COUNSELING, SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
Diversity; Community Wellness; Multicultural Competence; Mental Health; Social Justice; Neurocognition; Research Design
I hold a Ph.D. in Counselor Education, from the University of Central Florida (UCF). As part of my scholarship, I strive to implement an integration of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and multicultural counseling (STEMMC). One of the issues I came across is that scientific inquiry hopes to establish facts, yet tends to neglect cultural and societal impacts. It is this aspect that tends to isolate Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) from the scientific fields, and can lead to minimizing their existence in society. Aspects of my scholarship does something novel, in that it acknowledges cultural factors, and reiterates that culture and science intertwine, and are not independent units.
A further facet of my research focuses on examining racism and discrimination’s impact not only on feelings and behaviors, but how it also effects the brain. Literature is replete with information on how to detect racism, yet there is very little indicating what to do when encountering the phenomenon. The direction I am moving into now seeks to bridge this gap, by combining multiculturalism with neuroscience, detailing how the neuroscience concept of flow state can produce an altered state of conscious (ASOC) leading to optimal performance/enhanced living (wellness).
The work I am embarking upon will lead into a coherent, salient, and cogent modality that practitioners and researchers alike can utilize to help people and communities attain optimal experience, even in the face of systemic racism, discrimination, and oppression. This integration is unique, and something not currently in the field as I am one of the few to delve into this type of novel research.
My final sustained area of research is in using group work to redefine anger management methods that disproportionally identify BIPOC youth as angry. Instead of labeling adolescents as aggressive, mad, or delinquent, this strength-based approach reframes youth as potential leaders, who have obstacles such as anger that are impeding their development.
Clinically I have worked in a variety of therapeutic settings, such as a counselor in a correctional facility, a mental health therapist in a behavioral school, counselor in a community clinic, and as a training liaison for anger management groups in schools, teaching conflict resolution and peer mediation to diverse populations.
I currently serve as an associate editor for the premiere journal for multiculturalism in counseling, the Journal of Multiculturalism and Development (JMCD).