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PhD Students



Natyra Agani (B.A, University of Pristina) has been a research assistant in child and adolescent mental health projects undertaken by the University of Illinois at Chicago (with the support of the National Institute on Mental Health) and the World Health Organization, and she has been trained as a family therapist. She also has worked as a volunteer in several community mental health projects in Kosova. During the summer of 2010, Ms. Agani did an internship with UNICEF in Tirana, Albania.

In January 2011, she obtained her license as a clinical psychologist from the Ministry of Health in Kosovo. Her research interests include school violence, perceptions of school safety, and bullying. Ms. Agani looks forward to work in helping children, families, and communities during the transition period after Kosova’s declaration of independence and its recovery from armed conflict.


Bradley Hornback (B.A. summa cum laude, Southern Wesleyan; M.P.A., Clemson University) works on a wide range of projects for Engage Strategies - a policy and management consulting firm. His main role is working as the Deputy Executive Director for the Citrix User Group Community, an online and in-person community with over 21,000 members around the world. Brad's educational background includes a BA in History and a master's in Public Administration.



Andrea Morales (B.A. with Honors [cum laude], Loras College) double majored in Economics and International Studies (with a concentration in Asia) and minored in Sociology. As an undergraduate, Ms. Morales led the UNICEF Campus Initiative at her college, which focuses on educating, advocating, and fundraising for UNICEF programs. In the 2008-2009 academic year she was selected as one of the five UNICEF Campus Initiative National Council members. Ms. Morales is the recipient of the 2009 President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition for her volunteer service in this initiative. Her involvement with UNICEF sparked in her a curiosity for human rights and international development. This curiosity has translated into an academic interest, particularly in children’s rights.

Currently, as a research assistant, Ms. Morales performs as a Mental Health Facilitator for the Center for Adolescent Research in Schools (CARS). This is a national project funded by the Department of Education that seeks to provide interventions to high schools to help students who experience social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties.
Ms. Morales is a native speaker of Spanish, fluent in English, and has some knowledge of Italian and Portuguese.


Lauren M. Pinkston (B.S., Elementary Education, Freed-Hardemen University) is currently an elementary school teacher.  With extensive travel abroad, Ms. Pinkston has developed a passion for engagement with other cultures and people groups. Her travel and humanitarian work have taken her to Aruba, Haiti, Greece, Italy, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Peru.

She enters the program with a desire for personal growth and scholarly development toward her ultimate goal of extended work in Laos assisting women and children in the process of recovery from extensive exploitation. She is part of a team of six preparing for and planning to relocate to Laos in 2014.


Yira Vargas (B.A. Cum Laude Clinical Psychology UNIBE; M.Ed UNIBE ) has a background in Clinical Psychology and Superior Education. She completed a Pre-Doc Fellowship program at NYU-Bellevue Hospital.

Ms. Vargas currently directs the School of Psychology of the Universidad Iberoamericana, Dominican Republic, and coordinates a community mental health clinic for the same program.She also teaches Psychology Classes to medical and psychology students and works with local and international NGO’S in the DR that focus on education and children’s rights.


Clédenin Veras Díaz (B.A. with honors [summa cum laude], Early Childhood Education, UNIBE; MA, School Administration and Supervision, Centro de Estudios Villanueva) is a Trainer-Coach with the International Coaching Certificate program and the Dean of Early Childhood Education graduate program of UNIBE, both in the Dominican Republic. Ms. Veras was appointed by the Dominican government to serve as a member of the designated commission for the evaluation of the educational materials implemented in the Dominican educational system.

She has also served as a member of the designing and implementation team for UNIBE-AIDE ET ACTION and has held various teaching and administrative appointments within the educational system for Early Childhood Education practitioners. With extensive experience working with families and in investigation and development of teachers, Ms. Veras is interested in development of comprehensive educational systems that complement and strengthen families through development of schools as a space of family formation.



Mirela Arqimandriti earned a Master Degree in Business Administration (EMBA) at the Sheffield University, England. She received her Bachelor's degree from the School of Natural Sciences, Department of Physics, at the University of Tirana – Albania. Mrs. Arqimandriti graduated during the year of the regime change of 1990, therefore she pursued her profession as a physics teacher only for three years. For ten years, she was involved in her family business of imports and sales.

In 1997, she began working as a volunteer for one of the vanguard non-government organizations, which promoted the protection of women’s rights and the advancement of gender equality in Albania. She has been with this organization ever since and was able to advance her career.

She has a proven track of excellent manageral and planning skills. Mrs. Arqimandriti went though several training courses in her country and abroad. These courses were related to Gender Mainstreaming, Knowledge Management, Project Management, Leadership, Financial Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Human Resource Management, etc. She is also the co-founder of the Center for SMEs in Albania and a co-partner in her family business. Mrs. Arqimandriti is currently the Executive Director of GADC and represents a solution oriented executive professional with a successful record in the development and implementation of many projects for the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality in the Albanian society.


Ida M Hadoto (B.A. Kyambogo Uganda, M.A. Reading University UK, M.Sc. Aberdeen University UK) taught chemistry and physics in secondary schools between 1978-1991. In 1992, Ida became a coordinator for the women’s organization called "Daughters of the King".  Since 1995 Ms Hadoto has been working for  "Send a Cow Uganda," an organization that works with local partners in different African countries to build resilient communities.

She has acquired immerse knowledge through her work experience and also different trainings that include project management, gender mainstreaming, leadership, management in practice, sustainable livelihood framework, monitoring coaching and managing developmental projects, communication, and team building.

Her expertise is in the area of designing and managing livelihood projects, monitoring and evaluation, training, coaching, mentoring and building effective teams that are fair and just and are sensitive to the needs of different categories of people in society especially the disadvantaged including girls and women.


Traci Hefner (B.A., Fairmont State College; MSW, West Virginia University; Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies, University of South Carolina) is a licensed master social worker with extensive experience in program and policy development for children and families. Formerly a senior analyst and writer for the National Head Start Training and Technical Assistance Resource Center in Arlington, VA, Ms. Hefner assisted with program analysis, report writing, as well as the development and implementation of national training events on initiatives pertaining to early literacy, fatherhood, and child abuse and neglect. In 2000, Ms. Hefner was selected for the National Head Start Fellowship program, a year-long work study in the Office of Head Start for emerging leaders in the fields of early childhood and family services.  As a Fellow, Ms. Hefner acted as a guest editor for several Head Start Bulletin publications on topics such as professional development, oral health, and screening and assessment in Head Start. She also assisted with federal reviews of Head Start programs to ensure compliance of federal regulations. 

Recently, Ms. Hefner taught English at Changzhou Institute for Mechatronic Technology in Changzhou, China. She also has been an international volunteer, working with vulnerable children in Rabat, Morocco, as well as Robertson, South Africa.  


Artilda Lala studied in Greece at the Institute of health care professionals. She has been a lecturer at a private American University in Albania for the last two years.Altilda also serves as the director of a medical laboratory, where in collaboration with a non-governmental association (Humanitarian society for battered women), she is providing counseling to children.

In 2006 she was employed by the Oncology Hospital in Greece, Piraeus, in a health support position. She is also providing help for in a society working with Roma communities.

Her interests include: human developmental courses, prevention and treatment of children and abused women, mental health, psychopathology, psychology, professional practice, psychotherapy. 


Blerta Perolli Shehu holds a Master of Science Degree in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology/School Psychology from Prishtina University and has completed Post Graduate Studies in Academic Practice at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. Her professional aspiration towards family and community studies derives from her direct experience in this field. For the last seven years, Blerta was involved in designing community programs which focus on the care and support of orphans and vulnerable children throughout Kosovo. She has prepared, launched and headed integrated programs aimed at prevention of children abandonment and care and support for children who have already lost the care of their parents. As of October 2009, she holds the position of Program Development Director in the SOS Children's Villages Organization. The organization focuses on developing responses to the situation of the children, together with other stakeholders. These responses ensure that children have access to essential services and families become strong and self-sufficient through support. The ultimate goal is to help provide a caring family environment for children’s development and strengthening community support systems, by always building on existing capacities and initiatives within the community. 

She is passionate about family and community studies with firsthand experience and field knowledge on strengthening communities’ capacity for family support, meaningful participation and strong relationships. She has also been a Teaching Assistant in School of Education at the Hasan Prishtina State University since October 2006. Blerta is dedicated to transferring her experience, knowledge and skills she gains in this doctoral program into shaping future professionals in this field.


Ana Uka (B.A. with honors, Educational Sciences/Counseling Psychology and Pedagogy, Istanbul University; M.A., Education and Child Studies/Child and Family Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands) has been working as a school counselor in a private school in Albania. She has completed two training programs: one through CIPUSA in the field of social work in Michigan and the other training through CIP Columbus in Special Education in Ohio. She has been a guest student for one semester in the graduate school of social work in Western Michigan University. Her work experience is focused on  children’s academic and socio-emotional problems and the strengthening of families and schools partnerships. She has also worked with vulnerable families from Turkish minority living in the Netherlands.

Since February 2012, Ms. Uka has been a full-time faculty member at Beder University working  as a bachelor and master program coordinator in the Counseling Psychology and Pedagogy program. She also teaches Psychology, Counseling and Statistics Classes to counseling psychology students and she works with local and international NGOs  in Albania which focus on education, domestic violence children’s rights and women’s rights. She is Albanian and she is fluent in Turkish, English and Italian.



Venera Balidemaj B.A., Psychology, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minn.

As an undergraduate, Ms. Balidemaj alongside administrators, helped create and launch required first year undergraduate courses through the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts that utilized a multidimensional support model. She also worked to lead, teach, and sustain the program. She was recognized for demonstrating a strong foundation in student development outcomes. Her involvement with first year programs sparked interest for mentorship. As a current graduate research assistant, Ms. Balidemaj works with Momentum Bike Clubs mentoring middle school students who experience social, behavioral, and financial hardships.

Ms. Balidemaj also worked as a case manager at a culturally specific mental health treatment center. She provided assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services for clients in under served populations. Due to her interest in working with vulnerable populations, Venera volunteered at mental health institutions while residing in the United States and while abroad in Europe to get an international perspective on mental health prevalence and needs in various contexts.

Venera’s capstone project focused on substance abuse and mental health in the immigrant population. Her research interests include immigrant and minority rights, substance abuse in immigrant populations, and effects of voluntary migration on transnational families. Ms. Balidemaj is from Kosovo and a native speaker of Albanian. She is also fluent in English and French. Currently, Venera spends most of her time working with the Momentum Bike Clubs at Clemson University.


Amanda McDougald Scott, (MS Applied Experimental Psychology Augusta State University) serves as the Special Projects Associate for the the Institute for Child Success. Prior to joining Clemson, she worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Center for Health Services Research as a Program Coordinator for the Effective Health Communication Core and Caring Hearts Study. 

 Amanda’s academic interests include improving access to healthcare, health literacy, social justice, dissemination and implementation, community based participatory research, social determinants of health, and action research; she has experience in community engagement, non-profits, patient interviewing, cognitive assessment, development and implementation of patient-facing online disease management tools, working with patient health portals, research methods, grant writing, and health literacy work.  Amanda is also extremely interested in her toddler son, family, community, and friends.


Shuiping (Corona) Jiang, B.A., M.A.,currently a Ph.D. student in International Family and Community studies at Clemson University, received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Shandong University of Technology (China) and a Master's degree in Environmental Economics from Qingdao University (China). Before she enrolled into the Ph.D. program, Corona worked as director of International Development and Programs at Qingdao Agricultural University (China) for nine years and as an Asian Specialist at Murray State University (KY, USA) for one year. Shuiping currently serves as the Assistant Director of International Admissions and Recruitment at Youngstown State University.


Lyudmyla Tsykalova (BA & MA in International Economics, MA in Cooperation for Development, and MA in Cultural Heritage); currently is a graduate student working with community service student organization and a professor of Italian in the Languages department at Clemson.
Lyudmyla has an over ten years experience in humanitarian field working with children and families around the world. She served as the Vice President of the international organization “Speranza” that worked with Ukrainian orphans, and helped hundreds of children to find new families. Lyudmyla worked with the UN in Israel and Palestine on heritage and food security; she monitored social projects for the European Union in Eastern Europe and Russia, and worked for non-governmental organizations providing school catch up projects in problematic neighborhoods in Italy, and developing projects to prevent human trafficking in South East Asia.
Lyudmyla’s current research interests regard rights and wellbeing of children and youth.


Valeza Ukaj is a PhD Candidate at Clemson University, South Carolina, USA, and a former Master of Law (LLM) student of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She finished her Master Degree with “Cum laude” honors. Her master thesis is entitled: “Legal Obstacles Facing Kosovo Towards its Integration to the European Union”. 

She has participated in many international and national academic conferences and trainings. Her latest participation was in the First and Second Balkan Summer University in September of 2014 and 2015. The conferences were in cooperation with Université Paris Ouest - Nanterre La Defense, Univeristé franco-allemande Deutsch-Französische Hochschule, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, and the University of Prishtina. Her paper in the first conference was entitled: “Engaging non-state actors towards building a post-war stable state - the Kosovo case”, and her paper in the second conference was entitled: "Kosovo’s institutional framework efforts for respect of Copenhagen political criteria".

Her latest publication is: “An Empirical Study of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in a Post-Conflict Country: The Kosovo Case”, Balkan Social Science Review, Volume 6, 2015.

Valeza's research interests include international human rights of women, children, immigrants and minority rights from the international law perspective.



Rachel Lang-Balde (B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, Goleta, CA; MPH, Global Health Nutrition, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.) is Adjunct Health Instructor at AB Tech Community College, Asheville, N.C. In 2002, Rachel went to Guinea on a Fellowship with the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help and remained in Guinea until 2005 working with women’s nonprofits, local cooperatives, and international educational development firms.  While completing her MPH, Rachel worked with a variety of community organizations in the Atlanta area serving immigrants and refugees, teaching English as a second language, and facilitating seminars on healthy marriages. Rachel’s Master’s thesis was a highly innovative participatory video documentary of refugee women. Following her Master’s program, Rachel worked as outreach coordinator for a statewide environmental justice non-profit in North Carolina. She has been an adjunct instructor of health for the past three years.



Noha Ekram Hassan is an Egyptian School Principal. She has a particular interest in protecting child rights in education as a holder of Child Rights and Schools Management Diploma at Lund University, Sweden. She is conducting change project in Egypt to promote child rights at schools. She started her career as a community development and gender focal point in World Bank rural development and gender empowerment project implemented in Egypt. She conducted some special studies (Diploma certificate) in translation, TEFL, computer sciences, and Management Information System. When she started her career in an international K-12 school she taught courses to high school students of soft skills, critical thinking and IT then she was promoted to be a Principal. Noha participated in many international workshops, conferences and training programs in Tunisia, Italy, Spain, UK, Sweden, Jordan, Amman, Vietnam, Cambodia, Dubai, Denmark, and US . One of those programs was International Leaders of Education Program (ILEP) which was implemented in Clemson University for a semester in 2012. She got her Masters in Business Administration in 2015. 


Rachael Bowers, (B.A. Anthropology and History, University of Notre Dame; Master of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania) has worked as a Social Worker in a variety of community-based and residential programs serving children and families, including juvenile justice, foster care, community mental health, and pediatric primary care.  Most recently, she was the program manager for an innovative integrated behavioral health program in the pediatrics clinic at The Dimock Center, a community health center in Boston, MA. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Rachael also worked on research projects on the topics of primary care usage for families living in shelters, practitioner perceptions of integrated models of care, methods of connecting families to resources related to social determinants of health, and program outcomes related to access and quality of behavioral health care in a primary care setting.

Rachael's research interests center on how program evaluation can assist non-profits and human service agencies to explain their work and impact to position them to be strong partners in the policy-making process.  Related to this, Rachael's work thus far has focused on developing a program evaluation plan with the Habitat for Humanity affiliates of South Carolina to explore the impact that home-ownership achieved through the Habitat program has on outcomes tied to the Habitat mission statement, namely building hope and community.  She is interested in the relationship between adequate, affordable housing and psychological well-being for both the homeowners and their children.  


Eljona Boce Elmazi is a development worker and social researcher from Tirana, Albania. She was born in a tough dictatorship, in the only atheistic country in the world at the time. Attracted early in life to the social causes, she chose to study psychology as part of the first generation of psychology students in the country and is involved since 2000 in projects improving lives of the most vulnerable children and communities in Albania and Western Balkans.

Eljona's research interest is in understanding the deep factors that cause the communities’ apathy in Albania and propose a model that can accelerate or trigger action for social justice in the country.


Alena Höfrová is also a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Management at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master's degree in Economic & Cultural Studies. She has additional international experience from Greece where she studied Greek culture and marketing for one semester during her master studies. As a current Clemson graduate research assistant, Ms. Höfrová works on the evaluation team for the TIGERS ADVANCE NSF grant which is transforming Clemson University through gender equity.

Alena’s research interest is in ethnic minorities including immigrant and indigenous minorities. Specifically, she is interested in the everyday life of minority communities and the processes by which they maintain their culture, language, religion, education, and customs. She has also interest in industrial & organizational psychology and program evaluation.  


Laura Minor lives on a small lake in New Hartford, Connecticut, and works full time with undergraduates at Central Connecticut State University as an academic advisor and professor of Community Engagement.  Her passion is to see young people experience learning in high-impact contexts, both in the U.S. and abroad; she and her husband have also started a business offering culturally immersive post-high-school "gap year" programs as a means to that end.  She enjoys paddle boarding and kayaking on the lake, dinners with her husband and kids, and ridiculously sweet lattes from Starbucks.

Emily Schafer

Emily Schafer is founder and former Executive Director of 3Degrees Mentoring, an evidence-based Spartanburg, SC nonprofit that trains committed adults to show up and speak in to the lives of children in poverty. Previously, Emily and her husband Brandon, pioneered a program with the city of Virginia Beach for teenage girls in foster care with exceptionally high needs. Emily was transformed by the experience of mothering ten traumatized daughters. She speaks a little Russian from her time as a therapist and teacher in Ukraine, holds an MA in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College, and loves celebrating every person's journey toward wholeness. She enjoys reading, running, snuggling babies and traveling (21 countries and counting!). She hates racism and pornography.  

Emily’s primary reach focus is how childhood trauma (ACEs) can be moderated to promote resilience. She also has an interest in the concept of 'institutionalized racism as trauma’ and the impact of technology on child development.


Marsida Tafilica spent 6 years in Istanbul, Turkey where she got her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with honors in International Relations. From 2004-2008, she served as the editor of the Turkish student Journal of International Studies.

In 2008, she took part in the Young United Nations Conference as a Delegate of Albania, holding the position of Secretary General. She is fluent in English, Turkish, Italian, and has some knowledge in German. Since 2011, she has been working as an assistant professor in the department of Education at the University of Shkodra, Albania. Marsida is also a full-time member of the Municipality of Shkodra.

Mrs. Tafilica’s research interest are related to the field of migration, particularly the return migration to Albania. She is interested to focus her research studies on the challenges of reintegration policies among returnees. She participated in many national and international conferences. Her latest participation was in a conference held in Vienna with the topic "Globalization and International Migration: The Impact on Albanian Families".

Emily Winburn

Emily Winburn is originally from Charlotte, NC. She graduated from Clemson University with her Bachelor’s of Science in Spanish and International Health in 2014. After her graduation, she moved to Senegal, West Africa to participate in mission work including establishing health education groups for women and children in a rural village for a year before beginning the IFCS program.


Linda Abazi-Morina holds a Master Degree in School and Councelling Psychology from Prishtina University and has completed a three-year post-graduate programme in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 

She has nearly fourteen years of working experience in the field of youth empowerment, education, community engagement and gender equality. In the recent years, Linda served as a researcher and consultant for several international organizations working in Kosovo, including United Nations agencies, looking into the issues related to gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment. In addition, she has been engaged as a consultant for community engagement programs and health promotion campaigns. Linda’s research interest focuses on analyzing the factors which foster social support, engagement and resilience among community members, with special focus in the interaction between youth community engagement and their positive development.


Jenneil Charles, zealously believes in the importance of community development, and its role in society's progress, therefore, chooses to contribute to this need through the means of education and servant-leadership. Thus far her educational attainment includes a B.A. in Community/Clinical Psychology, as well as, another B.A. in Applied Sociology - Family Studies, and her previous job post was in a Social Sciences organization where she served as a Program Performance Officer and the Professional Assistant to the Projects and Trainings Manager. She hopes to use her education as an active tool in solving real world problems.Jenneil is particularly interested in examining, and through research optimizing, the relationship among civil engagement, sense of community and community intervention as a viable means of achieving sustainable community development. She is also ambitiously interested in developing a model, based on the aforementioned relationship, used to train NGO and CBO personnel in helping them maximize and actualize the potential of their community outreach efforts.


Jenni Davis & her husband have lived in Doha, Qatar for two and a half years where she is a Child Life Supervisor at Sidra Medical & Research Center a new Women's & Children's Hospital. She has an undergraduate degree in Recreational Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Southeastern.  Her love for travel was nurtured while growing up in East Africa.  She is currently doing research on perceptions of parenting infants and toddlers among Qatari and non-Qatari Arabs to inform parenting programing for the NICU and other areas of the hospital. In the future she hopes to explore how teaching coping skills (specifically emotional self-regulation/heart-rate variability) for parents/caregivers to use in proximity to hospitalized infants/toddlers impacts health outcomes.


William (Billy) Edwards, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from the University of Florida in 1996, and Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas in 1998.  Billy currently serves as the Director of the Clemson Center for Behavior Analysis.  On a daily basis, Billy oversees the development of service delivery systems for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) on the Clemson campus, regionally, and internationally, as well as the implementation of non-traditional educational programming for persons pursuing credentialing in Behavior Analysis.  Billy is interested in builduing sustainable models of service delivery to marginalized populations in areas where services are sparsely available and access to care is limited.  Another interest is in evaluating and improving cultural awareness and acceptance for persons with disabilities in both developed and non-developed countries on a familial, community, and national level.


Jessica Martin, currently serves as the director of the Student Services Center for the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University. She holds a BA and an MA in English and has conducted research in both the humanities and the social sciences. She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband, Todd, and son, Blay.

Jessica is interested in researching women’s entry into the workforce after having children, especially within the first year of giving birth. She is also interested a variety of women’s health topics, especially as they relate to mental health.


Jason Pope has worked for the Salvation Army in various capacities over the last 20 years. During this time he spent six years living and working with youth in inner city Atlanta. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from Georgia State University and a Master of Arts that focuses on theology and intercultural studies from Columbia International University. He is currently Technical Advisor for Anti-human Trafficking at the Salvation Army's World Service Office.  He lives just outside of Washington D.C. and supports projects in Kuwait, Mexico, India and the Philippines.  

Jason is interested in researching best practices for non-governmental approaches to child protection, as it relates to children's shelters and family based care.


Kayla Weston served as an active duty naval officer for eight years, prior to staying home with her kids for the past decade. When the children became school-aged, Kayla began the next chapter in her professional life by completing a MS in Youth Development Leadership at Clemson University. Kayla enjoys recreational running and volunteering in the community.Mrs.

Weston's research interest is in the field of sexual health, particularly the positive effects of parent-child communication about sexuality. Other interests include the consequences of over-parenting and determining a healthy balance for youth with respect to technology use. 


Lorenc Barjami is a clinical psychologist with a wide range of experience in dealing with people suffering from different types of psychological disorders. He received his Bachelor of General Psychology from Elbasan University and M.D. for clinical psychology from Tirana University in Albania. After completing his studies he started working as an assistant professor of psychology at Elbasan University. 

Currently, he is working part-time as an assistant professor of psychology at Marin Barleti University in Tirana, as well as a school psychologist at "Sejfulla Maleshova" high school in Kelcyra. 

He is interested in attending professional courses in order to improve his practical knowledge and put it into practice in terms of providing professional services to his clients. Psychology is the only science that fuels his passion and he always wants to be updated with every last invention related to psychology


Patricia Carbajales-Dale currently serves as the Executive Director of the Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies at Clemson University. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and Master’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Redlands.

Patricia is interested in the intersection of Geographic Information Science (GIS), data visualization, and humanitarian affairs. She is particularly passionate about refugee’s issues and the foster care system in the United States”


Latif Hoxha is a Specialist of Clinical Psychology working in clinical settings, lecturer of psychology in “FAMA” College since 2011. B.A. with honors in Psychology 2010, M.A. in Clinical Psychology 2012, M.Sc. with honors in Forensic Psychology 2014. In 2013 he was selected to be part of three years of Specialization on Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, the project of Ministry of Health - Kosovo and University of Basel- Switzerland. 

Latif, is interested on Solution Focused Based Therapy, promoting positive resources of individuals, families and community which are the bases of Mental Health and promote welfare that helps on prevention of psychologicaldisorders. He researched on inclusion of children with special needs in education, awareness on the importance of mental health and stigma prevention, health care organization and specifically the care of older people. 


Sashen Rexhepaj has been working for the past nine years as director of Albanian Speech Language Association and for the past two years as lecturer at Tirana Medicine University. During this time Sashen has discovered the nature of the community problems. He would describe myself as a person with a versatile skillset, a lot of integrity and a willingness to withstand extra efforts.

He is focused on creating or adopting screening tools for speech and language based on his family structure. Sashen is also trying to improve his academic and research skills through finding new pathways and new colleagues to collaborate on the chosen path. 


Quweina Roberts is from Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida Memorial University in Miami, and a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership and Management from the University of the West Indies. She has over 10 years’ experience in Public Policy and Enterprise Development, and passionate about the socio-economic advancement of people in underserved or at-risk communities and community transformation to support national development. 

Quweina was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, what is considered a Small Island Developing Nation (SIDS). Inadequate governance structures, improper planning and development, and poor resource allocation have historically created many disparities and disadvantages specifically among the vulnerable groups (women, children, youth, impoverished communities, disabled etc.). This has led to social inequality, social injustices, spiraling crime rates, and a diminished moral compass among the diverse races in her nation. It’s against this backdrop that she is interested in researching the impact that strong families and community transformation have Public Policy Planning and National Development Goals. 

She is also intrigued about socio-economic advancement and empowerment in marginalized groups being driven by community-based enterprise development initiatives. Ideally, one of her professional intentions surrounds building a non-profit organization with a core focus on assisting struggling individuals and communities to build strong businesses which translate to the transformation of lives, strengthening of families, and building of sustainable communities. Recognizing that there must be an enabling environment to support entrepreneurship in underserved communities, further research and inputs are needed to develop the entrepreneurship ecosystem.


Imri Zabeli Clinical Psychologist - Specialists , was involved in NGO projects since 2005. During this time, he focused on helping people reintegrate into their new environment in Kosovo. In 2012, after completing his Master's in clinical psychology, Imri was selected to be part of a three-year project, "Specialization in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy," with the Ministry of Health in Kosovo and University of Basel, Switzerland.

Imri is interested in research that can bring forth new ways of increasing family, community, and public awareness of mental illness. His focus is on decreasing the stigma associated with mental disorders, and reducing discrimination against people suffering from such disorders.