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Project BE-AHEAD offers evidence-based training in the areas of behavioral health and integrated care to student trainees in three nationally renowned graduate-level behavioral health programs at the University of Georgia:

  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology
  • M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling
  • M.Ed. in School Counseling

The project seeks to expand the behavioral health workforce in underserved communities throughout Northeast Georgia and to evaluate the effectiveness of the program's training of students in interprofessional services and behavioral health competency.

The Fellowship

Project BE-AHEAD provides the opportunity for students to receive training, supervision, and practicum experience in evidence-based interventions and integrative behavioral health-primary care services. The project offers a stipend to support internship work in specified integrative healthcare settings. We have developed collaborative relationships with integrative healthcare sites that welcome the opportunity to work with psychology/counselors in training.

Fellowship commitments include:

  • Attending seminars relevant to training in integrated healthcare services
  • Enrollment in a health psychology course offering training in evidence-based approaches effective in addressing mental and behavioral health concerns
  • Completing surveys at the start and end of the fellowship year, as well as post-graduation

As part of our program, group supervision further builds skills in case conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment planning, while individual supervision fosters skill development through exploration of your clinical cases. Fellows will attend case presentations in early December and present cases in the spring. The dates and times for these presentations will be announced.

Apply Today!

Fellows are selected based on applicants' fit with the program goal of training integrative healthcare professionals.

Download an application

Applications are due in mid-September with interviews taking place in mid-October.

Our Fellowship Sites

  • Advantage Behavioral Health Systems
  • Banyan Tree Center
  • Barrow County School System
  • Clarke County School District
  • Commerce City Schools
  • Elbert County School District
  • Foothills Education Charter High School
  • Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Greene County Schools
  • Jackson County School System
  • Jefferson City Schools
  • Live Forward
  • Madison County School District
  • Mercy Health Center
  • Northeast Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency
  • Oconee County Schools
  • Oglethorpe County School System
  • Rutland Academy
  • Social Circle City Schools
  • Treehouse
  • Walton County School District

Our Team

Portrait of Bernadette Davantes Heckman

Bernadette Davantes Heckman

Principal Investigator

Portrait of Jolie Daigle

Jolie Daigle

Co-Principal Investigator

Portrait of Jason Blizzard

Jason Blizzard

Project Manager

Research Assistants

Julie Langan

Julie is a second-year student in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program with an emphasis in Health Psychology. She earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland. Her research interests include integrated care and health disparities. She is working with clients through a multi-site telehealth practicum through Mercy Health Center, Live Forward, Project Adam, and the Macon Health Department.

2020-2021 Fellows

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

  • Jessica Styles
  • Rachael Ajetomobi
  • Tanisha Pelham

M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling

  • Kendra Berry
  • Emily Bradbury
  • Alexes Davis
  • April Greene
  • Cliff Jackson
  • Kathleen Lewis
  • Jenna Markle
  • Jasmine McCalla
  • Tyler Vance
  • Summer Willingham

M.Ed. in School Counseling

  • Allie Compton
  • Renee Dominique Dionisio
  • Christina Justice
  • Mollie-Emma O'Neil

Former Team Members

2018-2019 Fellows

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

  • Jeffrey Okun
  • Jonathan Shay
  • JungSu Oh
  • Sarah Risner

M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling

  • Adriauna Clay
  • Denise Powers
  • Elizabeth Thacker
  • Jessica Jarrett
  • Kelsey Coker
  • Madeline McGarrah
  • Morgan Wilson
  • Sabrina Ishrat
  • Shawntell Pace
  • Stephanie Looper

2019-2020 Fellows

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

  • Alexandria Rogers
  • Erica McKinney
  • Shujing Zhang

M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling

  • Anna Collins
  • Annabel McSpadden
  • Carlos Garza Medrano
  • Katy Janousek
  • Matthew Ellis
  • Monica Walcott
  • Paige Mandas
  • Samantha Goldman
  • Tiana Britton
  • Timothy Williams
  • Victoria Johnson

M.Ed. in School Counseling

  • Anna Fede
  • Daniel Chung
  • Imani Handy
  • Jori Moore
  • Lauren Smith
  • Leia Rylee
  • Mackenzie Molter
  • Marcellus Howell
  • Modupe Salimonu
  • Sammie Eskew
  • Shawn Gooding

News

Conference Presentations

2020

  • Chapman-Hilliard, C., Pace, S., Pelham., T., Holmes, E., Doe, E., McCalla, J. (2020). Using a Black History Knowledge Framework across Therapeutic Modalities and in Community Advocacy. Symposium will be presented at the Counseling Psychology Conference, New Orleans, LA.
  • Pace, S., Doe, E., Chapman-Hilliard, C. (2020). My Ancestors Taught Me. Roundtable will be presented at the Counseling Psychology Conference, New Orleans, LA.
  • Pace, S., Holmes, E., Pelham, T., Chapman-Hilliard, C. (2020). When Brown-Skinned Girls Heal: A Model for Support Groups for African American Women. Roundtable will be presented at the American Psychological Association Conference, Washington, DC.

2019

  • Ajetomobi, R. & Heckman, B. (2019) Behavioral chronic pain management: Factors related to uptake and adherence. Presented at Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) conference. Jacksonville, FL.
  • Alvis, D., Rupnaraine, S., Shay, J., & Styles, J. (2019). Developing Clinical, Consulting, Training, and Research Skills Within a Biopsychosocial Framework: Reflections and Discussion with Health Psychologists in Training. Presentation at Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Alvis, D., Rupnaraine, S., Shay, J., & Styles, J. (2019, March). Developing Clinical, Consulting, Training, and Research Skills Within a Biopsychosocial Framework: Reflections and Discussion with Health Psychologists in Training. Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Blizzard, J., Heckman, B., Shay, J., and Eaton, E. (2019). Personality and Mindfulness Practice: Does Personality Predict Engagement in Mindfulness for College Students? Poster presentation at the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior's Mind Brain Research Day, Brown University, Providence, RI.
  • Blizzard, J., Heckman, B., Shay, J., and Eaton, E. (2019, March). Personality and Mindfulness Practice: Does Personality Predict Engagement in Mindfulness for College Students? Poster presented at the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior's Mind Brain Research Day, Brown University, Providence, RI.
  • Chapman-Hilliard, C., Holmes, E., Pace, S. (2019). The Psychological Significance of Black History Knowledge. Symposium presented at the annual convention of the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Denver, CO.
  • Chapman-Hilliard, C., Pace, S., Holmes, E. (2019). The Role of Black History Knowledge in Predicting Mental Health and Coping Responses Among Black Americans. Poster presented at the annual Association of Black Psychologists Conference, Orlando, FL.
  • Clay-Potts, A., Thacker, E., McGarrah, M., Pace, S., Powers, D. (2019). From the Voices of Students: Social justice Training and Identifying Training Growth Edges. Symposium presented at the annual Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change, Savannah, GA.
  • Daigle, J., Calhoun, G., The Project Be Ahead Integrative Healthcare Training Team (2019). Behavioral and integrated health care training for counselors who work with children. Presented at American Counseling Association (ACA) Conference, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Doe, E., Pace, S., Holmes, E., Chapman-Hilliard, C. (2019). Black History Knowledge as a Clinical Intervention Tool. Poster presented at the annual Association of Black Psychologists Conference, Orlando, FL.
  • Doe, E., Pace, S., Holmes, E., Chapman-Hilliard, C. (2019). Examining Critical Consciousness, Eating concerns, and Body Image Among Diverse Women. Poster presented at the annual convention of the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Denver, CO.
  • Heckman, B., & Rupnaraine, S. (2019, March). The Role of Pain Catastrophizing on Pain Outcomes in a Racially Diverse Group. Presented at Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Heckman, B., Lauckner, C., McKinney, E., & Rupnaraine, S. (2019, March). Project MIGHT: Mental Health Intervention for Georgians with HIV/AIDS using Telehealth. Presented at Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Heckman, B., Pace, S., Powers, D., Rogers, A., Rupnaraine, S., Shay., & Okun, J. (2019, March). Project BE-AHEAD: Behavioral Health Development in Georgia. Presented at Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Heckman, B., Pace, S., Powers, D., Rogers, A., Rupnaraine, S., Shay, J., & Okun, J. (2019). Project BE-AHEAD: Behavioral Health Development in Georgia. Poster presentation at Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Gimbel, N.M. & Alvis, D. (2019, March). Mindfulness and Self-care for Psychologists and other Healthcare Providers. Poster presented at conference of Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Pace, S., Powers, D., McGarrah, M., Thacker, E., Clay-Potts, A. (2019). Experiencing the Disconnect: Microaggressions in Counseling from a Student Clinician Perspective. Symposium presented at the annual Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change, Savannah, GA.
  • Phelps, R., Holmes, E., Pelham, T., & Zhang, S. (March 2019). Breaking the Silence: Addressing Mental Health Issues in Underrepresented Populations. Well-Being in International College Student Populations. CEPO Symposium conducted at the Annual Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Rogers, A., Gimbel, N.M., Pace, S., Powers, D., Rupnaraine, S., Shay, J., Okun, J., & Heckman, B. (2019, March). Project BE-AHEAD: Behavioral Health Development in Georgia (Poster Session). Poster presented at conference of Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Shay, J., Rupnaraine, S., Styles, J., Connelly, C., Oh, J., Alvis, D., & Heckman, B. (March, 2019). Developing clinical, consulting, training, and research skills within a biopsychosocial framework: Reflections and discussion with health psychologists in training. Panel discussion presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association 2019 Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Styles, J. (2019, September). Linking Integrated Health Networks for Kids in Schools. Presentation conducted at the State of Education conference, Athens, GA.
  • Styles, J., Daigle, J., Oh, J., Alvis, B., Bigham, L., Rogers, A., Okin, J., Ford, D., Weaver-Runyan, N., Heckman, B., (2019, September). Outcomes of Increasing Behavioral Health & Integrated Care in K-12 Schools. Poster presented at conference of the 2019 State of Education in Georgia, Athens. GA.
  • Zhang S., Rogers, A., Ajetomobi, R., Alvis, D., Heckman, B. (2019). Integrating mindfulness in behavioral health: Primary care settings. Conversation hour presented at Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Zhang, S., & Oh, J. (March 2019). 33-year Content Analysis of Health Psychology Research in Counseling Psychology. Poster presentation conducted at the Annual Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Zhang, S., Rogers, A., Ajetomobi, R., Alvis, D., & Heckman, B. (March 2019). Integrating Mindfulness in Behavioral Health – Primary Care Settings. Conversation Hour conducted at the Annual Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference, Jacksonville, FL.

2018

  • Daigle, J., Heckman, B., Calhoun, G., Styles, J. (March, 2018). Behavioral and Integrated Healthcare Training for Counselors who Work with Children. Poster presented at conference of American Counseling Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • Khan, H., & Zhang, S. (October, 2018). Latinx Muslims: An Intersectional Exploration of Lived Experiences. Poster presentation conducted at the 2018 National Latina/o Psychological Association Biennial Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • Khan, H., Fair, J., & Zhang, S. (March, 2018). Impact of Experiential Perspective of Intersecting Identities on Pedagogy. Symposium conducted at the Annual Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference, Charleston, SC.
  • Parker, S., McDonald, J., McKinney E., Zhang, S., Heckman, B., & Rogers, A. (March 2018). People Living with HIV: Psychological and Treatment-Seeking Behaviors. Poster presentation conducted at the Annual Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference, Charleston, SC.
  • Rogers, A., Gimbel, N., Rupnaraine, S., Okun, J., Styles, J., Oh, J., Weaver, J., Shay, J., Pace, S., Powers, D., Alvis, D., Heckman. (March, 2018). PROJECT BE-AHEAD: Behavioral Health Development in Georgia. Poster presented at conference of Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL
  • Styles, J., Heckman, B., (March, 2018). Protective Effects of Purpose & Religious/Spiritual Well-Being in Men. Poster presented at conference of Southeastern Psychological Association, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Whitford, J., Harmon, R., & Rupnaraine, S. (2018, March). Polytrauma/TBI Psychology. Presented at VHA training, Augusta, GA.
  • Whitford, J., Rupnaraine, S., & Harmon, R. (August, 2018). Assessment of Musculoskeletal Origins of Headache in Patients With Combined TBI and PTSD. Present at American Psychological Association Convention, San Francisco, CA.
  • Zhang, S. (February, 2018). Weather Adaptation, Stress and its Physical and Psychological Effects on International Students at a large U.S. University. Poster presentation conducted at the annual research fair of the Department of Counseling Psychology at University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
  • Zhang, S. (March, 2018). Chinese International Students' Stress, Stigma, and Barriers to Seeking Counseling. Poster presentation conducted at the Annual Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference, Charleston, SC.
  • Zhang, S. (May, 2018). Weather Adaptation, Stress, and its Physical and Psychological Effects on International Students at a Large U.S. University. Poster presentation conducted at the Applied Psychological Science Conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Zhang, S., Songkeng, K., & Wang, Y. (September, 2018). Adjusting to Thrive - Acculturation Stress of International Students and Their Stories. Workshop panelist at Engage! Conference 2018, Athens, GA.
  • Zhang, S., Tadik, H., Cai, W, & Shi, X. (October, 2018). Panelist speaker at the Counseling and Psychiatric Services at University Health Center monthly workshop, Athens, GA.

2017

  • Bigham, L., Okun, J. D., Oh, J., Ford, D., Heckman, B., & Daigle, J. (March, 2017). Increasing Behavioral Health & Integrated Care in K-12 Schools. Poster presented at the 38th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Diego, CA.

2016

  • Daigle, J., Heckman, B., Bigham, L., Ford, D., Okun, J., Oh, J., Rupnaraine, S. (March, 2016). Integrating behavioral health in the school counseling curriculum. Symposium presented at the Innovations in Best Practices in School Counselor Preparation Conference, Athens, GA.

Contact Us

427F Aderhold Hall 110 Carlton St. Athens, GA 30602