Sibella Salazar

       Mentor: Dr. Lisa Greyshield
  RISE Scholar since: Summer 2015

  • Ph.D. Counselling Psychologyt, New Mexico State University, Expected 2019
  • M.A. Psychology, California State University at Los Angeles, 2013
  • B.A. Psychology, California State University at Los Angeles, 2011
  • A.A, Letters, Arts and Sciences, Antelope Valley College 2009
Research Interests:

  • My research interests include the integration of both Western and Indigenous paradigms for holistic healing, through the examination and validation of Indigenous Ways of Knowing within the mental health field. I am particularly interested in facilitating a shift from disparity-based toward strength-based narratives within the research literature of Indigenous peoples. As an ally to Indigenous peoples, it is both my interest and responsibility to ensure that I conduct research from a decolonized and culturally-appropriate methodology including, but not limited to, qualitative and community-based participatory action research. As such, my current dissertation research will be examining American Indian young adults’ resiliency narratives to race-related stress.
Teaching Experience and Interests:

  • I have a year’s worth of experience for organizing and teaching NMSU’s Academic Excellence Course (CEP 199) for incoming undergraduate students. My responsibilities extended beyond the traditional grading of assignments and included also managing the relationship between undergraduate students and their assigned mentors. I also have experience serving as a consultant for the development of an undergraduate in-person multicultural counseling course within the Counseling and Education program.

  • I am a 2.5 generation Chicana from Southern California, and a first generation college student. This year I am a third year doctoral student in the Counseling and Education Psychology department. I will be the first recipient of the newly created Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK) Graduate Minor. My research passions in strength-based approaches in physical and mental health for indigenous and Native American populations have led me to work with Dr. Lisa Grayshield in the IWOK Research Team. We recently published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling (JMHC) a qualitative study titled “Understanding and Healing Historical Trauma: The Perspectives of Native American Elders.” Additionally, my commitment to topics of multiculturalism and social justice have allowed me to become involved in multiple outreach projects including the creation of the Southwest Soulidarity activist group. Our mission is to develop awareness, education and solidarity for Indigenous peoples issues, such as the events occurring in Standing Rock, North Dakota. The organizing of the annual IWOK Healing and Botanical Medicine Conferences has allowed me to create lasting connections with the Indigenous community of New Mexico, as well as promote awareness of the validity of Indigenous paradigm of resilience and healing.
Research Abstracts:

  • Dennis, J., Fonseca, A., Gutierrez, G., Shen, J., Salazar, S. (in press). Bicultural competence and the Latino 2.5 generation: The acculturative advantages and challenges of having one foreign born and one U. S. born parent. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences.
  • Grayshield, L., Ruthorford, J., Salazar, S., Mihecoby, A., & Luna, L. (2015). Understanding and healing historical trauma: Exploring the perspective of Native American elders. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 37, 295-307. doi:
  • Salazar, S., Rutherford, J., Mihecoby, A., Luna, L., & Grayshield, L. (August 2016). Understanding and Healing Historical Trauma: Exploring the Perspectives of Native American Elders. 60 minute symposium on Confronting Historical Trauma in Native American Communities at the annual American Psychological Association Convention, Denver, CO.

  • 2014 Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students 
  • 2011 Graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University, Los Angeles
Service activities:

  • Co-Organizer of Southwest Soulidarity Indigenous Day Event 2016
  • Co-Leader of Southwest Soulidarity Activist Group
  • Co-Organizer of Annual IWOK Healing and Botanical Medicine Conference and Workshop