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MSPP rapport

A publication of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

Mike Schell to Chair MSPP Capital Campaign

Mike Schell

J. Michael Schell, MSPP Campaign Chair.

JMichael Schell is a man who has trouble saying no, especially to a challenge that drops the gauntlet and rewards the effort. The Chicago native, who has lived in New York and been in and around New England since law school, has been selected to chair MSPP's three-year, multimillion-dollar Capital Campaign. With a resume of extraordinary accomplishments, including being the father of an MSPP graduate, experience as an entrepreneur, international M & A attorney, global banking executive, corporate executive, community leader, carpenter, sixth-grade teacher, husband and father, Schell's life is a study in hard work, commitment and institutional loyalty. These are traits that will serve him and MSPP's unprecedented fundraising effort well.

Schell seems driven by a strongly held set of values that parallels MSPP's unwavering tradition of social justice. Since his earliest years as an MSPP Trustee, Schell has supported the progression of new initiatives dedicated to serving marginalized and underserved communities. He is particularly interested in and proud of the program that identifies military veterans and engages them in master's and doctoral-level training to become mental health professionals able to care for other veterans. "The need for better services and assistance for vets and their families is tremendous," he says, "jobs, housing and especially education and mental health care."

"MSPP does so much," says Schell. He points to the thousands of hours of supervised community service given by students during their training at hundreds of field sites across New England and to the Lucero program that responds to a huge unmet need for culturally competent professionals to care for Spanish-speaking populations.

It's time to raise the financial support that will enable us to secure our future and deepen our position and our visibility as an invaluable, innovative force in this field.

Schell looks forward to speaking with women and men who have demonstrated an interest in philanthropy and who want to see their contributions go directly to addressing critical issues. "MSPP can't remain tuition-dependent," he says. "It's time to raise the financial support that will enable us to grow, to launch new programs, to recruit and retain top faculty, to secure our future by building a well-managed endowment, and to deepen our position and our visibility as an invaluable, innovative force in this field. We have phenomenal assets, including our student body, our teachers, our field supervisors, the quality of our experiential learning approach, our graduates' engagement in the community, our trustees and friends and, of course, our PresidentóNick Covino."

Schell is no stranger to new challenges, nor is he burdened by doubt about the campaign. "There's a lot to do, and a long road ahead," he says. "But I have no doubt we are going to succeed. We have no choice." It's time to raise the financial support that will enable us to secure our future and deepen our position and our visibility as an invaluable, innovative force in this field.

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Our Evolving, Vibrant Learning Community

Nick Covino and Kerry Hamilton

Nicholas Covino, President, and Kerry Hamilton, Board Chair.

It's our pleasure to open this issue of Rapport by talking with you about MSPP's upcoming 40th Anniversary and Capital Campaign.

These milestones represent an opportunity to celebrate our school's significant accomplishments, values and vision. Each gives us a reason to explain our educational model and values to individuals in the community who share our commitment to mental health care. Each launches a renewed effort to applaud the many women and men who have made it possible for us to have so much to celebrate.

We celebrate our students and alumni, our faculty, staff, field supervisors, trustees, administrative personnel, finance staff, admissions and marketing professionals, librarians, IT magicians and everyone else here who is deeply committed to fostering and sustaining MSPP's challenging, nurturing, stimulating and inspiring environment. They are a rare combination of unique individuals with different skills, all dedicated to our students' success. The fact that nearly 90 percent of MSPP students complete their education is evidence of these many hands' unwavering devotion to them. It is a learning environment that works.

Our students encounter many shapers, models and mentors during their time at MSPP; each plays a role that ultimately enriches their personal and professional lives. Over four decades, MSPP has valued Experiential Education by sending our students into the field to learn by watching and doing, while regularly returning to classrooms to add rigorous academic training to this special recipe for success. Furthermore, with teachers who are also clinicians, students are presented with experiential learning that allows scientific research to be evaluated in real life.

As we stand at the threshold of the next 40 years, we invite each of you to play a part in strengthening our transformative learning environment.

The past decade has seen particular advances in our national reach, the strength of our student body, recognition from accrediting institutions, affiliations with like-minded stakeholders, and in MSPP's academic complexity consistently moving toward becoming a College of Psychology. Our graduates serve veterans, children in schools, Spanish-speakers, and care for culturally diverse populations with experience and skills formed from hours of closely supervised work and close mentoring from faculty, staff and peers. New programs in Leadership, Organizational Psychology, School Psychology and Coaching draw upon psychology research and skills to educate professionals to work effectively in organizations and businesses at all levels of influence.

With our new facility, MSPP is not only an outstanding degree-granting institution, it also hosts and educates other professionals and policy makers committed to improving the quality of everyone's social and emotional life. Our new physical space on Wells Avenue has secured a home for us to create forums to discuss critical, mental health issues. The building lends dignity to our mission and it has become a reflection of our commitment to the importance of mental health care for all people. We have a record of closely attending to the educational needs of our students and investing in their success.

We have a record of shaping and implementing programs that respond to evolving and critical mental health needs. We have developed the infrastructure know-how and the "roll out" skills that such initiatives require. Sustaining success in these areas depends very much on financial support from our graduates and friends to continue this highly effective strategy. This transformational learning environment will be able to make a greater difference with help from those across the community to share our mission, our commitment and our vision. As we stand at the threshold of the next 40 years, we invite each of you to play a part in strengthening our transformative learning environment.

Thank you to all those who have made the school what it is. Thank you to those who will make the school what it will become.

Kerry Hamilton, Board Chair
Nicholas Covino, President

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Generals and Congresswoman Endorse MSPP's Bold Initiatives for Vets

Welcom Home!
General George Casey and Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum (center first row) with MVP faculty and students after spending a day together before the MSPP 2013 Gala.

Two Generals and a Lieutenant Colonel, now a US Congress-woman, have endorsed MSPP's programs designed to help veterans and their families suffering the "invisible wounds of war." They came to MSPP in May and June, not just for the Gala and Commencement, but also to listen and to teach at special sessions with faculty, students and the professional community. During these events, they shared their insights and the expertise learned from personal experiences.

"I applaud the 'big idea' of MSPP's Train Vets to Treat Vets® Initiative and its Military and Veterans Psychology (MVP) program, which is to reduce the reluctance of veterans to seek behavioral health care and to help civilian therapists be more attuned to the needs of our service men and women," said General George William Casey, Jr., who was Commander of the Multinational Force in Iraq from 2004-2007 and later became the 36th US Army Chief of Staff. After spending a day in conversation with faculty and students, Casey introduced Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, the MSPP 2013 Mental Health Humanitarian Award winner.

Cornum, a former flight surgeon who was taken prisoner of war after her helicopter was shot down during the first Gulf War, has great hopes that the efforts of MSPP and other organizations will help change the paradigm. Her hope is that in the future "soldiers do not go into the military or a deployment scenario with the expectation of coming out with damage, that they do not deny their problems, or self medicate with drugs, alcohol, or other inappropriate behavior and that they recognize that, like most problems, the earlier they tackle it, the better the chance for success in both the near and long term." Cornum, who wrote the book She Went to War, was most recently the US Army Brigadier General in charge of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program. She designed evaluations of the physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual dimensions of soldiers and their families in order to determine new ways of strengthening them.

Tammy Duckworth

Please don't forget, 40 years on, the trauma felt by veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will still need to be addressed.

—Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, also a decorated American military heroine, gave the MSPP 2013 Commencement speech. A former Army helicopter pilot who lost both legs while in combat in Iraq and later served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard, Duckworth also presented the keynote speech at MSPP's Mental Health Matters Symposium graduation weekend. She spoke poignantly about some of her own and her colleagues' experiences healing after combat.

Duckworth told the newly credentialed graduates, "Whatever aspect of mental health you specialize in, your careers will likely involve treating those whose lives have been affected by military service—from the child of an active duty service person to a veteran from the Vietnam era, or before, who may eventually be in hospice." She concluded, "Please don't forget, 40 years on, the trauma felt by veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will still need to be addressed."

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Dr. Susan Powell
Focuses on Students' Self-awareness

Susan Powell
Dr. Susan Powell with her students.


he content for some lessons is found in neither textbooks nor classroom power points. Understanding what you bring to each human interaction in general and to each counseling client in particular is gained from careful personal reflection, thoughtful consideration and a highly skilled teacher's guidance, sensitivity and support. When Susan Powell, PhD, of the Counseling Psychology program, was awarded MSPP's annual Excellence in Teaching Award at the 2013 graduation, few people were surprised. Powell helps her students acquire self-understanding, encourages their knowing each other, and insists on a classroom climate of respect where people can feel that their voices are heard. She says. "I share my own successes as well as struggles I've had with clients. As a therapist, you are the main tool of your profession. It's critical to know yourself."

This is the most cohesive group of faculty I've ever taught with. I absolutely love teaching and feel very privileged to be able to do this work.

—Susan Powell, PhD

One of Powell's students says that she is an example of both the type of clinician she would like to be as well as of the person she would like to be: kind, strong and inspiring. Another student insists, "Her hard work and dedication to the field are awe-inspiring." Powell guides her students during the process of getting to know themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their comforts and discomforts, their biases, prejudices and privileges. "I try to be non-defensive, patient and non-judgmental," she says. "Students need to ask themselves, 'Who am I?' and 'How do people react to me?' It's very hard for some students to hear their own voice and very rewarding to help them learn to speak up," she says. "While we hear diversity and think 'marginalized,' we all occupy a position on that continuum. Diversity isn't just about people of color. We must learn to appreciate and to validate the range of experiences of others."

At MSPP, teachers focus on their students' growth, both personal and professional. "I value being part of that process," says Powell. "My students feel known and respected by me." Powell admires her colleagues, especially in the Counseling Program, describing them as supportive, collaborative and non-competitive. "They are the most cohesive group of faculty I've ever taught with. I absolutely love teaching and feel very privileged to be able to do this work."

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June '13 Graduate Assumes Challenges as a School Psychologist

Erika Johnson
MSPP alumna Erika Johnson.

Many MSPP alums express high praise for the graduate school's faculty, and Erika Johnson, MA/CAGS, is no exception. What seems to distinguish her enthusiasm for the women and men who taught her to become a valued school psychologist is that she's only been at the job a month and already feels superbly prepared for its complex challenges.

In an elementary school not far from New Haven, Connecticut, Johnson shares responsibility for 435 young people with a team of school personnel.

Johnson credits her teachers' being clinicians as a reason her education felt so realistic and relevant. "It wasn't just academic or theoretical," she explains. "It's a concrete hands-on approach."

"I love being here," she says, " and people in the district tell me I'm doing a great job. I have my teachers at MSPP to thank for that." She talks about Dr. Bruce Ecker and Dr. Bob Lichtenstein in particular for having taught her so much "critical stuff" like psycho-educational assessment, children's life-span development, theories of counseling and psychopathology. "From day one," she insists, "everyone was very welcoming and made you feel at ease. We were immediately working in the field and could come into the classroom and get support for what we were doing." She credits her teachers also being clinicians as a reason her education felt so realistic and relevant. "It wasn't just academic or theoretical," she explains. "It's a concrete hands-on approach. I still feel I could call any faculty member for advice."

Johnson's experiential learning added immeasurably to her confidence and her skills. "The field supervisors were passionate about their work and really great at helping us learn," she says. Johnson, like all of her School Psychology classmates, secured a job soon after graduation. She enjoys the variety of skills her job demands. "I have a counseling case load, do testing, facilitate meetings and write plans for kids. I wear many hats, but I love it. MSPP prepared me well."

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Two Classrooms Bear Names of Beloved Teachers

Alumna's Gift Recognizes Extraordinary Teacher, Phil Aranow

Many educators help you to learn volumes of content; extraordinary ones profoundly and permanently influence your personal and professional growth. Ellen Beth Siegel, PsyD, loved her years as a doctoral student at MSPP and continues to feel that way about the graduate school she attended after deciding to stop practicing law. "MSPP is distinguished by its commitment to learning and practice and a powerful commitment to people," she says. "The program asks you to be aware of who you are and how you got that way." Beyond the emphasis on self-examination, Siegel says the faculty at MSPP is so willing to engage, to really connect with students. "Teachers make MSPP what it is."

Phil Aranow was a wonderful teacher—and so are so many others who are part of MSPP.

Ellen and her husband Donald Siegel, an attorney with Posternak, Blankstein & Lund, and an MSPP trustee, have expressed their admiration for the school, and especially the faculty, with a generous gift made to honor the memory of one of her most beloved teachers, Dr. Philip Aranow. Killed in an automobile accident in 2002, Aranow was "an extraordinary person," she says. In 1995, as his student, Siegel wrote in her journal, "…he strikes me as someone deeply, securely centered…he seems to have found a point of balance, from which he continues to ask questions and explore himself. He connects theory to clinical cases with a sure hand." Siegel remembers well the day in 1996 that she and others attended a classmate's husband's funeral. Upon their return to class, Aranow dispensed with the day's designated subject so that he could spend three hours processing grief, pain and mourning with the class. "I found him wonderfully, approachably human, willing to share his uncertainties…I want the school to value him," she wrote 17 years ago.

Aranow was not the only teacher whose influence has been indelible. Says Siegel, "Phil Aranow was a wonderful teacher—and so are so many others who are part of MSPP. I regarded the school as a 'candy store,' because everyone there offered so much…was so supportive, personally and professionally. I wish to see many other teachers honored this way."

Alumna Honors the Loving Memory of her Special Teacher, Harriet Berman

Yonina D. Goorno, PsyD, was a student in Dr. Harriet Berman's first year clinical seminar, a class where doctoral students are introduced to psychology and psychotherapy as they begin their four years of study and clinical work toward earning a PsyD at MSPP. Today, Goorno recalls, "I fell in love with her. She was so easy to relate to and learn from. She was such a genuine, authentic person, filled with humility. "

Harriet Berman died in May 2012, leaving a lasting legacy for her family, friends, students, colleagues and countless members of Boston's therapeutic community. In 1998, while she was Director of Training and Clinical Vice President at the Wellness Community of Greater Boston, Berman was diagnosed with breast cancer. When the Wellness Community had to close their doors in 2008, she and five colleagues founded Facing Cancer Together: A Community of Hope. Dr. Berman continued to be a teacher, friend, colleague and mentor at MSPP until she was too ill to continue in her multiple roles.

They are more than teachers; they are mentors, dedicated to teaching and to their students' learning and growth.

Goorno remembers well the many life lessons learned from having known Harriet Berman. "She had no pretenses, was so whole, so thoughtful, so smart in real ways," says Goorno. She vividly recalls Berman's love of life, and her ability to find avenues for expressing what mattered to her.

As one of the discussants for Goorno's doctoral dissertation, Berman displayed her special skill for what Goorno calls, "pulling out the essentials, the golden nuggets of an issue. She was never mired in a lot of philosophical jargon. She had a knack for approaching a case presentation with a holistic perspective, one that focused on what was critical."

Goorno labels her MSPP education "amazing" and thinks it is because the teachers are also practitioners who are in the field everyday and bring a true-to-life dynamic to their teaching. "What they have to offer is relevant and useful," she says. "They confront challenges every day in their clinical work and can then reflect on what they've observed with students in the classroom. They are more than teachers, they are mentors, dedicated to teaching and to their students' learning and growth."

Happy to have made a gift to MSPP to honor Berman's memory, Goorno repeats the words expressed often by the many students and colleagues who knew and loved Harriet Berman, "It's a huge loss."

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MSPP Trustee Dowd Supervises Organizational Psychology Students

Learning happens in different ways. Sometimes it's theoretical and sometimes it's actual experience. At MSPP, it's the smooth, relevant intertwining of both. Shani Dowd, LCSW, an MSPP trustee, an Organizational Psychology supervisor for MSPP MA candidates and director of Culture InSight, an operating program of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, insists that her students learn to "swim upstream."

Shani Dowd and Yarimee Gutierrez
Yarimee Gutierrez and her Field Supervisor Shani Dowd.

Across New England, Dowd and her team at Culture InSight partner with health care communities and help them recognize and work to resolve disparities in underserved communities by addressing cultural competence, staff diversity, inclusion and equity issues. Her interns from MSPP are part of the planning, facilitation, interaction and evaluation of these real-life situations. Students in the Organizational Psychology program provide 80 hours of time for their field project and provide invaluable work as they learn. "I teach them and get important contributions in return," says Dowd. "They give me great feedback and provide robust reports on what they've seen and heard and experienced…they are very much part of the process of this work and offer new, fresh perspectives. I'm grateful for their involvement."

There are so many
great teachers at MSPP.

Working on one project, Dowd and her interns help mental health providers learn to serve their clients' diverse communities. MSPP intern Yarimee Gutierrez, who graduated in June 2013, worked with a focus group of mental health clinicians and assisted on structured interviews. She also served as a Spanish-language translator. She helped get people to focus on their own biases and prejudices and how to examine their preparedness to care for people from diverse backgrounds.

Says Gutierrez, "Shani is awesome. I can't say enough about how much time and attention she gave me. I learned so much from her. When there was something I didn't understand, she readily took time to explain everything and help me learn what to look for, what's important, even things like time management and how to juggle several projects."

When Gutierrez was ready to begin graduate school, she researched her options and was immediately attracted to the Organizational Psychology program at MSPP. "It was the perfect fit for me," she says. "I was interested in the people side of business and MSPP's program allowed me to continue to work full time while pursuing my degree. "It was intense, but the teachers were all so supportive, especially Dr. Kathryn Stanley. I can't say enough about her. There are so many great teachers at MSPP."

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A Teachers' Teacher
Stan Berman, New VP of Academic Affair

Stan Berman with Faculty
Stanley Berman (center) at a faculty meeting.

"It's just a different vantage point," says Dr. Stanley Berman when asked about his new role at MSPP as Vice President of Academic Affairs. He admits that in this demanding position, he spends more time in meetings and less in the classroom, but teaching is never far from his heart and continues to be the essence of his commitment to the school.

"Training skilled and compassionate professionals is still my primary mission," he says. "It's just on a larger scale." As Vice President for Academic Affairs, he is responsible for all aspects of scholarly life at MSPP and the development and refinement of every academic program.

Anyone who knows Berman understands why he was chosen. "Stan's inclusive management style along with his deep clinical knowledge and passion for sharing makes him a talented teacher and a creative leader of teachers," says President Nick Covino.

Teaching is never far from his heart and continues to be the essence of his commitment to the school.

Berman began teaching at MSPP 26 years ago. And, although for nearly nine years he was dean of Programs of Advanced Graduate Study, responsible for new program development, he always found time to teach. Even today, he leads two seminars each year: Theoretical Foundations of Clinical Health Psychology and Foundations of Global Mental Health II. "I think it's important for me to get myself in the classroom as much as possible, not only because I love it, but because it helps me understand the challenges that students and faculty face today."

Staying attuned to societal needs and creating programs that can meet those needs with a new generation of mental health professionals is a high priority, he notes, as is supporting faculty and faculty scholarship, continuing to contribute to a culturally diverse and globally focused curriculum and nurturing the personal and professional growth of students.

Another challenge, of course, "is finding your bearings as an educator in a digital age," he says, adding that one of his major goals is "to continue creating new models that incorporate cutting-edge educational technology in the traditional classroom as well as in blended programs that are both onsite and online."

In a recent interview with New England Psychologist, he said: "At the end of the day, if a student graduates saying the programs were of a high caliber and well-integrated and there was rigorous and demanding class work and a caring community with good resources, then I feel like the faculty, staff and I delivered the quality that I hope to deliver each day."

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Three New Faces at MSPP

Michelle Harris, Natalie Court, Gemima St. Louis
From left to right: Michelle Harris, Natalie Cort and Gemima St. Louis.

Michelle Harris, LMHC, ATR | Teaching and Doing as a Parallel Process

"It is the awakening that I see in my students that makes teaching expressive arts therapy so rewarding for me," says Michelle Harris, a licensed mental health counselor and board certified registered art therapist who came to MSPP this fall. She will be one of two core faculty working on the newly launched MA in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy program.

"Teaching expressive arts therapy and using it as a form of therapy are distinctly different, and yet in a parallel process," she says. The classroom, like the therapy room, must be a place where students can express themselves authentically and feel safe. Safety and building a sense of community are a big part of teaching, and this is also true of expressive arts therapy," she adds.

Harris, who is of Native American descent, describes herself as "a specialist in trauma-sensitive art therapy with a cross-cultural lens." She has used her art and art therapy to explore many aspects of her own life and her connection to the life and culture of her tribes, the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok of California. An artist herself who works in acrylic and mixed medium, she also collaborates with her Coast Miwok tribe on revitalization of the Coast Miwok language and is a member of the Board of the Latin American Center for Trauma Studies. She has provided training to psychologists, graduate students and other community providers working with trauma survivors in Guatemala.

Harris hopes to work with Dr. Yousef Alajarma, head of the Expressive Arts Therapy program at MSPP, to build an academic program that focuses on training mental health counselors who can specialize in working with people with trauma exposure in multicultural settings across many regions of the globe.

Before MSPP, Harris was the associate director of Field Training for Lesley University's Expressive Therapies Division and a clinician and trainer at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. In addition, she was a consultant and clinician for the Boston Public Schools system, collaborating with teachers to find new approaches to improve learning for students with trauma exposure.

She begins her tenure at MSPP teaching Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy courses, including the first-year student Practicum Seminar; Professional Issues and Ethics; Trauma: Theory and Treatment, and Advanced Practices in Expressive Arts Therapy.

Harris intends to continue her involvement in a variety of community, social justice and expressive arts projects. A board member of Incest Resources, Inc., she is the founder of the Survivor Quilt Project, which created a traveling exhibit called Incest Survivors Speaking Truth to the Next Generation. The exhibit was designed to stimulate discussion around preventive, proactive approaches to intergenerational trauma.

Natalie Cort, PhD | Making the Human Connection

In response to the incredulity she expressed after witnessing a client's repeated traumas, Dr. Natalie Cort's former mentor once asked her: "Don't you know that trauma discriminates?" Says Cort, a new core faculty member in MSPP's Clinical PsyD program, "I kept thinking that things have got to get better for this woman, but my mentor reminded me that a person without resources or access to care is always more susceptible to another trauma."

Increasing access for the underserved is one reason Cort, an expert in treating adults with interpersonal trauma histories, chose to become a psychologist and why she decided to come to MSPP to teach these skills. "Helping someone to recognize that the trauma is not what defines her or him, that there is something on the other side of the fear and the brokenness is my goal," she says.

"The fit here is so right for me that I am almost convinced that my deceased grandmother had something to do with it," says Cort, who discovered MSPP online. "After devouring the website, I realized that this is a place with the same mission as mine."

Helping someone to recognize that the trauma is not what defines her or him, that there is something on the other side of the fear and the brokenness is my goal.

—Natalie McCourt, PhD

As an expert in an evidence-based treatment known as Interpersonal Psychotherapy or IPT, Cort explores the relationships in a person's life that contribute to current depression or other disorders. At MSPP, she will teach courses in IPT, cultural psychology and psychopathology as well as the clinical seminar she teaches now. Born and raised in South America, Cort is committed to correcting mental health disparities and is also eager to play a part in MSPP's planned Center for Global Mental Health and Multicultural Studies. A nationally certified IPT trainer, Cort will continue training psychologists employed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct IPT and to enhance their responses to traumas experienced by many of their military clients.

A dedicated researcher, Cort has developed and studied interventions for trauma-exposed women. She has been a co-investigator, consultant, and therapist on 10 clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She is also a research-grade diagnostician with expertise in the administration of structured diagnostic interviews.

Cort received her PhD from the University of Rochester in 2008, followed by three fellowships funded by the National Institute of Mental Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Gemima St. Louis, PhD | Extending Her Passion for Children and Adolescents

"I am on fire," says Gemima St. Louis, PhD, about her excitement for the work she is doing at MSPP. The former Director of Clinical Training and Research at Boston Medical Center and Assistant Professor at BU School of Medicine, St. Louis is now core faculty in the Clinical PsyD program and feels that the teaching and leadership roles she has taken on at MSPP are an extension of her lifetime commitment to advocating for children's mental health.

In addition to her work at Boston Medical Center, St. Louis has spent the last 15 years providing direct care to ethnic minority children and adolescents. At the same time, she has been researching youth and families with histories of trauma, chronic diseases and behavioral and emotional challenges. She also has devoted herself to global mental health issues and, as president of the Haitian Mental Health Network, has been involved in mental health capacity building initiatives in Haiti.

"I remember the exact moment," she says about the day she switched her major to psychology and decided to devote her life to working with children. It was during her first college psychology course. "The professor started to talk about identity development, and, for the first time, I had a context and a language for understanding the confusion that I was personally experiencing as an immigrant youth living in this country," she says.

Helping children cope with life's adversities and other mental health issues became her mission that day. "Today, I am more and more convinced that this is what I was born to do," she says.

St. Louis feels that being at MSPP brings her commitment to another level. "It is so important to nurture this new generation of clinicians and researchers, to mentor and help them explore who they are and where they fit, to provide them with a global lens through which to view their roles as psychologists, and to equip them with the necessary skills to care for an increasingly diverse society," she says.

At MSPP, St. Louis teaches Clinical Seminar II for students in the Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) program and Research Methods. She also heads the PATHWAYS Program, a school-based mental health initiative at West Roxbury Education Complex where she oversees suspension and truancy reduction programs designed to help teens stay in school and graduate. Long dedicated to global mental health, she currently serves on the committee charged with creating a Center for Global Mental Health and Multicultural Studies at MSPP.

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financial graphFinancial Statement

The following are highlights from the FY2013 audited Financial Statements.

Our FY2013 Audit had no adjustments for the third consecutive year. The Change in Net Assets from the audited statements totaled $627,000

Detailed information about MSPP financials can be obtained through Patrick Capobianco, Vice President of Finance & Operations, at 617-327-6777


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Look for our next issue of the MSPPrapport in the Spring.

If there are topics you would like to read about, please contact Katie O'Hare at

Updated 6/10/14

Vol 10
Fall 2013
Annual Report Edition

View the print version (PDF)

Table of Contents

Mike Schell to Chair MSPP Capital Campaign

Our Evolving, Vibrant Learning Community

Generals and Congresswoman Endorse MSPP's Bold Initiatives for Vets

Dr. Susan Powell Focuses on Students' Self-awareness

June '13 Graduate Assumes Challenges as a School Psychologist

Two Classrooms Bear Names of Beloved Teachers:

> Alumna's Gift Recognizes Extraordinary Teacher, Phil Aranow

> Alumna Honors the Loving Memory of her Special Teacher, Harriet Berman

MSPP Trustee Dowd Supervises Organizational Psychology Students

A Teachers' Teacher Stan Berman, New VP of Academic Affair

Three New Faces at MSPP:

> Michelle Harris, LMHC, ATR | Teaching and Doing as a Parallel Process

> Natalie Cort, PhD | Making the Human Connection

> Gemima St. Louis, PhD | Extending Her Passion for Children and Adolescents

Financial Statement

MSPP Rapport

Vol. 11
Spring/Summer 2014

Vol. 10
Fall 2013

Vol. 9 No. 2
Fall 2012

Vol. 9 No. 1
Spring 2012

Vol. 8 No. 2
Special Annual Report Edition Fall 2011

Vol. 8 No. 1
Spring 2011

Vol. 7 No. 2
Special Annual Report Edition Fall 2010

Vol. 7 No. 1
Spring/Summer 2010

Vol. 6 No. 3
Fall/Winter 2009/2010

Vol. 6 No. 2
Spring/Summer 2009

Special Trustee Edition
August 2009

Vol. 6 No. 1
Winter/Spring 2009

Vol. 5 No. 1
Spring 2007

Vol. 4 No. 1
Spring 2006

Vol. 3 No. 3
Winter 2005/2006

Vol. 3 No. 2
August 2005

Vol. 3 No. 1
Spring 2005

Vol. 2 No. 2
December 2004

Vol. 2 No. 1
August 2004

Vol. 1 No.2
December 2003

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