Academic Research Team


Debra A. Hope, Ph.D.
Aaron Douglas Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Hope received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Albany-State University of New York in 1990 and joined the department at UNL in the same year.  At present, she is a Professor and Graduate Chair. Her current research interests focus on two primary areas: (a) mental health impacts of stigma and discrimination, particularly for gender and sexual minorities, and (b) anxiety disorders with a focus on social anxiety disorder.

Dr. Hope is the director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, one of the specialty services within the Psychological Consultation Center. The current research focus is on disemination of evidence-based treatment, particularly using technology and other innovative approaches. Another area of interest is understanding the gender effect in anxiety. The research on stigma and discrimination is primarily focusing on the work through Trans Collaborations.

Dr. Hope teaches classroom and practicum courses on cognitive-behavioral therapy, a senior level course on clinical psychology, and an undergraduate course on the psychology of diversity. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and maintains a small private practice.

 


Dr. Richard Mocarski

Assistant Professor/Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research
University of Nebraska Kearney

Dr. Richard Mocarski received his PhD. in Communication and Information Sciences from the University of Alabama in 2014. He is currently an Assistant Professor and the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Dr. Mocarski's research uses critical and cultural rhetorical strategies to expose the ways in which stigma increases barriers to health care for disenfranchised groups that typically have high health disparities.

 


Dr. Sharon N. Obasi

Associate Professor and Program Chair of Family Science
University of Nebraska Kearney

Having received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario Dr. Obasi’s early research examined hormonal influences on taste and palatability with particular emphasis on the impact of cholecystokinin on food intake. Her current research in Family Science focuses on identity at the individual, familial and community levels exploring the interplay between identity and access to affirming and culturally responsive care.

 


Natalie Holt, M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Natalie earned her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017 and is currently doing her predoctoral internship in pursuit of her PhD. She previously studied Psychology, Spanish, and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include minority stress processes and the delivery of culturally-responsive mental health services to TGNC communities. She is investigating mental health providers' experiences and competencies for working with TGNC clients.

 


Allura Ralston, M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Allura received her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018 and is currently pursuing her PhD. She previously received her B.A. in Psychology from Temple University. Broadly, Allura's research and clinical interests include social anxiety, minority stress processes, and mental health disparities in LGBTQ+ communities. Additionally, she is interested in treatment dissemination and implementation strategies (particularly technology-assisted treatments) for these and other traditionally underserved communities.

 


Zach Huit, M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Zach graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is broadly interested in the role of family and social environments in development. More specifically, he is interested in how family and relational structures impact the development of LGBTQ+ individuals and ways in which that can be used to inform services for the LGBTQ+ communities. He is also very interested in how familial and social environments impact victims of child maltreatment. Zach works as a Graduate Research Assistant with Trans Collaborations and is pursuing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at UNL.

 


Brenna Lash, M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Brenna graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2014 with her B.A. in City planning/Urban studies and from Boston University in 2016 with a Master in Public Health. She is currently engaged in research as a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include how to best conduct ethical, collaborative, and representative research with transgender and gender diverse participants, and improving access to quality mental health services among transgender populations.

 

 



TRANS COLLABORATIONS ALUMNI

 


Robyn King
  • Robyn graduated in Spring 2019 with her Ed.S. in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Her area of interests include elementary-aged children and bullying with a focus on investigating the negative effects of bullying on children who identify as transgender or gender diverse.