Main Stage

Systems Thinking For Community Impact

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Delve into the intricate landscape of "Systems Thinking for Community Impact" during this keynote session. Witness a paradigm shift as therapists explore the expansive potential of their training, recognizing its profound societal implications. Through relevant case studies and real-life applications, discover the subtle yet powerful impact systemic family therapy can have beyond clinical confines. Engage in collaborative activities, fostering an atmosphere of shared exploration and innovation. This session offers a thoughtful exploration, inviting attendees to reflect on their roles and contributions, transcending traditional boundaries for a holistic and meaningful impact on communities and beyond.


Karlin J. Tichenor, PhD

Dr. Karlin James Tichenor believes in positively impacting the lives of others, namely marginalized communities, in social emotional and psychological wellness. He was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana where he graduated from Pike High School. He received his undergraduate degree in 2009 from Denison University in Communication Arts with a minor in Psychology as a scholar-athlete. During his tenure at Denison University, he founded the Boys to Men Mentoring Program in a local school district as a partnership with the University. He received his Master of the Arts degree, with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Michigan State University in 2011 and his doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Couple and Family Therapy in 2016.

Dr. Tichenor is a clinical scholar. As a researcher, he has investigated the Promoting Academic Success Program (PAS) for minority males and the efficacy of this program on the matriculation of these students from high school and post-secondary education. He has also worked with the FirstSchools Intervention which is a project focusing on diminishing the ethnic/racial achievement gap between majority and minority youth through the development of partnerships between program staff, families, and schools in the context of Michigan. As well, he is a two-term minority fellow through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Minority Fellowship Program, where he completed two quantitative studies on how at-risk minority males talk about themselves, their lives, and the influence of contextual factors on relationship maintenance for African American couples. He is also a King Chavez Parks (KCP) Future Faculty Fellow for the State of Michigan and Michigan State University. His dissertation focus was a study entitled “The Sociohistorical Influences on Coupling: The barriers to Developing and Maintaining a Healthy, Rewarding Relationship for African American Couples.”  In addition to his work mentioned above, Dr. Tichenor has been involved in a wide range of other activities through University Outreach and Engagement, the McNair program, and 4H.

Over the years, Dr. Tichenor has worked in the Lansing School District in Lansing, Michigan as the developer and Director of the Behavior Intervention Monitor Program, as a Student Services Specialist, and the Director of Project Prevent— a federally funded grant to increase school-based and community-based mental health services for students and families. Additionally, he has performed as the director of the Academic Intergenerational Mentoring Program (AIM High) through the City of Lansing and the department of University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University, the Coordinator of the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Intervention Support (CRPBIS) initiative, the Director of the Student Support Specialist Program, the Executive Director and Associate Superintendent for the Lansing School District, a Fixed Term Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and an Adjunct Professor at Siena Heights University in the Mental Health Counseling Program.

Read more about Dr. Tichenor, here.

Catalyst for Change: Leading Community Mental Health Innovations

Presented By: Foundation for the Advancement of Human Systems (FAHS)

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Embark on a transformative journey at 'Catalyst for Change,' where a riveting panel discussion awaits, promising to delve into groundbreaking ideas that empower transformation. This dynamic event will spotlight innovative community mental health solutions, specifically focusing on the lessons learned, tangible impact, and proven interventions within marginalized communities. Our distinguished panelists, seasoned in navigating the complexities of mental health, will share their firsthand experiences from pioneering community projects. As we navigate the discourse, anticipate illuminating discussions on the challenges faced, the resilience demonstrated, and the positive ripple effects observed within these often underserved populations. Join us in unraveling the stories of resilience, showcasing how community-driven initiatives can be powerful catalysts for positive change in mental health within marginalized communities.



Jermaine Lowery, MPH, MCFFM, CNEL, CDEI, COO of FAHS

Mr. Lowery, serves as COO of the Foundation for the Advancement of Human Systems (FAHS) based in Alexandria, VA, where he oversees the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the Foundation and its programs and identify strategic initiatives. Previously, Mr. Lowery, Mr. Lowery has a formal background and training in Public Health, Health Policy and Management, Analytics, Finance, and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). Additionally, as a Software Engineer, Mr. Lowery helps to engage BIPOC with technology and career development. Mr. Lowery, serves the greater community in his role as an ordained Senior Pastor, non-profit board member, mentor, coach, career-coach, and author, serving the Philadelphia metropolitan area. 


Caleb Cuthbertson, FAHS MFP Doctoral Fellow

Caleb Cuthbertson, M.S.2, NCC (he/him/his), is a third-year PhD student in Human Development and Family Sciences, specializing in Couple and Family Therapy at The Ohio State University. Caleb was raised by Army veterans which afforded him the opportunity to live in several states throughout the U.S. He holds a special affinity to Maryland—the state where he spent most of his formative years and North Carolina—the state his nuclear family now resides in. Caleb enjoys traveling, singing, and spending time with his family and friends outdoors.

Academically, Caleb began his journey as a first-gen student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, receiving his B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies. Caleb graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with his M.S. in Rehabilitation Mental Health Counseling and certification in Behavioral Addictions in 2021. At The Ohio State University, Caleb serves as a graduate research associate, working with youth experiencing homelessness providing suicide prevention, advocacy, and substance use and sexual health intervention and prevention. Caleb has research interests in gun violence survivorship and behavioral addictions.

Caleb believes in creating space for individuals, couples, and families to heal in authenticity; be true to yourself and the process. Caleb strives to create a therapeutic atmosphere that welcomes those of minority and underrepresented populations, allowing them to challenge stigma to create their own unique experience. Caleb has clinical experience providing trauma-informed care in the hospital-setting to individuals and families that have experienced a traumatic injury—gunshot wound, assault, motor vehicle/cycle accidents, burns, etc. Additionally, Caleb has experience in substance use counseling and vocational rehabilitation. Caleb’s experience, in collaboration with his research interests, will enhance mental health practices and policy for minority and historically underrepresented populations. Caleb’s goal is to expand the knowledge of how violent injuries impact the family system and explore evidence-based interventions that address mental health outcomes. 



Laurelle Myhra, PhD FAHS MFP Alumni

Dr. Laurelle Myhra, PhD, is an enrolled member of Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in Minnesota. Dr Myhra directs her tribes' Mino Bimaadiziwin (“Good Life”) Wellness Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has practiced in the Native American community since 2007. She holds a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University in North Carolina. Dr. Myhra also completed her PhD in Family Social Science and Marriage and Family Therapy at University of Minnesota in 2012. Dr. Myhra teaches and provides clinical supervision. Her research focuses on American Indian mental health, integrated health care, and training for health professionals. Dr. Myhra also helped to create the Indigenous Health Toolkit, a seven-module training for professionals working with the American Indian community. Dr. Myhra started this work with Dr. Melissa Lewis after they met as Fellows in the FAHS (formerly AAMFT Foundation Minority Fellowship Program). Dr. Myhra also has and still holds seats on several health equity boards for the state of Minnesota’s Department of Health and large hospital systems to improve the health disparities in the state.



Angela Ge, FAHS MFP Master Fellow

Angela Ge was born and raised in Wenzhou, China. Like many individuals in this city renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit, her father quit his government job to build his own business. Despite his dedication to provide for the family, Angela missed his presence in her childhood. Growing up as the only child in the family, she was also privy to the intricate power dynamics and conflicts that unfolded within her parents' marriage.

After graduating with a master’s degree in Finance from London School of Economics and Political Science, Angela embarked on her career as a Management Trainee in a Fortune 500 company before co-founding a startup in the Fintech industry. She also co-founded a social enterprise with a mission to foster Chinese youth involvement in civic matters.

Through her engagement in social innovation, Angela encountered youths grappling with mental health issues, and became alarmed by the rising prevalence of such conditions among Asians. Juggling the challenges of new motherhood, she gained profound insights into the formative impact of early environments on character and resilience. Feeling inspired, Angela pursued formal training in Montessori Education, where she worked with children struggling in schools because of abusive home environments, and saw first hand the pivotal influence of marriage and family on an individual's mental well-being.

After years of struggling, searching, and healing, Angela’s passion for human-centered community service, education, and social entrepreneurship led her back to pursuing the master degree of Marriage and Family Therapy at the Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Angela believes these relationships lay the foundation for all other relationships in our life, which in turn create a colorful experience both unique to us and shared in all of humanity.

Angela's research aims to uncover the prevalence of undiagnosed and untreated mental health problems among Asian American youths. Her goal is to identify the intricate barriers that impede access to essential mental health resources within this demographic. Additionally, she aspires to spearhead awareness initiatives within the Asian American community, bolstering resilience and engendering a collective understanding of mental well-being. This multifaceted approach reflects her dedication to addressing the unique challenges faced by Asian American youths in the realm of mental health.

Furthermore, Angela is interested in the cross-cultural application of western marriage and family therapy principles in an East Asian context. Her particular focus in this arena centers on the critical areas of suicide prevention and crisis care.


Monique Willis, PhD, MS, LMFT-S, FAHS MFP Advisory Chairperson and Alumni

Dr. Monique Willis, PhD, LMFT-S, is an Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University's School of Behavioral Health in the Counseling and Family Science and Marriage and Family Therapy Departments. Previously, Dr. Willis held an appointment at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in the Marital and Family therapy department.  Dr. Willis is a graduate of Loma Linda University, with both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis on medical family therapy. During her time at Loma Linda University, she was an AAMFT MFP Doctoral Fellow in the inaugural cohort. Dr. Willis is a licensed clinician and maintains an active private practice.  Dr. Willis retains membership with both AAMFT and CAMFT and is an AAMFT approved supervisor. Her work and research centers on supporting individuals and caregivers of persons diagnosed with chronic health conditions. Her current research, presentations, and publications bridges her clinical interest and encompasses matters of chronic diseases, health disparities, power, culture, family, caregivers, and intimate relationships.  Dr. Willis strives to ensure that marriage and family therapists and other professional counselors aid in providing culturally sensitive therapy for minority and underprivileged families.


Courageous Leadership

3:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. 

Leadership traditionally is a lonely and complex job to accomplish. Leaders and educators are expected to be the ones with the answers while taking charge of morale and team support. How then does courage play a unique role in leadership especially during a time of crisis? Consuelo’s journey has been a lifetime of Courageous Leadership beginning when she left her traditional home where she was raised in an Immigrant Mexican home to becoming the highest ranking Latina in combat support field in the US Army; and then later starting a small business company without any outside income all while facing discrimination. Through her humor, reflection, and utilizing her story telling gift, Consuelo shares her wisdom and Servant Leadership framework. Every participant will walk away with another “tool “for their Leadership Toolkit and some perspective on how Courageous Leadership can get you through the storm. Her favorite words are, “This Too Shall Pass.”


Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch

Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch is a renowned charismatic, passionate and influential speaker who carries her powerful message of what it takes to be an effective leader in today's global marketplace to hundreds of schools, colleges/universities, corporations, and government institutions, both in the U.S. and abroad. For the last ten years Consuelo has dedicated her life to empowering a new generation of Hispanic leaders and has worked with over one million children and their parents across the United States through Educational Achievement Services, Inc. (EAS), a company she founded in 1994.