Student Association

About the Student Association 

The Student Association supports the goals and mission of HNS as it relates to trainees and increases visibility and awareness of HNS activities within its student members. The Student Representative (SR) and the Student Representative-Elect (SRE) function as liaisons between students and the Executive Board and Mentoring and Education Committee. The Student Association also provides training, mentorship, and leadership opportunities for students to further their professional development and prepares student members for future Student Representative positions.

Member Benefits 

Active membership within the Student Association is apt to facilitate networking with seasoned cross-cultural neuropsychologists and peers with similar interests, as well as provide a myriad of opportunities to practice leadership and teamwork skills.

Committee Chair & Co-Chair

andrea mejia kurasz
Andrea Mejia Kurasz, MA

Student Representative

Ambar Perez Lao, MS

Student Representative-Elect


Priscilla Amofa
Priscilla Amofa-Ho, MS, MA
Bliss Quintana
Bliss Quintana, MS
Karen Dorsman, BA
Gladiliz Rivera
Rita Rivera

 Clinical Directory Project

COVID-19 Resources:
A Joint Effort Between the Student Association and Communications Committee

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Andrea Mejia Kurasz, MA

Ms. Mejia Kurasz was born in New Jersey, where her parents immigrated to from Honduras. She grew up in a rural, small town in North Carolina and was raised in a multi-generational, Spanish-speaking household. Given the lack of Spanish-speaking providers and resources in the area, she learned to value and advocate for patient-centered care and health equity at a young age.

Currently, Ms. Mejia Kurasz serves as the Student Representative and the Co-Chair of the Student Association Committee. She is also a member of the Awards Committee. She hopes to foster community and amplify trainees from historically underrepresented and excluded backgrounds. She also hopes to increase clinical, research, and professional opportunities for trainees centered on cultural humility and intersectionality, moving towards a more equitable practice of neuropsychology. 

Ms. Mejia Kurasz is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in the Clinical and Health Psychology Program at the University of Florida, with a training concentration in clinical neuropsychology.  She is currently completing her pre-doctoral internship at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.  Her clinical and research interests center around cognitive aging, behavioral interventions, and health disparities.

Additional training and professional highlights include:

  • Bachelor’s in Psychology – University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Master’s in Psychology – University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Publications available for review via Google Scholar

In her spare time, Ms. Mejia Kurasz enjoys being active (e.g., cycling, boxing, tennis), reading, and spending time with her family.

Ambar Perez Lao, MS

Ms. Perez Lao was born in Panama, a multicultural city, where she lived for 25 years before moving to the United States (U.S.). to start her Ph.D. degree. After finishing her Licenciatura en Psicología (bachelor’s in psychology), she applied for a doctoral scholarship from the IFARHU/SENACYT, which led her to study in the Clinical and Health Psychology Program at the University of Florida. Unfortunately, Ms. Perez Lao moved to the U.S. during the pandemic, which made it difficult for her to interact with other people, including her peers due to required social distancing.

Ms. Perez Lao joined HNS to seek other colleagues and peers that could not only provide guidance on this new academic journey but also offer advice on how to survive the Ph.D. life as an international student from Central America. The support and help that she received from the HNS community propelled her to get involved in the Student Association Committee and the Science Committee, which she joined to improve graduate students’ lives and encourage more research in the Latinx/Hispanic Community. Ms. Perez Lao was recently elected to the HNS Board of Directors as the Student Representative-Elect.

Currently, Ms. Perez Lao is in the third year of her doctoral program. She is eager to learn more about clinical neuropsychology, specifically how to work with underrepresented minorities, and has had the opportunity to provide evaluations and psychotherapy services in Spanish under supervision. Regarding her research, she is currently working on studies that involve cross-cultural psychology, cognitive aging, prevention of dementia, and teleneuropsychology. 

Additional training and professional highlights include:

  • Bachelor’s in Psychology – Universidad Católica Santa María la Antigua
  • IFARHU-SENACYT Doctoral Scholarship recipient
  • 2022 HNS Student Research Award recipient
  • Publications available for review via Google Scholar

During her free time, Ms. Perez Lao likes drawing realism, reading, baking, paddle boarding, training, and making her friends and family laugh.


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.