New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation Flash: 
4th Quarter

Meet the Trustees!

Matt Hagovsky, PhD (President);
Toby Kaufman, PhD (Secretary);
Abby Rosen (Treasurer);
Richard Klein, EdD (Trustee);
Ann Stainton, PhD (Trustee); 
E. Belvin Williams, PhD (Trustee);
Regina Budesa, PsyD (Trustee);
Alyssa Austern, PsyD (Trustee);
Eileen Kohutis, PhD (Trustee);
Daniel Lee, PsyD (NJPA President-Elect and Foundation Board Liaison);
Alex Gil (NJPAGS Representative);

Keira Boertzel-Smith (Executive Director); 
Jennifer Cooper (Central Office Staff Liaison)

2020 NJPA Foundation Meetings Calendar
November 16 7-9pm

Organization Structure

The New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation was established in 1993 as a charitable, tax-exempt organization. The NJPA Foundation is an IRC 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation and all donations, less any goods and services received, are tax deductible. The mission of the NJPA Foundation, in addition to supporting NJPA's mission, is promoting the psychological health of the diverse people of New Jersey.

Get Involved!

Become a Board Trustee
The NJPA Foundation is governed by the NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees.  The board has four officers: president, secretary, treasurer, and the NJPA president-elect. All trustees are voting members except for the NJPA president-elect who is an ex-officio non-voting officer. The trustee's term may be as long as he/she is qualified and eligible. Become a Board Trustee!

Become a Friend of the Foundation

The NJPA Foundation includes non-voting Friends of the Foundation members. These individuals must be NJPA members and may assist with projects on behalf of the NJPA Foundation such as volunteering at fundraising events, writing NJPA Foundation articles, reviewing and voting on student grant papers, attending site visits, or planning NJPA Foundation continuing education programs. The projects are monitored and managed by the NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees. Friends of the Foundation are welcome to attend and participate at the NJPA Foundation meetings.  There is no term limit for Friends of the Foundation. The NJPA Foundation president, in consultation with the NJPA executive director, reserves the right to terminate a Friend of the Foundation membership if the member is deemed to not be acting in the best interest of NJPA Foundation. Become a Friend of the Foundation!

Contact Jennifer Cooper at [email protected]  
973-243-9800 with questions.

 Foundation Funding

The majority of current funding comes from the NJPA membership, with some funding coming from outside groups. Funding comes in the form of NJPA Foundation annual solicitation letters to the NJPA membership, NJPAF hosted events such as member-hosted dinner parties, and special events, such as 2017 Somerset Patriots baseball game.  Tributes and bequests are a great way to contribute to the Foundation. The NJPA Foundation is open to exploring new manners of fundraising such as corporate sponsorship and grant writing. Click here to read more about how you can participate in, and contribute to, our fundraising efforts.

Take this opportunity to make your 2020 charitable donation!  The New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations (less any goods/services received) are tax-deductible and go directly to supporting a psychologically health community.

Thank you!

Thank you to all who continue to make individual NJPA Foundation donations during this time of crisis!

Please consider donating to the Foundation with your 2021 NJPA Membership Dues to maintain our good work!  

If you are interested in hosting a virtual social gathering on behalf of the NJPA Foundation, please contact Jennifer Cooper to help you organize your virtual social event.

In addition to supporting the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) mission, the mission of the Foundation is promoting the psychological health of the diverse people of New Jersey. The NJPA Foundation administers and raises money to deliver psychological services to underserved populations, trains psychology graduate students as clinicians and researchers with an emphasis on treating underserved populations, supports the mission of NJPA especially in its commitment to diversity, public health, underserved populations and the training of graduate students in psychology. The NJPA Foundation is a 501(c) (3) corporation and all donations, less any goods and services received, are tax deductible.

Not an NJPA member?

Click Here to Learn about Member Benefits and to Apply for Membership!

Getting ready for Giving Tuesday - December 1, 2020 

Giving Tuesday is an international generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities. This Giving Tuesday, we ask you to contribute to the NJPA Foundation. The NJPA Foundation strives each and every day to make a lasting contribution to the most vulnerable communities within New Jersey.  By raising and administering money to support the training of psychology graduate students, as clinicians and researchers, who devote their training to treating underserved populations, the NJPA Foundation is supporting the mission of NJPA, especially in its commitment to diversity, public health, and supporting underserved populations.  

In September, the NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees met to discuss the state of the NJPA Foundation finances, the increased 2020 requests for giving, and the projected expenses for 2021. With approximately $22,000 in 2020 donations so far, and 2020 grant-giving asks of over $70,000, the NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees made a difficult decision to temporarily suspend the dissertation and conference participation grants until financially able to lift the suspensions.  The NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees has also put a temporary moratorium on new Community Service grants for the 2021-2022 academic year. During this time of giving, please consider these three ways you can help the NJPA Foundation continue to support our worthy causes - make a financial contribution, volunteer your time, and Zoom for a cause.

1. Make a Financial Donation- Donate a Session for the Profession

Donate the cost of one therapy/treatment session to the NJPA Foundation. We are suggesting a minimum donation of $95. If the NJPA Foundation can rely on 800 NJPA members to participate in this campaign, the Foundation will be able to meet its goal and the high demand for grants. 

Please take just 2 minutes to listen to this very important message from NJPA Foundation President, Matt Hagovsky, PhD, introducing the NJPAF 2020 “Donate a Session for the Profession” Fundraising Drive - listen here.

Listen to the latest NJPA/NJPAF Podcast and information about the 2020 NJPA Foundation Fundraising Drive here!

Hear from NJPAF Secretary, Dr. Toby Kaufman


Hear from NJPAF Board of Trustee, Dr. Ann Stainton


 Donate Now!

2. Join the Foundation - Share your Volunteer Hours with Us 

Use your volunteer hours to support the future of psychology and underserved populations. The mission of the NJPA Foundation, in addition to supporting NJPA's mission, is promoting the psychological health of the diverse people of New Jersey.

Click Here to Become an NJPA Foundation Board Trustee or Become a Friend of the Foundation Today!

In its commitment to the missions of NJPA and NJPAF and the psychological health of the people in our community, the NJPA Foundation administers and raises money to:

1. Deliver psychological services to underserved populations.

2. Provide support to community sites who train graduate students in psychology as clinicians and researchers with an emphasis on treating underserved populations.

3. Expand and disseminate psychological knowledge to the public, particularly information to fulfill the NJPA and NJPAF missions.

4. Encourage original psychological research that addresses the psychological well-being of the underserved populations of New Jersey.

5. Provide continuing education opportunities for psychologists and students addressing service to the underserved populations of New Jersey.

Read all about the duties, responsibilities, and benefits of joining the Foundation Board of Trustees.

3. Use your Zooms to Support Our Cause

Hosting a virtual Zoom birthday celebration, anniversary gathering, or happy hour?  Encourage your Zoom attendees make a donation to the NJPA Foundation as part of your virtual social gathering! Share the NJPAF donate button with your Zoom invitation. In the donation link, your attendees will be asked to share their name and email address, and can make a donation online from the comfort of their home.

Provide your information here to let us know about your virtual party and NJPA Foundation will provide you with an email invitation to send to your guests that includes your name, your venue (your Zoom or virtual platform link), "party" details, and your party specific RSVP/Donate link.

Awarded 2020 NJPA Foundation Dissertation Grants

NJPA Foundation is happy to report that we issued multiple 2020 dissertation grants.  In Q4 2020, the dissertation grant applications will be placed on suspension and re-assessed in 2021.

Congratulations! 2020 Dissertation Grant Recipients

Iranian American Beliefs about Mental Illness and Psychological Help-Seeking
Sheila Rouzitalab

Iranian Americans are a diverse and growing immigrant group in the United States. Historically, Iranian Americans have often been overlooked in research due to various reasons. Current data suggest roughly 460,000 to 1,500,000 Iranians reside in the US, and this is considered to be a significant underestimate (American Community Survey, 2018; Esfandiari, 2012). On the United States Census, individuals of Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) descent are instructed to select “White” as their race, and this categorization makes it nearly impossible to know the number of Iranians and other MENA individuals residing in the United States, unless individuals write-in their ethnic identity on the “origins” line of the census. As such, these populations continue to be undercounted and thus underserved by community programming, and government and research entities (Abdullah & Brown, 2011; Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, 2020). Click here to read more.

Searching for Refuge: How Psychologists Make Meaning of Their Work With Asylum Seekers in a Turbulent Sociopolitical Climate 
by Hanna R. Schwartzbaum

As of 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had identified 70.8 million current, forcibly displaced people (“UNHCR,” 2019). Once displaced, these migrants often seek refuge in a host country by means of an asylum process necessitating a legal case, and at times, a psychological evaluation to support their claim. This dissertation is an exploratory, qualitative investigation that examines psychologists’ experiences conducting asylum evaluations across the following domains: their autobiographical connections to this field, the factors that contribute to their continued drive to serve in this social justice role, and their ability to make meaning of the stories they hear. Click here to read more.

Phenomenological Experiences of Traumatic Childbirth in Black Women 
by Ruby Rhoden

Over 700 women in the US die annually during pregnancy and childbirth, making it the most dangerous country to give birth in the developed world. Yet, there is a neglected and rapidly growing population that affects 2,000-fold more women every year – maternal morbidity. Click here to read more.  

Buffers Against the Effect of Discrimination on Mental Health in Sexual Minority Individuals

by Cindy Chang

Sexual minority individuals are at elevated risk for negative mental health outcomes compared to heterosexual individuals, including greater depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidal ideation and behaviors (Cochran, Sullivan, & Mays, 2003; King et al., 2008). A large body of research suggests that these disparities are related to identity-related stressors, including sexual minority-related discrimination (Meyer, 2003). Although the negative effects of discrimination on mental health are well studied, little is known about buffers of this relationship.  Click here to read more

Who Wants to Fit in Anyway? – Bicultural Identity Integration as a Protective Factor Against Color Based Racial Discrimination Appraisal 
by Anne Marie Keshani Perera

Existing literature explores the association between racism and mental health suggesting that racial struggles may increase the vulnerability for the development of psychopathology.  Correlations between skin color and racism have been well established. While there are studies that suggest that the acculturative strategy of bicultural identity integration (BII) may be a protective factor against psychopathology, to our knowledge, there are no studies exploring if BII may protect against distress caused by racial discrimination in immigrant populations.  Click here to read more.

Running Head: Addressing Service Underutilization Among Muslim Youth
by Christine Laurine

Despite the need for professional treatment, Muslims tend to significantly underutilize formal mental health (MH) services, with some studies indicating that Muslims represent the most underserved racial/ethnic minority group in terms of service utilization. Muslim youth may be especially vulnerable to mental health challenges, due to a range of sociopolitical (e.g., increased risk for victimization and discrimination post-9/11) and cultural factors (e.g. acculturative stress), in addition to peer pressure to conform to mainstream norms that may be in conflict with individual and family religious/cultural values and practices. Click here to read more.

Passing as White: The Experiences of Supervisees of Color
by Bridget M. Anton

There is a need for cross-racial supervision given the lack of representation of supervisors of color, students of color will need to work with White supervisors. The literature on cross-racial supervisory dyads, however, has not explored this subject with the passing racial identity focus. Passing is defined as a racial/ethnic minority member who has the physical appearance to be perceived as White. People who pass as White have to consider the emotional consequences of revealing their stigmatized racial identity when confronted with racist remarks by Whites. Since the supervision experience of supervisees of color can parallel their racial experience within the racial climate of American society, conversations about race/cultural issues may be transpired differently with students of color who pass as WhiteClick here to read more.

The Impact of Racial and Ethnic Socialization on Young Black Women's Role in Interpersonal and Romantic Relationships:  A Qualitative Study
by Jessica Elliot

Parents and family members are often where children receive their first understanding of the nuances of society and how to navigate through their experiences. The implicit and explicit messages that parents and family members provide children have ramifications that can impact their perception of gender roles in the work force (Croft et al., 2014), gender based expectations in education (Gunderson et al., 2012) as well as gender based roles in society (Epstein & Ward, 2011). When it comes to parents and family members of children of color, they have the additional task of teaching their children how to navigate through society as a person of color (Bowman & Howard, 1985; Brown et al., 2010; Peck et al., 2014; Townsend, 2008). Click here to read more.

Congratulations to the Three 2020 NJPA Foundation Student-Initiated Research Award Winners!

(Watch the NJPA Academic & Scientific Affairs and Foundation Awards here)

A fundamental component of the New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation’s mission is to support the training of graduate students. One way they meet this goal is by providing funding for student-initiated research and projects addressing psychological issues that have significant impact on community health. Through the generosity of individual contributions, we are able to offer four awards and scholarships for innovative family, school, and community projects. 

• The John M. Lagos Award for Research Into Causes and/or Treatment of Social Problems
• The NJPA Foundation Scholarship for Research on Diversity Issues
• The Dr. Zellig Bach Award for the Study of the Family

• The Winifred Starbuck Scott Award

2020  The John M. Lagos Award for Research Into Causes and/or Treatment of Social Problems Award Winner, 
Matthew J Dwyer

Evaluation of App-Based Behavioral Activation for Co-Occurring Depression and Drinking to Cope During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

2020 Dr. Zellig Bach Award for the Study of the Family Award Winner, Jessica L Bonumwezi

Coming of Age After the Genocide: Mental Health of Rwandan Young Adults

2020 Research on Diversity Issues Award Winner, Sarah Schaaf

Examining the Impact of Traditional Sexual Scripts on Professional Responses to Female Sexual Assault: An Implicit Approach


Thank you to our Three 2020 Student-Initiated Research Paper Reviewers - Drs. Frank Dyer, Thomas Kot, and Susan Neigher

Each year, we put out a call for submissions for applications from students who are interested in funding for student-initiated research or projects addressing psychological issues. Each year, NJPA members, and friends of the Foundation, volunteer their time to review these papers to determine the winners.

The NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees thanks them for their commitment to the students and this process that addresses relevant psychological issues that affect community health.

2020-2021 Awarded Community Service Grants
NJPA Foundation Awarded 45 Graduate Students at 12 Community Service Sites Across New Jersey

Franciscan Community Development Center
- Program Director: Daniel J Mahoney, EdD
- Students: Marcella Farfan, Salvador Reyes, Estrevina Rivera
Kean Adult Community Members Program
- Program Director: Donald Marks, PsyD
- Students: Ritvik Dutta, Christina Galese, Giuliana Stillo
Kean Social Skills Empowerment Group
- Program Director: Aaron Gubi, PhD
- Students: Gittie Freeman, Claudia Emmanuel, Vanessa Vega
Newark Beth Israel - General Track
- Program Director: Karyn C Smarz, PhD
- Students: Tania Chowdhury, Sekinat KuKu, Raghad Hassabelnaby, Simonleigh Miller, Jessica Elliott, Shaneze Gayle
Newark Beth Israel GB-CBT
- Program Director: Barbara Prempeh, PsyD
- Students: Sade Porter, Christopher Watkins, Zerbrina Valdespino-Hayden,Brittany Klimek
Rutgers GSAAP Foster Care Counseling Project
- Program Director: Kate Garcia, PsyD
- Students: Drew Mendelson, Damilola Kolade, Melissa Farsang, Jessica Reed
Rutgers DBT Clinic
- Program Director: Shireen L Rizvi, PhD, ABPP
- Students: Molly Stern, Febrian "Annie" Moten, Jesse Finklestein, Kate El-Sharkawy, Maria Alba, Kathryn Coniglio
Rutgers K-5 Elementary School High Poverty Program
- Program Director: Linda Reddy, PhD
- Students: Alexandra Franklin, Amy Oliveira, Samuel Laverty, Sam Barkhordari
Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic
- Program Director: Andrea Quinn, PsyD
- Students: Joel Seltzer, Idil Franko
Rutgers Tourette Syndrome Clinic
- Program Director: Graham Hartke, PsyD
- Students: Amanda Austin, Erin Rosenberg, May Yaun, Nina Dallenbach, Emily Hendershot
Rutgers YAD-C
- Program Director: Brian Chu, PhD
- Students: Melissa Pedrozza, Tian Saltzman
Youth Development Clinic
- Program Director: Mark Kitzie PsyD
- Students: Victoria Interra, Sadaf Khawar, Fernanda Moura

See the details about each of these programs - on the NJPA Foundation's Community Service Project Grant website page!

[email protected] | 354 Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 1150 | Livingston, NJ 07039

973-243-9800 |