Our History

On November 17, 1999, the one and only Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey (LPANJ) was founded by professors and alumni from Montclair State University. On this auspicious occasion, the past president of the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA), Dr. Rosalind Dorlen, helped celebrate the inauguration of LPANJ, an organization expected to have a tremendous impact on the quality of psychological services for Latinos in the state. Since 1999 the organization has expanded to include mental health professionals from throughout New Jersey.  In 2017 we changed our name to the Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey to honor our members’ various professional backgrounds.  We welcome all mental health professionals to apply for membership. 

Our Presidents:

1999-2001 Robert McCormick, PhD JD (deceased), Director Center for Child Advocacy and Policy, professor at Montclair State University, and private practice Montclair, NJ

2001-2004 Milton Fuentes, PsyD, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University and post-doctoral studies at Yale University and Columbia University. Professor at Montclair State University and President of the National Latina/o Psychological Association

2005 - Jonathan Pastor, PsyD, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University, Psychologist at Counseling and Resource Center at Princeton University, and private practice in Princeton, NJ

2006 - Lysandra Perez-Strumolo, PhD, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Faculty Resource Center at Ramapo College.

2007- Sueli S. Petry, PhD, Seton Hall University, licensed psychologist and family therapist, faculty/supervisor Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care and The Multicultural Family Institute, and private practice, Highland Park, NJ.

2008 - Jacqueline Flores, MA, Kean University—Program Coordinator Project S.T.O.P. (Specialized Treatment and Offense Prevention) Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken, NJ

2009 - Sonia Wadhwani, MA, Fairleigh Dickinson University—Progam Coordinator of El Puente Program, Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken, NJ

2010 - Lorna Myers, PhD, City University of New York Graduate Center, - Director of Clinical Neuropsychology Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group, Associate Director of Epilepsy Life Links

2011- Aileen Torres, PhD, Carlos Albizu University, Associate Director of Clinical Services at Youth Consultation Services (YCS), East Orange, NJ

2012 - Silvia L. Mazzula, PhD, Columbia University, Assistant Professor John Jay College of Criminal Justice, NY

2013-14 – Emmanuel Mercedes, PhD, Seton Hall University – Psychologist Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, NY.  

2015-16 – Aileen Torres, PhD, Carlos Albizu University, Associate Director of Clinical Services at Youth Consultation Services (YCS), East Orange, NJ

2017-18 – Daniel Cruz, PhD, Seton Hall University, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy, South Orange, NJ