Multicultural Concerns

All of the professionals at CPS are qualified to address the full range of concerns students bring to counseling. However, our counselors do have various areas of special interest or experience.

Below you will find a list of CPS therapists who may be especially good matches for students who wish to explore the intersection of personal concerns, race and culture. Please note that if your situation is urgent and a particular counselor is not immediately available, it is generally not wise delaying in seeking assistance. It is best to initiate treatment with a counselor who is more immediately available; you are always welcome to transfer to a different counselor at a later date.


Mika Awanohara, Psychologist

Mika has been interested in the intersection of various identities, including the impact of cross-cultural and multigenerational tensions, in part influenced by her bi-ethnic identity and experience of growing up overseas as a child. She strives to emphasize the importance of helping each student personalize his or her journey around identity development, while still appreciating the impact of external pressures that tug at the individual around this process.

Eugenia Cherkasskaya, Psychologist

Eugenia has a special interest in working with international students, and with issues concerning acculturation and immigration as well as how the different facets of one's identity interplay with issues of relatedness and intimacy. Eugenia has experience working with international students and immigrant populations. She is fluent in Russian, and has conducted psychotherapy in this language.   

Andrew Colitz, Psychologist

Andrew seeks to establish a cooperative and safe environment to help students navigate their place within a larger cultural context and family system. He has experience working with people from a variety of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and has led psychotherapy groups with international teenagers and young adults who have lost family members through terrorist acts. Andrew is conversational in Spanish.

Debra Domenech, Senior Psychologist

Debra is a New York born Puerto Rican woman, for whom issues of cultural and racial identity, bilingualism and acculturation have been a lifelong interest. Implications for separation-individuation, personality development and self-esteem are always at the forefront of Debra’s clinical curiosity when working with ethnically diverse populations. The relationship and integration of these variables into one's mental health, especially during different developmental phases are central to her clinical practice.

Motoni Fong Hodges, Psychologist

As a person of Chinese ancestry born and raised in Japan, and as an Asian living in the United States, Motoni has been interested in the intersections of race, ethnicity, and immigrant life experiences, with a particular interest in the individual’s experiences of marginalization, as well as the experiences of “Third Culture Kids” (TCK). She has worked extensively with Asian American and Asian international student populations, and has conducted therapy in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.  She appreciates how the landscape of therapy is transformed and enriched through the incorporation of one’s native language, nonverbal communication, and distinct cultural customs.

Carolina Franco, Ph.D.

Carolina immigrated to New York form the Dominican Republic as a child. As a young adult she moved to Europe and experienced voluntary migration. These experiences cemented her passion for multicultural psychology.  Always attending to the challenges inherent in negotiating multiple cultures, Carolina employs a strength-based therapeutic approach that views immigration and multiculturalism as expansive experiences that can fuel incredible growth.  She is particularly interested in first generation or 'New American' identity development as well as in understanding and harnessing the resilience in people with marginalized identities. She has experience and training in group, couple, and family therapy modalities. Carolina is fluent in Spanish, and loves to use it.

Saul Gomez, Psychologist

As a first-generation American born to Dominican parents, Saul has always been interested in issues of cultural identity development and acculturation. His personal experiences integrating the rich culture of his family with the dominant culture he has been immersed in since birth informs his personal and professional understanding of what it means to be bicultural. While he believes that it is a rewarding asset to be able to able to pull from the knowledge and traditions of more than one culture, he is aware that at times integrating these parts of one’s existence can be emotionally taxing.  As a clinician at CPS, his primary objective is to understand his patient’s individual experiences navigating cultures.

Wendy Greenspun, Psychologist

Wendy has particular interest in working with students from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Originally trained as a family therapist, she learned the importance of considering how cultural and familial contexts impact on individual identity and experience.

Victoria Grosso, Senior Psychologist

Victoria identifies as Latina, was born in Uruguay, grew up in Argentina and Uruguay, and emigrated to U.S. as a young adult. She is fluent in Spanish, and is very familiar with the diversity within Latino culture. Victoria has travelled extensively throughout the Americas and the Mediterranean, and lived and worked in Spain for a time. She has worked in community settings with Puerto Rican, Dominican and African American individuals and families.

Aisha Holder, Psychologist

Aisha was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to parents who immigrated to the United States from Barbados. Her interest in multicultural counseling was initially informed by her experience of being Black and female, two identities that are historically marginalized. As a psychologist, Aisha is keenly aware of the importance and privilege of contributing to a process that helps give voice to people’s lived experiences, uncovers and deepens their inner wisdom and honors their humanity. She is committed to understanding how cultural variables impact human development and change and identifying ways to address institutional barriers in education and the workplace. Aisha has published articles on

Regina Lara, Psychiatrist

Dr. Lara’s work with acculturation issues is informed by the personal experience of moving from The Philippines to the United States. She is fluent in Filipino.

Shirley Matthews, Senior Psychologist

Shirley sees herself first and foremost as a generalist who is deeply interested in the developmental issues of young adults. Additional areas of focus include positive psychology, the intersection of faith and wellness, and the developmental and acculturation issues of students of color, especially those who are first generation students and veterans.

Diana Morrobel, Psychologist

Diana is a bilingual (English/Spanish), bicultural, Latina psychologist who believes therapy must include exploration of the client’s cultural context and identity, its impact on the cultural lens used to understand the client’s experience. She has years of experience in providing services to diverse communities including recent immigrants.  Diana has trained counselors in the provision of psychotherapy to ethnic and linguistic minorities struggling with managing psychological concerns and acculturative stress and has taught graduate courses on the impact of race and culture in psychotherapy.

Hina Pant, Psychologist

As a psychologist, Hina is keenly interested in the many ways by which individuals navigate the nexus of culture and self. Having lived and worked in different cities across the United Stated and India, she utilizes her insights in working with issues around developing a bicultural identity, with an emphasis on how it manifests around mental health and wellness, gender equality, and sexual orientation in South Asian/ South Asian American culture. She is also interested in advocacy and dissemination (around mental health topics) in the community. She is bilingual (English/Hindi) and is currently the Co-Chair of the Division on South Asian Americans at the Asian American Psychological Association

Sherina Persaud, Psychologist

Sherina Persaud is a first-generation American from a multicultural background. She has had extensive experience working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and aims to help patients integrate the various parts of themselves into their unique racial and cultural identity. She is interested in issues related to immigration and acculturation, bilingualism and code switching, and cultural competence. Sherina is fluent in Spanish.

Yaniv Phillips, Psychologist

Yaniv emigrated from Israel to NYC as an adult to pursue his Ph.D. in clinical psychology.  Since then, he has had special interest in the impact of immigration and the establishment of a bi-cultural and bilingual life on adult development. He often works with people from diverse cultural backgrounds who are in the process of establishing or managing such a bicultural identity, and is especially attuned to questions of belonging and self-esteem that relate to experiences of biculturalism and dislocation. Having pursued years of advanced training and study in the dynamics and treatment of couples, Yaniv often works with couples, and individuals, whose intimate relationships are impacted by cultural and ethnic differences, as well as with a broad range of people seeking to address the evolution of their romantic relationships throughout adulthood. Yaniv is fluent in Hebrew.

Annette Santiago-España, Psychologist

Annette is Latina and a native Spanish speaker with a deep understanding of multicultural issues. She has enjoyed presenting on culturally competent and sensitive practices with Latinos and teaching multicultural counseling and intergroup dialogue courses. For her dissertation she explored the impact of acculturation, depression, and body satisfaction on disordered eating among Latina females. She currently facilitates the Women of Color Support Group.

Addette Williams, Senior Psychologist

Addette has a broad range of professional interests that include the mental health of people of color, in particular, the intergenerational transmission of trauma, and issues unique to first generation college students. She is sensitive to the range of experiences and issues within cultural groups, and how these are informed by socioeconomic class, education and appearance.

Patricia Yoon, Psychologist

Patricia has a long standing interest in working with individuals and families struggling with issues related to ethnic identity development and acculturation stress, including cultural barriers that might make access to psychotherapy difficult. She is involved in research to better understand minority mental health disparities and delivery, particularly within the Asian and Asian-American communities. She is proficient in Korean.

Support Groups and Workshops

When there is sufficient student interest, CPS offers a variety of groups and workshops that may be of interest, including a Crossing Cultures group, International Students Workshop, Men of Color Support Group and Women of Color Support Group. Please visit our Group Therapy page for more complete information about all CPS groups offered this semester.

Please Note

CPS psychiatrists focus on medication consultation and management. Upon first coming to CPS, students ordinarily meet with a social worker, psychologist or postdoctoral psychology fellow. If together with your counselor you decide you would like to evaluate whether medication may be useful, you will then have the option of meeting with a CPS psychiatrist, and may, if you like, request one of the psychiatrists listed above. Again, however, if your situation is urgent, we recommend you do not delay seeking psychiatric assistance.

Last updated August 25, 2017