Task Force

The Proyecto Mamá Task Force is comprised of Milwaukee area professionals, faculty, and students who are committed to improving services and resources that support Latina mothers’ mental health during the critical perinatal period.

Edwards_head shot  Lisa Edwards, Ph.D.

Dr. Edwards’ research focuses on positive functioning and well-being among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. Specifically, she examines the influence of cultural resources (e.g., familism and ethnic identity) on well-being among Latino adolescents, racially diverse college students, and multiracial individuals. She is also interested in how Latina mothers experience and cope with perinatal mental health concerns, and how our communities might better support mothers and their families during pregnancy and postpartum periods.

Dr. Edwards directs the Culture and Well-Being Research Lab at Marquette University, whose members are all involved with the Proyecto Mamá Task Force.

If you have any questions about the project or would like to know more, please contact Dr. Edwards by email at lisa.edwards@marquette.edu

Task Force Members

arlene-foto.jpeg  Arlene Bjugstad, APSW

Arlene Bjugstad is a certified advanced practice social worker with ten years of experience working both in the United States and Mexico. Arlene’s work in the community, Masters degree, and post-Masters education have focused on the well-being of Latinx children and their families. Currently living and working on the south side of Milwaukee, Arlene is dedicated to creating a more just community with equitable access to culturally and linguistically-appropriate resources for all families.

Sandra Luz Hernandez  Sandra Hernandez

Sandra Hernandez has experience in the education and social work field for over 10 years, in various capacities, including as an NYC bilingual education teacher, coordinating a large grant for NYC’s Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in public schools. More recently, Sandra has worked as a Carmen High School social worker and as a doula with Birth Coach Milwaukee. Sandra has worked with various groups of individuals and has a passion for education, advocacy, and reproductive justice, and she works through a strengths-based perspective. In her most recent role as a doula, Sandra understands that each birthing person and their families have unique qualities, needs, and hopes, and she plans to help foster this in the care and support that they receive.

Paula foto  Paula Ortega-Jenna, LMFT

Paula has been working in the mental health field for more than 13 years. She trained as a Clinical Psychologist in her native country, Chile. She continued her studies in Milwaukee and obtain a license as a marriage and family therapist. Paula has a certification in infant mental health from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

She has worked as a mental health consultant for home visiting programs, which is where she developed a passion for maternal mental health and an understanding of the importance of treating postpartum mothers and children early on. Currently, she works at the Sixteenth Street Clinic in Waukesha serving children and families.

Maria foto  Maria Salcido, LMFT

I have great empathy for Latino moms who are raising children and at the same time are finding themselves struggling to adapt to a new country. About twenty-two years ago, my older daughter was born in a little town in Arkansas. She was born with some medical difficulties.  As a result, I developed postpartum depression. At that time, I did not know how to speak English, I did not have family or friends close to me, I did not know how to drive, and I did not have any mental health support.

Maria Salcido is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Maria has extensive experience working with families with young children. Maria holds the following certifications; Trauma Counselor from UW Milwaukee, UW La Crosse Autism Spectrum, UW Madison Advanced Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health, Growing Great Kids curriculum, Prepare/Enrich and she is an Infant & Pediatric Massage Teacher. Currently, Maria is enrolled in a EMDR training at UWM.

Maria currently works as a psychotherapist at Aurora Family services and Aurora Health Care. Maria has been running several trainings for parents in the Head Start program including; Mindfulness for parents and their children, Strategies to increase parent-child positive attachment, Parenting styles, Family rules and routines, Family meetings, and Strategies for parents to address their children’s challenging behaviors.

Katie foto.jpg  Katie Schlipmann, B.S.

Katie Schlipmann serves as a Health Project Coordinator/Supervisor in the Empowering Families of Milwaukee home visitation program for the City of Milwaukee Health Department. She is a Registered Nurse, earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Alverno College in Milwaukee, and completed the Capstone Certificate Program in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health through the UW Madison Department of Psychiatry. Katie is passionate about social justice, racial justice, and health equity and is an advocate for families in Milwaukee who experience disparity as a result of the inequities that exist in the community.

Current Culture and Well-Being Research Lab Members

IMG_2066  Ashley Faytol, M.S.

Ashley is a student in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Marquette University. Her general interests fall within Latinx/Chicanx psychology as well as positive psychology and spirituality. She joined the Culture and Well-Being Lab due to its emphasis on working to develop greater wellness among individuals, families, and the broader community.

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 11.00.29 AM  Mackenzie Goertz, M.A.

Mackenzie is a first year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Marquette University. She has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Latinx Mental Health. Mackenzie is invested in the promotion of culturally congruent care among Latinxs and the development of multicultural training initiatives for service providers. She is also interested in processes of racial identity development and identifying strategies for dismantling the impact of Whiteness.

KL pic  Karina Loyo, M.Ed.

Karina is a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Marquette University. Broadly, her research interests center around examining psychosocial determinants of health among racial and ethnic minorities as well as coping resources and adjustment processes during acute or chronic life stressors. She is passionate about supporting the enhancement of psychological and emotional wellness for individuals and families with a particular focus on underserved communities.

Kat PicKat McConnell, M.A.

Kat is a first year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Marquette University. Her research interests include examining the impact of discrimination upon the mental health of women and marginalized populations. Her clinical interests involve working with individuals dealing with issues of physical health, mental health, and grief, with a multicultural emphasis.

Past Lab Members

EOP website picture  Bianca Bello, M.S.

Bianca Bello completed her masters in clinical mental health at Marquette University. She is a Latina from Milwaukee and is interested in research topics about Latina/o well-being, identity, motherhood, positive psychology, and resiliency. She plans to work with youth and families from underserved populations and obtain a PhD. in the near future.

GetUserPhoto  Daniel Cruz Lattimore, M.S. 

Daniel Cruz Lattimore completed his masters in clinical mental health at Marquette University. When Daniel is not involved with the Culture and Well-Being Research Lab, he is dedicated to promoting the mental health of the community through humor, creativity, and improvisation.

Juan pic Juan Pantoja, M.S. 

Juan is a Chicago, IL native but now resides in Milwaukee, WI. He completed his masters in clinical mental health at Marquette University. His professional interests include: Latino/a resiliency, gender roles, masculinity, and bicultural/biracial identity.

Ramirez_Amanda  Amanda Ramirez, M.S
Amanda C. Ramírez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved to Milwaukee, WI due to educational purposes. She graduated from Marquette University with a Masters degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Child and Adolescent specialization. Her research and professional interests are multi-cultural counseling, testing and assessment, family therapy, and child and adolescent therapy.