COPA Member Biographies

Velma McBride Murry, PhD, Chair

Velma McBride Murry, PhDVelma McBride Murry, PhD, is the Betts Chair in Education and Human Development, professor of human and organizational development, and director, Center for Research on Rural Families and Communities, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville. Murry has conducted research on rural African-American parents and youth for over 15 years and has identified proximal, malleable protective factors that deter youth risk engagement. Findings from these empirical studies informed the development of a curriculum, the Strong African American Families Program, which was designed to enhance parenting and family processes to encourage youth to delay the age of sexual onset and the initiation and escalation of alcohol and other drug use. Results from her longitudinal trials with African-American families also informed the design, development and implementation of the Pathways for African American Success Program, the first family-based, technology interactive program targeting youth risk reduction by enhancing caregivers' regulated-communicative parenting and youths' racial identity, self-esteem, youth decision making processes and risk resistant efficacy. Murry brings a perspective on adversity that includes race, ethnicity and poverty; a strong background in the role that parenting plays in addressing the needs of youth; and extensive experience in designing and implementing randomized control trials. She is also co-director of the Community Engagement and Research Core at the Vanderbilt Medical Center. Murry has served as commissioner of the State of Georgia Children's Trust Fund and as a member of the Institute of Medicine's Board on Children, Youth, and Families and Standing Committee on Family Planning; Board of Directors of the Family Process Institute; and co-directed the African American Mental Health Research Scientist Consortium, in which over 100 early career African-American scholars were mentored to increase the numbers of competitive grant applications African-American research scientists submit to the National Institute of Mental Health, advance the overall participation level of African-American mental health researchers in NIMH initiatives and programs, and foster the development of high-quality individual and collaborative mental health research on racial/ethnic minority populations. She edits articles, serves on the publication committee and editorial boards of several journals, and has published over 125 peer-reviewed articles.

Velma McBride Murry, COPA chair-elect, received an award from the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust for inspiring former students to make a difference in the community.

On March 2, 2014, Velma McBride Murry, PhD received an APA Presidential Citation for distinguished research contributions; inspirational teaching and mentoring; and dedicated leadership as an advocate for children, youth and HIV-affected groups.

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Maggie Chartier, PsyD, MPH

Maggie Chartier, PsyD, MPHMaggie Chartier, PsyD, MPH, is the national public health clinical psychologist for the HIV, hepatitis and Public Health Pathogens Program in Clinical Public Health/Office of Public Health, Department of Veterans Affairs. She is also a staff psychologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center in the HIV and Liver Clinics. She completed her MPH in Epidemiology at the University of Washington, Seattle and her PsyD from the PGSP-Stanford Consortium in Palo Alto, California. She completed her clinical internship at the University of California, San Francisco and her postdoctoral fellowship in HIV/HCV Psychology at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. 

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs HIV/AIDS Website
VA Viral Hepatitis Website

Timothy G. Heckman, PhD

Timothy G. Heckman, PhDTimothy G. Heckman, PhD, is associate dean for research and professor of health promotion and behavior at the University of Georgia, College of Public Health. Since 1993, Heckman has conceptualized, implemented and evaluated innovative interventions for persons living with HIV/AIDS, and his AIDS mental health research has been funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1998. Heckman’s AIDS mental health intervention research has focused primarily on rural persons and older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Of particular interest is the use of teletherapy to deliver mental health support services to geographically and psychologically distant persons. Heckman is currently the principal investigator on a $1.6 million grant that is testing the efficacy of telephone-administered interpersonal psychotherapy for reducing depression in HIV-infected rural persons diagnosed with major depressive disorder.  

Heckman has served on numerous NIH study sections; he served as a standing member of the Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section from 2007 through 2010. He is an editorial board member of AIDS and Behavior and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other journals. Heckman has authored or co-authored more than 65 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and since 1995, his scientific papers have been cited more than a thousand times.

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Christina S. Meade, PhD

Christina S. Meade, PhDChristina S. Meade, PhD, is assistant professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical School and a member of the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Duke Center for AIDS Research. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Yale University in 2006 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in drug abuse and brain imaging at Harvard Medical School in 2008. A licensed clinical psychologist, Meade has extensive patient-oriented behavioral science research experience related to HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and mental illness, with over 30 peer-reviewed publications in this area. She has conducted a series of studies examining predictors of HIV risk behavior in adults with substance use and psychiatric disorders, and the relationship between mental health and continued risk behavior in HIV-positive adults. She is also interested in the development of evidence-based treatments, including the integration of biomedical and behavioral therapies, for reducing risk behavior among drug users. For example, she recently completed the first randomized trial in the United States of electroacupuncture for adjunctive treatment for opioid dependence. Meade currently has a faculty development grant from the Duke Center for AIDS Research (P30 AI064518) and she is principal investigator on a pilot study funded by the American Foundation for AIDS Research (106884-42-RFBR) that examines the relationship between impulsivity and risk behavior in HIV-positive drug abusers, utilizing both behavioral, cognitive and neuroimaging assessments. A 5-year career development award (K23 DA028660) on neurobehavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging research in HIV infection and cocaine dependence is pending funding. Given that most people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS living in the developing world, she hopes to expand her neuroAIDS research to international settings, particularly Africa, and has initiated collaborations with the neurology subcommittee of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group.

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Monica Rivera Mindt, PhD

Monica Rivera Mindt, PhDMonica Rivera Mindt, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Fordham University, and has a joint appointment in the departments of neurology and psychiatry at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She received her PhD in clinical psychology, with a concentration in neuropsychology, from the University of Nebraska. She completed her internship within the neuropsychology track at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and her postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of California, San Diego. Rivera Mindt is actively engaged in research, teaching, clinical practice and service to the profession. Her research is focused on neuroAIDS, multicultural issues in neuropsychology and health disparities. She is the principal investigator of an National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded study investigating the neurocognitive and sociocultural determinants of antiretroviral adherence among HIV+ Latinos, and is co-investigator on two additional NIH-funded studies. Rivera Mindt teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and trains clinical neuropsychology doctoral students. Her clinical practice is comprised of forensic work and pro bono services for disenfranchised communities. Rivera Mindt has been a member of APA since 1997, and has served APA via the Advisory Board for the Presidential Taskforce on Diversity Education Resources and as a grant reviewer for APA's Science Directorate's Dissertation Research Award. Beginning in 2012, she was appointed to the Committee on Psychology and AIDS. She has also served APA Div. 40 (Society for Clinical Neuropsychology) since 2001, currently as an elected member-at-large, and in the past as chair of the Membership Committee, co-chair of the steering committee for the Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee and as an inaugural steering committee member for the Women in Neuropsychology committee. She is a grant reviewer for NIMH, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and the Alzheimer's Association; and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and as an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous other journals. Rivera Mindt's research, teaching and contributions to the field have been recognized with numerous awards, including: the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) in 2011; the Early Career Service Award from the National Academy of Neuropsychology in 2010; the Distinguished Alumna Award for Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2008; Early Career Award & Pilot Research Award from the Northeast Consortium for Minority Faculty Development in 2007; and Fordham University's Teach of the Year Award in 2005.

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Fordham University HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute


Matthew Skinta, PhD, ABPP

Matthew Skinta, PhD, ABPPMatthew Skinta, PhD, ABPP, is a clinical health psychologist in private practice in San Francisco's historic Castro neighborhood. He received his PhD, with a focus in health psychology, at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in HIV Behavioral Medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. Skinta continued his focus on HIV through directing and managing the research program from 2008-2013 at the Alliance Health Project (formerly AIDS Health Project) of the University of California, San Francisco. Currently, he provides direct clinical services alongside consultation and training for area providers, and has published in the area of shame, stigma and HIV, as well as cultural competency concerns when working with sexual minorities. He has provided graduate level and postgraduate training in working with sexual minorities, shame and evidence-based treatment. Skinta is primarily interested in the corresponding functions of shame and self-compassion in the lives of persons affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as the importance of developing effective trainings that adequately prepare psychologists to speak openly regarding sex and sexuality. He has been a member of APA since 2001 and is a member of Divisions 38 (Health Psychology) and 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues).  Skinta has also been a HOPE trainer through the APA Office of AIDS - HIV Office for Psychology Education since 2010, and is serving as a mentor in the 2013-2014 American Psychological Association of Graduate Students) LGBT mentoring program. 

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