“The Executive Council shall have general supervision of the affairs of the association between its business meetings, fix the hour and place of meetings, appoint all APA-established positions for association service, make recommendations to the membership, and perform such other duties as are specified in these bylaws. The council shall be subject to the orders of the membership, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the membership.” – LPA bylaws Amended 2014
Current LPA Leadership:
Erin T. Reuther, Ph.D., ABPP
Chair, Legislative & Government Affairs Committee
Dr. Reuther is a licensed and board-certified clinical psychologist. She is currently president of the Louisiana Psychological Association for the 2020-2021 year, and she has been chair of the Legislative & Governmental Affairs Committee for the past 3 years. Dr. Reuther earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at LSU in 2011, was licensed in Louisiana 2012, and board certified in Clinical Psychology in 2015. Dr. Reuther works at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, providing patient care to children and adolescents with pediatric illness in both inpatient and outpatient health/pediatric psychology. She specializes in chronic pain (including chronic headache and abdominal pain), adjustment to chronic illness, and works closely with the Gastroenterology Dept at Children’s. She is co-director of the psychology inpatient consultation-liaison service, and she serves as the psychology liaison for the trauma dept committee. She also supervises postdoctoral psychology fellows in pediatric psychology and serves on committees to assist with student research projects. Prior to joining the team at Children’s Hospital, Dr. Reuther was on the faculty at LSU Health Sciences Center, where she began the trauma psychology consultation-liaison service at the Trauma Center at University Medical Center.
Christopher R. L. Parkinson, Ph.D., ABPP
Chair, Communications Committee
Dr. Parkinson is a licensed and board-certified clinical health psychologist. He is currently president-elect of the Louisiana Psychological Association for the 2020-2021 year, and he has been chair of the Communications Committee for 1+ years. Dr. Parkinson earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology with emphasis in Health Psychology from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science (RFUMS) in 2014. He completed internship at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, Mississippi and a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral medicine/health psychology with emphasis in pain at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS). Dr. Parkinson was licensed in Louisiana in 2016, and obtained board certification in Clinical Health Psychology in 2020. Dr. Parkinson currently works at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS), providing care to our nations Veterans diagnosed with severe medical illness in the context of palliative care. He is also co-director of Psychology training at SLVHCS and an Adjunct Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science of Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Parkinson’s professional interests include behavioral medicine, adjustment to chronic illness, psycho-oncology, promoting resilience, enhancing quality of life, assessing capacity, advance care planning, telehealth, and interprofessional care.
W. Alan Coulter, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Legislative & Government Affairs Committee
Dr. Coulter is a licensed psychologist in the independent practice of school psychology specializing in organizational development. He has served in a number of roles in public education at the local, state, and national levels for more than 51 years. For almost 30 years, he was the Director for Education Initiatives at the Human Development Center, LSU Health Sciences Center – New Orleans and Director of the Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium (APA-accredited). Dr. Coulter is a graduate of the University of Texas-Austin in educational/school psychology and has been licensed in Louisiana since 1995.
ValaRay J. Irvin, Ph.D.
Dr. Irvin is the Director and Senior Psychologist of the University Counseling Center at Southern University Baton Rouge, LA. A licensed Counseling Psychologist, Dr. Irvin has worked in the field of college counseling mental health for thirty-one years; first as a staff psychologist and then, as a director of counseling services for college students for the last 28 years. She has specialized in women’s issues and supports a holistic perspective by integrating mind, body, and spirit concepts in her work. Irvin is the co-author of a professionally published article entitled “Spirituality as a Modality of Transformation for African American College Women.” Dr. Irvin received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 1989 from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Irvin is also in private practice in her hometown of Gonzales, LA where she is the owner of Transformation, Inc., a Professional Psychology Corporation. Her goal of therapy as she engages others is always centered on “transforming thoughts and behaviors in order to transform lives.” Dr. Irving serves as a senior site visitor for the International Accreditation of Counseling Services (IACS) as well as serving as a member of IACS’ Advisory Council. Dr. Irving is serving her second term on the Executive Council as Secretary.
Matthew Holcomb, Ph.D., ABPP
Dr. Matthew Holcomb received his Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Mississippi State University and Ph.D. in School Psychology from Ball State University. He completed a doctoral internship in Neuropsychology at the London Health Sciences Center and a fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at Dartmouth Medical School. He is in private practice and works primarily out of offices in Metairie and Mandeville. Dr. Holcomb is actively engaged in research and has published multiple articles in peer review journals, as well as presenting his findings at both national and international conferences.
Melissa M. Kunimatsu, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Communications Committee
Dr. Kunimatsu is a licensed developmental psychologist in private practice in New Orleans, LA. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in applied developmental psychology from the University of New Orleans where she also served as an instructor for multiple undergraduate classes including General Psychology and Human Sexual Behavior. She completed her postdoctoral training at Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority and UNO’s Counseling Services in addition to being employed as a psychometrist at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans before becoming licensed in 2017. Dr. Kunimatsu’s practice consists primarily of individual cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult clients and family therapy for adolescent clients as viewed from a biopsychosocial and lifespan perspective. She specializes in concerns related to assertive behavior, emotion regulation, family dynamics, social information processing, stress management, and coping skills. Dr. Kunimatsu is currently serving on LPA’s executive council as a director, as well as previously volunteering with the LPA Communications Committee. She has been a member of LPA since 2018.
Paula Zeanah, Ph.D.
Dr. Zeanah is Research Director, Picard Center for Child Development and the LGMC/OLOL Endowed Chair in Nursing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She currently is Chair of Louisiana’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Initiative and the Louisiana Early Childhood Trauma Treatment Network. Prior to her appointments at UL Lafayette in 2015, she was a full-time faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane Medical School (1998-2015). At Tulane, she served as the Chief of Psychology Division, co-directed the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison program, supervised psychology interns and postdocs as well adult and child psychiatry trainees, and provided direct services to children and families. Additionally, she served as the Clinical Director for the LA Bureau of Family Health’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. Dr. Zeanah was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the LSU Health Sciences Center (1993-1998). Prior to becoming a psychologist, she held a variety of nursing positions in primary and tertiary settings, including staff nurse, pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), and in nursing education and administration. Dr. Zeanah’s clinical and research interests include the impact of chronic illness and trauma/early adversity on children and families; perinatal, infant, and early childhood mental health; and adolescent and early adulthood sexuality. Dr. Zeanah earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut in Storrs and completed an internship in pediatric and child psychology with the Brown University Internship Consortium in Providence, RI. Dr. Zeanah is a longstanding member of LPA; she served on the Executive Council from 2012-2015 and has been a member of the Continuing Education/Convention Committee since 2012.
Amanda Raines, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Convention & Continuing Education
Dr. Amanda Raines completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology at Florida State University in 2016 and both her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral residency with the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS) in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Currently, she serves as a Clinical Investigator at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS) and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at LSU. Dr. Raines’ research focuses on identifying and empirically examining transdiagnostic risk and maintenance factors, as well as the development of novel interventions that can be used to treat and prevent anxiety and related pathology including suicide and substance use. To date, Dr. Raines has published over 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts and received over 1.1 million in support for her work from various intramural and extramural agencies. Within LPA, Dr. Raines serves as a Director on the Executive Council and the Co-Chair of the Convention and Education Committee.
Kim E. VanGeffen, Ph.D.
Chair, Professional Affairs
Dr. VanGeffen is a clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist in private practice in the Lakeview area of New Orleans. She received her license to practice psychology in Louisiana in 1984. Dr. VanGeffen received her doctorate in clinical psychology at Louisiana State University in 1982. She completed her internship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In 2000, Dr. VanGeffen served as president of the Louisiana Psychological Association. She is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Psychological Association and serves as the Chair of the Professional Affairs Committee. Dr. VanGeffen received the Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Louisiana Psychological Association on June 13, 2015. She also received the Award for Distinguished Service from the Louisiana Psychological Association on May 18, 2018.
Richard Niolon, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Professional Affairs
Dr Niolon is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois. He obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1997 from Saint Louis University. He completed his internship at Stroger Hospital (formerly Cook County Hospital) in Chicago, Illinois serving underserved individuals within the community. Following internship, he joined a private practice in downtown Chicago completing postdoctoral hours and receiving licensure in 1998. Dr. Niolon continued to work in private practice, offered family assessments for the Department of Child and Family Services, and served as a consultant at a social service agency on the south side of Chicago. Dr. Niolon began teaching with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in the Fall of 1999 as a part-time adjunct instructor for four years. He joined as full-time faculty in 2003 and became the Associate Department Chair in 2007, returning to teaching in 2010. In Fall 2016, Dr. Niolon moved to New Orleans to teach full-time at the Chicago School program at Xavier University of Louisiana. Dr. Niolon has a professional passion for couples work with regard to clinical areas including issues associated with cohabitation, divorce, remarriage, and domestic partnership rights. Dr. Niolon is Co-chair of the professional affairs committee since 2019.
Lucinda DeGrange, Ph.D.
Dr. Lucinda DeGrange is currently in independent practice in New Orleans, LA. She earned a doctorate in School Psychology from Tulane University New Orleans and completed a fellowship in Forensics with an emphasis in the area of Child Custody with Tulane University Medical School Department of Psychiatry in association with Dr. Karen van Beyer. Dr. DeGrange completed an internship in School Psychology with the Louisiana State University – Health Sciences Center. Currently, Dr. DeGrange serves as the Louisiana Representative to APA’s Council of Representatives. Additionally, she is a member of APA’s Advocacy Coordinating Committee and past-president of LPA (2016-2017).