Center Staff


Photo of Northeast Caribbean MHTTC PI and Co-Director Kenneth Gill

Kenneth Gill, Ph.D., CPRP, (PI and Co-Director) is an Associate Dean of Faculty Development, and Chairperson and Professor of the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He supervises academic programs from the associate through doctoral levels. He oversees workforce development and technical assistance projects funded by New Jersey, New York and other states. He is co-author of two books, Psychiatric Rehabilitation (2014) and People in Recovery as Providers: Building on the Wisdom of Experience (2010) and more than 60 peer reviewed articles and chapters. He combines his applied research background (Ph.D., Columbia) with his psychiatric rehabilitation and leadership expertise to improve the skills of providers and refine practices designed to help people with serious mental illnesses thrive. Contact:



Photo of Ann Murphy, Co-Director for the Northeast Caribbean MHTTC


Ann Murphy, Ph.D., CPRP, (Co-Director) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers. She has extensive experience as a researcher, focused on interventions to improve the lives of individuals with psychiatric conditions, as well as a provider of psychiatric rehabilitation services. She has provided many professional development conference presentations and trainings throughout her career and is committed to facilitating the implementation of evidence-based practices in mental health. Ann has contributed significantly to the implementation of several federal and foundation funded research studies and has conducted program evaluations for community based mental health programs, including serving as Evaluator for three SAMHSA funded Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) grantees. Contact:  




Joni Dolce

Joni Dolce, MS, CRC, CPRP, (Project Associate) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers. Joni has several years of experience working in behavioral healthcare, specifically Supported Employment (SE) services, providing both direct employment services and supervising SE staff. She has authored and co-authored articles and workbooks on employment and education and provides workshops locally and nationally on a variety of career services related topics. Some of her areas of expertise include in-vivo staff training, job development, and implementing employment services into non-vocational settings.  Joni has presented and provided training to a wide range of audiences including individuals in recovery, behavioral healthcare providers, Veterans Administration staff, Human Resource professionals, and employers. Joni’s role in the MHTTC will be to support systems change initiatives through training, consultation, and technical assistance provided to behavioral healthcare systems and organizations. Contact:





Photo of Katty Rivera


Katty Rivera, M.Ed, (Project Coordinator) comes to the MHTTC from a large community-based behavioral health organization where she managed treatment teams and coordinated services for people with serious mental illnesses in employment and housing programs. She has presented training programs and managed large community-based events. Katty is a leader in the Latino/a community serving as co-chair on the advisory board of the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers and a leader with the Latino Alumni Association. She also serves on the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion for the Rutgers University Alumni Association (RUAA). Contact:






Headshot of Heidi Trotta


Heidi Trotta (Instructional Designer) focuses on e-learning creation and production work at the MHTTC.  Her current academic interests include visual design and literacy, case-based learning, digital gaming and design thinking. Heidi has her Ed.M. from Teachers College at Columbia University in Instructional Technology and Media with a Master’s Degree in Adult Education/Instructional Media from Seton Hall and certificates in Advanced Web Design/Web Graphics from Rutgers University. To relax and have fun, she loves to pursue creative projects such as painting, sculpting, mixed media, creating books and drawing.  She also enjoys ballroom dancing. Contact:






PJ Wenger

Pamela J. (PJ) Wenger, LPC, NBCC, MFT, Ed.S., MA, M.Ed., is a licensed professional counselor with over 15 years of experience working as a school guidance counselor. She has also served as a trauma loss responder with the NJ Trauma Loss Coalition since 2004. Ms. Wenger has experience as a psychiatric screener, a mental health counselor, and a recreation therapist. She utilizes her extensive experience to provide dynamic professional development seminars and trainings on topics such as Youth Mental Health First Aid, QPR – Suicide Prevention Program, Sandplay Therapy, trauma response to suicide and other traumatic events, and school anxiety and school refusal.  Contact:








Kristy Ritvalsky

Kristy Ritvalsky, MPH is a school-based senior training and consultation specialist with the MHTTC. Before joining the MHTTC team, she supported school teams with coaching, training, and technical assistance in social emotional learning (SEL), school mental health, and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). She brings more than 15 years of experience in implementing and maintaining evidence-based. practices in various settings that involve direct and indirect consultation services. Kristy is passionate about improving the educational and social outcomes in urban communities. She has worked extensively in urban districts of Philadelphia, PA and Newark, NJ working within schools and partnering with community organizations to align school-wide behavior programs. Contact:








Caribel HeadshotCaribel Sanabria Vélez, Ph.D., (Senior Training and Consultation Specialist – Mental Health and School Mental Health lead for Puerto Rico) is a fully bilingual Clinical Psychologist. She has over seven years of clinical and research work, performing with federal, community, and non-profit organizations. Using the knowledge gained with her postdoc degree in trauma, she developed and provided workshops, documentation, and psychoeducation with an evidence-based methodology to foster and increase the resiliency of the Puerto Rican population. Caribel has worked on federal proposals targeted at helping minority and Hispanic populations who suffered during and post-Hurricane Sandy in New York City. She has also collaborated as a therapist and consultant in the development of new proposals for projects with the purpose of training mental health specialists in resiliency and trauma post-Hurricane María in Puerto Rico. Contact: 

Caribel Sanabria Vélez, Ph.D., (Especialista senior en capacitación y consulta – Principal representante de Salud Mental Comunitaria y Salud Mental Escolar en Puerto Rico) es una psicóloga clínica completamente bilingüe. Ella tiene sobre siete años de trabajo clínico e investigativo, trabajando con organizaciones federales, comunitarias y sin fines de lucro. Usando los conocimientos adquiridos con su posdoctorado en trauma, desarrolló y brindó talleres, documentación y psicoeducación con una metodología basada en la evidencia para fomentar y aumentar la resiliencia de la población puertorriqueña. Caribel ha trabajado en propuestas federales destinadas a ayudar a las poblaciones minoritarias e hispanas que sufrieron durante y después del huracán Sandy en la ciudad de Nueva York. También ha colaborado como terapeuta y consultora en el desarrollo de nuevas propuestas de proyectos con el propósito de capacitar especialistas en salud mental en resiliencia y trauma post-Huracán María en Puerto Rico. Contacto:





Aaron Levitt

Aaron Levitt, Ph.D., (Evaluator) is Director of Rutgers University’s Integrated Employment Institute (IEI). He has extensive experience in program design and evaluation, management information systems, and continuous quality improvement related to health and human services. Dr. Levitt has published research in and served as a peer reviewer for several leading behavioral health journals, and has served on the research committees of United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (now Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association) and the 100,000 Homes Campaign. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, Dr. Levitt worked for more than 20 years in homeless services in several capacities, most recently as Director of the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) Training Institute in New York City. Contact:







Meredith Bell

Meredith Bell (Program Assistant) received her B.A. in Health and Wellness Communication, with a minor in Digital Communication, Information, and Media, from Rutgers University. As the program assistant, Meredith runs our social media accounts, creates digital content for the center, and provides administrative support to other members of the team. In her spare time, Meredith enjoys cooking, hiking, and camping with her husband and her dog. Contact: