Conference Committee--Meet The Team
Lisa López Levers, PhD, LPCC-S, LPC, CRC, NCC
President-Elect and Chair
Dr. Levers is Professor Emeritus of Counselor Education and Human Development at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. She was the Rev. Francis Philben, C. S. Sp. Endowed Chair in African Studies (2012-2017) and a Fulbright Scholar (University of Botswana, 2003-2004). She has 47 years of counseling treatment experience and 32 years as a Counselor Educator. She is editor of Trauma Counseling: Theories and Interventions, and has just completed its second edition. She has been involved in urban and rural outreach in Spain, Australia, Russia, and a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Levers emphasizes trauma recovery, the effect of violence on child development, psychiatric rehabilitation, and substance abuse. She has developed numerous programs and systems-of-care for adults with severe psychiatric disabilities and for children with severe emotional disorders. She has chaired 48 dissertations, and has served as committee member on another 30 dissertations. She has 17 refereed articles, 8 books, and 48 book chapters, 50 national presentations, 81 international presentations.
Meagan Jones, Ph.D., LCMHCS, ACS, CCTP –Vice-Chair
Dr. Meagan Jones has worked in a teaching capacity for over 6 years, and has taught in both online and in person formats. She is currently a full time core professor at the Walden University in the online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She has been practicing for over 14 years, and has worked in a variety of settings from correctional counseling to intensive in-home and community mental health settings to private practice. She currently practices in a private practice setting offering both in person and online mental health services. Dr. Jones obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University and her Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Columbia International University. She is a licensed supervisor in the state of North Carolina and licensed in Virginia. She also holds an Approved Clinical Supervisor credential and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional credential. Dr. Jones specializes in the areas of supervision, sexual trauma, crisis and trauma, general mental health issues, women’s issues, sexuality, and spirituality counseling. She has been teaching, writing, and presenting on trauma, sex trafficking, sexuality, sexual healing post-trauma, LGBTQ issues, supervision, and professional development for counselors for the past several years.
When she is not working she enjoys traveling, cooking, jet skiing, being outside, crafting, and enjoying time with her family.
Katharine Sperandio, Ph.D., LPC, ACS, NCC
Dr. Katharine Sperandio is an Assistant Professor and the coordinator for the Trauma, Addictions, and Recovery concentration for the Community and Trauma Counseling program at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Jefferson, she completed her PhD in the CACREP-accredited Counselor Education and Supervision program in 2019 at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Her primary areas of focus in research are addictions/substance abuse counseling, trauma and addictions, families and addiction, and social justice issues in the counseling profession. Dr. Sperandio has over seven years of clinical experience working with diverse clientele living with addiction and substance use issues as well as other co-occurring mental health concerns. She is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania, an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) and a National Certified Counselor. She is an active member in the International Association for Resilience and Trauma Counseling (IARTC), American Counseling Association (ACA), Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC).
Kari M. Hammer
Kari Hammer, MNM, is a graduate student pursuing her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Marshall University. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management, a bachelor's degree in Recreation Administration and Coaching and is a Certified Personal Finance Coach. Kari has spent the last 25 years working in the nonprofit sector producing human potential events for disease-related causes. In the field of counseling, Kari has a strong interest in grief, trauma, forgiveness and acceptance with the adult population. Kari is excited to join the Conference Committee to put her long-time event, logistic and people skills to good use with the IARTC.
Dr. Stacy Springston Ed.D, LPCC-S, NCC
Dr. Springston is an Assistant Professor/ Assistant Program Director at Lindsey Wilson College and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Kentucky. Dr. Springston has over 20 years of experience in the mental health field working with various populations. Dr. Springston has taught with Lindsey Wilson College for over 15 years. Dr. Springston has presented locally and nationally on various topics related to Counselor Education and Clinical Practice. In practice, Dr. Springston works through a developmental lens and recognizes the tremendous impact trauma and adverse experiences have on mental health and wellbeing. Dr. Springston incorporates a trauma focus into clinical practice as well as teaching and supervising. In clinical practice, Dr. Springston works primarily with adolescent and neurodiverse populations. Dr. Springston has recently begun to explore research related to the lived experiences of Religious Trauma. Dr. Springston is honored to be a part of IARTC and is excited to witness the growth of the division firsthand.
Misty Hatch is a graduate of Valparaiso University where she received her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (LMHC-A) in Indiana and Illinois. Misty is currently a doctoral student at the University of Holy Cross and will be undergoing EMDR training in March. She is also a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) through Yoga Alliance and has taught vinyasa and trauma-informed yoga for the last 6 years.
Misty has clinical experience in various settings and populations, including, incarcerated adults, crisis intervention, structured outpatient substance use program, and nonprofit. In her practice, Misty uses a diverse approach when working with her clients, often pulling from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, and trauma-informed modalities.
Misty’s clinical interests/focus areas include adults with substance use disorder, suicidal ideation, anxiety, trauma, and grief.
Bellah Kiteki, Ph.D.
Dr. Bellah Kiteki is a Licensed Professional Counselor (OH) and Nationally Certified Counselor. She is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Wheaton College, IL. Her research interests focus on African refugees, especially refugee youth, and the area of clinical supervision. In her research with African refugee youth, she aims to address areas of resilience, adjustment, and adaptation in new host country environments, and their educational trajectories. In clinical supervision, she aims to understand the lived experiences of counselors, students, and supervisors in her home country Kenya and the U.S. Due to the newness of clinical supervision in this Kenya, there is a paucity of research that centers on supervision and how it is conducted. She aims to contribute in the research in this area. Her recent research has focused on counselor experiences in clinical supervision in Kenya, international student trainees’ experiences in clinical supervision in the U.S., and impact of Covid-19 pandemic on refugee mental health. Aside from her teaching and research, she has consistently volunteered to either conduct groups or provide translation services with newly resettled African refugees through World Relief.
Brittany Wyche, PhD, LCMHCS, NCC
Dr. Brittany E. Wyche is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. She has worked in the mental health field since 2008, and has worked as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina since 2012. She then became a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor in NC in 2021. One constant Dr. Wyche has seen across the variety of settings she has worked in over the years is the significant impact of stress and trauma on individuals and their loved ones. Noticing the impact of trauma on clients and the vicarious impact of working with trauma on clinicians led Dr. Wyche to return to school in 2018 to complete her PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since then, Dr. Wyche has focused on how to best educate, train, and prepare counselors and counselors-in-training to work with clients who have experienced trauma. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students at Wake Forest, Dr. Wyche also has a part-time private practice, Salem Bloom Counseling, PLLC. Clinically, Dr. Wyche focuses on working with folks with a variety of trauma experiences and related presentations. Some of her expertise includes supporting clients who: self-harm, have substance use disorders, engage in disordered eating and exercise, experience chronic suicidality, and who are often coping with complex co-occurring diagnoses as a result of their experiences. She also greatly enjoys working with other helpers who have experienced vicarious trauma. She currently works with adults, and has the most experience with adolescents and young adults. In terms of research, Dr. Wyche is most interested in program evaluation and exploring how to most effectively teach and learn about trauma. She is also interested in topics related to broaching different identities in the counseling relationship, culturally responsive care, trauma-informed and trauma-focused care, rupture and repair in the therapeutic relationship, and general counselor development.
Dr. Michele Pinellas, Ed.D., RYT-500
Dr. Michele Pinellas is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program at the University of West Georgia. Dr. Pinellas’ expertise focuses on trauma, substance abuse, suicide risk, child and adolescent social and emotional issues, and grief and loss. Dr. Pinellas has worked as a Professional School Counselor utilizing a trauma-informed lens throughout her work with students in person, in school settings, at home, and virtually. Her research and clinical work have included increasing resilience in minority youth who have experienced chronic adversity, holistic therapeutic interventions for youth, and school counselor advocacy. Dr. Pinellas is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia, a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern (RMHCI), and Professional School Counselor in Florida. She has over eight years of experience working in the mental health profession.
Laura R. Land, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CPCS
Dr. Laura R. Land is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Program Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, Ga. Prior to teaching at Richmont, Dr. Land was an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Community Counseling Clinic at the University of North Georgia. Prior to coming to She has a heart for community completing her Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with minors in Public Health and Educational Research Methodology. Dr. Land’s areas of interest include trauma, child abuse prevention, community outreach/advocacy, and trauma pedagogy; namely exploring how we train new counselors to a level of competence to provide trauma-informed care. Areas of interest in her own clinical work include adjustment issues, self-compassion, crisis, trauma, identity formation, grief, shame, the disease of addiction, depression, anxiety, and loss. Dr. Land has worked as a licensed professional counselor utilizing a trauma-informed lens throughout her work with students in person, in school settings, detention centers, private practices, community clinics and organizations, hospitals, college counseling clinics, and rural outreach abroad in orphanages in South Africa, the Philippines, Norway, Belgium, and Germany. Her current research includes studies exploring trauma counseling competence among counselors-in-training, mindfulness and trauma counseling competence, as well as trauma and culture. Dr. Land is passionate about advocacy, mental health parity, and utilizing program evaluation to aid community counseling agencies. Dr. Land is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia, a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor (CPCS) in Georgia. She has over fifteen years of experience working in the mental health profession.
Cheolwoo Park, M.Ed./Ed.S.
Cheolwoo Park is a graduate student pursuing his doctoral degree in Counseling and Counselor Education at the University of Florida. He earned his Masters of Education and Education Specialist, concentrating in Marriage and Family Counseling at the University of Florida. Cheolwoo is strongly interested in complex trauma, particularly relational and developmental trauma. Along with this interest, Cheolwoo has committed himself to studying the ways to address the impacts of developmental and relational trauma experiences on individuals’ diverse psychological challenges at individual and systemic levels. Additionally, Cheolwoo has clinical experience with diverse populations, from individuals to families/couples, to serve clients with various psychological challenges using diverse therapeutic approaches. Cheolwoo is honored and excited to serve on the IARTC Conference Committee in the pursuit of the growth of the division and resilience in our society.
Tonya Davis, Ph.D.
Dr. Davis is a passionate scholar-practitioner who divides her time between clinical practice, consulting, and research. Dr. Davis earned her Bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, and her Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Alabama A& M University. She completed her EdS in Psychometry as well as her Doctorate in School Psychology from the University of Alabama.
Dr. Davis has been in private practice for the past 18 years providing psychological counseling and testing services to adults and children with a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties. In her consulting work, she regularly offers crisis consultation, workshops, and seminars for government and commercial clients. She has been an invited speaker for the Missile Defense Agency, the United States Secret Service, Netflix Corporation, Google, and Facebook.
Dr. Davis currently serves as an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Psychology & Counseling program at Alabama A&M University. Her research focuses on psychological /psychoeducational assessment, minority mental health, cybersecurity/cybercrimes and technology-infused mental health interventions. She has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and serves on the Alabama Counseling Association Board (Region 2). She is a charter member of the Association of Black Psychologists (Huntsville chapter) and serves on the editorial board for several academic journals. She is currently the President-elect of the Multicultural Division of the Alabama Counseling Association. She is also the co-writer of a national blog for Psychology Today. She is the Co-principal investigator on a research project in the area of Virtual Career Mentoring for African American college students that has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for nearly one million dollars.
Dr. Davis is the mother of two sons ages 26 and 17. She enjoys traveling and watching crime movies in her spare time.