Minority Fellowship Program Mentors
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This page outlines information on current Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Mentors. MFP Mentors provide academic, professional and career development guidance to AAMFT MFP Fellows. MFP Mentors are marriage and family therapists or other behavioral health professional volunteers and serve a 1-year term in a mentorship capacity for Fellows in the MFP.

If you are interested in becoming an MFP Mentor and want to learn more about the application process please visit the MFP Mentor Application page.

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, EdD

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, EdD (University of Massachusetts Amherst), MPH (Harvard University), is Professor of the Master of Science in Family Therapy Program and the PhD in Counseling Psychology, College of Education & Human Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is Ikerbasque Research Professor at the Deusto Stress and Resilience Research Team at the University of Deusto.  Bacigalupe is co-principal investigator of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Pilot research project: Influence and evidence: Understanding consumer choices in preventive care. He is research faculty in the Health Equity Scholars Program (HESP) of the UMass Center for Health Equity Intervention Research (CHEIR), an NIMHHD P-60 5 years grant for a joint effort by the UMass Medical School and UMass Boston. Bacigalupe is President of the American Family Therapy Academy. His research with colleagues in Spain, Turkey, Mexico, and the USA, focuses on the impact of emerging media adoption on families, transnational/immigrant families, family health, and e-health. In conjunction with the Basque Institute for Healthcare Innovation, he evaluated the role of healthcare virtual communities of practice and the role of social networks in supporting patients with multiple chronic illnesses. As part of the Basque Prescribe Healthy Life (PVS) research team, he collaborates in a practice outcome based research project to instill a population health model in primary care.

Dr. Bacigalupe is fellow of the American Psychological Association and is member of several editorial boards including Family Process, The Counseling Psychologist, Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, Qualitative Research in Psychology, AFTA Monograph Series, and BioMed Central Public Health. He serves as reviewer for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the Spanish Minister of Education and Science, the Catalunya Government Research Agency, and others. Dr. Bacigalupe is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Boston Institute for Culturally Accountable Practices (BICAP) which has consulted, among others, with the Boston Red Sox and Harvard Medical School on cultural competence and institutional equity. Gonzalo is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist in Massachusetts, an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, a National Registered Health Provider, and a Massachusetts Child & Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Certified Assessor. He also holds a degree as a clinical psychologist from the Catholic University of Chile.  Dr. Bacigalupe is a strategic advisor of RegroupTherapy, a web-based platform that provides a simple and secure space for therapists and clients to connect online.

Professor Bacigalupe was Senior Fulbright Research Fellow at the Autonomic University of Barcelona. He has received funding by National Institute of Aging, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the American Psychological Foundation, Bizkaia Lab, the Spanish Minister of Education, the Basque Government, o+Berri, among others. The Massachusetts Association of Marital and Family Therapy honored him in 2007 with an Award in Recognition of Exceptional Contribution to the Profession of Family Therapy. In the past years he has served as Councilor (2010-2013) of the American Public Health Association International Section, and VP for Public Interest & Diversity (2010-2012) of the Society for Family Psychology (Div. 43 APA), Executive Committee Member at Large (2011-2012) of the Society for Participatory Medicine, and the Associate Editor of Family Systems & Health.

Areas of Expertise

  • Publications
  • Policy Research
  • Job Seeking
  • Professional association leadership
  • At-risk Youth

Sara Blakeslee, PhD

Dr. Blakeslee has been teaching at a COAMFTE master’s program for the past five years after obtaining her degree from Texas Tech University. For the past three years, she has also served as the Clinic Director of the Marriage and Family Institute. She also owns a small private practice, which serves Abilene and the surrounding areas.

She has most often used qualitative research methodologies in her own research agenda; however, she has also partnered with colleagues on quantitative research. She has mentored master’s students in their research for the past five years, with each group presenting posters at the annual Division conference.

She was in the inaugural cohort of MFPs from 2007-2009. She identifies as American Indian and while she was not raised traditionally, has grown to cherish her ethnic identity and educate herself about her ancestors’ beliefs and migration throughout the United States.

She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Washington, Kentucky, Ohio, and Texas where she has served on numerous committees for the Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She has received specialized training in Emotionally Focused Couples therapy and provides relationship enhancement workshops for various organizations and churches throughout Texas.

She is planning a June wedding and will relocate to Cincinnati, Ohio at that time.

Areas of Expertise

  • Research Design
  • Private Practice/private pay and insurance
  • Professional association leadership
  • Advocacy on State and National levels

DeAnna Harris-McKoy, PhD

Dr. Harris-McKoy is currently an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University Central Texas in the Department of Psychology and Counseling. She has worked in various clinical settings such as in/out patient drug rehabilitation centers, residential treatment facility, non-profit centers, and in-home therapy. Most of her clinical work has been with at-risk youth or underserved population. Currently she is in private practice.

She received her undergraduate education at the University of Maryland College Park achieving two Bachelors’ of Science in Psychology and Family Therapy. She received her Masters of Family Therapy from Drexel University and Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy from The Florida State University.

She has won numerous awards for her leadership ability and commitment to the various communities in which she resides. These awards include Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, M.D. Social Justice Award from Drexel University, University Academic Leadership Award from The Florida State University, and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Minority Fellow.

She has presented and published research on underserved populations such as juvenile delinquents, families experiencing homelessness, families with substance use issues, and black families. Her current research focuses on three areas: family processes and juvenile delinquency, contextual therapy, and Black families.

Areas of Expertise

  • Research Design
  • Private Practice/private pay and insurance
  • Professional association leadership
  • At-risk Youth

Nickolas Jordan, PhD

Dr. Jordan is an Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling at Appalachian State University. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, clinical member and approved supervisor for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Jordan specializes in work with low socio-economic status individuals, couples and families of color. His professional interests include relationships created through online video games and social media, as well as African American male experiences in sports.

Areas of Expertise

  • Job seeking
  • Professional association leadership Advocacy on State and National levels
  • Working in an agency setting and supporting mft's in isolated practice settings, e.g., public mental health, etc.

Mathis Kennington, PhD

Dr. Mathis Kennington is a couple and family therapist in Austin, TX. He serves as a clinical supervisor and associate faculty for the Austin Family Institute, which is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable couple and family therapy services to the Austin community. He completed his doctoral work at Virginia Tech under the direction of Dr. Joyce Arditti. His dissertation research examined the lived experiences of men who left prison, and how life outside prison impacted couple and family relationships. He is a supervisor, researcher, clinician, and activist for issues related to white privilege and social justice. He currently works on a model for deconstructing white male privilege, which is grounded in his research experiences during his dissertation. As a former minority fellow, he is looking forward to serving current fellows as they walk through what should be a few of the most exciting and inspiring years of their professional lives.

Areas of Expertise

  • Research Design
  • Publications
  • Evidence based practices with disadvantaged groups
  • Private Practice/private pay and insurance
  • Advocacy on State and National levels
  • At-risk Youth
  • White privilege

Martha Morgan, PhD

Dr. Morgan is currently full-time faculty in the Couple and Family Therapy program at Alliant International University – San Diego campus. She has been in this position since August 2010. In her role as faculty she has had the opportunity to work with students in a variety of ways. She teaches both MA and PsyD students, and serves on various committees within the program, department and university. She has served as chair and committee member for both their doctoral exam and dissertations.

Her current clinical work includes seeing clients at Volunteers of America (VOA). The clients she serves in this position are currently on parole and often recently released from prison. Some of her clients would be homeless if they were not able to live at VOA. Her clients present with a variety of challenges including; substance abuse, domestic violence, generational patterns of poverty, low education, low skills, etc. She also sees clients at Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center (TPPRC). The clients she works with at TPPRC are young women facing an unplanned pregnancy. She has provided one-on-one parenting education for the women who have decided to parent their child. She has also held bi-monthly parenting groups for young women ages 17-24.

Her educational background includes earning a PhD from Texas Tech University in August 2010 in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). Earning a MS in MFT from Oklahoma State University in August 2006. She has a MEd. In Adult Education with an emphasis in training and development and a BBA with an emphasis in Human Resource Management from University of Central Oklahoma.

She was recently named the 2013 Oklahoma Department of Student Access TRiO Achiever of the year. She was also named the South West Student Assistance Program TRiO Achiever of the year for 2013. During her doctoral work she was part of the inaugural class of AAMFT/SAMSHA MFP in 2007.

Areas of Expertise

  • Research Design
  • Professional association leadership

Rikki Patton, PhD

Photo coming soon!

Dr. Rikki Patton completed her doctoral work at The Ohio State University in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2012. As a doctoral student, she completed much of her clinical work as a project therapist on NIDA-funded research projects examining treatment approaches among underserved populations, including homeless youth, homeless families with young children, and families experiencing substance abuse. Her academic work as a doctoral student also surrounded these topics.  While at OSU, she was award the EHE dissertation fellowship to examine transactional sex involvement among a substance-using sample through the lens of the Capability Approach. Dr. Patton published her dissertation findings in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment in 2013.

Upon completing her doctoral work, Dr. Patton accepted a post-doctoral research fellowship as part of a T32 NIDA award through the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center from 2012-2013. The fellowship allowed her to conduct substance abuse research within a healthcare setting, specifically examining transactional sex involvement in an Emergency Department setting. As a post-doctoral fellow, she was also the co-mentor for an undergraduate honors student. As co-mentor, Dr. Patton guided the student through all steps of his honors thesis, from defining the research question to writing a manuscript for publication consideration. Dr. Patton led the development of several manuscripts as a post-doctoral fellow, and has published some of those manuscripts in substance abuse-related journals.

Dr. Patton joined the Department of Counseling as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in August 2013. Her research interests surround the intersection between underserved populations, substance abuse, and MFT. She is currently mentoring masters- and doctoral-level students in research related to substance use, MFT, and/or underserved populations. Dr. Patton is also using secondary data archived through the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR) to examine the intersection of MFT and substance use among 1) people experiencing homelessness and 2) women with a history of transactional sex involvement. She is also using data collected in the Department clinic to examine prevalence and correlates of substance use among treatment-seeking couples. He plans to extend her research to include the examination of integrating systemic interventions and substance use screening and assessment.

Areas of Expertise

  • Disadvantaged groups
  • Substance Use

Fred Piercy, PhD

Fred Piercy

Dr. Fred Piercy is professor of family therapy in the Marriage and Family Therapy Doctoral Program, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.  At Virginia Tech Dr. Piercy spent eight years as department head of the Department of Human Development and three years as associate dean of research and graduate studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Prior to coming to Virginia Tech in 2000, Dr. Piercy spent 18 years teaching family therapy at Purdue University and, before that, seven years as a family therapy educator at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce).  Dr. Piercy received degrees from the University of Florida, University of South Carolina, and Wake Forest University.  He has served two times on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and as the chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.  Dr. Piercy is also a member and fellow in both AAMFT and the American Psychological Association (Division 43).  He is currently the editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the largest family therapy journal in the world and the flagship journal of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. Piercy’s scholarship has involved family therapy education; family therapy of substance abuse; HIV social science research and prevention; qualitative research and evaluation; infidelity treatment; and couples enrichment.  Dr. Piercy has written over 170 published journal articles and book chapters, five books, and 43 funded grants.  He is the co-editor of Research Methods in Family Therapy (2nd Edition) (with Douglas Sprenkle, Guilford Press, 2005) and Handbook for the Clinical Treatment of Infidelity (with Katherine Hertlein and Joseph Wetchler, Haworth Press, 2005) and co-author of Family Therapy Sourcebook (with Douglas Sprenkle, Joseph Wetchler, and associates; Guilford Press, 1986, 1996) and Stop Marital Fights Before they Start (with Norman Lobsenz, Berkley Press, 1994).  Dr. Piercy also has written for the popular press in magazines such as Reader’s Digest and Saturday Evening Post and wrote a newspaper column, Family Matters, for the Lafayette Courier for two years. 

Dr. Piercy has won national, university, and college teaching awards, as well as college awards for administration, outreach, and graduate student advising.  Also, Dr. Piercy is the recipient of AAMFT’s 2007 Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy Award and Virginia Tech’s 2007 Alumni Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Advising.   He also won NCFR’s 2013 Kathleen Briggs Graduate Student Advising Award.  Dr. Piercy has collaborated extensively with colleagues from the University of Indonesia and Atma Jaya University (in Jakarta, Indonesia). 

Areas of Expertise

  • Research Design
  • Publications
  • Professional association leadership
  • Grant writing; substance abuse treatment

Shruti Poulsen, PhD

Shruti Poulsen

Dr. Poulsen is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program at the University of Colorado Denver. She teaches and supervises master’s level students primarily in the couple and family therapy track. Dr. Poulsen received her doctorate from the MFT Program at Purdue University in 2003. After receiving her doctorate, she continued to work at Purdue for five years as faculty in the MFT program, coordinating and running the MFT Training Clinic, and engaged in research project management activities.  She has been faculty at University of Colorado Denver for approximately five years. Courses that she has taught at CU Denver include Family Therapy Theories, Family Therapy Techniques, Counseling Couples, Introduction to Sex Therapy, Internship, and Practicum Supervision. Dr. Poulsen is the Chair on two master’s thesis committees currently and actively engaged in mentoring and guiding students through the master’s thesis process.

Dr. Poulsen has been actively engaged in leadership roles through her involvement with the state level MFT organizations; as a doctoral student, she was the Student Representative for the Indiana Association for Marriage & Family Therapy and then also served as Conference Committee Chair after receiving her doctorate. In Colorado, Dr. Poulsen served three years as Secretary the Colorado Association for Marriage & Family Therapy and one year as Conference Committee Chair for the Colorado Counseling Association. Dr. Poulsen also served on a working committee for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies in 2010 for the development and implementation of professional development and continuing education requirements for the LMFT license in Colorado.

Dr. Poulsen’s research, teaching and service all focus on areas of multiculturalism; specifically access of mental health care to diverse populations and training culturally sensitive and competent therapists and counselors. Dr. Poulsen is also interested in empirically based treatments and their utility with diverse client populations; to this effort, Dr. Poulsen has obtained advanced training in EFT, Gottman Level I training, and training in IBCT. Clinically, Dr. Poulsen has been active as a therapist for over 18 years and as an AAMFT Approved Supervisor for almost 10 years. Dr. Poulsen has worked clinically in a variety of settings such as community mental health settings, crisis assessment, correctional settings, and private practice. She is licensed in Indiana and Colorado as an MFT, and is licensed in Illinois and Colorado as a Professional Counselor.

Personally, Dr. Poulsen has experienced a wide range of multicultural and cross cultural experiences as she was born in India and then lived and traveled in several different countries (England, Singapore, Zambia) before moving to the United States. Dr. Poulsen’s commitment to multicultural understanding and competence has been greatly influenced by her personal experiences as an immigrant and woman of color.

Areas of Expertise

  • Evidence based practices with disadvantaged groups
  • Publications
  • Professional association leadership
  • Well-being and functioning of diverse client populations
  • Diverse couple relationships and their functioning
  • Multicultural competence in supervision and training

Keeley Pratt, PhD


Keeley J. Pratt, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Sciences in the Human Development and Family Science/Couple and Family Therapy Program Area at The Ohio State University and an independently licensed marriage and family therapist. She is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a member of the Ohio Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Board. Dr. Pratt graduated with her doctorate in Medical Family Therapy in 2010, and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship from 2010-2012 at Research Triangle Institute International (RTI) in an Obesity Signature Program. For the past decade Dr. Pratt has worked with Pediatric Obesity Treatment Centers, residential Healthy Lifestyle Camps, Primary Care Practices, school-health programs, and more recently Bariatric Units as a clinician-researcher. Dr. Pratt’s research focuses on intergenerational approaches to child and adolescent obesity treatment. Specifically, she is interested in: 1) family-based factors (parenting styles and practices, feeding styles and practices, family functioning, and parenting around physical activity behaviors) that contribute to or are modifiable in the treatment of child/adolescent obesity, 2) intergenerational outcomes (child, sibling, parent, grandparent) from integrated-multidisciplinary care models in the treatment of child/adolescent obesity, and 3) assessing and expanding mental health education to include clinician training on systemic weight-related behaviors in families, and training to work with clients and families who are struggling with overweight and obesity. The majority of Dr. Pratt’s work has focused on African American families and communities, and incorporating the socio-cultural narratives passed down in African American families about feeding, health, and body size. Dr. Pratt has presented over 60 presentations at local, national, and international conferences, produced over 30 publications, and has received funding in the areas of child and adolescent family-based or integrated obesity prevention and treatment, Medical Family Therapy, and behavioral healthcare in pediatrics.

Areas of Expertise

  • Research Design
  • Publications
  • Evidence based practices with disadvantaged groups
  • At-risk Youth
  • Medical Family Therapy
  • Chronic illness in youth
  • Weight-bias
  • Obesity

Karen Quek, PhD


Dr. Quek is an associate professor at Alliant International University (AIU). At AIU, she teaches advanced couples therapy and theories in couple and family therapy, and researches on relational dynamic in couples’ relationship. Her research interest is in the study of gender roles and couples’ relationships which examines the interplay of various diversity constructs in the context of evolving societal changes. Her research data includes Greek couples from Athens, Greece; Singaporean couples from Singapore; Asian American couples from the US; and Korean fathers from Seoul, Korea. Other research interests include the following: cross-cultural family studies, development of self-of-the-therapist, and multicultural competency in clinical practice and supervision. She is passionate about issues on social justice, multiculturalism, and internationalism.

Dr. Karen Quek is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California (license # 40805) and has a part-time private practice devoted to individuals and couples work. She provides relationship therapy, specializing in couples’ dynamics, individuals-in-relationship, and pre-marital and marital issues. She has a respect for cultural diversity. Dedicated to the improvement of treating individuals and couples in distress, she offers culturally and gender sensitive approaches to therapy for greater effectiveness. She has extensive clinical experiences with individuals, couples, and families for over 20 years. Nationally and internationally, she has worked in various mental health settings including university and medical clinics, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private practice.

Dr. Quek has achieved national “Approved Supervisor” status of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the national professional organization for Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT). She offers supervision to MFT interns who are accruing hours toward licensure and assists MFT professionals in their development as AAMFT approved supervisors.

Dr. Quek provides one day and two day training workshops for people-helping professionals such as social workers, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors, school counselors, etc. She is an authorized Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis (T-JTA) instructor, a certified administrator of the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, and a PREPARE-ENRICH facilitator. These are some of the most widely used assessments for communication enhancement, individual development, team and couple relationship building, marital and premarital counseling and education. She is authorized to conduct and facilitate trainings for those instruments. Other training workshops include team-building at the workplace, interpersonal communication and relationship building, employee counseling, volunteer management and development, and others.

Areas of Expertise

  • Publications
  • Private Practice/private pay and insurance
  • Diversity (gender and internationalism)
  • Community Agencies

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