Scientific Advisory Committee

Jernigan and Associates’ Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) provides strategic guidance and direction for our research and scientific programs. Our members have expertise in the fields of mental health, education, medicine, science, and organizational consulting. They play a key role in guiding and prioritizing strategic planning and implementation of our primary initiatives.


Dr. Hector Adames is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. His research focuses on multicultural training, race, Latina/o Psychology, and health disparities. Specifically, he studies how race, skin color, and ethnic group membership influence health and neurocognitive functioning. He received his doctorate from the APA-accredited Clinical Psychology program at Wright State University in Ohio. Dr. Adames completed his APA predoctoral internship and fellowship in neuropsychology at Boston University School of Medicine. He has earned a number of awards including the 2014 Distinguished Professional Early Career Award from the National Latina/o Psychology Association (NLPA). He served as one of the four writers for the New APA Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists. Dr. Adames’ publications are available in impactful journals (e.g., Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science). His upcoming co-authored book titled, Socio-cultural Foundations and Interventions in Latina/o Mental Health: History, Theory, and Within Group Differences is scheduled to publish in early 2016 by Routledge/Psychology Press.


Malena Banks, MD graduated with honors from Fisk University. She then earned her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC, and completed her adult psychiatry residency at Howard University Hospital. Dr. Banks also served as Chief Resident while completing fellowship training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Georgetown University Hospital. As a practitioner, Dr. Banks has a decade of experience diagnosing mental health disorders, providing crisis and medication management, treating patients through therapy, and offering clinical supervision.

Dr. Banks is a Double Board Certified Psychiatrist in Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, with a special interest in health and wellness. She is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association. She has published on a variety of topics, including biological markers of depression and recognizing and treating substance use disorder in youth with co-occurring chronical physical illness.

Dr. Banks is committed to combatting the stigma of mental illness through advocacy and education. Throughout her career as a practicing psychiatrist, she has been a staunch supporter for her patients and their families, providing education about behavioral health illnesses to reduce stigma and promoting wellness practices to improve patients’ physical and mental wellbeing. Dr. Banks’s commitment to mental health extends beyond her practice: she has also been involved in multiple public health initiatives to enhance the lives of those with mental health diagnoses, especially youth and families from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Dr. Janet E. Helms is August Long Professor of measurement and assessment in the Counseling Psychology Program at Boston College. Also, she is founding director of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College. She has been President-Elect (2007-2008), President (2008-2009), and Past President (2009-2010) of the Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17 of the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Helms is a Fellow in Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) and Division 45 (Ethnic Diversity) of the APA. She has received many honors and awards in research and policy including the 2008 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy from the American Psychological Association and the Association of Black Psychologists’ Distinguished Psychologist Award. Dr. Helm’s expert testimony before the New Haven Civil Service Commission was extensively cited in the Supreme Court decision, Ricci v. DeStefano, making her the first African American woman to be recognized by the Court for her expertise in racial bias and testing. Dr. Helms has served on the editorial boards of Psychological Assessment and the Journal of Counseling Psychology and is on the Counsel of Research Elders of the Journal of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. She has written more than 100 empirical articles, theoretical articles and chapters, and four books on the topics of racial identity and cultural influences on measurement, assessment, and counseling practice. Her books include A Race Is a Nice Thing to Have: Guide to being a White Person or Understanding the White Persons in Your Life (Microtraining Associates) and Using Race and Culture in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Theory and Process with Donelda Cook (MA; Allyn & Bacon).


Dr. Tina Q. Richardson is currently Associate Dean of the School of Education and Director of University-Assisted Schools at Drexel University. Dr. Richardson is responsible for providing administrative and visionary leadership for the undergraduate Teacher Education Program and the graduate teacher certification program as well as five Masters of Science degree programs in (i.e., Education Technology, Higher Education, Math Teaching and Learning, Special Education, and Human Resource Development), and two doctoral programs (Ph.D. and Ed.D.) in Education Leadership. Prior to her current position, she was Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Leadership Development associated with the NSF ADVANCED Grant for Institutional Transformation. In addition to her Special Assistant role, she was on the faculty in the College of Education for 20 years. During her tenure there she held several administrative and leadership roles including Training Director of the Counselling Psychology Ph.D. Program and Master’s degrees in Counseling and Human Services, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling and International Counseling in the College of Education. Her teaching and scholarship focus on international and multicultural education and counseling. Dr. Richardson has extensive experience designing and teaching Study Abroad and Global Citizenship courses. She was a Fullbright-Hays Scholar in Ghana, West Africa and a 2-time recipient of the Fullbright-Hays Group Project Abroad grant from the United States Department of Education. The grant enabled her to lead educational tours for K-12 teachers and university faculty for international curricula development. Dr. Richardson is committed to mentoring student growth and supporting faculty professional development, innovative teaching (i.e., technology-enriched, online, and international) and scholarship related to cultural competence. She received her Master of Arts in 1988 and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Counseling Psychology in 1991 from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a 2008 graduate of the Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Leadership sponsored by Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), a 2010 American Council on Education Fellow, and currently a COIL Fellow at the Center for Collaborative Online International Learning at the State University of New York, Global Center. Dr. Richardson serves as a member of the board for Women’s Ventures International, an organization for women’s economic development in Ghana and she Co-Chairs the Committee on International Relations in Psychology for the American Psychological Association.