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Our History

On November 17, 1999, the one and only Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey (LPANJ) was founded by professors and alumni from Montclair State University. On this auspicious occasion, the past president of the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA), Dr. Rosalind Dorlen, helped celebrate the inauguration of LPANJ, an organization expected to have a tremendous impact on the quality of psychological services for Latinos in the state. Since 1999 the organization has expanded to include mental health professionals from throughout New Jersey.  In 2017 we changed our name to the Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey to honor our members’ various professional backgrounds.  We welcome all mental health professionals to apply for membership. 

Past Presidents

1999-2001    Robert McCormick, PhD JD (deceased)

  • Director Center for Child Advocacy and Policy

  • Professor at Montclair State University

  • Private practice Montclair, NJ

2001-2004    Milton Fuentes, PsyD

  • Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University

  • Post-doctoral studies at Yale University and Columbia University

  • Professor at Montclair State University

2005    Jonathan Pastor, PsyD

  • Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University

  • Psychologist at Counseling and Resource Center at Princeton University

  • Private practice in Princeton, NJ

2006    Lysandra Perez-Strumolo, PhD

  • Fairleigh Dickinson University

  • Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Faculty Resource Center at Ramapo College

2007    Sueli S. Petry, PhD

  • Seton Hall University

  • Licensed Psychologist and Family Therapist

  • Faculty and Supervisor Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care and The Multicultural Family Institute

  • Private practice, Highland Park, NJ

2008    Jacqueline Flores, MA

  • Kean University

  • Program Coordinator Project S.T.O.P. (Specialized Treatment and Offense Prevention) at Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken, NJ

2009    Sonia Wadhwani, MA

  •  Fairleigh Dickinson University

  • Program Coordinator of El Puente Program at Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken, NJ

2010    Lorna Myers, PhD

  • City University of New York Graduate Center

  • Director of Clinical Neuropsychology Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

  • Associate Director of Epilepsy Life Links

2011    Aileen Torres, PhD

  • Carlos Albizu University

  •  Associate Director of Clinical Services at Youth Consultation Services (YCS), East Orange, NJ

 

2012      Silvia L. Mazzula, PhD

  • Columbia University

  • Assistant Professor John Jay College of Criminal Justice, NY

2013-2014    Enmanuel Mercedes, PhD

  • Seton Hall University

  • Psychologist Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, NY

2015-2016    Daniel Cruz, PhD

  • Seton Hall University

  • Psychologist

  • Associate Professor

2017    Aileen Torres, PhD

  • Carlos Albizu University

  • Associate Director of Clinical Services at Youth Consultation Services (YCS), East Orange, NJ

2018    Milton Fuentes, PsyD

  • Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University

  • Post-doctoral studies at Yale University and Columbia University

  • Professor, Montclair State University

2019    Ricardo Martinez, PhD

  • Fordham University

  • Clinical Psychologist, Department of Veterans Affairs, Bloomfield Vet Center 

2020    Jesselly De La Cruz, DSW

  • Rutgers University

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Executive Director for the Latino Action Network Foundation

2021    Melissa Rivera Marano, PsyD

  • Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University

  • Private Practice owner of MRM Psychological Testing and Clinical Services

  • Adjunct Professor, Rutgers University

2022    Azara Santiago Rivera, PhD

  • Professor and Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Felician University

2023    Enmanuel Mercedes, PhD

  • Seton Hall University

  • Psychologist Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, NY

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