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Amanda M. Fanniff, Ph.D.

Dr. Fanniff is an Associate Professor at Palo Alto University. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona, where she specialized in Psychology, Policy, and Law. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and her post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the University of South Florida. Her research interests historically have centered on how typical and atypical development impact juvenile offenders' involvement in the justice system, including two main populations of interest: juveniles who may be incompetent to proceed to adjudication and juveniles who have committed sexually abusive behaviors. Her interests have expanded over time to include research with emerging adults and research focused on culturally competent forensic research and clinical practice.

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Katareena Done

Katareena Done is a 6th year doctoral student. Katareena's primary research interests are in sexual/gender identity and intimate partner violence.  She is currently working on her dissertation regarding the barriers of gender and sexual minorities to reporting intimate partner violence to police. She has previously completed a practicum at HOPE conducting individual and group sex offender treatment and Caminar conducting treatment for serious mental illness in a community mental health setting. Katareena aspires to be a community mental health therapist for gender and sexual minority individuals, conducting program evaluations, clinical supervision, and is contemplating teaching.

Ariane Olsen, MA, MS

Ariane is a 6th-year doctoral student. Ariane is currently completing her predoctoral internship at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, NC, where she is conducting assessment and intervention with individuals who committed sexual offenses currently in civil commitment, in addition to conducting court evaluations determining competency and criminal responsibility. She has previously completed practicum rotations at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, San Quentin State Prison, the HOPE Program, and the Gronowski Center. Ariane's primary research interest is in trauma histories in forensic populations, with a particular interest in the assessment and treatment of adult sexual offenders. Her dissertation focuses on how the organizational implementation of trauma-informed care affects vicarious trauma symptoms in sexual offender treatment providers. Her long-term goals are to conduct psychotherapy with adult criminal offenders in a correctional setting in concurrence with competency and risk assessments for adult offenders in a court setting.

Briana Ponte

Briana is a 4th year doctoral student. Briana's primary research interest is the intersection between forensic psychology and neuropsychology. She is currently working on a research project which reviews how rape myths are affected based on race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation of the victim, perpetrator, and participant, which provides considerations for future forensic studies. At this time, she is completing a practicum at Veteran’s Affairs, Palo Alto, where she conducts neuropsychological testing to determine neurocognitive levels of functioning of patients who have previously served in the military. She previously completed her third-year practicum at the HOPE Program, a specialized treatment facility providing assessment and treatment to individuals on probation and parole with sexual offense histories. Her second-year practicum at The Gronowski Center, which provides outpatient therapeutic services to the local community, including individuals (male and female), and couples, who suffer from a wide arrangement of ailments (bipolar disorder, grief, depression, substance abuse, anxiety, self-esteem). Briana hopes to pursue a career in forensic assessment, working with the serious mental illness population and the court of law.

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Alexandra L. Montena, M.A., M.S.

Alex is a 4th-year doctoral student. Alex’s primary research interests include trauma, attachment, SMI, and neuropsychological assessment. Her dissertation will examine the relationship between attachment and neuropsychological performance across diagnoses. Alex is also interested in using a transdiagnostic approach to investigate overlapping psychosocial and neurocognitive factors in mental health conditions. Alex is currently completing a practicum at VA, Palo Alto, where she conducts psychological and neuropsychological assessments. Notably, Alex is receiving extensive training in Rorschach administration and interpretation through this practicum. Alex’s assessment supplemental practicum at Stanford University School of Medicine involves researching neurocognitive performance in typically and atypically developing children. Her research supplemental at VA, Menlo Park, involves qualitative research that assists in developing innovative implementations to improve care. Alex completed a practicum at Goodwill Wellness Center of Silicon Valley, a community mental health clinic that provides therapeutic and assessment services to a vulnerable population, SMI, chronic homelessness, and criminal justice involvement. Alex received training in ACT and DBT therapeutic approaches through this site. Alex’s professional goals include examining the impact of early adverse experiences to develop early intervention programs that utilize evidence-based treatments and assessments to enhance lasting outcomes.

Kenzie Bohnsack, M.A., M.S

Kenzie is a 5th year doctoral candidate. Kenzie’s dissertation is on how the support of a caring adult and substance use impact offending over time in a sample of serious adolescent offenders. Her primary research interests are in juvenile offending, substance use, trauma, and the developmental progression of problem behaviors. She is currently working on a group project that is focused on cultural identities of perpetrators and victims of sexual assault and their impact on rape myth acceptance. She is also assisting with a project looking at defense attorneys’ attitudes and beliefs regarding immaturity and competency in juvenile defendants. Kenzie is completing a supplemental practicum at Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) with their adolescent substance abuse treatment program. She stayed on for a second year following her 4th year practicum with ACS. She is currently the lead assessor conducting in-depth assessments and providing substance abuse and mental health treatment services to youth. She is also completing a supplemental practicum with StarVista at their GIRLS and Institutions program. Kenzie is providing group psychotherapy with youth incarcerated in juvenile hall or court-mandated to residential treatment. During her 4th year, she also completed a supplemental practicum at the HOPE Program, a community based forensic training site that specializes in evidenced-based sex offender treatment to parole and probationers who are mandated for individual and group treatment. Her 3rd year practicum placement was with StarVista’s Insights program, an outpatient treatment program providing substance abuse and mental health treatment services to youth who are on probation as well as youth who are participating voluntarily. Her 2nd year practicum placement was at the Gronowski Center, a community mental health clinic, providing psychotherapy with adults and adolescents who have varying diagnoses. Her professional goals include conducting forensic assessments and providing empirically supported treatments designed to fit the risks and needs of the juvenile population.

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Leah Anderson M.S.

Leah (she/her) is a 5th year doctoral student with primary research interests in the intersection of psychology, law, and public policy. She is currently completing her clinical psychology internship at the Norton Sound Health Corporation, a tribally owned and operated hospital serving the Bering Strait region. Leah's previous practicum experiences included working at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System - Santa Rosa Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Adventist Health - Vallejo and St. Helena, and the Gronowski Center. Leah is involved in research projects exploring topics of sociocultural identities, attitudes, and rape myth acceptance. Leah's dissertation is testing the racial threat theory among sexual assault case records in California. Leah's primary clinical interests are suicide prevention, cultural sensitivity, ethics, and promoting mental health via preventative care.

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Ayanna Payne, M.A., M.S.

Ayanna is a 4th year doctoral student. Ayanna’s primary research interests are in forensic assessments and environmental factors that contribute to recidivism rates in the African American Transitional Age Youth community.  Ayanna is currently completing a practicum at San Quentin State Prison and has a practicum at The HOPE Program, a specialized sex offender treatment facility providing assessments and individual and group psychotherapy to individuals on parole with sexual offense histories. Ayanna previously completed her second-year practicum at the Gronowski Center, a community mental health clinic, providing psychotherapy to adults with varying diagnoses. Ayanna’s professional goals include conducting psychotherapy to adult criminal offenders in a prison setting and conducting and providing competency evaluations for adult offenders in a court setting.

Murphy Alafoginis, MS

Murphy (she/her/hers) is a 4th-year doctoral student. Murphy’s primary research interests include severe mental illness and forensic assessment. She has worked in various forensic settings and is currently providing acute mental health care in a hospital. 

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Ashton Scherrer, MS
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Ashton (she/her/hers) is a 4th-year doctoral student. Ashton's primary research interests include severe mental illness, neuropsychological assessment, and neuropsychological disease. Ashton is currently working for Santa Clara County completing social security income evaluations and providing psychotherapy. She previously completed a practicum at Goodwill Wellness Center of Silicon Valley, an outpatient community mental health clinic, providing therapeutic services to adults diagnosed with severe mental illnesses and interpersonal relationship issues. Ashton has also completed a practicum at The Gronowski Center, a community mental health center focused on treating low-income patients with a variety of diagnoses. Ashton's professional goals include working in a hospital setting, performing neuropsychological assessments, providing psychotherapy, and diagnosing neuropsychological disease.

Leila N Wallach, MA

Leila N. Wallach (she/her/ella) is a 3rd year doctoral student. Her research and clinical interests focus on juvenile justice, alternatives to incarceration, program design and evaluation, risk assessment, and culturally and trauma-informed care, practice, and policy. Leila received her MA in General Psychology at New York University in 2019, and her BA in Psychology (minor Criminology) from Simon Fraser University in 2015. Leila completed her 2nd year practicum at the Gronowski Center, in the Clinica Latina. She is currently at UCSF Citywide Forensics providing psychotherapy and psychological assessment for clients with substance abuse, serious mental illness, and criminal justice involvement.

Morgan Hester Howell, BS

Hess is a third-year doctoral student. Her primary research interests include antisocial behaviors as coping responses to trauma, complex trauma, protective factors for at-risk youth, positive parenting, sexual offending, and the Deaf community. Hess received her B.S. in psychology and minor in Deaf studies from the University of  North Carolina at Greensboro. She completed her second-year practicum at Gronowski Center, providing services for clients with a variety of diagnoses, and she is currently working at Alameda Family Services providing services for families and youth. Her professional goals include intervention and evidence based psychotherapy for at-risk youth involved in the legal system.

kmendezserrano
@paloaltou.edu

Kyara N. Mendez Serrano, B.A

Kyara is a 2nd year doctoral student. Her primary clinical and research interests include minority mental health, culturally informed treatment, and the role of social justice in the therapeutic space. Originally from Puerto Rico, Kyara received her B.A. in Psychology and Community Mental Health from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey. She is currently completing a practicum at the Gronowski Center, in the Clinica Latina a specialty clinic for Latinx and Spanish-speaking clients. Kyara's professional goals include working towards decreasing mental health stigma in the Latinx community and providing psychotherapy to Spanish-speakers. 

Isabel Krein, B.A

Isabel is a 2nd year doctoral student. Her research interests fall within the realm of the Juvenile Justice System (JJS), particularly, the development of externalizing disorders as they relate to contact with the JJS. Clinically, Isabel is interested in working with adolescents as a forensic psychologist. Isabel received her BA in psychology from UCLA in 2017. She is currently completing her practicum at the Gronowski Center providing therapy for a variety of clients. 

Emily Atsatt, M.S

Emily is a 2nd year doctoral student. Emily’s primary interest is the intersection between forensic assessment and the juvenile justice system.  She is currently interested in researching the interrogation laws of minors charged with serious crimes. Emily has experience working with foster youth after graduating with her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently enjoying her practicum as she works with a variety of clients at the Gronowski Clinic. Emily’s professional goals include working with and advocating for youth in the juvenile justice system.