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Alumni

Rylan Jay Testa, Ph.D.

Pronouns: He/him/his

 

Dr. Rylan Jay Testa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Health Behavior and Disparities Lab at Rhodes College. He completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Temple University in 2011 and is a licensed psychologist in the state of California. Dr. Testa's research focuses on understanding and preventing self-destructive health-related behaviors, such as suicide, eating disorders, sexual risk-taking, and substance abuse. Dr. Testa is particularly committed to addressing these issues in marginalized and underserved populations.  Several of his publications have focused on delineating the relationship between gender minority stress and suicidality among transgender and gender non-conforming people. For his work in this area, he has received the American Psychological Association Division 44’s Transgender Research Award. Dr. Testa is also author of The Gender Quest Workbook, a resource for managing stress and bolstering resilience in gender diverse youth. Overall, his work is grounded in the understanding that psycho-social factors are crucial to improving health outcomes. He aims to develop interventions that address these factors through innovative means, including technology-based, primary-care based, and community-based interventions.

 

Rebecca Gitlin, Ph.D.

Pronouns: She/her/hers

 

Dr. Rebecca Gitlin is a clinical psychologist with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. She is a 2015 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU). She received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2008, where she held a double major in Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Psychology. She was in the Diversity & Community Mental Health and the LGBTQ Areas of Emphasis at PAU. Her clinical and research interests include trauma-informed, feminist, and multicultural approaches to integrated care for vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on working with gender and sexual minorities and women. Her dissertation research was a mixed-methods exploration of resilience and relationships among justice-involved women, titled “Gender Role, Feminist Ideology, and Intimacy in Prison: Implications for Empowerment and Psychological Well-Being among Formerly Incarcerated Women.” While at PAU, she completed practica at the State of California Department of Rehabilitation, Project Pride at East Bay Community Recovery Project, and The Gronowski Center’s Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic. She completed an APA-accredited predoctoral internship at Pacific Clinics in Pasadena, CA. She then completed an APA-accredited clinical postdoctoral fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Behavioral Medicine/Women’s Behavioral Health and an Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health at VA of Greater Los Angeles. She currently serves as the women's clinical lead for veterans services with the LA County Department of Mental Health. Dr. Gitlin has a part-time private practice, with a focus on trauma, perinatal/postpartum mental health, and sexual and gender minority mental health. Outside of direct clinical practice, she has facilitated trainings and workshops for medical and mental health providers on multicultural reflection and responsiveness, with a particular focus on antiracist practice.

 

Valentina Rubinstein, Ph.D.

 

Dr. Valentina Rubinstein completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU) in 2015. While at PAU she completed the LGBTQ and the Diversity and Community Mental Health Areas of Emphasis. Her research interests focus on male survivors of sexual assault and LGBTQ psychology. Her clinical interests focus on individuals living with severe mental illness. Prior to and during graduate school she worked with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, and this continues to be a clinical interest. She completed an APA- accredited pre-doctoral internship at Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. During her pre-doctoral training she also worked as a research assistant for the CUPPLES study, headed by Dr. Kimberly Balsam, Ph.D. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Department of State Hospitals-Napa. Dr. Rubinstein is currently working as a Staff Psychologist at Napa State Hospital, working primarily with underserved individuals. She is currently perusing additional training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

 

Jayme Peta, Ph.D.

Dr. Jayme Peta is a 2016 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU) in the LGBTQ and the Diversity and Community Mental Health Areas of Emphasis.  Jayme received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1996, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in 2007. Jayme’s clinical and research interests include transgender and gender non-binary mental health, serious and persistent mental illness, public service psychology, mindfulness, and LGBTQ youth.  Jayme completed clinical practica at Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and the St Helena Center for Behavioral Health and pre-doctoral internship as well as a post-doctoral fellowship at Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.  Jayme’s dissertation, entitled, Childhood Abuse, Minority Stress, and Mental Health in Transgender Adults received the Murray Tondow Outstanding Dissertation Award. Jayme is currently the Associate Director of the Office of Professional Advising and Development at OPAD.

 

Christina Rincon, Ph.D.

 

Christina Rincon-Zahm is a 2016 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU).  She received a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Religious Studies from the University of Oklahoma in 2010 and a M.S. in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University in 2014.  She was in the LGBTQ and Diversity and Community Mental Health Areas of Emphasis at PAU.  She served as PAU’s first Student Veterans Organization (SVO) President, and as treasurer of the Psychological Association for Gender Expression and Sexuality (PAGES).  Her clinical interests include sexual and gender identity development, minority stress, trauma, eating disorders, and military/veteran culture.  She completed clinical practica at the Gronowski Center’s Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic, the Bay Area Addiction Research and Treatment (BAART) Market Street, the Private Clinical Practice of Dr. Carol Wong, and the San Francisco VA Santa Rosa CBOC.  Her research interests include sexual and gender minority issues with an emphasis on military and veteran populations.  She was an investigator on the LGB Service Member Study and in addition to completing her dissertation with this data she has authored/co-authored multiple manuscripts, posters, and presentations.  Her dissertation research focused on LGB Service Members and was titled Gender Expression and the Experience of Discrimination, Victimization, and Psychological Distress Among Currently Serving Sexual Minority Service Members.  She completed a pre-doctoral internship at White River Junction VA in Vermont and is currently a Captain in the U.S. Air Force serving as a staff psychologist at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.

Predair Robinson, Ph.D.

Pronouns: He/him/his

 

Predair Robinson is a 2017 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU).  He received a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Leadership Studies and Philosophy/Religious Studies from Christopher Newport University in 2007. He also received his M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University in 2014. He was in the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis at PAU. He previously served as PAU's Student Council (STUCO) Public Relations Chair and President of Psychological Association of Gender Expression and Sexuality (PAGES). His clinical interests include working with college students, LGBTQ+ populations, people of color, mood disorder, relationships concerns, and couples work. He completed clinical practica at the Gronowski Center's Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic, City of Fremont: Youth and Family Services, San Jose State University's Counseling and Psychological Services, and at the County of San Mateo Behavioral Health and Recovery Services: Youth Services Center. His research interest included LGBTQ health, dating, and sex-seeking behaviors. He was a co-investigator on the Men’s Online Research of Psychological Health (MORPH) project. He has defended his dissertation titled, The Convergence of High-risk Sexual Behaviors, Online Dating, and Mental Health among Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Men. He completed his predoctoral internship at Appalachian State University's Psychological and Counseling Services. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at San Jose State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services. He is currently employed as a visiting assistant professor at Palo Alto University. Additionally, Dr. Robinson is current a clinical supervisor and the director of the SGIC (Sexuality, Gender, and Identities Clinic) at the Gronowski Center. 

Wyatt Evans, Ph.D.

Pronouns: He/him/his

 


Wyatt Evans is a graduate of the PhD program in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU). He received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas and a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University. He also completed the Diversity and Community Mental Health and LGBTQ Areas of Emphasis at PAU. Dr. Evans served as the President of the Psychological Association for Gender Expression and Sexuality (PAGES) and Public Relations officer of the Pacific Research Society (PRS) while a student at PAU. His clinical and research interests are in the psychological sequelae of traumatic stress including PTSD, traumatic loss, and moral injury among military and marginalized populations. While at PAU, he completed clinical practica training at the Palo Alto VA, the National Center for PTSD, and the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System. His ongoing clinical research includes development of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy protocol for combat veterans with moral injury and implementation evaluation of Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Dr. Evans’ book, The Moral Injury Workbook: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills for Moving Beyond Shame, Anger, & Trauma to Reclaim Your Values, will be published by New Harbinger Publications in spring 2020. He led and contributed to several research projects at PAU from 2012 to 2017 and, along with Drs. Balsam and Goldblum, he collaborated with the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control to complete the first study of LGB service members following the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Dr. Evans’ dissertation examined factors associated with mental health among LGB service members including identity disclosure satisfaction and unit acceptance. He completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX and two-year clinical research fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio with the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD at Fort Hood, TX. Dr. Evans is currently a staff psychologist with the VA North Texas Health Care System in Fort Worth, TX as well as adjunct faculty with Central Texas College and the University of North Texas.

Kevin Tomita, Ph.D.

Pronouns: He/him/his

Kevin K. Tomita is a graduate of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU).  He received a B.S. degree in Psychology and Communication and a certificate in Conflict Resolution from Southern Oregon University in 2012. He received an M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University in 2014.  He was in the LGBTQ and the Diversity and Community Mental Health Areas of Emphasis at PAU. His clinical interests include working with underserved populations, SMI treatment, substance abuse treatment, and community mental health. He completed clinical practica at the Gronowski Center's Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic, the UCSF Alliance Health Project, and the Bay Area Addiction and Research Treatment Program in San Francisco. His research interests include mental health in trans adults, bullying and victimization of LGBT youth, general mental health in LGBT individuals, and mental health in Pacific Islander adults. His dissertation research was titled Gender-Affirming Medical Interventions and Mental Health in Trans Adults.  He completed a predoctoral internship at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC) and has been collecting postdoc hours as a staff therapist at the same clinic.

Michael Richards, Ph.D.

Pronouns: He/him/his

Michael Richards is a 2018 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU) .  He received a B.A. degree from Duke University in 2009, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Philosophy and Russian Language.  He received an M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University in 2015.  He is in the Diversity and Community Mental Health and LGBTQ Psychology Areas of Emphasis at PAU.  Michael served as the Vice President of the Psychological Association for Gender Expression and Sexuality (PAGES) from 2013-2014.  His clinical interests include integrative therapy with young adult populations working on issues related to sexual and gender identities, as well as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.  He completed clinical practica at the Gronowski Center community mental health clinic, HealthRight360’s dual diagnosis residential treatment facility, San Jose Job Corps’ health clinic, and San Jose State University’s counseling center.  Michael’s research interests include personality and individual differences among LGBTQ individuals.  He is one of the co-lead investigators on the Men’s Online Research on Psychological Health (MORPH) project.  In June 2017, he defended his dissertation focused on the moderating effects of personality on the relationship between minority stress and mental health among gay, bisexual, and queer men.  He completed his predoctoral internship at San Jose State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services. He is currently employed as a visiting assistant professor at Palo Alto University and clinical supervisor at the Gronowski Center. 

Jessica Simonetti, Ph.D.

Pronouns: She/her/hers

 

Jessica Simonetti received her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU) in June 2019.  She received her B.A. degree from St. John’s University in 2010 and her M.S. from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University in 2017. During her doctoral training, she completed both the Mindfulness and Meditation and the LGBTQ specialty areas of of emphases. She also served as Student Council (STUCO) Secretary, Psychological Association for Gender Expression and Sexuality (PAGES) President, and also as a board member of The Wellness Initiative for Therapists in at PAU. Her clinical interests include the integration of third wave behaviorism (e.g. mindfulness, meditation, compassion-focused work) into the field of health psychology and trauma-informed care. She completed clinical practica at the Gronowoski Center's Sexual and Genders Identities Clinic, the Community Health Awareness Council and the Women’s Counseling Center at the Palo Alto VA. She completed her predoctoral internship was at the Long Beach VA Hospital and is currently completing her postdoctoral residency in the Integrated Health and Healing Center at the West LA VA with a specialty focus in holistic mind-body approaches to healing. Likewise, her research interests focus on holistic care (mind-body approaches, mindfulness, compassion) and resilience among marginalized populations (e.g. LGBTQ).  Her dissertation research focused on Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research protocol “Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT).” Specifically, her study was the first to examine the impact of CCT among LGBTQ individuals. She is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Integrative Health and Healing Center at the West LA VA, utilizing evidenced based mindfulness and compassion interventions.

Genevieve M. Kozne, Ph.D.

Pronouns: She/her/hers

 

Genevieve Kozne is a 2019 graduate of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU). She received a B.S. degree from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2012 and her M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University in 2016. She completed both the LGBTQ and the Diversity and Community Mental Health Areas of Emphasis at PAU. She previously served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs for PAU’s Ph.D. Student Council from 2014-2015. Her clinical interests include working with college students, grief, trauma, sexual orientation, gender identity, identity development and transition, and group therapy. She completed clinical practica at the Gronowski Center's Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic, the County of Monterey’s Behavioral Health Division (Transition Age Youth program), San Jose State’s Counseling and Psychological Services, and Santa Rosa Junior College. She completed her pre-doctoral internship serving college students at Colorado State University's Health Network. Her research interests include issues related to identity development, coming out, mental health, suicide risk, resiliency, pregnancy, and parenting within trans and non-binary populations. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of parents with trans and non-binary gender identities, particularly exploring issues related to pregnancy within these populations. Genevieve is currently completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the Therapy Group of DC, a private practice located in Washington, D.C.