Bios

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G. E. Kawika Allen, PhD


Professor G. E. Kawika Allen was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Joseph R. and Moana R. Allen. Dr. Allen's Polynesian heritage is Hawaiian and Tongan (Makaiwi and Kamea/Bloomfield ancestry). He is the last of nine children, six biological and three adopted. He was raised in Waianae, O'ahu. The Allen family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, in June 1981.

Professor Allen received his BS in speech/organizational communication and his MS in counseling psychology at the University of Utah. He then received his PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri–-Columbia (a top-ranked program) and completed his predoctoral clinical internship at Duke University. His research areas involve culture-specific and appropriate psychotherapies and interventions for Polynesians/Polynesian Americans, as well as examining the intersections of religiosity/spirituality, coping/collectivistic coping, depression, anxiety, and psychological well-being/adjustment among Polynesians/Polynesian Americans. Professor Allen leads the Poly Psi Team research efforts involving Polynesian American Psychology Research. He is currently an assistant professor in the counseling psychology doctorate program at Brigham Young University.

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Jared Cline


Jared Cline is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at Brigham Young University. He was born in Fairfax, Virginia, and raised in Farmington, Utah. He completed his bachelor of science in psychology with a minor in statistics at Brigham Young University. Jared worked as a mentor for two years at residential treatment centers in Utah during his undergraduate work and before starting his PhD. He is broadly interested in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a method of practice as well as other mindfulness-based treatments. His research interests include ACT, psychotherapy outcomes, and multicultural psychology. Jared is married to Brooke Cline, and they have one newborn daughter named Paige. Jared enjoys backpacking, camping, fishing, biking, hiking, and generally enjoying the outdoors.

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Hoku Conklin, PhD


Professor Hoku Conklin is an assistant clinical professor at Brigham Young University. He grew up in Southern California and has also lived abroad in New Zealand and Australia. He identifies as Polynesian and is of Maori/Hawaiian background. He completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at Brigham Young University–-Hawaii and his PhD in counseling psychology from Brigham Young University. He completed a predoctoral internship at the University of Utah Counseling Center, a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego Counseling and Psychological Services, and is currently a licensed psychologist practicing individual, group, and couples counseling in BYU Counseling and Psychological Services. Professor Conklin has a strong interest in multicultural counseling and research and is proud to be affiliated with the Poly Psi Research Team conducting Polynesian American Psychology Research.

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Bango Gancinia


Bango Gancinia is a doctoral student at the Brigham Young University’'s counseling psychology program. He was born and raised in Honoka’'a, a small sugar cane plantation town on the Big Island—-the island of Hawaii. He is Filipino and Hani Hawaiian. Bango is the youngest of three children. As a first-generation student, he completed his BA in psychology at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. He later obtained his MA in community counseling from Washington State University. Clinically, Bango has been a facilitator for addiction recovery groups, has worked as a case manager, and has done individual, family, and group counseling. His primary research interests include multicultural psychology, help-seeking stigma, and humor, specifically among Polynesians. During his free time, he enjoys playing music, fishing, cooking, camping, and spending time with his family.

Cameron Hee

Cameron Hee


Cameron Hee is currently a doctoral student in Brigham Young University’s marriage and family therapy program. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, and was raised in Kalaoa on Hawaiʻi Island. He is the oldest of three children and is of Hawaiian (Kamauoha/Palaile ancestry), Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish descent.

Cameron completed his BS in psychology at Brigham Young University-Hawaiʻi and his MS in marriage and family therapy at Brigham Young University. He has clinical experience working with families, couples, and individuals, as well as helping to facilitate addiction recovery groups. His research interests include culturally sensative interventions and therapy treatments specifically for Native Hawaiian and Polynesian families, racial stress, spirituality, and attachment behaviors. In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball, fishing, hoe waʻa, wood work, and spending time with his wife and son.

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Davis Kane


Davis Kane is a doctoral student in Brigham Young University’s counseling psychology program. Davis was born in Honolulu, Hawai’i, was raised on the leeward side of O’ahu, and is the second youngest of two full and two half-siblings. He is also hapa (half-Hawaiian and half-Caucasian), whose Hawaiian ancestral lineage consists of Lawai’'a (Kane lineage), Kahuna (Malo lineage), and Ali’'i (Malo lineage).

Davis received his bachelor of science degree in psychology from Brigham Young University–Hawaii in April 2014. Shortly after receiving his undergraduate degree, he spent a year working as a basic skills trainer for North Shore Mental Health in La’ie, Hawaii. His primary research interests include multicultural psychology, religiosity/spirituality, and psychological well-being among ethnic minorities, specifically Polynesians. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, reading, and hiking.

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Jason Lefrandt


Jason Lefrandt is currently a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Brigham Young University. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Aiea, Hawaii. He is the third of five children and is half-Japanese, part-Indonesian, and part-Dutch. He finished his BS in psychology and MS in marriage and family therapy at Brigham Young University. He has done an internship with Solace Emotional Health, treating pornography addiction, anxiety, and depression with families, married couples, and individuals. He is married to Kelsey Lefrandt. He and his wife enjoy critiquing restaurants and films (not professionally), going on hikes, playing sports, and exploring new places.

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Alexandria Kamalei Parker


Alexandria Kamalei Parker is an undergraduate student in the psychology program at Brigham Young University. Kamalei comes from a mixed ethnic background of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, and Caucasian heritage. She was born and raised in Pearl City, O'ahu, and is the oldest of four children. In 2014, Kamalei served a full-time church mission in the Dominican Republic where she learned Spanish and discovered more family and friends. Kamalei was recently married to a local from the islands and they have enjoyed starting a new life together in Utah.

Kamalei became interested in studying school psychology while at BYU. She has loved working with children her entire life, from teaching swimming lessons in the pool, to working with students who have special needs, to even babysitting. She plans on going to graduate school to become a school psychologist, then taking this degree back home to Hawaii in order to help improve the academic environment for children in public schools.

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Erika Sy Steinwand


Erika Sy Steinwand was born in Manila, Philippines and immigrated with her family to San Jose, California when she was seven. Erika is Filipina with Chinese and Spanish ancestry. Erika received her BS in human development (concentration in child and family studies) from the University of California, Davis. After completing her undergraduate studies, Erika moved to Kauai, Hawaii and worked for various non-profit, social service agencies and school-based behavioral health. Erika obtained her MA in psychology and MA in intercultural studies with an emphasis in children-at-risk from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA and is currently enrolled in Fuller's doctoral program in clinical psychology. She is trained in the clinical practice of the integration of religion or spirituality and psychotherapy, as well as the practical integration of theology and psychology. Her research interests include program and outcomes evaluation, managing traumatic stress, and the intersection of religiousness/spirituality and culture particularly with Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic population of Hawaii. Erika is currently completing her predoctoral clinical internship at Brigham Young University's Counseling and Psychological Services. Erika and her husband enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as stand up paddle boarding (SUP), hiking, biking and kayaking.

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Selesitila Tenney


Selesitila Tenney is an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University. She is studying psychology and is debating between counseling psychology or social work at this time (Poly Psi Team has her leaning more toward counseling). She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was raised in Sydney, Australia, until she was 13. Ever since 2009, her family has lived in Orem, Utah. She is of Samoan/Maori descent. She served her mission in Scottsdale, Arizona, speaking Spanish, where she served among the Hispanic community and ended her mission on the Apache Reservation, where she grew to love and learn all about other cultures while also gaining a deeper love and appreciation for her own. These experiences inspired her to want to work with her Polynesian community, and the Poly Psi Team gives her the perfect opportunity to do so. Tila has a passion for Polynesian dancing, jamming on the ukulele, writing, and being with family.