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NCORE Webinar Series

Killing Me Softly: Suicide Among African American, Asian, Pacific Islander and LGBTQ+ Students    

Wednesday, April 7, 2021  |  LIVE 3:00-4:30 PM Central Time* 

(* 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern / 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain / 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific). Convert other time zones to Central Time here.

SESSION FULL - we will post a link to the recording on our On-Demand page


Important Details:

  • Registrants will receive an email with the Zoom link the morning of the session.
  • All registrants will receive a recording approximately one week after the webinar.
  • Email for assistance.
  • Live captions and sign language provided.

            sign language icon 

Session Description:

The purpose of this session is three-fold: 1) to enhance institutional awareness of suicide risk, which is the second leading cause of death among college-aged students; 2) to examine certain racial, ethnic, and cultural dynamics, gender identities, and sexual orientations, and their relationship to suicide risk and protective factors; 3) to offer participants an opportunity to work, in small groups, to develop strategies for reducing on-campus suicide risk factors, while simultaneously increasing protective factors among diverse populations. This session will discuss research that shows that campuses that successfully create LGBTQ+ affirmative environments can reduce suicide risk among these populations.

This session will also examine rising rates of suicide among African Americans entering college, which have historically been under reported due to unique cultural expressions of suicide. Further, the workshop will examine suicidal issues among specific Asian and Pacific Islander ethnicities, including a related case presentation. This session should particularly benefit student life/student affairs personnel concerned about suicide risk and interested in developing policies and procedures aimed at increasing factors that protect against suicide. Similarly, this session will be of interest to all members of university communities who would like to contribute to the creation of safer campus environments.



Jenny Park

Jenny Park is a doctoral student pursuing a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Born and raised in the state of Hawai'i, Jenny was drawn to the field by a passion for understanding those around her as friends, peers, and patients expressed psychological healthcare needs that were not being met.

In September 2017, Jenny lost a patient whom she had met during a medical mission to suicide. And upon graduating from college, Jenny became an EMT in the state of Hawai'i, often working with patients in suicidal crisis. She credits these patient interactions as what drove her shift into the field of Psychology, where she hopes to join the push for the de-stigmatization of mental health and illness while raising greater awareness of suicide and the need for discussion of this public health issue.

Presenter Jenny Park image


Claudia Shields

Dr. Claudia Owens Shields is a licensed psychologist specializing in multicultural community clinical psychology and a professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dr. Shields completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Whittier College, where she provided psychological services to college students struggling with suicidal behaviors and related issues.  

Dr. Shields also served as a staff psychologist at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, where she developed and launched a suicide-prevention program aimed specifically at creating a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students at risk for suicide due to discrimination.

Dr. Shields was appointed by the Azusa City Council to serve on the Human Relations Commission, dedicated to eradicating hate crimes and promoting tolerance and civic peace, and worked closely with the local school district, colleges and the Azusa Police Department, where she developed an internship program for graduate students interested in community mental health and the prevention of racialized youth violence and suicide.  

Dr. Shields has a small private practice, where she provides psychological services to individuals, including those of college age, who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and substance use  She also provides diversity training and consultation to organizations.

Presenter Claudia Shields image

Guy Balice

Dr. Guy Balice received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from UCLA in 1997, with Minors in Clinical Psychology and Statistics. While Dr. Balice’s teaching specialties focus primarily in statistics and research methods, he also teaches in other areas of clinical psychology; for example, Dr. Balice also teaches beginning and advanced courses in psychodynamic theory and interventions. Dr. Balice’s current research interests are in the area of domestic violence recovery, and he has an active research group looking at predictors of recovery in female victims. Dr. Balice also actively supervises student research and has Chaired and been on numerous Dissertation committees. Dr. Balice has been a psychotherapist since 1992, and has clinical interests in working with couples’ issues, college students, and adults, and specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Dr. Balice is Licensed Psychologist and currently has a small private practice, where he supervises Psychological Assistants and Marriage and Family Interns. 

Presenter Guy Balice

Lisa Gray

Lisa M. Gray is the Associate Director within the Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging department (i3b) at UMBC. Lisa has worked in Student Affairs focusing on diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice education and training for over 25 years. Lisa holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Richmond and a M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from The Ohio State University. In July 2006, she joined the UMBC Office of Student Life (now Campus Life) as an Assistant Director. Within that role, Lisa created and led student-centered events, workshops, staffing and resources connected to Campus Life’s Diversity and Inclusion area. Lisa continues to facilitate diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice education initiatives for underrepresented and majority students, student leaders, staff, faculty and campus community partners. As a part of this work, she leads the staff and manages the resources for the Mosaic Center, Interfaith Center, and Pride Center - three student-centered departmental spaces within i3b. 

Lisa is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a founding member of the former Maryland Black Family Alliance, a group of straight, Black allies from diverse backgrounds who believe in justice for all Maryland families – including those headed by LGBTQ+ households. For over two decades, she has worked with numerous diversity, equity and inclusion-focused local, state and national organizations. Lisa also works as a race equity facilitator/consultant and social justice collaborator with She currently serves with and supports several Howard County, Maryland public school system committees and grassroots social justice organizations. Lisa is a longtime NCORE attendee and past conference presenter.

Presenter Lisa Gray image