Join | Login

2020-2021 Student Committee Members


Bahaur Amini, M.S. 

Student Member-at-Large & Student Committee Chair

Counseling Psychology Ph.D.
University of Kansas
Bahaur is a second-generation Iranian American from Southern California. Awareness of the multiplicity of her social contexts shaped her interests and goals for the advancement of multicultural counseling and social justice. Bahaur was recognized for her sustained leadership as  and anti-racist advocacy and solidarity with others and was awarded the 2020 SAS Award for Dedication to Social Justice and Liberation in Counseling Psychology. Her research interests broadly capture the impact of childhood/adolescent trauma on mental health functioning and relationships in adulthood, cultural and social identity development, sense of belonging, wellbeing, and resiliency. She is grateful for the many meaningful relationships she has made with students and professionals in the organization. AMENA-Psy is her professional home. 

Qurat-ul-ain Gulamhussein

Mentorship Program Chair

 Counseling Psychology Ph.D. 
University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Qurat-ul-ain was born and raised in Tanzania, after which she and her family moved to New York. She's invested in better understanding the intersectionality of diaspora, home, and belonging as we shift from one context to another. Her research revolves around identity, resilience, and psychological well-being for immigrants, particularly Muslim communities. Qurat-ul-ain identifies as a Khoja, South Asian, Muslim woman & finds herself fortunate to have lived and studied in the SWANA region, including Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, and the UAE. AMENA-Psy has provided her a space to connect and exchange ideas with other individuals with a shared mission of having the AMENA community guide us in supporting both their needs and strengths. 



Emily El-Oqlah Al-Zoubi, M.A., MFT

Professional Development Chair

Counseling Psychology Ph.D.
University of Tennessee-Memphis
Emily (she/her/hers) is a native Memphian, a second-generation Arab-American of Jordanian descent, multiracial, Muslim, and enjoys traveling to New Orleans as often as she can. Largely, her clinical and research interests are focused on Muslim mental health, LGBTQ+ populations, serving communities of color, and decolonizing the mental health field. Emily was happy to serve AMENA-Psy alongside a team of wonderful colleagues and friends, with the hope of increasing MENA topics and representation within Psychology, while serving MENA student needs. 

2021 Student Committee Members


Ida Taghavi, M.A.

Student Liaison Co-Chair

Clinical Psychology Ph.D. 
University of California, Santa Barbara
Ida is a first-generation-born Iranian-American. As a researcher, she studies risk and resilience among vulnerable populations, in order to inform the development of empirically-supported interventions. More specifically, she is interested in how mindfulness and mind-body approaches promote resilience and well-being. As a student liaison, Ida enjoyed promoting MENA representation in psychology, creating connections between AMENA-Psy and other professional and multicultural organizations, and supporting the professional development and mental health of MENA communities. 

Sarah Alsaidi, M.Phil

Research Chair

 Counseling Psychology Ph.D. 
Teachers College, Columbia University
As a Muslim Yemeni-American woman, Sarah is deeply tied to her ethnic and religious roots and driven by her desire to fill gaps in the psychological literature and increase representation. Her research focuses on identity, microaggressions, and coping response strategies for people of color and allies. Sarah is also interested in the impact of discrimination on sense of self and well-being among marginalized groups including Muslim and Arab Americans as well as the influences of culture and religion on mental health stigma and help-seeking behavior. Sarah is research and advocacy-oriented and AMENA-Psy is an avenue that combines these interests and allows her to put research into practice.

Hatice Gürsoy, M.A

Mentorship Collaborator

Applied Developmental Psychology Ph.D.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Hatice is an international doctoral student who received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychological Counseling from the Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey. Hatice’s research interests are mainly revolving around the positive development of minority children and the role of culture in parenting practices. She is particularly interested in how cultural, familial, societal, and individual factors play a role in shaping diverse youth’s identity development and positive adjustment. Hatice has described AMENA-Psy as an avenue for both professional and personal development where she can truly feel surrounded by like-minded and welcoming colleagues.

2019-2020 Student Committee Members


Danna Bismar

Counseling Psychology Ph.D.
University of North Texas 
Danna is American by nationality and Syrian by origin. Her upbringing as a child of immigrants inspired her research exploring the cognitive and affective components and outcomes of bicultural identity integration among adult children of immigrants. The opportunity to serve the community with peers on the Student Committee who are also committed to the advancement of knowledge, research, and practice related to MENA populations was among the most enriching graduate school experiences for Danna. Not only has AMENA-Psy become a professional home for her, but also a community of life-long friends

Jaleh Davari

 Counseling Psychology Ph.D.
Georgia State University
Jaleh was raised in Washington State, has a mixed ethnic background, and identifies as a 2nd generation Iranian American. Her research is on mental health stigma with a particular interest in the help-seeking behavior of racial/ethnic minorities, including immigrants and MENA communities. On the AMENA-Psy Student Committee, Jaleh took great pride in having a space where she can advocate for other MENA psychology students while helping to increase the visibility of this population.



Alissa Der Sarkissian

School Psychology Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Barbara
Alissa is a Los Angeles native and a first-generation Armenian American. Her research centers the unique needs of immigrant youth. Alissa seeks to improve the cultural considerations in the school-based assessments, screeners, and counseling services. Her dissertation is on the influence of transgenerational trauma and cultural bereavement on mental health outcomes and barriers to treatment among Armenian genocide descendant youth. Alissa's service on the Committee has allowed her to develop community with like-minded students and to collectively advocate for social justice within the field of psychology. 

2018 - 2019 Student Member at Large

Samiha Jallouqa

Clinical Psychology PsyD, Midwestern University

2019 Student Committee Members

Joelle Taknint

Clinical Psychology PhD, University of Victoria

Nuha Alshabani

Counseling Psychology PhD, University of Akron