Assistant Professor Education Programs
Miami CampusEducation Programs
Phone: 305-593-1223 ext. 3165
Biography of Floralba Arbelo
Dr. Floralba Arbelo Marrero, Associate Professor of Education at Carlos Albizu University has been involved in higher education for over twelve years. Dr. Arbelo-Marrero has had the privilege of developing educational programs and collaborating with NGO projects in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and in the U.S. in the areas of immigration policy, curriculum development, social justice programs, instructional design, LMS administration, board governance, strategic planning, and grant writing. Research interests include: the academic persistence of Hispanic nontraditional students, academic persistence at Hispanic Serving Institutions, the socio-cultural factors that affect achievement for Hispanic, and collaborative models across sectors to improve Hispanic student success. Dr. Arbelo-Marrero has earned degrees from Brooklyn College, Milano Graduate School for International Affairs, and a doctorate from Liberty University and has collaborated on research projects with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad del Sagrado Corazon, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Center for New York City Affairs . Dr. Arbelo-Marrero lives in South Florida with her husband Michael and their two children.
Dr. Santana is a Licensed Psychologist in the States of Massachusetts and Florida. He graduated as a psychologist from the University of Havana with concentration in Clinical Psychology. He received his PhD in neuropsychology from Moscow State University where he worked with the renowned professor and researcher Dr. Esther Simernitskaya, head of Pediatric Neuropsychology in Luria’s school. Dr. Santana completed a clinical internship in School Street Counseling Institute in Massachusetts. He has presented at several international conferences and published in neuropsychology of learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders. He is the author of the Neuropsychological Laterality Test. Relevant publications include:
Santana R.A. (2006). El cerebro, la conducta y el aprendizaje, neuropsicología para padres y maestros. Editorial de la Universidad Estatal a Distancia: San José, Costa Rica.
Santana R.A. (2009). Un reto a la validez psicométrica en la evaluación neuropsicológica. Revista de Psicología, Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, 1, 45-56
Santana R.A. (2010). Neuropsicología para padres, maestros y especialistas en el área. Fondo Editorial, Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Lima, Perú.
Santana R.A. (2010). Objetividad y subjetividad en la evaluación neuropsicológica. Editorial Proyectos BiiK, Santo Domingo. República Dominicana.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) division, has awarded AU funding for its Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and Paraprofessionals (BHWET) four-year project (2017-2021). The purpose of this grant is to develop and expand the behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan, including persons in rural, vulnerable, and/or medically underserved areas in integrated care settings.
The Master’s in Psychology Programs department is implementing this grant at AU, Miami Campus, to help to close the gap in access to behavioral healthcare in the communities that we serve in South Florida in partnership with Miami Dade College (MDC). Eligible students in the Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling tracks will receive special training in integrated care and can compete for stipends of $10,000 for the duration of their practicum placement.
For further information please contact,
Program Director: Diana Barroso, EdD at (305) 593-1223, ext. 3143 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marriage and Family Therapy
Lead Coordinator: Irma Barron, PhD at (305) 593-1223, ext. 3128 or at email@example.com
Mental Health Counseling
Lead Coordinator: Tania Diaz, PsyD at (305) 593-1223, ext. 3192 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Coordinator: Ed Heyden, EdD at (305) 593-1223, ext. 3251 or at email@example.com
Associate Professor, received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1968, an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1973. His research interests are assessment and selection.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Biology from the College of Charleston in 1981 and an M.A. in Human Resources Development from Webster University in 1997. Her research interests are performance excellence and organizational management.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Psychology from Union Institute & University in 1994, an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Post-Master’s in School Counseling K-12 from St. Thomas University in 1996, and an Addiction Counselor Certificate from the Addiction Training Institute in 1992. Her research interests are children of immigrants and adaptation vs. loss of cultural identity.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Psychology/Sociology from Queens College in 1979, an M.S. from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from the University of California–Santa Cruz in 1987. His research interests are cross-cultural psychology, race, and psychopathology.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University in 1991, an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from Carlos Albizu University in 2000. Her research interests are neuropsychology, neurological testing and its cultural influences, and vocational rehabilitation.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Clinical Psychology from Universidade Santa Úrsula in 2000, an M.S. in Psychology with a major in Marriage & Family Therapy from Carlos Albizu University in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology from the American Academy of Clinical Sexology at Maimonides University in 2007. Her research interests are clinical and health psychology, stressful life events, mental and physical health outcomes, particularly in the area of women’s health, and empirical research on the interrelationship between psychology and spirituality to better understand the role of spirituality in physical and mental health.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. from St. Thomas University in 1984, an M.S. from the Miami Institute of Psychology in 1986, and a Ph.D. from the Miami Institute of Psychology in 1990. His research interests are new medications and their application and social issues.
Professor and Practicum Coordinator, received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Delaware in 1972, an M.Ed. in College Counseling and Student Personnel from the University of Delaware in 1974, and a Ed.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia in 1977. His research interests are forensic psychology, forensic issues, and hypnosis.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Social Welfare from Florida International University in 2001, an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Thomas University in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2009. Her research interests are blended family dynamics and stepfathers’ roles.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Speech Arts from Hofstra University in 1967, an M.A. in Counseling from Manhattan College in 1975, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 1984. Her research interests are attention deficit, hyperactive children and adolescents, and addictive behaviors of children and adults.
Assistant Professor and Practicum Coordinator, received a B.A. in Psychology from Bellarmine University in 1972, an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville in 1975, and an Ed.D. in Education with majors in Organizational and Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2014. Her research interests are grants and funding for higher education, transitions to college of non-traditional students, and strategies for engagement of online students.
Professor and Practicum Coordinator, received a B.S. in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 1993, an M.S. in General Psychology from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in 1995, and a Psy.D in Clinical Psychology from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in 1999. Her research interests are multicultural issues and the psychological and social development of children reared in a same-gender family matrix.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University in 1988, an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 1991, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in 1999. His research interest is bereavement issues in child development.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Psychology from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in 1992 and an M.S. in Psychology with majors in School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in 1994. Her research interests are depression, anxiety, and anger management.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Hawaii in 1978 and an M.S.W. from Florida International University in 1990. His research interests are dependency; mental health counseling; and continuing education.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Psychology from Barry University in 1988, an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 1991, a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology from Carlos Albizu University in 2001, and an M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology from Nova Southeastern University in 2009. His research interests are pediatric neuropsychology and neurorehabilitative treatment; neuropsychopharmacological treatment for mental illness; psychoneuroimmunology and stress-related illnesses; and negative environmental influences and their impact on behavioral issues.
Professor and Practicum Coordinator, received a B.S in Psychology from Barry University in 1994, an M.S in Counseling with a dual major in Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Barry University in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2008. Her research interests are Bowenian approaches and other multigenerational therapies to case staffing and consultation and qualitative research.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.S in Psychology from Bhopal University, India, in 1971, an M.S. in Sociology from Bhopal University, India, in 1973, an M.A. in Applied Psychology from Long Island University, Conolly College, in 1979, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in 1994. His research interests are the history of ethnicity and cultural differences.
Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan College in 1995, an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2002, and an M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in 2012. Her research interests are training and talent management, followership, and leadership.
Professor and Practicum Coordinator, received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Miami in 1987, an M.S.W. from Florida International University in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Florida International University in 1994. Her research interests are assessment centers, selection, legal issues, leadership, and teams/work groups.
Director of the Master in Psychology Programs and Professor, received a B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University in 1990, an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in 1992, an M.S. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Carlos Albizu University in 2007, and an Ed.D. in Education with majors in Organizational and Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2011. Her research interests are leadership, mentoring, professional development, academic resilience, psychotherapy outcomes, trauma-based disorders, and cross-cultural and minority issues.
Dr. Maria Perez-Abalo, Adjunct Professor, received an M.D. from the University of Havana in 1976, Medical Specialization in Pathological and Normal Physiology (Clinical Neurophysiology) from the Cuban Ministry of Health in 1978 and 1999, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the National Center for Scientific Research, Havana, in 1988. Her research interests are research methodologies; neuroanatomy; and neuropsychological studies. Relevant publications include:
Perez-Abalo, M., Gaya, J., Savio, G., Perera, M., Ponce de Leon, M., Sanchez, M., Rodriguez, E. (2009). A 25-year review of Cuba’s Screening Program for early detection of hearing loss. MEDICC Review (International Journal of Cuban Health & Medicine), 11 (1): 21-8.
Perez-Abalo, M. (2008). Chapter IV: Elements of Psychophysiology. In Alvarez, M. ed. Principles of Neurosciences for Psychologists. Felix Varela Publishing, Havana.
Savio, G. & Perez-Abalo, M. (2007). Chapter Ten: Auditory Steady-State Responses and Hearing Screening. In Rance, G. ed. The Auditory Steady-State Response: Generation, Recording, and Clinical Application. Plural Publishing, San Diego, California.
Savio, G., Perez-Abalo, M., Gaya, J., Hernandez, O., Mijares, E. (2005). Test accuracy and prognostic validity of multiple auditory steady state responses for targeted hearing screening. International Journal of Audiology, 45 (2): 109-120).
Picton, T.W., Dimitrijevick, A., Perez-Abalo, M., Van Roon, P. (2005). Estimating audiometric thresholds using auditory steady state responses. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 16: 140-146.
Dr. Regina Melchor-Beaupre, Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami in 1984, an M.S. in General Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in 1992, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in 1998. Her research interests are health psychology and stress-related issues.
Dr. Francisco Sastre is a social scientist and public health researcher. He graduated from Florida International University (FIU) in 2011 with a Ph.D. in Comparative Sociology, specializing in Medical Anthropology. Dr. Sastre’s career has focused on HIV disparities research and on the improvement of public health services. His work linking health research and quality improvement began in 2002, when he led the evaluation of the HIV/AIDS programs at the Latino Health Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. Since then, Dr. Sastre has provided guidance to public health organizations throughout the United States in the area of research and evaluation to improve health services to minority communities. Since moving to Florida in 2005, Dr. Sastre completed graduate fellowship training at FIU’s Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse, where he advanced his research on the intersection of culture and illness to improve access to and retention in care among Latinos living with HIV/AIDS. Most recently, he served as the Director of Quality Management and Improvement at Behavioral Science Research Corporation, where he led the team responsible for the quality management of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, Part A, in Miami-Dade County. Dr. Sastre has published several peer-reviewed articles on the intersection of culture and illness, HIV health disparities, and risk behavior among Latino immigrants.
Dr. Louise B. Silverstein, Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Political Sciences from Sophie Newcomb College in 1967, an M.A. in Educational Psychology from New York University in 1972, an M.S. with Certification in School Psychology from New York University in 1976, and a Ph.D. in School Psychology from New York University in 1981. Her interests are research in fatherhood, family therapy, and qualitative research. Relevant publications include:
Auerbach, C. F. & Silverstein, L. B. Qualitative data. An introduction to coding and analysis. Second Edition. New York: New York University Press. Manuscript in preparation.
Silverstein, L. B., Hidayatallah, N., Stolerman, M., Cohen, L., McDonald, T., Walsh, C. A., Marion, R. W., Dolan, S. M. Paljevic, E., Marion, R. W., Wasserman, D., Dolan. S. M. (2014). Translating advances in cardiogenetics into effective clinical practice. Qualitative Health Research, Published online 11 August 2014, DOI: 10.1177/1049732314546754
Silverstein, L. B. & Auerbach, C. F. (2009). Comment. Using Qualitative Research to Develop Culturally Competent Evidence Based Practice. American Psychologist, 64, 274-275.
Silverstein, L. B. & Auerbach, C. F. (2008). Qualitative Research: Bridging the Gap between Science and Practice, New York State Psychologist, 13-16.
Silverstein, L. B., Auerbach, C. F., &, Levant, R. F. (2006). Using qualitative research to enhance clinical practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37, 351-358.
Dr. Eshagh Shehniyilagh, Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 1979, an M.S. in General Psychology from Tennessee State University in 1991, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Tennessee State University in 2000. His research interests are test construction and multiculturalism in psychology.
Dr. Christian F. Schoepp, Adjunct Professor, received a B.A. in Political Science from Florida International University in 2004, an M.A. in Public Administration from Florida International University in 2006; a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University in 2014, and Certificates in Human Resource Management and Conflict Resolution between 2006-2010. His research interests are E-learning; social media; and conflict resolution.
Dr. Steven L. Proctor, Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Psychology from Appalachian State University in 2007, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Western Carolina University in 2009; and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University in 2014. His research interests are evaluating addiction assessment procedures, instruments, and treatment services; and underlying mechanisms of problematic substance use that may influence or mediate treatment outcomes. Relevant publications include:
Proctor, S. L., Wainwright, J. L., Herschman, P. L., & Kopak, A. M. (2017). AiRCare: A naturalistic evaluation of the effectiveness of a protracted telephone-based recovery assistance program on continuing care outcomes. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 73, 9–15. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2016.10.003
Proctor, S. L., Wainwright, J. L., & Herschman, P. L. (2017). Patient adherence to multi-component continuing care discharge plans. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 80, 52-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2017.07.003
Proctor, S. L., Wainwright, J. L., & Herschman, P. L. (2017). Importance of short-term continuing care plan adherence on long-term outcomes among patients discharged from residential substance use treatment. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 43, 734–741. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2017.1329315
Proctor, S. L., Kopak, A. M., & Hoffmann, N. G. (2014). Cocaine use disorder prevalence: From current DSM-IV to proposed DSM-5 diagnostic criteria with both a two and three severity level classification system. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 563–567. doi: 10.1037/a0033369
Proctor, S. L., Estroff, T. W., Empting, L. D., Shearer-Williams, S., & Hoffmann, N. G. (2013). Prevalence of substance use and psychiatric disorders in a highly select chronic pain population. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 7, 17–24. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e318273863a
Dr. Rafael Martínez,
Received a B.A. in Anthropology/Psychology from the University of Florida in 1972, an M.A. in Psychological Anthropology from the University of Florida in 1979, an M.S. in Adult Education and Human Resources Development from Florida International University in 1990, and an Ed.D. in Adult Education and Human Resources Development from Florida International University in 1996. His research interest is cross-cultural issues.
Dr. Edel Lemus, Adjunct Professor, received a B.S. in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University in 2007, an M.I.B.A. in International Business from Nova Southeastern University in 2009, and a D.B.A. in Accounting from Argosy University in 2015. His research interests include accounting, finance, and international business. Relevant publications include:
Lemus, E. (2016). Resistance to Changes in Financial Reporting Standards. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Lemus, E. (2015). IFRS Qualitative Research Study Approach. In Interactivity and Social Networks (pp. 496-513). West Palm Beach: Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences Press (JAPSS Press) and Grupo de Investigacion Concilium, Universidad Complutense (Madrid, Spain).
Otto, F., Palwal, D., Rivero, O., Orta, M., & Lemus, E. (March, 2015). Exploring the Possible Role of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy for the Economic Empowerment of Women.
Lemus, E. & Orta, A., M. (February, 2015). The Unprecedented Business Ethical Dilemma in the World Financial Markets. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: D, Volume 15, Issue 1.
Lemus, E. & Orta, A., M. (February, 2015). Leading Innovation Change in Today’s Competitive Environment. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: A, Volume 15, Issue 2.
Dr. Sharrie R. Dean,
Received a B.S. in Professional Studies from Barry University in 1985, an M.S. in Education from Nova Southeastern University in 1990, a Ph.D. in Curriculum Design from Union Institute and University in 1997, and Certificates in Educational Leadership, Reading, and ESOL Endorsement between 1990-1997. Her research interests are distance learning and reading.
Dr. Irene M. Bravo, Professor and Program Director, completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at Florida International University (FIU) in 1990 and received a Ph.D. in Developmental and Clinical Psychology in 1998. Dr. Bravo completed a pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Miami Heart Institute and post-doctoral work at Escovar and Associates, Inc. She is a licensed psychologist and maintains a private practice in Miami, Florida. Her research interests include lifespan anxiety and somatic symptomatology; marital infidelity; and prevention strategies for youth at risk. Relevant publications include:
Bravo, I. M., & Noya, M. (2014). Culture in prenatal development: Parental attitudes, availability of care, expectations, values, and nutrition. Child & Youth Care Forum,43, 521-538 doi:10.1007/s10566-014-9251-4.
Bravo, I. M., & Roca, C. S. (2013). Assessing somatoform disorders in the Hispanic client (pp. 293-307). In L. T. Benuto (Ed.) Guide to psychological assessment with Hispanics. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co.
Bravo, I. M., & Lumpkin, P. (2010). The complex case of marital infidelity: An explanatory model of contributory processes to facilitate psychotherapy. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 38, 421-432.
Silverman, W.K., & Bravo, I. M. (2003). Childhood therapies that help: A much needed resource. Contemporary Psychology, 48, 280–284.
Bravo, I. M., & Silverman, W. K. (2001). Anxiety sensitivity, anxiety, and depression in older patients and their relation to hypochondriacal concerns and medical illnesses. Aging and Mental Health, 5, 349-357.
Dr. Evangelina Alonso,
Received a B.S. in Psychology from the Miami Institute of Psychology in 1994 and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in 1999. Her research interests are multicultural psychology; physiological psychology; neuropsychology; forensic psychology; and child and adolescent psychology.
Elsa Gonzalez, M.S.
ESOL Program Coordinator
Elsa Gonzalez completed her higher education degrees at Albizu University, Miami Campus, where she has been employed for the past 20 years. In 2005, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, including an ESOL endorsement. She also earned two master’s degrees, both with Distinction: a master’s degree in education with a major in TESOL in 2007 and a master’s degree in psychology with a major in school counseling in 2011. She completed TESOL practicum at various public schools in the Miami area and school counseling practicum at Shelton Academy, a private K-12 academy in Doral.
Elsa began her Albizu University career in 2003 as a teaching assistant for undergraduate psychology courses and has been teaching ESOL courses at Albizu for more than a decade. She has taught psychology courses at the undergraduate level, including Foundations of Psychology, Psychology as Literature, Learning Memory and Cognition, Professional Writing, Professional Speaking, and various cross-cultural courses. In December 2014, Elsa was promoted to ESOL program coordinator. In 2016, she redesigned the ESOL program, adding three more levels to the already existing six-level program, an action that was approved without a single correction by monitoring and accrediting organizations such as the Commission for Independent Education, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
She is a member of Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology; Sunshine State TESOL; and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. She is also a member of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and received a certificate signed by Rosa Parks. Elsa’s name is displayed on the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama.
Her principal research interests include immigrants learning ESOL, diversity, and cross-cultural studies, including alternative assessment and curriculum. At present, she teaches ESOL endorsement courses for the undergraduate education program.
Yamila Lezcano is an Assistant Professor in the Undergraduate Education Program at Albizu University. She has been in Higher Education for the past 10 years. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University, and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has her private practice in the Miami area. She has over 10 years of experience in the Infant Mental Health Field and Early Childhood Developmental Disorders, with special interest in Autism. She has had the opportunity to train with experts in the field of Autism from the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders; where she received training in various modalities such as DIR and ABA to therapeutically work with individuals diagnosed with ASD. In addition, she has training in Parent-Child Psychotherapy and holds several certifications in the field of Infant and Maternal Mental Health. she worked for 9 years at the University of Miami, Pediatrics Department, holding several positions while serving diverse populations, from drug dependency court clients, foster care, developmental disabilities to young children and their families. In her last years with the University of Miami, she worked as a Supervisor for the UM Developmental Care Program, which provided developmental screenings and therapy to the 0-3-year population in our community.
Junior Research Associate
Institutional Center for Scientific Research
Phone: Ext. 3233
Biography of Amy Ellis
Dr. Amy E. Ellis is a Junior Research Associate at Albizu University-Miami Campus. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University (NSU). During her doctoral education, she received intensive training at the Trauma Resolution and Integration Program (TRIP), a community mental health center clinic that applies a contextual approach to treating and understanding survivors of prolonged childhood sexual and physical abuse. Prior to NSU, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Adelphi University and her undergraduate degree from Hofstra University. Dr. Ellis completed her predoctoral internship at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, a Harvard University affiliate, and completed her postdoctoral residency at The Renfrew Center of Coconut Creek.
Dr. Ellis’ research focuses on trauma-related disorders and more specifically, the role of attachment theory in the context of the therapeutic relationship, as well as the implications of social and peer support in symptomotology. She is also interested in understanding psychologists’ advocacy efforts and potential barriers to their participation in the field. Dr. Ellis also serves on the Editorial Board for two APA journals: Professional Psychology: Theory & Practice and Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy. She is also the Editor of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29) website and is the Co-Chair for the Task Force on Web-Based Resources for the Trauma Psychology Division (APA Division 56). In addition to her work at Albizu University, Dr. Ellis has a private practice specializing in co-occurring trauma and eating disorders and also works as a statistical design and research consultant.
Dr. Miriam J. Rodriguez completed her undergraduate studies at Florida International University in 2002. An M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology concentration) were obtained at Nova Southeastern University in 2013. Dr. Rodriguez completed a health psychology internship at Broward Health Medical Center and a neuropsychology postdoctoral fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Her clinical training focused on the areas of neuropsychology, health, and rehab psychology. She is currently licensed as a clinical psychologist in the State of Florida and engages in neuropsychological evaluation of individuals who have neurological, developmental, or medical conditions that affect cognition and behavior. Dr. Rodriguez’ research interests lie primarily with neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She has presented at several national conferences and has published peer-reviewed manuscripts predominately focused on the early identification of AD diagnosis, the distinction between different types of dementia (i.e. Lewy Body disease vs AD), and the identification of multicultural factors that account for differences in the manifestation of AD symptoms among Hispanics. Her methods of study include examination of neuropsychological performance and neuroimaging techniques such as MRI and amyloid PET scan. She continues to conduct nationally funded research in this area at Albizu University.
Dr. Kristen Farrell-Turner graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2000 with a B.A. in Psychology and then completed an M.S. in Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology concentration) at the University of Michigan in 2002. In 2005, Dr. Farrell-Turner began predoctoral studies in the Health Psychology track at the University of Miami, earning an M.S. in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2011. She completed a clinical internship at Citrus Health Network, Inc. in Doral, Florida, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Healthcare System, Bruce W. Carter Medical Center (Consult and Liaison, Integrated Health/Patient Aligned Care Teams) in Miami, Florida. Her research interests lie primarily in health psychology and behavioral medicine, specifically in inflammation and its relationship with both medical/chronic disease outcomes and adverse psychosocial outcomes. Chronic diseases of particular interest include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Also of particular interest are the numerous ways physical activity benefits both physiological and psychological functioning across the lifespan. Dr. Farrell-Turner has published several peer-reviewed articles on gestational diabetes and resultant child health, the relationship between inflammatory markers and psychosocial functioning, psychosocial functioning and medication adherence among individuals with heart failure, and the interactions of physiological and psychological factors in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Dr. Yalemni Luna DeLaurier completed an undergraduate education at Fordham University Lincoln Center with a B.S. in Psychology. She earned both an M.S. and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Luna DeLaurier completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at Citrus Health Network. Subsequently, she completed a postdoctoral residency in the Child Crisis Stabilization Unit at the same site. After the residency, Dr. Luna DeLaurier worked in private practice, facilitating therapy to clients throughout the lifespan. She is licensed as a psychologist in the State of Florida. Dr. Luna DeLaurier’s research interests revolve around risk and resiliency factors in families. Specifically, she is interested in exploring resiliency factors among minority families as well as the transitions made during the divorce process. She is also interested in child and adolescent acting out behaviors and in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Luna DeLaurier is an assistant professor in the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program. In addition to academia, she has a private practice that focuses on child and adolescent psychotherapy and assessment.
Dr. Samantha Behbahani completed a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Nova Southeastern University in 2008. She completed an APA-accredited clinical internship at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2008 with an emphasis in medical psychology and went on to complete a one-year fellowship in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. Additionally, she holds a postdoctoral master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology from Nova Southeastern University, with clinical training for this program completed at two practica sites, South Florida State Hospital/GEO Care, and the University of Miami Division of Psychiatry (Consultation-Liaison Service). She maintains hospital privileges at three hospitals, where she serves as a consultant on a variety of medical teams. Additionally, she is involved in four ongoing clinical trials within the Division of Cardiology, where her role is evaluating the ongoing neuropsychological function of clinical trial patients. She has been a full-time faculty member in the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program at Albizu University since 2009, is director of the Health Psychology concentration, supervises doctoral projects, and serves as an instructor for a variety of courses.
Dr. Scott M. Hyman, a licensed clinical psychologist, earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 2003 after completing his predoctoral internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology/Boston VA Healthcare System. (Rotations included the VA Outpatient Clinics, Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program, Crisis Stabilization Clinic, and National Center for PTSD). From 2003 to 2009, Dr. Hyman was at the Yale University School of Medicine, first as a NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellow and then as a faculty-level associate research scientist. He was the project director for a phase II clinical trial designed to test the efficacy of using lofexidine to enhance naltrexone treatment for opioid addiction. He was also a member of the Yale Stress Center and Interdisciplinary Research Consortium on Stress, Self-Control, and Addiction (IRCSSA), which conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research to examine the biological and psychological mechanisms underlying human responses to stress and the role of self-control in driving unhealthy and addictive behaviors. His scholarly work has been primarily concerned with understanding the links between stress, traumatic stress, coping styles, drug cravings, and the course of substance use disorders, and he has authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in this area. In addition to his scholarly activities, he also served as a clinician, educator, and supervisor, providing psychotherapy to substance dependent individuals at the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit (SATU) of the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) and teaching medical students and supervising psychology interns at Yale University. From 2013-2016, he served as a part-time research scientist within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, directing NIH-funded medication trials for substance addictions. He has been a professor in the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program at Albizu University from 2009 to the present and has also served as the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) chairperson.
Institutional Speech-Language Pathology Program Director
Dr. Alcaraz obtained her Master degree in speech-language pathology from Syracuse University in 1988 and graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology degree in 2011. She completed her post-clinical fellowship at the University of Maryland Hospital Shock Trauma Center. She has the certificate of clinical competence (CCC) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in speech-language pathology. Dr. Alcaraz is certified in VitalStim, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, Langmore Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, and Speech Pathology Telepractice (accredited training course by the American Telemedicine Association).
Dr. Alcaraz has held leadership positions in skilled nursing facilities and private practice in Florida where she performed speech-language pathology and dysphagia evaluations and interventions to adolescents, adults, and elderlies with cancer, tracheostomy, ventilator dependent, pulmonary diseases, and neurogenic disorders. In addition, she has held positions with Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando, FL (Developmental Center for Infants and Toddlers and Early Steps Program) and Seminole County Public Schools, Sanford, FL (Pre-K and Bilingual Diagnostic Team) where she performed speech-language pathology and bilingual evaluations. She was in the evaluation team with Presence Learning where she provided bilingual and monolingual evaluations in the States of Texas and California through Telepractice. Dr. Alcaraz has provided international community services in Mexico, Guatemala, and Dominican Republic.
She is an Associate Professor for the undergraduate and graduate Speech-Language Pathology Programs at Carlos Albizu University, Miami, FL, San Juan & Mayaguez, PR. She teaches several courses in the areas of Dysphagia in Children and Adults, Neurogenic Disorders in Adults, and Research Methodology. Dr. Alcaraz is a Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in the States of Florida, Texas, California, and Puerto Rico. Her research interests include neurogenic disorders in adults, dysphagia in children and adults, motor speech disorders in children and adults, early intervention, bilingualism and multicultural aspects in speech-language pathology.
Dr. Alcaraz is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She has received the Award for Continuing Education by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and National Distinguished Service Registry in Speech, Language, and Hearing.
Jenna Luque, D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Luque received a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Florida and an M.A. in Linguistics from Northwestern University. With many years of clinical experience working with the pediatric population, Dr. Luque’s clinical focus is on accent modification. Her research focuses on clear speech and best practices in accent modification. Previously, Dr. Luque was a visiting instructor at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. She has presented at various state and national conferences and is a co-author of the Hands-on Phonetics series.
Francine Hamel, Ed.D., CCC-SLP
Clinical Coordinator, M.S. in Speech and Language Pathology
Dr. Hamel earned an Ed.D. in Child Development in 1987, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Varying Exceptionalities in 1979, and an M.S. in Speech and Language Pathology in 1976. She is licensed as a speech and language pathologist in the State of Florida. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence awarded by the Council for Clinical Certification of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is Board Certified in Special Education. She holds the distinction of being one of only four PROMPT Certified therapists in the state of Florida. Dr. Hamel is a consultant for the Cherab Foundation, which focuses on verbal apraxia, and advised on the development of the documentary Late Talkers, Silent Speakers. She is also a consultant and distance therapist for the Marigolds Akola Achievement Program for Inclusive Education, Kampala, Uganda. Dr. Hamel has worked as a rehabilitation director and clinical director as well as in private practice. Her research interest is childhood apraxia of speech and its effects on communication and social development.
Sheri Feldman, Ed.D., CCC-SLP
Program Coordinator, M.S. in Speech and Language Pathology
Dr. Feldman is a speech-language pathologist certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensed in the state of Florida. Dr. Feldman received an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University in 1998, an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University in 1989, and a B.A. in Speech, Language and Hearing from the University of Miami in 1978. Dr. Feldman has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for over 30 years. She has experience working with both children and adults in a variety of settings, including rehabilitation centers, Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) centers, therapy clinics, schools, and private practice. Dr. Feldman has served as rehabilitation director in several work settings and has also served as an adjunct professor in the community. In addition to her vast experience in numerous settings, Dr. Feldman has also presented workshops at conferences at the local and regional levels. She has served on local committees supporting children and adults with special needs and continues to serve on committees in the community.