Our Faculty

Dr. Merranda Marin

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Dr. Merranda Romero Marin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Science at New Mexico State University. She is a licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), particularly within the context of the family system.

Dr. Marin earned her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State University in 2007. She also holds a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Previous experiences include the oversight of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Team at the El Paso VA wherein she provided evidence-based treatments including Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy to veterans diagnosed with PTSD as well as psycho-education and family treatments. Her other experiences include working in Community Mental Health, specifically with children, adolescents, and families confronting serious mental health issues.

In addition, as a former school counselor, Dr. Marin is dedicated to ensuring the academic success of all students and is passionate about building collaborations among and within communities.

Her research interests include effects of war on family and community systems, evidenced based treatments for PTSD, multicultural counseling and individual and family resilience.

Dr. Marcel Montanez

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Dr. Montanez earned his Ph.D in Developmental Psychology from Michigan State University in 2004. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Dr. Montanez teaches research methods and theories of marriage and family therapy. He has a special interest in equine assisted psychotherapy and incorporates concepts about self-compassion, humanistic principles into all his courses and research.

Dr. Montanez a researcher for the Strengthening Families Initiative where he oversees the research and evaluation efforts for the project. He focuses on evaluation science and has a special passion for quantitative research methods and survey design.

Dr. Kourtney Vaillancourt

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Dr. Kourtney Vaillancourt, program director, is a College Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Science at New Mexico State University. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and drug and alcohol abuse counselor (LADAC) specializing in the treatment of individuals, couples, and families across the lifespan.

Dr. Vaillancourt earned her doctoral degree in Family Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in 2006. She also holds a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from New Mexico State University. Previous experiences include providing therapy at an inpatient psychiatric hospital, providing crisis intervention and assessment at an outpatient facility, and working with families and adolescents through two school based health clinics in rural areas of New Mexico. She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and maintains a small private practice in the Las Cruces community. She also is president-elect of the New Mexico Association for Marriage & Family Therapy.

She is an advocate for continuing the proud tradition of the MFT profession and takes pride in preparing students for licensure.

Her research interests include military families and issues of reintegration, issues of sexuality, in-law relationships, and adolescent substance abuse.