Sarah Robinson was first drawn to research after pursuing her B.S. in public health from Brandeis University, focusing on child and maternal health disparities in the developing world. She studied nutritional outcomes for children in public school systems at the Harvard School of Public Health throughout undergrad and into her early professional career. Eventually landing in New York City, she completed a pre-medical post-baccalaureate at Columbia University while working in psychiatric clinical research. With growing awareness, she found MAPS and is currently coordinating a phase 3 clinical trial site examining MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD. She teaches yoga and meditation in her free time and hopes to merge the principles of her teaching practice with her academic and professional pursuits.
Cristie Strongman, M.A.
Cristie Strongman, M.A., is the Director for Chacruna’s Racial Equity and Access Committee. She is a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University in the program of Counseling Psychology with a concentration on diversity, and multicultural, bilingual competencies. She holds two Master’s Degrees from Columbia University and is enrolled in a third program. The first one is from Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Regional Studies of Latin America and the Caribbean (2018), where her research focused on the mimesis of indigenous rituals in urban landscapes by contemporary shamans. Her second Master's is from Columbia’s Teachers College in Mental Health Counseling (2019), and her third one in Counseling Psychology, expected in May 2020. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is in Sociology from Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY, 2016), where she studied the sociology of drugs in the USA. Her academic interests primarily focus on the use of alternative methods for the healing of trauma of marginalized populations that incorporate Indigenous traditions with plant medicines, along with the wellness model of mental health counseling. Cristie is currently working at Shiloh Consulting, LLC, providing individual and group psychotherapy to individuals who have been charged with intimate aggression in both English and Spanish. She is a trainee of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and currently serves as a night attendant for the Phase 3 MDMA studies in New York City. She is a classically trained opera singer who enjoys performing compositions with unique instruments and tunings, including homemade instruments, as she employed in several performances, including Carnegie Hall. Cristie is originally from Central America, Colón, Panamá. She lives in Brooklyn with her orange cat Gustav.
Lewis Leone in an aspiring clinical psychologist with several years of experience in research across laboratory, hospital, and community mental health settings in New York. His work and interests involve translating theory from consciousness science into clinical practice, with a particular focus in the area of mind-body interaction. Additionally, Lewis is actively involved in projects investigating anxiety and obsessive-compulsive related disorders, with an emphasis on understanding the interoceptive and metacognitive irregularities which may be present in these conditions. Lewis is optimistic that research into the effects psychedelic substances can help to uncover insight into the nature of consciousness, and that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy can offer powerful healing potential to those who are suffering.
Lewis is a graduate of Georgetown University, and is currently enrolled in a Master of Science program in Clinical Research Methodology at Fordham University.
Ida Benedetto is an experience designer and strategist who provokes new insight through adventure and play. She is often the front-runner in design processes, founding innovative creative practices and advising boundary-pushing projects. Her work has taken the form of games, rituals, adventures, gatherings, documentary media, and educational endeavors. Her research explores the design of transformative social experiences.
She has spoken at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Immersive Design Summit, and Businessweek’s Design Conference, and has been featured in Fast Company, The New York Times, NPR, and The New Yorker.
Ida holds an M.A. in Design Research, Writing, and Criticism from the School of Visual Arts, a B.F.A. in Design and Technology from Parsons, a B.A. in History from the New School. You can see her work online at uncommonplaces.com.