Our Team

Urban Youth Trauma Center

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  1. Research
  2. Urban Youth Trauma Center
  3. Our Team

Jaleel K. Abdul-Adil PhD

  • Co-Director of the Urban Youth Trauma Center
  • Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry
Dr. Abdul-Adil's career interest is culturally-sensitive, ecologically-appropriate, and evidence-based practices for low-income urban youth and families. His current research focuses on family-focused interventions for youth with trauma and co-occurring disruptive behavior and community violence exposure that are provided through university-community partnerships, service system collaborations, and national provider networks. Dr. Abdul-Adil is also one of the originators and nationally-renowned experts on the use of modern Rap music and Hip-Hop culture to enrich psychosocial interventions for urban youth.

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Liza M. Suarez PhD

  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry
  • Director, Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders Clinic
  • Co-Director, Urban Youth Trauma Center
Dr. Suarez’ interests focus on adolescent traumatic stress and substance abuse, treatment for anxiety disorders among urban youth, and empowering communities to address community violence and its impact on youth and families. Dr. Suarez has developed and is currently evaluating and disseminating an integrated intervention targeting traumatic stress and substance abuse problems in adolescents.

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Roberto Lopez-Tamayo PhD

  • Senior Research Specialist/Program Evaluator
  • Urban Youth Trauma Center
Roberto Lopez-Tamayo, PhD., is the program evaluator of the Urban Youth Trauma Center. He coordinates program evaluation efforts, including data collection, tracking, and management, for grant reporting and scholarly Project activities. He also coordinates UYTC’s social media presence and participates in the adaptation of program materials to address the needs of urban ethnic minority youth as well as religious minorities and immigrant populations. Dr. Lopez-Tamayo obtained a B.A. in Philosophy from Universidad del Valle de Atemajac in his hometown Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, an M.A. in Clinical Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from DePaul University. His broad interests are in the areas of diversity, cultural adaptation, anxiety, trauma/PTSD and substance abuse prevention. He is interested in developing, implementing, and evaluating prevention/intervention programs to promote resilience and adaptive coping for low-income urban minority children and their families.

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Rachel Wax

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Rachel Wax is the Program Manager at the Urban Youth Trauma Center. Rachel is the lead developer, implementer and trainer of the Urban Youth Trauma Centers Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum that was developed around evidence based best practices for violence prevention to address the needs of youth in communities that are heavily impacted by violence, with high levels of poverty, and lack of resources. The program was developed to be facilitated in partnership with Law Enforcement to provide alternatives to traditional punishments for offending youth. In addition, Rachel manages the Urban Youth Trauma Centers contracts and purchases, organizes program implementation and evaluation efforts, coordinates training events, and leads youth engagement efforts in outreach, public awareness, subcommittees, and program adaptation.

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Kayla Gray

  • Psychiatry Volunteer

Kayla Gray is a transfer student enrolled in the Applied Psychology Program at UIC. She is in her fourth year of undergraduate studies and involved in numerous organizations, such as Black Student Union. After graduation, she plan to attend graduate school to pursue a career in clinical psychology. 

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Alvin D. Farmer

  • Psychiatry Volunteer

Yvonne Livingston

  • Psychiatry Volunteer

Jazlyn Flores

  • Intern
Jazlyn Flores is an undergraduate student currently studying for a double major in Applied Psychology and Criminology, Law, and Justice at UIC. She is interested on how community violence affects youth psychologically and ways to prevent and intervene. When she worked for the Chicago Park District, she worked in a high-risk neighborhood where she was able to communicate with youth and see how they used the pool as a safe zone which sparked her interest in the field. In her second year at UIC, she wrote a paper on how community violence affects youth which helped to further understand that there wasn’t just one solution to community violence.

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Lynda Gibson PhD

  • Research Associate, Social/Behavioral Sciences
  • Urban Youth Trauma Center
Lynda Gibson, PhD is a senior research associate at the Urban Youth Trauma Center. Dr. Gibson earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University and Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Child Psychology from Illinois Institute of Technology. Her research and clinical work focuses on risk and resiliency factors in African-American communities, barriers to treatment for minority families, early exposure to trauma and community violence, and use of family-based interventions.

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Andrew Rylaarsdam

  • Medical Student Research Elective

Andrew Rylaarsdam is a 3rd year medical student at the Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a National Health Services Corps Scholar, interested in improving access to evidence based mental health care in medically underserved areas.

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Mariam Agadjanova

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Mariam Agadjanova is undergraduate senior student enrolled in Applied Psychology Program at UIC. Mariam is interested in comorbidities and suicide risk in mood disorders, prevention of trauma, substance abuse disorders, and role of music in mood regulation. After receiving her BA degree in 2020, Mariam plans to pursue graduate education in clinical psychology.

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Jenna G Sims BS

  • Research Assistant

Jenna is a Research Assistant in the Urban Youth Trauma Center. She received her B.S. in Psychology from The University of Alabama. Jenna spent three years collaborating on research projects and completed her undergraduate thesis at the Center for Youth Development and Intervention in Tuscaloosa.

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Zhuolin Zhong

  • Research Assistant/Psychiatry Volunteer

Zhuolin is an undergraduate student of Applied Psychology major in the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her current grade is senior and expected graduate in June 2021. Interning in the Urban Youth Trauma Center (UYTC) as a research assistant that provide help and support the researchers and clinic staff. 

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