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Melanie Elyse Brewster

Professional Background

Educational Background

University of Florida (APA accredited), Ph.D Counseling Psychology
         Concentration: Sexuality, gender, and race
         Dissertation: The roles of cognitive flexibility, bicultural self-efficacy, and minority stress in the mental health
                              of bisexual individuals.

University of Utah (APA accredited), Pre-doctoral Clinical Internship
University of Florida, M.S. Psychology University of Florida, B.S. Psychology                  
University of Florida, B.A. Criminology

Scholarly Interests

Mental health correlates of discrimination and stigma
Intersections of personal identities (e.g., sexual orientation, gender, race, religion)
Social justice in the workplace
Atheism and nonreligious identities
Measurement development and evaluation

Selected Publications

BOOK

Brewster, M.E. (2014). Atheists in America. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Purchase here.




BOOK CHAPTERS

Bold denotes Teachers College student collaborators


Foster, A., & Murray, J., & Brewster, M.E. (in press). Biculturalism and transgender identities. SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Brewster, M.E. (in press). Gender transitions at work. In A. Goldberg (Ed.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies. New York, NY: Sage Publications.

Smith, L., & Brewster, M.E. (2014). Counseling in the Context of Poverty, Homelessness, and Classism. In P. Pedersen, J. Draguns, W. Lonner, J. Trimble, & M. Scharron del Rio (Eds.). Counseling Across Cultures, 7th Edition. New York, NY: Sage Publications.

Brewster, M.E., & Sawyer, J. (2014). Atheism and the American Family. In L. Ganong, M. Coleman, & G.J. Geoffrey (Eds.). The Social History of the American Family. New York, NY: Sage.

Brewster, M.E. (2013). Atheism, Gender, and Sexuality. In S. Bullivant & M. Ruse (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

DeBlaere, C., & Brewster, M.E. (2013). Diversity Across the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Community. In E. Fisher & K. Komosa-Hawkins (Eds.), Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments: A Guide for Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning Youth and Families (pp. 73-88). New York, NY: Routledge.




PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES

Bold denotes Teachers College student collaborators


Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., Foster, A., Esposito, J., Robinson, M.A. (in press) Minority Stress and the Moderating Role of Religious Coping Among Religious and Spiritual Sexual Minority Individuals. Journal of Counseling Psychology

Robinson, M.A., & Brewster, M.E. (in press) The Development of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Affiliate Stigma Measure. Journal of Family Psychology

Rabinovitch, A. E., Perrin, P. B., Tabaac, A. R., & Brewster, M. E. (in press). Coping styles and suicide in racially and ethnically diverse lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Breslow, A., Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., Wong, S., Geiger, E., & Soderstrom, B. (in press) Resilience and Collective Action: Exploring Buffers Against Minority Stress for Transgender Individuals. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity

Keum, B., Wong, S., DeBlaere, C., & Brewster, M.E. (2015). Asian American men's body image, acculturation, and drive for muscularity. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 16, 284-293.

Sandil, R., Robinson, M., Brewster, M.E., Geiger, E., & Wong, S. (2015). Negotiating Multiple Marginalizations: Experiences of South Asian LGBQ Individuals. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21, 76-88.

Jones, N., Brewster, M.E., & Jones, J. (2014). The creation and validation of the LGBT ally identity measure. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 181-195.

Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., Mennicke, A., & Tebbe, E. (2014). Voices from beyond: A thematic content analysis of transgender employees' workplace experiences. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 159-169.

Brewster, M.E., Robinson, M., Sandil, R. Esposito, J., & Geiger, E. (2014). Arrantly absent: Atheism in psychological science from 2001-2012. The Counseling Psychologist, 42, 628-663.

Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., Esposito, J., Wong, S., Geiger, L., & Keum, B. (2014). Moving beyond the binary with disordered eating research: A test and extension of objectification theory with bisexual women. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 61, 50-62.

Robinson, M. A., & Brewster, M. E. (2014). Motivations for fatherhood: Examining internalized heterosexism and gender-role conflict with childless gay and bisexual men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 15, 49-59.

Brewster, M.E., Moradi, B., DeBlaere, C., & Velez, B.L. (2013). Navigating the borderlands: Cognitive flexibility, bicultural self-efficacy, and minority stress in the lives of bisexual individuals. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60, 543-556.

Velez, B. L., Moradi, B., & Brewster, M.E. (2013). Testing the tenets of minority stress theory in workplace contexts. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60, 532-424.

DeBlaere, C., Brewster, M.E., Bertsch, K., DeCarlo, A., Kegel, K., & Presseau, C. (2013). The protective power of collective action for sexual minority women of color: An investigation of multiple discrimination experiences and psychological distress. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38, 20-32.

Moradi, B., Martin, A., & Brewster, M.E. (2012). Disarming the threat to feminist identification: An application of personal construct theory to measurement and intervention. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 36, 197-209.

Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., DeBlaere, C., & Moradi, B. (2012). Transgender individuals' workplace experiences: The applicability of sexual minority measures and models. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 60-70.

Brewster, M.E., & Moradi, B. (2010). Perceived anti-bisexual prejudice experiences: Scale development and evaluation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57, 451-468.

Brewster, M.E., & Moradi, B. (2010). Personal, relational, and community aspects of bisexual identity in emerging, early, and middle adulthood. Journal of Bisexuality, 10, 1-25.

DeBlaere, C., Brewster, M.E., Sarkees, A., Moradi, B. (2010). Conducting research with LGB People of Color: Methodological challenges and strategies. The Counseling Psychologist, 38, 331-362.

Huang, Y. P., Brewster, M. E., Moradi, B., Goodman, M. B., Wiseman, M., & Mennicke, A. (2010). Content analysis of literature about LGB of Color: 1998-2007. The Counseling Psychologist, 38, 363-396.

Moradi, B., Wiseman, M., DeBlaere, C., Goodman, M., Sarkees, A., Brewster, M.E., & Huang, Y-P. (2010). LGB of Color and White individuals' perceptions of heterosexist stigma, internalized homophobia and outness: Comparisons of levels and links. The Counseling Psychologist, 38, 397-424.

biographical information

honors and awards

2015    Provost Investment Grant                                                                                        $20,000

The Provost's Investment Fund provides seed grants to support faculty proposals for innovative projects that add value to Teachers College.  The present grant was awarded to support the further expansion and development of the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project (SWGP); specifically growing its focus on maternal mental health and women's issues.

2013    Dean's Fellowship Program for Teaching and Diversity                         $3200/semester

Co-awarded to Dr. Riddhi Sandil and, Ed.M student, Gaurav Jashnani to develop a new and innovative course called Patriarchy and Gender at Teachers College, Columbia University

2013    Dean's Grant for Pre-Tenured Faculty                                                                  $7750

Supports faculty research and scholarship by providing a Summer Research Development Award. This grant was awarded to conduct a quantitative study on the minority stress experienced by atheist people in the United States with members of my research team.

2012    Provost Investment Grant                                                                                        $20,000

The Provost's Investment Fund provides seed grants to support faculty proposals for innovative projects that add value to Teachers College.  The present grant was awarded to support the development of the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project (SWGP), created to envision and implement the next wave of theories and practices for LGBTQ people and women through degree concentrations, events, and colloquia. 

professional presentations

*bold denotes student collaborator

58. Brewster, M. E., Sawyer, J. (August, 2015). Loneliness and psychological distress: Exploring outcomes of anti-atheist discrimination. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

57. Brewster, M. E., Soderstrom, B., Esposito, J., Breslow, A.S., Caso, T., Arango, S., Foster, A., Geiger, E., Sandil, R., Morshedian, N., Sawyer, J., Cheng, J. (August, 2015). Understanding "monogamish" relationships: A content analysis of peer-reviewed scholarship. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

56. Breslow, A.S. (August, 2015). Resilience and Collective Action: Exploring Buffers Against Minority Stress for Transgender Individuals. Esposito, J. (August, 2015). Minority Stress Amongst Individuals Living with Multiple Sclerosis; Foster, A. (August, 2015). Becoming Ace: Identity development and formation for asexuals of color; Geiger, E. (August, 2015). Perceived Experiences of Discrimination for Individuals with Learning Disabilities: Scale Development. In M. E. Brewster (Chair) Minority Stress Beyond LGB: New Frontiers in Transgender, Asexuality, and Disability Stigma Research. Symposium to be conducted at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

55. Velez, B. L., Breslow, A.S., Brewster, M. E., Cox, R. (August, 2015) A Test of Objectification Theory with Transgender Men. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

54. Brown, C. (August, 2015). Bisexual Identity Development of Rural Individuals; Cheryl, D. (August, 2015). Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Young Bi Women in Toronto; Diaz, J. (August, 2015). Predictors of Heterosexual Self-Identification Among Behaviorally Bisexual Men; LeBreton, M. (August, 2015). Minority Stress and Syndemics as an Influence Bisexual Mens Mental Health and Sexual Behaviour; Pollitt, A. (August, 2015). Heteronormativity, Religion and Sex in a National Sample of Both-Sex Attracted Adolescents; Vencill, J. (August, 2015). Mixed Orientation Relationships and Sexual Health. In M. E. Brewster (Chair) and Christopher Davids (Chair). Pluralism: Multiple Expressions of Bisexuality. Symposium to be conducted at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

53. Brewster, M.E. (May, 2015). LGBTQ Student Inequality Panel; Conference on Diversity at Stuyvesant High School, New York City, NY. 

52. Brewster, M.E. (April, 2015). Bringing Diverse Narratives into the Nonbelieving Community, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

51. Jones, N., & Brewster, M.E. (April, 2015). Predictors of Heterosexual Ally Activism Behaviors. Paper presented at the annual Western Psychological Association Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

50. Esposito. J., Geiger, E., Breslow, A.S., Foster, A., Sandil, R., Brewster, M.E., & Velez, B. (March, 2015). Disability and multiple sclerosis: Stigma, outness, and links with psychological well-being. Poster presentation at the annual meeting for the Association for Women in San Francisco, California.

49. Foster, A., Geiger, E., Caso, T., Breslow, A., Sawyer, J., & Brewster, M.E. (February, 2015). Self and social justice: The benefits and drawbacks of hashtag activism. Roundtable discussion conducted at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, New York.

48. Esposito, J., Brewster, M. E. (February, 2015). Understanding chronic illness and its links to stigmatization, discrimination, outness, and psychological well-being: The case of multiple sclerosis. Poster presented at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, New York.

47. Wong, S.N., Keum, B.T., Caffarel, D. Srinivasan, R., Morshedian, N., Capodilupo, C.M., & Brewster, M.E. (February, 2015). Exploring the conceptualization of body image for Asian American women. Paper presented at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

46. Brewster, M.E. (January, 2015). Atheists in America: Widening Psychology's Multicultural Legacy to Embrace Nonbelievers. Roundtable conducted at the biennial meeting of the National Multicultural Conference & Summit, Atlanta, GA.

45. Brewster, M.E. (November, 2014). Why has Psychology Been Silent When it Comes to Atheism? Keynote address at the annual meeting of Skepticon, Springfield, MO.

44. Brewster, M.E., Sandil, R., Eklund, A., Breslow, A., & Cheng, J. (August, 2014). "No fats no fems!" The Dark-side of Grinder Usage for Sexual Minority Men. Poster presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

43. Breslow, A., Brewster, M.E., Wong, S., Lenaburg, S., Foster, A., Velez, B., Jones, K. (August, 2014). A Test of Objectification Theory with Transgender Women. Poster presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

42. Jones, K.N., & Brewster, M.E. (August, 2014). Activism and Advocacy: Reconceptualizing What it Means to be an LGBTQ Ally. Roundtable presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

41. Keum, T.B., Wong, S., DeBlaere, C., Brewster, M.E. (August, 2014). Measuring Muscularity Drives in Asian Men: An Extension of the Drive for Muscularity Scale. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

40. Brewster, M. E., Sawyer, J., Eklund, A., Hammer, J., Palamar, J., Foster, A., & Lenaburg, S. (August, 2014). Atheists in America: An Extension of Minority Stress Theory to Non-Believing Populations. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

39. Foster, A., Walker, A., Eklund, A., & Brewster, M.E. (August, 2014). Understanding Asexual People of Color. Poster presented at the annual meeting of American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

38. Velez, B., & Brewster, M.E. (March, 2014). Moving Beyond the Binary with Eating Disorder Research: A Test and Extension of Objectification Theory. In F. Dispenza & L.Watson (chairs), Objectification Theory, Sexual Minority Persons, and Health Behaviors. Symposium conducted at the biennial meeting of the Counseling Psychology in Action Conference, Atlanta, GA.

37. DeBlaere, C., Zelaya, D., & Brewster M.E. (July, 2014). Racism, Sexism, and Heterosexism: Forms and Frequency among Sexual Minority Women of Color. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the International Applied Psychology Congress. Paris, France. 

36. Brewster, M.E., Velez, B., & Sandil, R. (March, 2014). Atheists in America: Widening CP's Multicultural Umbrella to Strengthen Clinical Work with Nonbelievers. Guided discussion conducted at the biennial meeting of the Counseling Psychology in Action Conference, Atlanta, GA.

35. Brewster, M.E., Cheng, J., Foster, A., Breslow, A., Esposito, J., Geiger, E., Keum, B., Lenaburg, S., Sandil, R., & Sawyer, J. (February, 2014). The "me-search" in research: Processing insider/outsider identities when conducting studies with marginalized groups. Guided discussion presented at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

34. Sawyer, J., Brewster, M.E., & Lau, M. (February, 2014). An Examination of Epistemological Styles and Multicultural Counseling. Poster presented at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

33. Foster, A., Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., Eklund, A., & Keum, B. (February, 2014) Footprints in the sand: Demographic and psychological profiles of religious, spiritual, and atheist LGB individuals. Poster presented at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

32. Brewster, M. E., Robinson, M. A., Sandil, R., Esposito, J.,Geiger, E. (August, 2013). Atheism in Psychological Science: Results From a 10-Year Content Analysis. In C. DeBlaere (chair), Current Advancements and New Directions in Atheism Research. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

31. Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., Esposito, J., Wong, S., Geiger, L., & Keum, B. (August, 2013). Bisexual Women's Experiences of Objectification: Links to Body Consciousness and Disordered Eating. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

30. Esposito, J. & Brewster, M.E. (August, 2013). Shedding Light on the Invisibility of Concealed Chronic Illness: Stigma, Outness, and Links with Psychological Well-Being. Poster presentation conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI. 

29. Robinson, M. A., Velez, B.L.Brewster, M. E., Foster, A., & Esposito, J. (August, 2013). Minority Stress and the Mediating Role of Religious Coping Among LGB Individuals. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

28. Jones, N., Brewster, M.E., & Jones, J. (2013, February). Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the LGBT Ally Development Measure. In M.E. Brewster (Chair), New Directions in Psychological Research with Sexual Minority Populations. Symposium conducted at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

27. Wong, S., Keum, T.B., Geiger, E., Eklund, A., & Brewster, M.E. (February, 2013). Cultural Standards of Beauty and Body Image within Marginalized Groups. Roundtable discussion conducted at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

26. Brewster, M. E., Robinson, M. A., Sandil, R., Esposito, J., & Geiger, L. (February, 2013). Preliminary results: Atheism in Psychological Science from 2001-2011. Paper presented at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

25. Eklund, A., Brewster, M.E., & Sandil, R. (February, 2013). Is there room for atheists under the multicultural umbrella? Roundtable discussion conducted at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

24. Esposito, J., Eklund A., & Brewster, M.E. (February, 2013). Navigating Invisible Chronic Illness: Stigma, Outness, and Links with Psychological Well-Being. Poster presentation at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

23. Brewster, M.E., Foster, A., Velez, B.L., Eklund, A., & Keum, BFaith, flexibly: The moderating roles of self-esteem, internalized heterosexism, and cognitive flexibility on the religiosity--psychology well-being link. In M.E. Brewster (chair), New Directions in Research with Sexual Minority Populations. Symposium conducted at the annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable, New York, NY.

23. Sandil, R., Robinson, M., Brewster, M.E., Geiger, L., & Wong, S. (2013). Negotiating multiple marginalizations: Experiences of South Asian LGB individuals. In C. DeBlaere & D. Rivera (chairs), Risk and Resiliency in Negotiating Multiple Minority Identities. Symposium conducted at the biennial meeting of the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Houston, TX. 

22. Brewster, M.E., & Rosenkrantz, D. (2012, August). Employment non-discrimination laws for transgender employees: Links with job satisfaction, workplace climate, and outness. Poster  presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

21. Velez, B.L., Brewster, M.E., Moradi, B. (2012, August). Testing the tenets of minority stress theory in workplace contexts. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

20. Brewster, M.E., Jones, N., & Jones, J. (2012, August). The construction and validation of the LGBT Ally Development Measure. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

19. Robinson, M. & Brewster, M.E. (2012, August). (Pre)complentative gay fathers: The impact of gender role conflict and internalized homonegatvity in motivation to parent. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

18. Brewster, M.E., Tebbe, E., & Velez, B.L. (2012, August). A qualitative content analysis of gender transitions in the workplace. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

17. Brewster, M.E., Tebbe, E., & Velez, B. (2011, August). Workplace gender transitions: Consensual qualitative research examining complexities in experience for transgender employees. In L. Dickey (Chair), Negotiating transphobia: Community, work, and mental health challenges. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington D.C.

16. Brewster, M.E., & Moradi, B. (2011, August). Minority stress, protective factors, and mental health in bisexual populations. In R. Fox (Chair), Identity, minority stress, and psychological well-being in bisexual populations. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington D.C.

15. Brewster, M.E., & Moradi, B. (2011, January). Pathologized to postmodern: The evolution of bisexuality discourses within psychological scholarship. In T. Israel (Chair), Bisexuality and beyond: Strengthening competencies regarding bisexual and fluid sexuality. Symposium conducted at the biennial meeting of the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Seattle, WA.

14. DeBlaere, C., & Brewster, M.E. (2011, January). Multiple discrimination experiences and psychological distress: The moderating role of collective action. In S. Gresham (Chair), Risk and resiliency among LGBT people of color: Linking science and practice. Symposium conducted at the biennial meeting of the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Seattle, WA.

13. Brewster, M.E. (2010, October). Exploring Bisexual Identity and Mental Health: Potential Factors of Risk and Resilience. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Utah University and College Counseling Centers Conference, Park City, UT.

12. Brewster, M.E., Velez, B.L., & Moradi, B. (2010, August). Transgender workplace issues: The applicability of sexual minority measures and models. In K. Balsam (Chair), Minority stress among LGBT populations: New directions in research. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.

11. Brewster, M.E., & Moradi, B. (2010, August). Bisexual identity in emerging, early, and middle adulthood. In S. Dworkin (Chair), Current research on bisexuality. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.

10. Velez, B.L., Moradi, B., Tolaymat, L., Parent, M., Brewster, M.E., & Zhang, S. (2010, August). Men's reference group identity: Links with collective self-esteem and social desirability. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.

9. Brewster, M.E., & Moradi, B. (2008, August). Perceived anti-bisexual prejudice experiences: Scale development and evaluation. In R. Fox (Chair), Current research on bisexuality: Identity, behavior, prejudice, and well-being. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

8. DeBlaere, C., Brewster, M.E., Sarkees, A., & Moradi, B. (2008, August). Methodological approaches for conducting research with LGBT persons of color. In B. Moradi & J. Mohr (Chairs), Innovative research methodologies for advancing LGBT scholarship. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

7. Martin, A., Moradi, B., & Brewster, M.E. (2008, August). Evaluating a measure of feminist threat. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

6. Brewster, M.E., & Moradi, B. (2007, August). Perceived prejudice experiences of bisexual individuals: Scale Development and initial evaluation. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

5. DeBlaere, C., & Brewster, M.E. (2007, August). A multicultural-feminist model of graduate training in intersections of diversities. In B. Moradi (Chair) Graduate training on intersections of diversities: model, strategies, and implementation. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

4. Huang, Y., Goodman, M., Brewster, M.E., Wiseman, M., Moradi, B., & Martin, A. (2007, August). Content Review of Literature on LGBT People of Color: 1995-2005. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

3. DeBlaere, C., Sarkees, A., & Brewster, M.E. (2006, August). Racial/Ethnic minority recruitment in LGB research: Strategies and successes. In B. Moradi (Chair) Practical issues in LGBT research. Round table discussion conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.

2. Moradi, B., DeBlaere, C., Wiseman, M., Goodman, M.B., Brewster, M.E., Huang, Y., Sarkees, A.M., & Garner, S.F. (2006, August). Racial/Ethnic minority and non-minority LGB persons' perceptions of stigma, internalized homophobia and outness: Comparisons of levels and links. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.           

current projects

I am currently working on projects related to queer identities and related stressors, atheism and non-belief, and romantic relationships (e.g., distribution of chores, polyamory, attachment). 

I have a longstanding interest in topics related to objectification, internalized standards of beauty, and body image concerns for people of all genders. My work falls broadly under the "minority stress theory" umbrella. 

personal news

Yes! I will be accepting one doctoral student for Fall 2015. No need to email me to express your interest. I do not meet or take phone calls with prospective students prior to interview day, however,  I look forward to reviewing your applications. LGBTQ-identified applicants, please consider applying for this scholarship through TC. 

I look for students who are independent self-starters, highly interested in research, competent in basic statistics, critical thinkers, and very strong writers. Fluency in Project Runway analysis and other reality TV may be considered as well. 

Please check out my research team website and the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project website (co-founded by me and Drs. Sandil and Athan) for more information about current projects, student work, and social justice initiatives.

CCPJ 4064: Theories of Counseling

Approaches to counseling; theories and research findings; educational, vocational, and personal counseling; typical problems; illustrative cases.

CCPJ 5062: Career Counseling and Development

General concepts of career development and methods of assessment in career counseling. This course also highlights various issues related to the career development of diverse client populations in light of contemporary socio-political phenomena. Materials fee: $40.

CCPJ 5371: Foundations of counseling

Permission required. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: For majors section, admission into the Ed.M. program in Psychological Counseling or Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology, CCPJ 4064 completed or taken concurrently; for non-majors section, CCPJ 4064 recommended but not required. A laboratory experience for counselors and others in the helping professions. Practice in clarifying, understanding, and responding to personal communications. Graduated exercises and videotapes are used to develop counseling and interviewing skills and desirable counselor attitudes. Special fee: $30.

CCPJ 5372: Foundations of counseling skills II

Permission required. Limited Enrollment. Continuing laboratory experience for helping professionals in further development of basic counseling skills with emphasis on increasing ones self-awareness and self-reflective ability. Practice and experience in attending, influencing and helping skills through in-class discussions, experiential activities, weekly journals, and counseling/clinical integration. Exploring assets and defenses that may facilitate or hinder therapeutic transactions.

CCPJ 8900: Dissertation Advisement

Individual advisement on doctoral dissertation. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term.

Documents & Papers

Atheists in America: Narratives from an Invisible Minority is a book that aspires to tell the stories of diverse individuals who identify as atheist in the increasingly conservative religious climate of the United States.

Download: Reposted Atheists in America Call for Submissions [PDF]

Centers and Projects

Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project
Website: http://swgproject.org

Founded in 2012, the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project (SWG) was created to envision and implement the next wave of theories and practices to improve well-being in persons at the intersection of the above identities and social locations. This forum is located at Teachers College, Columbia University, a world-renowned training ground for the next generation of educators, researchers, practitioners, administrators, and activists. SWG’s mission is to play a vital role in the creation of research initiatives, innovative curriculum, and institutional programming on campus and with partners beyond.


Melanie Elyse Brewster appeared in the following articles:

Diversity Hits the Books (6/3/2014)

2011 Year in Review (4/13/2012)

Working on the Margins of the Marginalized (12/20/2011)