MEET THE MCO TEAM

Click below to learn more about our collaborators

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TED BARTHOLOMEW, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology & Africana Studies, Scripps College

Dr. Bartholomew is an Assistant Professor of Psychology & Africana Studies at Scripps College. His research focuses on psychotherapy processes and mental illness from international, multicultural, and positive psychological lenses as well as methodology in psychological research. This work has included explorations of explanatory models of mental illness, transgender clients' distress, therapist effects with international students, hope in psychotherapy, and therapists' cultural comfort in addition to other studies with an underscored emphasis on understanding the co-construction of culture and psychology. His empirical efforts in are driven by a pragmatic use of research methods, drawing from quantitative, qualitative, ethnographic, and mixed methods perspectives that also include community engagement to understand cultural processes.

JEREMY COLEMAN, Ph.D.

Jeremy is an Assistant Professor of psychological sciences in the College of Science and
Mathematics at Augusta University. His research investigates the impact of systemic,
cultural, and environmental factors on psychotherapy outcomes. He is passionate about
scale development, toward improving multiculturally-oriented client-based feedback systems.

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DON DAVIS, Ph.D.

The research program Don Davis works with generally falls under the umbrella of positive psychology. The lab, called Humility and the Advancement of Positive Psychology Interventions (HAPPI), generally studies the virtues humility, forgiveness and gratitude. The lab does both basic and applied research. He also does work on spirituality as an aspect of diversity.

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CIRLEEN DEBLAERE, Ph.D.

Dr. Cirleen DeBlaere examines the experiences of individuals with multiple and intersecting marginalized identities, with a particular emphasis on the experiences of women of color and sexual minority people of color. To date, her work has focused on the links of minority stressors (e.g., discrimination, prejudice, stigma) to mental health.
She also investigates potential moderating and mediating variables in the minority stress-mental health relation to identify points of intervention and inform the development of mental health-promoting strategies for multiply marginalized individuals.

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JOANNA DRINANE, Ph.D.

Joanna maintains a program of study, which focuses on viewing psychotherapy process and outcome through a cultural lens. In particular, she seeks to capture how intersections of identity shape the therapeutic relationship and the impact cultural conversations have on the change clients make in therapy. Her research primarily employs quantitative methods to examine the interplay between factors associated with clients, therapists, and the systems in which they reside.

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JOSHUA HOOK, Ph.D.

Joshua Hook (Ph.D.) is a Counseling Psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of North Texas, where he teaches Multicultural Counseling. His research interests include humility, religion/spirituality, and multicultural counseling and training. He blogs regularly at www.JoshuaNHook.com

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MARTIN KIVLIGHAN, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Iowa

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JESSE OWEN, Ph.D.

Dr. Jesse Owen is a Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver. His research seeks to contribute to the enhancement and understanding of couples' relationship functioning, as well as to develop a deeper understanding of the common and specific factors related to therapeutic effectiveness. An underlying assumption of his lab's mission is to contextualize their work through cross-cultural factors that are inherently interwoven with the lives of individuals, couples, and therapists.

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ANDRES PEREZ-ROJAS, Ph.D.

Dr. Perez-Rojas is interested in various aspects of culture and multiculturalism, particularly on topics related to language and bilingualism, acculturation, Latino/a mental health, and the role of culture in psychotherapy. Through theoretical and empirical scholarship, Dr. Pérez-Rojas strives to advance knowledge of what makes psychotherapy work, and the cultural factors that hinder and/or enrich the psychotherapy experience for multilingual and culturally diverse people.

SHAAKIRA HAYWOOD STEWART, Ph.D.

Dr. Shaakira Haywood Stewart is a licensed psychologist and consultant in New York City. Her private practice is deeply rooted in creating safe spaces for diverse people to heal. She primarily works with people of color that hold various intersecting marginalized identities. In addition to seeing individual clients, she consults with companies and organizations surrounding DEI initiatives as well as mental health best practices. Organizations that she has had the pleasure of working with on speaking engagements include the following: Footlocker Inc., Puma, Transparent Black Girl, Alkeme Health, Reimagine Talent Company, Public.com, Hotwire Global, Omnicom Group, and DDB. Dr. Haywood Stewart lives in Harlem, has a young son that keeps her on her toes, and enjoys visiting art galleries and trying new restaurants.

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KAREN TAO, Ph.D.

 Karen’s clinical and research interests are guided by an overarching goal to reduce disparities in the access, service, and quality of mental health and education for historically marginalized groups. She is interested in the questions, “How do people negotiate conversations about difference and culture?” and “Why does multicultural competence matter?” 

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MELANIE WILCOX, Ph.D.

Dr. Melanie (Mel) Wilcox is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Institute of Public and Preventive Health, and Department of Psychiatry at Augusta University. Her research, both qualitative and quantitative, focuses predominantly on racial and socioeconomic justice, including antiracism and whiteness work, particularly in the contexts of psychotherapy and higher education. Her research also focuses on social justice more broadly, including social justice theory, critical Whiteness studies, and economic and LGBTQIA+ justice. Her overarching goals are to improve psychotherapeutic services and higher education for members of historically minoritized communities and to better understand the factors that hinder advancement toward equity and justice. Dr. Wilcox has provided numerous peer-reviewed and continuing education presentations on the topics of Multicultural Orientation, Culturally Responsive Psychotherapy and Clinical Supervision, Multicultural Training and Education, Social Class, LGBTQIA+ issues including Trans Affirming Care, Antiracism, as well as Addiction/Substance Abuse (a clinical area of expertise and passion of hers), Trauma, and Psychological Assessment. She has held a number of leadership positions in the American Psychological Association and its Divisions, including currently serving as a member (and former Chair) of the APA Board of Educational Affairs and as Past-Chair of the Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology) Early Career Professionals Committee. She has received a number of awards from the American Psychological Association as well as the Society of Counseling Psychology.

Click below to visit Dr. Wilcox's website:

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STEPHANIE WINKELJOHN BLACK, Ph.D.

Stephanie Winkeljohn Black uses MCO principles to understand psychotherapy trainees' approach in working with clients of diverse religious, spiritual, and secular (RSS) backgrounds. A forthcoming article in a special issue on Cultural Humility in the Journal of Psychology and Theology features a pilot study on how trainees respond to feedback, a component of MCO, about their attitudes toward RSS identities. Dr. Winkeljohn Black has given talks at the American Psychological Association and Penn State on this work.