I want to...

Minority Fellowship Program 2012-13 Fellows

This page outlines pictures and brief biographical information on all AAMFT MFP Fellows for the listed MFP Cohort. To find out more information on other MFP Fellows including their service/research areas of interest, award years, search the MFP Fellow Directory located at the bottom of this page.

Additional Fellow and Applicant Data can be found on the MFP Program Data page. If you are interested in applying for the MFP, visit the MFP Application Information page.


Alisha Rorer, St. Louis University

Alisha Rorer is a Ph.D. student in the Counseling and Family Therapy program at St. Louis University. Ms. Rorer is currently pursuing grounded theory research that examines the intergenerational patterns of emotional and physical connections in Black grandfathers, fathers, and sons. Currently, she is providing clinical services at the Center for Counseling and Family Therapy to low-income minority clients in St. Louis, MO. Ms. Rorer’s clinical experiences have been in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and currently Missouri where she has worked in mental hospitals, correction facility, home-based, mental health centers, and counseling and family therapy centers.


Ariel Jones, St. Louis University

Ariel Hooker Jones is currently a doctoral student at Saint Louis University. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has served as the Functional Family Therapist for St. Clair County in Illinois.  Currently, Ariel works as assistant coordinator and therapist at the Center for Counseling and Family Therapy at Saint Louis University. Ariel also hopes to pursue work as an adjunct professor in the future. Ariel’s research interests are with African American couples and families and also prevention initiatives for youth. Her work with minority families in both Illinois and Missouri has strengthened her commitment to working with both at-risk youth and youth involved in the juvenile justice system and their families.

Aubry Koehler, East Carolina University

Aubry Koehler is a doctoral student in the Medical Family Therapy Doctoral Program at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  Aubry is passionate about behavioral health work in medical settings especially with culturally diverse populations.  Before pursuing her Master's, she conducted ethnographic research in Northern India on Tibetan Medical perceptions of genetic and chronic illness and worked as a research intern for a public health initiative mapping the sociomedical diversity of the Greater Boston Area.  More recently, she served as a behavioral health intern at Concord Hospital in Concord, NH where she had the opportunity to work on a collaborative care team with other behavioral health and medical providers.  She is particularly interested in working with families experiencing pediatric and adolescent chronic illness.    As part of her doctoral work, Aubry will be working as a behavioral health intern at a community health care clinic in eastern North Carolina.  This clinic is committed to serving underserved populations including migrant and seasonal farm workers and the uninsured.

Bertranna Abrams, University of Georgia

Bertranna Abrams is currently a Ph.D. student in the Child and Family Development program at University of Georgia. Her research focuses on informing interventions for Immigrant Families of African decent. These families sometimes have difficulty as they try to adjust to U.S. norms while trying to maintain their cultural traditions. Her current projects explore the stresses and strains related to acculturation and how mothers and daughters cope through the process- often times dealing with risky behaviors including drug abuse and gang activity. Her experience with clients who abused substances began when I worked as a Crisis Intervention Specialist at the Rape Crisis and Abuse Center of Hamilton County in Cincinnati Ohio. In her masters program she worked with the Child Abuse Neglect Substance Abuse Focus and Expansion Project (CANSAFE). As part of the CANSAFE evaluation, she worked with local children’s services caseworkers and went to various substance abuse treatment centers and the homes of participants.

Blendine Hawkins, University of Minnesota

Blendine Perreire Hawkins is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist credentialed in the state of Minnesota, USA. She is currently a doctoral student in the Family Social Science Department in the PhD Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.   Her research interests include topics of culture and it’s complexities in serving marginalized, minority and immigrant populations in America, online gaming and its effects on families, interracial couples and intimacy, and the use of theory in research on financial decision-making in families. She is involved in research projects with foreign-born women in academia, cultural topics in financial counseling, confiding and social support in couple relationships, and has ongoing efforts in research of health and social disparities in marginalized populations.

Cassidy Freitas, Loma Linda University

Cassidy Freitas, M.A., MFT Intern, is a doctoral student at Loma Linda University. As an advocate for collaborative care, Cassidy has contributed to the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association Blog, and was recently published in the Medical Family Therapy edition of the AAMFT Family Therapy Magazine where she explored what it takes to survive as a clinician in a primary care setting. Cassidy is also affiliated with the Postpartum Health Alliance, where she volunteers her time and service. Beyond collaborative care and maternal mental health, Cassidy is impassioned by her work with minority/underserved populations, particularly the Latina/o population and LGBT community. Further, Cassidy’s past and present experiences in working with children of alcoholics has led her to seek out the Minority Fellowship Program.

Cecil Mudede, North Central University

Cecil Mudede is currently a Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral student at North Central University. His research interests focus on how minority cultures can be incorporated in treating couples addictions and analysis of the environments within which majority minority populations live.   His research and clinical experiences have served to  inspire him to curiously seek a Marriage and Family Therapy program that could spur into doing more research that targets minority populations. Through study, he intends to further understand how minority cultures can serve to benefit people of diverse cultures who are dealing with substance abuse challenges here in the US and globally.

Christopher Mehus, University of Minnesota

Christopher J. Mehus, M.A. is a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota in the Couples and Family Therapy program in the department of Family Social Science.    Chris’s current interests center around issues related to mass trauma in underserved and under-resourced populations. Domestically, he is developing projects related to work within refugee communities. Internationally, Chris spent 9-weeks during 2012 in northern Uganda working on a project with Dr. Wieling to pilot a parenting training intervention.   He believes that issues of family/social support, mental health, physical health, substance abuse, and others are all interconnected in a messy web of relationships situated within each cultural context. Through additional training related to substance abuse and minority populations, and research related to mass-trauma in these communities, Chris hopes to contribute to the field’s understanding of the ways in which these issues connect and the ways in which sustainable interventions can contribute to addressing the needs that arise following mass-traumatic events.

Corey Yeager, University of Minnesota

Corey Yeager is a currently a PhD candidate in the Couples and Family Therapy/Family Social Science program at the University of Minnesota. Yeager is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical member of the AAMFT. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Argosy University Twin Cities. Since 2009, he has worked with an inner-city non-profit, community-based agency with the mission of, “addressing the challenge of racism and poverty through community building strategies.” Currently his major focus is working at a juvenile detention center in Minneapolis. Yeager provides relational, systemic and contextual therapeutic services with incarcerated youth and their families. His research interests, focuses on the concept of awareness and its application within the African American community. 

Helena Green, University of Connecticut

Helena Danielle Green is currently a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Connecticut.   Helena has focused her research and clinical interests in marriage and family therapy on substance abuse and the African American community. Her research efforts have focused on issues of ethnic minority under-representation within the field, and addressed disparities within underserved communities.   Upon completing her doctoral program, Helena wants to continue working with individuals and families affected by substance abuse, and hopes to gain more experience working with minorities within clinical and community settings.

Tanisha Brown, Virginia Tech University

Tanisha Brown currently attends Virginia Tech University and is entering her second year as a doctoral student in the marriage and family therapy program within the Department of Human Development. Tanisha is interested in the diversity within African American families, racial identity, and how different factors play into within-race diversity. Other aspects of family research that interest her are the role of family narratives of beauty in African American families, caregiving expectations and strain in minority families, and culturally competent substance abuse treatment.


Jeni Wahlig, Antioch University

Jeni Wahlig is currently a doctoral student at the Antioch University New England’s Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program. Her current interests in MFT include: providing culturally aware therapy to diverse populations, specializing in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ or Queer, interchangeably) people and their families, developing a marital preparation and enrichment program for same-sex couples, exploring substance abuse prevention and treatment for the LGBTQ population, and exploring how cultural factors, institutionalized oppression, and discrimination impact both Queer foster children and Queer foster parents.


Jessica Chen, Loma Linda University

Jessica is now a Ph.D. in MFT student at Loma Linda University. Jessica’s current clinical and research interests in marriage and family therapy include working with East Asian American families, particularly in relation to how these families make sense of their cultural, faith/religious, and familial identities. She is particularly interested in the larger social contextual experiences of these families and how these impact the intergenerational relationships.   Many Asian American families struggle with intergenerational conflict, substance abuse and other addictions, and conflicted bicultural identities. Thus, she hopes that through her work as a therapist and researcher, she can serve the field of marriage and family therapy by adding another layer of cultural competence through better understanding the needs of Asian American families.

Karlin Tichenor, Michigan State University

Karlin Tichenor, M.A. is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Couple and Family Therapy Program at .   Karlin's research interests include African American couples with a focus on the development and maintenance of healthy, rewarding relationships in lieu of historically traumatic experiences.   In his current clinical work, he works with a primary clientele of couples, using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as a primary treatment modality, which he aims to culturally adapt to African American couples. He also works with international refugees in his community clinical work focusing on trauma histories and coping strategies for adjustment.   These programs would provide therapeutic support for couples and families, while creating opportunities for redefining realities through narratives and self-evaluation to mitigate against the use of substances and mental health issues.

Kristy Soloski, Kansas State University

Kristy Soloski is currently a doctoral student at Kansas State University in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Her main area of interest is in the development and prevention of substance abuse behaviors, especially in the adolescent population.  Recently, she has begun an examination into the complex family patterns and societal influences related to the development of adolescent binge drinking behaviors. Once this research focus has solidified, she plans to incorporate comparisons of these influencing factors across minority groups in an effort to support diversity informed therapeutic practices. Her other main area of focus is in advanced research methodologies and statistical analyses.  Her current endeavors have incorporated advanced modeling methods and growth curve analyses that she hopes will help advance knowledge of the developmental substance abuse behaviors and inform current therapeutic practices

Sergio Pereyra, Brigham Young University

Sergio Benjamin Pereyra is currently attending the MFT doctoral program at Brigham Young University  In terms of research, he is very interested in research with Latino couples and parenting within Latino families.  He is also working on an English /Spanish mental health dictionary which will focus on vocabulary used in clinical settings in order to improve the quality of service for the Spanish speaking population. One of his career goals is to become an approved AAMFT supervisor for Spanish speaking therapy, and to become a full time professor at a university and teach courses on the treatment of substance abuse and cultural issues in mental health or at least introduce cultural issues in any course that he teaches.

Mallica Reynolds, Nova Southeastern University

Mallica D. Reynolds is a Ph.D. candidate in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). He is doctoral intern at the Brief Therapy Institute (BTI) where he provides therapeutic services to diverse South Florida populations. Mallica Reynolds has a wide range of research interests centered upon minority issues. He has plans to take a look at the role of black male therapists in developing the field of Marriage & Family Therapy. In addition, he has an interest in acculturation challenges, migrant populations within the LGBT community, and stigmas concerning substance abuse treatment within minority groups

Allison Tomlinson, Texas Woman's University

 Allison Tomlinson is a doctoral marriage and family therapy student at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Ms. Tomlinson is a licensed clinical social worker. Ms. Tomlinson’s research interests include: disproportionate minority involvement in incarceration and the relationship of co-occurring disorders and the affects of lower rates of treatment seeking among minority populations with co-occurring disorders. Ms. Tomlinson is interested in the implications of this issue on the family and community. 

Sharde' McNeil, Florida State University

Sharde' McNeil, M.S. is a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Florida State University. Sharde's interest in marriage and family therapy includes understanding stress from an ecological perspective in underserved populations. More specifically, she is currently interested in discrimination as a stressor and its impact on various outcomes such as psychological distress, marital quality, child outcomes, and substance use. Additionally, she is interested in the resiliency of Underserved groups. She believes her experiences in her doctoral program will expand the field's knowledge by increasing awareness of the impact of macro systemic stressors on family's lives and the importance of examining contextual stressors in practice and research.

Tayrn Nasis, St. Mary's University

Taryn Nasis is currently a student at St. Mary's University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Doctoral Program.   Currently, Ms. Nasis is interested in postmodern therapies and social constructionist, and the potential of furthering empirical studies examining the relationships between family members where one member has identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered. In particular, she is curious about how families language their relationship, as well as help-seeking behavior and social support development.   Ms. Nasis hopes to focus her research interests on gender identity and the mediation of language to convey these identities in ways that contribute to the body of empirical data on marginalized gender groups. In addition, Ms. Nasis hopes to increase available knowledge on the efficacy of language-based interventions of social constructionist therapeutic techniques with marginalized gender groups, such as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Katherine Wickel, University of Minnesota

Katharine Wckel is a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota’ Marriage and Family Therapy Program. She intends to focus her career to work with couples and families, in order to promote change within the healthcare system to enable marginalized populations to receive better healthcare.  Her clinical work has mostly been based in low socioeconomic urban areas, first in Southside Chicago and now in North Minneapolis. For the past year she has been able to work for the University of Minnesota Physicians at Broadway Family Medicine, one of their training clinics for family physician residents. In this setting she works as a mental health provider- conducting therapy, collaborating with integrated patient care, and providing feedback to resident physicians about their patient-provider interactions.

Search for MFP Fellows