Couple and Family Therapy Students

Rafee Al-Mansur is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Waldorf, MD. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management at Johns Hopkins University in 2013. As a Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellow, he co-directed a research study on the emergence of African American Muslim communities in Baltimore City, capturing it in a documentary (https://youtu.be/XOaI20E_jyc). After graduation, Rafee co-coordinated an evaluation of a Community Benefits District in Baltimore City under a grant from the Abell Foundation. Apart from academic interests, he loves to launch and manage start-ups and ideas, and typically always has his hands in at least one or three. Rafee also loves listening to people's experiences and helping them find meaning and opportunities in them, no matter the circumstances they find themselves in. He is particularly interested in understanding how people's and society's conception of family changes across history, and as a practicing Muslim, hopes to uncover how this will unfold for the growing multi-cultural body of second-, third-, and fourth-generation Muslim Americans.

 
Gabriela Barber is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy student from Clermont, Florida. She graduated from Princeton University in 2017, with an A.B. in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. During her time as an undergraduate, she was actively involved in several volunteer organizations on campus, volunteered answering calls for a local crisis hotline and the national suicide hotline, worked with other groups on campus and within the community to implement a pilot program at Princeton University for a campus-specific crisis chat service, and completed her senior thesis in a developmental psychology lab. Her current research interests include working with couples as they make the transition to parenthood and work through the challenges and difficulties that can come with this transition, including issues of infertility. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and relaxing.  
Crystel Britto is a master's candidate in the Couple and Family Therapy program from Rockville, Maryland. She earned her A.A. in International Relations from Montgomery College, while in the Montgomery Scholars Program. She also earned her B.A. in International Affairs with concentrations in Global Public Health and Conflict & Security in May 2011. During her time as an undergraduate, she completed her Capstone Project on international water scarcity and conflict issues, and started the UNICEF Campus Initiative to raise funds for international water, sanitation, and hygiene projects in water-scarce areas of the world. She has interned at the Mennonite Central Committee, International Medical Corps and American Red Cross (National Capital Region) focusing on policy and refugee work. She currently works for Montgomery County Government, Department of Health and Human Services as the Quality Assurance Specialist for the Coordination of Community Services Program. She has worked for programs serving those with developmental disabilities for the past four years, helping enable those individuals to integrate into their communities within Montgomery County, Maryland.  
Ashley Copeland is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Master’s student from Christiansburg, Virginia. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Virginia Tech in May 2016. During her time as an undergraduate, Ashley was heavily involved in school service. She was a Resident Advisor, Orientation Leader, as well as a member of the Marching Virginians and many other music ensembles. Outside of these activities, Ashley was dedicated to a research lab centered on prosocial behavior interventions, as well as the Women’s Resource Center, which is a community program providing services to adult and child victims of sexual and domestic violence. Both of these programs became her focus this past year as she worked as the Research Lab Coordinator as well as a Crisis Intervention Intern and Overnight Substitute for the Women’s Resource Center. Outside of academics and work, Ashley enjoys traveling, playing (and listening to) music, snacking, and spending time with family and friends.  
Stefania Gheorghiu is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and French Studies from Smith College in 2017, and spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Geneva in Switzerland during the spring of 2016. Her curiosity for exploring the lengths and limitations of psychological resilience, and the consequences of trauma and other environmental factors on the psyche, has fueled her passion for research. Throughout her undergraduate career she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Nnamdi Pole, whose research focuses on trauma and a variety of related disorders including: PTSD, complex PTSD, police-related PTSD, dissociation, and trauma-specific treatments. In her senior year, Stefania became involved in volunteer work for Safe Passage, a non-profit organization that provides shelter and support to survivors of domestic violence. This experience helped bridged the gap between her research knowledge and clinical practice, which inspired Stefania to pursue a career in Marriage and Family Therapy. At UMD, Stefania plans to continue along the research path, and looks forward to absorbing the wealth of opportunities and knowledge provided by this world-class institution.  

Diamond Greene is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Master’s student from Baltimore, Maryland.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Family Science from the University of Maryland.  During her time as an undergrad, she was a research assistant for the HAIR (Health Advocates in Reach and Research) Project and the Black Families Research Group. Her research interests include child development, parenting in black families, and the impact of incarceration on black families. Her hobbies include cooking, writing, bartending, and spending time with family and friends.

Liza Harbison is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student originally from Olney, MD. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College with a minor in French. Since college, she has served as Creative Communications Manager and teaching assistant at an arts education nonprofit, Senior Project Manager at an education-focused communications agency, and Clinical Mentor for a center that provides mental health services and tutoring to children with behavioral, emotional, and academic issues. Her research and clinical interests include couple communication, depression, anxiety, identity development in minority youth, and animal-assisted therapy. In her free time, Liza enjoys playing with her dog, traveling, cooking vegetarian food, hiking, reading, and photography.

Pam Herrick is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy student from Chevy Chase, MD. She earned a B.S. in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. As an undergraduate Pam spent time working as a buyers assistant for Wilson Leathers, as a market researcher for an Oracle software company and as a manager in a small family-owned business. More recently, she has worked in environmental education and volunteer coordination for a local non-profit. Pam is an active volunteer and currently tutors at a local elementary school. Teaching and helping people to uncover their strengths are part of what drew her to Couple and Family Therapy. Pam’s research interests center around adolescent development and the impact of mobile technology on the development of empathy and family systems She spends her free time with her husband, children and beagle, enjoying the world together.

Katie Hippen is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy M.S. student from Elkridge, Maryland. She earned her B.S. in Family Science from the University of Maryland at College Park, with minors in Human Development and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. In college, Katie worked as a research assistant at the Center on Young Adult Health and Development (CYAHD) and as a research coder at the Couples Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP). She was also an administrative assistant at Laurel Fay & Associates, LLC, a couples and family therapy private practice located in Silver Spring, MD. After undergrad, Katie attended Georgia State University (GSU) where she earned her M.A. in Sociology, with a concentration in Family, Health, and Life Course. Her master's thesis was titled, “Attitudes Toward Marriage and Long-term Relationships Across Emerging Adulthood.” Since returning to Maryland, Katie has continued her work with CYAHD as a graduate research assistant and with Laurel Fay & Associates, LLC as an administrative assistant. She is also currently working as a therapist intern at the Center for Healthy Families. Katie’s research and clinical interests include sexuality, LGBT families, aging, divorce, depression, anxiety, and trauma. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with friends and family, singing, playing guitar, hiking, jogging, canoeing, eating lots of popcorn, crocheting, drinking wine, reading, and playing with her cat, Divina.

Natalie Krenz is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student originally from West Chester Pennsylvania. She completed two undergraduate programs at the Towson University, earning a B.S. in Psychology and Family and Human Services with a track in Service to children and youth. During her undergraduate career, Natalie assisted faculty in research that explored gaming and morality. She also interned at the Kennedy Krieger Child and Family Therapy Clinic where she conducted administrative tasks and observed family therapy in action. It was during this experience where Natalie solidified her desire to pursue a future in family therapy. Natalie’s research interests include family roles and military families, specifically those affected with PTSD. In her free time, Natalie enjoys baking, spending time outside, crocheting and attempting to solve Sudoku puzzles.
Emma Levin is a first-year student in the Couple and Family Therapy program from Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Emma completed a research thesis using data from the Harvard Study of Adult Development to examine marital satisfaction in first and second marriages, which remains a research interest of hers. Her other research and clinical interests include families with children who are queer or trans, mixed families, and couple communication. In her free time, Emma reads, watches stand-up comedy, and spends time with friends and family.
Naomi LeVine is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy student from Seminole, Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida, earning a B.S. in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. During her time as an undergraduate, Naomi interned at a domestic violence outreach center, leading support groups for children and teenagers who were victims of or had been exposed to domestic violence. She also spent four years as a camp counselor, working in both youth and family overnight camp settings. Her current research interests include couple communication, intimate partner violence, sibling relationships, and family resilience. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, singing, playing guitar and ukulele, and spending time with friends and family.
Wilson Llerena is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student from Adelphi, MD. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at Salisbury University in 2014. During his undergraduate career, Wilson volunteered twice a week at the local elementary school tutoring children through his Sociology program, and spent the last 3 years of his undergraduate career mentoring incoming freshman at Salisbury University through the Office of Multicultural Student Services, helping them transition to the college environment. For his dedication to the program, Wilson was awarded The A.K. Talbot Leadership Award for his service to the student body. After graduation, Wilson worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area as the Program Coordinator for Prince George's County, MD for nearly 2 years before leaving to pursue his Masters at UMD. He enjoys singing, playing volleyball, and cheering on his Washington Redskins every Sunday after Church at noon. Growing up right around the corner from campus, Wilson has always wanted to be a Maryland Terrapin, and now his dream has become a reality.
Jordan Madison (GA for the Center of Academic Success and Achievement) is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Brooklyn, New York.  She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College in May 2016.  While at Spelman she was president of a mental health organization called PEPers (Peer Education Programmers), which aimed to reduce the mental health stigma on campus. She was also the community service chair in the campus chapter of her sorority, participated in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Assistant Program, and was a member of Psi Chi International Honors Society and the Honors Program at Spelman. Now at the University of Maryland, she is excited to learn and grow from her training in the Couple and Family Therapy program.  Her clinical interests are in reducing the stigma around mental health in minorities and maintaining healthier couple and family relationships.  Ultimately, she aims to have a private practice dedicated to healing others and building stronger families. She sees family as the foundation, and believes having healthier families would lead to having healthier individuals.  Her hobbies include listening to music, reading, yoga, shopping, spending time with family and friends, knitting and watching movies.
Stephanie Martinez is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy student from El Paso, Texas. She graduated from American University in May 2016, earning a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Marketing. During her time as an undergraduate, Stephanie volunteered at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Family Place in Washington, D.C. She interned at The Child and Family Network Centers, where she shadowed social workers as they conducted psycho-social analyses on parents and family members of students in the Alexandria area and analyzed how parent-child interactions affect kindergarten-aged children in the classroom. Stephanie's current research interests focus on marital and couple relationships within Latino immigrant communities. In her free time, she likes eating new foods, watching Netflix documentaries and laughing with her roommate.
Jasmine Mauss is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy student from Thousand Oaks, California. She earned her B.A in psychology from San Diego State University, with minors in Public Health and Counseling and Social Change. In her undergraduate studies, Jasmine worked as a Psychology Peer Advisor where she helped students assess their career goals and plan their future. She also volunteered at a facility called Corner Clubhouse, where she provided services for clients with Axis I mental illness. Over the summer, Jasmine spent her time as a teaching assistant, providing care for children with autism and other mental illnesses. Some of Jasmine’s interests include couple relationships, meditation and mindfulness, as well as substance abuse. Her hobbies include painting, reading, writing, traveling, and yoga
ElexisO'Neill Elexis O'Neill is a first-year Master’s student in the Couple’s and Family Therapy program. After growing up on a farm in North Texas, Elexis attended Pomona College, a small liberal arts school in California. At Pomona, she majored in Psychology while babysitting and volunteering. Her thesis researched the moderating effect of resilience and self-compassion on the relation between traumatic experiences and empathy. Elexis has a soft spot for children and animals; her best weekends are spent finding the fuzziest and friendliest petting zoos in the DMV.
Elena Sanchez Dominguez is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student. Originally from Seville, Spain, Elena earned a B.A. in Marketing and a master’s degree in Administration. After a few years working as a Coordinator of Business Management and Management Consultant, she decided to go back to college to study business. She began working for the Spanish government in Afghanistan in 2007. She was transferred to Washington, DC in 2008, where she has lived since then. In her free time, Elena enjoys traveling, hiking in the Shenandoah, lifting weights, zumba, reading and spending time with friends.
Liann Seiter is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy student from Tempe, Arizona. She earned a B.S. in Marriage, Family, and Human Development and a M.S. in Sociology from Brigham Young University. As an undergrad Liann conducted research in India on arranged marriages; as a master’s student she returned to India to study emerging adulthood. Since graduation she has worked as a researcher and technical assistance provider at American Institutes for Research, a nonprofit behavioral and social science research and evaluation organization in the DC area. Liann has a passion for helping individuals to tune into their own through massage therapy and yoga classes. She has also enjoyed supporting women during labor and delivery as part of her work as a birth doula.
Rolonda Williams is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy master's student and graduate assistant from Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her B.S. from Mary Baldwin University in Virginia, where she majored in Psychology with an emphasis in mental health. She's worked previously as a teaching assistant, a library assistant and resident advisor. While volunteering at the local senior center, Rolonda also held leadership positions on campus like African Student Collective, the campus step and dance team captain, Educational Policy Committee, Black Student Alliance, and chairwoman for Minority Clubs United. Additionally, Rolonda was heavily involved in various academic roles, receiving awards/ scholarships such as the Library Research award, C. Perry McNair Study Abroad Scholarship (study abroad trip to Haiti) and earning membership to Alpha Lambda Delta, Who's Who Award, Global Honors Scholar, Psi Chi and Omicron Delta Kappa. Rolonda conducted research on the relationship between racial attitudes and abnormal behavior during her undergraduate years and wants to continue with research involving minority families, immigration and low-income families. In her free time, Rolonda loves to travel, sleep and find new places to dine.