Executive Committee Members

Executive Committee

Carlos Cuevas, Ph.D.

Carlos CuevasDr. Carlos A. Cuevas is a Professor and Co-Director of the Violence and Justice Research Laboratory at Northeastern University in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Cuevas’s research interests are in the area of victimization and trauma, sexual violence and sexual offending, family violence, and the overlap between victimization and delinquency. Specifically, his work focuses examining victimization among understudied/underserved groups and how it relates to psychological distress and service utilization, as well as the role cultural factors play on victimization. In addition, he is studying the impact of psychological factors on the revictimization of children and how it helps explain the connection between victimization and delinquency. His most recent research will examine the scope and impact of bias crime against Latinos. Dr. Cuevas also continues to engage in clinical work, providing assessment and treatment to victims of abuse and trauma as well as sex offenders.

Jessica Punzo, Psy.D.
Jessica PunzoDr. Jessica Punzo is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois and also an active member of PSYPACT. She completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Traumatic Stress at Adler University.

The focus throughout her career has always been trauma/PTSD. She has worked in a variety of settings including corrections, community mental health, and VA hospitals. She is very passionate about psychological trauma and has been involved with Division 56 since graduate school.

She has been a past Student Representative, Program Chair, Hospitality Suite Coordinator, Membership Chair, Social Media Chair and ECP Representative of Division 56. Dr. Punzo is also currently involved in leadership within the Illinois Psychological Association (IPA). Moreover, she is currently a board member of the Board of Convention Affairs (BCA) of APA.

Dr. Punzo’s additional areas of clinical experience and interest include LGBTQ+ populations, maternal mental health and psychedelic assisted therapy. She is currently completing a certification in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy through the Integrative Psychiatry Institute.

Dawn Hughes, Ph.D., ABPP
Past President

Dawn HughesDawn M. Hughes, Ph.D., ABPP, is a clinical and forensic psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of interpersonal violence and traumatic stress. She maintains an independent practice in New York City and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology serving on the voluntary faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical Center - New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was a founding member of the Trauma Psychology Division and has served in many positions on the executive board. Dr. Hughes is a leading expert on intimate partner violence, adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, and traumatic stress. For over 25 years, Dr. Hughes has assessed and treated hundreds of victims of violence and abuse, and has consulted on and provided expert testimony in criminal and civil matters regarding the psychological and traumatic effects of victimization.

Theresa Segura-Herrera, Ph.D.

Within various community mental health settings, Dr. Segura-Herrera has provided counseling and therapy to culturally diverse adults, children, families, and couples. Her clinical and research interests include the psychological well-being of Latina/os, the delivery of culturally-responsive mental health services to diverse populations, and the retention through graduation of racial/ethnic minority students in higher education

Barbara Niles, Ph.D.

Barbara NilesDr. Barbara Niles is a Research Psychologist at the National Center for PTSD Behavioral Science Division at VA Boston Healthcare System and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine. She has been involved in delivery of clinical services, training, and research in the area of post-trauma functioning and PTSD throughout her professional career. She has been a member of Division 56 since its inception and is pleased to serve the Division in leadership and administration in the position of Treasurer.

Nnamdi Pole, Ph.D.
Representative to APA Council

Nnamdi Pole earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1999 and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2001. He is a licensed Psychologist and a fellow of the American Psychological Society.  Dr. Pole is the chair of the Smith College Institutional Review Board. Outside of the college, he serves as an associate editor of Psychological Bulletin and consulting editor of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. He is an adjunct Professor in the Smith College for Social Work.

Demara Bennett, Psy.D.
Representative to APA Council

Dr. Bennett is a trauma psychologist specializing in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and other trauma disorders. She also provides ​​child and family services, including pediatric and adult evaluation and diagnosis related to psychological, neurodevelopmental, and learning concerns. She has considerable experience providing evaluation and treatment for children and families with maltreatment and trauma histories and has taught and trained hundreds of students and doctoral trainees for over a decade.

Maria Valgoi, Ph.D.
Early Career Psychologist Representative

Maria ValgoiDr. Maria Valgoi is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois. She has a clinic on the southside of Chicago and is a member of the faculty at Governors State University in the south suburbs of Chicago. She graduated from University of Illinois Counseling Psychology Program with a graduate concentration in African American Studies. Her predoctoral internship was completed at the Augusta University Medical College/ Charlie Norwood VA Consortium in Augusta Georgia.  She also did a postdocoral fellowship in trauma informed juvenile risk assessment at Cambridge Health Alliance/ Harvard Medical School in the Victims of Violence Clinic/Safety Net Collaborative.

Member at Large

Marta Miranda, Psy.D.
Member at Large

Dr. Marta J.L. Miranda is a licensed and board certified psychologist in private practice working in Washington, DC. Her practice focuses on serving immigrants, helping adults heal from childhood trauma, and empowering clients to find their voices in the dominant culture that surrounds them. Dr. Miranda specializes in the treatment of Complex Trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, addictions, and relationship issues.

Dorothy Chin, Ph.D.
Member at Large

Dr. Chin is an Associate Research Psychologist at the UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma, and Mental Health Disparities at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles, and a Professor of Psychology at Santa Monica College. She is currently a Board Member of the Lotus Project: Center for Asian American and Asian Immigrant Child Trauma-Informed Care and Prevention at the Public Health Institute. Chin’s research examines the influences of race, ethnicity, culture, and socioeconomic status on mental health and behavior, as well as how such influences are often misunderstood in psychology as well as in public life

Ayli Carrero Pinedo, Ph.D.
Member at Large

Dr. Carrero Pinedo is a psychologist at the Veteran Affairs Greater Los Angeles (GLA) Healthcare System. Her professional work focuses on providing evidence-based individual and group clinical care to veterans with multiple intersecting identities, including age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, service era, and nationality. In her work, Carrero Pinedo facilitates race-based traumatic stress groups as well as provides innovative care for veterans struggling with mental health disorders and racial trauma. In addition, she has also developed equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, rooted in liberation psychology, that are being adopted by health professions training programs across GLA.

Xenia Barnes, M.A.
Professional Affiliate Representative


Amanda Acevedo, M.A. EdS
Student Representative


Teresa Evans-Hunter, MBA
Executive Director

Teresa Evans Hunter Division 56 has contracted with IMI Association Executives Inc., an association management company (AMC), to provide staff support to Division 56 and its members. The Division currently has one contracted staff member, Teresa Evans-Hunter, who serves as the Executive Director. Teresa's administration role includes working closely with the Presidential Trio on monthly projects and Division updates, Council meeting preparation, Financial reporting, facilitating the webinars and HomeStudy on-demand content, as well as assisting with website upkeep.