SYM-9: "Latinx University Collaborative: A Road Map to Train Graduate Students in Psychology and Social Work Programs"
The overarching goal of mental health training programs is to prepare practitioners
to serve the public good. Clinical, Counseling, School Psychology and Social Work training programs all have unique approaches to preparing trainees to enter the workforce. This symposium highlights four mental health training programs at one university that
intentionally prepare trainees to serve Latinx communities. The papers compiled for this presentation highlight different aspects of curricula and course plans designed to assist in the development of practitioners’ knowledge of considerations relevant to
serving Latinx communities. Presenters cover models across disciplines that integrate theory and experiential classroom and field experiences in areas such as health and school psychology, mental health disparities, adaptations of evidenced based treatments
EBPs, Liberation Psychology, Critical Race Theory, Community Participatory Research and Latinx Values. Lastly, a focus on international work and immersion is a common training element between the programs and will also be discussed.'
Dr. Pazos is bi-cultural and bi-lingual in English and Spanish. She is Cuban- American and daughter of refugee parents who migrated to the United States and Venezuela between 1971 and 1981. In addition to her work in private practice, she is a professor at the University of Denver, Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) and is the Director of their Latinx Psychology Specialty. She lives with her partner of 20 years, Jay Knight and her two children, Gabriel y Samuel Pazos-Knight. Dr. Pazos received her Doctorate at the University of Denver and completed her internship and post-doc at Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami, Florida, with a focus on Behavioral Medicine and Child and Adolescent psychology. She later obtained a certificate in School Psychology and worked in Denver Public Schools for 14 years providing administration over bilingual mental health assessment and intervention services to children and families. She work in private practice and specializes in Latinx assessment and intervention and neurobehavioral disorders.
Bryan O. Rojas-Araúz is a Psychology intern at the University of Colorado School of Medicine- Salud Family Health Centers and a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Spanish Language Psychological Services and Research at the University of Oregon. He is a bilingual bicultural Afro-Latino immigrant of Costa Rican and Panamanian descent. As a young adult in the Bay Area he became a community organizer and DREAM activist. His research interests include immigration psychology, DREAMers’ mental health, ethnic identity formation, critical consciousness, postsecondary education attainment, and cultural competence development. He is a self-identified Hip-Hop educator, slam poet, mentor, and scholar-activist.
Dr. Julia Roncoroni is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in the United States since 2007. Dr. Roncoroni received her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Florida in 2016. Her pre-doctoral internship was at Harvard Medical School. She has been faculty in the Counseling Psychology Department, at the University of Denver (DU), since 2016.
In the Morgridge College of Education (DU), she leads the Health Disparities Research Lab, where she conducts community-engaged and patient-centered research that aims to promote health and culturally sensitive health care, particularly in low-income racial/ethnic minority communities. The lab uses an academic-community partnership research approach and a community-based participatory research model. Dr. Roncoroni is passionate about teaching and believes that the classroom can be a uniquely transformative space where students learn to connect theory and practice through experiential learning.
Lorena Gaibor is on the faculty of the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work where she also coordinates the Latinx Social Work Certificate Program. Prior to teaching her field experience included directing community programs, neighborhood redevelopment, and advocacy on affordable housing and immigration reform. As a transplant from the east coast, it took Lorena time to adjust to life in CO as a Latina. Race relations are very different in CO from what they are in NJ/NY where Lorena was born and raised. The racial segregation and racialization, that Lorena experienced in CO, has led her on a path of decolonizing and Anti-Racism work which relates to the presentation that she will make as part of this mental health series. When Lorena is not working on immigration, anti-racism, and Latinx social work, she can be found meditating or hanging out with her grounding BIPOC community of friends to balance the heaviness of the focus on systemic oppression work that she engages in both academically and in her community.
When Sarah Jackson (she/her) visited the US/Mexico border in 2012, it changed the course of her life. She spent time with people who’d been deported, listened to their stories, and learned about their reasons for migrating and the dangers they’d faced. She also witnessed families being separated.
Her own family is super close—the kind of tight-knit family that looks forward to every minute together. They also believe in treating others compassionately. So, when Sarah saw families being torn apart, she couldn’t look away. She returned to Colorado, but there was no going back to normal.
Back home, Sarah took stock of her resources: a one bedroom apartment, a love for volleyball, and a belief that families belonged together. It wasn’t much but it was enough. She opened Casa de Paz and started Volleyball Internacional, a volleyball league that donates 100% of its profits to pay for operating expenses of the hospitality home. She’s been hosting and helping to reunite families ever since.
If you ask Sarah how she does it, she’ll laugh and say it’s not rocket science. For the thousands of people whose isolation has been eased by the Casa de Paz community, it’s something even better. It’s love.