Tell us about yourself and how you came to this position?
I was born in a small fishing village on the island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. The island is extremely culturally diverse; so much so, I would leave my home every morning from a Christian household, interact with Hindu neighbors to attend a Muslim school. These childhood experiences helped form a trustworthy compass that has been extremely beneficial, as I had to grapple with complex social issues and adversities. Consequently, I gained a deep respect and sense of value for life long learning and teaching. I completed my undergraduate education on the East Coast, served over two decades in the United States Air Force, followed by twelve years as a School Administrator in northern California. My aspirations of understanding and mitigating the effects of intergenerational transmission of trauma among refugees and immigrant groups led to a doctoral degree in clinical psychology (PsyD). In my current work as a psychologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, I see the existence of an enormous volume of underserved clients and a further need for strong mental health clinicians. As a result, I aspire to help in the development of my future colleagues. It is my pleasure and privilege to teach in the MFT program at USF.
What is the most exciting part of your job?
I believe watchingstudents as they increase their ability to think critically about complex emotional issues. There is a joy that comes with sharing knowledge with students and seeing them grow as they gain confidence in their new abilities.
What inspires you and why?
I find novelty of thought, ideas and the ability to want to work outside of conventional settings inspirational. While conventional thinking is needed, it has not been sufficient to respond to some of our most stubborn and frustrating mental health challenges.