PBIS Intervention Workshop for PES Students, Faculty, and Staff

ProjectREACHTuesday, October 11, 2016
Lowenstein Building, 12th Floor Lounge, Gerald Corrigan Conference Center

Workshop 1
4:50-6:50 p.m.
Tier 1 Interventions

Workshop 2
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Tier 2 & 3 Intervention Strategies

Presented by Dr. Laura Riffel
Dr. Laura A Riffel has over 30 years of experience as a general education and special education teacher, resource teacher, state program leader, director of a day clinic, and a parent. Dr. Riffel has studied general education, special education, behavioral interventions, applied behavior analysis, and cognitive and multiple disabilities.

Currently, she is the director of Behavior Doctor Seminars and travels the world sharing behavioral ideas with others who work with children with challenging behaviors. Her website is behaviordoctor.org.

This workshop is free and open to all students, faculty and staff. Seats are limited.

Please RVSP to Linda Cheung by October 1, 2016 at Lcheung4@fordham.edu.


Project REACH, a federally funded grant, is proud to present this professional development workshop. Any question or concerns about the project activities can be addressed to Dr. Su Je Cho (scho@fordham.edu).


GSE’s Warm, Supportive Environment: Q&A with Caroline Brachfeld and Chelsea Atlas

Caroline Brachfeld and Chelsea Atlas

Caroline Brachfeld (left) and Chelsea Atlas (right)

What motivated you to pursue your doctorates in Counseling Psychology? What are your career goals?

Caroline: When I entered the program I thought I would probably end up wanting to do mostly clinical work in the future, but since being here at Fordham and being involved in research, I have been surprised how much I truly enjoy research, especially qualitative methods.

Chelsea: I definitely agree with a lot of the things you’re saying. My career goals are also changing. I definitely want to do clinical work, but I am still unsure of the specific population I would like to work with or setting I want to work in. It has been an incredible journey so far at Fordham. I am seeing myself grow as a clinician and researcher, and I am really starting to gain more confidence in my skills in both roles.

Why did you choose Fordham?

Caroline: I chose the Fordham GSE program for its social justice orientation, it’s very warm and caring atmosphere and the research interests of the faculty members. I chose Fordham because I felt so comfortable here, but I am surprised by the fact that I have made really close friendships and feel like I have support from these friends throughout this long haul!

Chelsea: Like you, I chose Fordham because of the warm and supportive environment as well as the emphasis on multiculturalism and social justice. I really see those emphases in every aspect of my experience.

You both started your externship this semester at the Pace University Counseling Center. How is that going?

Caroline: I am very happy at my field placement. At Pace, I am seeing individual clients weekly, running a stress management group once a week (with Chelsea!), and doing different outreach projects. So far, I have enjoyed seeing individual clients most and working with my supervisors to figure out who I am as a clinician.

I am looking forward to having steady clients and really building a therapeutic alliance. I am also excited to start doing outreach projects, which is something I have always enjoyed doing. At Pace we are also given the opportunity to “guest lecture” an Introduction to Psychology course, and I will be doing that in November!

Chelsea: I am also really enjoying working at Pace. The site has been extremely supportive, and they are very committed to trainees’ personal and professional development. My work at Pace so far has been very challenging and rewarding. I, too, enjoy seeing individual clients and building unique relationships with each of them. I have wanted to be a therapist since early childhood, so it feels like a dream come true to be finally doing direct clinical work. I have already learned so much about the counseling process and about myself. I can see myself growing every day as a clinician, and it has been really exciting to see that!

What have been your favorite classes at GSE?

Caroline: I would have to say my favorite classes have been Theories of Counseling II with Dr. Keitel and, currently, Correlational Analysis with Dr. Thanos Patelis. Thanos explains everything so clearly and effectively.

Chelsea: The classes at Fordham have been great. They have enhanced my counseling skills and my multicultural awareness and knowledge and have given me the foundation to be an effective clinician and researcher. My favorite classes have been Group Counseling, Theories of Counseling, and Multicultural Counseling. I tend to really enjoy the more practice-oriented courses.

Can you talk about your research experience at GSE?

Caroline: Getting on a research team in our program is a very simple process since the professors really want you to join their teams and gain experience.

When I got to Fordham last year, I joined Eric Chen’s research team and worked on his study about the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) legislation and how it affects undocumented immigrants. I helped recruit participants and transcribe qualitative interviews. Now, we are in the data analysis phase.

Additionally, Eric is my mentor for research apprenticeship. I just began my project on homeless runaway young women and how they perceive their identity in their family in the past, present and future.

Chelsea: I definitely agree with Caroline about the ease of joining research teams. The faculty is very open to accepting students on their teams and they are very committed to teaching students the intricacies of the research process. Joining a research team is a great thing for new students to do because it builds a sense of community and enhances research skills quickly.

I joined Dr. Jackson‘s Participatory Action Research team and it has been a great experience. I worked on developing a new preliminary validation study of the Success Learning Experiences Questionnaire (SLEQ-UM) as adapted for urban middle school students.

What I like about the research team in particular is the service component. We are going in to low-income, culturally diverse middle schools and essentially providing students with success-based career counseling in addition to collecting our data. Dr. Jackson’s team really embodies the philosophy of the Counseling Psychology program and the Jesuit mission of social justice and service.

Work Hard, Dare Greatly, Care about the World: a Q&A with Heidi Schibuk

IMG_6088Heidi Schibuk is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. Recently, she discussed her research interests, why she came to Fordham, and how she is like a pair of shoes.

What are your research interests? How did you get interested in those topics?
My main research interests are mindfulness, social-emotional learning, and the treatment of chronic stress in youth and young adults.

I became interested in these topics working as a City Year AmeriCorps Member at a middle school in the South Bronx. Working there, I saw how promoting students’ social-emotional development could buffer the toxic effects of poverty and build resilience. I found practicing mindfulness to be one of the most effective ways of promoting social-emotional skills – not only for the students I worked with, but for myself as well.

I was motivated to do research in mindfulness when I had the opportunity to feel the benefits of the practice first hand. I completed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course and found that it not only improved my own well-being but it made me more effective in my ability to help others.

Currently, I am supporting one of Dr. Jennie Park-Taylor’s research teams. Our team is exploring the relationship between mindfulness and social justice.

What is your academic background?
I studied Psychology as an undergraduate at McGill University. I studied a variety of research topics there such as language development in infants, internet addiction, and the relationship between learning disabilities and ADHD.

Why should prospective students consider Fordham GSE and, specifically, the Counseling Psychology doctoral program?
Students should consider GSE because it is a learning community of compassionate and dedicated leaders who are striving to make the world a better place.

Students interested in pursuing a doctorate in Counseling should consider GSE because it is a program that will provide the support you need to help you reach your potential. My advice is to consider the kind of learning community you want to be a part of.

What is your personal philosophy? How do you define success?
To work hard, dare greatly, and care about the world and the people in it.

When you get to spend your days completely absorbed in what you love. I think success is demonstrated by a willingness to understand, to grow, and to demonstrate passionate persistence in the face of challenge.

What is the best book you have ever read?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl…and Harry Potter.

If you were an object, what would you be and why?
I think I would be a pair of shoes because they keep you grounded, they protect your feet and they like to explore new places.

“New Major Motion Picture Owes Its Historical Accuracy to Fordham Education Professor “

“It’s not often that your name appears as a movie credit alongside Tobey Maguire’s.

“It does today, however, for Graduate School of Education psychologist Joseph G. Ponterotto, PhD.

“A professor of counseling psychology, Ponterotto is the historical consultant on a new major motion picture, Pawn Sacrifice, a drama about enigmatic world chess champion Bobby Fischer and his struggles to walk the fine line between genius and madness.
Bobby Fischer Pawn Sacrifice Joseph Ponterotto

“The film, which stars Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard, and Liev Schreiber and is co-produced by Maguire and Gail Katz (The Perfect Storm and Air Force One), opens today in New York and Los Angeles, and then nationally on Sept. 25.

“Ponterotto, whose 2012 book A Psychobiography of Bobby Fischer is the definitive psychological profile of the late chess prodigy, worked closely with Katz to review the script for historical accuracy and to write dialogue that captures Fischer’s personality. He also advised on Fischer’s behavior and interactions at chess matches—diehard chess fans will know when the film is being true to Bobby’s chess genius and when it is taking creative license, Ponterotto said.”

Read the full story at Fordham News.

Photo by Chris Taggart

“Aisha Holder, GSE ’15: Imagining a Corporate Ladder with Rungs for All”

Photo by Michael Dames

Aisha Holder’s parents inspired her at an early age to live life with ‘grace, integrity, and decency.’

‘They reinforced the importance of using my talents to be of service to others and create value,’ she said.

As a black woman who rose to the rank of vice president in corporate human resources at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Holder triumphed in the difficult climb through an environment that is predominately white and male.

But she knows of many women and minorities who have plateaued in their careers for lack of networks and role models, unable to realize their full talents.

‘Often times, women and people of color don’t get that opportunity to meet with power brokers or others with influence,’ said Holder. ‘And if you are from a historically marginalized group, you don’t always have a sponsor or mentor who looks like you.’

As she graduates today with a doctorate in counseling psychology from the Graduate School of Education (GSE), Holder hopes to combine college-level teaching with clinical work and corporate consulting. As the child of a professor and as a 13-year veteran of the corporate world, the Brooklyn native has a deep affinity for both areas.

Read Aisha’s full profile on Fordham News.

Counseling Psychology Student Accomplishments

Dr. Amelio D’Onofrio is happy to announce that the following Counseling Psychology Doctoral Students have been selected to participate in the 2015-2016 phase of the HRSA grant Structured Intervention Program for Children in Inner City Schools Exposed to Chronic Stress

  • Maja Bergman
  • Shannon O’Neill
  • Jeanna Pagnotta
  • Matt Spieler
  • Melda Uzun
  • Hannah Wertz

Congratulations to Counseling Psychology doctoral candidate Allyson K. Regis, recipient of the inaugural 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award, Psychology Department, Stony Brook University!

PES Newsflash

The PES Newsflash is a weekly news roundup from the Counseling and Counseling Psychology and School Psychology departments.

Dissertation Oral Defenses

School Psychology doctoral candidate Susan Jean Kozelka successfully defended her dissertation, “Executive Function Inhibition as Moderator of the Anxiety-Intelligence Relationship.” Her dissertation committee members include her mentor, Dr. Yi Ding, and readers, Dr. John Houtz and Dr. Amy Margolis.

Dr. Kozelka is currently completing an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at The School at Columbia University. She has accepted a pediatric neuropsychology post-doctoral fellowship position with Promise Project at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dissertation Proposal Defenses

School Psychology doctoral candidate Fallon Lattari successfully defended her dissertation proposal, “Performance Goal Structure and Self-Regulated Learning: The Role of Autonomy Support.” Her dissertation committee members include her mentor, Dr. Akane Zusho, and readers, Dr. Karen Brobst and Dr. Anthony Cancelli.

School Psychology doctoral candidate Hugh Love successfully defended his dissertation proposal, “Potential Moderators of Masculinity Ideology and Health Risk in College Black Men.” His dissertation committee members include his mentor, Dr. Abigail Harris, and readers, Dr. Akane Zusho and Dr. Jay Wade.

Student Presentations

Counseling Psychology doctoral student Michael Stoyer will present his research, “Assessing Personal Development Throughout a Domain-Focused Approach to Multicultural Instruction,” at the 29th Annual Conference on the Teaching of Psychology: Ideas and Innovations Research/Data Driven” on March 27th.

His co-researchers are Jose Soto and Nana Dawson-Andoh of Pennsylvania State University.


  • Two studies are presented that assess students’ development throughout a domain-focused approach to multicultural instruction, in order to better understand the effectiveness of this course design. A qualitative research design was employed to uncover that among the most important topics students perceived learning were: Greater knowledge and awareness/appreciation in the domains of societal injustice, other cultures, and their own culture. Study two used the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and a new measure designed to assess self-awareness focused on themes identified in study one. Both ethnic identity and self-awareness were found to be significantly higher following the completion of the course.

Student and Faculty Presentations

“Beliefs about the Physical, Psychological, and Social Effects of Smoking Cigarettes,” a study by Counseling Psychology doctoral students Molly Brawer and Atara Wertentheil in collaboration with Dr. Mitchell Rabinowitz has been accepted by American Psychological Society for a poster presentation at the 2015 APS Convention.

Counseling Psychology doctoral student Jaclin Gerstel-Friedman, with Dr. Mitchell Rabinowitz:
Rabinowitz, M., & Gerstel-Friedman, J. (2015, March). Not Perceiving the Deep: Lack of Knowledge or Production Deficiency? Poster presentation at The International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Student and Faculty Accomplishments

Dr. Abigail Harris and School Psychology doctoral student Alyson Fitzpatrick’s proposal for research in Guatemala, Enhancing Impact of Khan Implementation in Guatemalan Primary School Classrooms, has been funded by Funsepa, a Guatemala based foundation. The Fordham team also includes Dr. Marshall George (Chair, Division of Curriculum and Teaching) and Elizabeth Fuentes (School Psychology doctoral student).

This project is a collaboration between Fordham University and Funsepa, a Guatemala-based foundation dedicated to improving education through the use of technology. Funsepa has delivered over 16,000 computers to over 1050 public schools in Guatemala and, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE), is providing technical and teacher training support in the instructional use of technology.

PES Newflash

The PES Newsflash is a weekly news roundup from the Counseling and Counseling Psychology and School Psychology departments.

Several students, faculty, and alumni participated in the Annual Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education at Teachers College.

  • Community and public arena advocacy: Experiences, obstacles, and training recommendations
    Discussion presentation
    Baranowski, K., Bhattacharyya, S., Corrales, C., & Reynolds, J. D.
  • Fordham C.A.R.E.S. structured intervention program for inner city (NYC) students and parents exposed to chronic stress
    Poster presentation
    Reynolds, J. D., Henderson, J. M., Berkman, J., Fialkov, E., & D’Onofrio, A.
  • Power, multicultural competence, and trainees’ preparation for treating survivors of torture: A qualitative inquiry
    Poster presentation
    Harbaugh, J., Jackson, M., Ponterotto, J., & Kalayjian, A.

PES Newflash

The PES Newsflash is a weekly news roundup from the Counseling and Counseling Psychology and School Psychology departments.

Student Presentations

Counseling Psychology doctoral student Shannon O’Neill had her qualitative research proposal accepted for presentation at the 2015 APA Conference:

  • O’Neill, S. (2015, August). The Exploration of a Therapist’s Culture and Work as a Rational Emotive-Behavior Therapist. Poster to be presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada.

Student and Faculty Presentations

Counseling Psychology doctoral students Molly Brawer and Melda Uzun, in collaboration with Andrea Pratt, Alexandra Lamm, Dr. Merle Keitel, and Signe Simon, had their proposal accepted by APA Division 17 for presentation at the 2015 APA Conference.

  • Brawer, M., Uzun, M. S., Pratt, A., Lamm, A., Keitel, M., & Simon, S. (2015). Living with PCOS: A qualitative study of female college students. Poster to be presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Toronto, ON, Canada.

Counseling Psychology doctoral student Atara Wertentheil, in collaboration with Dr. Joseph Ponterotto, is excited to announce that their proposal, entitled “Exploring Marital Couples’ Career Interests and Relationship Dynamics: A Qualitative Study” has been accepted by APA Division 17 for presentation at the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Eric Chen will be the Chair of a symposium at this year’s APA Convention, entitled:
“Building Group Therapy Trainees’ Multicultural Competencies through Difficult Dialogues.” Counseling Psychology doctoral students Leia Ting, Elena Kim, Hannah Wertz, and Andrea Pratt will also be contributing to this symposium.

Hanna Wertz, in collaboration with Dr. Eric Chen and Andrea Pratt, is pleased to announce that their presentation proposal entitled “Training Group Practitioners to Address Spirituality Issues in Group Therapy” has been accepted to the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto, Canada. This is part of a CE symposium entitled, “Building Group Therapy Trainees Multicultural Competencies through Difficult Dialogues.”

Leia Ting, in collaboration with Dr. Eric Chen and Counseling Psychology doctoral student Elena Kim, is pleased to announce that their presentation proposal entitled “Enhancing Group Therapy Trainees’ Competence in Addressing Microaggressions through Supervision” has been accepted to the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto, Canada. This is part of a CE symposium entitled, “Building Group Therapy Trainees Multicultural Competencies through Difficult Dialogues”

Elena Kim, in collaboration with Dr. Eric Chen and Counseling Psychology doctoral student Kali Rowe, is pleased to announce that their presentation proposal entitled “Facilitating Group Therapy Trainees Multicultural Competencies Development through Clinical Supervision” has been accepted to the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto, Canada. This is part of a symposium entitled, “Multicultural Skill Development in Group Psychotherapy.”

Student Accomplishments

Shannon O’Neill begins her tenure as the APAGS (American Psychological Association of Graduate Students) Fordham University Campus Representative (CR). As an APAGS CR Shannon will be a part of a network that is the heart of a subcommittee of APAGS, the Advocacy Coordinating Team (ACT).

ACT is composed of psychology graduate students who primarily engage in legislative advocacy work on behalf of the science and profession of psychology, in the interest of individuals studying, researching and practicing psychology, and on behalf of individuals who are the recipients of psychological services.

In her duties as Fordham’s APAGS CR and ACT member Shannon will promote the welfare of graduate students and the vigor of the profession by their participation in legislative lobbying efforts. Additionally, she, along with APAGS-ACT, will represent all sub-fields of psychology equally in its legislative and advocacy efforts.

Lastly, Shannon will network to help facilitate the flow of communication between the APAGS Board and its constituents. Shannon is not only enthusiastic about her new role and working with the APAGS board, she is also excited about her opportunities to work with her Fordham colleagues and honored to represent you all in this nationally recognized position.

Alumni/Faculty Accomplishments

Congratulations to our Counseling Psychology and adjunct faculty member Dr. Angela Kang, who was interviewed and featured in a WNYC news story about treating children with serious emotional problems. Read and listen to the story.

“Reading, Writing and Psychotherapy: When Schools Step In” via WNYC

Angela Kang ’09, Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, works as the Mental Health Director at P.S. 8 in the Bronx, as part of a clinic run by Montefiore Medical Center.

Recently, she was interviewed for “Reading, Writing and Psychotherapy: When Schools Step In,” part of WNYC’s Breaking Point: New York’s Mental Health Crisis series.

Last school year, Dr. Kang’s clinic saw about 60 students for 2,000 visits.

“The kids she sees are dealing with homelessness, losing a relative to violence or watching a parent struggle in an abusive relationship.

‘Our kids are witnessing things that they can’t really process and understand,’ Kang said. ‘And a lot of times our families, our parents, are not really being able to support their children through what they are seeing.'”

Listen below or read more about Dr. Kang, P.S. 8’s mental health clinic, and early detection for mental health issues.