The Wright Institute News & Events

Alumni Spotlight: Ian Vianu, Class of 2014

Alumni Spotlight: Ian Vianu, Class of 2014

"I don't think there's ever been a better time in our history to get into the mental health field," says Ian Vianu. "There are so many different ways to help people, and those different ways are becoming more widely accepted every year."

A 2014 graduate of the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, Ian Vianu has spent his career exploring different ways to help people. An East Bay native, Vianu studied psychology at UC Santa Cruz before working as a research assistant around the Bay Area. When deciding upon a graduate program for psychology, he wanted to stay local and find a program that would allow him to work while taking classes.

Student Spotlight: Erica Gallegos

Student Spotlight: Erica Gallegos

In her first year of the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, Erica Gallegos has relished being on a different side of the teacher-student relationship. "The past year has been such a powerful learning experience, and I want to keep learning as much as I can," she says.

Aa a teacher, Gallegos has always been interested in making a significant impact in her students' lives. A native of Fairfield, California, Gallegos spent time working in her hometown and San Francisco before spending two years in Panama as a member of the Peace Corps. After returning to the Bay Area, Gallegos worked at a San Francisco school before settling in at a school in Berkeley, where she learned about the effect of mental health services on her students. "I was working in distressed communities with many different sources of trauma, and my students did much better when they were able to have a counselor or social worker to talk to," she recalls.

Congratulations to 2020 STAY Fellows!

Congratulations to 2020 STAY Fellows!

Four Wright Institute Counseling Psychology students have been accepted to the Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship through the American Psychological Association's (APA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). First-year students Erica Gallegos, Jillian McCoy, Katia Mosley-Muñoz, and Dominique Nguyen, are 2020 STAY Fellows.

The Fellowship assists students in training to provide mental health services to transition age youth (ages 16 through 25). "Transition age youth are a population who traditionally haven't been effectively served by psychologists and counselors," explains Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, LMFT, Wright Institute Faculty Member and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Get to know MacKenzie Stuart - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know MacKenzie Stuart - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

MacKenzie Stuart, LMFT, recently became a core faculty member with the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program. Prof. Stuart teaches Common Therapeutic Factors, Diagnosis and Empirically Supported Treatments, and Psychopharmacology. She spoke with the Wright Institute's Dalton Green to discuss her teaching career, her private practice work, and the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dalton Green (DG): What made you want to pursue psychology as a career?

Alumni Spotlight: Caiti Crum, Class of 2010

Alumni Spotlight: Caiti Crum, Class of 2010

"Whatever can be done to reduce stigma around therapy and improve access to therapy is critically important. We all communicate differently, so any modality that can help someone is valuable."

Now a decade removed from her time at the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, Caiti Crum is focused on improving access to therapy in communities where it is needed most. To accomplish that, she's exploring using telehealth as a medium to reach people. "I see telehealth as a method to provide greater access to therapy to those who may not have had access otherwise," she says.

Student Spotlight: Pearl Penumaka

Student Spotlight: Pearl Penumaka

"I believe that there need to be more therapists who share lived experiences with people from my community. I realize that if that is something I want to see in the world, then I need to be the one to actually make that change." Just a few months into her time at the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, Pearl Penumaka already has a strong idea of what impact she wants to have on the mental health field.

Get to know Beth Greivel - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Get to know Beth Greivel - Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

Beth Greivel, LMFT, LPCC, recently became a core faculty member with the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program. Greivel teaches Counseling Theories and Techniques, Couples Counseling, Sexual Development and Health, and Diagnosis and Empirically Supported Treatments, and serves as the Mentoring Program Coordinator. She sat down with the Wright Institute's Dalton Green to discuss her time as a student at the Wright Institute, her work for LGBTQQIA+ rights in the behavioral health field, and her plans for the future.

Dalton Green: You started here at the Counseling Psychology Program as a student in 2012. What was your career before that?

Students and Agencies Meet at The Wright Institute's Second Annual Practicum Fair

Students and Agencies Meet at The Wright Institute's Second Annual Practicum Fair

On January 14, representatives from over 40 community-based agencies came from around the Bay Area to visit the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program campus. The agency representatives met with over 70 Counseling Psychology students, each of whom are in the process of applying for practicum placements.

While first-year students have done plenty of research on which sites they would consider, most had not yet had opportunities to meet any representatives in person. "It's a good opportunity to see faces and get a feel for the personalities we'll be working with," said first-year student Anna Tyrer-Vasell. "A lot of agencies seem similar on paper, so you can't really get a sense of who they are without meeting the people themselves."

Wright Institute hosts Diversity Recruitment Intensive event

Wright Institute hosts Diversity Recruitment Intensive event

The Wright Institute hosted a day-long event for applicants who identify as first-generation college students and/or people of color to explore degree options in the psychology field, meet students and faculty, and ask questions about graduate school. We were lucky to spend the day with such strong prospective students!

This event was hosted as part of the Wright Institute Pipeline to Advanced Degrees. We look forward to hosting additional events in the future to support students from underrepresented groups as they explore their options.


Click here to learn more about the Wright Institute's Master of Counseling Psychology program.
Click here to learn more about the Wright Institute's Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program.

Pages