Ms. Mary Ellen Nudd
Ms. Mary Ellen Nudd, M.A., is the Vice President of the Mental Health America of Texas, has worked for the organization for over 30 years and has experience in nonprofit public information, suicide prevention, parenting education, training, administration and management, public policy and strategic planning.
For the past six years she has coordinated the work of the Texas Suicide Prevention Council, which is comprised of 40 local community and university coalitions, and statewide agencies and groups. She is also director of outreach and training for the Texas Youth Suicide Prevention Project, which provides suicide prevention public awareness, training and technical assistance to schools, agencies, universities and communities across the state.
Ms. Nudd has managed and provided training for federal grants from the US Department of Education and for a statewide AmeriCorps Program. Ms. Nudd has received training in cultural competence, and has worked with partners across the state that serves a broad diversity of people living in Texas. She has provided executive staff support for the Mental Health America of Texas’ board of directors and executive committee, as well as committees dealing with public awareness, suicide prevention, policy, parenting education, children in families struggling with parental mental illness, board nominations, organization development and fund raising.
She has coordinated training and conferences for the organization’s board of directors and children’s mental health conferences, and served on advisory committees for the Texas Education Agency, the National Mental Health Association, I Am Your Child Texas Network, Parent Learning Network of the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Parents as Teachers program.
Ms. Nudd was a recipient of a graduate fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health for a Master’s Degree in communications with a concentration in mental health, from the University of Texas at Austin, and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, University of Texas, 1973. Her bachelor’s degree is from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, 1969, with a major in journalism and a minor in philosophy. She served in the Peace Corps in the Fiji Islands from 1969-71, writing educational radio broadcast script and teaching elementary students.
Dr. Jennifer Wood
Dr. Jennifer Wood serves as the Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health for the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System. In her current role, she oversees mental health programming for 4 VA outpatient clinics (Harlingen, McAllen, Corpus Christi and Laredo) and an ambulatory surgery center. Prior to her current appointment she served as the Clinical Psychologist for the Lower Rio Grande Valley OEF/OIF Program. Her primary clinical duties involved the provision of individual and group therapy for PTSD, Depression, and Post Deployment Re-adjustment, neuropsychological testing for patients with traumatic brain injury, psychological assessments, and conducting outreach to local National Guard and Reserve units as well as community organizations and institutions of higher education. Dr. Wood also coordinates and provides telemental health care to veterans located throughout the Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System.
In addition to her clinical duties, Dr. Wood is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Wood’s clinical and research interests include: evaluation of tele-mental health interventions, service delivery systems in rural settings, geriatric assessment, treatment for OEF/OIF veterans, and evaluation of group interventions.
Dr. Mary Chandler Bolin
Dr. Mary Chandler Bolin is the Director of the University of Kentucky (UK) Counseling Center and a licensed psychologist holding an earned doctorate (1994) in psychology. She was co-Principal Investigator for the UK's SAMHSA campus suicide prevention grant, 2008-2011. Dr. Bolin served previously as the Counseling Center coordinator of clinical services at the University of Virginia, where she was appointed clinical associate professor. Nationally, she is active in the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) and is the current president of the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS), which accredits campus agencies.
Since 2004, Dr. Bolin has been a certified gatekeeper instructor for QPR (Question - Persuade - Refer) suicide prevention, and now serves as a senior master trainer for QPR, providing instructor certification events across the U.S. She has served on the steering committee of the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group (KSPG), on the Stop Youth Suicide (SYS) Campaign, and as a consultant for program development and evaluation. Additional areas of clinical expertise include post-trauma treatment, disordered eating and body image, serving persons with disabilities, and work with LGBTQ persons. She has served on the University of Kentucky President's Commission on Diversity, and currently sits on the GLBT task force and Bias Response Team, in addition to consulting with UK's Students of Concern (SOC) team.
Dr. Melissa Alvarado
Dr. Melissa Alvarado is an Assistant Professor in Counseling and Guidance at UTB. She holds an M.A. from University of Texas San Antonio in Counseling and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi in Counselor Education and Supervision. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor- Supervisor in the state of Texas. Most of her clinical work has been with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She has presented nationally and across the state on topics related to primary prevention and best practices in working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Ms. Lillian Champion
Ms. Lillian Champion is the Executive Director at the Friendship of Women, Inc. a Center for the Prevention of Family Violence/Sexual Assault. She has been with the agency for 11 years- she started working as a Community Education /Training Director and later served as the Interim Executive Director for a year, and in 2005 was hired as the Executive Director.
She strongly believes in the importance and the need to educate men and young boys on taking a positive active role in ending violence against women and girls on issues regarding violence and sexual abuse. In her current role as executive director, Ms. Champion oversees the day to day operations of a 24/7 emergency shelter and supportive services provided to individuals seeking relief from domestic violence.
Ms. Champion holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from The University of Texas-Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree/Social Work from The University of Texas Pan American at Edinburg, Texas.
Ms. Julia Liebscher
Ms. Julia Liebscher graduated in 2006 from the University of Frankfurt in Germany with a Masters in Social Work and Education. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker employed as a Mental Health Counselor at the Student Health Services, University of Texas at Brownsville. Her professional experience includes: family therapy, end-of-life care, community care, and provision of mental health counseling to university students. Within those experiences, Ms. Liebscher became aware of the impact of sexual violence experienced by young people during their childhood on their mental health and the need for healing interventions.
Ms. Krystal Sanchez
Ms. Krystal Sanchez is a resident of Brownsville and a freshman student at The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB). For the past 4 years Ms. Sanchez has been an advocate for the protection of children against sexual abuse and for creating awareness among the general public about the seriousness of child sexual abuse. As part of her advocacy mission, she has been a volunteer at Monica’s and Maggie’s House for the protection of women and children who have been sexually victimized and participates in their planning of their Annual Candlelight Vigils. Ms. Sanchez also works part-time at the UTB Student Health Services as a peer educator providing health education to fellow students about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV prevention. Her academic goal is to become a Social Worker.
Dr. Eugenia Curet
Dr. Eugenia Curet has a Master Degree in Social Work with specialization in psychiatric social work from the New York University Graduate School of Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing in Public Health and Substance Abuse from The Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio. Since April 2008, Dr. Curet has been employed by the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) where she is Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Student Health Services. She is the Principal Investigator of the SAMHSA funded Campus Suicide Program and co-Principal Investigator of the Project Peer Educators: Survey of Students’ Sexual Behaviors and Knowledge and Attitudes about HIV funded by the U.S. Office of Minority Health through the Cardea Services Organization. Prior to her affiliation with the UTB she was the Director of the Vincent P. Dole Research and Treatment Center for Opioid Addiction of the Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), Department of Public Health and member of its faculty. At the Vincent P. Dole Center she was in charge of the provision of treatment services to adolescents and adults with co-existing substance abuse, psychiatric and medical problems. In addition, Dr. Curet has been a presenter at numerous national and international conferences and has published on topics ranging from mental illness, HIV, substance abuse and co-morbidity of Hepatitis C and substance abuse. She is also a trainer on the provision of culturally sensitive treatment services to Hispanic populations.
Dr. Kristin Neff
Dr. Kristin Neff is currently an Associate Professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She studied communications as an undergraduate at the University of California at Los Angeles and did her Ph.D. graduate work at University of California at Berkeley. Her dissertation research was conducted in Mysore, India where she examined children's moral reasoning. She spent two years of post-doctoral study at Denver University, studying issues of authenticity and self-concept development. She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion over a decade ago. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and chapters on the topic, she is author of the book "Self-Compassion.” At present, Dr. Neff conducts workshops to teach self-compassion skills worldwide.
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