Our Team

CHP Staff Leadership

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Elissa Brown, Ph.D.

Founder & Executive Director
Dr. Brown is Executive Director of Child HELP Partnership. Her primary clinical and research interests include the prevention and treatment of child trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Brown has received federal, state, and private funding to evaluate interventions for traumatized children, many of whom are from culturally-diverse and economically-disadvantaged communities. She is co-developer of Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy [link] and a certified trainer of Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy [link]. She recently received the Mark Chaffin Outstanding Research Career Achievement Award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.
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Robin Goodman, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Public Education and Bereavement
Dr. Goodman’s areas of interest include trauma, illness and grief. She developed Making Connections, a child and family group bereavement curriculum that has been implemented nationally. Her public education efforts include contributions to print and network media and she developed Caring for Kids After Trauma and Death: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Book credits include, The Day Our World Changed: Children’s Art of 9/11, Ready to Remember: Jeremy’s Journey of Hope and Healing, and Rosie Remembers: Forever in Her Heart.
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Andrea Bergman, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Online Learning and Transition Age Youth
Dr. Bergman is interested in understanding the experiences of adolescents and emerging adults and utilizing this understanding to develop effective interventions. Her research focuses on youth experiencing problems, such as homelessness, trauma, and substance abuse. Dr. Bergman and her research team use both qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the experiences of youth in different settings, focusing on how their lives have been impacted by services that have been available or are lacking.
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Imad Zaheer, Ph.D.

Associate Director for School Mental Health
Dr. Zaheer is interested in the application of implementation science and systems change towards creating and sustaining school prevention and intervention programs . Specifically, this includes initiatives such as School mental health, PBIS, & RTI within a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework and interconnected systems framework (ISF) to link family-school-communities for comprehensive care.

CHP Staff

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Russi Soffer

Doctoral Fellow

Students

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Michelle Cusumano

Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track
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Maddi Gervasio

Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track
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Emily Hockenberry

Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track
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Kim Keller

Doctoral Student, School Psychology Program
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Shari Lieblich

Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology Program, Adult Track
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Nicole Milani

Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track
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Kate Murphy

Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track
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Emilie Paul

Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology Program, Adult Track
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Tohar Scheininger

Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track
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Alyssa Williamson

Doctoral student, Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track

CHP Consultants

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Scarlett Iglesias Hoyos

Clinical Professional Counselor - Intern
Scarlett is completing her post degree internship at The PRACTICE providing services to underserved population under trauma-informed care and to Spanish-speakers. She is a mental health and multicultural consultant. Scarlett holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Biomedical and Health Sciences from the Autonomous University of Hidalgo’s State in Mexico, an M.S. in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from the Cognitive Behavioral Institute in Mexico. She initiated her professional journey in mental health in Mexico, achieving over eight years of clinical experience in private practice. Scarlett moved to the United States in 2018, where she graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
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Richard LeBeau, Ph.D.

Clinical Quality Supervisor
Dr. Richard LeBeau is a clinical psychologist focused on improving the quality and reach of evidence-based psychological treatments for mood and anxiety disorders. He is particularly passionate about improving the mental health of members of minoritized groups, particularly sexual and gender minorities. Currently, he works as a Clinical Quality Supervisor at Lyra Health, contributes to research at UCLA, serves as the Editor of the Behavior Therapist, and treats clients in his private practice.
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Metzli Augustina Lombera, M.S.

Graduate Student
Metzli Augustina Lombera (she/her/hers) is a third year in the Child Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the Pennsylvania State University. Before starting graduate school, Metzli served as the Intake and Administrative Coordinator for CHP. Her research interests include operationalizing childhood maltreatment, (re)victimization of childhood maltreatment as it relates to a youth’s cultural identity, and how we can leverage youth and family cultural identity in the treatment of maltreatment.
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Hugh Love, Ph.D.

Staff Psychologist, Columbia University
Dr. Hugh Love is a licensed psychologist with expertise in clinical services with children, adolescents, and young adults. He is currently a staff psychologist in a community-based program at a major university medical center in New York, NY. Dr. Love received his doctorate in School Psychology from Fordham University in New York City. Dr. Love’s areas of clinical interest include mental health services for men and boys of color and LGBTQ+ populations and psychological / neuropsychological testing.
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Haley O'Brien, M.S.

Operations Specialist
Haley O’Brien is Yup’ik from Bethel, Alaska. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Human Biology and an MS in Community Health and Prevention Research. She is passionate about public and environmental health, how people’s built environment affects their health, and addressing health disparities with culturally competent care. She currently resides in San Francisco and works for a health tech startup on their operations team.
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Will Avery Paisley, M.A.

Program Analyst, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation
Will Avery Paisley (they/he) is a graduate of Stanford University with a B.A.H. in Native American Studies and Sociology alongside a minor in Spanish. They also hold an M.A. in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Will grew up in Lake Tapps, WA and loves the Pacific Northwest dearly. They are an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, a descendant of the Blackfeet Nation and of Greek ancestry.
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Sarah Ramos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor & Psychologist
Dr. Sarah Ramos is the training clinic director for the department of Counseling and Educational Psychology and co-director of clinical training for the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at New Mexico State University. She received specialized training in and has extensive experience providing therapy services to the Latinx Spanish-speaking community. She engages in clinical work through systemic and liberation frameworks to promote health and healing. She is a licensed psychologist in Nevada and New Mexico.
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Nazli Rodriguez, Psy.D.

Bilingual School Psychologist
Dr. Nazli Rodriguez is a bilingual school psychologist currently working in the New York City Department of Education as a counselor, advocate, and educator for children and adolescents, including those who are culturally diverse, in special education, and have been trauma impacted. Dr. Rodriguez has worked in various sectors of the Child Help Partnership providing community support and outreach, therapeutic intervention using evidence based practices, and contributing to programmatic research.
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Vanessa Rodriguez

Clinical Psychologist
Vanessa Rodriguez, PhD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas. She is also a consultant for the Clinical and Community Studies Laboratory at Montclair State University and has served as a Psychological Professional Practice Advocate for the National Latinx Psychological Association. Dr. Rodriguez is a graduate of St. John’s University and a former Assistant Director of Community Programs at the Child HELP Partnership.
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Timothy Stahl, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Timothy Stahl’s training focused on the evaluation/treatment of childhood trauma, in addition to providing culturally attuned trauma-informed psychotherapies. He completed his clinical internship at New York-Presbyterian's Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and is currently a psychologist at the Institute for Advanced Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. His clinical work focuses on flexibly providing evidence-based interventions to individuals from various cultural, racial, gender, and sexual orientation backgrounds in English and Spanish.
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Samara Toussaint, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Toussaint is a licensed psychologist from New York. She currently serves as the Director of Trauma Treatment & Training at her private practice Path2Growth Counseling Services in Floral Park, NY. Dr. Toussaint consults with schools and agencies on employee self-care, managing burnout, coping with workplace trauma, and trauma-informed crisis intervention. Her work on trauma and self-care has been featured in Allure Magazine, Sisters AARP, Yahoo Life, and Refinery 29. She has also been a guest on several podcasts and social media talk shows, including Black Female Therapists and the Black Doctoral Network.
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Scyatta Wallace, Ph.D.

CEO/Founder, Janisaw Company
Currently CEO/Founder of Janisaw Company, which recently launched Women of Color STEM Leadership Lab. WoC STEM Leadership Lab supports the career development and retention of graduate level/early career women of color in STEM fields. Program offerings include an online community and virtual workshops/trainings.

Parents

Teens

CHP Advisors

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Christopher Anderson

Advocate
Mr. Anderson is dedicated to helping male survivors of sexual abuse. He has presented to National District Attorneys Association, UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence, Department of Defense, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and Penn State University. As a member of Local One, IATSE, Mr. Anderson has worked as a stagehand both on and off Broadway.
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Lois Beekman Olivera

Communications and Marketing Specialist
Lois Beekman Oliveira is a strategist who has worked to reduce family violence for 30 years. She developed marketing campaigns for The Ford Foundation, Cornell Medical College, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Darkness to Light and Domestic Shelters.org. Ms. Oliveira has been a trustee of Barnard College, CARE, The 92nd St Y and Tampa Performing Arts Center. The American Bar Association gave her an award for her work in family violence.
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Alan Brown, J.D.

Attorney
Alan Brown is a partner of Graubard Miller, a New York City law firm. He practices corporate law with a concentration on mergers and acquisitions and business and financial planning for middle market size clients. In addition, Mr. Brown is a member of the Board of Directors of a 1500 home golf club community, as well as its treasurer.
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Gretl Claggett, M.F.A.

Author, Filmmaker, Child Sexual Abuse Advocate
Gretl Claggett creates, directs, and produces cinematic stories that catalyze transformation in individual lives and shared cultures. Her award-winning film Happy Hour — narrated by Julianne Moore — tackles childhood sexual abuse, and garnered praise from Writer/Director Robert Benton: “a lush, elegiac film about an extremely difficult subject that Ms. Claggett handles masterfully.” Her film STORMCHASER played 65 festivals worldwide, winning AMC Network’s Best Female Creator Award, plus multiple “Best” Director, Screenplay, Film, Cinematography, Cast, and Music Awards.
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Gloria Joseph

Philanthropic Leader and International Realtor
Gloria Joseph is dedicated to advocacy for girls and women, particularly in the field of education, women running civil society organizations in conflict zones and local groups supporting these missions. She supports the UN women’s peace & humanitarian fund as member of #1000 Women Leaders project, Search for Common Ground as member of Presidential Leadership Council and The Nobel Women’s Initiative. Gloria supports Child HELP in its communications, fundraising and advocacy for young people to find solutions for difficult issues they face through education & talk therapy.
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Bridget Lavery-Palmieri

Marketing and Product Development Consultant
Bridget Lavery-Palmieri is an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and LIM College. She is also the principal of BLP Consulting, specializing in fashion retail marketing, customer insights, and talent development. Her career originated in the fashion industry at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, holding positions within merchandising, buying, and marketing analytics. Bridget is a strategic and analytical thinker with strong creative instincts and a keen awareness of consumer trends and financial accountabilities.
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Marcia Parness, M.S.W.

Philanthropist, Social Worker
Mrs. Parness is a passionate volunteer with a background in social work. She serves on the Board of Trustees of The Reform Temple of Forest Hills and spearheads and participates in many social action initiatives. Mrs. Parness holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work.
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Mel Schneiderman, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President
Dr. Mel Schneiderman is Senior Vice President and co-founder of New York Foundling’s Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection and former Senior Vice President of Mental Health Services. Dr. Schneiderman served on the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children’s Board of Directors for 2015-2022. He is currently Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Initiative to End Corporal Punishment and the NY State Initiative to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.
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Alan Schwarz

Senior Editor at Forbes
Alan Schwarz is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and current Senior Editor at Forbes. From 2007-2016 he was an investigative reporter at The New York Times, where he covered youth-health issues such as brain injuries, psychiatry, and drug abuse. His 100-article series on concussions in sports is generally credited with revolutionizing the respect and protocol for brain injuries in youth and professional athletics. He lives in New York City.
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Eyal Shemesh, M.D.

Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
Trained as both a pediatrician and a child psychiatrist, Eyal Shemesh, M.D. is the Chief of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the Department of Pediatrics, and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research concentrates on behavioral and emotional aspects of chronic illness in children.
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Whitney Siavelis

Leadership Coach
Whitney Siavelis is an executive coach and leadership consultant, passionate about helping companies and individuals maximize their success. Whitney brings 20 years of leadership experience in companies ranging from Fortune 100 to early-stage startups. She holds certification from the International Coaching Federation, has been featured on CNBC and $mart Women Podcast, and has coached and developed leaders from the world’s top companies. A devoted philanthropist, she serves in mentor and advisory positions with various women and children’s organizations.
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Meg Sullivan

Global Marketing Expert
Meg Sullivan is the founder and CEO of Quorum Initiative, an international organization focused on accelerating the advancement of executive women in business. Chapters exist in New York, Washington, D.C., and London, connecting executive women across borders to share ideas and create systemic change. Meg is passionate about diversity and inclusion being a driver of business innovation and women’s role in helping to shape our future global enterprises. In 2019, Meg won the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyer Legal Intrapreneur of the year award and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s First-Mover Fellowship program that focuses on the development of corporate social intrapreneurs. As the Chief Business Development, Marketing and CSR Officer at Paul Hastings, Meg was responsible for strategy, growth, and innovation in legal services. She oversaw business and client development programs, public relations, brand management, and communications that promoted the firm’s international reach and commitment to client service. She also led the Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility efforts of the firm. Before joining Paul Hastings, Meg was based in Europe for ten years. During that time, she was the Director of Marketing for the EMEIA region at Andersen. In addition, Meg held director positions in business development, marketing and export for a major French clothing manufacturer, the largest French shoe manufacturer, and an American venture capital firm. Meg is an advisory council member for Child HELP Partnership and served on the steering committee for The Aspen Institute Socrates Program. In the spring of 2020, Meg and her partner finished renovating and opened a 1950s boutique motel in the lower Catskills of New York called the Blue Fox Motel where they have built a unique hospitality experience for city dwellers to convene with nature and have fun.