The Wright Institute News & Events

Get to know Stephanie Chen, Ph.D. - Full-Time Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Stephanie Chen, Ph.D. - Full-Time Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Dr. Chen's professional biography here.


Shayna Quilty (SQ): How did you first hear about the Wright Institute, and what inspires you to stay?
Stephanie Chen (SC):
I’m a newbie. I was searching for another opportunity to teach and increase my teaching capacity. Dr. Torrez was a classmate of mine in graduate school, so I talked with her and it made me even more interested in the Wright Institute. The school has a great reputation, and I fell in love with the students, faculty, and administration after I taught my first class in the fall of 2015.

Student Spotlight: Lucy Moore’s field placement at the Rainbow Community Center

Student Spotlight: Lucy Moore’s field placement at the Rainbow Community Center



Lucy Moore, a second-year student in the Wright Institute’s Counseling Psychology Master’s Program, is completing her field placement at the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, CA. The organization is the only LGBTQ+ community organization providing mental health services to teenagers and adults in all of Contra Costa County. It offers support to local high schools’ Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) as well as one-on-one mentoring and internal referrals to case management, counseling and therapy.

“I am excited to work here because there is definitely not enough support for the LGBTQ community here because there is less resistance to hetero-normativity in Contra Costa County compared to Oakland and San Francisco,” Moore said.

Get to know Taquelia Washington, LCSW - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Taquelia Washington, LCSW - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Taquelia's professional biography here.


Shayna Quilty (SQ): Congratulations on becoming a Core Faculty Member! What drew you to the Wright Institute, and what makes you stay?
Taquelia Washington (TW):
Thank you! I believe in synchronicity. Most of my career has worked this way. I was supervising a Wright Institute student who was doing their practicum at an organization where I have a contract position. The student shared with me that the school was looking to hire more instructors. Upon researching and learning more, I was drawn to interview and teach Multicultural Awareness and Sensitivity (MAS) as an adjunct instructor.

Get to know Mary Clarke, PhD - Full-Time Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Mary Clarke, PhD - Full-Time Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Dr. Clarke's professional biography here.


Shayna Quilty (SQ): Congratulations on being invited to join the Full-Time Faculty! What drew you to the Wright Institute, and what makes you stay?
Mary Clarke (MC):
Thank you! What drew me is a friend of a friend. A close friend/colleague and I taught a course together a couple of years ago. I fell in love with the atmosphere, curriculum, and the size of the cohorts. The faculty have collaborative relationships; they show a lot of care and dedication to their work, and I felt that people were excited to have me in their community. I definitely felt welcomed.

SQ: When you think back on your time at the Wright, what’s a moment that stands out to you?
MC:
Going to the first Core Faculty meeting and the first orientation that I attended. I felt proud to be invited to join such a quality group of professionals.

Researchers and Mental Health Professionals Meet to Discuss Youth and Adolescents in the San Francisco Bay Area

Researchers and Mental Health Professionals Meet to Discuss Youth and Adolescents in the San Francisco Bay Area

Read about Dr. Ritchie Rubio here.


Trauma Transformed and SAMHSA are co-hosting the Regional CANS Reflection and Focus Group in Oakland today. Facilitators will lead a discussion to share regional learning around best practices and common challenges in implementing CANS in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment (or CANS) is an outcome measure used to assess for overall psychological, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of children and youth.

Dr. Ritchie Rubio, full time faculty member for the Counseling Psychology Program at the Wright Institute, will be presenting his work on data reflection in the Child, Youth, and Families system of care of San Francisco.

Professor’s book highlights horrors of, alternatives to solitary confinement

Wright Institute Professor’s Book Highlights Horrors of, Alternatives to Solitary Confinement

Over the course of decades researching the effects of solitary confinement on prison inmates, Professor Emeritus Terry Kupers, M.D. has amassed hundreds of anecdotes that illuminate the ways in which isolation causes disturbing patterns in relatively stable people and exacerbates symptoms of mental illness in those with histories of trauma and psychological problems. One such story was that of a woman he met in an East Coast prison who had recently been moved out of a secure housing unit (SHU), or solitary confinement.

“She was extremely anxious, and she told me that as a child her mother had locked her in a dark closet for hours or even days to punish her and was physically and verbally abusive,” Kupers said. “She eventually went to prison and to solitary, which triggered flashbacks, or experiences of reliving her abuse as a child.”

Get to know Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, MS, LMFT - Full-Time Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, LMFT - Full-Time Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Ulash's professional biography here.


Shayna Quilty (SQ): I’m curious how you first heard about the Wright Institute, and what keeps you invested?
Ulash Thakore-Dunlap (UTD):
I first heard about the Wright Institute when I was lobbying on capitol hill representing the Asian American Psychological Association. I was sitting at a table with representatives from California and sitting next to me was Dr. Gilbert Newman, Dean of the Clinical Psychology program at the Wright Institute. Dr. Newman put me in touch with [the Director of the Counseling Psychology Program,] Dr. Milena Esherick, when I asked if there were opportunities for me to teach at the Wright.

What keeps me invested is the intimate connection of our faculty. The support of the administration and the faculty allows me to do really good work with the wonderful students.

Get to know Nancy Ulmer, LCSW - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Nancy Ulmer, LCSW - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Nancy's professional biography here.


Shayna Quilty (SQ): Tell me about how you became involved with the Wright Institute, and what keeps you invested?
Nancy Ulmer (NU):
I had never taught before, but neuroscience is one of my areas of interest, so I accepted the offer to teach Human Development the first year that the Counseling Psychology Program was in existence. Later I began teaching Addictions Counseling and Professional Development as well.

We had such a fun time in the early years of the the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program! It was energizing, and kept me studying, learning, and growing. The students at the Wright Institute are wonderful, and I’m so pleased with our focus on professional development.

Get to know Stuart Lee, LMFT - Field Placement Director, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Stuart Lee, LMFT - Field Placement Director, Counseling Psychology Program



Shayna Quilty (SQ): Tell me about your history with the Wright Institute. What drew you here, and what makes you stay?
Stuart Lee (SL):
I first arrived at the Wright Institute as a student when changing careers after 20 years in forensic science. I decided to enroll in the weekend program while concurrently working full-time in a crime lab. During my second year of coursework, Dr. Milena Esherick asked for volunteers to assist in visiting and evaluating potential field placement sites, and I was the only one who raised my hand in my cohort. What an opportunity! I really liked the work so I asked if I could continue in a more permanent role. I started part time in 2009 while I was completing my licensure hours and recently became full-time field placement director in 2016.

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