Dr. Jacqueline Samuel, Ph.D., is the Program Director of the Master of Public Administration and Assistant Professor at National Louis University (NLU). Jacqueline is actually returning to NLU as she earned her MA in Public Policy and Ph.D. in Community Psychology. Previously Jacqueline served as the Project Manager for the Housing Authority of Cook County, South Suburban Safe and Thriving Communities Program to address youth violence in 3 suburban townships. She also facilitated and developed quality of life programs for 10 years in the South Chicago Area. She has served on the Health and Healing committee/ Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Commission for a Safer Chicago, The Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Kitchen Cabinet Commercial Development Advisory, Advocate Trinity Hospital Community Health Council, Community Advisory Review Council for the Institute for Translational Medicine (CARC) and the Illinois ACE’s Response Collaborative. She was also a Co-Investigator for Community Academic Collaboration to Prevent Violence in Chicago Research for Lurie Children’s Hospital Strengthening Chicago’s Youth. Recent awards include National Louis University REACH Award, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Courage Award, and the Chicago Police Department CAPS Award for the 4th District area. Jackie was born and raised in Chicago. She has a love for the arts and has performed in numerous plays and films based in Chicago.
Ramy Barhouche – After 9 years of focusing my career and studies on international development and community empowerment through Non-Governmental Organizations, (NGO) I decided to shift my focus due to my disappointment in the harmful and colonial structure of the field. I am currently completing my PhD in Community Psychology with a focus on decoloniality and multiple narrative storytelling in the SouthWest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) regions, in the hope to highlight the diverse voices and cultures of the region and dismantle the perceptions of homogeneity, hegemony, and systemic oppression.
Dr. Kyrah Brown, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of public health at the University of Texas at Arlington. At the intersection of public health and community psychology, her research focuses on addressing social and structural factors that shape racial inequities and disparities in women’s/maternal health across the life course. She has expertise in needs assessment and evaluation, community capacity building, and community based participatory research approaches. Dr. Brown was the recipient of the 2021 Reby Cary Faculty Excellence Award from the UT-Arlington African American Faculty and Staff Association and the 2019 SCRA Early Career Award. Dr. Brown is a proud alumna of Spelman College and earned her MA and PhD in Community Psychology from Wichita State University.
Dr. Susan Wolfe, Ph.D. – is a Community Consultant at Susan Wolfe and Associates in Cedar Hill, TX. She conducts evaluations and needs assessments, supports coalition development, builds organizational capacity, and facilitates strategic planning with local community-based, state, and national organizations. She has over 35 years of professional experience. Her work is performed through an equity and decoloniality lens with a focus on systems level change. She regularly presents at national and international conferences and has published numerous peer-reviewed and other journal articles, book chapters, edited volumes, blogs and reports. Dr. Wolfe was the recipient of the US Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Award for Excellence in Evaluation and three Exceptional Achievement Awards, the Society for Community Research and Action’s (SCRA) Distinguished Contributions to Community Psychology Practice, John Kalafat Practitioner Award, and the Don Klein Publication Award. Dr. Wolfe has a Master of Arts Degree in Ecological Psychology from Michigan State University and a PhD from The University of Texas at Dallas in Human Development and Communication Sciences.
Justin M. Henry, MPH, MS, is the Grants Manager for Program Compliance in the Ryan White Grants Management Division at Dallas County Health and Human Services. He has worked in strategic planning, management and performance improvement and evaluation since 2015. His experience includes leading, designing, and implementing innovative, performance-driven strategies to scale in addition to improving program evaluation, policy development, and budget formulation for national, federally funded grant programs.
Tamaya Bailey, LMSW, is a Behavioral Health Counselor at Prism Health North Texas, the largest local nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organization in north Texas providing HIV care, free STI and HIV testing, transgender care and more. She works with individuals living with HIV/AIDS and has additional interest in maternal health and postpartum depression. Tamaya earned a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in mental health and substance abuse from the University of Texas at Arlington. Tamaya is also a proud U.S. Air Force veteran.
Claudy Jean Pierre, BSPH, is a professional health planner for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Ryan White Planning Council. He is pursuing his Master’s degree in public health at the University of Texas at Arlington and has experience working in women’s health and HIV/AIDS prevention. He is also engaged in community-based work related to women’s health in Grand-Goave, Haiti.
Jerrise Smith is a senior public health student at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a proud U.S. Air Force veteran with eight years of exemplary service. Jerrise’ s interest and experience span maternal and infant health, food security, posttraumatic stress disorder in low-income communities, and drug and alcohol use among veterans with dishonorable discharge.
Dr. Tonya Roberson, Ph.D. is the Director of Community Engagement, Program Development and Academic Support at Governors State University in the College of Health and Human Services and the CEO/Founder of Helping Communities Help Themselves. Dr. Roberson has vast knowledge in biomedical research, culturally tailoring initiatives, community engagement and practice, survey design, extensive research recruitment, independent consulting, and evaluation. This experience is backed by twenty- five years of clinical nutrition/food service systems management experience which was acquired in large academic medical centers, healthcare organizations and community-based settings. She has a particular expertise in methods to address health inequalities, health promotion theories, and models to assess the holistic health of African Americans in the urban centers. Dr. Roberson is well connected and trusted in the Chicagoland communities and many other large US cities and is committed to giving generously of her time and talents through her community organizing efforts and outreach work to educate, empower and inspire individual be their own advocate for their health.
Dr. August Hoffman, Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Psychology at Metropolitan State University. He earned his B.A. from UC Santa Barbara, M.A. from Radford University in Clinical Psychology, and Ph.D. from UCLA in educational psychology. Dr. Hoffman is an avid Wisconsin Master Gardener and has recently participated in several community development projects (fruit tree orchards, community gardens, and green space programs) in Detroit, MI, Yalpemech, Guatemala, Fond du Lac and Red Lake Tribal Nation, MN. He is a 2020 APA Division 27 Society for Community Research Action (SCRA) Fellow and recipient of the 2020 Metropolitan State University President’s Civic Engagement Leadership Award.
Dr. Deidra Somerville, Ph.D., has worked for more than 25 years as an organizer, counselor, advocate, and administrator. Trained as a clinician and macro practitioner, she brings a unique lens and skills set to clients, organizations, and communities. She began her work as a clinician in school settings, youth-focused residential treatment centers and drug treatment settings. Her initial clinical work led to an examination of, and interest in the connections between individual treatment and systems change. She facilitates discussions on this topic, as explored in her workshop titled, “The Master’s Tools Will Not Dismantle the Master’s House: Organizations As Tools for Community Empowerment”, presented in 2013. Her dissertation work, examining the strategies and networks of Black maternal activists in Chicago, has given her insight into the challenges, opportunities, and possibilities for communities to use disruptive practices while working with established systems to improve the quality of life in communities. Her work centers Black mothering, organizing, and the indigenous knowledge that is drawn upon to resist and persist in the face of structural oppression. She is trained in both clinical and liberatory based healing strategies and draws upon these approaches in her work as a community psychologist with clients and communities.
Dr. Anna Pruitt, Ph.D., is faculty affiliate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and a research associate with the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai’i. Using participatory and intersectional approaches, her research examines the effects of extreme poverty on individuals and communities. Her applied research on homelessness and food insecurity has been used to promote community wellbeing and resilience and to encourage equitable access to resources and voice in decision-making processes for traditionally marginalized communities.
Eva McKinsey , is a PhD student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University. She has done research on various topics, in diverse contexts, and using a multitude of research methods, including: participatory action research on housing and homelessness in Honolulu, Hawai’i ; secondary research on military personnel issues with the Congressional Research Service; and experimental studies within the criminal legal context. She has recently directed her research to better understanding tools, methods, and interventions that have potential in shifting us away from our reliance on retributive justice. Her current work focuses on the transformative potential of trauma-informed and healing-centered training. She is also a committed learner and advocate of transformative justice, anti-racism, and mutual aid philosophy – in sum, how to be in right relationship with one another. When she’s not in researcher-mode, Eva enjoys spending time outside, especially in the water, moving her body, and being in the company of loved ones.
Tien Austin, M.A., is a graduate from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a bachelors degree in both Psychology and Studio Art. Her research has examined the continued recovery from homelessness experienced by individuals once housed using Photovoice and content analysis. She has worked in the community as a Homeless Outreach Specialist as well as a Case Manager for people with severe mental illnesses in a transitional living facility.
Dr. John P. Barile, Ph.D., is the Interim Director of the Social Science Research Institute and a professor of psychology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Jack earned his doctorate in community psychology from Georgia State University in 2010 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He currently manages an active research program pursuing questions concerning ecological determinants of health and quality of life. His research aims to improve the lives of historically marginalized communities, including those experiencing homelessness, multiple chronic conditions, and severe mental illness.
Dr. Amber Kelly, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association. In addition, she is the founder of Community Engagement Collective (CEC), a community-based nonprofit that fosters human-centered connections through community-engaged events and research. She has worked on various projects focused on community outreach, nonprofit leadership, program evaluation, and community-based participatory research. Dr. Kelly is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and National Louis University (NLU). At UC, she teaches Community Involvement, and at NLU, she teaches Strategies for Community Interventions, Intro to Human Services, Research Methods, and Dissertation Proposal Seminar. She aspires to help students understand the importance of understanding community assets and community voice in promoting inclusion. Dr. Kelly completed her doctoral studies in community psychology at National Louis University. She holds a Master of Public Service Management from DePaul University and a Master of Public Mental Health and Certificate in Health Disparities and Health Inequality from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her undergraduate studies at Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Spanish.
Dr. Katie McAuliff, Ph.D., is a mixed methods community psychologist and health services researcher who completed her Ph.D. at DePaul University in 2017. Her dissertation focused on predictors of health-related quality of life among youth with spinal cord injury. Currently, her research focuses on social determinants of health and health-related quality of life, particularly among populations experiencing disabilities and chronic conditions. She is currently working at Brown University on a project focused on Meals on Wheels. Prior to working at Brown, she worked on a Medicaid redesign initiative in New York State. During graduate school, she worked on several evaluation projects, most of which focused on identifying barriers and improving access to care among underserved populations.
Dr. Judi Aubel, Ph.D., is in adult education (MA), health education (MPH) and anthropology & education (PhD). She has worked for many years in community development programs mainly in Africa but also in Latin America, Asia and The Pacific. Her long-standing concern has been the gap between cultural context, roles and values of communities and development programs. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Grandmother Project (GMP) – Change through Culture. GMP is a US non-profit organization (501c3) and a Senegalese NGO. She lives between Rome and West Africa where GMP has a small office and team. Judi’s work has focused on both research and development of culturally-grounded and community-driven programs on health, education and child protection. Her work is conceptually grounded in community psychology, community development, anthropology and adult education. As a social scientist-practitioner, she has developed programs that: build on community assets; promote intergenerational communication; actively involve elders; and that strengthen community leadership to build social cohesion and social capital. Judi identified grandmothers as an abundant and underutilized resource for programs supporting women and children and she and her team have developed an intergenerational and grandmother-inclusive methodology that contributes to community-driven social change.
Dr. Dessie Clark, Ph.D., is the Research Collaboration Coordinator for the ADVANCE program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Clark completed her PhD in Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. Dr. Clark’s research interests are broadly related to increasing quality of life for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. More specifically, Dr. Clark is interested in exploring the use of neurofeedback therapy in survivors who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.
Joshua Brown, LCSW, serves as the Chief Programs Officer for the Fort Bend Women’s Center. In this role, he oversees numerous programs serving survivors of intimate partner violence. These programs include mental health services, permanent and rapid rehousing, emergency shelter, children’s services, life skills, and case management. He got his start in the intimate partner violence field developing FBWC’s innovative neurofeedback program. Josh has a background in psychology, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and is board certified in neurofeedback.
Dr. Patricia (Pat) O’Connor, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Lorraine Walker Distinguish Chair in Psychology at Russell Sage College in Troy/Albany, NY. She was a director of their graduate psychology programs for almost 25 years and currently is the Chair of the Psychology Department. Graduates of the M.A. in Counseling and Community Psychology program can be licensed as mental health counselors in New York State. As part of Dr. O’Connor’s career, she has emphasized building and ensuring quality in master’s level education in psychology. In 1989 she helped organize the first national conference on master’s standards and was involved in developing accreditation standards in 1995. Further, Dr. O’Connor serves as the Executive Director of the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) since 2003, which was recently awarded CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) recognition. Research focuses on conducting program evaluations, working with local, state-based, and national agencies and not-for-profit organizations or groups. Dr. O’Connor encourages the development of an evaluation mentality, a process of incorporating evaluation designs and implementations from the onset of intervention planning to ensure a regular assessment of whether a program or intervention is needed, implemented as planned, produced the expected outcome, and budgeted appropriately.