Social Justice Series – Melissa Gutierrez – School of Education & Human Development

Social Justice Series – Melissa Gutierrez

Melissa Gutierrez

Doctoral Student in the Counseling Psychology


Melissa Gutierrez is a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Miami. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami with a major in biology and minor in psychology. After diving into research on early childhood social-emotional readiness at the University of Miami psychology department, Melissa completed her Master of Science in Education at the University of Miami majoring in Mental Health Counseling.

Melissa has joined the CRECER team this year and is looking forward to participating in different projects. She is also currently serving on Dr. Mena and Dr. Santisteban’s team as a therapist in the Culturally Informed Flexible Family Based Treatment for Adolescents (CIFFTA) program and a project coordinator for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) project in Miami Gardens. Her primary research interests focus on researching interventions that would be effective in equipping parents with skills to develop and maintain positive self-esteem for children and adolescents in high risk environments. She is particularly interested in the development of interventions to build and maintain high self-esteem for adolescents in minority groups, specifically Hispanic families.