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Diversity and Difference

Diversity and Difference

The Office of Multicultural Affairs recognizes
Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18.

The term Hispanic, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Spanish-speaking people in the United States of any race. On the 2000 Census form, people of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino." More than 35 million people identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino on the 2000 Census.


MSPP En la Comunidad…

The first 6 students to complete the Latino Mental Health Training Program are now moving on. Read about what they are doing here…

Juan M. Rodriguez
Juan RodriguezMexico Juan Rodriguez will spend a year doing an APA internship at The Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology. Two days will be at the Solomon Carter Fuller Hospital doing an inpatient rotation with patients with a severe and chronic mental illness. Two days a week will be at Boston Medical Center’s Behavioral Medicine Outpatient Program. The remaining day will involve seminars focusing on multicultural issues in psychology. Juan’s doctoral project is titled “The Experiences of Immigration for Mexican Men Who Leave Their Families Behind in Mexico”. After graduating, Juan is looking forward to seeing what life is like without the pressures of graduate school and discovering himself as a professional in the world of psychology.

“Traveling to Costa Rica and Ecuador reminded me of where I came from. Although I was born in Mexico, I was essentially raised in the U.S. and although I have always had a strong Latino/Mexican identity, I was reminded of what my family went through in coming here and what others feel in uprooting their lives to look for a better situation for themselves and their families. When seeing patients of Latino backgrounds, I feel I can empathize with their situation on a deeper level than I could have when I started the program.”

Zachary Blumkin
Zachary BlumkinZack is currently doing an APA internship at Columbia University Medical Center in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is working with children, adolescents, adults, families and groups at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the Children's Hospital of New York. The medical center is located within a federally designated poverty area and is the major mental health resource for the Washington Heights-Inwood area of northern Manhattan.

Zack’s doctoral project is titled “Healthcare Provider's Beliefs Regarding No-Shows Among Latino Patients.”

“The LMH program was an amazing opportunity to improve my linguistic ability and become a culturally attuned professional. The summer immersion trips offered important cultural experiences that could only be learned through firsthand exposure such as working in the largest psychiatric hospital in Ecuador. The LMH program has allowed us to better understand how culture and ethnicity (both our patients’ and our own) can influence our work with patients from all backgrounds.”

Christina Massari—
Christina is currently finishing up her doc project entitled, “Latinos perceptions of schizophrenia and the effects of acculturation” and working part time at Massachusetts General Hospital Community Health Center in Chelsea, MA and at Boston Behavioral Medicine.

George Soto—
George is currently finishing up his doctoral project entitled, “The Role of Religion and Spirituality in Depression among Latina Women” and will continue working in a group practice where he had been working part-time previously. In the fall, George will commence a one year training through the Intensive Family Therapy Certificate Program. George is looking forward to decompressing, reconnecting with family and friends, focusing on spirituality and community and achieving that ever elusive work-life balance.

Jeanine Baillie—
Jeanine BaillieDr. Baillie will join the counseling team at Boston College as a post-doctorate fellow in the fall. Her doctoral project was titled, “Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Exploring the Psychological Consequences of the 2007 New Bedford Immigration Raid”

I am delighted to have completed my training in clinical psychology at MSPP and to be an original member of the Cynthia Lucero Latino Mental Health program. I feel very fortunate to have been involved in this evolving program and after 4 years, I cannot deny the incredible impact, both personally and professionally, that this training has afforded me. I have had the opportunity over the past three summers to go on unique cultural and linguistic immersion experiences in Central America: specifically, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Guatemala and it is because of these opportunities and other clinical experiences here in the U.S., that I have been able expand my appreciation of the varied responsibilities that psychologists embody today, both nationally and internationally. Most importantly, this program has prepared me to be a bi-lingual and culturally sensitive clini¬cian with expertise to meet the mental health needs of Latinos, a rapidly growing and underserved segment of the U.S. population.

I am thrilled to have completed this chapter of my life and to be moving on to the next.

Aimee Asgarian—
Aimee is currently at Tewksbury Hospital doing an APA internship. Her doc project is looking at culturally-appropriate neuropsychological testing for Latinos.


MSPP Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

9th Annual 5K Lucero Run/Walk
Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 10:30 am, Rain or Shine!

Multicultural Affairs Film Series – Crude
This documentary takes place in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador, pitting 30,000 indigenous and colonial rainforest dwellers against the U.S. oil giant Chevron. The plaintiffs claim that Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – spent three decades systematically contaminating one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, poisoning the water, air and land. The plaintiffs allege that the pollution has created a “death zone” in an area the size of the Rhode Island, resulting in increased rates of cancer, leukemia, birth defects, and a multiplicity of other health ailments. They further allege that the oil operations in the region contributed to the destruction of indigenous peoples and irrevocably impacted their traditional way of life. Chevron vociferously fights the claims, charging that the case is a complete fabrication, perpetrated by “environmental con men” who are seeking to line their pockets with the company’s billions.

Excerpts from our Latino Mental Health Blog "MSPP’s Rincon Latino"

Lo mejor del Ecuador es su gente
Al regresar a Boston luego de visitar a nuestros estudiantes en Guayaquil, guardo recuerdos muy placenteros de las experiencias adquiridas. Soy testigo de la dedicación y paciencia de nuestros estudiantes en conocer y aprender de las realidades que se viven en una cultura distinta. Por ello, les doy mi sinceros votos de aliento para que sigan adelante! Read more...

Contact Information

If you would like to be included in future profiles on this site, please contact Josh Cooper at

Updated 9/30/10

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Hispanic Heritage Month

The Changing Face of Immigration: Legal Debates, Controversies and the Implications for Clinical Practice (PDF)

May 2009
Weil Grant Training: Leading Culturally Sensitive Parent Education Support Group

April 2009
Latino Mental Health Professional Networking Evening

Diversity Training: Hurricane Katrina Disaster Victims

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