Carolina Patino Caban, B.A. Joined Loyola Community & Family Services in the Fall of 2019 as a trainee intern. She is in her last year of persuing her Master degree in the Social Worker program at Loyola University. Her concentration is in Children and Families. Carolina received her Bachelors of Arts in Social Work at Northeastern Illinois University in 2015. For her first level field placement in the MSW program, Carolina interned at Family Matters in the after school program with Family Connections, where she worked with children and their families. After graduating in May 2015, she joined the team of Family Matters and since then she is been working with Family Connections as a Program Coordinator. Carolina professional interest is in supporting families, and youth with mental health issues, trauma, and social emotional as well as advocating for families in bilingual communities and empowerment of families of color. In her free time, Carolina likes to ride her bike, read, and do crafty activities.
Leslie Damaso, BSW joined Loyola Community and Family Services during the spring of 2020 as a trainee intern. Leslie is pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in Children and Families. Leslie received her Bachelors in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. Leslie has experience working with diverse populations of children, adolescents, and adults. During her BSW program, Leslie interned with Taller de Jose. During Leslie’s time at Taller de Jose, she worked closely with families to evaluate their needs and connect them with the appropriate resources. Leslie’s most recent position was at SOS Children’s Villages of Illinois, as a Family Support Specialist she worked closely with families whom were involved with the Department of Family and Children Services (DCFS). Leslie was in charge of screening and assessing each family to effectively identify their challenges, possible risk factors and strengths. During Leslie’s free time, she enjoys yoga, cooking and trying new foods.
Andrea E Gonzalez, BSW: Is a second level Master of Social Work student at Loyola University Chicago. Her specialization in the program is Mental Health. Andrea graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work. For her first level field placement in the MSW program, Nathalie was an intern at Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center where she worked with adults who had substance use problems. Her professional interests include working in providing social work services in underserved communities, especially in the Latino community. In her free time, she loves to play video games, read books, and enjoys knitting while listening to music.
Scott Kupferschmidt, B.A. is a second year Master of Social Work student at Loyola University Chicago specializing in children and families with a focus on group work. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Religious Studies from the University of Iowa. He also graduated with an Associate of Occupational Studies in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America. He is a member of the 2019-2020 Schweitzer Fellowship class. Scott interned with Misericordia Homes for his first internship, providing individual and group therapy to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Before coming to Loyola’s School of Social Work, Scott worked for almost 20 years in the restaurant industry, gaining experience working in all aspects of restaurant service and operations. In his free time Scott, volunteers at a transitional shelter where he teaches young people how to cook. He relaxes by meditating, enjoys playing guitar and ukulele, and plays video, board, and roleplaying games with friends.
Monserrat Meza, BSW (also known as Monse) joined Loyola Community & Family Services in the Fall of 2019 as a Clinician Trainee. She is also a second level Master of Social Work student at Loyola University Chicago. Her specialization in the program is Children and Families. Monse received her Bachelor’s in Social Work with a minor in Spanish from Loyola University Chicago. For her First level field placement in the BSW program, Monse interned at a community organization known as ONE Northside. There, Monse was a part of the affordable housing team where she got to know the community in Uptown, canvassed during political elections, and worked around the rent control bill. Her professional interests include working with children; she believes in the importance of advocating for children’s needs. In her free time, she enjoys going for walk around the city, watching a good movie, and spending time with her loved ones.
Melissa Rodriguez, B.A. graduated with her BA in Criminology, Law, and Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently a second year MSW student at Loyola University Chicago specializing in Children and Families. Melissa has obtained specialized training in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, which focuses on the impact trauma has on neurodevelopment. Most recently, Melissa worked as a Supervisor for a pregnant and parenting teen residential program where her clients were receiving care for severe trauma and mental health difficulties while also learning how to be a parent to their child. Prior to this role, Melissa spent 7 years working as a Recovery Specialist at Rosecrance helping both adolescents and adults recover from addiction, trauma, and mental illness. Melissa also dedicated almost 4 years working at Heartland Alliance with unaccompanied minors who came to the United States from around the world. Her professional interests include advocating for immigrant and children’s rights, helping children and families heal from trauma, and helping youth with identity insecurities. In her free time, she enjoys meditating, reading, and participating in outdoor recreation.
POST DOCS & ADVANCED TRAINEES
Becky Pérez, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from Indiana University-Bloomington in School Psychology with a minor in Education Policy. Dr. Pérez trained under educational psychologist Dr. Russell Skiba as a graduate research assistant at The Equity Project for Indiana University. As part of her training, she helped present at national conferences and write reports that evaluated and made recommendations for addressing disproportionality of racial and ethnic minority students in special education. Her dissertation research focused on school psychologists and how best to use culturally responsive practices to evaluate K-12 students learning English for special education. In 2010, she completed her APA and NASP accredited clinical internship as part of the Illinois School Psychology Consortium at Township High School 113 under the supervision of clinically licensed psychologist Dr. David Grott. Before practicing as a school psychologist, she spent her post-doctoral years as an Indiana statewide PBIS trainer at Indiana University’s Center for Education and Lifelong Learning (CELL). As a research associate and trainer for CELL, she helped large urban and rural districts develop culturally responsive school-wide universal and Tier 2 PBIS plans to address disproportionality in discipline. Her most recent presentation was in 2018 at the annual convention for National Association of School Psychologists titled, “Exiting Special Education: What matters most in leading dismissal discussions” which focused on the parents’ voices on how children may “graduate” from special education services after meeting IEP goals. Currently, she works full-time as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) at Oak Park Elementary School District 97 in two K-5 buildings serving approximately 1,100 students. Dr. Perez has certifications in Life Space Crisis Intervention, Bounce Back (a CBT trauma-focused intervention), and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention protocols. Dr. Pérez has been accepted as a post-doctoral trainee at Loyola Family and Community Services clinic as of June 2019. As a post-doctoral trainee, she provides clinical and counseling services to the local community under the supervision of clinically licensed psychologist Dr. Jennifer Rose. Dr. Pérez’s therapeutic approach focuses on helping her clients develop self-awareness and adaptive coping strategies using culturally responsive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques. Bilingual services are available for English/Spanish-speaking clients and their families.
Peggy Tull, M.A. is a fourth-year Clinical-Community Psychology PhD candidate at DePaul University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Notre Dame. Before coming to LCFS, Peggy trained at DePaul Family and Community Services, where she worked as a family and child therapist and evaluator, primarily working with Latinx and Spanish-speaking families. Peggy’s focus in therapy, assessment, and research understands how multiple systems affect and perpetuate health problems, and how to draw from community strengths and social support to promote survival and thriving within limiting systems. In her free time, Peggy enjoys bullet journaling, reading, cooking, riding a Divvy bike along the lake path, and taking too many pictures of her cats.
Carol Hundert, M.A. is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Yale University and her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Before graduate school, she worked as a research assistant at the Boston VA and volunteered with the Samaritans crisis hotline. Her current research examines mental health across difficult transitions, with a particular focus on adolescence and emerging adulthood. During her clinical training, Carol has provided individual and group therapy to college students at the Loyola Wellness Center, neuropsychological assessment services to children and adolescents at the UChicago Medicine Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic, and individual therapy to children and adolescents at the UChicago Medicine Pediatric Psychiatry Clinic. In her free time, Carol enjoys running along the lake, watching movies, and spending time with her cat, Dora.