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CPAGS Board of Directors

CPAGS Board Members 2019-2020

CHAIR: Sean Rose, MA


Sean is entering his fifth year as a Psy.D. student at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He uses he/him/his pronouns and identifies as a genderqueer, gay male assigned at birth. Sean is currently the Chair of the CPAGS Board of Directors for the 2019-2020 year. His prior involvement with CPA/CPAGS includes attendance at CPA Lobby Day 2017 and 2018; holding the positions of CPAGS Chair-Elect on the 2018-2019 CPAGS Board of Directors as well as the CPAGS Diversity Chairman on the 2017-2018 CPAGS Executive Council; and attending CPA Convention for the past 3 years. At the 2018 CPA Convention, Sean was presented with one of two Bronze Psi awards recognizing excellence in service of a psychology graduate student to CPA. Sean has been involved in leadership roles at a national level as well, both as an APAGS campus representative for The Wright Institute (2016-2017) and as one of seven sitting members on the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (CSOGD) since the spring of 2017. Sean’s clinical interests include working with the LGBTQ+ community; working with trauma, particularly complex attachment trauma; working with severe mental illness; and fostering authentic identity development in the wake of trauma integration. Sean’s research focuses qualitatively on the lived experiences of self-identified feminine gay men facing femmephobia and marginalization from other gay men within their already marginalized gay male community. Sean is currently completing his APA-accredited internship at San Quintin State Prison in San Quentin, California. Sean’s intention as Chair is to utilize both cultural humility and a strong dedication to honoring diversity in our communities to guide and inspire his advocacy efforts, leadership goals, and pursuits to expand upon the mission of CPA and broaden the membership base of CPAGS.

CHAIR-ELECT: Craig M. Grant, MA, MFT 


Craig M. Grant is currently a fourth year PsyD student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Irvine-Orange County. He is actively involved in the psychology community teaching as a college Psychology Professor at a local community college, working in a clinic with an emphasis on Neuropsychology, and participating in advocacy efforts through the APA and other community-based organizations. He will continue his practicum this fall at Augustus Hawkins Mental Health Center in Compton, CA, serving a population that he has a tremendous passion for. His goal, his aim, and his passion lead him toward achieving a goal of acceptance, as opposed to despotism, regardless of race, gender, or creed.  Craig is excited to serve as your Chair-Elect, and looks forward to working with all the members of the board to bring you new and exciting things for this year to come.

PAST CHAIR: Katherine Kruser, MA, PsyD

Kat joined CPAGS during her first year at Alliant International University, Sacramento, as a Campus Representative.  She now serves as Past-Chair after six years of service in roles like Division VIII (Neuropsychology) Student Representative, CPA PAC Board of Trustees (Student), and student leadership at the regional chapter level (SVPA).  She has enjoyed collaborating with other students to help design events and activities for students to grow and widen their skills and professional network.  She has co-chaired two student research conferences in Sacramento, hosted various speed mentoring events, guest lectured, and advocated at the last five CPA Lobby Day events.  Kat's clinical training includes specialization in neuropsychology and treatment of anxiety.  She completed her internship at San Mateo Medical Center and is now completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Sports Concussion Institute, Inc. in Los Angeles where she will prepare for board certification.  Kat looks forward to encouraging and supporting students toward a brighter future this year.

TREASURER: Pratima Pathania, MS  

Pratima is a third-year PsyD student at the Wright Institute. During the past two years at the Wright Institute, Pratima has been involved in the Social Justice and Advocacy efforts as a student leader. Pratima was on the Wright Institute Multicultural Symposium Committee during her first year and served as a student leader of the Wright Institute Students of Color (WISOC) group during her second year. Pratima is also a co-founder for Wright Institute South Asian Association (WISAA). This year, Pratima will serve on the Wright Institute’s Clinical Program Executive Committee (CPEC) as the Third-year Cohort Representative and on the California Psychological Association for Graduate Students’ (CPAGS) Board of Directors as Treasurer. With her passion and determination, Pratima hopes to continue to work towards the diversity, social justice, and advocacy goals for graduate students throughout the year. As a member of CPAGS’ Board of Directors, Pratima is looking forward to collaborating with graduate students from across the State of California to work towards the CPAGS’ mission statement. Pratima will act as a liaison for CPAGS and work closely with the California Psychological Association’s (CPA) finance committee for the enhancement of CPAGS’ goals for this year.

SECRETARY: Cassandra Rasmussen, MA


Cassandra (Casey) Rasmussen is a third year Clinical PsyD student with CSPP-Sacramento and Alliant International University. She thoroughly enjoys being actively involved in her professional community and looks forward to bringing forth unique skills and perspectives to her role as Secretary on the CPAGS Board of Directors. She aims to support her fellow Board Members through accurate minute taking to serve as a guide for future projects, as well as, offering any support she can to helping their goals reach fruition. In her free time (if such exists for a graduate student), she enjoys reading, walking and most importantly, spending time with her family.

ADVOCACY DIRECTOR: Obiageli Uguru, MSc


Obiageli (Oby) Uguru is a 4th year Clinical Psychology Doctoral student focused on Neuropsychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her research explores executive functioning and barriers to learning for children with a history of prostitution. Her interests lie in neuropsychological assessment, complex trauma, attachment, advocacy and social policy among marginalized populations. This profound interest in advocacy and social policy development is especially potent for cultural minority and international groups. She currently holds a Master’s in Psychology as well as a Master’s in Child Development and is pursuing a master’s degree in Intercultural studies along with her PhD. She is also the 2019-2020 Chair Elect for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), APA’s Division 9, Graduate Student Committee. She is very excited to explore the world of advocacy within the psychological domain at a State-wide level.

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Lorenzo Aranda, MS

Lorenzo just completed his 2nd year as a student at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University- Orange County. He also concurrently serves as a Captain in the Army National Guard. He is currently completing a practicum at a private practice in Newport Beach conducting psychological and neuropsychological testing. He serves as the Graduate Student Representative on the board of the Orange County Psychological Association, Campus Ambassador for the American Psychological Association, Campus Representative for APA’s Division 19: Military Psychology, and the Communications Chair for his program’s Student Association. His interests are PTSD, suicide, and other issues experienced by the military population and he plans on serving this population in his career. He looks forward to supporting the efforts of CPAGS in any way possible, but especially in filling his role as Communications Director.


CONVENTION DIRECTOR: Joan Paul, BA, BS

Joan is entering her second year as a PsyD student at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. She was introduced to CPA and CPAGS while attending the March 2019 CPA Lobby Day and was inspired to take on an active role with CPAGS after attending the 2019 CPA convention and PAC dinner. Her clinical interests include working with children and families who are coping with experiences of complex trauma, racial and social inequity, and challenges surrounding law enforcement and immigration. Moreover, she is interested in researching the post-traumatic growth of first responders who have experienced multiple critical incidents. Her previous clinical experiences include volunteering as a peer counselor with the Berkeley Free Clinic and serving as a student clinician at a juvenile hall through her first-year practicum placement with Acknowledge Alliance. She will complete her second-year practicum at La Familia Counseling in Hayward, California. As Convention Director Joan hopes to incorporate her enthusiasm for social justice as she communicates with other members to help plan and develop the CPAGS programming for the 2020 CPA convention.

DIVERSITY and SOCIAL JUSTICE DIRECTOR: Rita Mercer, BA, MA

Rita Mercer is a graduate student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is completing dual internship hours at Pasadena City College and forensic training with a private psychologist in Lancaster. Ms. Mercer’s dissertation is entitled “Examining the effects of the length of criminal sentencing upon the psychological state of inmates.”  She has been a member of CPA for two and half years and volunteers at the conferences.

Ms. Mercer serves as a Planning Committee member and Vendor Coordinator for A Woman 4 All Seasons 2020 Conference. She is proud to be a White Suit Volunteer for the Tournament of Roses.

As Diversity and Social Justice Director, Rita’s goals are to broaden diversity and social justice awareness in conjunction with promoting the mission of CPA and increase the membership of CPAGS.


MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR: Bennie Harris, BA

Bennie is entering his third year as a Psy.D. student at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California. Bennie his currently the CPAGS Campus Representative for Pacifica, in addition to serving on the Graduate Student Leadership Committee for the Los Angeles County Psychological Association. Bennie participated in the 2019, CPA Lobby Day, which inspired his interest in becoming more involved with CPA. Bennie’s clinical interests include PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression within the veteran and active-duty military community. His interest in this area evolved out of his experience in a career military household with a father that served in the Korean War and two tours in Vietnam. Additionally, Bennie’s own eight-year experience in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam era, and his five years of work in Iraq during the Iraqi war from 2004 to 2009, fully acquainted him with the rigor of war and military service, and its residual effect. Bennie is completing his practicum experience at the Relational Center in Los Angeles, where he shares in their mission to “lead a shift to a culture that values empathy, diversity, and interdependence.” In his role as CPAGS Membership Director, Bennie is excited to partner with the other 2019-2020 CPAGS board members as vital participants in the mission of CPA, and to seek ways to inspire, and encourage fellow graduate students to serve their fellow students and campus communities as campus representatives.  

Division Representatives

CPAGS division reps are essentially the student voice on each division. In addition to adding a student perspective, they identify student opportunities within each division. Each division rep has the responsibility of maintaining a relationship between the CPAGS leadership and each division, and writing articles each year for the CP updating student members of happenings in their division. Generally, Divisions meet 2-3 times per year, and have occasional conference calls.

Divisions Representatives are:
  • Division I – Clinical and Professional Practice - Charles Warter, MA
  • Division II – Education and Training - Sara Elliot, MA
  • Division III – Industrial/Organization Psychology - Murphy Alafoginis, MBA
  • Division IV – Public Service - Vacant
  • Division V – Clinical Psychopharmacology - Kelli Tillquist, MA
  • Division VI – Media Technology and Communication - Megan Brubaker, MS, MA
  • Division VII – Public Interest/Diversity - Vacant
  • Division VIII – Neuropsychology - Janet Yañez, MA, LMFT
 
 

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