The Task Force


       Dr. Ioakim Boutakidis is a Professor of Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton. His university work currently involves reducing equity gaps in retention and graduation rates through the creation and assessment of evidence-based, equity-minded pedagogical programs for faculty. He formerly served as a Faculty Fellow of Student Success and Associate Dean of Student Success, and recently completed two terms as a member of the Advisory Board of the California State University’s Student Success Network. He chairs his university’s Assessment and Educational Effectiveness Committee and is Vice-Chair of the Institutional Review Board.


       Dr. Matt Englar-Carlson is a professor of counseling and the director of the Center for Boys and Men at California State University-Fullerton. Dr. Englar-Carlson’s scholarship focuses on training helping professionals to work more effectively with boys and men across the full range of human diversity. He is the co-developer of the of Positive Psychology Positive Masculinities model that examines a prosocial and strength-based approach of understanding men. As a clinician, he has worked children, adults, and families in school, community, and university mental health settings. 


       Dr. Shalena Heard is a licensed psychologist in the state of Maryland and certified as a National Health Service Psychologist and Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is a native of Philadelphia, PA and a proud first generation college student. Dr. Heard has extensive experience providing therapy and psychological assessment services to children, adolescents, and adults within inpatient, residential, outpatient, and school settings. She also provides supervision to graduate trainees and mental health professionals. Dr. Heard is a proud Historically Black College and University (HBCU) graduate in that she attained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Spelman College and her master’s in counseling psychology degree from Howard University. She later received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Lehigh University.


       Dr. Amber Hewitt is the Chief Equity Officer for the Government of the District of Columbia. In this role, she works in collaboration with District leadership and agencies to apply a racial equity lens across government operations. In 2018, she was appointed by Mayor Bowser to the Commission on Fathers, Men, and Boys. Amber was the Director of Health Equity at Families USA, a national, nonpartisan consumer health advocacy organization. She also previously worked as a health care lobbyist for an integrated, children’s health system. Her research on adolescent identity development and well-being, with a special focus on Black boys and young men, has been published in several top-tier academic journals. A counseling psychologist by training, Amber has provided psychotherapy and psychoeducational testing for children and families. 


       Dr. Saed D. Hill is a Counseling Psychologist and the Assistant Director of Prevention and Masculine Engagement at the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education (CARE) at Northwestern University. Saed’s work focuses on leading collaborative efforts at Northwestern in masculine engagement programming and education around healthy masculinity which includes serving as the advisor for the Masculinity, Allyship, Reflection, Solidarity (MARS) peer education group as well as the management, implementation, and curriculum development of the NU Men Healthy Masculinity program each quarter. Saed also worked for Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) as the Senior Education and Outreach Coordinator in charge of delivering comprehensive and sex explorative sexual health programming to K-12 and college students across Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and mid-Missouri. 


       Dr. Benterah C. Morton, is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of South Alabama. His research examines the role K-12 leaders play in meeting the needs of diverse populations. He explores this topic by through mentoring practices and programs, leadership training, and implementation of curriculum and instruction. Dr. Morton served as an assistant principal for 3.5 years and as a campus principal for 4.5 years. As a campus level administrator and instructional leader, he worked within the organization to promote democracy in education by developing and leading campus improvement teams consisting of parents, teachers, and community members that evaluated and informed campus policy, instructional programming, and campus culture. 


     Dr. Joseph Nelson (Co-Chair) is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College, and Chair of the Black Studies Program. He is also a sociologist of education, and his research to date has employed interdisciplinary frameworks to examine two interrelated strands of inquiry: (1) race, boyhood, and education, and (2) identity, culture, and school reform. For the last eight years, his scholarship has been situated within learning environments that largely serve Black students from neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, particularly single-sex schools for boys of color. His forthcoming book with Harvard Education Press is entitled, (Re)Imagining Black Boyhood: Portraits of Middle School Success, and he also recently co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Boyhood in the United States. 

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       Shana Pryor, M.A.  is a doctoral student of Counseling Psychology at The University of Akron. She has written articles about men’s health and masculinity, male survivors of domestic violence, and book chapters about male and female gender norms. She has spent the majority of her career focusing on issues surrounding men, masculinity, and sexual trauma. Currently, she is doing research on men, masculinity, shame, self-compassion, and help-seeking. She has clinical interests in treating men with PTSD and being involved in the field of behavioral health integrated care. 

       Dr. Christopher S. Reigeluth (Chair) is an Assistant Professor at Pacific University in the School of Graduate Psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist. He completed his doctoral training at Clark University and a fellowship at the Yale University Child Study Center. Dr. Reigeluth’s research explores the psychological implications of masculine gender socialization for boys. He directs the Masculinities and Mental Health Research Group and is developing programming on healthy gender development in boys. His clinical interests include boys and men’s mental health, crisis response and trauma, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  Learn more at

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       Dr. Andrew Smiler (Co-Chair) is an author and licensed therapist with expertise in adolescent boys, men, and masculinity. He is the author of Is Masculinity Toxic?: A Primer for the 21st Century, the award winning Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy,” and co-author of The Masculine Self (6th ed)” with renowned researcher Chris Kilmartin. Dr. Smiler is a co-founder of the Healthy Masculinity Initiative, a past president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinities (SPSMM), and a past president of Male Survivor: National Organization Against Male Sexual Victimization.


       Dr. Lea Theodore is a Professor at the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University, where she serves as the Director of both the Master’s and Doctoral Programs in School Psychology. Dr. Theodore also provides psychoeducational services in private practice and consults with public and private schools, hospitals, and behavioral health centers. Additionally, Dr. Theodore was hired as a consultant by the Supreme Court for the state of Virginia and General District Court of the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide diagnostic evaluations for individuals brought to Emergency Departments, presenting her findings and recommendations to a judge in a court of law. Dr. Theodore edited the comprehensive Handbook of Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Adolescents (Springer) and has published approximately 80 refereed articles and chapters. 


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