Couple and Family Therapy Students

Oloruntoyosi Alomaja is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student. She is a first generation Nigerian american. She grew up in Newtown, Pennsylvania and earned her B.A in psychology from the University of Hartford with a minor in criminal justice. She was a member of the honors psychology program and conducted an honors thesis which looked at undocumented immigrants, the acculturation process and the mental, physical and emotional effects of living within the Unites States of America. She worked for the Youth Service Bureau in Windsor, Connecticut as a youth worker. She worked in different programs that focused on  youth development and enrichment. Her research interests include immigrations and its effects on the family unit. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time with her friends and family and watching all things Marvel.

Neha Asif is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a double major in Psychology and Child Learning Development with a minor in Biology. As an undergraduate, she worked with many organizations with a focus on child development. She worked 3 years as a tutor, teaching children from K to 8th grade Math, Reading, and Writing skills and implementing behavioral management programs for children. She also worked in research focusing on couple conflict resolution, which sparked her interest in Couple and Family Therapy. Neha’s research interests include child cognitive and behavioral development, inter-generational relationships within immigrant families, couple conflict management, and parent-child attachment. In her free time, Neha likes to watch movies, read, and play board games with family and friends.  
Naz Aydin is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Istanbul, Turkey. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Koc University. As an undergraduate, Naz was interested in research, social justice and child advocacy. Alongside of working as a research assistant, she volunteered with the MAYA Foundation, where she worked closely with Syrian refugee children, and assisted therapists in group therapy for kids with trauma. Naz also worked as a project team member in child advocacy projects and coordinator of Youth Volunteers Club for YORET Foundation. Most recently, she was the project coordinator of a funded child participation project with high school and middle school students.  Her research interests include primarily working with children and families, trauma, and immigrant populations. Outside of work, Naz is a certified dance instructor. Her hobbies include dancing, watching movies and traveling.  

Zachary Berman is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He earned a B.A. in Psychology and Criminology with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland in 2013. As an undergraduate, Zack worked as an intern investigator for the Washington, D.C. Public Defender Service, a research assistant in the Stereotyping Prejudice and Intergroup Relations Laboratory (SPIRL), and a senior staff writer for UMD’s student-run newspaper The Diamondback. After graduation, Zack worked for five years as a rehabilitation counselor for Cornerstone Montgomery, Inc. He was eventually promoted to Site Administrator of the Foundations Day Program, where he worked daily with clients suffering from a broad range of severe mental illnesses. He also taught the agency’s “Secondary Trauma and Self-Care” training to new employees. Zack’s research and clinical interests include sexuality, meta-communication, adolescence, and the influence of the criminal justice system on families. Outside of work and school, Zack is a musician and an author. He regularly performs in venues around the D.C. area and recently had his first novelette published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. In June of 2018, Zack helped to raise ~$6000 for Planned Parenthood by performing as one of the core musicians in a special benefit show. Unfortunately, his dog Misty will not be attending school this year.

Sabrina Cermeno is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy master’s student and a DC native. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. During her time as an undergraduate, Sabrina interned at A Wider Circle, where she assisted clients with a variety of adversities by providing need-based items and psychosocial support. She also spent time as a family law research assistant, focusing on the effects of Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigrant families. Over the summer, Sabrina interned at The Children’s Inn at NIH where she assisted in operating different therapeutic, recreational, educational programs and activities for families going through treatment. Sabrina’s research interests include parent-child relationships in Hispanic/Latino families as well as mental health issues surrounding immigrant communities in the US. Sabrina’s hobbies include watching documentaries, traveling, dancing with friends, and playing with her dog.  

Kathryn DeYoung is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Washington, DC. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2009, with a B.A. in Psychology. In 2014 she received a Master’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, and Assessment from American University. She has been actively involved in behavioral science research since her days as an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee, where she worked on projects centered on intimate partner violence during pregnancy. After graduating from Tennessee she moved back to the DC region, taking a job at the Uniformed Services University of Health Science (USHS) in the newly established Laboratory for the Treatment of Suicide-Related Ideation and Behavior. Most recently, she has served as the Director of Laboratory Operations for the Affective and Translational Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Maryland, where she has managed projects examining how individual risk factors for the development of psychopathology manifest in the daily social and emotional lives of young adults, smokers, and socially anxious teens. Kathryn enjoys saying yes to just about any adventure her friends and family suggest, whether that is fun day hike on Billy Goat trail or heading off to Guatemala to build homes in a mountain village.

Christopher Erb is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student. He grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and moved to Brunswick County, North Carolina in high school. He attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, before receiving a B.A. in Psychology and Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Chris spent some time working in the film industry in Los Angeles, acting as personal script consultant to an A-list film director. Chris has worked as a certified personal trainer and Precision Nutrition coach before moving back east to become a therapist. His outside interests include strength training, screenwriting, rock climbing, and mindfulness meditation.  

Tamara Hull is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters candidate and lives in Silver Spring. The pinnacle of an expansive career evolution, Tamara views her participation in the program as an opportunity to experience her fullest potential while being of greatest service to others. Tamara earned a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware), and her formative professional career was spent in Engineering Research and Development and Sales Account Executive roles for a Fortune 50 company. Tamara has since devoted countless hours working and volunteering in non-profit organizations - including serving as Central Maryland District President of an international women’s organization addressing social justice issues that disproportionately impact women, youth and children; and as the leader for a faith-based group cultivating strong relationships across racial divides. The intersection of personal growth, talent for peer coaching, family leadership roles, witness to the impact family dynamics have on life’s trajectory, and experience with the value of therapy at critical life junctures are factors leading to Tamara’s professional pursuit of her passion to help families thrive. Tamara enjoys singing, photography, Bible study, beach-going and organizing events that create joyful connections among family and friends.

Jennifer Lee is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student and a native to Northern Virginia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family Science from the University or Maryland, College Park. While there, Lee  worked for the Multicultural Engagement and Community Advocacy (or MICA) office and as a community assistant through the Department of Resident Life. She also spent time as a research assistant, conducting research on Asian American identity and common factors in couples therapy. Lee also interned and volunteered with the UMD Campus pantry, a food pantry that provides for members of the UMD community. Her research interests include interracial couples/families, trans-racial adoption, and adolescent identity formation. Lee's hobbies include playing board games with friends, cooking, Yelping and the paranormal. Her favorite areas on campus are the Memorial Chapel and the Art-Sociology library.

Trenton Morell is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Ubly, Michigan. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Family Studies and Political Science from Central Michigan University. As an Undergraduate, Trenton was involved in the paraprofessional organization Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA). As a SAPA, Trenton worked with survivors of sexual aggression, presented programs, and worked on a 24/7 crisis hotline. Additionally, he interned at MidMichigan Health's Alma Hospital as an observer and occasional presenter in their Partial Psychiatric Hospitalization Unit Group Therapy sessions and was a student worker at the Center for Community Counseling and Development in the summer of 2015. Research interests for Trenton include social justice, especially in relation to gender, trauma related to sexual aggression, intersocial and intercultural interactions, political, legal, and social barriers for individuals and families, intrafamilial oppression, the role of fathers in family life, impact of sexual-decision making on adolescents, and ecological impacts on family growth and development. For fun, Trenton is an avid video game player, board game enthusiast, reading political opinions across the spectrum, and reading casually.

Sabrina Roc is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Tallahassee, Florida.  She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Sciences and minors in Psychology and Sociology in 2012. After receiving her degree, Sabrina worked as the Campus Director for Every Nation Ministries on several college campuses in Tallahassee. She taught staff and student leaders ways to engage students by creating a comfortable atmosphere in which they could explore themselves and gain a faith-based perspective during their formative college years.  Her campus ministry background sparked research interests in the emerging adulthood age and the unique things they deal with in that transition age, from identity formation to loneliness, anxiety and other mental health issues. Another research interest is adoption studies and specifically why couples or singles choose adoption as the route to starting their families. In her spare time, Sabrina enjoys cooking, watching her favorite television shows, and traveling with friends.

Salwa Shan is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student who was born and raised in Maryland. She graduated with a dual degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in Biology and Secondary Education, along with an Honors Citation upon completion of the Gemstone Program. Throughout her time in college, she participated in a variety of research on campus and at Fort Detrick. After graduating, she served as a High School Science teacher in Prince George's County Public Schools for 3 years. Salwa has been involved in a number of nonprofit and service organizations in her local community and has a passion for mentorship and social justice. Her research interests include adolescents in minority families, immigrant families, resilience in marginalized youth, and adolescent identity formation, especially in Muslim Americans. In her free time, Salwa enjoys painting, running, cooking (and eating) East Asian cuisine, and spending time with her family and friends.

Alexandra Simione is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student originally from Marlboro, New Jersey. She graduated with a Bachelor and Master of Accountancy from The George Washington University. She worked as an auditor with PwC, where she spent time as a Corporate Responsibility Fellow volunteering with the Capital Area Food Bank, Wreaths Across America and the Red Cross. She looks forward to the new volunteering opportunities at UMD. Alexandra continues to work as a treasurer for a nonprofit organization benefiting undergraduate musicians. Her current CFT research interests include open/polyamorous, LGBTQIA+, and alternative lifestyle couples. Alexandra's hobbies include hosting social events with friends, going to DC area museums, trying new restaurants and reading romance novels.

September Stahly is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Maryland. She graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD in 2009 where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. September currently coaches couples with a desire to deepen their relationship through the national organization, Couples Coaching Couples. She obtained Level 1 Gottman Couples Therapy Training. Prior to attending UMD, September was a consultant to therapists transitioning from private practice to running a group practice. September’s research interests include families with teens who struggle with eating disorders as well as adoptive families. Inspired by being a yoga instructor, she also has an interest in the mind-body connection. September is an avid reader, though her focus has shifted from philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Kant to the likes of Sarah J Maas. In her free time, she enjoys traveling abroad with her husband, playing with her dogs, and beekeeping.
Katherine Tomlinson (Tee) is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Western New York. She graduated from Houghton College with a B.A in Intercultural Studies and a B.S in Sociology. After graduating, she worked for a few years as a teacher in a public school and in a Head Start program. After teaching, she moved to Baltimore where she worked for Healthy Families America in Baltimore County as a home visitor providing intervention for families at risk of child abuse or neglect. Most recently, she has worked as a Research Assistant with the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention on the Children Study Their World curriculum project. Her research interests include family interactions with external institutions, parenting style, mental health impacts of climate change, and attachment in families with trauma. Tee enjoys reading, textile arts, trying new foods, and all things outdoors.

Xiaofang Wang Lanterman is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student originally from Anhui, China. She received her Ph.D. in Family Science in 2009 from University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP), a master’s degree in Parenting Education from Beijing Normal University, and a B.A. in School Education (Pedagogy and Psychology) from Anhui Normal University in China. After earning her Ph.D., she worked in a research consulting firm for eight and a half years conducting more than 30 applied social science and education research, survey, and program evaluation projects for the U.S. federal, state, and local governments. She has presented papers at national conferences, completed a dozen reports/issue briefs for the U.S. governments, authored technical proposals for grants and contracts, and managed research teams. As an adjunct faculty, she taught Parenting Today at University of Maryland University College and teaches Asian American Psychology at UMCP. Her current interests include using her research, clinic, and bilingual (English and Mandarin Chinese) skills in addressing depression, PTSD, trauma, child sexual abuse, cross-cultural adjustment, parenting, and education issues for diverse and immigrant population. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, listening to music, swimming, reading, helping with Chinese international students’ ministry, and spending time with her husband and friends.

Amanda Wiggins is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Annapolis, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Intercultural Studies. While there she was involved in multiple research projects in the Child Cognition Lab and the Psychology, Policy and Law Lab, examining risk and protective factors of families that return to the child welfare system. She also interned at the non-profit community centers TRAK: the Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids, and the Divorce Recovery Inc., in Tucson, Arizona. Additionally, she spent a summer working as a research assistant in UMD's Child Stress and Emotions Lab, working on the Preschool Emotions Project (PEP) and the Supporting Parent to Affirm Their Children's Experiences of Sexuality (SPACES) study. Outside of school, Amanda loves cooking, eating, being outdoors, and spending time with friends, family, and her pets.