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Our Research Lab

"The master's tools will not dismantle the master's house."

~Audre Lorde

Welcome to the Transformative Praxis Research Lab, a collective of community members, graduate students, and academics who share a deep commitment to expanding the boundaries of traditional research methodologies. We challenge the status quo and ask critical questions:

Who has the power to design and conduct research?

Who are the researchers?

 

What qualifies them to engage with marginalized and targeted communities?

Traditionally, research has been the domain of a privileged few - predominantly white academics with formal training, institutional power, and access to the ivory tower. However, we believe that true anti-oppressive researchers and anti-oppressive research cannot thrive within these confines. We refuse to accept a research landscape that excludes marginalized folx from shaping and owning the research process.

Led by Dr. Ana Guadalupe Reyes, the Transformative Research Praxis Lab was born out of a collaborative effort with counseling graduate students and marginalized communities. We recognized the pressing need for liberatory and anti-oppressive research within counselor education. Our space is co-created to foster inclusivity, encourage diverse voices, and center the experiences of historically marginalized individuals.

Our mission is to challenge oppressive systems, promote social justice, and foster liberation within and beyond the counseling field. With a critical and liberatory approach, we strive to make meaningful transformations in the lives of marginalized and racialized individuals. Specifically, our research centers on the liberation and healing of Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC), as well as [un]documented individuals and racialized communities. By focusing on these groups, we address their unique challenges and contribute to their well-being.

Joining or following the Transformative Praxis Research Lab means becoming part of a passionate and driven collective. Together, we actively work towards creating a more equitable and just society. We utilize critical and liberatory research as a tool for positive transformation, advancing rights, and enhancing the well-being of marginalized communities.

We invite you to learn, grow, and heal alongside our co-researchers and their communities.

The Team

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Ana Guadalupe Reyes

Elle/They/Them/Theirs

Research Lead

Ana, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CHST is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas and owns a small private practice, Creating Sacred Space PLLC, where they work primarily with QTPOC folx. They are an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling at California State University, Fullerton. Ana’s research interests are diverse yet grounded in liberatory research principles. They are interested in research related to the lived experiences and mental health needs of Latinx/Latine folx, particularly queer and [un]documented Latinx/Latine communities, integrating indigenous healing approaches into counseling, and developing bilingual counselors and culturally conscious counselors. Ana enjoys dancing, cooking, and spending time outside.

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Sydney Herring-Alderete

She/Her/Hers/Ella

Graduate Assistant | Co-Researcher

Sydney is a third-year Master of Counseling student and a co-researcher of the TPRL as of January 2023. Sydney is interested in conducting anti-oppressive and liberatory research, emphasizing the importance of community, healing, and growth. Her career goals are to obtain an LMFT and LPCC as well as attend a Doctorate Program. Sydney aspires to be a professor who specializes in play therapy. Sydney likes to spend her free time going to Disneyland, playing with her pets, baking, and spending time with loved ones.

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Jessi H. Pham

He/Him/His

Graduate Assistant | Co-Researcher

Jessi is a second-year student in the Department of Counseling at California State University, Fullerton. His research interests center on increasing the representation of marginalized communities and exploring the experiences of different intersectional identities in the expanding literature. In the future, he aspires to support people from diverse backgrounds as a clinical mental health counselor; he also hopes to continuously learn about and advocate for minoritized communities and others in need. Jessi enjoys listening to (and making) music, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family in his free time.

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Emilio Lara Maza

He/Him/His/El

Website Manager | Co-Researcher

Emilio is a third-year Master of Counseling student in the Animo Latinx Emphasis and a co-researcher of the TPRL since January 2023. Emilio’s interest in research is to deconstruct the inaccessibility of research and to allow for community access to promote growth outside of academia. His career goals are to become a licensed clinical mental health counselor and work in student affairs supporting marginalized students and advocating for their success. Emilio likes to spend his free time hunting for comic books with his fiancé, catching up on the latest Marvel media, and caring for his plants.

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Sarah Bryant

She/Her/Hers

Co-Researcher

Sarah is a third-year Master of Counseling student in the Animo Latinx Emphasis at California State University, Fullerton. She is interested in an anti-oppressive approach to research that centers marginalized communities with a specific focus on the LGBTQ+ and disabibility communities. In her future clinical practice she strives to center social justice and a liberatory framework. She also plans to incorporate the therapeutic properties of nature. In her free time, Sarah enjoys gardening, being in nature, and spending time with family and friends.

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Lauren Bulalacao

She/Her/Hers

Co-Researcher

Lauren is a fourth year Bachelor of Psychology with a minor in Business student and a co-researcher of the TPRL since July 2023. Her research interests include mental health within marginalized groups specifically LGBTQ+ and Asian American communities as well as the sexual health and education among adolescents. Lauren aims to join a Master of Counseling program and earn an LMFT and LPCC. In her free time, she enjoys reading romance novels, playing with her two kitties, and caring for her collection of houseplants

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Moises Franco

He/Him/His/El

Co-Researcher

Moises is a second-year Master of Counseling student in the Animo Latinx Emphasis and a co-researcher of the TPRL since January 2023. When it comes to research, Moises was interested in genuineness, justice, and community empowerment. He strives to support marginalized communities as a licensed clinical mental health counselor and aims to earn his Doctorate in psychiatry to promote mental wellness. In his free time, Moises relishes time playing soccer with friends, going out to concerts, and enjoys playing a variety of video games.

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Brenda Godoy

She/Her/Hers/Ella

Co-Researcher

Brenda is a third-year Master of Counseling student in the Animo Latinx Emphasis and a co-researcher of the TPRL since January 2023. Her interest in research center around mental health accessibility for Latine/Latinx folx. She is also interested in Latine/Latinx folx lived experiences, particularly parent-child relationships. In the future she hopes to support children, adolescents, and parents in promoting healthy relationships and providing holistic mental health care. Brenda enjoys spending time with her cat Lunala and weightlifting.

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Eva Hayek

She/Her/Hers

Co-Researcher

Eva is a second-year Master of Counseling student and a co-researcher of the TPRL since August 2023. Eva initially became interested in the research realm after reviewing the literature on the various effects of intergenerational trauma, which ultimately fostered a passion for understanding the diverse histories of individuals and their respective methods of healing. Previous experiences as an academic tutor and mental/behavior technician have further amplified her ambitions to pursue a doctorate and eventually create a practice of her own. Before doing so, she hopes to obtain her license as a Marriage and family therapist and work in youth or college-level education, group practices or rehabilitative programs, and maybe gather the courage to write a book. Eva likes to spend her free time with her family and friends, playing soccer, going to the beach, and walking her German Shepherd.

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Kev Holmes

They/Them/Theirs

Co-Researcher

Kev is a third-year Master of Counseling student at California State University, Fullerton. They completed their Bachelor of Science at California Lutheran University, majoring in Psychology with an emphasis on Clinical and Behavioral Assessment and minoring in Biology. Kev has a first-hand understanding of how research and practice affect co-researchers and clients when it does not account for their diverse lived experiences. Their experience as a queer client in the mental health field sparked an interest in inclusive practices as they dedicate themselves to understanding the diverse stories of marginalized communities. Kev hopes to unite their love of neuroscience, psychoeducation, fiction, and holistic healing to create a space where individuals from all walks of life feel safe expressing the vulnerability needed for healing.

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Suzanne Lopez

She/Her/Hers

Co-Researcher

Suzanne is a first-year Master of Counseling student. Her research interests include focusing on marginalized communities and exploring stigma, perception, and healing experiences. She hopes to earn an LPCC and LMFT with the goal of one day pursuing her PhD. Suzanne likes to spend her free time playing video games, playing with her two guinea pigs (Waffle & Snickers), going to the beach, and finding new places to eat.

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Beck Miller

They/Them/Theirs/Any

Co-Researcher

Beck is a second-year Master of Counseling student at California State University, Fullerton. Beck is passionate about working with a diverse population of clients. They understand the importance of recognizing and addressing systemic inequalities that impact mental health and aims to advocate for marginalized populations. Their career goal is to become a licensed clinical mental health counselor. Beck spends their free time with their wife and six fur babies.

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Tiffany Michelle Perry-Wilson

She/Her/Hers/Ella

Co-Researcher

Tiffany is a 2nd year PhD student, located at George Washington University's GSEHD Department. Tiffany has been a Graduate Student Researcher in TPRL since January 2023. Tiffany's research interests are currently focused on the practices of resistance demonstrated or enacted by Queer womxn of Color within the African Diaspora regarding the experiences of stigma and minority stress due to religiosity and multiple cultural factors, the reimagining of spirituality by Queer womxn of Color within the African Diaspora, multicultural integrated supervision theory, cultural humility and developing therapists, and developing strategies to actively decolonize educational systems and curriculum.

Michelle

Michelle Allison Pollok

She/Her/Hers

Co-Researcher

Michelle is a second-year Master of Counseling student and has been a co-researcher since April 2023. Her research interest is to deconstruct the colonization of the counseling process and create meaningful change to uplift and empower marginalized communities. She is passionate about working with teens to support and heal youth during their most critical developmental period. Michelle likes to spend her free time playing with her cat, Roger, and trying out new restaurants in her area.

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Grace Schroeder

She/Her/Hers

Co-Researcher

Grace is a second-year Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling student and a co-researcher in TPRL since January of 2023! Grace is passionate about making the research process more accessible to everyone - particularly for the marginalized communities historically subjected to extraction at the hands of academia. She hopes to contribute to healing of the queer community - especially those who have faced larger oppression due to the intersections of identity - by uplifting voices through research, counseling, and awareness. In her free time, Grace loves to spend time with family, travel, play video games with friends, and hang out with her cat, Wasabi!

Inactive Members

Maylee Vazquez

Jodi Jarrett

Maha Manswer

Brenda Rodriguez

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