Clinical Psychology at Virginia State University. My research interests focus primarily on the effects of childhood sexual assault on sexual satisfaction in adulthood among African American women. I am also interested in researching cultural factors that impact the use of mental health services for African Americans as well as how media impacts sexual behaviors and beliefs among African American women. My professional goals include providing therapy to victims of abuse, addressing stigmas concerning mental health in minority communities as well as outreach in those communities, and becoming a professor at a major university. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends, finding new food dives, listening to music, watching Youtube and Netflix, traveling, Harry Potter, Yoga, meditation and wine.  ebacourt94@gmail.com

Amanda Broyles

I am a sixth-year doctoral student in the UH Counseling Psychology Program. I was born and raised in Decatur, GA. I attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA and received a B.A. in Psychology and minored in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. After graduating, I began working as a Lab Coordinator in the Bauer Memory at Emory Lab at Emory University, where I studied various aspects of memory and cognitive development across the lifespan. My current research interests include the individual differences as well as the societal norms that facilitate perpetration of sexual and domestic violence, as well as practical interventions for abusers and at-risk individuals. I am particularly interested in how gender roles and socialization play a role in propensity to perpetrate violence. I am currently a doctoral intern on the trauma-track at the James A. Haley Veteran's Hospital in Tampa, FL. In my free time I enjoy cooking, tap dancing, practicing yoga, exploring new music, playing with my cat, Rae, and spending time with friends and family!  broyles.amanda@gmail.com

Anneliese Bustillo

In 2019, I began the Counseling Psychology doctoral program working under Dr. Nicole Coleman. I am a proud eighth generation Texan with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts from the George Washington University. My research interests include sexual health, violence prevention, and empowerment and how cultural and social factors affect the decisions of adolescents and young adults. In my free time, I love playing trivia, doing crossword puzzles, eating cupcakes, and hanging out with my (two-legged and four-legged!) family.  abustillo@uh.edu

Krystal Christopher

I am currently a fifth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston and an advisee of Dr. Ezemenari Obasi. I am originally from the Caribbean but spent most of my life in south Florida. I received my bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Central Florida (UCF). I also received my Master’s degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at UCF. My research interests are specifically focused on psychoneuroimmunology, stress physiology, health disparities, social determinants of health, and cancer related cognitive impairment. I hope to complete the Health Psychology emphasis during my time in this program as my clinical interests do include assessment and neuropsychology. My future career goals involve working in a hospital and/or academic medical center. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, listening to music/singing, travelling (I plan to visit all 50 states!), getting caught up on my favorite tv shows, and cooking to name a few. kkchristopher@uh.edu

Journa Cobite

I am a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston on the Health Psychology track. My advisor is Dr. Ezemenari Obasi. I am of Haitian descent and was raised primarily in South Florida. I received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Masters of Education/ Education Specialist degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida, where I also became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. My research interests are focused on exploring both health disparities related to accessibility and quality of mental healthcare; social determinants of drug vulnerability and the role of discrimination/trauma on cultural identity development, particularly among Black and ethnic minority groups. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, cooking/hosting dinners, binge-watching shows, and makeup artistry.   jcobite@uh.edu

Renae Delucia

I am currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and moved to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University. At Marquette I received my B.A. in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. After college, I worked as a research assistant at the Medical College of Wisconsin. My current research interests include sexuality and gender with an emphasis on bisexual mental health. I am also currently completing my practicum at the Montrose Center. My former practicum experiences include the VA Medical Center and UH CAPS. In my free time I like to travel, go hiking, read, and spend time with friends, family and my cat. renae.a.delucia@gmail.com

Madeleine Desrochers

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program under the advisement of Dr. Marcel de Dios. I completed my B.A. in Psychology at Texas A&M University and my M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Houston. I have worked in various settings, including a residential treatment center for Texas foster youth, a child advocacy center, and a behavioral health clinic. My undergraduate and graduate research interests have focused on studying the differences between men and women’s social and cognitive experiences. I joined Dr. Jonathan Schwartz’s M.A.G.I.C. lab in 2016 as a master’s student and defended my thesis analyzing men and women’s reaction to a frustration induction task. Under Dr. de Dios’ PAC lab, I am currently working on my dissertation exploring psychosocial constructs effecting survivors of gender and sexual harassment and assault. I completed my first doctoral practicum rotation at the Houston Fire Department under the supervision of Dr. Sam Buser and Dr. Jana Tran and am currently completing my second rotation at Texas Children’s Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Marni Axelrad. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and reading in my hammock. Contact: Madeleine.desrochers3@gmail.com

Maria Dragomir-Davis

I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. I am originally from Bucharest, Romania, where I earned my BA in Psychology from the National School of Political Science and Public Administration. I was subsequently awarded a Santiago Grisolía research fellowship in Spain, where I obtained an MA in Psychopathology, Health, and Neuropsychology from Universitat Jaume I and worked as a research assistant in the Laboratory of Psychology and Technology. Building on my previous work on promoting psychological wellbeing of Romanian immigrants in Spain, I am now interested in working with underserved communities, including migrants, refugees, and minorities, especially Spanish-speaking and ESL populations. My current research agenda focuses on multicultural issues such as acculturative stress and individual and/or cultural differences that influence the immigrant experience. I am also interested in examining the causes and components of positive mental health and evaluating the efficacy of interventions targeting psychological wellbeing in various populations. In my spare time I enjoy reading, crafting, gardening, and meditation. amdragomir-davis@uh.edu

Sahar Eshtehardi

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Health Psychology track of the Counseling Psychology program, working under the mentorship of Dr. Lorraine Reitzel in the Social Determinants/Health Disparities Lab. A native Houstonian, I completed a B.S. in Psychology at the University of Houston (UH) and an M.S. in Counseling at the University of Houston - Clear Lake. Broadly, my research centers around the biopsychosocial mechanisms that influence health outcomes, treatment adherence, and health-related quality of life in adolescents and young adults with chronic medical conditions; specifically, type 1 diabetes and cancers. With that in mind, I conduct research in two behavioral diabetes labs - Dr. Marisa Hilliard’s lab at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Korey Hood’s lab at Stanford University School of Medicine. Furthermore, my passion for the field of pediatric health psychology is well depicted in my clinical training placements at Texas Children’s Hospital, UT MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital (Pediatric Psychology & Pediatric Neuropsychology tracks), and Shriner’s Hospital for Children. My clinical interests are in inpatient consultation-liaison, treatment adherence, and interdisciplinary evidence-based interventions to optimize adjustment and coping with medical conditions. Lastly, I serve as the primary Student Member on UH IRB1, as well as the Student Representative on the Board of Directors and a Diabetes SIG Trainee Member at Large for the Society of Pediatric Psychology, Division 54 of the American Psychological Association. Ultimately, my career goal is to work as a faculty member in an academic medical center, splitting my time between biobehavioral research, clinical practice, and advanced medical education. In my little spare time, I enjoy volunteering at my local animal shelter, plant-based cooking, and practicing hot yoga. sseshtehardi@uh.edu

Saman Essa

I am a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology PhD program at the University of Houston. My advisor is Dr. Marcel de Dios who specializes in psychological interventions for minority populations with addictions through his lab The PAC (Psychology of Addiction Collaborative). Born and raised in Houston, I received my B.A in Psychology and Middle Eastern Studies with a minor in Medicine and Society from the University of Houston before enrolling in my current PhD program. My research interests include generational trauma (particularly in refugee families), stigma reduction and help-seeking patterns in minority populations, and culturally-appropriate methods of treatment for depression, anxiety and stress in immigrants, with an emphasis on South Asians, Arabs and Muslims. I enjoy spending time with family, baking sweet treats, watching Bollywood movies and traveling. You can contact me at  essa.saman@gmail.com.

Ewune Ewane

I am a seventh-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program and my advisor is Dr. Ezemenari Obasi. I’m a proud Houston native of Cameroonian descent. I received my B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Africana Studies from Marquette University and a M.A. in Community Counseling from Loyola University Chicago. My research interests focus primarily on health disparities within disenfranchised and marginalized populations. Most specifically, I study biopsychosocial predictors of disease, substance use vulnerability, and health behavior in African Americans. My clinical interests include multicultural competence and health psychology. My professional goals include addressing cultural bias in psychological assessments and service consultation for African American ethnic minorities. My professional interests and aspirations are fueled by the over-generalization of descendants of the African Diaspora and the evidenced gaps in literature concerning racial ethnic minority culturally relevant clinical review and treatment. Currently I’m engaged in empirical study of breast cancer disparities within African-American and Hispanic/Latina women and mechanisms of stress and coping in African-American young adults. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, experiencing new cultures, and attending professional sporting events. ewuneewane@gmail.com

Sana Flynn

I’m a fourth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. I’m a native Houstonian who loves to go on road trips with my spouse and my dogs. I’m currently doing my third year practicum at the Montrose Center; prior years I was at college counseling centers.  My research is on identity concealment in non-binary transgender people. In my free time, I like to draw, craft, spend time with my dogs, and hike.

Yuri Peralta Gandy

I am an eighth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. Originally from deep South Texas, I received my bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Spanish from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. I completed my master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. My research interests are in Latino family and child psychology, particularly issues of acculturation. My current practicum is focused on crisis intervention at Houston Independent School District. I have previously completed practica at A Nurturing Home, a child and family private private practice, as well as at Texas Children's Hospital: Center for Children and Women. During my time at UH, I have also had the opportunity to work on a Spanish language childhood obesity intervention study through Baylor College of Medicine. I spend my free time with by husband, Harry, and two dogs, Howdy and Tamale. I love cooking, entertaining, traveling, and an occasional trip to the gym. yuri.gandy@gmail.com  

Beth Gill

I am a sixth-year student in the UH Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program and am currently completing my predoctoral internship at the University of Central Florida Counseling and Psychological Services. Born and raised in Central Florida, I completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Florida State University. My current research interests focus on sexual assault prevention aimed at including men. My clinical interests include evidence based treatments for trauma, substance use disorders, and dual diagnosis. I enjoy hiking, trying new restaurants, and spending time with my friends and family.  gill.elizabethc@gmail.com 

Laura Harvey

I am a third year in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program, and my area of research is addiction. I received my BA in Psychology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. I am a member of the PAC Lab, directed by my advisor, Dr. Marcel de Dios. In my second year, I completed my candidacy project assessing the effectiveness of different psychosocial interventions used in conjunction with medication-assisted treatment for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder. I am currently completing my practicum at Winakur Psychological Services, a private practice in Bellaire. I have begun work on my dissertation, which will focus on unique psychosocial stressors that affect high-risk drinking behaviors among young adult women. Outside of school, I enjoy practicing self-care by cooking, playing tennis, and hanging out with my dogs. 

Temara J. Holt

I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program. I am originally from New Orleans, La. I earned my Bachelors in Women and Gender studies from Carleton College in Northfield, Mn. My undergrad experience included working in sexual Heath and minority experiences on campus and studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark with a focus on immigration concerns and human trafficking. I earned my Masters of Arts in Women's Health from Suffolk University in Boston. My research interest include sexual health communication between mothers and daughters and intimate partners within the African American community. I have worked in many areas of women's health including reproductive and abortion care, sexual assault and domestic violence and breastfeeding promotion among women of color. I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and close friends, trying new adventurous things, red wine and cooking! My career goals include sex therapy, intimate relationship and family focused traveling counseling. You can connect with me through email at  tjholt@uh.edu.

Taewon Kim

I am becoming a fourth-year student. I am originally from counseling psychology doctoral program at Purdue University, and I am relocating to University of Houston with Dr. Blake Allan. I was born in South Korea and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, Social Science, and Women's Studies and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Ewha Womans University. After graduation, I worked for several years and found that many employees suffered from meaninglessness devoid of self-determination. This led me to quit my job and pursue further study in counseling psychology. My research interests focus on two domains: a) helping people with marginalized identities access meaningful and fulfilling work and b) identifying contextual barriers/support and psychological consequences of suboptimal work, including underemployment and precarious work. My favorite pastimes include exploring cafes, walking, dancing, and eating desserts. Please feel free to reach out to me at  tkim27@uh.edu

Zongqi Li

I am a third-year doctoral student in the UH Counseling Psychology program. I was born and raised in Shanghai, China. I earned my M.A. from Pepperdine University specialized in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester. After graduating, I worked as an associated Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA where I gained valuable clinical experience. My current research interests include attachment theories, cultural norms that rationalize domestic violence, and group therapy. I am interested in how socialization plays a role in rationalizing aggression. In my free time, I enjoy running, boxing, hiking, and reading. Email address: zli38@central.uh.edu

Tracie Liu

I am a third-year doctoral student transferred into the University of Houston from Purdue University with Dr. Blake Allan. I obtained my BA in Psychology and Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and MSEd in Counseling Psychology from Purdue University. My research interests focus broadly on the impact of reminiscence on wellbeing for individuals across the lifespan. I completed my first year of practicum at the Purdue Counseling and Guidance Center and will be completing my second year at the MendCenter. My favorite pastimes include exploring new places, reading and writing, and eating desserts.  tliu502@gmail.com

Danielle Llaneza

I am currently a first-year doctoral student in the Health Psychology track of the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston. I work under the mentorship of Dr. Correa-Fernandez and am also a Graduate UHAND Scholar through the University of Houston/MD Anderson Cancer Center Program. I am interested in investigating the biological and psychological mechanisms that maintain chronic diseases in adult, minority populations. Specifically, I am interested in using a biopsychosocial framework to examine lifestyle behaviors that may influence a person’s risk of developing cancer. I completed my B.A in Psychology & Spanish at Rutgers, The State University of NJ (Jersey native!) and my M.A. in Developmental Psychology (risk, resilience, prevention concentration) at Teachers College-Columbia University. After completing my master's I completed a graduate internship and research position at the NYC Department for the Aging and taught undergraduate-level courses at Hunter College. Ultimately, I would like to work in an academic medical institution to be able to continue research while maintaining time for patient/client care. In my free time I enjoy reading as many books I can find, spending time with my family, taking care of my plants and traveling (post-pandemic of course!).

Sarah Lute

I am a fourth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program. I was born and raised in Texas. I earned a B.A. in psychology at The University of Texas and my masters from the University of Houston. My research interests include understanding factors in the treatment and prevention of PTSD, suicide and suicidal ideation/behaviors. I am specifically interested in looking at these factors in first responders and the relationship with trauma exposure. I have a broad interest in crisis care and the bridge between a more traditional counseling relationship. I have worked in a variety of direct care positions including behavior interventions with Autism, community mental health for severe and persistent mental illnesses, on call response for mental health evaluation for inpatient determination, on call response for medical accompaniment for sexual assault and domestic violence, and trauma/crisis counseling for victims of crime. I completed a rotation at the Houston Fire Department treating individuals for PTSD and trauma, as well as crisis response at stations. I hope to continue to work with frontline workers and those exposed to repeated trauma, especially as a function of their job. In my free time I enjoy hiking, fishing, museums, and movies!

Luiza Martins

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. I am originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I came here to the United States by myself when I was 18 years old to study and play volleyball. I completed my Bachelors of Science in Biology and my Masters of Science in Health Care Administration at California State University, Bakersfield. My research interests include mental health and identity and how these play a role in college students’ lives and academics. In my free time I love spending time with my family and friends, reading, watching movies, and traveling.

Chaniqua Mazyck

I am currently a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at UH and my advisor is Dr. Ezemenari Obasi. I am a Gullah ‘Geechi’ native of Charleston, SC. I attended the University of South Carolina, Columbia where I earned my B.S in Biology (pre-med emphasis) with a minor in Psychology and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I also earned my M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Francis Marion University. Prior to entering the program, I practiced as a mental health provider within an out-patient mental health clinic and saw clients ranging from young children to older adults. My current research interest includes drug use vulnerability, specifically focused on stress physiology, and social/cultural influences as they relate to health disparities of African Americans. My current clinical interests are in assessments, neuropsychology. Outside of the academic environment, I enjoy spending time with my family and close friends, traveling, cooking, cycling, tennis, reading, working out, mentoring and of course sewing my sweetgrass baskets.  

Andrew Mercer

I am a fifth-year student at UH born and raised in suburban Chicago. I previously completed my B.A. in Business Management at Hope College as well as a M.A. in Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago. In addition to teaching English in French elementary schools for a year, I have practiced as a therapist at an out-patient counseling center, a live-in therapeutic Life Coach at a colligate residential program in downtown Chicago, and taught a couple of psychology courses at a local Bible college. I am currently interested in researching health and wellness outcomes in the LGBT and other minority populations and finding ways to help address the disparity in access to care across these populations. While I loved my work as a clinician, I am looking forward to deepening my skills as an educator and researcher throughout my tenure at UH. In my free time I enjoy running, biking, swimming, yoga, taking my adorable dog Franklin for a walk, trying out a new recipe and laughing with friends.  mercer.andrew@gmail.com

Kadija Moon

I am a fourth-year doctoral student and Holmes Scholar in the Counseling Psychology program under the advisement of Dr. Arbona. I grew up an Army brat but since 2012 have planted my roots in Houston, TX. I have completed both my Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies and my Master of Education in Counseling at the University of Houston-Go Coogs! I am currently gaining my practicum experience at the Michael E Debakey VA Medical Center. I have former practicum experience at HCJPD, Houston Fire Department, and Krist Samaritan Counseling Center. Additionally, I have specialized in trauma assessment and treatment. My research interest includes military members, veterans, and their families. More specifically, I desire to aid in helping dependents understand and better cope with the strenuous life of having a parent/spouse/immediate family member deployed to a war zone and subsequently reintegrating back into the homefront. My candidacy study looked at the psychological outcomes of being military-raised and my dissertation is looking at the bidirectionality of PTSD and sleep disturbances in a military veteran firefighter subpopulation. In my free time, I enjoy cheering on my Cougars, traveling, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. You will always find me at a UH football game! Go Coogs! Feel free to contact me at  Kadija.moon@gmail.com  

Marshall Motsenbocker

I am currently a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Doctoral program at the University of Houston as an advisee of Dr. Correa-Fernandez in LABHRT. As a first-generation college graduate, I received my B.S. in psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas. After receiving my M.S. in Clinical Psychology at Abilene Christian University, I began providing therapy as an LPC-Intern. In addition, I facilitated a youth-centric, culturally sensitive mental health program for high school students in the DFW metroplex. My research interests include moderators of mental health outcomes among Latinx groups. More specifically, I aim to utilize research on resilience to creatively address mental health behaviors and risk factors within the Latinx community. Outside of academia, I enjoy exercising and relaxing outdoors, traveling, exploring new music, as well as spending time with friends and family.

Marla Munro

I am a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program working with Dr. Nathan Grant Smith. I grew up in Florida and most recently moved to Texas from Oregon. I received my B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Florida and my M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Pennsylvania. My master’s research focused on the experiences of LGBTQ youth in K-12 schools. While working full-time in higher education and student affairs for the past few years, I was a part-time research assistant in the Disability and Social Interaction Lab at Oregon State University and studied the stigma experiences of people with rare diseases. My current research interests are centered around bisexual and queer women’s mental health, body image, identity development, and stigma experiences. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, watching Netflix/Hulu, annoying my cat Mellie, and trying new restaurants around town. You can contact me at  mmunro@uh.edu.

Emily Naveira

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program under Dr. Consuelo Arbona. I grew up mostly in Austin, Texas, but moved to College Station to attend Texas A&M University where I received my B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in English. After graduating, I taught English in Spain for a year before starting the program at UH. My research interests include minority and college student stress, their impact on psychological well-being within the college student population, and resilience in relation to trauma. I completed my first year of practicum at UH Clear Lake Counseling Services and a summer practicum at Gulf Coast Neuropsychology. I am currently at UH Counseling and Psychological Services for my second-year practicum experience. In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, Netflix, playing board games, and exploring the area. Feel free to contact me at: ennaveira@gmail.com

Jasmin Prudon

I'm a seventh-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology ​program. My advisor is Dr. Nathan Smith. I am a native Houstonian, and received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Health from the University of Houston. I went on to receive my Masters in Health Education from Texas State University, and worked as a Perinatal HIV Epidemiologist at the City of Houston for a few years before transitioning into the field of psychology. I pursued a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, yet I was accepted to my doctoral program before I could complete the degree. My research interests encompass anything in the realm of sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV and HPV, minority stress, women's health, and the LGBTQ community. Whenever I can muster up free time, I enjoy spending it with my husband, baby, family, and friends. We love to travel, cook, bake, and go on constant food adventures.

Luane Araújo Rabello

I am a first year student in the Counseling Psychology Program and my advisor is Dr. Correa-Fernandez. I am from Brazil and I received both my undergraduate and master´s  degree in Psychology at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF). I am also a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in Brazil, and I worked with patients in a clinical context for more than 2 years. Academically, I’ve been working with tobacco studies, smoking cessation interventions and assessment, mindfulness-based interventions for smoking cessation, trait mindfulness assessment, and assessment of other measures such as affects and motivation related to treatment seeking for smoking cessation. My professional goals include teaching and to continue researching the tobacco field, especially assessment, treatment and development of interventions.  In my free time I enjoy exercising, meditating, watching TV shows, cooking healthy food, and going to the movie theaters.

Erica Rey

I am a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. My advisor is Dr. Nathan G. Smith and I am a member of the CORE Research Team. I am a native Texan and earned my B.A. in Psychology and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at the University of Houston. While at UH, I worked as a research assistant for the Transgender Health Lab and began volunteer work with Gender Infinity. Before beginning graduate study, I served a year in AmeriCorps, where I was able to work as a Program Developer and Senior VISTA for SPRY at the Montrose Center. My research interests include identity development and reduction of health disparities and in sexual and gender minority populations. In my free time, I like to spend time with my husband and our two dogs. I enjoy traveling, hiking, creating, yoga, reading, and live music.  erey@uh.edu

Lycinda Rodriguez

I am a fifth-year student working with Dr. Consuelo Arbona. I was born in the windy city of Chicago and moved to the sunshine state of Florida when I was in middle school. I attended Florida State University (Go Noles!) for my bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Family and Child Sciences. After graduating, I moved to Baltimore, MD to purse my Master degree in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Maryland. As for my research interests, I am broadly interested in the role parents play in an emerging adult’s life. Specifically, I am interested in how personal characteristics such as race and ethnicity play a role in the higher education experiences, parenting practices of college students, and college students’ psychosocial functioning. My career goals include becoming a tenured professor, engaging in research, and supporting college students by working on-campus as a clinician. In my spare time, I enjoy going for walks and hikes outdoors, watching YouTube videos, exploring Netflix’s documentaries sections, and adventuring the city of Houston.

Helen Sanchez

I’m a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program, and Dr. Marcel de Dios serves as my research advisor. I grew up in the Houston area before completing a degree in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. At the University of Houston, I am a member of the Psychology of Addiction Collaborative, and my research interests broadly center around substance use, health disparities among racial/ethnic minority populations, and health risk perception. In my free time, I enjoy long coffee chats with family and friends, reading, and exploring parks and running trails in Houston. Feel free to contact me at  hsanchez3@uh.edu

Alexandra Slaughter

I am a fifth-year doctoral student originally from North Texas. I completed my B.A. in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in psychology with a clinical concentration at the University of Dallas. My research interests are broadly focused on juvenile justice-involved youth with special educational needs. I have completed practicum rotations at the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department and Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) including The Center for Children and Women and Adolescent Medicine. This year for practicum, I will be completing a cardiac psychology rotation at TCH. For self-care, I enjoy traveling, listening to music, spending time with my friends, family, and cats, hiking, and cooking (especially making sushi!!). Feel free to contact me at  amslaugh@CougarNet.UH.EDU

Daniel Soltis

I am a sixth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. My undergraduate degree is in English and Political Science and I have my master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Broadly, my research interests are focused on marginalized social identities, with particular focus on those who have diverse genders or sexualities. My master’s thesis explored queer identity from a multicultural framework and I am currently collaborating on a study exploring body image dissatisfaction for those who identify as bisexual. I also have strong research interests in the areas of non-religious/secular identity and sizeism/weight bias. I currently serve as the Graduate Assistant for the LGBTQ Resource Center at UH, overseeing the Peer Mentoring Program and Queer Discussion Group programs. Clinically, I have practiced from an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) paradigm and am exploring contextual behaviorism in my dissertation work. I am radically committed to self-care, which entails cooking, indoor gardening, gaming, binging Netflix, and spending time with my furchilden Wilhelmina and Roman.  desoltis@uh.edu

Ashley Taylor

Born in Oregon, I was a competitive figure skater for 18 years before hanging up my skates to pursue my academic endeavors. Now, under the mentorship of Dr. Lorraine R. Reitzel in the Social Determinants and Health Disparities Lab, I am a third-year doctoral student in Health Psychology track of the Counseling Psychology program. Prior to my doctoral studies, I completed my B.S. in Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. My research centers on understanding the biopsychosocial mechanisms that contribute to the development of personality disorders and the ways in which serious mental illnesses contribute to criminal behavior and motivation. In addition to my work in Dr. Reitzel’s lab, I conduct research with Dr. Tracey Ledoux, Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance and Dr. Deleene Menefee, Women Veterans Program Manager at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Assistant Professor at The Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. My research with Drs. Ledoux and Menefee centers on serious mental illnesses among woman veterans and woman veterans’ reproductive health, respectively. For the 2020-2021 year, my primary practicum placement is at the Federal Detention Center (Houston, Texas) under the supervision of Dr. Daniel J. Fox. My secondary practicum placement is at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas) under the supervision of Dr. Adriana Macias Strutt, where I will be conducting both clinical and forensic neuropsychological assessments. Previous practicum placements include Applied Psychological Services and The MendCenter. As a service role, I serve as a Student Representative on The University of Houston’s IRB Committee 1 and I aspire to become the Campus Representative for the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Division 41). Ultimately, I would like to work as an attending psychologist for an inpatient psychiatric hospital, while continuing to engage in meaningful research. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, running, and reading.

Niloofar Tavakoli

I am a second-year doctoral student in the Health Psychology track of the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston. Born in Iran and raised in Houston, I completed both my B.S. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Houston. My research interests include anxiety, smoking/substance abuse, and psychological flexibility/inflexibility among minority individuals; with a special interest in creating culturally tailored psychological and health-related interventions. I am currently a UHAND scholar which is a partnership between the University of Houston and M.D Anderson Cancer Center to reduce cancer-related disparities among ethnic minorities through which I am a health counselor on an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy based smoking-cessation program for Latinx individuals who experience anxiety/depression. Additionally, I serve as APA Division 17- Counseling Psychology student representative at UH. In pursuit of my goals to become a more informed and prepared clinician and researcher, I have received extensive training as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist as well as an Acceptance and Commitment Therapist. In my spare time, I enjoy working out, spending time with family and friends, hanging out with my 9-year-old puppy named Teddy, and traveling.  ntavakoli@uh.edu

Autena Torbati

I am a fourth-year student in the UH Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program working under Dr. Marcel de Dios. Originally from Oklahoma, I received my B.A in Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Oklahoma. My research interests involve dating, intimacy, and romantic relationships in young adults. Specifically, I am interested in individuals’ motivations and behaviors in dating relationships, the factors that influence satisfaction in intimate relationships, and how intimate relationships impact individual well-being. Additional emerging areas of interest include the relationship between acculturation, well-being, and attitudes towards intimacy in first- and second-generation ethnic minorities, specifically, Iranian-American women. Currently, I serve on the Student Advisory Board for the Psychology of Women – Quarterly. I completed my first year of practicum at the University of Houston – Clear Lake Counseling Services center and completed my second year of practicum at the Houston Fire Department. Currently, I am completing my practicum at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, yoga, and watching reality TV. Feel free to contact me at atorbati@central.uh.edu

Charli Washington

I am currently a sixth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Houston. I was raised in the Metro Atlanta area and stayed there through the completion of my bachelor’s degree in 2007. After earning a bachelor's in Economics from Spelman College, I moved to Houston, TX to begin a career as an Oil and Gas Financial Analyst. Throughout my career, I managed the financial outlook for portfolios ranging from $6m to $1.5bn. Although I enjoyed the challenges of my career, after 7 years I decided to make a career change to become a Psychologist. Prior to entering the Ph.D program, I worked on several research projects at the University of Houston. I worked on the Stress and Health and FRESH AIR data collection projects. I also presented my research on "Social Norms and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in African-American Adults by Sex and Income Status" in the American Academy of Health Behaviors. As a doctoral student, I will continue researching minority stress with a focus on health risk behaviors. I am particularly interested in exploring LGBTQ and African-American populations. In my free time I enjoy traveling, shopping, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.  charli.washington@gmail.com

Sandra Yan

I am a sixth-year in the Counseling Psychology program. I received my B.S. in Psychology and B.S. in Biology from the University of Houston. My research interests include substance use/addictions, multiculturalism, and health disparities in minority populations such as African Americans. Current research projects include investigating biopsychosocial predictors of disease, substance use vulnerability, and stress dysregulation via biomarkers and psychological measures. In my free time, I like to spend time with friends and family, draw, and practice origami.  syan6@uh.edu

Yesenia Zetino

I am a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at UH, working with Dr. Consuelo Arbona. I am originally from El Salvador but was raised in Houston, Texas my entire life. I received my B.S. in Psychology at Loyola University Chicago with a minor in Social Work. After graduating, I stayed involved in psychology research here in Texas. My research interests include Latinx and immigrant populations, childhood trauma, and cultural factors in relation to mental health outcomes. In my free time I enjoy watching documentaries, exploring new coffee shops, and taking my dog to the park. ylzetino@uh.edu 

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COLLEGE SNAPSHOT

Learn more about the College of Education’s programs, research, community engagement and more in our new magazine. Prospective students won’t want to miss this useful guide! Read on.

Outside Farish Hall

The Counseling Psychology doctoral program is a member of UH's Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences department.

Interim Training Director: Dr. Roberta L. Nutt

UH College of Education
Stephen Power Farish Hall
3657 Cullen Blvd., Room 491
Houston, TX 77204-5023

Undergraduate: coeug@uh.edu or 713-743-5000
Graduate: coegrad@central.uh.edu or 713-743-7676
General: coecomm@uh.edu or 713-743-5010

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