Dr. Samantha Airhart-Larraga has a PhD in counselor education and supervision from the University of Texas at San Antonio, an MA in counseling from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and a BA in psychology from the University of Texas at Brownsville (now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley). She is a National Certified Counselor since 2005, a Licensed Professional Counselor (Texas) since 2005, and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (Texas) since 2000. Dr. Airhart-Larraga has over 15 years of experience as a mental health counselor serving people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds—primarily those of a Hispanic background. She has also worked in the substance abuse field for over 20 years. Dr. Airhart-Larraga worked in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, a mental health professional shortage area, as a counselor and clinical supervisor. Additionally, she has worked in various agencies and settings in San Antonio, Texas, and Austin, Texas. Dr. Airhart-Larraga is fluent in Spanish and has focused on providing bilingual counseling services to underserved clients in Texas using cognitive behavioral therapy and person-centered therapy. Dr. Airhart-Larraga currently works as an assistant professor in the counseling and psychology department of Texas A&M University – Central Texas in Killeen, Texas.
Shannon Kratky is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in Texas. She holds a Master of Science degree in clinical mental health counseling from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and addiction from Texas Tech University. She owns and operates a private practice in San Antonio, Texas (Courageous Story Counseling, PLLC), where she specializes in treating complex/developmental trauma, addiction, neurodiversity, and LGBTQIA+ needs. At UTSA, Ms. Kratky was an NBCC Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors Fellow , where she committed to providing services for underserved and never-served populations. She also trained in providing neurofeedback and biofeedback and served as the president of the Neurofeedback Society of UTSA.
Ms. Kratky has worked in the field of mental health since 2009, when she started her career as a special education teacher for students experiencing behavioral and mental health concerns. She has worked in multiple settings throughout her career in mental health, including employment with the local Rape Crisis Center, the National Drug and Alcohol Study, behavioral health care services in hospital settings, and in residential and outpatient centers treating substance use and mental health concerns. She is trained in EMDR and utilizes this evidence-based, mind–body therapeutic modality to help clients experiencing anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and other “disturbances” in their lives. Ms. Kratky currently serves on a committee with NAADAC (The Association for Addiction Professionals) to advocate for the needs of her fellow humans who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Dr. Keith Klostermann is a marriage and family therapist at Wheatfield Pediatrics and core faculty in the clinical mental health counseling program at Walden University. Dr. Klostermann also serves as the Director of Education and Competence for the International Center for Clinical Excellence (ICCE), an international think tank focused on continuously reviewing and disseminating research about what works in therapy. He is an internationally recognized expert in the use of Behavioral Couples Therapy for Substance Use Disorders (BCT-SUD). Dr. Klostermann is licensed as both a mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist, is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and certified family therapist (CFT). The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) recognizes Dr. Klostermann as a Fellow in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Education and Research and Diplomate and Clinical Mental Counseling Specialist in Couples and Family Counseling, Child and Adolescent Counseling, and Military Counseling.
With over 30 years of experience in culturally and linguistically appropriate behavioral health treatment and prevention, Dr. Pierluigi Mancini is one of the most sought after national and international consultants and speakers on the subject of mental health and addiction. His areas of expertise are immigrant behavioral health and health disparities. Dr. Mancini founded Georgia’s only Latino behavioral health program in 1999 to serve the immigrant population by providing cultural and linguistically appropriate mental health and addiction treatment and prevention services in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. He recently led a project to train clinicians in Latin America who are taking care of the over 4 million displaced Venezuelans arriving in Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Brazil, Panamá, and other countries.
Dr. Mancini’s public service announcement and documentaries have won a combined six Emmy awards. He has been honored with the National Latina/o Psychological Association Star Vega Distinguished Service Award and the Mental Health America “Heroes in the Fight” Award, among others. Dr. Mancini is also the chair of the Georgia Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council and has recently been appointed to the Mental Health America National Board of Directors. He serves on the Board of Directors of Wellstar Hospital and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse.
Herbert Sablan has gained professional experience working in the social service system for 14 years. He initially worked in Maricopa County, Arizona, and he then transitioned to working in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). Mr. Sablan earned his Bachelor’s of Social Work from Arizona State University in 2007 and his Master of Social Work degree from Walden University in 2017.
Since 2010, Mr. Sablan has pursued efforts to provide direct services to adults and youth affected by substance use disorders. He previously served as the clinical supervisor for the Treatment and Recovery Clinic at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation’s Community Guidance Center. In this role, Mr. Sablan was able to help facilitate a pathway of health, wellness, and recovery for individuals and families empowered to take charge of their journey. In addition to direct service delivery, Mr. Sablan was able to successfully manage clinic operations by engaging with grants writing and management, workforce development training, policy development, and vital clinical supervision.
Mr. Sablan has experience in diverse settings within both governmental and non-governmental agencies, including a rich history of working with individuals and families in the community. He seeks to provide services that respect the interdependent relationship between mind, body, culture, and environment. In 2020, Mr. Sablan transitioned to working in the role of a community provider with efforts to strengthen and supplement services within the CNMI villages and community. Mr. Sablan was also a 2016–2017 NBCC Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors Fellow.
Dr. Karla L. Sapp has been a practicing counselor for 11 years, specializing in general mental health and addictions counseling, among the adult and criminal offender populations. She is licensed in Georgia and Florida and is a National Certified Counselor, Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Sapp was previously an adjunct faculty member at South University-Savannah Campus in the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, as well as the Psychology Department at Georgia Southern University. She is currently a member of the NAADAC Critical Issues in the Black Community committee, and a member of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (LPCA-GA) and the former Coastal District Representative. She is also a member of the Florida Counseling Association; currently serves as the Member-At-Large for the Florida Association of Counselor Education and Supervision; is the Public Awareness and Support Committee Chair for the Florida Counseling Association, and has presented at several local, state, regional, and national conferences.
Dr. Diane Sevening is an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences Addiction Counseling and Prevention Department with 40 years of teaching experience. Dr. Sevening is the Immediate Past President of the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), former member of the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals (BAPP), Treasurer of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE), former mentor with the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program, and member of the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) board of commissioners.
Dr. Charmaine Conner is an assistant professor of counselor education at Roosevelt University. She earned her PhD in counseling from the University of North Texas. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of Black transracially adoptive families. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Arkansas State University and a Master of Science degree in counseling with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Memphis.
Dr. Conner is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor, with experience providing mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings, including residential, private practice, and non-profit agencies. She specializes in play therapy, servicing children who are transracially adopted, children who have experienced trauma, and children who have demonstrated academic and behavioral concerns. Her clinical experiences have afforded her with the knowledge and skills to provide diverse examples when teaching and supervising students. Dr. Conner was selected as a 2018–2019 Doctoral Fellow with the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program. Her commitment to serving minority populations and infusing social justice practices into the counseling profession has continued through her scholarly publications, presentations at professional conferences, and mentorship with former students and supervisees.
Dr. Clark Ausloos is clinical assistant professor in counseling psychology at the University of Denver. He also works clinically and as a consultant in Northwest Ohio. Dr. Ausloos works with and is passionate about fostering safe and brave spaces for queer and trans youth. He has held many local, regional, national, and international leadership positions and continues to serve on many professional counseling boards and committees, including NBCC, ACA, AARC, ACES, and CSI.
Dr. Ausloos has received The University of Toledo’s Counselor Education Outstanding Doctoral Student Award, the Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Practitioner Award, and the OACES Professional Integrity and Leadership Award. Additionally, he is the recipient of the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Award and was selected to serve as an item writer and content expert for the National Counselor Examination.
Dr. Ausloos has several publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as several book chapters. He is also a contributor to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Multicultural Counseling, Social Justice, and Advocacy, to be released in 2021. He hopes to continue to work in a congruent way, through education, scholarship, and service, focusing on social justice and advocacy for underserved, marginalized populations.
Dr. Jahaan Abdullah is a professor of counselor education and supervision at Chicago State University. She is an award-winning social and restorative justice advocate, a morally and ethically engaged researcher and leader, and both a National Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. Her scholarship focuses on social justice; restorative justice; multicultural counseling; women’s issues; advocacy; and issues impacting race, ethnic equality, gender equality, and vulnerable groups. Dr. Abdullah has significant direct mental health experience and in addition to being in the professoriate, she remains in direct practice working largely with marginalized groups in various community settings. Dr. Abdullah has published and presented nationally and internationally on social justice issues, issues impacting women, marginalized groups, counseling marginalized populations, disparities in mental health diagnosis and treatment of people of color, and other topics relating to and impacting mental health.
Dr. Latasha Y. Hicks Becton is an assistant professor of counselor education at North Carolina Central University. She earned a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Wake Forest University, a certificate in substance abuse counseling from East Carolina University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in counseling and counselor education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Becton has over a decade of direct clinical practice experience and specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders from initial experiences with abstinence to long-term recovery management. She is dually licensed as a mental health counselor and addictions specialist and has worked with mandated/criminal justice populations in an abstinence-based program and in an opioid maintenance treatment program, and she has provided counseling for university students. While her primary role is counselor educator, Dr. Becton continues to engage in direct practice in multiple community treatment settings. She currently serves as a professional member of the American Counseling Association Professional Standards Committee and is an active member of the International Association for Addictions and Offender Counselors and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.
Dr. Asha Dickerson is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor in Georgia. She is the owner and operator of AD Advantage Counseling & Education Services, LLC and a faculty member at Adler Graduate School. Although she’s made her home in Georgia, Dr. Dickerson provides workshops, training, and other services throughout the U.S. and in other countries. She is very active in several community, state, and national organizations, recently finishing her term as the Southern Region Representative of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) and currently serving as the Council Chair for the American Counseling Association of Georgia.
Dr. Dickerson has received numerous awards, including the 2019 NBCC Trailblazer for Counselor Workforce Development Award and 2018 University of Alabama-Birmingham Rising Star Award. She has also served as a speaker for multiple national media outlets and large corporations. Dr. Dickerson’s clinical and academic specialties include social and cultural diversity, addictions, and blended family issues. Her goal is to educate, encourage, and enrich the lives of her clients, students, and the community through her commitment to advocacy, mental health, family wellness, and leadership.
Dr. Shana D. Lewis is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and a PhD in counselor education. She is the owner and clinical director of Living Well Professional Counseling Services, PLLC, a private practice counseling agency in Bellaire, Texas, where she specializes in treating women and adolescent girls. Additionally, she is an adjunct faculty member at Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, and The University of St. Thomas. Because of her passion for helping women, Dr. Lewis founded Her VOICE, a 501c3 organization dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic violence to live healthy lives through mentorship and education. Collectively, Dr. Lewis has over 21 years of experience working in the mental health field.
Dr. Lewis is a sought-after keynote and motivational speaker, author, trainer, and leader in the quest against intimate partner violence and other women’s issues. She delivers powerful, high-energy keynotes to audiences across the country about a variety of issues, including domestic violence, women’s issues, spiritual issues, mental health issues, and transformation. As a result of her expertise in these areas, Dr. Lewis has been featured on several local media outlets, including Great Day Houston and Houston Life.
Dr. Christine Park is a National Certified Counselor, a volunteer mentor for the NBCC Foundation, and a 2017 NBCC Minority Fellowship Program Doctoral Fellow. She is a former Emerging Leader for the Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES), editorial fellow for the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and ACES Emerging Leader. She is a licensed mental health counselor and has been an educator for 14 years. Dr. Park received a bachelor’s in special education from Gonzaga University, a master's of counseling psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi, and a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Walden University.
Additionally, she is currently working toward a certificate in Native and Indigenous Health and Healing. Her counseling experience has primarily focused on working with at-risk, disadvantaged, diversely abled, and marginalized children, adolescents, and adults in school and community settings. Her other professional experience includes teaching in an alternative learning setting for disadvantaged and at-risk adolescents and counseling children and adolescents who received special education services. Dr. Park is a graduate-level professor in counselor education and works in her community to assist dislocated and disadvantaged adults with a transition to college or employment. She also serves on a state regional board on mental health, substance use, and addictions to help inform local policies, programs, and practices. Overall, her passion lies in supporting and advocating for others, particularly underserved, disadvantaged, and marginalized populations.
Isabel Gomez joined the NBCC Foundation in November 2016 as the grants and events project manager and was promoted to the role of Vice President of Foundation and Professional Services in November 2019. Ms. Gomez holds a degree in business administration from Miami-Dade College, in Miami, Florida. She has managed the logistics for multiple national conferences, regional trainings, and site-based events, and she has extensive experience managing databases, listservs, websites, and learning management systems, including on-demand distance learning. Ms. Gomez has more than 30 years of experience managing logistics and contractual requirements.
Amber Khan is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), and holds a North Carolina School Counseling License. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Khan then earned a master’s degree in school counseling and a PhD in rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counselor education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. While earning her PhD, she completed a two-year doctoral assistantship with NBCC’s International Capacity Building Department. Prior to being named the NBCC Foundation Program Director in December 2020, she worked in NBCC’s Assessments Department as a Content Development Manager, where she managed various aspects of the examination development process, and more specifically, the training and recruitment of item writers and subject matter experts.
Dr. Khan has a combined eight years of experience in higher education and in the counseling profession. She is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD), the North Carolina Counseling Association (NCCA), the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), the National Career Development Association (NCDA), Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES). In addition to a strong dedication to the counseling profession, Dr. Khan has years of experience in advocacy and community service work, specifically serving international, immigrant, and refugee communities, and for the last seven years, she has served on the executive boards of several local non-profit organizations. Dr. Khan is a first-generation immigrant and in her role as Program Director, she looks forward to continuing to bridge the gap in access to mental health services for communities and populations most in need through the work of the NBCC Foundation.
Tory Watkins Cherry joined the NBCC Foundation staff in February 2019. In her role as development and communications director, she works to implement fund development strategies to increase available scholarship and programming funds. She also oversees all aspects of the Foundation’s communication operations, including the Foundation Connections newsletter, website content, internal and external stakeholder communications, and social media presence. Ms. Watkins Cherry holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama and a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University. She has experience working in a variety of nonprofit areas, including volunteer coordination, development, and grant writing, as well as teaching art in underserved communities to children and teens.
Melonie Davis joined the NBCC Foundation staff in March 2019. She began her career in mental health after graduating from Winston Salem State University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation therapy, dedicating her time to the community by providing mental health services to physically and developmentally disabled children and adults. Throughout her work, she recognized a need for stronger therapeutic relationships between the clients being served and mental health professionals. In 2014, she decided to further her education and commit herself as an agent for change in the service industry. Ms. Davis earned her Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling from Wake Forest University in August 2017. She is a member of Chi Sigma Iota (the international honor society for professional counseling), a member of the American Counseling Association, and a board certified counselor. Ms. Davis aims to actively provide guidance support for future counselors to develop professional identity and increase diversity in the profession. Her mission is to live a life with integrity and empathy, be a positive force in the lives of others, use her creativity and positivity to better the lives of those around her, inspire others and be inspired, be a successful leader and gain a better understanding of how the world works, and accomplish her life goals by working together in harmony with others.
Brandice Bell joined the NBCC Foundation staff in April 2020. In her role as Volunteer Coordinator, she will recruit, train, and provide support to all Foundation volunteers. Prior to joining the NBCC Foundation, Ms. Bell served as the Supervision Specialist for the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors. Ms. Bell has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Pfeiffer University and a Master of Arts in human services counseling from Liberty University. Prior to joining NBCC, she spent eight years working for the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services in the Economic Services Division.
Audrey Norwood joined the NBCC Foundation staff in April 2019. In her role as program coordinator, she handles program participant communication, provides scholarship and fellowship application data support, and helps facilitate the Foundation’s webinar process. Ms. Norwood works closely with the program director to assist the Foundation’s scholars and fellows.
Lisa Gagliano joined the NBCC Foundation staff in May 2018. In her role as executive assistant, she provides advanced administrative support to the Vice President of Foundation and Professional Services and works closely with the entire Foundation team to facilitate smooth operation of all Foundation events and programs. Ms. Gagliano holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina – Coastal Carolina College. Before coming to the NBCC Foundation, she spent 18 years in wire and construction supply sales.
Catherine Clifton is the Director of Professional Resources for NBCC and the managing editor of The Professional Counselor. Her previous editorial work includes the Aiken Taylor Fellowship at The Sewanee Review, fiction editor at The Greensboro Review, and copyeditor for several published academic books and Southern Theatre, the quarterly magazine of the Southeastern Theatre Conference. Ms. Clifton is also a classically trained vocalist and performs with several amateur and semiprofessional groups in and around Greensboro, North Carolina. She spends her free time watching sports and playing with her three cats, Hemiola, Minibus, and Shiloh; and her Labrador retriever, Luna.
Wendi Schweiger-Moore is Director of International Capacity Building, located in NBCC’s Foundation and Professional Services Division. In this position, Dr. Schweiger-Moore organizes and facilitates NBCC’s collaboration efforts with counselors and counseling organizations outside the United States that are taking steps to professionalize. She has worked for NBCC in a variety of capacities and was named to her current position in September 2018.
Dr. Schweiger-Moore has been an NCC since 1998. She is an LCMHC in North Carolina and an inductee of the Chi Sigma Iota honor society. She travels, presents, and trains worldwide, and she has co-authored publications inside and outside of the U.S.
Dr. Schweiger-Moore completed her undergraduate studies at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She earned her Master of Science and Educational Specialist degrees in community counseling in 1997 and her doctorate in counselor education in 2008 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Eugenie Yang first joined NBCC in 2014 as a graduate assistant and is currently the division’s program manager. In this position, Ms. Yang is the lead administrator of the MHF program, which she organizes by communicating with partners, organizing training materials, and maintaining program data. She also helped expand the institutes program’s initiatives through collaborative efforts with partners and participants.
Although she spent a portion of her childhood in China, Ms. Yang was raised in Houston, Texas. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and earned her Master of Science in counseling with a specialization in college counseling and student development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ms. Yang has been an NCC since 2015.
Rita Catarino Caeiro served on the team of experts that adapted the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) – Portugal curriculum in 2011 and then joined EBCC as an executive assistant in 2012. In 2014, she began as a projects coordinator and in her current role, Ms. Caeiro supports the President and Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Operating Officer in the administration of the GCDF, Mental Health Facilitator (MHF), and Certified Supervision Professional (CSP) programs internationally.
Ms. Caeiro graduated from the University of Évora in Portugal in 2010 with a master’s in organizational psychology. She has developed her professional background with social and community projects that serve socially and economically disadvantaged youth and adults. Ms. Caeiro also has experience in delivering personal, emotional, and social skill development training courses as well as mental health promotion programs.
Ms. Caeiro is a registered Mental Health Facilitator, Global Career Development Facilitator Trainer and Master Trainer, and Certified Supervision Professional.
Ms. Helda Parreira joined the EBCC staff in 2015 as a part-time administrative assistant and was promoted to the role of office manager in 2018. In her current role, Ms. Parreira provides executive support to the President and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, coordinates overall office activities and projects, provides operational support to EBCC staff, and represents EBCC with partners or third parties as needed.
Ms. Parreira holds a bachelor’s degree in English and German languages and literature and a specialization in teaching and education, both from Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal. She has experience in teaching primary and secondary school, developing educational and social programs for adults, and coordinating training departments for multinational companies. Ms. Parreira has been a registered GCDF since 2016.
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