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Department of Pediatrics

Pathways Workshop Attendees

Master
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Joanne Angosta

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Pathway Participant Biography Photo - Joanne Angosta
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Joanne Angosta is a first-year graduate student in the Social Psychology and Health program at the University of Houston. She is a research assistant in the Social Influences and Health Behaviors lab, working with Dr. Clayton Neighbors. Her research interests include the disparities in problematic substance use. She is currently a member of study team that looks at the effectiveness of a personalized feedback intervention to reduce hazardous drinking in HIV populations. She is also conducting research on the effect of social identities on alcohol consumption. She intends to identify the qualities of protective groups (such as family, cultural groups) and how these vary across different demographics. She would eventually like to incorporate relevant social identities into substance use interventions for under-served populations.

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Elsa Baena, Ph.D.

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Elsa Baena, PhD
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Elsa Baena, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow specializing in Spanish/Cross-Cultural Neuropsychology at the Department of Neurology, Neuropsychology Section, at Baylor College of Medicine. As the first fellow working at the Cerebro Clinic under the supervision of Dr. Adriana Strutt, Dr. Baena conducts neuropsychological assessments on monolingual and bilingual Spanish-speakers and non-English/Spanish speaking minorities suffering with a myriad of neurological conditions, including Mild Neurocognitive Disorder, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, epilepsy, cerebrovascular disorders, and psychiatric conditions. Dr. Baena received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona under the mentorship of Dr. Lee Ryan after completing her predoctoral neuropsychology internship at Baycrest Centre, Toronto. Her previous research examined how cognitive and neural processes change in normal and pathological aging using multimodal and multidisciplinary approaches including integration of cognitive psychology, geriatric neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience while utilizing fMRI, clinical neuropsychological assessments, and experimental cognitive testing in non-neurological individuals and those diagnosed with MND. At the professional development workshop, Promoting Pathways to Health Disparities Research Careers, Dr. Baena hopes to develop a skill set to address health disparities in neuropsychology while learning to conduct research aimed to develop culturally sensitive clinical interventions to address cognitive declines among the Hispanic and African American community of the greater Houston area and the United States.

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Krystal Christopher

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Krystal Christopher
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Krystal is a 2nd-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology (Health Psychology Emphasis) program at the University of Houston. She is originally from Florida and moved to Houston to continue her education. Her research interests are specifically focused on psychoneuroimmunology, stress physiology, and health disparities. Currently, she is interested in investigating social determinants of health such as exposure to neighborhood violence and how it relates to chronic stress which may cause individuals (specifically African Americans) to develop/engage in preventable cancer risk factors. Ultimately, she hopes to become a psychologist whose research helps in the fight to eliminate existing health disparities.

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Ewune Ewane

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Ewune Ewane
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Ewune is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at University of Houston working with advisor Dr. Ezemenari Obasi. A Houston Native of Cameroonian descent. she received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Africana Studies from Marquette University and a M.A. in Community Counseling from Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests focus primarily on health disparities within disenfranchised and marginalized populations. Most specifically, she studies biopsychosocial predictors of disease, substance use vulnerability, and neurocognition in African Americans. Her clinical interests include multicultural competence and neuropsychology. Her professional goals include addressing cultural bias in psychological assessments and service consultation for African American ethnic minorities. Her professional interests and aspirations are fueled by the over-generalization of descendants of the African Diaspora and the evidenced gaps in literature concerning racial ethnic minority culturally relevant clinical review and treatment. Currently she is engaged in empirical study of breast cancer disparities within African-American and Hispanic/Latina women and mechanisms of stress and coping in African-American young adults.

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Ashley Ramclam

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Ashley Ramclam
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Ashley attends the School Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Houston. Prior to the doctoral program, she completed an M.Ed./Ed.S. degree in school psychology from the University of Missouri and worked in the Houston area as a licensed specialist in school psychology (LSSP). Her research interests include disproportionality in special education, parent management training, and the intersection of language development and social-emotional skills. She is also interested in the disparities in diagnosis and treatment for autism spectrum disorder and internalizing disorders for African Americans. She is currently working on involve examining the recruitment and retention of CLD families in neurodevelopmental research and the relationship between social skills, problem behaviors, and vocabulary development for young Latino English Language Learners.

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Georgette Richardson

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Georgette Richardson
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Georgette is a fourth-year school psychology doctoral student at the University of Houston. She earned a Master’s in Science in Clinical Psychology at The University of Texas at Tyler. Translational research interests are about understanding how to improve health and well-being in children most at risk for poor developmental outcomes (health, cognition, behavior, social/emotional). Previous work has focused on understanding low-income, African- American parents’ cognitions about their young child’s cognitive development (i.e., early literacy, language, early writing) and how integrated systems of care (i.e., WIC, SNAP, primary care settings) help mitigate health disparities by accurately identifying children that are at-risk for adverse developmental outcomes across all areas of functioning (early health, cognitive, behavioral, social). Learning from earlier work, there is a need to take an ecological systems approach to improving health and well-being of children by understanding the current state of ethnic minority maternal and infant health. She is interested in the relationship between psychological distress (depression, anxiety, emotional distress), health promoting behaviors (e.g., prenatal care), and preventable maternal adverse health conditions (e.g., coronary vascular disease, obesity, diabetes, maternal depression) that contribute to complications during childbirth, maternal mortality, and/or adverse infant health (e.g., preterm birth, low-birth weight) and infant mortality. Additionally, to better understand the mechanisms of action of psychosocial interventions, how, why, and when specific interventions are more effective for ethnic minorities affected by chronic stress. An additional line would be examining how integrative health care settings may help provide early intervention and establish trust within communities.

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Stephanie Torres

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Stephanie Torres
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Stephanie is a clinical neuropsychology graduate student at the University of Houston under the dual-mentorship of Drs. Elena Grigorenko and Paul Cirino. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience and behavior from the University of California, San Diego in 2013. Her research interests include the protective factors of bilingualism and its effects on brain development and neuropsychological functioning, typical vs atypical neurodevelopment, cross-cultural neuropsychology, and resiliency factors in diverse populations. In the future, she hopes to obtain a tenure-track position at a top-tier research university, while also practicing as a bilingual pediatric neuropsychologist. Her long-term aims are to address the underutilization of mental health services in minority populations and assist in the development of culturally-sensitive neuropsychological assessments and therapeutic interventions.

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Dieu Truong

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Dieu Truong
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Dieu is studying for a Ph.D. in school psychology, a specialty that will allow her to serve socioeconomically, culturally, and linguistically diverse (SCLD) children and their families, in both practice and research. She is particular interested in ASD-affected children from Asian backgrounds. Better serving this population with cultural sensitivity and cultural competence is impeded by the lack of research participation from persons with ASD and their families who are from Asian cultures. Traditional strategies for research recruitment and retention of Asian Americans are often culturally mismatched. She believes this Pathway training will be an invaluable contribution to the development of her dissertation and, ultimately, to her career goals of contributing to research focused on reducing health and mental health disparities in Asian American families affected by ASD.