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This session explores the intersectionality and cultural diversities within the Hispanic and Latinx community and how it impacts mental health services with a focus on cultural considerations and trauma histories.
Dr. Azara Santiago Rivera serves as the Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Felician University, Lodi, New Jersey. Also, she earned the status of Emeritus Professor and was the Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program in the Department of Psychology at Merrimack College. Before joining the Merrimack community, she held academic appointments at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) as the chair of the Counseling Department in August 2011 and became dean of academic affairs in August 2013 until 2015. Dr. Santiago-Rivera served as the associate dean of the School of Education, University at Albany (NY) from 2001―2004. Among outcomes of her work were initiatives to advance early career faculty with a focus on publishing, teaching strategies and tenure and promotion processes. In addition, she also held faculty positions as a professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2004―2011) and assistant and associate professor, University at Albany [NY] (1992―2004). Her publications and research interests include multicultural competencies in the counseling profession, bilingual therapy, Latinx adults and depression, and the impact of environmental contamination on the biopsychosocial well-being of Native Americans. Her current work involves assessing depression in Latinx adults and the challenges associated with the use of translated measures from English to Spanish. She is a coauthor of 3 books, over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and has given over 120 presentations/workshops at local, national and international conferences, universities, and organizations. She has held leadership positions in professional organizations such as the Vice-President of the Latino Interest Network of the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD), and the President of Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ) within the American Counseling Association. She is a past- President of the National Latino/a Psychological Association. She is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Latinx Psychology (APA journal) and is a Fellow of Divisions 45 and 17 of APA. In 2014, Dr. Santiago-Rivera received the APA Presidential Citation for outstanding contribution to the profession. Currently, Dr. Santiago Rivera is the President of the Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey and the Treasurer-Elect of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.