Victoria Ngo is an Associate Professor of Community Health and Social Sciences at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), Director of the Center for Innovation in Mental Health (CIMH) at CUNY SPH, Director for Global Mental Health in the Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health, and an adjunct behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation.
Also a clinical psychologist, she has expertise in developing, evaluating, and implementing evidence-based treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for depression, anxiety, and trauma in diverse communities in the United States and abroad. Her research pays particular attention to understanding and promoting implementation strategies that can increase access and quality of evidence-based mental health services for ethnic minorities and underserved populations worldwide. Ngo specializes in implementation strategies, such as use of community partnerships, task-shifting evidence-based practices, and integration of mental health care into more accessible service settings, including primary care, maternal health, and HIV services.
Ngo earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University. Her passion and commitment to working in ethnic minority and other underserved communities comes from her own experience as a Vietnamese refugee.
Marina Weiss is a Postdoctoral Fellow at CIMH, where she leads training development and supports implementation of the Building Resilience in Youth, Harlem Strong and JobsPlus projects. Dr. Weiss is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on describing and addressing mental health disparities in trauma-exposed populations, specifically through community-based, participatory research (CBPR) methods and the implementation of community-centered interventions such as mental health task-sharing. In her clinical work, she uses integrative approaches, and specializes in supporting recovery from trauma, particularly the recovery of emerging adults at the intersections of acculturative and traumatic stressors.
Dr. Weiss also has extensive experience working with survivors of intimate partner violence and sex trafficking, including coordinating clinical care, program evaluation, and expansion of a pilot psychiatric care model within the NYC Family Justice Center system from 2014-2017, as well as working on CBPR research with this population as part of the Economic and Social Empowerment project at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work in 2013 and with a collaboration between the Bronx Family Justice Center, the Columbia University Presidential Scholars Program and the CUIMC Department of Narrative Medicine from 2019-2021.
Dr. Weiss earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Adelphi University, and completed her internship at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Weiss also holds an MFA in poetry from New York University, and leads poetry workshops about trauma and recovery at Brooklyn Poets.
Letty DiLeo is a Postdoctoral Fellow at CIMH, where she supports the training and implementation of Building Resilience in Youth and Harlem Strong. With a background in school psychology, Dr. DiLeo has extensive experience collaborating with youth, families, and community-based professionals to support students’ social-emotional development. She has expertise in implementing evidence-based mental health interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy and techniques from positive psychology, motivational interviewing, and family therapy. Her research focuses on understanding developmental trends in youth mental health and implementing effective mental health interventions, with an emphasis on fostering well-being through positive psychology.
Dr. DiLeo earned her M.A., Ed.S., and Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of South Florida. She completed her doctoral internship at The School at Columbia University, a K-8 school serving students in Harlem and the Upper West Side.
Srividhya Sharma holds a Ph.D in Neuroscience, as well as a Master’s in Public Health, specializing in Health Policy and Management, from the CUNY School of Public Health. Her public health interests focus on health disparities within vulnerable populations. Dr. Sharma previously worked as the Program Director-Interim/Senior Supervisor with the CUNY Recovery Corps as a part of the Test and Trace program, where she led the data and evaluation wing of the Aftercare initiative conducting routine performance reviews and supervised the community-based organization’s entire team comprising of Supervisors, Admin staff and Navigators in support of H+H Test & Trace’s Aftercare component of the Citywide COVID-19 response. She also worked at the Department of Homeless Services as the Contact Tracing and COVID data lead for the shelter system across NYC. She has previously worked at the Office of School Health, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Center of Innovation in Mental Health at the CUNY School of Public Health and published several papers in peer-reviewed journals. In her free time, Vidya likes to draw, cook and travel with her daughters.
Quan Anh Vu is a Project Manager at CIMH. He has a background in school social work, psycho-oncology, and mental health. Prior to CIMH, Quan was a behavioral health clinician for the Mental Health Service Corps and was placed at Transitional Services of New York PROS program, where he provided individual and group counseling, psycho-education, and care coordination to people with severe and persistent mental illness in Jamaica, New York.
Quan received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Brandeis University and his Masters of Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter College. He is excited to support building the capacity of depression care in Vietnam.
Center Data Manager
Thinh Toan Vu is a research manager and data management head at the Center for Innovation in Mental Health (CIMH), City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH). Mr. Vu’s research focuses on implementation science methods for scaling up integrated care models for mental health among vulnerable communities. He is particularly interested in the implementation and effectiveness of evidence-based depression care, with an emphasis on task-sharing for underserved BIPOC populations from low-resource settings in New York City and Vietnam.
Mr. Vu has received prestigious fellowships from the Fogarty UCLA/Vietnam Training Program in Evaluation and Advanced Methodologies in HIV/AIDS Research (2018-2020), the CIMH Global Mental Health Fellowship (twice, in 2021 and 2022), and the Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations at the CUNY School of Medicine (twice, in 2022 and 2023). Mr. Vu has been recognized for his exceptional achievements, including receiving the 2023 Professional Growth Award, the 2023 Donald and Mary Ellen Passantino International Students Award, and the 2023 Emerging Public Health Profession Award. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Mr. Vu held an MS in Epidemiology from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2020 and is currently a doctoral student in Community Health and Health Policy at CUNY SPH.
Vivian Le is a Communications Coordinator at CIMH. Prior to CUNY, Vivian spent the last semester of her undergraduate career completing a fieldwork internship at CIMH where she was able to discover her passions in mental health research, determined to play a role in expanding mental health care to low-income countries and communities where it is needed most.
Vivian obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia in Spring 2020 and her Master of Public Health from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy in Winter 2022.
Victoria Sunseri is a Project Coordinator at CIMH and obtained her MPH in Health Policy and Management from the CUNY Graduate school of Public Health and Health Policy. She began her career in public health as an undergraduate at The University of Tampa, where she graduated in Spring 2018, with a dual degree in Psychology (BA) and Public Health (BS) with a concentration in behavioral health. Her involvement in developing and leading interventions as an undergrad., as well as her experiences carrying out a Fulbright research grant in Sicily, Italy (2018-2019), reinforced her passion for applying public health approaches to address mental health needs, especially within under-resourced communities.
Spencer Washington is a native New Yorker with a wealth of experience in public advocacy and social equity. Spencer graduated with honors from John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he was both a Vera and Pinkerton Community Fellow. Post-college, Spencer has explored work in education, advocacy and mental health counseling. Spencer currently works as theCoordinator with the Harlem Strong Project of the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at CUNY. Outside of work, he is a martial arts/fitness instructor as well as a neo-soul musician.
Theresa Taggart is an Administrative Assistant at CIMH. She comes to the Center with the knowledge of grant management skills, along with HR experience. Theresa received her Associates Degree with a concentration on Business Management and is currently working on her Bachelor in Science with a concentration in Psychology. Prior to CIMH, Theresa worked as the Administrative Assistant/Grants at Columbia University Medical Campus in the Sociomedical Science Department.
Celia Bùi Lê is an Administrative Assistant at CIMH. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and East Asian Studies from Columbia University. Prior to CIMH, Celia was a Fellow at Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance (API PA) working to mobilize the API vote in Pennsylvania. She has also done community organizing and linguistic fieldwork in both Vietnam and the US. Celia has a background in qualitative research, language justice, visual arts, and heritage preservation.
Ginette Sims, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) completed her doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed her predoctoral internship at Columbia Irving Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital. Her research focuses on examining how systemic and interpersonal experiences of racism and discrimination impact mental health symptomology, health equity, and social mobility in minoritized communities. Dr. Sims utilizes community-based-participatory research approaches and mixed methodology to inform intervention development and mental health service adaptation among trauma exposed populations. She is particularly interested in understanding how social media exposure to police and racially motivated violence impacts psychological wellbeing among BIPOC individuals. She received her BA in Anthropology from Williams College and her MA in Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Spanish Translation Consultant
Carmen Rios is a Spanish Translation Consultant at the Center for Innovation in Mental Health. Prior to CIMH, Carmen worked as the Senior Supervisor-Interim / Supervisor with the CUNY Recovery Corps as a part of NYC Health & Hospital Test and Trace program where she provided leadership and guidance to supervisors and navigators on the initiatives in support of H+H Test & Trace’s component of the Citywide COVID-19 response. In addition, she led the mental health and Latinx subcommittee initiatives to improve access and sustainability in the underserved communities. She also worked at eOs Healthcare Partners for sleep and wellness as the Director of Practice Administration where she promoted and supported evidence-based programs and advocated for policies to establish community health. Carmen received her Bachelor of Science in Health Service Administration from Lehman College and is currently attending Lehman Graduate School for her Master’s in Health Education & Promotion and community outreach.