Point Scholar 2006 – 2010
LeLaina graduated with her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2010. Her practice and scholarship have always focused on the intersections of marginalized identities, particularly for people of color of all genders, sexualities, and classes, including those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Her dissertation focused on how people of color in poor urban communities see themselves thriving while facing oppression and poverty.
During graduate school and her two years as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lasell College in Newton, MA, she approached community research through the lens of participatory action research (PAR), and is continuing a project with people living with HIV/AIDS in Boston. She is continuing counseling and outreach with college students, particularly LGBTQ students, students of color, and first generation college students as a postdoctoral clinician at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Most recently, she has joined a collaborative group of mental health practitioners and bodyworkers called The Meeting Point in Jamaica Plain, which is an explicitly queer and transgender affirming practice. She will be co-creating an all gender exploration group and a group called Heal Yourself, Change the World: Social Justice Begins at Home! at The Meeting Point. LeLaina works at the intersections between social justice advocacy and promoting health and well-being.