Welcome to the NARACES Research Interest Network


On this page you will find information about the Research Interest Network, current projects, upcoming meetings and ways to get involved. You will also find information about the chair and her goals for the network this year. 

As the webpage will be updated often, please check back periodically. 

We look forward to having you on our team and supporting you with your research endeavors.

~The Research Interest Network Committee

Are you interested in joining the NARACES Research Interest Network?


If so, please email the chair,
Atiya R. Smith, at naraces.rin@gmail.com


NARACES Research Interest Network Committee members Atiya R. Smith (University of Rochester), Hennessey Lustica (University of Rochester) and Ryan Aquilina (Plymouth State University) during the Research Interest Network meeting at the
2014 NARACES conference.

Message from the Chair

Hello NARACES members! 

My name is Atiya R. Smith and I am truly excited to serve as the chair of the NARACES Research Interest Network. 

Currently, I am a doctoral student in Counselor Education at the University of Rochester. I serve as one of the NARACES representatives to the ACES Emerging Leaders Taskforce and am the immediate past chair of the NARACES Graduate Student Committee. 

My research interests focus on the experiences of female African American and Latina graduate students, counseling student development and school-based mental health services for students in K-20 (kindergarten to graduate school). I also have an interest in counseling theory, professional ethics, assessment & appraisal, counseling underrepresented populations, supporting students with learning disabilities and integrating expressive arts into counseling practice. 

As the chair of the Research Interest Network, my goals are to:

  • increase and maintain membership in the network
  • revive the online research forum
  • develop a collaborative relationship with the NARACES Graduate Student Committee
  • provide conference calls for members to learn about research topics and collaborate on research projects 
  • share information with NARACES members about ACES research awards, and
  • build and maintain the network website

If you are interested in joining the Research Interest Network, learning more about the network, sharing your expertise or are interested in collaborating with fellow NARACES members on various research projects, please do not hesitate to email me at naraces.rin@gmail.com. We would love to have you on our team! 

Also, please don't forget to log into the NARACES website to access the Research Interest Network Forum. Within the forum, you can connect with other NARACES members who are interested in research, view the research interests of network members and both post and inquire about research collaborations. At this time, the forum can only be accessed by NARACES members so please be sure to log in. 

I look forward to working with you and continuing to build the profession through research,

Atiya R. Smith
University of Rochester


Purpose of the Research Interest Network

The purpose of the Research Interest Network is to provide a community where NARACES members can (1) come together in a structured manner to collaborate on research projects and to also (2) expand their knowledge on various aspects of research and the research process. The Research Interest Network is open to students (Masters and Doctoral), faculty and professionals in all areas of Counseling and aims to build the profession through research.     


Mission of the Research Interest Network

In order to accomplish our purpose, the mission of the Research Interest Network is to promote excellence in research and provide opportunities for NARACES members to engage in research. 


Vision of the Research Interest Network

The vision of the Research Interest Network is to be a supportive, active and enriching community where: (1) network members can easily connect with others who have similar research interests, (2) graduate students can receive guidance in research, writing and publication, and (3) committee members can provide opportunities for active network members to enhance their research skills through professional development activities and facilitate research collaborations with fellow network members.   

Committee Members 


The NARACES Research Interest Network committee consists of NARACES members who are both personally and professionally committed to research, enhancing the field and supporting the purpose, mission and vision of the Research Interest Network. 

Ryan Aquilina



Liaison to Master's Students

Ryan is a Master's student in Counseling at Plymouth State University. She is a founding team member and president of the Graduate Research Society (GRS) at Plymouth State. The GRS was created to promote and encourage graduate level research and scholarship. Currently, GRS members are planning for their first research symposium. With her interest in research, paired with her leadership skills, Ryan looks forward to serving as a committee member of the Research Interest Network. 

Her research interests include trauma, mindfulness, prisoners and restorative justice. 

Hennessey Lustica


Liaison to Doctoral Students

Hennessey is a doctoral student in Counselor Education at the University of Rochester. She is the current chair of the NARACES Graduate Student Committee (GSC). Hennessey looks forward to developing a partnership with the Research Interest Network and assisting graduate students with both learning about and engaging in the research process. 

Her research interests include the use of contemplative practices in school-based settings, professional development for classroom teachers of school-based mental health services and school-counselor intern preparation and readiness.

Mike Mariska


Liaison to Faculty & Professionals

Mike is an assistant professor in Counselor Education at Plymouth State University. He is the past chair of the Research Interest Network and also serves as the Technology Chair and the Awards Committee Chair for NARACES. 

His research interests include nonverbal communication, counselor education, multicultural competency, basic skills training, strength-based counseling & assessment and qualitative research.

Joining the Research Interest Network


Are you interested in collaborating with other students and professionals in NARACES on research projects?

Are you interested in developing your knowledge and skills in research?

Are you interested in supporting rising researchers with developing their skills in research and writing?

If so, you should join the NARACES Research Interest Network!

How to join the network & begin collaborating with network members:

  1. Log into the NARACES website using your registered email and password. Once you are are logged in, you will have access to the "members only" sections of the webpage.

  2. When you are logged in, click the Research Interest Network tab and scroll over to "Research Interest Network Forum".

  3. On the Forum webpage, you will find a link to the actual forum towards the bottom of the page on the left side. The link is called "Research Interest Network Forum".

  4. In the forum, you will find two threads. One thread is for announcements and posts about collaboration projects. The other is where members can enter their contact information and research interests. 

If you have any questions or need any support, please feel free to email the chair.

Thanks for visiting the page of the NARACES Research Interest Network! 

If you have any questions, suggestions, concerns or need support of any kind related to the network,
please do not hesitate to contact our chair, Atiya R. Smith, at naraces.rin@gmail.com.


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