Meet Our Team

RICHARD Q. SHIN, PH.D. 

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I am an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE) at the University of Maryland, College Park. I coordinate the School Counseling masters specialization and hold an affiliate appointment in the Counseling Psychology Program. I identify as a Korean American, heterosexual, temporarily able bodied, cisgender man. I joined the CHSE department in January 2013. My research focuses on how systemic, institutionalized forms of discrimination like racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and cissexism are perpetuated by mental health professionals in subtle and overt ways. My teaching, research, and consulting are guided by a commitment to creating a more just and equitable society for devalued and marginalized groups. If you would like to learn more about our current research projects, please do not hesitate to email me at rqshin@umd.edu.

SAMIA LALANI

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I am a doctoral student in the University of Maryland’s Counseling Psychology program. My interests include conducting community-based, intersectional research on, with, and for LGBTQ people of colour; working towards dismantling systems that contribute to increased rates of mental illness in LGBTQ communities of colour; advocating for mental health as a tool of liberation work; and integrating activism, research, and practice. Prior to UMD, I received my B.S. and M.S. from Tulane University and served as a Clinical Program Director at a community mental health center in New Orleans.

STEPHANIE YEE

14492465_1154341041298167_2684481076137925976_nI am a second-year graduate student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Maryland, College-Park. Broadly speaking, my research interests pertain to institutional racism in the criminal justice system, and I would like to learn more about the unique experiences of resilience during the reentry process of previously incarcerated Black women. I am also interested in multicultural competencies in psychotherapy, as I would like to conduct research to inform my future practice serving clients from diverse backgrounds. Clinically, I aspire to become more multiculturally competent through pluralistic practice. Prior to coming to UMD, I earned my BA in psychology from the University of New Hampshire.

JAMIE C. WELCH, M.ED.

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I am a fifth year graduate student in the University of Maryland Counseling Psychology program. My research interests have to do with community, power, oppression, privilege, and social identity, particularly intersections of marginalized and privileged identities. My current dissertation project examines the centrality in online social networks. Before coming to the University of Maryland, I received my M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher Education at the University of Florida, and I hope to continue to integrate Student Affairs into my future career.

RAJNI SHARMA

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I am a third-year graduate student in the Counseling Psychology program.  My research interests include covert and overt forms of oppression, microaggressions committed during the counseling process, critical consciousness, and research dissemination strategies for communities.  Prior to UMD, I worked at Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, Baltimore on research initiatives geared towards increasing access to housing, transportation, and food resources; mental health, substance use, and HIV care; and family and peer support for underserved populations across Maryland.

COLLIN N. VERNAY

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I am a third-year doctoral student in the University of Maryland’s Counseling Psychology program. My current research interests examine how gay men reify and resist masculine norms in their daily lives and the potential for novel gender affirmations to interrupt the otherwise deleterious effects of masculinity threat. I am particularly interested in the gender identity development of sexual minorities and better understanding the experiences of individuals whose intersectional identities leave them “marginalized at the margins.” Prior to UMD, I received my BS in Psychology and BA in Sociology from the University of Florida.

LANCE C. SMITH, PH.D.

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As an associate professor in the Graduate Program in Counseling at the University of Vermont, I’m grateful to be a supporter of this lab. I began my counseling career as a professional school counselor among the Tikiamu people of Northern Alaska. Following my time in Alaska, I worked as a clinical mental health counselor in a community mental health clinic. My teaching and scholarship aim to raise the critical consciousness of counselors to disturb and interrupt the various forms of systemic oppression that drive so many clients and students into our doors.

Lab Volunteers

Our lab is fortunate to have the support of a talented group of lab volunteers— University of Maryland students pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees who, although not enrolled in our counseling psychology program, provide invaluable support, insight, and perspective in working with our research agenda.

Omolola Taiwo, MPA

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I am a third-year graduate student in the University of Maryland’s Behavioral and Community Health program. My research interests include the impact of discrimination and stigma on patient behaviors, m-health based patient engagement interventions, and using intersectionality as a framework to develop and analyze community health programs, health care practices, and health policies. I have a decade worth of experience focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, community health worker mobilization, and the health reform. Before UMD, I also earned my B.S. in public health from Temple University and my MPA in health policy and management from New York University.

 

Megan Prass

MeganI am a senior undergraduate psychology major at the University of Maryland. I currently work with the Social Justice Lab under Dr. Shin and also with the Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic and Research Lab with Dr. Hill, where I am currently completing my undergraduate honor’s thesis exploring advice-seeking in psychotherapy. I plan on obtaining my PhD in counseling psychology after I graduate, and I am currently very interested in how our different intersections and social identities affect psychotherapy attrition and outcome. As a white, American, cis-gender, heterosexual, temporarily able-bodied female, I would like to use my privilege to help increase awareness and to also advocate for social justice.

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