Multicultural Teaching Scholars Program

The Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri – Columbia (MU) invites applications to the Multicultural Teaching Scholars (MTS) program for the Summer. This program is offered through the MU graduate school. Departments submit recommendations to the graduate school for consideration in a university-wide competitive process. The Scholar will teach a graduate level course depending on departmental needs. The purpose of the MTS program is to:

  1. Enhance the ability of departments to recruit members of underrepresented groups for future employment at MU; and
  2. Prepare MU graduate and undergraduate students for the future by introducing them to a faculty more representative of the diversity of American society. The selected Multicultural Teaching Scholars will teach or co-teach a course during one of the summer sessions.

Eligibility: Individuals must be U.S. citizen and a member of a U.S. racial or ethnic minority group (i.e., African American, Latino American, Asian American, Native American) to apply. Applicants who are nearing the completion of the doctorate in counseling or clinical psychology or who have completed the Ph.D. in counseling or clinical psychology within the past three years are encouraged to apply.

Salary: Salary for the four-week Summer Session Multicultural Teaching Scholar will be $5,500. In addition, up to $1,500 will be provided by the Graduate School to help defray transportation costs to and from Columbia.

Applications: Interested candidates should send letters of interest, vita, official transcripts of graduate study, and three letters of recommendation concerning teaching and research skills to: Dr. Lisa Y. Flores, 16 Hill Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211. (Please submit hard copies of your application and letters of reference to the above address; applications submitted electronically will not be accepted.) For more information about the MTS program, please visit the following website:

Applications are reviewed beginning the first Friday of December, thus, completed applications received by this date will receive full consideration. Review of applications will continue until the MTS position has been filled.

For more information about the University and the Columbia community, please visit the MU web site at or the City of Columbia’s web site at

Previous Multicultural Teaching Scholars (MTS) in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology


Alejandro Morales

Course: Methods in Group Counseling
Alejandro Morales

Alejandro Morales

My name is Alejandro Morales and I am a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My research interest is in the areas of language brokering in Latino families, qualitative and mixed methods research, and Latina/o ethnic/racial identity. My plans for after I receive my doctorate is to pursue an academic position where I can continue working on research and teach courses like Multicultural Counseling, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research and supervise and train other students. In my spare time, I like to go out with my friends to the movie theater, try cuisines from different parts of the world and read books that have non-psychology content. I love listening to Spanish rock.


Polly Gipson

Course: Methods in Group Counseling
Polly Gipson

Polly Gipson

  • Doctoral Candidate: Clinical Child Psychology
  • DePaul University-Chicago, IL
  • Sponsoring Academic Program: Educational, School and Counseling Psychology

Polly Gipson is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, child track, at DePaul University. She is also a teaching fellow at DePaul, where her course load has included Abnormal Psychology, Behavior Problems in Children, Adolescent Psychology and Introductory Psychology. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Baylor University and a Master of Arts degree in applied psychology from Columbia University.

Clinically, her interests center on the delivery of culturally appropriate, evidence-based assessment and treatment of adolescents of color with anxiety and depression. As a researcher, her work is focused on adolescent stressors and the various moderators and mediators that predict as well as protect them from anxiety and depression. Her dissertation is a study of various psychosocial factors (e.g., school involvement, peer relationships, romantic and family conflict) and its specificity to depressive symptoms using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which is a large nationally representative school-based sample. She has contributed a number of conference presentations and publications to the field.


Nyasha Grayman & Dr. Fernando Ortiz

Nyasha Grayman & Dr. Fernando Ortiz

(Counseling Psychology doctoral candidate from New York University) and Dr. Fernando Ortiz (Ph.D., Counseling Psychology from Washington State University) who co-taught a course on “Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychological Practice” in the summer of 2005.

Nyasha Grayman

Dr. Grayman is currently an assistant professor in the department of Individual ad Family Studies at the University of Delaware. She received her doctorate in counseling psychology at New York University and has a BA in child development from Spelman College and an MA in counseling from New York University. Her clinical interests include relationally focused, culturally sensitive therapeutic practices with adolescents and adults. As a researcher, she is concerned with the intersectionality of culture and positive psychology and is currently involved in studies of African-American religious life and positive psychological functioning. Nyasha has taught several developmental classes, including vocational, human and adolescent development, as well as courses on counseling skills. In the fall, she will be joining the faculty at the University of Delaware as an assistant professor in the Individual and Family Studies program.

Dr. Fernando Ortiz

Fernando Ortiz was born and raised in Baja California, Mexico. He earned a BA in philosophy from St. John’s Seminary College and then received his MA in counseling psychology in Santa Clara, Calif. He completed his PhD in counseling psychology at Washington State University. His current research interests include investigating the influences of culture on personality. His dissertation, “Personality Structure in Mexico,” sampled 800 participants at selected Mexican universities and examined the cross-cultural replicability of indigenous personality instruments measuring culture-specific constructs (e.g. self-concept, masculine and feminine traits, resilience). From a clinical perspective, he is interested in issues affecting Latino mental health, specifically studying the use of indigenous folk healing practices and culture-specific values in multicultural counseling.


LaKeasha Garner & Joshua Singh

LaKeasha Garner & Joshua Singh

LaKeasha Garner and Joshua Singh, doctoral candidates in DePaul University’s clinical-community psychology program, co-taught a class on “Multicultural Issues in Counseling” in the summer of 2004.

Lakeasha S Garner

Dr. LaKeasha Garner joined Health Services at Columbia as a postdoctoral fellow in 2006. Prior to joining HSC, LaKeasha held positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Counseling and Psychological Services and the DePaul University Community Mental Health Center. She earned her B.A. at Spelman College and obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. from DePaul University. She completed her clinical psychology internship at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida.

LaKeasha’s professional interests include analyzing the intersection of race, class, and gender within the context of mental health; prevention; and couple’s therapy. Her professional memberships include the American Psychological Association and the Society for Community Research and Action.


Irene Lopez

Dr. Irene Lopez

Dr. Irene Lopez

Dr. Irene Lopez received her doctorate from Kent State University and taught a class entitled “Latinos’ Mental Health” in the summer of 2003. She is a cross-cultural clinical psychologist, and her areas of interests lie in the intersection between psychology and anthropology. She is interested in the impact of acculturation on mental health, the assessment and phenomenology of cross-cultural psychopathology, as well as understanding the interplay of culture, gender, and socioeconomic status in the psychological functioning of ethnic minorities, particularly among Latinos. Other areas of interest are racial and ethnic identity, LGBT, and women’s issues in ethnic minority communities, which she seeks to understand within the tradition of liberation psychology. Dr. Lopez has received a number of awards for her work and teaching, including the APA Dissertation Research Award and a High Flyer Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia for her teaching of a course on Latino/a Psychology. She is a recent NIMH Family Research Consortiurm IV scholar from UCLA’s Semel Institute Center for Culture and Health. More information about her specific research projects may be obtained from her website:


Muninder K. Ahluwalia

Dr. Muninder K. Ahluwalia

Dr. Muninder K. Ahluwalia

Dr. Muninder K. Ahluwalia received her doctorate from New York University and taught the class, “Psychology of Asian Americans” in the summer of 2002.

Dr. Muninder K. Ahluwalia is an assistant professor in the Counseling Programs at Montclair State University. Dr. Ahluwalia earned her doctoate in counseling psychology from New York University in 2002. Her research areas include issues of discrimination, intersecting identities, and multicultural competency training. She teaches a wide variety of courses including Introduction to Professional Counseling, Counseling Techiques, Psychology of Asian Americans, and Multicultural Counseling and Development. She is actively involved in the American Psychological Association and the Asian American Psychological Association.


Anita Saunders

Dr. Anita Saunders received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and taught the class, “Multicultural Issues in Counseling” in the summer of 2001.