About Us

Meet the members of our team!

Doctoral Student Researchers

Ryan Flinn

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Ryan E. Flinn, M.A., is a counseling psychology doctoral student at New Mexico State University. Ryan identifies as a cisgender bisexual man (he/him/his). Ryan was born in Nebraska and has studied and worked in California, Michigan, Texas, and New Mexico. Ryan received his master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of Detroit Mercy and has worked as a therapist in community, college, school-based, and private practice settings for four years. Ryan’s work focuses on the experiences of sexual and gender minority people in healthcare settings, young adult mental health, and trauma-sensitive/trauma-informed practice and pedagogy. Ryan functions as the primary point of contact for the PrEP Psychology Research Team. He can be reached by email at PrEPpsych@gmail.com or flinn@nmsu.edu or by phone at (402) 575-7016.

Elliott DeVore

Elliot Devore

Elliott N. DeVore, M.Ed. is a counseling psychology doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee. He identifies as a White, cisgender, queer man with fluid gender expression. Originally from the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in East Tennessee, Elliott completed a master’s degree at Iowa State University and worked in student affairs at the University of San Francisco as a Residence Director where he facilitated educational workshops with the Gender and Sexuality Center, Counseling and Psychological Services and various other student support services. His research focuses on the processes and outcomes of Intergroup Dialogue and, broadly, the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minorities. Clinically, Elliott has provided individual therapy at a university counseling center and individual, family, and trauma-focused group therapy at a residential substance misuse treatment facility.

Chris Evans

Chris Evans (he/him/his) is a second-year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at New Mexico State University. His research interests include identity development for transgender individuals, as well the intersection between LGBT mental health and positive psychology. His goal is to serve as an effective ally and advocate for trans individuals by helping to produce research that gives back to the community and facilitates a greater understanding of the unique and varied experiences and perspectives of trans individuals.

Tania Valente

Tania Valente M.A., M.F.T is a counseling psychology doctoral student at New Mexico State University. Tania is a cisgender female (she/ her / hers). Tania was born in Newark, NJ and identifies as Luso-Americana (Portuguese American). Tania received her master’s degree in psychology at Pace University in NYC, followed by an additional degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Kean University, in Union, NJ. Tania has studied and worked in NJ, NY, Texas, and New Mexico. Tania’s work as a mental health therapist has focused mostly in working in community mental health and addressing depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse. Tania’s research interests include incorporating outcome measures in clinical practice, bilingualism in psychotherapy, and most recently understanding the development of sex positive attitudes in counselors. When Tania isn’t working, studying, reading, or researching, she dotes on 2 active, young boys. She can be reached by email at tvalente@nmsu.edu.

Cory Cascalheira


Cory J. Cascalheira, B.A. is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology at New Mexico State University. He identifies as a cisgender White gay male (he / him / his). His research interests include oppression, resilience, and identity among marginalized populations, especially sexual minorities and gender-nonconforming individuals. Prior to graduate school, Cory worked as an event promoter of LGBT+ events in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, counseled military-dependent school-age children, and helped adolescents step into the community after extended stays in a clinical residential setting. Clinically, he has experience delivering cognitive-behavioral therapy during individual and group interventions with people suffering from homelessness, addiction, and recidivism. Contact him, read his blog, or examine his work: www.cjcascalheira.com.

Undergraduate Student Interns

Ray Ryneer

Ray Ryneer

Ray is an undergraduate student in Counseling and Community Psychology at New Mexico State Univeristy. He is focused on adolescent addictions and student mental health, especially addiction prevention, education, and intervention.

Briana Baca


Briana Baca is a counseling and community psychology undergraduate student at New Mexico State University. She will be graduating in December 2018. Briana identifies as a cisgender heterosexual female (she/her/hers). Briana was born in Northern New Mexico and has lived there her entire life. She moved to Las Cruces four years ago for school. Briana has worked as a certified nurse’s aide, a post office clerk, housekeeper, and a secretary. During her senior year, Briana completed her first semester of her internship with the Therapeutic Riding Program at NMSU. Briana’s career is focused on the effects and benefits that children and adolescents experience from wilderness therapy or equine therapy. Briana enjoys spending her free time in the mountains fishing, hunting, looking for sheds, and enjoying nature. She can be reached by email at brianab2@nmsu.edu