Student Profiles - University of Houston
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Andrea Argueta (she/her)

I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program. I am a native Houstonian from the Alief area. I earned my B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. After completing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a full-time research assistant at the Children’s Learning Institute at UT Health - McGovern Medical School. I have completed practicum rotations at UH Clear Lake - Counseling Services, Harris County Juvenile Probation Department and Applied Psychological Services. My current practicum sites include the Federal Bureau of Prisons - Federal Detention Center Houston and the Houston Fire Department. My research interests are broadly focused on 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. My professional goals are providing bilingual services, including therapy and conducting psychological evaluations, in a forensic/correctional setting. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my loved ones, reading, listening to music and watching shows/movies. aargueta304@gmail.com 

Erica Bacourt (she/her)

I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at University of Houston, working with Dr. Arbona and Dr. Carmack. 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 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 survivors of abuse, addressing stigmas concerning mental health in minority communities, as well as outreach in those communities. 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

Corissa Barrow

Corissa Barrow (she/her/ella)

I am a first-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Houston. Primary interests include exploring the role of dyadic interactions and its utilization in current prevention and intervention substance use treatment programs in Latinx/Hispanic populations. Secondary interests include the usage of community practices as an aim towards increasing participation in health-focused research, understanding stressors that contribute to cannabis use specifically within second/third generation Hispanics along with understanding transgenerational/intergenerational strengths and stressors within family systems. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, staying active and hanging out in the Houston area with family and friends!

Haleem A. Brown (he/him)

I am a second-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Houston, working with Dr. Allan. I am from Lauderhill, Florida, and attended Florida A&M University for my B.S. in psychology and M.S. in community psychology. My research interests focus on academic experiences and achievement of collegiate Black male students. This fall I will start my practicum at Total Wellness Assessment & Counseling Center. My professional goal is to become a tenured professor at an Historically Black College and University while conducting meaningful research with students. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family, photography, hiking, basketball, music, and golfing. Feel free to contact me at hbrown5@CougarNet.UH.EDU 

Kerry Chavez (she/her)

I am a second-year student in the counseling psychology doctoral program under the advisement of Dr. Ezemenari Obasi. I grew up south of Atlanta, GA and earned a B.S. in chemistry from Emory followed by an M.S. in environmental engineering at GA Tech. After working as a research chemist, I decided to take my science career in a more holistic direction by becoming a counseling psychologist. My research interests center on the intersections of health disparities, substance use and stress. Currently I am completing a practicum placement at The MendCenter, where I am learning to provide services to clients with severe and chronic mental illness. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family, being in the great outdoors and reading audiobooks.

Journa Cobite (she/her)

I am a third-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 B.A. in Sociology as well as a M.Ed. and Education Specialist degree in counselor education (mental health counseling concentration) from the University of Florida, where I also became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. My research interests are focused on exploring health disparities related to accessibility and quality of mental healthcare, biopsychosocial determinants of drug vulnerability and social/cultural influences as they relate to stress physiology, particularly among Black and ethnic minority groups. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, fitness, cooking and binge-watching shows. Feel free to contact me at jcobite@uh.edu.

Renae Delucia (she/her)

I am a sixth-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 currently completing my predoctoral internship at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. My prior practicum placements include: the Houston VA Medical Center, Center for Optimal Brain Health, University of Houston Counseling and Psychological Services and the Montrose Center. 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 (she/her)

I am a fifth-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 recently defended my dissertation proposal exploring psychosocial constructs effecting survivors of sexual assault. I completed practicum rotations at the Houston Fire Department under the supervision of Dr. Sam Buser and Dr. Jana Tran, Texas Children’s Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Marni Axelrad, and Harris County Juvenile Probation Department under the supervision of Dr. Nicole Dorsey. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, cooking and reading in my hammock. Contact: Madeleine.desrochers3@gmail.com

Maria Dragomir-Davis (she/her)

I am a seventh-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 my M.A. in psychopathology, health and neuropsychology from Universitat Jaume I and worked as a research assistant. 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 clinical work currently involves providing behavioral health services within integrated clinical settings, where I work with diverse patients with complex psychiatric, medical and socio-economic backgrounds. My current research agenda focuses on the mental health challenges of juvenile justice-involved adolescents. In my spare time I enjoy reading, crafting, gardening, yoga and meditation. amdragomir-davis@uh.edu 

Sahar Eshtehardi (she/her)

I am a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the health psychology track of the counseling psychology Ph.D. program and a current pediatric psychology pre-doctoral intern at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. A native Houstonian, I completed a B.S. in psychology at the University of Houston and an M.S. in counseling at the University of Houston - Clear Lake. Broadly, my research centers around biopsychosocial factors 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. 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. My clinical training placements include Texas Children’s Hospital (Cardiology & Integrated Primary Care tracks), UT MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital, TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital and Shriner’s Burn Hospital for Children. I also serve as the graduate student member on UH IRB1 and the student representative on the Board of Directors for the Society of Pediatric Psychology (APA Division 54). 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.

Saman Essa (she/her)

I am a fourth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Houston. Born and raised in Houston, I received a B.A in psychology and Middle Eastern studies with a minor in medicine and society from UH before enrolling in this current doctoral program. My advisor is Dr. Marcel de Dios, and he specializes in psychological interventions for minority populations with addictions through his lab, the Psychology of Addiction Collaborative. Together, we have collaborated on projects by studying substance use in my populations of interest. Broadly, my research centers around refugee, South Asian, Arab and Muslim communities. More specifically, I am interestested in understanding perceptions of mental health, the role of religion and culture in substance use and trauma and coping mechanisms within these populations. Therefore, I also conduct research under the mentorship of Dr. Sophia Banu at Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Srijana Shrestha at Wheaton College in the Refugee Resilience Research Lab. My clinical experiences include interning at the University of Houston-Clear Lake's college counseling center, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center and an assessment site. This year, I am at a private practice that predominantly caters to children under 10 and a refugee mental health community clinic.  In my free time, I enjoy scrapbooking my travels, baking and picnicking in one of Houston's many parks! Do not hesitate to contact me at essa.saman@gmail.com

Sana Flynn (they/them)

Sana Flynn (they/them/theirs) is a 6th year student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Houston and member of the Exploring Non-binary Barriers to Intervention and Enhancing Services lab within CORE. Their research focus is non-binary people, identity concealment and gender minority stress. Their clinical work is centered on college students and LGBTQ mental health. In their free time, Sana enjoys spending time with their spouse and dogs and doing art projects.

Tarik Goulbourne (he/him)

I am a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Houston. I am originally from Florida. I earned my B.S. in biology with a minor in psychology and an M.S. in community psychology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. While at FAMU, I worked as a graduate assistant for a professor researching data dissemination and the psychological implications of social media on individuals of African descent. Prior to beginning graduate study at UH, I worked as an Admission and Discharge Coordinator for an inpatient crisis stabilization unit at the Apalachee Center Inc. in Tallahassee, FL. My research interests focus on factors affecting LGBTQ+ health and I am particularly interested in substance use and the experiences of those with intersecting marginalized identities. In my free time, I enjoy listening to audiobooks, watching tv shows and movies, going to community events in the park, exploring the city, working out and spending time with friends and family. tdgoulbo@cougarnet.uh.edu

Laura Harvey (she/her)

I am a fifth year counseling psychology doctoral candidate and I am currently on internship at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX. My research interests include substance use and comorbid conditions such as PTSD. My clinical interests are in dual diagnosis, particularly the intersection of substance use disorders, trauma, and personality pathology. In my down time, I enjoy cooking, playing with my dogs and listening to true crime podcasts.

Taewon Kim

Taewon Kim (she/her)

I am a sixth-year doctoral student. I am originally from South Korea and relocated to University of Houston with Dr. Blake Allan from Purdue University in 2020. I am currently completing the Post-Hospitalization Support (iTEAM) rotation at the Colorado State University Health Network as my predoctoral internship. My research interests focus on three domains: a) identifying contextual barriers/support and psychological consequences of the employment continuum from underemployment to meaningful/fulfilling work; b) investigating any social class-related experiences (e.g., classism, social mobility, and meritocracy) that influence well-being and mental health, c) exploring barriers and strengths of international trainees to help them thrive in counseling psychology programs. My favorite pastimes include exploring cafes, walking, eating desserts and walking on the trails in the Rocky Mountains. Please feel free to reach out to me at tkim27@uh.edu

Zongqi Li (she/her)

I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the 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 (she/her)

I am a fifth-year doctoral student transferred into the University of Houston from Purdue University with Dr. Blake Allan. I obtained my B.A. in psychology and writing seminars from Johns Hopkins University and my M.S.Ed. in counseling psychology from Purdue University. My research interests focus broadly on the impact of reminiscence on wellbeing for individuals across the lifespan, with a specific emphasis on how Chinese Americans use reminiscence. I am currently working with the Houston Fire Department in providing mental health services to firefighters and their families, and have previously completed practicum placements at the Purdue Counseling and Guidance Center, the MendCenter and at UH CAPS. My favorite pastimes include reading in parks, finding new restaurants and bouldering. Direct contact info: tliu502@gmail.com 

Danielle Llaneza (she/her)

I am currently a third-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-Fern ández and completed the Graduate UHAND Scholar position 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. 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!).

Wilmer Lugo

Wilmer Lugo 

I am a first-year doctoral psychology student in the counseling psychology program under the mentorship of Dr. Correa-Fernandez. I am originally from Lares, Puerto Rico, where I was born and raised. I received my B.S. in psychology from American Military University and a subsequent M.A in clinical psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. My research interests include the intersection of individual personality traits and the environment and how it influences health-related decisions, primarily anti-smoking prevention measures and adherence to cessation programs. I am also interested in health disparities focusing on the interactions between medical professionals and their patients, with emphasis on the Latinx community. When time permits, I enjoy spending time with my family, online gaming and martial arts.

Sarah Lute

I am a sixth-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 (she/her)

I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, under Dr. Consuelo Arbona. 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 B.S. in biology and my M.S. in health care administration at California State University, Bakersfield. Here at UH I have completed an M.Ed. in counseling. My research interests include college stress and minority status stress and how these impact college students and students athletes’ well-being. I have completed three years of practicum in diverse settings, and I found that my passion is to work with young adults at a college setting. For this reason, I am completing my fourth year of practicum at UH Clear Lake Counseling Services. In my free time I love spending time with my family and friends, reading, watching movies/shows and traveling.

Chaniqua Mazyck

I am currently a fifth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program 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 counselor at an out-patient mental health clinic and saw clients ranging from children to older adults. My research interests include health disparities among African Americans, specifically biopsychosocial factors as they relate to neurocognitive outcomes. Clinically, I am focused on neuropsychology. Outside of the academic environment, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, cooking, exercising and of course sewing my sweetgrass baskets.

Andrew Mercer (he/him)

I am a seventh-year student at UH born and raised in suburban Chicago. I am currently on internship at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, TX and completed previous practicum training at the Montrose Center and Houston VA. I 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 small 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, trying out a new recipes and laughing with friends. admercer@uh.edu 

Marshall Motsenbocker (he/him)

I am currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology doctoral program and my advisor is Dr. Correa-Fern ández. 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 received my LPC licensure for the state of Texas. 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 (she/her)

I am a third-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program working with Dr. Nathan Grant Smith. I grew up in Florida and moved to Texas from Oregon in 2020. 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 a 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 include LGBTQ clients’ experiences in eating disorder treatment, body image and sexual identity development in LGBQ women and anti-LGBTQ experiences in healthcare settings. My clinical interests include working with LGBTQ clients, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder and people with eating disorders. I am currently completing practicum at Baylor College of Medicine’s OCD and Anxiety Clinic. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, watching Netflix/Hulu and trying new restaurants around town. You can contact me at  mmunro@uh.edu

Emily Naveira (she/her)

I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program working with 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. En route to a Ph.D. at UH, I received my M.Ed. in counseling and obtained my LPA. My research interests include minority and college student stress as well as PTSD and CPTSD within the college student population. I have completed practica experiences within multiple settings including university counseling centers and private practices. I am currently at Houston Health Psychology and Texas Children’s Hospital - Adolescent Medicine for my fourth-year practica experiences. In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, rock climbing and spending time with my dog. Feel free to contact me at: ennaveira@gmail.com

Abha Prasad

Abha Prasad (she/her)

I am a first-year doctoral student in counseling psychology. I was born in Coorg, India. I earned my MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in 2008 and M.D. in psychiatry from Government Medical College, Kozhikode in 2012. My work experience constitutes 1 year as a senior resident and later at a private clinic where I worked as a consultant for close to 3 years. My research interests include decent work, meaningful work, access to decent work and meaningful work in the marginalized communities, individuals of low socioeconomic status and individuals with chronic mental illnesses and mild intellectual disabilities. I am also interested in studying the impact of Covid 19 on low wage workers and burnout in mental health professionals. Dr. Blake Allan is my advisor. My professional goals include being in academia while also being involved in research and activities that would benefit the underserved communities. My hobbies include cooking and reading books.

Luane Araújo Rabello (she/her/ela)

Luane is a third-year student in the counseling psychology doctoral program under Dr. Correa-Fernandez’s advisement in the University of Houston. Originally from Brazil, she received both Bachelor and Master´s degrees in psychology at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF). She also worked as a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) in a private practice for 3 years in Brazil on the treatment of the most various psychological disorders. Her professional goals include providing counseling for Latinx (especially the Brazilian population), teaching undergraduate students and continue researching the smoking field (especially treatment and development of interventions for vulnerable populations such as the Latinx community). More recently, she has been working with factors associated with the use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) among Hispanic Youth and with the development of smoking cessation interventions among Latinx. Her hobbies include spending time with her dog Olive, exercising, watching TV shows and reading.

Erica Rey (she/her)

I am a fifth-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. Before beginning graduate study, I worked in programs serving the LGBTQIA+ community, including UH’s Transgender Health Lab, Gender Infinity, and AmeriCorps at The Montrose Center. My research interests include improving access to affirming care for non-binary and transgender populations and identity development. My clinical interests include LGBTQIA+ issues and treatment of trauma and substance use. In my free time, I like to spend time with my husband and our two dogs. When able, I enjoy traveling, hiking, creating, yoga, reading and live music. erey@uh.edu 

Rachel D. Roberts (she/her)

I am a second-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Houston, working under the guidance of Dr. Conseulo Arbona. I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. As a first-generation college graduate, I completed my B.A. in psychology and minored in African American studies at the University of Oklahoma. I also earned my M.Ed. in professional counseling from the University of Oklahoma. I worked in the field for the past 5 years as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC). My experiences range from working with lower SES adolescents to middle aged adults in residential, outpatient, and the university college setting. I am currently training at the DBT center for my practicum experience under the guidance of Dr. Lindsey Overstreet. My current research interest lies within exploring the health disparities within the reproductive health of black women as influenced by substance use. In my free time I enjoy cooking, traveling and game night with friends.

Ty Robinson (he/him)

I am an incoming first-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program and doctoral scholar with HEALTH-FAST at the University of Houston. I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and raised in Austin, Texas. I earned my B.A. in psychology with a minor in kinesiology from the University of North Texas and my Ed.M. in counseling with a specialization in sport psychology at Boston University. My research interests include understanding how race-based traumatic stress, discrimination, and intersections of oppression impact the psychological well-being of ethnic and sexual minorities, specifically the Black LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, I have an interest in the development of risk behaviors and psychological injury due to experiencing racism and discrimination in healthcare settings. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, running, movies and spending time with my friends and family. trobins7@cougarnet.uh.edu 

Lycinda Rodriguez

I am a seventh -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.

Dani Soltis (they/them)

I am an eighth-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program. I accepted a position this fall as the clinical services coordinator at the University Counseling Center at the University of Pittsburgh as I finish my dissertation. I have an undergraduate degree in English and political science, as well as an M.A. in clinical psychology.  My clinical and research interests center on social justice and improving the lives of those who are systematically marginalized. I have niche interests in the sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) communities, fat liberation/sizeism/weigh bias, non-religious/secular identites and traumatology.  Clinically, I practice from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), feminist/multicultural and internal family systems (IFS) approaches. 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. Blake Allan, I am a fifth-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, and after losing my father to suicide in 2021, I have devoted my time to better understanding trauma-related psychopathology and suicidality. I am currently working with Dr. Adriana Macias Strutt, Professor in the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, to complete my doctoral dissertation which centers on understanding the clinical and forensic implications of head injuries. Since the start of my doctoral tenure, I have completed practicum rotations at The MendCenter, Applied Psychological Services, Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology, G. Harris Enterprises, the Federal Detention Center (Houston – BOP) and Harris County Psychiatric Center. My clinical interests center on conducting forensic evaluations and providing psychotherapy to individuals experiencing significant psychopathology. In addition to my research and clinical interests, I have held a service role since 2019 as the Graduate Student Representative on The University of Houston’s IRB Committee 1. 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, exploring the outdoors and reading.

Niloofar Tavakoli (she/her)

I am a fourth-year doctoral student in the health psychology track of the counseling psychology program. Born in Iran and raised in Houston, I completed both my B.S. in psychology and M.Ed. in counseling from the University of Houston and am currently a licensed professional counselor (LPC). My research and clinical interests include anxiety, relational factors, smoking/substance abuse, and psychological flexibility/inflexibility among minority individuals; with a special interest in culturally tailored psychological and health-related interventions. This year for practicum, I am training at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston — Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addictions (CNRA). 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 11-year-old puppy named Teddy and traveling. ntavakoli@uh.edu

Autena Torbati (she/her)

I am a sixth-year student in the 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. Additionally, I am interested in the interplay between attitudes towards intimacy, sexual behaviors and psychological and physical well-being among ethnic minorities. I completed my first year of practicum at the University of Houston — Clear Lake Counseling Services center, my second year of practicum at the Houston Fire Department and my third year of practicum at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. I am currently completing my predoctoral internship at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. 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

Helen Ullrich (she/her)

I’m a fourth-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. At the University of Houston, I’m a member of the Psychology of Addiction Collaborative, and my research interests include substance use and health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations. I've completed practicum rotations with the Houston Fire Department and the Michael E. DeBakey VA, and my current placements include Applied Psychological Services and the University of Houston-Clear Lake Counseling Service. In my free time, I enjoy coffee chats with family and friends, taking advantage of Houston’s amazing food scene and exploring new running trails. Feel free to contact me at hsanchez3@uh.edu

Charli Washington

I am currently a eighth-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 $6 million to $1.5 billion. 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

Yesenia Zetino (she/her/ella) 

I am a third-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, working with Dr. Consuelo Arbona. I am originally from El Salvador but grew up in Houston for most of my life. I received my B.S. in pPsychology at Loyola University Chicago with a minor in social work. My research interests include Latinx and immigrant populations, childhood trauma, and cultural factors in relation to mental health outcomes. I have completed a practicum placement at the Rice University Counseling Center, and my current placement is at a child-focused private practice working with Dr. Michelle Forrester. In my free time I enjoy watching documentaries, trying out new coffee shops and spending time with my dog. ylzetino@uh.edu 

Outside Farish Hall

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

Training Director: Dr. Blake Allan

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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