Veteran Multicultural Competence Training Certificate | Teachers College Columbia University

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Veteran Multicultural Competence Training Certificate

July 27, 2016 - July 28, 2016

July 27, 2016: Training for Medical and Mental Health Professionals
July 28, 2016: Training for Business and Human Resources Leaders

Registration Fee: $295 for the one-day training certificate (includes one CEU). This fee includes a lunch and attendance to the Theater of War performance on July 27th at 7pm. RSVP here for the Theater of War performance. 

Student Rate available for currently enrolled graduate students. Please contact for more infomation.

Eligible for One (1) CEU


Email Joseph Geraci at with questions about the program.

Email Continuing Professional Studies at with logisitical or general questions.


Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families conducts basic & applied research, develops psychological services/training curricula and collaborates with local and federal stakeholders in order to assist Veterans/families to successfully transition into becoming our next citizen leaders.

Training Goal

The goal of this training certificate is to provide participants with Veteran multicultural competence training so they can provide more effective, multicultural-informed services to Veterans and their families.

Training Objectives

  • Participants are able to summarize the resulting trajectories (i.e., PTSD vs. resilience) that Veterans experience after facing potentially traumatic events or stressors- from combat or transitioning to civilian life-, as well as the factors that contribute to resilience.
  • Participants understand the importance of a multicultural competence approach to providing effective services for Veterans and their families.
  • Participants become aware of their own personal beliefs and attitudes towards Veterans and their families that may challenge the services they provide. Participants become knowledgeable of the world-view (i.e., values, traditions, and culture) of Veterans and their family members, as well as multicultural-specific skills that may assist Veterans and their families.
  • Participants are able to implement Veteran and family member multicultural-specific skills during experiential sessions.

Who Should Attend

July 27th Training - Medical and mental health providers who currently work with Veterans and their families or would like to begin working with this unique population.

July 28th Training - Business and human resources leaders who currently employ Veterans and their families or would like to being employ this unique population.

More than 2.6 million service members have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11. Over 1.7 million of these service members have already left the military and rejoined civilian life. While combat and other traumatic exposures can cause the later onset of psychological disorders for Veterans, transition difficulties (i.e., employment, school, housing, family, community, and medical) can worsen their psychological well-being and productivity. Sayer et al. (2010) found that a majority of Veterans endorse having extreme difficulties with ‘belonging in civilian society’ (76 percent), ‘confiding or sharing personal thoughts and feelings’ (87 percent), and ‘doing what is needed for work’ (60 percent). It is quite possible that these transition difficulties are due in part to a contrast between the culture that Veterans experience in the military compared to the culture they experience with medical and mental health providers with little to no military experience. Consistent with Hall (2011), individuals with military service and their families possess a unique culture quite different from what they may experience after transition. This training attempts to address this contrast and increase the multicultural competence of medical and mental health providers so that they can best serve Veterans and family members.

 Multicultural competence entails medical and mental health providers, business and human resource leaders possessing the attitudes/beliefs, knowledge and skills to provide effective services and establish an optimal environment for culturally diverse persons. Multicultural competence consists of three domains: awareness, knowledge and skills (Hall, 2011). The first domain, awareness, stresses providers understanding their own personal beliefs and attitudes and to what extent their own cultural conditioning may have contributed to these beliefs and attitudes. The second domain, knowledge, addresses practitioners’ understanding of the worldviews of culturally different patients- Veterans and their families. And finally, the skills domain addresses the process of actively developing and practicing appropriate intervention strategies needed for work with Veterans and their families.

Dr. George Bonanno
Professor of Psychology and Education
Director, Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab
Director, Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families

Professor George Bonanno received his Ph.D. from Yale University. His research over the past 15 years has examined how adults and children respond to and cope with extremely aversive events, such as the death of a loved one, war, infectious disease, sexual abuse, and terrorist attacks. In recent years, Professor Bonanno's work has focused more specifically on defining psychological resilience in Veterans exposed to extreme adversity and on the psychological and contextual factors that might inform resilient outcomes. This work has been funded by generous grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Dinelia Rosa
Director, Dean-Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services
Director of Clinical Services, Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families

Dr. Dinelia Rosa is director of the Dean-Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services at Teachers College. She obtained her Clinical Psychology degree from the Derner Institute, Adelphi University. Prior to her current job, Dr. Rosa worked for 18 years throughout New York City in various clinical and educational settings predominantly with children and families from diverse backgrounds. Within the Dean-Hope Center, she recently worked to develop a Veteran and Family program in which advanced graduate students provide psychological and education services for Veterans and their families. She is the President of the New York State American Psychological Association.

Joseph Geraci, LMHC
David and Maureen O’Connor Scholar
PhD Student in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College (Dissertation Complete)
Director of Military Relations, Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families
Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry), US Army

Joe Geraci is the Director of Military Relations for the Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families and an advanced doctoral candidate in the Clinical Psychology Program. He is an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army with numerous deployments to Afghanistan. He received his B.S. in International Relations from the United States Military Academy. He received his MA (Social Organizational Psychology) and EdM (Mental Health Counseling) from Teachers College, Columbia University. His research involves understanding and mitigating PTSD in military members and emergency service personnel. He is currently leading a research experiment in NYC that examines the efficacy of trained, peer mentors (ProVetus) for transitioning Veterans. He has been married for over 18 years and has three sons.

Meaghan Mobbs
David and Maureen O’Connor Scholar
PhD Student in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College
Former Captain, US Army

Meaghan graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2008 with a B.S. in Comparative Politics. She commissioned as a quartermaster officer and reported to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, where she served as an aerial delivery officer and platoon leader. After successful completion of Jumpmaster school and the Joint Airdrop Inspector course, she was selected to command an aerial delivery detachment and lead the unit in Afghanistan. Meaghan graduated with her M.A. in Forensic Psychology from George Washington University. Meaghan is a Tillman Military Scholar, a two-time Noble Argus scholarship recipient, and a National Military Family Association scholarship recipient. She is currently leading a national research project that examines the transitional difficulties of service members as they transition from military to civilian life. Meaghan is married to CPT Michael Mobbs and has two daughters, Pepper (3 yo) and Madison (2 yo).

Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Starbucks, senior VP for Public Affairs). Prior to joining Starbucks in 2015, Rajiv was a senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post. He is the author of bestselling books: "Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan" and "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone," which was named one of the 10 best books of 2007 by The New York Times and inspired the movie Green Zone. In 2014, he and Howard Schultz (Starbucks CEO) wrote the bestselling book, "For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice."

Yvette Branson, PhD, has been with the VA since 2007, first as a post doctoral student in behavioral health research and then as the coordinator of the suicide prevention program. As Suicide Prevention Coordinator, she trained over 1,000 staff members in the Gatekeeper training, known as Operation SAVE- a training that uses the public health approach to prevent suicide. Dr Branson now works with veterans on college campuses in the VA VITAL Initiative (Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership) to assist student veterans who are seeking to reestablish their footing in civilian life: building relationships, finding affordable housing, balancing budgets and achieving career goals. Her objective is to provide whatever support is needed throughout the transition process. In addition she has a personal interest in the issue of stigma and barriers within our community to seeking help.

Patricia Raskin, PhD. Emeritus faculty at Columbia University, Teachers College and the Columbia University Business school. Dr. Rakin focuses on providing individual and couples' counseling services and specializes in work issues, executive coaching, womens’ issues, military transitions, and career coaching services. She has extensive experience teaching military officers as faculty for West Point Eisenhower Leader Development Program and currently has a full-time independent practice in New York and Connecticut.


In an effort to assist you with your search for accommodations, we have listed several hotels (click on "other accommodations") you might consider. A train/cab ride away from Teachers College, all of these hotels are located on the Upper West Side (UWS) of New York City. Attractions in close proximity to these accommodations include: the Planetarium, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Lincoln Center, The Museum of Natural History, and Central Park.  

Teachers College and Union Theological Seminary also offer housing during the summer months for a nominal fee. These rooms are within a short walking distance from campus.

To learn more about Guest Housing, visit this webpage:



There are two international airports in the New York City area: (1) JFK international airport; and, (2) Newark International Airport.

TAXI FROM JFK: JFK is located in Queens Borough of NYC. Teachers College, Columbia University is located in the Manhattan Borough of NYC. Taking a taxi would be the most convenient way to reach Manhattan from the JFK airport. It costs about $50 to reach any destination in Manhattan from the JFK, whether your hotel or Teachers College, Columbia University.

SUBWAY FROM JFK: Taking the subway from JFK is another option for reaching Manhattan where Teachers College, Columbia University is located. However, this option is much slower (e.g. up to 1 hour and 45 minutes) and rather inconvenient when carrying luggage (up and down several sets of stairs). You can take the airport shuttle to Howard Beach station to board A Train which takes you to 42nd Street/Times Square where you transfer to No. 1 subway train; you must be careful to select the UPTOWN # 1 train; you would get off at 116 Street Station, also known as the Columbia University Station.

TAXI FROM NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Newark airport is located in the city of Newark, New Jersey. A taxi from Newark to Manhattan or to the college costs about $50.

TRAIN AND SUBWAY FROM NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: You can also take a train to reach Manhattan from the Newark Airport. The train will take you from Newark to the Penn Station stop in Manhattan; once there, you can transfer to the No. 1 Subway train, heading uptown, allowing you to reach the 116 Street Station, also known as the Columbia University Station).


TAXI FROM LAGUARDIA: The closest domestic airport is the LaGuardia Airport. A taxi costs about $30-$35 or more to reach most hotels Manhattan, and about $30 to reach Teachers College, Columbia University by taxi.

SUBWAY FROM LAGUARDIA: You can also take bus No. M60 which takes you directly to the West Gate at 116th and Broadway. Teachers College, Columbia University is a short walk, being located at 525 West 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.


Amtrak provides train service along the Northeast Corridor. Explore rates at

Amtrak involves an approximately $20 taxi ride from 31st and 8th Avenue to 120th and Broadway (525 West 120th Street—between Broadway and Amsterdam). Or, a 20-30 minutes subway ride on the 1 train from 34th street to 116th street. Then walk North to 120th and Broadway.

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