Nathaniel Lu, MA

      Daniela Tuda, MA

      Daniela Tuda received her Masters in Advanced Clinical Social Work at Columbia University and is currently a research assistant on the Peer-Led Healthy Lifestyle Project. Previously, Daniela worked with Mental Health Service Corps, an initiative by New York City that aims to reduce mental health disparities in underserved communities. She continues to work with individuals utilizing various evidence-based therapeutic practices and interventions at an outpatient mental health clinic in Manhattan. Daniela aspires to obtain a PhD in Social Work in order to pursue research interests related to community mental health and the adaptation of evidenced-based practices for marginalized communities.

          Amanda G. Cruz, M.S.

          Research Assistant, NYS Psychiatric Institute, Columbia Univ. Medical Center

          Amanda G. Cruz, a McNair Research Scholar raised in Bronx, New York joined the CECC in July of 2017 as a Research Assistant. As of May 2019, she became an accomplished Masters graduate in Psychology with distinction. Upon graduating with a BS in Psychology and a minor in English, she received the Francis T. M. Mahoney Baccalaureate Scholarship Award in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Many training experiences have aided Ms. Cruz in exploring her research interests throughout her studies, such as her involvement in independent research projects and in the Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars Program during her undergraduate career. She simultaneously spent time volunteering and completing clinical & non-clinical internships. At the CECC, she has been involved in many projects within the areas of interpreter utilization, suicide prevention, the empowerment of youth with first-episode psychosis and their providers, financial wellness, CFI implementation, and minority engagement in mental health services. Ms. Cruz was also part of the Local Organizing Committee of the 2018 World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry.

          Ms. Cruz aspires to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology and her research interests involve increasing cultural competence in research/mental healthcare to not only help increase treatment-seeking behaviors, but to overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups. In addition, Ms. Cruz is concerned with empowering individuals whom are marginalized based on their mental illness, cultural background, language, legal status, or socioeconomic status, and in understanding the impact of various psychosocial factors on these individuals’ expectations for themselves, their resiliency, and their overall mental health outcomes. She is also interested in developing effective prevention strategies for and in understanding the nature/treatment of various disorders, as well as enhancing the effectiveness of psychological treatments for these disorders, considering how make these treatments more culturally sensitive.

              Peter Lam, MPH

              Data Manager / Analyst, NYS Psychiatric Institute, Columbia Univ.

              Please click here to read Peter Lam’s CV.

              Peter Lam earned a BA from Binghamton University in 2007 and an MPH from Columbia University in 2013.

                  Ana Stefancic, PhD

                  Associate Research Scientist, Dep. of Psychiatry, Columbia Univ.

                  Ana Stefancic has over 15 years of experience researching the effectiveness of housing and support services for individuals who have experienced homelessness, psychiatric disabilities, substance abuse, and chronic medical conditions. Current projects include a randomized clinical trial examining the implementation and effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle intervention for supportive housing participants, as well as identifying the underlying mechanisms of peer-delivered services.

                  Dr. Stefancic has been a consultant, lead evaluator, and co-investigator on several federally funded research grants and brings expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods, mixed-methods implementation research, and fidelity development and assessment. She was the lead developer of the Housing First Fidelity Scale and co-developer of the Housing First Fidelity Self-Assessment survey, both of which have been used to evaluate housing programs in over 15 countries. With a strong emphasis on translating research knowledge to practice, Dr. Stefancic has also provided targeted technical assistance to over 50 programs to increase providers’ adoption of evidence-based, recovery-oriented, and person-driven practices. Additional projects include examining the integration of behavioral and physical healthcare, identifying the determinants of social inclusion, and exploring factors that influence Housing First program fidelity.