MEET THE TEAM

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Lynn Michalopoulos, MA, PhD

Founder and President of the Board

Dr. Lynn Murphy Michalopoulos began her work with trauma-affected populations in Zambia almost 10 years ago. Inspired by her work there, she developed the Global Post Trauma Symptom-Item Bank, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, which has been validated in multiple non-Western contexts. Building off of her clinical experience working with trauma survivors, she developed a research program focused on understanding the lives of migrant populations. From there, she expanded her work to other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Malawi, and Zimbabwe which contributed to formative research indicating the complex risk environment among both labor and forced migrants in sub-Saharan Africa. This work served as the genesis of the Moving Well Project, International.

 

Throughout her academic career at Columbia University and her role as the Resilience Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at USAID, Lynn has sharpened her focus on the measurement of mental health outcomes and adaptation of evidence-based health and mental health programs among mobile trauma-affected populations. In addition, the extensive relationships she has built with stakeholders at the community, national, and international level has contributed to the organization’s foundational success.

She has a Bachelors in Psychology from Williams College,  an Masters from the University of Chicago in Social Service Administration and a PhD from the University of Maryland in Social Work. 

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Simona J Simona is a lecturer of Sociology and Research Methods in the Department of Social Work and Sociology at the University of Zambia. His research focuses on structural sources of disparities in health outcomes in low and middle-income countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa. His specific research areas include medical sociology, global health, gender-based violence, mental health, in addition to quantitative and computational social science. As a co-founder of the MWP, Simona is keen on participating and supervising the programs of the organization on the ground in Zambia. He holds an Masters of Research in Sociology and Research Methods and a PhD in Sociology and Quantitative Methods from the University of Glasgow.

Simona J Simona, PhD

Co-Founder and VP of the Board

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Molly Herrmann brings to MWP experience working and volunteering in nonprofits as well as background in African diaspora studies during graduate school in which she was ABD in a PhD program in History where her fields were the Atlantic World, the Black Atlantic World, and Colonialism and Imperialism.  She holds a bachelors in Ancient/Medieval History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an masters in Global History with a concentration on Caribbean and Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and ABD in the History PhD program at the University of Buffalo. 

Molly Herrmann, MA

Treasurer of the Board

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Mario Diaz, LMSW, has been in the social work field for nearly 10 years and has worked with populations ranging from youth and families, people who engage in transactional sex, people who are experiencing homelessness, and people who are living with HIV/AIDS. He earned a Masters in Social Work from the Columbia University School of Social Work and has experience working in Uganda and South Africa providing professional development and direct support to a team of social workers, medical staff, teachers, and vocational training staff. Mario has also gained clinical experience providing individual psychotherapy and is currently working as Program Director for a vocational training program that serves individuals with visible and invisible disabilities. 

Mario Diaz, MS, LMSW

Secretary of the Board

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Felicitas Moyo is a Sociologist and Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Social Development Studies. She holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology with a minor in Public Administration from the University of Zambia, a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Manchester, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Stellenbosch University.  Her research areas of interest include Research Uptake, Research Utilisation, Science Policy Studies,  Social Science Research Methods, Sociology of Health and social problems such as disability and mental stress-related issues. Her most recent work focuses on Social Science Research and Policy Utilization in Zambia.  She has been part of the University of Zambia research team working on immunization programs under the Gavi Alliance and she is currently part of the Zambian team working on the environmental flows and restoration of the Magoye River in the Southern Province of Zambia. 

Felicitas Moyo, MA, ABD

Board Member

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Cindia Gonzalez enjoys working with non-profits as they grow their social media presence to create connectivity among staff, clients, and the community. She received her Bachelors from Salem College in Winston-Salem North Carolina. Cindia earned a Masters in Online Journalism, Magazine, and Newspaper from The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse New York. She currently serves her community as Board Chair for North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem and Co-Organizer of AmBi Triad NC along with moderating the Triad Queer Exchange and Solidarity Network on Facebook. 

Cindia Gonzalez

Communications and Marketing Specialist

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Dr. Mah W. Asombang is a Zambian-Cameroonian Medical Doctor, Research study coordinator and Global health specialist with a keen interest in mental health and infectious diseases. Dr. Asombang is a developing clinical researcher with a diverse background and several years of clinical practice.

Mah Asombang, MD, MScGH

Program Director

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Melvin Mwansa is a public health specialist, with 8 years’ experience in research, monitoring and evaluation and program management. He has managed research projects in HIV/AIDS, Family Planning, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), Mother and Child Health and Key Populations. Melvin is passionate about improving the wellbeing of people and using research/program data outputs to positively influence policy & bring about targeted interventions. Melvin holds a master’s degree in public health and currently enrolled for a PhD in Public Health at University of Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa

Melvin Kunda Mwansa  B.A, MPH

Research Director

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Betty Oloo

Clinical Staff

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Susan Chungu

Clinical Staff

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Patience Mhlanga, MPH Candidate 

Volunteer Clinical and Research Staff

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Margaret Mwila Kasoma is a consultant working in counseling with individuals and groups facing various life challenges. She trained in trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy with Boston University, and trained as a supervisor with Johns Hopkins University in 2007. She has done diploma courses with the Institute of Counseling in Glasgow, Scotland and the Chainama College of Health Sciences in Lusaka, Zambia. She has also trained online with the University of Minnesota. She has HIV/AIDS counselling and child counselling certificates from Kara Counselling and Training Trust,  with areas of concentration in psychosocial support for People Living with AIDS (PLWA), sensitization on HIV/AIDS issues, orphan-hood, and vulnerability. From 1999 to 2006 she worked as Project Coordinator at the Fatima Home-Based Care Project under the Archdiocese of Lusaka and doubled as a counsellor and trainer in child counselling, HIV- related issues, and coping skills for primary caregivers. She has been counseling as a lay counselor since 1997 and as a professional counselor since 2005. Margaret has carried out various counseling and therapy works with individuals, groups, and families who have presented with varied issues such as PTSD, substance abuse, marital problems, stress, and suicidal or homicidal ideation.

Margaret Mwila Kasoma

Clinical Staff

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Makani Muhwanga-Katongo has a background in Psychology with a keen interest in mental health. She holds a bachelors degree in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology from the University of Zambia. She is particularly passionate about helping vulnerable groups and currently works to help rehabilitate adolescents struggling with addiction. 

Makani Muhwanga-Katongo

Clinical Staff