Staff

Rachel Baird

Rachel is the Program Officer for Grants Development at the Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center. Rachel writes grant proposals and reports, researches prospective funders, leads the Kovler Center Community Council, coordinates fundraising and “friend-raising” events, and manages other development tasks, such as posting on social media and website. She has five years of fundraising experience and prior to joining HAI, Rachel worked for a Houston arts education non-profit Writers in the Schools and an early education non-profit Collaborative for Children. In addition to working full-time for HAI, she is a part-time writer for Wendy Ruiz Consulting and serves on both the Auxiliary Board for Snow City Arts and the Chicago Baylor Alumni Network Committee. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Baylor University.

 

Mary Black, MS, OTR

Mary is a licensed occupational therapist who began as a volunteer working with survivors of torture in 1990. She received an MS in occupational therapy from the University of Illinois in 1995. She is responsible for assessing the functional skills survivors need to perform meaningful work as well as for interventions to enhance these skills. The rooftop apiary, the community garden, and the semi-monthly cooking group are all interventions Mary designed to enhance community connections and find meaning in daily activities. She has also worked internationally in Rwanda with families and children.

 

Sasha Doyle-Weiss

Sasha Doyle-Weiss is the Associate Director of Development for Heartland Alliance International and Marjorie Kovler Center. Sasha previously served as the Director of Development for Openlands, a Chicago-based conservation organization and land trust, where she was responsible for building and fostering a dynamic portfolio of institutional and individual donors. Prior to Openlands, Sasha worked with the United Nations in Georgia, Kenya and Somalia while completing her Master’s degree. She holds an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s degree through the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) from the University of Groningen and University College Dublin. Sasha received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Sasha is a resident of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood and formerly served on the board of EarthShare National and EarthShare Illinois.

 

Mario Gonzalez

Mario has 24 years of clinical experience working with traumatized populations from over 70 different countries. He has developed skills in different areas, such as diagnosis, therapy, cross-cultural understanding, and legal documentation of traumatic experiences. In addition, he is bilingual and bicultural. Mario is a native of Guatemala. Mario was both educated and licensed in psychology in Guatemala. Mario has been trained on trauma and evaluation through the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He also completed a mastery program on trauma and recovery sponsored by the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and the Instituto Superiore Di Sanita from Italy. Since 1989, Mario has served as the clinical supervisor at the Marjorie Kovler Center. As a psychotherapist, Mario has been treating torture survivors and survivors of post-traumatic stress disorder since 1989. Mario has personally overseen over 1,000 cases.

 

William  Gorman, PhD, ABPP

Dr. William Gorman completed his PhD in clinical psychology at Purdue University in 1976.  Bill is a licensed and board certified psychologist, a long-term volunteer at Kovler Center, and presently a part-time staff member, providing assessments, therapy, supervision and training.   In addition, he has worked in community mental health programs for ten years in Alaska, Hawaii, and Chicago, and he was Clinical and Training Director of the Counseling Center and Clinical Associate Professor in Psychology and Psychiatry for 24 years at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He has volunteered as a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health provider in Chicago, Louisiana, and California; and he served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar with the Center for Victims of Torture in Nepal.  He was also a Fulbright Senior Specialist with Trinity College in Ireland, focusing on refugees and trauma, and subsequently was an examiner for the doctoral program there for three years.  He particularly valued the opportunity to work for more than a year with Heartland Alliance International’s Victims of Torture program and Koya University in Kurdistan, Iraq, providing teaching, training, and professional development and consultation in trauma recovery.

 

Martin Hill, PhD

Dr. Martin Hill is the Associate Director, Research and Evaluation at Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center. Dr. Hill has over twenty years of applied research experience in various capacities within government, academia, non-profit, and for-profit settings.  He has extensive experience in program evaluation, needs assessment, and survey research.  Prior to coming to Kovler Center, Dr. Hill was Director of theCarl Frost Center for Social Science Research at Hope College. He received his initial post-graduate research training with the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons where he worked on a national longitudinal study evaluating drug treatment programs in the federal prison system. In addition to working part-time at Kovler Center, he currently holds a Board position with the American Marketing Association where he is Vice President of Market Research and he is President of his own research and consulting firm VIP Research and Evaluation.  Dr. Hill has written numerous research and technical reports and he continues to provide research expertise in many areas to clients and colleagues nationwide. Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in sociology, specializing in medical sociology and applied research and evaluation.

 

Maggie Hunter, LCSW

Maggie is a case manager at the Marjorie Kovler Center, where she coordinates mental health services for survivors of torture. Before coming to Kovler she served as a clinician for Heartland Alliance’s unaccompanied children’s programs and as a paralegal for the National Immigrant Justice Center. She is passionate about the intersection between mental health and asylum law and speaks French and Spanish. Maggie holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MSW from Loyola University Chicago.

 

Marianne Joyce, LCSW

Marianne is a licensed clinical social worker and serves as the social services manager, primarily responsible for conducting clinical evaluations, supervising and training graduate student interns, providing psychotherapy for clients, providing consultation for volunteer therapists, writing psychological affidavits and testifying in court to support asylum claims of survivors. Additionally, she provides education about torture treatment in various university and community settings in Chicago. She has been closely involved with survivors bringing lawsuits against perpetrators residing in the U.S. International experience includes Peace Corps/Guatemala as a volunteer and trainer, providing consultation and training in Haiti, Guatemala, Turkey, and Sri Lanka for physicians and psychologists working with war trauma, and extensive travel in South and Southeast Asia. She taught a course on social work and human rights at the University of Chicago for three years. She holds an M.A. from the School of Social Services Administration at the University of Chicago. Ms. Joyce is fluent in Spanish and licensed to provide mental health services in the state of Illinois.

 

John Neafsey, PsyD

John is a licensed clinical psychologist who earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University Chicago.  John served as a volunteer therapist and was involved with the graduate student training program at Kovler for many years prior to become a staff psychologist.  His responsibilities include conducting intake evaluations with new clients and supervising clinical psychology trainees in psychotherapy with torture survivors.  He has taught in the areas of human rights, spirituality, and liberation theology at Loyola University Chicago.  He has authored a book on vocation and social responsibility, and is currently working on a book on torture and trauma.

 

Flutra Sahatqija

Flutra has been with Heartland Alliance since 2001, and specifically with Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center since 2007. As Senior Program Assistant, she provides support to the entire Marjorie Kovler Center staff. Flutra is primarily responsible for preparing data reports to our funders, assists with development of the Electronic Health Record System, helps with development and communications projects, works with volunteers and vendors including building maintenance, assists with publications and updating the Kovler Center website. She is a member of the Kovler Center’s Benefit Committee, Electronic Health Record Systems Committee, Building Committee, and just about all ad hoc groups. Flutra has helped the organization as an Albanian interpreter and has also volunteered at the Kosovar American Community Center. She is originally from Kosovo, and studied economics before coming to the United States as a refugee having been resettled through Heartland Alliance.

 

Marie Shebeck, MS

As a case manager, Marie helps coordinate Kovler Center participants’ access to medical and mental health services and provides social support and referrals. In addition, she represents Kovler Center at the Refugee Mental Health Taskforce and Refugee Health Taskforce in Chicago. Marie has a B.A. in Sociology with a French minor from Marian College and a Masters in International Public Service from DePaul University. She is currently pursuing a second Master degree in Social Work at the University of Chicago. She speaks French and English fluently.

 

Nicole St. Jean, PsyD

Dr. Nicole St Jean is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and is the Manager of Clinical Protocol and International Training at Marjorie Kovler Center. She completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Chicago School of Psychology, and her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Childhood Trauma and Sexual Abuse. She has served in the field of traumatic stress for close to 15 years and has specialized in working children and families who have endured complex trauma experiences in under resourced communities. She has extensive experience providing trauma-focused assessment and psychotherapeutic services, supervising predoctoral and postdoctoral trauma psychology fellows, developing and adapting therapeutic resources for different ages and cultural groups to enhance application of therapeutic services, and offering expert consultation and training around understanding and responding the impact of trauma both domestically and internationally in African nations.  She is responsible for the development of clinical protocols and supporting local and international training efforts to help professionals and community members enhance their understanding and response to survivors of torture.