Couple and Family Therapy Students

Oloruntoyosi Alomaja is a first-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.

Gabriela Barber is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters 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.  

Zachary Berman is a first-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.

Crystel Britto is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student 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 second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters 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.  

Kathryn DeYoung is a first-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.

Stefania Gheorghiu is a second-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.  

Jennifer Lee is a first-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student and a native to Northern Virgina. 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.

Emma Levin is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student 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.
Stephanie Martinez is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters 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.

Trenton Morell is a first-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.

ElexisO'Neill Elexis O'Neill is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student. 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.

Sabrina Roc is a first-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.

Elena Sanchez Dominguez is a second-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.
Jannel Thomas is a second-year Couple and Family Therapy Masters student. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Family Science from the University of Maryland. She has worked in the non-profit sector as a Respite Program Coordinator for active-duty military families who have children with special needs. Her volunteer work includes working as a Call Counselor for a local hotline, volunteering at a local hospice center in the bereavement department, and other community activities. Her research interests include mental health research in minority families, intimate partner violence, trauma, abuse, and improving the quality of interpersonal relationships. Her hobbies include spending time with friends and family, watching various TV shows, Zumba, hiking, and going to the beach.

Xiaofang Wang Lanterman is a first-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.