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Northern California Neuropsychology Forum

Current Board Members

President: David Hawkey, Psy.D.

Dr. Dave Hawkey began his interest in neuropsychology under the tutelage of Dr. Drexler for whom he TA’ed and continues to occasionally provide guest speaker engagements. Dr. Hawkey focused his academic career in gaining more knowledge and experience in neuropsychological assessment and currently supervises assessment, including neuropsychological assessment, for Psychological Services Center. Additionally, he works for Kaiser and Psychological Assessment, Inc., where he is predominantly involved in pediatric neuropsychology. Email: president@ncnf.org

President Elect: Allen Hobbs, Ph.D.

Dr. Hobbs has more that 35 years of experience in healthcare delivery, including Clinical Neuropsychology practice, consulting, teaching, publishing, and research in medical informatics. Graduating with a Ph.D. from CSPP in 1984, he completed post doctoral training in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He spent two years as a Visiting Scholar in Cognitive Neuroscience at Stanford University, and was a co-investigator with the UCSF Dept. of Neurosurgery, on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, investigating cognitive processes related to TBI patients. Employed by Kaiser Permanente for 23 years, Dr. Hobbs provided neuropsychological assessments and consultations for inpatient and outpatient services, supervised postdoctoral fellows, and provided consultation to the Rehabilitation Advisory Board. Further, he was a principal investigator on three innovation grants pertinent to traumatic brain injury assessment, and was Co-Investigator on a First-of-Kind Grant with IBM related to decision support analytics in health care. Additionally, Dr. Hobbs analyzed highly complex proposed healthcare information technology related to U.S. legislation, regulation, standards and policies, and developed critical responses in collaboration with Kaiser's leaders across regions, functions and entities. He coordinated and facilitated Kaiser's input and involvement in federal cyber security policy, with special focus related to healthcare infrastructure protection. Dr. Hobbs is currently practicing Clinical Neuropsychology in the Northern Bay Area, with research interest related to sports neuropsychology, and the application of Machine Learning and Deep Learning to brain imaging and predictive analytics. Email: presidentelect@ncnf.org

Immediate Past President: Rachyll Dempsey, Psy.D.

Dr. Rachyll Dempsey is a Forensic Neuropsychologist who has worked with individuals of all ages using evidence-based treatments and measures in clinics, schools, medical, and forensic settings. Dr. Dempsey’s employment history includes staff psychologist/assessment coordinator/supervisor for the California Department of Corrections, building training programs as Training Director for three different agencies including her current position as Internship Training Director at Psychological Services Center, CSPP, Alliant International University, and in 2014 founding Psychological Assessment, Inc. (www.psychassessment.us), which is based out of Oakland, California with offices throughout California. Dr. Dempsey’s practice is dedicated to forensic and neuropsychological assessment, qualified medical evaluations, expert witness testimony and consultation. Her clinical/therapy practice is dedicated to providing treatment to sex offenders per the CASOMB requirements. Email: pastpresident@ncnf.org

Secretary: Niroshika De Silva, Psy.D.

Dr. Niroshika De Silva recently completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Psychological Services Center in Oakland. Past training sites include San Mateo Medical Center, John George Psychiatric Hospital, and RAMS Fu-Yau project. Dr. De Silva earned her Master of Arts in Child Development from Tufts University in Massachusetts and her doctoral of psychology from California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. Her clinical focus is to provide empirically validated treatments for individuals with trauma histories. Similarly, her research focuses on emotional availability in mothers with trauma histories and the relationship between abuse subtypes and the differences in the development of dissociative symptomology. Email: secretary@ncnf.org

Treasurer: Rayna (Macher) Hirst, Ph.D.

Dr. Rayna (Macher) Hirst is an Assistant Professor and Director of Neuropsychology at Palo Alto University, a doctoral program in clinical psychology. She teaches courses on biological psychology and neuropsychological assessment. She also conducts research in neuropsychology and clinical assessment on topics including effort testing and motivation, the effects of chronic marijuana use, sport concussion and recovery, and health-related factors that impact cognitive function in an aging population. She also has a part-time private practice conducting clinical neuropsychological assessments for a broad range of patients. She completed her undergraduate education at Penn State University, where she worked in the Neuropsychology Lab with Dr. Peter Arnett and Dr. Frank Hillary on the Penn State Sport Concussion Study. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY, with a focus on Neuropsychology and Addictions with Dr. Mitch Earleywine. Her predoctoral internship in psychology/neuropsychology was completed at the VA Ann Arbor/University of Michigan Healthcare System, under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth Adams, Dr. Linas Bieliauskas, and Dr. Henry Buchtel. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School in the Brain Imaging Lab, working with Dr. Laura Flashman, Dr. Robert Roth, and Dr. Heather Wishart. Email: treasurer@ncnf.org

Member at Large: Carmen Velázquez, Ph.D.

Dr. Carmen Velázquez is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist with the California Department of State Hospitals, Napa (DSH-Napa). She is employed as a neuropsychologist at this forensic inpatient setting, providing neuropsychological evaluations for patients placed at the hospital by criminal and civil courts. Dr. Velázquez has been admitted as an expert witness in both Forensic Psychology and Neuropsychology. She is also an expert within the hospital for consultation and training in the area of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Dr. Velázquez also provides training and supervision within DSH-Napa’s APA predoctoral internship, primarily in the areas of psychodiagnostic and neuropsychological evaluation, incompetent to stand trial evaluation, and multicultural training/consultation. Dr. Velazquez completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she was selected as a research scholar with the Mount Sinai Summer Institute for NeuroAIDS Disparities. Her predoctoral internship was at the APA-Accredited Boston University Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology, where she was admitted to the neuropsychology track. She holds her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Alliant International University, The California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco campus. Email: membersatlarge@ncnf.org

Member at Large: Laura Natta, Ph.D.

Dr. Laura Natta is the Director of Neuropsychology at Alta Mira Recovery Programs and is responsible for the Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment of all Alta Mira Clients as well as supervision of Ph.D. and Psy.D. Resident Psychologists and MFT Interns. She obtained a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Neuropsychology from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University. Her dissertation work was conducted as a joint effort of the Palo Alto VA and Stanford School of Medicine and she has presented research at regional and national conferences. She has been working with addiction-compromised individuals for over 15 years in a variety of settings including residential, inpatient, acute, and specialty clinics. Dr. Natta has been with the VA Healthcare System since 2009 and has received specialty training in assessment of trauma, behavioral sleep medicine, traumatic brain injury assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, and pain. She serves as Associate Assessment Faculty at various psychology programs in the Bay Area and is a Supervising Assessment Clinician at El Camino Hospital. Email: membersatlarge@ncnf.org

Student Representative: Martin Hanson, M.A.

Martin Hanson is a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology Psy.D. program at the Wright Institute. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he conducted research on factors that contribute to adult males’ volunteering in their community. After graduation he worked for two years with at-risk youth in an innovative wilderness therapy program, ending his tenure as a lead field instructor. In his graduate training, Martin utilized evidence-based interventions for populations struggling with chronic mental illness and addiction. As a practicum student, he provided treatment in a jail setting (Solano County Jail Counseling Program), a community clinic (The Wright Institute Clinic), and a court-mandated outpatient substance abuse program for parolees (Bridges at Healthright360). His experience as a teaching assistant for the Wright Institute’s year-long course in Neuropsychological Assessment and as assistant for a neuropsychologist in private practice have intensified his use of a neuropsychological lens in his clinical work. Recently, Martin finished a supplemental practicum at the Vinogradov Schizophrenia research lab at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and began working as a lead assessor for a research study measuring the effectiveness of a medical device that offers social cognitive training to populations with schizophrenia. His dissertation examines what role Theory of Intelligence has in predicting response to cognitive and social cognitive training in populations with schizophrenia. He is eager to continue his training in treatment, psychotherapy outcome monitoring, and neuropsychological assessment as a Psychology Doctoral Intern at Kaiser Walnut Creek in the Fall of 2016. Email: studentrepresentatives@ncnf.org

Student Representative: Selvi Paulraj, M.S.

Selvi Paulraj is a fourth-year student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Palo Alto University, with an emphasis in neuropsychology. Selvi received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Scripps College in Claremont CA, where she conducted neuropsychological evaluations for a study on healthy aging and cognition funded by the National Institute on Aging. After moving to the Bay Area, Selvi worked as a research analyst for consulting and market research firms before returning to graduate school to pursue a career in neuropsychology. Last year she was a practicum student at the UCSF Epilepsy Center, conducting pre- and post-surgical neuropsychological evaluations with children, adolescents and adults with epilepsy and other seizure disorders. This year she is at the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF, working with dementias and movement disorders. She is a research assistant at the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders at the Martinez VA, where she is currently working on a mindfulness treatment study for stroke patients. Selvi also moderated a support group for stroke patients with aphasia at the Martinez VA. For her dissertation, Selvi plans to investigate the behavioral and neuroanatomical correlates of working memory in post-stroke chronic aphasia. She has been an NCNF student member for two years and has enjoyed networking with local professionals at NCNF events. Email: studentrepresentatives@ncnf.org


For more information about our organization please email our Secretary Niroshika De Silva, Psy.D., at secretary@ncnf.org

Past Presidents

NCNF is proud of the hard work and commitment that our San Francisco Bay Area neuropsychologist colleagues have shown over the last 25 years and counting to make our organization what it is today.

2015 - 2016: Rachyll Dempsey, PsyD

2014 - 2015: Sharon Perlman-Berry, PsyD

2013 - 2014: Eric Freitag, PsyD

2012 - 2013: Charles Filanosky, PhD

2011 - 2012: Brenda Austin, PhD

2010 - 2011: David O'Grady, PhD

2009 - 2010: Nancy Hoffman, PsyD

2008 - 2009: Richard Delmonico, PhD 

2007 - 2008: Howard Friedman, PhD

2006 - 2007: Darryl Thomander, PhD

2005-2006: Tina Guterman, PhD

2004 - 2005: Ellen Krantz, PhD

2003 - 2004: Penelope Zeifert, PhD

2002 - 2003: Michael Drexler, PhD

2001 - 2002: Ann Levy, PhD

2000 - 2001: Rosemarie Bowler, PhD

1999 - 2000: Jane Fielding, PhD

1998 - 1999: Tatjana Novakovic-Agopian, PhD

1997 - 1998: Jack Fahy, PhD

1996 -1997: Gayle Hostetter, PhD

1995 -1996: David King, PhD

1994 - 1995: Sandra Portman, PhD

1993 - 1994: Nell Riley, PhD

1992 - 1993: James R. Cole, PhD

1991 - 1992: Karen Bronk Froming, Phd

1990 - 1991: Catherine Long Popell, PhD

1989 - 1990: Vivian Clayton, PhD

1987 - 1989: Leonard Price, PhD

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