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Fellows | South Central MIRECC


Juinell Williams, PhD

Dr. Juinell Williams
Dr. Juinell Williams

Location: Houston, Texas.

Educational background: From my time completing my undergraduate degree at University of Maryland College Park through my time completing my doctoral degree at East Carolina University, I have had the pleasure of an interdisciplinary education that incorporated knowledge from fields including public health, sociology, the humanities, as well as clinical and health psychology.

My past experiences in research included working in labs focused on substance use and mood, young adult health and development, resilience and readiness of service members, military health, stress and coping, LGBTQ+ health, and health disparities. I ultimately earned my PhD in clinical health psychology from East Carolina University and completed my predoctoral internship at the Michael E. DeBakey VA here in Houston.

Research Interests: I am interested in increasing mental health access and treatment engagement for marginalized Veterans and those historically excluded from research. More specifically, my populations of interest are racial and ethnic minority Veterans, LGBTQ+ Veterans, women Veterans, Veterans with disabilities, and those at the intersections of those identities.

I am also interested in adaptive adjustment to chronic health conditions and disability, tailoring interventions for marginalized groups, and multi-level approaches to health equity.

Mentors: My mentorship team includes Drs. Darius Dawson, Katie Kanzler, Derrecka Boykin, Richard Street, and Jeffrey Cully.

Hobbies: I have enjoyed all things dance fitness, especially Zumba for some time. More recently, an IQuESt fellow suggested embroidery as an additional creative outlet and I have not been able to put down my embroidery hoop since I started!


Dr. Kent D. Hinkson Jr.
Dr. Kent D. Hinkson Jr.

Kent D. Hinkson Jr., PhD

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas.

Educational and Military Background: I received my PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Utah and completed a predoctoral internship with the Charleston Consortium (jointly the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC).

I served in the United States Marine Corps as non-commissioned officer in military intelligence and Special Forces until I was injured and subsequently medically retired. Special thanks to VA Vocational Rehabilitation for funding and supporting my undergraduate and graduate journey!

Research Interests: Suicide prediction and intervention, PTSD intervention and mechanisms (including non-therapeutic interventions like service dogs and equine-assisted fun).

Mentors: Drs. Jeff Pyne and Rick Owen.

Hobbies: Backpacking, hiking, college-level indoor volleyball, and board games. I’m really willing to do almost anything if it involves spending time with people or being in nature!

Other Work: I provide suicide intervention training and workshops (e.g., Crisis Response Planning, Means Safety Counseling, etc.) across the country, and would love to collaborate as your “suicide guy” on your research papers and studies. Hit me up!

Dr. Rachele Lipsky
Dr. Rachele Lipsky

Rachele Lipsky, PhD, MSN, PMHNP-BC

Location: Houston, Texas.

Educational Background: I received my PhD in nursing from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Research Interests: Gene-environment (GxE) interactions, pharmacogenomics, precision medicine, and trauma.

Mentors: My mentorship team includes Dr. Drew Helmer and Dr. Nathan Kimbrel (Durham VA).

Dr. Alan Sheinfil
Dr. Alan Sheinfil

Alan Sheinfil, PhD

Location: Houston, Texas.

Educational Background: I received my PhD in clinical psychology from Syracuse University and completed a predoctoral internship at UTHealth Science Center – Houston.

Research Interests: My research is focused on the intersection of substance use and HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STI) health behaviors in high-risk populations. The ultimate goal of this work aims to develop theoretically-grounded prevention interventions that address substance use and promote adaptive HIV-related health behaviors.

Mentors: My mentorship team includes Drs. Anthony Ecker and Thomas Giordano.

Last updated: February 28, 2024