Wahiba Abu-Ras, M.S.W., Ph.D received her Ph.D. from Columbia University School of Social Work. Previously, she received her Fulbright fellowship to study Public Administration at J.F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Currently, Dr. Abu-Ras is an Associate Professor at Adelphi University, School of Cocial Work. Her research area of concentration is on mental health among Muslim and Arab-Americans. Dr. Abu-Ras has published over 25 articles and book chapters on various topics including: the impact of 9/11 on the Muslim community; role of religion/Imams in mental health sitting, and the needs of chaplaincy services for Muslim patients, substance use among college students, barriers to services among battered Arab women, challenges facing parents of children with disabilities, and Beliefs and practices about Breast-Self Examination among Muslim women. Her current research interest includes perceived discrimination and Islamophobia among Muslim Americans during the 2016 election campaign and their coping strategies with stressors.
Sameera Ahmed, Ph.D is the Director of the Family & Youth Institute (FYI) where she conducts research and psycho-educational programs on Muslim youth and methods to strengthen marriages and families. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and serves as a psychologist at Advanced Counseling located in Canton, MI. She has been extensively involved within the Muslim community at the grassroots level and nationally, primarily through MAS Youth, an organization aimed at empowering young people. She has developed numerous training programs on leadership and management issues, personal development, parenting, pre-marriage, marriage and family strengthening programs which she presents across the nation.
Osman M. Ali, M.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Staff Paychiatrist at VA North Texas Health Care System. He completed his general psychiatry residency at Cornell University in 2003 and a fellowship in public psychiatry at Columbia University. He was the primary investigator for research on imams' roles in meeting the counseling needs of Muslim communities in the United States and a founding member of IMMH. Currently, his interests are with academic contributions and community education efforts to reduce stigma and improve access to culturally-appropriate care.
Cynthia Arfken, Ph.D is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University. Her research expertise is on alcohol and drug abuse epidemiology and health services research. As an epidemiologist, she was selected to monitor trends in drug use for the Detroit metropolitan area as part of a national sentinel system on the emergence of new drugs, new methods of administration, and new use by demographic groups. Based upon the monitoring of the area with the highest density of Arab Americans in the country, she developed a focus on the alcohol and drug use patterns among Arab Americans and American Muslims. In addition to her publications and service as guest editor of a special issue on Substance Abuse in the Arab World for the Journal of Muslim Mental Health and on the editorial board of the Journal of Muslim Mental Health, she directs and collaborates on multiple research projects addressing mental health and substance abuse among Arab Americans and American Muslims. Dr. Arfken received a PhD in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in alcohol research from the University of California in Berkeley.
Nigar G. Khawaja, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology & Counselling of the Queensland University of Technology. In addition to being a well-respected teacher and advisor, she has published in numerous academic refereed journals, while maintaining a part-time private practice in clinical psychology in Australia.
Lamise Shawahin, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychology and Counseling at Governors State University. Her research centers on exploring risk and resilience factors among by ethic and religious minority individuals within the United States. Dr. Shawahin has published and presented on issues related to Muslim mental health, health disparities, cultural competence, counseling considerations for diverse populations, anti Muslim prejudice, and social justice. She completed her doctoral training in Counseling Psychology at Purdue University. Dr. Shawahin completed her pre and post doctoral clinical training in American Psychological Association (APA) accredited training programs with an emphasis on rehabilitation psychology and health psychology.
Tahereh Ziaian, Ph.D is a Senior Lecturer at University of South Australia School of Nursing and Midwifery. She graduated from Tehran University, Persia, with Honors majoring in Counseling and Advice before immigrating to Australia in 1986. She completed her Masters in Educational Psychology and PhD in Health Psychology at Adelaide University. She has been appointed by the Governor of South Australia to be a deputy member of Health Performance Council (HPC), to play a key role in advising the Minister For Health on the effectiveness of the health system and health outcomes for South Australians and specific population groups. She has been engaged in cross-cultural psychology and public health research, in both qualitative and quantitative research methods for more than 19 years and have made substantial contributions to the public discourse on migrants' and refugees' mental health in Australia. Her contribution is reflected in her numerous publications, role in consultation, project management and public lectures.
Tarek Zidan, M.S.W., Ph.D is an Assistant Professor of the Indiana University School of Social Work (IUSSW) in South Bend (IUSB). His research interests include Arab Americans’ attitudes toward persons with developmental disabilities, Muslim Americans’ mental health and well-being as well as an online social work education. He received his BSW from the Higher Institute of Social Work in Aswan, Egypt, MSW from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, MO and Ph.D. in social work from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He teaches research and practice evaluation in the BSW and MSW programs.