Join | Login

Student Member-at-Large



Katherine Sadek, B.S.

Student Committee Chair (2023)

Katherine is a third-year Counseling Psychology doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Her experiences growing up as a second-generation Egyptian-American inspired her interest in MENA psychology. As a researcher, her interests center around ethnic and racial minority mental health outcomes, including somatization and paranoia, and help-seeking attitudes and behaviors, particularly among Arab/MENA communities. As a clinician, Katherine is currently training at UT Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) where she works with ethnically diverse students on various issues. Katherine is particularly passionate about improving the integration between research and practice and improving awareness and attitudes (i.e., decreasing stigma) towards seeking psychological help. In her free time, Katherine enjoys yoga, reading, weight lifting, and improving her Arabic vocabulary.

Why AMENA-Psy? Katherine is thrilled to be a part of AMENA-Psy because of the important work the organization is doing to increase representation of MENA groups in the psychological field. Also, as a part of the research committee, she is excited about increasing awareness and highlighting the extant research through different modes of communication. Doing so will lead to advancing the field and mitigating repetitive work so that the new wave of researchers and clinicians can effectively expand the knowledge base and fill gaps in the literature. This will also shed light on those in the field who deserve recognition for their work, which is especially important for MENA/minority communities!



2023 Student Committee




Natalie Hussein, B.S.

Leadership Collaborator and Professional Development Advisor (2022/2023)

Natalie Hussein (she/her/hers) is a first-year doctoral candidate in the Applied Developmental Psychology at Fordham University. Her research interests center around acculturation, family processes, mental health, and identity development specifically in MENA and multicultural populations. Natalie is a second-generation Arab-American who was raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. In her free time, Natalie enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family, hiking, spending time at the beach, and plant shopping. 


Why AMENA-Psy? Natalie immediately resonated with the AMENA-Psy mission when she came across the website in early 2020. Being a part of the Student Committee allows her to give back to a community where she feels a deep sense of belonging and understanding. Natalie is most excited about helping AMENA-Psy bring visibility and advocacy to the AMENA community and learning from everyone on the student committee who are further along in their professional career. 




Mary Ann Armanious, B.A.

Student Liaison Collaborator (2022/2023)

Mary Ann is a third year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at Azusa Pacific University in California. Mary Ann is a second-generation Egyptian-American who was born and raised in Southern California. She has developed a passion in serving minority populations, especially those that come from AMENA backgrounds. Her clinical interests are targeted towards helping children, adolescents, and young adults that are experiencing a broad range of emotional, behavioral, and cultural issues. Regarding Mary Ann’s research interests, she is currently working on her dissertation that’s aimed towards understanding the relationship between God representation and attachment. In her free time, she loves to watch movies, expand her vinyl collection, go thrift shopping, and venture to find new places to eat. Additionally, she looks forward to her trip to Egypt every summer to visit her family.

Why AMENA-Psy? Mary Ann joined AMENA-Psy to find a safe place where she can connect and relate to others, both culturally and professionally. She is excited to be part of a community that shares similar values in empowering the voices of those that come from AMENA backgrounds. 



Yoanna Ishak, B.A.

Student Liaison Collaborator (2022/2023)

Yoanna is a third-year clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. Yoanna is a second-generation Egyptian American raised in Southern California. She is passionate about serving MENA and immigrant communities because of her own experiences serving Egyptian Americans and Egyptian Immigrants. She understands the need for mental health services and the restoration they can bring.  Her research and advocacy interests generally encompass adverse childhood experiences, and intergenerational trauma. She is currently working on her dissertation regarding the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences among Egyptian Americans and Egyptian Immigrants. Yoanna’s clinical interests are centered around children and adolescents in a variety of different settings. In her free time, Yoanna enjoys being outside hiking or roller-skating, exploring different cafes, reading good books, and listening to podcasts on true crime. She enjoys being with her friends and family, but also prioritizes being with herself and journaling or writing. Additionally, Yoanna is involved in her community and her church which contributes a great deal to who she is.

Why AMENA-Psy? Yoanna feels fortunate to find a community within AMENA-Psy because of the sense of empowerment she feels. She is surrounded by individuals who have similar stories and understand the need for mental health advocacy within AMENA groups. Yoanna is excited to serve on the Student Committee.




Zainab Hachem, M.A.

Research Chair (2022/2023)

Zeinab Hachem is a fourth-year doctoral student in applied social psychology at Portland State University. She is a second-generation Lebanese American and a first-generation college student. Zeinab is broadly interested in researching ethnic-racial identity through a biopsychosocial lens, as well as understanding the impact of factors, such as discrimination, stigma, close relationships, intergroup relations, and diversity initiatives and other evidence-based interventions. Born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan, Zeinab’s upbringing in an ethnic enclave and related lived experiences as an ethnic minority gave rise to a host of questions regarding ethnic-racial identity development among ethnic-racial minorities, which eventually inspired her to pursue a career in psychological research where she could spend her time understanding this developmental process within a biopsychosocial framework. She is committed to advocating for racial/ethnic equity, increasing Arab/MENA representation in psychological research, and working within Arab/MENA and other ethnic-racial communities to increase awareness and understanding of factors that can lead to healthier biopsychosocial outcomes. In her free time, Zeinab enjoys reading, biking, hiking, traveling, yoga/strength training, crocheting, learning about different cultures and languages, as well as spending time with loved ones. 


Why AMENA-Psy? Zeinab highly identifies with her Lebanese heritage and as the only Arab in her program, she struggled greatly with imposter syndrome and feeling a sense of community. In short, it was hard to envision herself in a field where she did not know or see anyone who shared her cultural background. Zeinab learned about AMENA-Psy two years into her doctoral program and upon joining, immediately felt a sense of community, which has only increased in the past couple years of participating in AMENA-Psy events and programs. AMENA-Psy has given Zeinab so much in the way of community and confidence as a researcher. She hopes to give back to the AMENA-Psy community through her position on the Student Committee and looks forward to continuing the organization’s advocacy efforts in increasing Arab/MENA inclusivity in the field of psychology.



Rammy Salem, M.A.

Research Co-Chair (2023/2024)

Rammy is a sixth-year graduate student studying social psychology in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include motivated reasoning, morality, and intergroup relations. He enjoys meeting new people and playing with his daughter, Layla.

Why AMENA-Psy? Rammy finds it hard to overstate the sense of community that AMENA-Psy brings. He looks forward to working with the Student Committee to enrich the experiences of AMENA-Psy student members and expand AMENA-Psy’s reach. 





Raneem Kurzum, M.S.

Mentorship Program Chair (2022/2023)

Raneem is a third-year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany. He completed a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling while serving the international student community as an advisor in immigration, personal, cultural, academic, and career related matters. Throughout his studies and professional responsibilities, Raneem developed a passion for Arab-American psychology, immigration, sports psychology, ecotherapy, and cultural diversity in therapy. As such, his research interests touch on those domains as well as coping with trauma among Arab-Americans, sources of resilience, and multicultural counseling self-efficacy and competence. His wide array of clinical interests includes working with Arab-Americans, college students, international students, athletes, and those hoping to address trauma, anxiety, or depression in therapy. Raneem identifies as a Palestinian-American from New York with dual citizenship. In Raneem’s free time he can be found hiking, traveling, meditating, biking, climbing, skydiving, or engaging in some other exhilarating activity. Feel free to speak with him in Arabic; he always enjoys an opportunity to practice.


Why AMENA-Psy? Raneem is part of the AMENA-Psy Student Committee because he loves to build community among Arabs and Arab-Americans both within and outside of the field of psychology. In community we can inspire one another to continue pursuing our shared ideas and goals. AMENA-Psy is a space Raneem sees as his professional home


Laura Taouk, M.A. 

Mentorship Collaborator (2022/2023)

Laura is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program at American University and a second-generation Lebanese American. Her dedication to mental healthcare is rooted in an awareness of the intergenerational impacts of migration and trauma on MENA families and communities. Laura is passionate about issues of (and resiliencies within) cultural and individual diversity. As a therapist, she is committed to delivering culturally sensitive care, facilitating safe and inclusive spaces, and meeting the unique needs of MENA clients. Laura’s research interests are broadly related to risk factors for anxiety and depression. She is currently working on her dissertation project, which centers MENA American identity and wellbeing


Why AMENA-Psy? Laura joined the student committee to connect with members of AMENA-Psy and contribute to efforts that advance the wellbeing of MENA communities. As Mentorship Collaborator, Laura hopes to facilitate mentor-mentee relationships that help students benefit from the knowledge, experiences, and support of those who came before them.





Isabella Tomei, B.S.

Professional Development Chair (2022/2023)

Isabella (Bella) is a second-year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at Miami University. She obtained her B.S. from Fordham University in New York City. As a Lebanese American, her cultural identity and values have served as the foundation for her professional aspirations. Bella’s research interests broadly pertain to ethnic-racial socialization (ERS), internalized perceptions, psychological well-being, and intersectionality of Arab/Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) individuals. Clinically, Bella aspires to provide culturally sensitive and accessible treatment that will adequately serve historically underserved populations. 


Why AMENA-Psy? AMENA-Psy provided a professional community where Bella’s Lebanese roots and immense passion for psychology seamlessly intersected. She is ecstatic about serving as the Professional Development Chair and crafting relevant programming that will best serve the professional goals of AMENA-Psy students. In her free time, Bella enjoys spending time with family and friends, creative writing, and practicing Arabic.





Student Committee Veterans

We would not be where we are now without our previous students who served on this committee



On occasion, the SC recruits AMENA-Psy student members who are interested in a specific project or initiative to serve on a committee. Through community and teamwork, we accomplish great things

#WeAreMENA Campaign Committee

Sarah Alsaidi, Bahaur Amini, Rebecca Moussa, Zeina Soued, Mary Rogers, Nuha Alshabani, & Autena Torbati


Contact Student Committee