Mentoring Program

HNS is currently in process of revamping the Mentorship Program to better meet the needs of our members. The Program is not currently accepting applications for mentors or mentees. We look forward to providing additional information about the Program during the first quarter of 2024.

About the Mentoring Program

The Mentoring and Education Committee a) encourages Spanish speakers to become neuropsychologists, b) encourages neuropsychologists to develop competency in the assessment of Spanish speakers, c) mentors HNS members in attaining board certification, and d) provides mentoring opportunities to HNS members.

Committee Chair

Mirella Diaz-Santos, PhD

Mentorship and Education


Franchesca Arias, PhD 

Cristina A. F. Román, PhD 

Melissa Rodriguez Estrada

You are invited to participate
in the 2020-2021 HNS Mentoring Program
The HNS Mentoring and Education Committee is excited to launch the 2020-2021 Mentoring Program application. 
Our 2020-2021 HNS Mentoring Program theme is “Fostering Connections a la Distancia” through three mentoring opportunities.

Apply to be a MENTOR, a MENTEE, or BOTH by Friday, October 31, 2020. Watch our video below for more information about the program, which discusses all three components.  Upload your CV as part of the application.




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Mirella Díaz-Santos, PHD

Dr. Díaz-Santos is from Villas de Loíza, Canóvanas Puerto Rico. She attended public schools with supportive teachers who believed in their students. During middle school, she was mentored to apply to a science and math program at Berwind High School (San Juan). La Escuela Superior de Berwind is where she learned about her passion for science and psychology.

With a clear sense for the importance of kind-authentic mentorship and sponsorship for Latino/a/x trainees, Dr. Díaz-Santos began her journey as the Chair of the Mentoring and Education Committee in January 2020. She and her committee members re-launched the Mentoring Program during the Fall of 2019 with the vision of fostering connections “a la distancia” via mentoring-pairing, peer-to-peer mentoring, and an virtual educational program to engage the whole HNS community in the topics of mentoring, sponsorship, scholarly identity, and professional currency. 

Dr. Díaz-Santos is an Assistant Professor In-Residence with dual appointments in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine. She is also a Faculty Neuropsychology Lead for the Community Engagement Core at UCLA Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Director of the Equity for Latinx-Hispanic Healthy Aging (ELHA) Lab. Her work focuses on prevention, early detection/diagnosis, and management of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Latinx communities. 

Additional professional highlights include:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Boston University
  • Post-doctoral fellowships (UCLA) – Medical Psychological Assessment Clinical/Cultural Neuropsychology Program (clinical neuropsychology); Human Connectome Project: Aging and the Depression Grand Challenge (research) 
  • Member, National Academy of Neuropsychology Culture and Diversity Committee
  • Publications available for review via Google Scholar

Dr. Díaz-Santos loves dancing, karaoke, and hiking, as well as spending virtual time exercising and/or singing with her nephews and niece who live in Puerto Rico.


Dr. Silva’s parents immigrated from Panama and Chile to the United States, and she was born and raised in melting pot that is New York City. She grew up speaking Spanish at home and feels fortunate to have grown up in an environment where cultural diversity was the norm, not the exception.

During her training to become a neuropsychologist, Dr. Silva was often asked to work with Spanish-speaking patients, though most training sites did not have supervisors who also spoke Spanish or had sufficient cultural knowledge relevant to Latinx populations. She joined HNS as a student and found mentorship and training resources that helped her gain competency in providing neuropsychological services to these patients. Dr. Silva has served on the HNS Board as Member-at-Large (2014-2016) and Secretary (2019-2022). She has also been involved with several committees over the years and is currently serving as the Chair of the Information Technology (IT) Committee. She views HNS as the main organization to promote development of professional resources and scientific advancements in neuropsychology that are specific to Latinx groups; she is honored to help the organization in any way she can. 

Dr. Silva is the owner of Pacific Neurobehavioral Clinic, PC, a group practice in San Diego, California that offers neuropsychological evaluation and psychotherapy services to adults with various neuropsychiatric conditions. She engages in clinical and civil forensic work and oversees the clinic operations.

Educational, training and professional experiences include:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Florida Institute of Technology
  • Post-doctoral fellowships – Fullerton Neuropsychological Services, St. Jude Medical Center (one year; neurorehabilitation) and University of California San Diego (one year; clinical neuropsychology)
  • Staff neuropsychologist at Sharp Memorial and Grossmont hospitals from 2009-2012
  • Board certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) for the state of California
  • Treasurer and Current Chair of California Psychological Association-Division 8 (Neuropsychology)

In her spare time, Dr. Silva enjoys playing and making music (piano and electronic instruments; she recently took up learning how to play the theremin), playing tennis, karaoke, and spending time with family and friends.