OUR SPEAKERS

Christy Olezeski 
Yale School of Medicine
 

Christy Olezeski, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, is a clinical child and adolescent psychologist whose work lies at the intersection between trauma, sexuality and gender identity. She is the Director of the Yale Gender Program, an interdisciplinary team that provides services for transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth in Connecticut. The team includes professionals in the fields of psychology, endocrinology, psychiatry, obstetrics, gynecology, medical ethics and law. The Yale Gender Program consults with urology, plastics and general medicine. This collaboration has led to many local, regional, national and international speaking engagements, several research projects and multiple academic pieces of work. Dr. Olezeski also supervises the psychological testing of patients, teaches on trauma-informed treatment models, and provides assessment and clinical consultation services for patients who have engaged in problematic sexual behaviors, or who are exploring their gender identity. Dr. Olezeski also serves on a national committee for the involvement of TGD athletes in elite sporting events.

Susan Regas
California School of
Professional Psychology
 

Susan Regas, PhD is a Distinguished Professor and  chair of the Family and Couple Clinical Psychology  Emphasis at the California School of Professional Psychology.  This program won the Couple and Family Diversity Award from Div. 43. She is President of Division 43: Society of Couple and Family Psychology. Susan is Director of Family Support Services at the Ronald McDonald House  which is a clinical psychology training program which focuses on self-of- the- therapist.

Gary W. Harper

University of

Michigan

 

Gary W. Harper, Ph.D., M.P.H. is a Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and a Visiting Professor at The Williams Institute in the UCLA School of Law.  Dr. Harper’s applied research and community work focus on the mental health and sexual health needs of LGBTQ adolescents and emerging adults.  For more than 25 years, Dr. Harper has worked collaboratively with community agencies and community members to develop and evaluate a range of culturally and developmentally appropriate mental health, sexual health, and HIV prevention intervention programs for youth—working domestically in large urban cities and globally in Botswana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, and Zambia.  Given the participatory nature of Dr. Harper’s work, he prioritizes active community engagement with an array of community stakeholders, and focuses not only on health-related risks but also on individual and community-level resilience. 

Samantha Tornello

Pennsylvania State University

 

Dr. Tornello, PhD, has three major research interests: Family, sexual orientation, and gender. The majority of her work has focused on the role of family composition and parental gender in the family system (children’s development, parental dynamics, and couple functioning). How do variations (e.g., pathways to parenthood or division of unpaid labor) and changes (e.g., divorce) in family composition relate to family members’ development and functioning?

Dr. Tornello’s research also focuses on the experiences of becoming a parent among sexual and gender minority individuals. How do sexual and gender minority people decide to become parents, what methods do they use to create their families, and their experiences of becoming or not becoming parents?

 Stacey S. Horn

University of Illinois

 

Stacey S. Horn, (Ph.D. 2000, University of Maryland) is a Professor of Educational and Developmental Psychology and Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology and an affiliate faculty member in Community Psychology and Prevention Research at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on issues of sexual prejudice among adolescents and adolescents’ reasoning about peer harassment. Her current work focuses on issues of sexual prejudice and bias-motivated harassment among adolescents, strategies to reduce bias-motivated harassment in schools, as well as LGBT students’ experiences in schools and communities (e.g. with discipline). Much of this work looks at the underlying moral, social, and personal dimension of exclusion and peer harassment, how adolescents construct an understanding of their peer interactions based on these dimensions, and the role that bias plays in adolescents understanding and experiences of harassment. Stacey is a former high school English teacher and has worked with young people for over 30 years.

 Caitlin Ryan

San Francisco State University

 

Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW is a clinical social worker and researcher who has worked on LGBT health and mental health for more than 40 years and whose work has shaped policy and practice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) children, youth and young adults. She directs the Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at San Francisco State University – a research, education, intervention and policy project – that helps ethnically, racially and religiously diverse families to support their LGBT children in the context of their families, cultures and faith communities. Dr. Ryan and her team have developed the first research-based family support model to prevent risk and promote well-being for LGBT children and adolescents which they have been integrating into systems of care, including behavioral health, out-of-home care and pastoral care. Dr. Ryan has provided education and training for more than 92,000 families, providers and religious leaders on FAP’s family support framework. She has developed multilingual Best Practice resources for suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth, award-winning family education and intervention videos and many practice resources to decrease family rejection and increase acceptance and support. Her work has been recognized by national professional groups in the fields of counseling, medicine, nursing, psychology and social work, and by civic, LGBT, arts and faith-based groups. She has served on many scientific and clinical advisory groups, including the Committee on LGBT Health for the Institute of Medicine and the LGBT Suicide Prevention Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Ryan works with organizations, faith communities, families and providers to integrate FAP’s family support approach to build healthy futures for LGBT young people across disciplines, services and systems.

 Lee VanderLinden

National Immigrant Justice Center

 

Lee VanderLinden is a staff attorney in the LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative at the National Immigrant Justice Center. They represent LGBT immigrants seeking a variety of immigration remedies, including adjustment of status, U visas, and asylum. They represent immigrants who are detained by the Department of Homeland Security, as well as those applying affirmatively. Lee received their JD from Northeastern University School of Law, where they concentrated in Poverty Law and Economic Justice. Lee graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Princeton University and is licensed in the State of Illinois.