Nice to meet you.

Who We Are

We are always interested in hearing from you.  On this page, you can hear a little bit about us.

Sergio Domínguez, Jr.

Sergio is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. Broadly, they are invested in trans wellbeing, ethical and legal professional issues in psychology, and relationship-centered research and clinical approaches. In their free time, Sergio enjoys outdoor activities (e.g., hiking, canoeing), cooking, and shopping.

Sergio Domínguez, Jr. profile image

Siyan (Stan) Gao

Stan (he/they) is a doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is broadly interested in addressing internalized stigma and promoting well-being among trans* and nonbinary young populations, especially TNB folks of color. Their emerging research focuses on TNB young people’s nuanced identity experiences and sources of resilience in interpersonal (e.g., family, community) contexts, including online spaces. Outside the collaborative, Stan enjoys wandering around Madison’s beautiful lakes, taking cute photos of wild squirrels, exploring shopping malls, and bonding with his two hamsters.

Joonwoo Lee

Joonwoo Lee (he/him/his) is a fourth-year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology, whose research and clinical interests center on supporting transgender and nonbinary (TNB) individuals who have experienced complex trauma within their attachment relationships (complex PTSD). Joonwoo is currently leading a grounded theory study aimed at investigating TNB people’s experiences of healing from complex PTSD, with the objective of developing effective and practical intervention strategies. With a deep commitment to education and dissemination, Joonwoo has extensive experience providing national and regional training and talks to healthcare professionals, aimed at promoting affirming care for TNB people.

Louis Lindley

Louis is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. His research interests focus on gender dysphoria’s interactions with gender minority stress and how transgender individuals navigate sex and sexuality. Due to being raised in Texas, Lou enjoys spending time outdoors with his partner and their three dogs in the summer and hiding under a blanket indoors during the winter.

j. n. ink m

j. n. ink m. (they/them) is a life coach and scientist turned social entrepreneur focussing on multidisciplinary co-creation, supporting individuals, organizations, and institutions through major life and systems change. They are very tech-savvy, yet well-rounded in their interests as an indie maker and PhD-earning student: a researcher and author in the arts and social sciences; a green thumb; a multidisciplinary artist and designer; semi-professional skater; community organizer.

Ben Andert

Ben (they/them/theirs) recently graduated from UW-Madison with a master’s degree in public health. They were accepted into the Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellowship program with a placement at the Department of Health Services in the Chronic Disease Prevention Unit. They are excited to contribute to the health equity lens these groups are incorporating into their work. Ben’s interests include working toward health equity in many areas, building resilience, and focusing on strengths and positive experiences of trans people and other minority and/or stigmatized communities. In their free time, Ben likes to read, enjoy the sunshine (while it lasts!), and cuddle their three fluffy cats.

Yusuf Barburoğlu

Yusuf is a current Ph.D. student and graduate assistant in Old Dominion University’s Counseling program. Their research experience is on the individual and relational well-being of sexually and gender-diverse people and building resilience among trans- identifying folks against minority stress. Similarly, in practice, they have a year of experience working with clients experiencing minoritized sexual and gender diversity stress. Regarding advocacy, they are currently a member of a psychosocial support network in a local LGBTQIA+-specific Turkey based NGO working to increase the wellness of queer folks living in a politically harsh context. Also, they volunteered as a board member, peer trainer, and researcher in collaboration with an international organization to disseminate reliable and scientific sexual health information to youth. They took their master’s degree from a counseling program by specializing in gender identity-based discrimination-related traumas, well-being, and traumatic stress among trans and non binary identifying people.

Darren Schoenike

Darren majored in Psychology with a minor in LGBTQ+ studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will be starting medical school next year, where he will become a surgeon who provides all types of gender-affirmation surgery for trans and gender non-conforming folks. Darren worked as a House Fellow (RA) for the Open House Gender and Sexuality Learning Community in the residence halls where he worked with many lgbtq+ identified first-year students and built community among them. His passions in life include going to the gym and pretending that it’s not because he’s vain along with loving his cat-son Viita.

Darren Schoenike

Gideon C. Elliott

Gideon C. Elliott (he/him/his) works as a program assistant at UW-Madison. He has previously worked for a branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and served on a nonprofit as a facilitator for trans support groups. His major research interests are in resiliency, resources for the broader LGBTQ community, and in particular for the trans folks who are a part of industrial complexes, such as the prison system, and the particular challenges that those with intersectional identities face in these environments. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology and a love of dogs that remains unrivaled.

Delaney Dvorak

Delaney is a master’s student in counseling psychology. Their research interests include gender euphoria and embodied experiences, as well as gender fluidity and development, especially in adolescence. They would like to work as a clinical mental health therapist in the future. In their free time, they like to make art and try new recipes.

Hamish Lee Powling

Hamish Lee Powling (they/them) is a poet, spiritual student, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They are a healthcare navigator for trans patients at University Hospital and Clinic and bloody passionate about dismantling barriers to trans people’s wellbeing and flourishing. Hamish is both enthralled and exhausted by the concept of gender and recommends you check out the podcast Gender Reveal to explore your own gender questions further as well as regularly redistributing your wealth to one of the countless mutual aid fundraiser supporting our most marginalized trans siblings. Outside of this beloved collaborative space, they are pursuing their own “research” into representations of transness as divinity and frequently describe all trans people as angels. They aspire to mindfulness and a master’s degree to support LGBTQ folks access to healing spaces. Unsurprisingly, their cats tried to sit on the keyboard multiple times as they mustered up this self-blurb.

Rachel L. Dyer

Rachel is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. As a scholar-activist, she aims to harness counseling psychology in service of reproductive justice. Her research centers on reproductive experiences, health, and rights, particularly abortion and queer reproduction, as well as psychotherapist and psychologist training and competency related to sexual and reproductive experiences. Rachel offers a supporting role in the Trans CARE Collaborative and has worked on projects related to trans youth and school safety, as well as gender euphoria. Outside of research, Rachel can be found drinking coffee, taking walks, and listening to podcasts.

Savannah Lynn

Savannah Lynn (she/they) received her BA from Duke University in 2018 and their MA in Clinical Psychology from New York University in 2022. She lives on Lenapehoking (politically designated as Manhattan) with their partner, a tortoiseshell cat named Annabelle, and a horde of books that is quickly getting out of hand. She is also a research assistant with Baruch College’s Sexual and Gender Minority Health Lab, and a clinical volunteer with NYU Langone’s Gender and Sexuality Service.

Scholarly interests include: Positive psychology perspectives on marginalized sexual and gender identity groups’ health and wellness, impact of media representation and consumption on LGBQ and 2STNB identity formation, trans folks’ relationship with food and eating, relationship health and self-efficacy among 2STNB folks, and integrating psychology with Black feminist and decolonial philosophy. Non-scholarly interests include: Reading, aerial arts (silks, lyra, and stationary trapeze), fiber crafts, cooking, and forming parasocial relationships with lesbian characters on television.

Stephanie Budge

Stephanie Budge (she/her) focuses her research and advocacy efforts on transgender and gender diverse people. She is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in and received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on improving of medical and psychotherapeutic treatments (and access to care) for Two-spirit, trans, and nonbinary (2STNB) clients. She provides clinical trainings nationally and internationally related to LGBTQ issues, focusing on practitioners’ self-efficacy, knowledge, awareness, and skills. At the University of Wisconsin, she promotes 2STNB advocacy on campus by providing workshops to students, faculty, and staff related to navigating gender identity within a university environment. As a licensed psychologist, she has provided pro-bono therapy to 2STNB youth and adults. For her research efforts, she received the American Psychological Association LGBT Outstanding Community Contributions award (2011) and the APA LGBT Early Career Professional Award (2015) from the Society for Counseling Psychology. Stephanie is currently an Associate Editor of Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. She is also on the editorial board of the International Journal of Transgender Health.

Stephanie enjoys going on hikes with her wife and toddler, cooking (especially anything with potatoes), and rappelling down waterfalls.

Trans CARE and T*STAR Alum

Eileen “Egg” Guo

Eileen “Egg” Guo graduated from the UW-Madison Master’s in Counseling program in 2019. She currently works at University Health Services as a Mental Health Provider and Outreach Coordinator. Egg is passionate about providing therapy and conducting outreach to historically underserved communities, including students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and those at the intersection of these identities. In her free time, Egg enjoys ice skating, candlemaking, cooking, watching reality dating shows, and drinking boba.

Ezra Mauk

Ezra’s passions in life include psychology, gender and sexuality scholarship, and cheese. He graduated from UW-Madison with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. He completed his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at UW in 2019.

Ezra Mauk

Jayden Thai

Dr. Jayden Thai (he/him/his) was an original member of T*STAR at the University of Louisville, founded in 2011.  He graduated with his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville in 2018.  Dr. Thai is currently a licensed staff psychologist at Brown University’s Counseling and Psychological Services.  He is also currently serving as co-chair of Division 44’s Committee for Transgender People and Gender Diversity.  Dr. Thai is interested in the identity development processes and mental health outcomes of trans and gender diverse folx, particularly those of color, as well as providing psychotherapy through liberation and social justice lenses.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his partner and animals, cooking, and all things Doctor Who.

Jacob Eleazer

Dr. Jacob Eleazer (he/him) served in the Army National Guard for 12 years and was among the first actively serving transgender soldiers to come out publicly in 2014. He advocates for open service and access to care for transgender military personnel as the Director of Advocacy for SPART*A, A Professional Association for Transgender Service Members. Jacob completed his doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Louisville, predoctoral internship at the VA Puget Sound-American Lake Division, and clinical postdoctoral fellowship in LGBTQ+ Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation at the Connecticut VA Healthcare System. Jacob is currently an Advanced Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Service Research and Development at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Yale School of Medicine. He is a member of the PRIDE Cohort research lab in the PRIME (Pain, Research, Informatics, Multi-morbidities, and Education) Center of Innovation.  His active research projects investigate the experiences of actively serving transgender military personnel, health disparities for LGBTQ+ Veterans, and patient-centered interventions to improve access to care for transgender Veterans. 

Laura Patricia Minero, PhD (She/Her/Ella)

Laura graduated with her PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-
Madison. As an undocumented, queer, muXer of color, advocate and social
justice researcher, Laura examines how policy impacts the lived experiences of undocumented immigrant
and LGBTQ+ communities to identify how to better-serve these populations through more inclusive
implementation of policy and distribution of services. Laura worked on national, consensus scientific
studies that were utilized to influence and inform policy as a 2019 Christine Mirzayan Science Policy and
Technology Fellow with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Her scholarship on undocumented and asylum-seeking transgender immigrants and their lived experience in the intersection of gender identity, race, citizenship status, and mental health has been supported by Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation fellowship awards.
Laura  weaves her interest in reforming policies and creating inclusive and equitable systems and environments into her
provision of trauma-informed, affirming, and evidenced-based clinical care and training other professional as a current LGBTQ Youth Trauma, Resilience and Community Education Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human

Q Dillard

Q Dillard graduated from the UW-Madison’s Counseling Psychology Master’s program in 2018. They currently work at UW-Madison’s University Health Services/Mental Health Services as the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Services Coordinator. They provide individual and group therapy services utilizing a Relational-Cultural approach. Their clinical work with TGNC students can include processing internalized societal narratives about transness and facilitating increased ability to access gender euphoria and empowerment. Sidra also enjoys cuddling with their dog, taking naps, and creative writing.

"We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers."

Bayard Rustin