Trauma Research Foundation

Team Members

Licia Sky - Co-Founder and CEO

Licia Sky is a Boston based somatic educator, writer, artist, singer-songwriter, and bodyworker who works with traumatized individuals and trains mental health professionals to use mindful meditation in movement, theater exercises, writing and voice as tools for attunement, healing and connection.

Susan Lagos - CFO

Susan has a BA in sociology and a minor in psychology from Hartwick College.  She has extensive experience in non-profit finance and human resources.  Her skills in leadership, communication, discernment and problem solving are a valuable combination for her role at TRF. 

A top item on Susan’s Bucket List is to attend the NCAA Final Four March Madness Basketball Tournament.  Two of her favorite books are Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption and an Unlikely Family by Lisa Fenn;  and The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Teresa Yung - Operations Director

Teresa Yung is a Northern California based non-profit leader with a passion for building programs, teams, and organizations to create communities, healing, and connection.

Teresa was inspired from her own experiences in trauma and founded the non-profit The Trauma Project where she raised $20k to create community and peer level trauma programs and resources. She enjoys waking up to the Redwoods everyday and pursues various forms of healing and facilitation including yoga, meditation, music, and plant medicines. Her dream is to see legislation and systemic change that brings trauma-informed programs and education into all 50 states, schools, prisons, and organizations so that people of all needs can receive the support they need to lead a thriving life. 

Laura Walsh—Programs Manager

Laura brings her love of people and organizational abilities to her role at TRF.  She has shared her skills and interests across eclectic venues ranging from tech companies, churches, medical facilities and at the home education of her sons (pre-Covid!).  

Some of her favorite things are sunshine and light, a hot cup of tea in the morning, summer, nature walks with her dog, connecting with friends, backyard bird watching, dinner with her husband and retail therapy with her mom. It’s on her bucket list to become a therapy dog team with her chocolate lab, Piper.

Pat Murray - Media Manager

Pat’s expertise includes anything video related: editing, shooting, color correcting, broadcasting. ~ Which makes him a perfect fit in his role as Media Manager.  In his free time he likes to read, garden and play board games. His favorite movie is Magnolia; favorite book is The Road;

and Quote is "Stanley Kubrick  “The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”

Conor McCann - Media Specialist

Conor has been working in various forms of media production for over a decade, with a strong focus on social media engagement. When not working on video projects, he spends his time playing guitar, and endlessly reconfiguring the effect pedals his guitar is hooked up to. 

Fun fact, Conor immigrated to America from Northern Ireland in the early 80's. 

Araminta Jonsson—Marketing Director

Araminta is from the UK and has an Undergraduate degree from UCL in French and Spanish and, after living in Barcelona for 5 years and Colombia for 1, is fluent in Spanish and can muster passable French when needed. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and Journalism from the Universitat de Pompeu Fabra, and began a PhD in Psychology from London’s South Bank University, however her son Rory decided to surprise her before her first year was out so she still has the PhD to conquer.  

With her love for psychology, sociology and anthropology, Araminta has always wanted to know what makes people tick. What copy will convince people to buy something? What are the colours that make people happy, etc.? Combining her life experience and academic skills has been her mission for the past 8 years and, after working as a marketing consultant in a large European mental health and addiction events company, she set up her own digital marketing company, Mint. Creative Marketing, working predominantly in the mental healthcare space. She strives to learn as much as she can about the audience she is marketing to, believing that listening to people and offering them what they really want and need in life, is the best way to ensure that the relationship between marketer and client is always a good one.

Her favorite pastimes are hiking up the Malvern Hills, adventuring with her son Rory and connecting with herself and nature.  Her most recent favorite read is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

Tammy Cassidy— Business Specialist

Tammy is gifted with skills in problem-solving, attention to detail and organization.  She values getting the job done with efficiency and expediency.  Her talents shine not only in the TRF business office, but also in her personal life where she home educated her three sons and presently is the office administrator of her family’s kitchen cabinet business.

   She helps coordinate and participates in weekly food distribution to the needy with her husband and church. She enjoys spending her weekends with family and friends, and her first choice of where to spend a summer’s day is on the beach in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod. 

Stephanie Kimble - Programs Specialist

Stephanie holds master’s degrees in Nonprofit Management and Education. While working with young children in low-income preschool settings and volunteering in juvenile detention settings, Stephanie found her passion for creating holistic trauma-informed care environments for all. 

Through mindful movement, breath-work, and visualization practices, she holds space for the embodiment sensation. She has teaching certificates in multiple yoga instruction modalities and as a postnatal doula. Stephanie believes that individuals can own their healing journey when they have all of the tools at their disposal.

At her home in Minnesota, Stephanie cares for her dog and cat. Some of her favorite activities include reading, enjoying the super delicious MSP restaurant scene, and opera. And while the Minnesota winters keep her warm at home, she loves being outside, catching a game, hiking with friends, or being at one of the many lakes in the summer.

Angelika Y. Sadar— Neurofeedback Coordinator

Angelika is a psychologist who has practiced neurofeedback and biofeedback for over 20 years.  She has developed and worked with numerous clinics to help them incorporate neurofeedback as a means of providing an essential tool to help clients advance towards their goals. She is the Executive Director of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society and has served on various boards related to mental health. 

In 2015, her practice was selected by the Swiss-based company, HBImed to become the North American representative of their assessment and teaching methods.

She is devoted to helping new practitioners learn neurofeedback with teaching, mentoring, and helping connect them with the neurofeedback community at large. Angelika has worked with all ranges of clients and especially enjoys her work with children, where she believes it is important to help them connect with the world in a way that is fun and helps them develop as individuals. 

Mary Frangie – Program Specialist and Executive Assistant

Mary’s dual role as Executive Administrative Assistant and Program’s Specialist is a perfect fit for her wide range of skills and talents. She brings warmth and insight along with keen attention to detail to all her work in this dynamic position. Mary’s EQ and roll-up-our-sleeves style shows up in her team collaborations and problem solving abilities. She possesses a refreshing combination of grounded wisdom, diligence, compassion and fun.

Mary is an Integral Coach®, bodyworker, and lifelong learner. She earned a BA in Psychology/Women's Studies, an MA in Critical and Creative Thinking, and is a graduate of New Ventures West, Professional Coaching Certification, providing form and focus to years of teaching and facilitating for HR, the spa industry, and non-profits. She's dedicated to personal growth, and body-based therapies, and you will find her assisting Licia Sky and Bessel van der Kolk in their private workshops.

Abigail Bueno - Customer Support / Administrative Specialist

Abigail brings a wealth of office management experience to her role as Customer Support/Administration Specialist at TRF. She manages our program’s customer service correspondence and provides expert administrative support to our growing team. In her role, Abigail’s welcoming and attentive personality shines as the first point of contact for the TRF community. She maintains a broad knowledge of our expanding TRF programs while staying in tune with the community’s needs and interests.

Abigail finds great joy in helping others and being a mom. Some of her favorite things to do are to pretend play with her daughter and spend time with her family. She loves to write poetry and hopes to one day write a poetry book or a children’s book about her daughter. When she finds time, Abby is working on getting a BS in Behavioral Health Science.

Emma Forman - Programs Specialist

Emma is a Boston-based nonprofit professional with a Master’s in Nonprofit Management and Online Communications. She has spent the majority of her career in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector gaining experiences in areas such as administration, project development, and online content creation. She brings her passion for trauma-informed approaches to mental healthcare equity to her role as a Program Specialist at the Trauma Research Foundation.

Outside of her responsibilities at the Trauma Research Foundation, Emma is an avid reader and art enthusiast. She spends her weekends either curled up on the couch with her cat, Mocha, enjoying a good book or exploring the latest art exhibition at any of the numerous museums and galleries throughout the Greater Boston area. While she doesn’t consider herself an artist, she has recently begun tapping into her creativity by making pottery at her local studio.

Star Muhammad - Programs Specialist

Star is a dedicated non-profit leader, supporting the cultivation of the lives of others, our community, and the world. She values freedom, justice, and equality in all areas of life, as well as demonstrates a commitment to and aptitude for strategic community organizing, education, and advocacy. She possesses post-secondary degrees in the studies of Behavioral Science earned from Mount Mary College and Organizational Management & Leadership received from Springfield College.

She has over 20 years of experience in non-profit administration and direct services support. Star believes her personal and professional journey has afforded her opportunities that have increased her passion for assisting others in their journey of healing. In addition, she is a licensed Esthetician focused on Ayurvedic wellness in Wisconsin and Virginia, as well as a certified Reiki practitioner and pre & post doula. She loves music, a good book, and any opportunity to hike and meditate preferably near water.

Liz Coda - Programs Specialist

Liz holds master's degrees in both Secondary Education and Community and Trauma Counseling. After graduating from Northwestern University, she began her career as an 8th grade math teacher in Philadelphia as a Teach For America corps member. Her three years in a middle school classroom sparked her interest in trauma-informed care and creating trauma-informed environments for all. Liz also has experience working in prevention education with a domestic violence agency, a role that deepened her understanding of trauma and its impact on individuals.

Liz lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, spending time outdoors, and snuggling with her cat, Button. In addition to her work with TRF, she also works part time as a one-on-one running coach through Wellness in Motion, and trains and races competitively for long distance road races.

Whitney Julkunen - Programs Specialist

Whitney earned a B.S. in  Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University, and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Utah. Whitney is a licensed Forensic Interviewer and Therapist. She has also worked in a multitude of capacities within Non-Profit Organizations including areas of Development, Donor Relations, Outreach, Program Development, and Finance.

For over ten years Whitney has worked in the U.S. and internationally to support those who have experienced crisis, war torture trauma, sex trafficking, exploitation, and complex trauma.  Whitney is grateful for every opportunity to work with amazing people who are dedicated to supporting those impacted by trauma and working to prevent it.  She is most inspired and motivated by the strength of those we work to serve, whom she has learned so much from.

Whitney lives in Utah with her son and husband, who she adores.  They love to spend time outdoors in the mountains, and traveling with one another.

Bessel Van Der Kolk - MD - Co-Principal Investigator

In addition to Bessel's role as Co-Founder & President of TRF,  Bessel serves as a Co-Principal Investigator of the MAPS study in Boston, Massachusetts.

Courtney Battistelli – MAPS Study Coordinator

Courtney currently holds the role of Study Coordinator in Boston for the phase 3 clinical trial sponsored by MAPS researching MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD. Her education includes a Bachelors of Science in Public Health with a minor in Anthropology, a Masters of Arts in Expressive Therapies with 700 hours of clinically supervised EAT work and more than 300 hours of training as a Registered Yoga Teacher.

 She loves facilitating immersive multimodal experiences for groups and individuals, especially ones that invite playfulness and collaboration. One of her favorite quotes comes from a mountain dweller she met in the Rockies: “You’re never missing out, you’re simply being missed.”

Susan Walker – Co-Principal Investigator

Susan works with the Trauma Research Foundation as the Co-Principal investigator and therapist in Phase 2 and 3 MAPS Clinical Trials investigating MDMA Assisted Therapy for PTSD.

She is a supervisor for Phase 3 Clinical Trials investigating MDMA Assisted Therapy for PTSD (MAPP2), Expanded Access, and the Clinical trial in Europe for MDMA Assisted Therapy for PTSD through MAPS.

She has a Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy private practice in Cambridge. She is Board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Susan worked for over 15 years as an attending psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and as an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Susan has an extensive background supervising medical students, residents, fellows, social work trainees, psychology interns and post-docs in the outpatient and emergency room setting.

Susan trained in Internal Family Systems therapy, completed a Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Leadership Training Course, and has a long interest in therapeutic aspects of expanded states of consciousness.

Lisa Rines-Toth– MAPS Study Coordinator/Research Assistant

Lisa works with TRF as a Study Coordinator/Research Assistant on the MAPS-sponsored Phase 3 Clinical Trials investigating MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD.  Lisa received her Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. 

She also holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia. Lisa is currently a PhD Candidate in Counseling Psychology and she has completed advanced doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. Lisa’s primary research and clinical interests are in the areas of addiction, trauma, crisis intervention, contemplative practices and non-ordinary states of consciousness. 

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