Training Opportunities

ACCESS for Mental Health

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  1. Research
  2. Lab Directory
  3. ACCESS for Mental Health
  4. Training Opportunities

Prospective Graduate Students
-    please contact Dr. Mehta if you are interested in working with her.
Undergraduate Training Opportunities
-    Please email accessMHatuic [dot] edu

Melanie Tran MA

  • PhD Student, Clinical Psychology Program at UIC
  • Graduate Student Affiliate, ACCESS for Mental Health Lab
Melanie Tran is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago. Broadly, her research aims to reduce disparities in access to mental health services for marginalized communities and to utilize a community-based, public health approach to promote youth mental health. Her specific research interests include enhancing positive youth development and mental health in settings natural and accessible to children and families, such as schools, recreational programs, and community organizations. In addition, she is interested in how research can be leveraged to inform policy and systems change.

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Vanessa Diaz BS, BA

  • PhD Student, Clinical Psychology Program
  • Graduate Student Affiliate, ACCESS to Mental Health Lab
  • UIC Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
Vanessa Diaz is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at University of Illinois at Chicago. She moved to Chicago, IL from San Diego, CA, where she received her B.S. and B.A. degree from UC San Diego. She looks forward to further developing her research interest in mental health disparities among underrepresented populations, barriers to mental health access, perception of mental health. Vanessa looks forward to working and building relationships with the community through her work.

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Erika L. Gustafson PhD

  • Clinical Psychologist and Instructor
  • Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR)
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Erika L. Gustafson is a Clinical Psychologist and Instructor at the Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Broadly, her research focuses on community-based interventions to support the mental health of families in marginalized communities impacted by poverty and structural inequities. She is particularly interested in how we can leverage paraprofessional workforces (i.e., community health workers (CHWs), lay providers, near peers) to expand access to contextually and culturally relevant mental health supports for communities that are underserved in standard models of mental healthcare. Her specific research interests include developing community-based, CHW-led mental health service models, and leveraging dissemination and implementation science to understand the mechanisms that contribute to the feasibility and sustainability of community-embedded services that use paraprofessional workforces. 

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Angela L. Walden PhD

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry
  • Research Assistant Professor, Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science, Department of Medicine
Dr. Angela Walden is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science in the Department of Medicine. She is also a Faculty Affiliate of the Community Engagement & Collaboration Core in UIC’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Walden received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University and Master of Arts and Doctoral Degrees in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral training at the Institute for Juvenile Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Walden provides clinical services through the Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic. Her training as a clinical-scientist and background in both clinical and community psychology informs her clinical approach; she utilizes empirically-supported models while also recognizing that clients’ cognitions and behaviors are influenced by individual-, family-, and social-level factors. Her theoretical orientation incorporates a multilevel understanding of mental health and intervention, rooted in cognitive-behavioral approaches.

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Loretta Hsueh MA

  • Pre-Doctoral Psychology Intern
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Loretta is a pre-doctoral psychology intern at UIC and a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology (health psychology emphasis) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She previously earned degrees from San Diego State University (MA in Psychology, Physical/Mental Health track) and UC Santa Barbara (BA, Psychological and Brain Sciences).

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Jennifer Kurian

  • Research Associate

Violeta J. Rodriguez MS, MSEd

  • Predoctoral Psychology Intern
  • University of Illinois at Chicago

Violeta J. Rodriguez is a 6th year PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Georgia, and an intern in the child track at UIC.

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