New Mexico Association of
School Psychologists



New Mexico Association of School Psychologists

2018 Annual Conference Presenter BIOS

October 26 and 27, 2018

Marriott Albuquerque

Albuquerque, NM


Keynote Speaker:  Leslie Z. Paige, EdS, National Association of School Psychologists President-Elect

Leslie has held many positions in the National Association of School Psychologists leadership, including treasurer and secretary. She has chaired and co-chaired numerous committees, including awards, leadership development, ethics, professional development, and publications. She was a member of the PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training Curriculum workgroup and the Strategic Planning committees. Leslie is also a past president of the Kansas Association of School Psychologists. She was the NASP School Psychologist of the Year in 1996 and the Kansas School Psychologist of the Year in 1994. She has received three NASP Presidential Awards and was also recognized with the Fort Hays State University Alumni Achievement Award in 1996.  Leslie spent 22 years as a practicing school psychologist, was the interim program director of the school psychology program at FHSU in the mid 90’s and has taught as an adjunct instructor. She is currently the director of the Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects at FHSU.  Leslie is honored to speak at the New Mexico Association of School Psychologists, and is looking forward to meeting more colleagues from “The Land of Enchantment”!  


Presenter:  Craig Pierce, PhD, LMFT, LPCC

Craig Pierce, PhD, LMFT, LPCC is the founder and president of Southwest Family Guidance Center. With over 30 years experience as a clinical counselor and family therapist, he is a fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association, a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a board certified PTSD Clinician by the American Psychotherapy Association, a leading expert in trauma-informed treatment, the 2016 award recipient from the New Mexico Child Abuse Prevention Partnership, and author of multiple books on effective parenting. Dr. Pierce’s primary focus for the last 10 years has involved working directly with New Mexico Children Youth & Families Department and public school systems, providing trauma-informed trainings and critical services, including: suicide and crisis assessments, school-based therapy, multi-systemic therapy, and parenting programs. This year he launched Thriving Students, an innovative program that integrates trauma-informed care and positive psychology, providing key insights and effective tools to help educators positively interact with the most challenging students.


Presenter:  Sylvia J. Acosta, Ph.D. 

Sylvia J. Acosta, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Center for Development and Disability (CDD) at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC). She earned her degree in counseling psychology from Colorado State University. She completed an internship and fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she focused on child clinical psychology. In her role at the CDD, Dr. Acosta provides clinical service and training in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her areas of expertise include diagnostic assessment of childhood developmental and behavioral health disorders, behavior management, parent training and cultural and linguistic competence. 


Presenter:  Tiffany L. Otero, Ph.D., BCBA

Tiffany L. Otero, Ph.D., BCBA is postdoctoral fellow in the Autism Programs at the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability. Through her career, Dr. Otero has acquired extensive training and experience in the comprehensive assessment of children, teens, and young adults with a range of medical, developmental, learning, social/emotional and behavioral difficulties. She also has specialized training and experience in working with children and their families delivering evidence-based intervention practices grounded in behavioral theory. She completed a B.S. in Psychology, her M.A. in Special Education and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of New Mexico. Following a period spent as a special educator and behavior analyst, Tiffany completed her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Indiana University. Her graduate work involved research into the development of self-management skills and social competence in children with neurodevelopmental disorders as well as single-case design methodology. She also received additional specialized training in pediatric neuropsychology at the IU Health Neuroscience Center and the University of New Mexico Neurocognitive Assessment Clinic. Dr. Otero completed her pre-doctoral internship at Oregon Health and Science University in the pediatric neuropsychology track. Dr. Otero is excited to have the opportunity to continue her training in her home state, using her unique experiences to meet the needs of children with autism and other developmental disorders.


Presenter:  Niki Feldman, Licensed Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher

Niki became a Massage Therapist in 1995 and discovered Yoga soon after.  She loves to help people feel both relaxed and powerful.  Niki believes that Movement, Yoga, and Breathing exercises are effective tools for releasing tension, feeling at home in your body, and empowering yourself.  Besides Yoga, she loves Hiking, Skiing, and Dancing.


Presenter:  Lorie Gerkey, Attorney

Prior to becoming an attorney, Lorie Gerkey spent 13 years as a special education teacher and 17 years as a Student Services administrator. This foundation led Lorie to pursue a second career in special education law. Her thirty plus years as a public educator and administrator gives Lorie a unique perspective on the legal issues facing schools. Throughout her career she has always put the student’s needs first. She believes that “All Means All”, no matter the educational environment.


Presenter:  Jesse Dompreh, MA

Jesse Dompreh is the Associate Pastor at St. Stephen's United Methodist Church in Albuquerque.  Born in Ghana, Jesse Dompreh has lived in Albuquerque for over 31 years and he was ordained Itinerant Elder in 2004 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  He earned a BA in Economics from the University of Ghana, MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary where he is presently pursuing Doctoral studies in Ministry (D.MIN). Jesse has served in leadership positions with various business and community organizations in New Mexico. He is a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains, a Chaplain with Presbyterian Hospital and a member of the Critical Incident Stress Management response team.  


Presenter:  Victoria Calder, Ph.D.

Dr. Victoria Calder served at the Executive Director of the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University until her retirement in 2015.  Under her leadership, the Center received numerous awards, including the 2013 FEMA/Homeland Security national award for Individual and Community Preparedness. As a member of the Texas Homeland Security Council, the Central Texas Counter-terrorism Working Group, and the Texas Disaster Behavioral Health Consortium, she developed various strategic plans and products to strengthen safety and security in Texas. Dr. Calder obtained a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and is licensed in Texas as both a clinical psychologist and school psychologist. Her areas of specialization include emergency management, threat assessment, disaster behavioral health, and the psychology of terrorism. Dr. Calder was in private practice as a psychologist for 16 years and also served in the Dallas Independent School District for 17 years in various administrative functions, including Emergency Management Coordinator and Manager of Leadership Development. Currently, Dr. Calder is a Lead Instructor at the FEMA/Homeland Security National Emergency Management Institute in Maryland, and a Master Instructor for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students. Dr. Calder also volunteers with the Red Cross as a member of the Mental Health Disaster Response Team, for whom she delivered on-site disaster response at the Louisiana flood event in September, 2016 and the Hurricane Harvey event in 2017.  





The New Mexico Association of School Psychologists (NMASP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

4004 Carlisle Blvd NE Suite F, Albuquerque, NM 87107

Phone: 505-328-3109 

Fax: 505-869-1640

Email: president.nmasp@gmail.com

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