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Stigma, Identity, and Intersectionality
Brandon Velez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology and Education
Dr. Brandon Velez is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Education in the Counseling Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida in 2014. Dr. Velez's research focuses on the associations of experiences of discrimination and identity-related attitudes with psychosocial outcomes (e.g., psychological distress, well-being, job satisfaction, body image) among people with marginalized identities. He is also interested in the ways that multiple forms of oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism) may contribute additively, interactively, or intersectionally to the psychosocial functioning of people with multiple marginalized identities, such as sexual minority people of color. An emerging area of interest for Dr. Velez is how counseling psychology can best foster and support graduate trainees' involvement in social justice-related training. In his free time, Dr. Velez enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, reading science fiction and fantasy novels, and catching up on TV.
Further details about Dr. Velez's publications, presentations, and current research projects can be found in his CV.
Dr. Velez currently teaches the following courses:
CCPJ 5062: Career Counseling and Development
CCPJ 5070: Evaluation and Research Methods in Counseling Psychology
CCPJ 5164: Multicultural Counseling and Psychology
Christian (he/him/his) is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Counseling Psychology PhD program. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago and then spent three years at Northwestern University as a program evaluator on various projects focused on HIV prevention, health disparities, and health justice in service of queer and trans* youth of color in Chicago. Christian originally joined the Stigma, Identity, and Intersectionality research team in Fall 2018 when he joined Teachers College to pursue his master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Broadly, his research interests focus on how systems impact the mental and sexual health of people with more than one marginalized identity, with a particular interest in those who are marginalized based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and national origin. He plans to explore these interests formally through the doctoral program’s concentration in Bilingual Latinx Mental Health and a Teachers College-wide advanced certificate in Sexuality, Women, and Gender. Outside of his academic and professional interests, Christian enjoys staying highly caffeinated, winning Broadway ticket lotteries, bingeing TV shows, and soaking up sunshine.
Brianna A. Baker
Brianna Baker (she/her/hers) is a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program. Born and raised in North Carolina, she graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and African American Community Health and Resilience. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked as a Public Health Analyst at RTI International, where she focused on community and policy-level interventions related to health equity, school-based mental health promotion, and violence prevention. Her research interests broadly include sociopolitical determinants of mental health, positive Black youth development, and ameliorating sociohistorical racial trauma through community-focused program development. She hopes to mesh her passions for communications, public health, and psychology to bring African American mental health to the forefront of America’s social, moral, and political agendas. She is currently a psychology extern at Barnard College, where she leads group therapy for women of color in addition to conducting individual psychotherapy. In addition to her research and clinical work, Brianna is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar and receives training in translation research to actionable policy. Aside from her academic and professional interests, Brianna enjoys acting and theater arts, writing short stories, volunteering, adventuring with her dog Zola, and attempting to solve murder mysteries on Reddit.
Michael (he/him/his) is a first-year doctoral student. He recently completed a Masters of Education in Mental Health Counseling (Counseling Psychology) at Teachers College, Columbia University. During that program, he fulfilled his fieldwork requirement at Terence Cardinal Cooke, a nursing care center in East Harlem. He serves as Director of Career Counseling at Columbia Law School’s Office of Career Services, where he has worked for the past several years. His research interests center on the career development and mental health of people with marginalized identities. He has served as an adjunct professor and career advisor at St. John’s University School of Law. Before working in career counseling, he worked as an attorney. He graduated from Columbia Law School (J.D.) and Brown University (B.A., Philosophy). Michael is interested in cooking, trying new foods, and spending time with his niece and nephew.
Kiara Manosalvas (she/her/hers) is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College. Before beginning her doctoral degree, she worked as a research assistant at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she helped develop medical institutions' organizational measures to become trauma-informed. In this role, she advocated for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking attempting to access and navigate the health care system. Kiara is currently working as an intern at the Manhattan VA. Her broad research interests include sexual violence towards women of color, clinical training and supervision of social justice-oriented mental health providers, and culturally affirmative, bilingual mental health services for Latinx populations. Aside from her academic interests, Kiara enjoys singing and musical theatre, thrift store shopping, exploring independent bookstores, and alternating between red wine and strong coffee.
Emmett (he/him/his) is a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Teachers College. He earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the past few years, he has worked as a research coordinator for various health equity projects and as a mental health counselor at a private practice. Emmett has engaged in research around experiences of minority stress, disordered eating, body image concerns, and protective factors in transgender and gender expansive (TGE) populations. He will be expanding upon this research at Teachers College and hopes to learn more about the lived experiences of minority stress and resilience among TGE populations who hold multiple marginalized identities. In his leisurely time, Emmett enjoys consuming copious amounts of coffee, bike riding, and reading for fun.
Anha Jhuremalani (she/her/hers) is a second year student of the Master of Education program in Mental Health Counseling at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is also pursuing an advanced certificate in sexuality, women, and gender counseling. She graduated with a BSc in Psychology from Durham University in 2020. Prior to Teachers College, Anha has been involved in numerous volunteering stints across India, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and enjoys competing in sporting activities. Anha’s research interests include the mental health correlates of multiple marginalized identities, specifically those who have been denied access to care. Anha has also had previous research experience working with incarcerated populations, as well as understanding the development of gender stereotypes amongst primary school-aged children.
Faith Iloka (she/her/hers) is a second-year masters student in the Mental Health Counseling EdM program. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies from Princeton University. Faith’s research and professional interests center at the intersection of race, mental health, and the arts. Her past works explore the mental health implications of domestic violence on Black mothers and the unique marginalization minority women face based on their race, class and gender. In Princeton’s Just Data Lab, Faith and colleagues curated a Mental Health Playbook that confronted the experience of Black mourning, grief, and mental health through art, music, poetry, and plays submitted by community members. In the SII lab and future research, Faith hopes to further explore the use of artistic mediums in trauma-informed, individual and community-oriented care, and its implications on accessibility to mental health services for marginalized communities and social prescription. In her spare time, Faith enjoys thrifting, dancing to Afrobeats, and exploring new places/foods.