Asian American Research Team
Chuck Liu M.A.
is a doctoral candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and a former APA Minority Fellowship Program fellow. He received his Bachelor's of Arts majoring in psychology from Wheaton College, IL. He is currently on internship in beautiful Hawai'i at I Ola Lahui, providing services in a community mental health clinic in Honolulu and a primary care clinic on the Big Island. Previously, he provided services at South Shore Mental Health in Quincy, MA with an emphasis on working with Asian Americans. Chuck’s research and clinical interests focus on the impact of culture on mental illness, stigma, and access to mental health treatment among Asian Americans, as well as racism and social justice for ethnic minorities.
Danielle Godon-Decotearu, M.A.
is an advanced graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Bryant University and her Masters of Arts in psychology from Mount Holyoke College, where she completed a mixed-method thesis study that investigated sense of belonging and sense of exclusion in Korean transracial adoptees. Broadly, Danielle's interests include the study of race, ethnicity, and culture; identity; racism; and Asian American mental health. She has enjoyed teaching Social Psychology and Asian American Psychology. Her dissertation uses structural equation modeling to examine the impact of internalized racism in Asian Americans on the relation between racism-related stress and mental health. Danielle is currently completing her internship at the University of Connecticut's Counseling and Mental Health Services. She has recently been elected to serve on the executive committee of AAPA's new Division on Asian Americans with Multiple Heritage (DoAAMH).
Alissa Hochman, M.A.
is an advanced year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Program at University of Massachusetts, Boston. She received her Bachelor's of Arts from Brandeis University, graduating with a major in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic and Latin American Studies. She is interested in issues of race and racism, and the process of becoming an ally, with a particular focus on children and adolescents. Her Master's thesis was a grounded theory study focusing on the process of being and becoming an ally. Alissa is completed her third year practicum placement at Brookline Community Health Center. She is also actively involved in advocacy to reduce gun violence and address the inequality with which inner city gun violence is addressed; she has testified at the State House and participated in initiatives aimed at educating teens about gun violence.
Fanny Ng, Ph.D.
is a post-doctoral fellow at the Veteran Affairs Northern California Healthcare System, having completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. She received her Bachelor's of Arts with a major in psychology and a minor in Studio Art from Stony Brook University. Fanny's clinical and research interests broadly include the study of the impact of race and racism on mental health in minority populations. Her master's thesis focused on race-related stress and its relation to racial identity, ethnic identity, and racism-related empowerment in Asian Americans.
She is also interested in the integration of psychology into primary care settings as a way of increasing access, understanding, and utilization of mental health services by communities where mental health stigma and resource issues may be significant barriers to getting services. She has a keen interest in organizational leadership within psychology, seeking to connect clinical and research experiences with governance, public policy, and social justice advocacy currently and in the future. Her dissertation focused on the strategies used by Asian American women leaders to address the gender and racial discrimination they experience in their leadership positions. Fanny was a current recipient of a Minority Fellowship from the American Psychological Association. She has served on the Asian American Psychological Association's (AAPA) Board of Directors as the elected Student Representative, as the President and Treasurer of the AAPA Division of Students, and as the student representative for the American Psychological Association’s division 35 section 5, the Psychology of Asian Pacific American women.
Shruti Mukkamala, Ph.D.
is a former international student who has been living, teaching, conducting research and doing clinical work in the U.S. since she came here eleven years ago. Her experiences of being a first-generation immigrant and a woman of color in the U.S. have contributed to her professional interests and passions. Her research interests are broadly focused on racial discrimination and its impact on mental health and lived experience. She currently examines experiences of intersectional gendered racism for Asian and Asian American women in the U.S. and plans to extend her work to include studying the impacts of experiencing gendered racism on health, relationships and identity for this group. Her dissertation has recently been selected for publication by the Asian American Journal of Psychology, and as a student she regularly presented her work at the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) conventions. Clinically her areas of interest and experience include working with women of color in STEM fields, body image concerns, intimate relationships, intergenerational communication and empowerment. She is currently works full time as a senior staff psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, where she works with diverse students to help them reach their educational goals. She plans to have a multi-faceted career in Psychology that incorporates clinical work, teaching/training and research while continuing to advocate for her students, clients and research participants.
John Tawa, Ph.D.
is an assistant professor in the Psychology and Education Department at Mount Holyoke College. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2013. Dr. Tawa's research focuses on race-relations between Black/African Americans and Asian/Asian Americans. In addition, he is interested in the use of virtual technology for the behavioral measurement of intergroup relations. For his dissertation, Dr. Tawa used the virtual world, Second Life, to examine how resource competition affected the social distances between Black and Asian participants' self-resembling avatars. Dr. Tawa is a past fellow of the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program and recipient of the Asian American Psychological Association Division of Students 2008 Student Researcher Award. He is the proud father of two daughters, Amaya and Kalia.
Vali D. Kahn, Ph.D.
is an adjunct professor at Lesley University, and Associate in Psychology at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School and is currently setting up a private practice in Cambridge, MA. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2012. Dr. Kahn completed her internship at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Division of Public Psychiatry of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School where she worked with adults in the outpatient department and young adults and their families in the program for prevention and recovery of early psychosis. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School where she provided outpatient and inpatient psychological testing, individual therapy and helped to develop and facilitate research in the Psychodynamic Research Clinic. Dr. Kahn’s dissertation research explored the influence of contextual social negotiations of personal and ascribed identities on identity processes in multiracial and bisexual people. Her clinical interests include identity and developmental transitions in diverse populations, and working with individuals, couples and families.
Stephanie C. Day, Ph.D.
is a Licensed Psychologist and Research Health Scientist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. Her research aims to address barriers to increase access to mental health care for rural and underserved Veterans through implementation and evaluation of behavioral interventions delivered via video telehealth to home. She came to the VA from a prior position as a Staff Psychologist at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in Career and Counseling Services, after completing her predoctoral internship at the Suffolk University Counseling Center and her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch - Shriners Hospitals for Children, Galveston. Stephanie’s doctoral dissertation explored the interactive processes of racial identities, ethnic identities, cultural affiliations and becoming first-time biological mothers among Korean adopted women. Stephanie's Master's thesis research examined the racial and ethnic identity development and social justice meanings and actions among Asian American youth participating in an empowerment program.
Nancy J. Lin, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Go to Sleep San Diego, a private practice in San Diego, CA, providing therapy for people suffering from insomnia, trauma, depression and related problems. She received her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts Boston and wrote her Master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation on the effects of war trauma and migration on refugee families in the United States. Dr. Lin is a past fellow of the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program. She completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) and served as staff psychologist and researcher of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia and the use of videoconferencing for therapy (telehealth). From 2010-2011, she was Director of the VASDHS’ PTSD Clinic for Veterans of the Global War on Terror and Assistant Professor at UCSD School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. In 2011, she was invited to work at the Department of Defense, serving as staff psychologist at Overcoming Adversity and Stress Injury Support (OASIS) Program, the Navy’s flagship residential PTSD treatment program. In 2014, the Naval Medical Center San Diego designated her an Associate Master Clinician. Dr. Lin has also worked with the Veterans Medical Research Foundation investigating the effectiveness of office- versus home-based therapy to Veterans with PTSD. Additionally, she has taught at San Diego State University’s Counseling and Educational Psychology Department’s Community-based Block (CBB) Master’s Program focusing on trauma and cultural diversity, as well as at the University of Southern California's School of Social Work on military culture and trauma.
Phuong T. Nguyen, Ph.D.
is an Assistant Professor at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), and Director of Psychology Services at Ben Taub Hospital (BTH). He also serves as the Training Director for the BCM Psychology Internship Program and the BTH/BCM Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. At BCM, Dr. Nguyen enjoys a mixture of training, clinical work, and research with psychiatric patients from underserved and marginalized groups. Prior to coming to BCM, Dr. Nguyen was the Director of Clinical Services at Asian American Family Services, a mental health and social service agency dedicated to enhancing the mental health and social well-being of Houston-area Asian Pacific Islander individuals and families. Dr. Nguyen received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston and completed a predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Nguyen’s research interests stem from his desire to better understand the psychological experiences of racial and ethnic minorities, including identity development, acculturation processes, mental health and illness, and refugee trauma. Given Dr. Nguyen’s refugee background, he has a particular interest in examining the psychological experiences of disadvantaged and marginalized people in the United States. Currently, Dr. Nguyen’s clinical and research interests are focused on the experiences of victims and survivors of Human Trafficking in Houston, Texas. Recently, Dr. Nguyen and his colleagues at BCM established the BCM Human Trafficking Program which is dedicated to improving the identification, treatment, and advocacy for human trafficking victims and survivors.
Julie M. AhnAllen, Ph.D.
is the Assistant Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Director of Training at Boston College, University Counseling Services. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in December 2006. Dr. AhnAllen's clinical interests and expertise are in culturally competent training and practice, supervision, racial and ethnic identity development, immigration experiences, Asian American psychology, marginalized identities and oppression, intersectionality, eating disorders, and treatment of anxiety and depression. Her clinical experiences range from community mental health center, university counseling center, and inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School. Dr. AhnAllen's research focused on racial and ethnic identity development processes of marginalized Asian Americans. Her Master's thesis explored the relationships between physical appearance, sense of belonging, feelings of exclusion, and racial/ethnic self identity among multiracial Japanese-European Americans. Her dissertation examined the development of racial and/or ethnic identities of Asian American women and White European American men experiencing interracial dating.
Grace S. Kim, Ph.D.
is an assistant professor of psychology at Wheelock College. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Massachusetts Boston in 2006, and completed an internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, where she worked with children, adolescents, and adults from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Kim's research has two foci: Asian American Psychology and Social Justice Education. With regards to Asian American psychology, she researches experiences of belonging and exclusion, negotiation of racial and ethnic identities, and mental health in Asian Americans. She explores lived experiences of diverse Asian American families, such as transracial adoptees, immigrants, and transnational families. With regards to social justice education, she is interested in exploring how to teach diversity and social justice and ways to help students gain empathy toward others different from themselves. Dr. Kim is a past fellow of the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program, the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the Asian American Psychological Association Leadership Fellowship Program. She currently serves as a board member of the Asian American Psychological Association.