Senior Director of Intercultural Development & Educational Partnerships

Education

AA, Hesston College, 1992
BS, Eastern Mennonite University, 1994
CGS, Eastern Mennonite University, 1997
MSW, Universidad Interamericana Depuerto Rico, 2001

Current Projects

  • Co-facilitate the newly launched Intercultural Leadership Academy at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce.
  • Assist LaCasa, Inc. to further build relationships between Latino families and neighborhood associations in Goshen, IN.
  • Offer facilitator training to community leaders across Indiana and the U.S. to implement a mental health promotion curriculum for Latino immigrants.

Research

Currently, I serve as a community consultant with the IU School of Medicine on a longitudinal research project with Latino youth and families. Dr. Irene Park. Ph.D., leads a National Institute of Health research study on Latino youth. My primary role on the research team is to serve as liaison with the community on gaining access to Latino youth and families. Partnerships made with Goshen Community Schools, Elkhart Community Schools, Horizon Education Alliance, Latino congregations in Elkhart County, IU Health, Goshen, and Beacon Systems, Elkhart have allowed the research team to reach its primary recruitment goals.

Also, I serve on the research team with the Columbia University School of Social Work. The Vamos Project seeks to enroll children and teens between the ages of 12-15 to a longitudinal study on the use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. My role on the research team is to help the team gain access to Latino youth.

Lectures & Presentations

Co-presenter with Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., UC Davis, Center for the Reduction of Health Disparities, Community-Based Participatory Research Institute, San Francisco State University. June 2013.

Presenter, “Community-Defined Bienvenido Groups.” International Association of Social Work with Groups, Simmons College, Boston, MA. June 2013.

Presenter, “Evaluation and sustainability of a community-based program: Bienvenido Program.” Latino Mental Health Conference, Community Defined Solutions for Latino Mental Health Care Disparities, University of California Davis. November 2012.

Contributor, National Consensus Meeting & Report, “Enhancing the Delivery of Health Care: Eliminating Health Disparities through a Culturally and Linguistically Centered Integrated Health Care Approach.” Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Austin, TX and the Office of Minority Health, Washington, D.C.  June 2012.

Contributor, California Community Defined Solutions for Latino Mental Health Disparities Report, University of California Davis, Sacramento, June 2012.

Presenter, “Bienvenido: Promoting a Strength’s Based Model Among Latino Populations.” Council on Social Work Education Annual Conference, October 2011, Atlanta, GA.

Presenter, “Mental health promotion in the Latino community.” Latino Behavioral Health Institute Annual Conference, September 2011, Los Angeles, CA.

Trainer, “Bienvenido Community of Practice: Virtual Community.” National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health Care and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. May 2010. Online training.

Lecturer, “Mental health and Spirituality.” Benin Bible Institute. July 2010, Cotonou, Benin, Africa.

Keynote speaker, “Empowering Diverse Communities, Bridging the Social Divide.” National Association of Christian Social Workers. October 2009, Indianapolis, IN.

Presenter, “Bienvenido Program.” Mennonite World Conference, July 2009. Asunción, Paraguay.

Speaker, School Social Work Institute, University of Southern Indiana. June 2007. Evansville, IN.

Selected Publications

“Helping the Latino Immigrant Student Adjust: The Bienvenido Acculturation Program.” NASW, Specialty Practice Section. Summer 2005.

“Addressing the Migration Experience.” Journal of Rural Mental Health. January 2005.

“Confío en ti.” Journal of Social Work, Puerto Rico, Vol 1., 2003.

Honors & Awards

2007

Recipient of the Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, Governor’s Commission, Hispanic/Latino of the Year, Indiana

2015

Recognition received by the Greater Fort Wayne Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for work in support the Latino immigrant community in adjusting to life in the U.S. The recognition was given at the 25th Anniversary on March 26, 2015 in Fort Wayne, IN.

Memberships & Associations

National Association of Social Workers

Commissioner, Goshen Housing Authority, City of Goshen

Elkhart County Community Corrections, Advisory Board

Employment

2014 -
Sr. Director for Intercultural Development and Educational Partnerships
Goshen College
2012-2014
Associate Professor of Social Work
Goshen College
2001-12
Program Director, Northeastern Center, Inc.
Kendallville, IN

2010-2012      Regional Pastor, Indiana/Michigan Mennonite Conference

1996-01

Therapist/Social Worker, Hospital General Menonita, Inc.
Aibonito, PR