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¡BIENESTAR!

We are a research and service team under the direction of Edward Delgado-Romero, a professor in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program in the College of Education. ¡BIENESTAR! is the collective name for the many projects conducted by our team that address aspects of psychology through a liberatory, decolonized, and emancipatory lens. Our team tenets include:

  • Give psychology away through pro bono services to marginalized communities
  • Empower communities through participatory methods.
  • Increase the multicultural competence of all psychologists, counselors, and other professionals.
  • Demystify the research process and professional services for both the community and for graduate students to promote inclusivity.

The goal of ¡BIENESTAR! is to leave a positive impact on communities where there is mutual benefit and increased trust in the research and service of psychologists.

Current Goals

¡BIEN! is a diverse team of scholars who are interested in cultural- and linguistic-competent psychological research and service. Our goals are:

  • To produce multiculturally valid research
  • To provide services to the neighboring community
  • To forge alliances with surrounding resources
  • To disseminate knowledge through presentations and publications
  • To build upon professional networks

Our La Clinica

Our History

The idea for ¡BIEN! began in 2005 when Delgado-Romero came to the University of Georgia. He envisioned a collaborative research team focused on serving underserved and marginalized populations in a culturally competent and empowering way. Dr. Eliza Wells and Dr. Kimber Shelton were the first members of the team. In 2011 the team, under the direction of team leader Dr. Cristalis Capielo formally became ¡BIEN! when we were asked to provide outreach to the Athens Latino Center for Education and Services (ALCES). In 2014 Dr. Marjory Vazquez helped start the bilingual clinic at ALCES, which moved to an independent site in 2018.

As a collaborative group, BIEN members work on research, advocacy and perform community service together. Group members attend conferences together, attend dissertation defenses as a group and volunteer time to help each other and the community through efforts such as support groups and volunteering people power for disaster relief and on MLK day. BIEN alumni connect with current students and we have held informal gatherings in Atlanta, at conferences, and the team has quarterly socials at the Delgado-Romero house.

Research on ¡BIEN! Outcomes

In 2015, Edward Enrique Delgado-Polo, completed a study on ¡BIEN! detailing the historical research completed by the team.

This presentation features a detailed history of the diverse research endeavors that are conceptualized, initialized, and completed by the ¡BIEN! team, as well as the outcomes of the current and former members pre- and post-graduation.

View the Presentation

Our Service

Collaboration with IMPACT and Mercy Health Center

Under the direction of CHDS professors Edward Delgado-Romero, Linda Campbell and Linda Logan, alongside Kristi Gilleland, whole person care director, ¡BIEN! psychology trainees are part of the IMPACT team at Mercy Hospital.


IMPACT stands for Integrated Mental and PhysicAl Care Team. The team partners with the other volunteer providers at Mercy Health Center to provide integrated behavioral health services. The IMPACT team consists of counseling psychology PhD students, pharmacy and social work graduate students, and Mercy staff. ¡BIEN! students provide Spanish language therapy as well as see general patients referred to us by medical staff.

Learn More About Mercy Health Center

La Clinica In La K'ech

Now entering its fifth year, the bilingual clinic staffed by the BIEN team under the direction of licensed psychologist Edward Delgado-Romero recently moved and changed its name. Our new location is generously donated by Oconee Street Methodist Church. Our new name is derived from a Mayan greeting that roughly translated means “You are my other me.” Our clinic provides counseling and assessment to the Latinx population in both English and Spanish. We specialize in psychological issues regarding the immigration experience through our partnership with professor Jason Cade and Community Health Law Partnership . Our services are free and people can call 706-389-8462 and leave a message in Spanish or English to set up an initial appointment. Note that the clinic is only open on Fridays.

The clinic is staffed by doctoral students in psychology, interns from the MSW program in the School of Social Work, and undergraduate psychology interns (who do not see clients). We have a partnership with U-LEAD to provide support groups for students, families, and tutors. We actively collaborate with Mercy Health Center to meet the medical needs of our adult clients.

Learn More About Our La Clinica

Meet Our Team

¡BIEN! is a diverse team of scholars who are interested in cultural- and linguistic-competent psychological research and service. Our goals are:

  • To produce multiculturally valid research
  • To provide services to the neighboring community
  • To forge alliances with surrounding resources
  • To disseminate knowledge through presentations and publications
Leslie Espinoza-Moreno

BIENESTAR Co-lab Leader

  • Completed a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology Applied Cognition and Development
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2020

Research Interests: Latinx Psychology regarding Resilience, Systematic Trauma, Drug Abuse, Self-Perception, Racial/Ethnic Identity, and intersectionality within biracial communities. Mental health and academic success of marginalized communities with a primary focus on Latinx college students and Latinx Adolescents.

Leslie teaches the Drug and Alcohol Abuse course within the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. Additionally, she provides bilingual counseling to the uninsured Latinx community of Athens in La Clinica in LaK’ech and college students at the Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation.

Ammy E. Sena

BIENESTAR Co-lab Leader

  • Completed a M.A. in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2020

Research Interests: Mental health and wellness of marginalized communities with a primary focus on Afro-Latinx and Afro-Caribbean persons throughout the lifespan. Decolonized forms of wellness and healing. Evaluation of mental health interventions. Bilingual counseling, training, and supervision. Racial identity development.

Ammy teaches the Diversity and Helping Skills course within the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. Additionally, she provides bilingual counseling to the uninsured Latinx community of Athens in La Clinica in LaK’ech and Mercy Health Center.

Jacqueline "Jacky" Fuentes

Clinic Co-Coordinator

  • Completed a MSW in Children and Families and was a Title IV-E stipend recipient specializing in child welfare at University of California, Berkeley in 2016
  • Completed M.Ed. in Child, Human, and Family Services with a specialization in Prevention Science at University of Oregon in 2014
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2019

Research Interests: Structural violence and its impacts on mental health and well-being on children and families, foster youth mental health, expanding culturally rooted sources of healing, and preventative, interdisciplinary, and intersectional mental health interventions

Jacky is currently serving as a Clinical Co-Coordinator, MSW field placement supervisor, and doctoral-level clinician at La Clinica in Lak’ech, a bilingual Spanish and bicultural community clinic dedicated to providing counseling to Latinx community members. Her advanced placement practicum is at the Grady Nia Project, an Emory University affiliated program, where she serves African American women who have experienced trauma across their lifespan.

Additionally, she is Goizueta Foundation Graduate Scholars serving as a research assistant within the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education, which aims to improve the educational outcomes of Latinx and other culturally and linguistically diverse students within Georgia. Lastly, Jacky is a recipient of the American Psychological Association MFP Predoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS).

Charmaine Mora-Ozuna

Clinic Co-Coordinator

  • Completed M.S/Ed.S degrees in Mental Health Counseling at Florida State University
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at UGA in 2019

Charmaine’s research interests are focused on understanding the impact of trauma on the Latinx community. Specifically, childhood trauma, domestic violence, and suicidal behaviors. Additional research interests include BIPOC communities’ access to culturally competent mental health services.

Charmaine currently serves as the co-coordinator at La Clinica In LaK’ech, a bilingual and bicultural mental health clinic that provides counseling services to Latinxs in Athens, GA. She is completing her advanced practicum placement with the Nia Project at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, which provides behavioral health services to survivors of abuse. Charmaine serves on the Student Committee for NLPA, the liaison for the Georgia Psychological Association Graduate Student Committee, and the Social Chair for UGA’s Counseling Psychology Student Association. When Charmaine is not engaging in her academic and professional duties, she loves to spend time with family and friends, travel, dance, and eat (especially Mexican food)!

Elizabeth Cárdenas Bautista

  • Completed a M.Ed. in Professional Counseling, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2018

Research interests: Multicultural counseling, Liberation psychology, Latinx psychology, social justice, and advocacy. More specifically, exploring complex trauma encountered in immigrant communities and intergenerational conflict due to mixed document status in families based on social-political climate. Elizabeth is interested in understanding social justice and activism in communities and in the counseling psychology field.

Currently, Elizabeth is working as a Graduate Assistant to Division 17’ s President Dr. Anneliese Singh. Elizabeth’s clinical practice extends to providing bilingual/bicultural counseling services to Latinx populations in Athens at La Clinica in LaK’ech, and Mercy Health Center.

Jocelyn Jimenez-Ruiz

  • Completed an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri- Columbia
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2021

Research Interests:

Trauma and Resiliency within the Latinx community, trauma among victims/survivors of domestic abuse and/or sexual assault, and the immigrant community

Jocelyn is currently an Academic Coach for the College of Agriculture under the Division of Academic Enhancement. She also provides bilingual therapy for the Latinx community at La Clinica in LaK’ech in Athens, GA.

Alejandra Martínez

  • Completed an M.S.Ed in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Miami
  • Completed an M.S. in Third Generation Psychotherapies at Universidad Internacional Valenciana
  • Began a doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2021

Research Interests: Latinx mental health (special focus on South Americans’), ethnic minorities within the Latinx community, intersectionality, identity development, acculturative stress, and resilience.

Alejandra currently works as a Graduate Assistant for Diversity Education at the Office of Institutional Diversity and provides bilingual psychotherapy for the Latinx community in Athens.

Jasmine McGhee

  • Completed a M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Vanderbilt University
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in Fall 2020

Research interests include the intersection of chronic illness (specifically Sickle Cell Disease), access to mental health, and attitudes towards seeking mental health in Black identifying communities. Integration of culturally-relevant therapeutic interventions in behavioral healthcare settings. Training and education on appropriately identifying physical and emotional symptoms of race-based stress and trauma in communities of color.

Jasmine teaches the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Issues course within the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. Clinically, she provides counseling to the greater Athens community in the Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation at UGA and to the uninsured community in Athens at Mercy Health Center. Overall, she is passionate about making quality psychoeducation and counseling relevant and accessible to communities bearing some of the greatest needs.

Nancy J. Muro-Rodriguez

  • Completed M.Ed. degree in Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2019

Research Assistant

Research interests: Transgenerational trauma within the Latinx community, immigration, stress-related to living in poverty, multicultural concerns, familismo, and acculturation.

Nancy facilitates individual bilingual (Spanish & English) and bicultural therapy with the Latinx community in Athens, GA. In her free time, Nancy enjoys watching Netflix, dancing, cooking, and practicing hot yoga.

Ana Carina Ordaz

  • Completed MS degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Georgia State University
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2018

Her research interests focus on understanding complex trauma and post-traumatic growth that occurs within Latinx immigrant communities. More specifically, the pre-, in-transit, and post-immigration narratives of individuals and families from Mexican and Central American communities in Georgia. Her lived identities have informed her work, and she has also seen first-hand the need for culturally and linguistically competent mental health services. Overall, she is committed to serving underrepresented and marginalized communities, and through her work, she hopes to fight the stigma around mental illness one day at a time.

Ana Carina is a bicultural and bilingual practicing Latina therapist. Through her training, Ana Carina has gained clinical experience across the lifespan in counseling centers (Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation), community mental health (La Clinica in LaK’ech and Mercy Health Center), and hospital settings (The Grady Nia Project). She is in her second appointment year with the American Psychological Association, Minority Fellowship Program: Doctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Currently, she is also working on all thing’s internship and dissertation.

Alexina Pilo

  • Completed an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2020

Research Interests: Latinx college student academic adjustment, psychological well-being, and mentorship. Healing and perseverance following traumatic events, suicidality, and strength-based interventions.

Alexina teaches the Career and Life Planning course within the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. Additionally, she provides counseling to the uninsured Latinx community of Athens in La Clinica in LaK’ech and college students at the Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation.

Denise Powers

  • Completed a M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 2019
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2019

Research Interests: counselor attitudes towards disability, experiences of clients with disabilities receiving mental health counseling services, effectiveness of interprofessional care in integrative healthcare settings, disability affirmative therapy in integrative healthcare settings

Denise serves as the Program Assistant for the Mental Health Counseling M.Ed. program and teaches the experiential Helping Skills lab in the Department of Counseling and Human Services. She is currently a psychology extern at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Endocrinology department at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics where she works with children, adolescents, teens, and caregivers navigating mental health concerns related to Diabetes and endocrine disorders.

Lucia Quezada

  • Completed a M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia in 2021

Research Interests: Mental health outcomes among BIPOC and historically disenfranchised individuals; intersectionality of ethnic and queer identities; bisexual erasure within LGBTQ+ community; feminist/womanist identity development among Latinx women; cultural gender role endorsement and perceived mental wellness; underrepresented college student experiences in higher education; mental health promotion/prevention, intervention, and sustainable collective wellness

Lucia is a Graduate Assistant at the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE) where she contributes to narrowing the achievement gap of Latinx and culturally and linguistically diverse students primarily through research that informs professional development and outreach initiatives for students and educators.

Madison Rodriguez

  • Completed B.S. in Psychology at University of North Georgia
  • Began doctoral program in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Psychology at the University of Georgia in Fall 2021

Research interests include expanding school mental health resources, supporting culturally and linguistically diverse students in academic settings, ethnic racial identity development and social supports impact on mental health. Additional research interests include understanding how culturally and linguistically diverse parents obtain ABA services for their children and how well those services are implemented.

Madison currently works as a Research Assistant for the Mary Frances Early College of Education. She is a member of the PRISMS Lab in the Educational Psychology department, which focuses on the prevention and intervention of mental health and substance misuse in low-resource minority service schools.

Amanda Shannon

  • Completed MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Began doctoral program in Counseling Psychology, Health Psychology Emphasis at the University of Georgia in 2020

Research Interests: Health psychology, culturally and linguistically appropriate behavioral healthcare, integrated behavioral healthcare and telemedicine/tele-behavioral healthcare.

Mandy is currently a research assistant in the towards health equities lab and a behavioral health clinician providing inter-professional consultation, SSRI medication management assistance, treatment planning, individual and group therapy. Her aim is to contribute to the improvement of the quality and access of integrated behavioral health care services in rural, underserved communities, and ethnic minority populations.

¡BIENESTAR! Students on Internship

  • Maritza Yvette Duran, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ana Hill, Michigan State University
  • Ecclesia Holmes, Clemson University
  • Rebekah Ingram, Georgia State University
  • Grace Ellen Mahoney, Virginia Commonwealth University

¡BIENESTAR! Alumni

  • Ruben Atilano, Ph.D.
    Post Doctoral Fellow at Yale Counseling Center
  • Eleanor Ellis, Ph.D.
    Post Doctoral Fellow at Athena Consulting & Psychological Services
  • Candice Hargons, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky
  • Amelia Hoyle, Ph.D.
    Psychologist at Emory University
  • Jasmine Jenkins, Ph.D.
    Psychologist at Travis County Juvenile Probation
  • Daphne Jones, Ph.D.
    Post Doctoral Fellow at University of Georgia, CAPs
  • Marlaine Monroig, Ph.D.
    Post Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Brooke Rappaport, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University
  • Stephanie Shiffler, Ph.D.
    Psychologist at LifeStance Health
  • David Stanley, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Purdue University
  • Erin Unkefer, Ph.D.
    Psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Courtney Williams, Ph.D.
    Psychologist/Athletic Liaison at Vanderbilt University Counseling Center
  • Fengkan Zhu, Ph.D.
    Psychologist at University of Georgia, CAPs

Contact Info

Contact: Edward Delgado-Romero
© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
706‑542‑3000