Faculty and Staff

Faculty/Staff Member Bio

Tanya Sorrell
Associate Professor


Tanya R. Sorrell, PhD, PMHNP-BC is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center, Director of the $3 million Illinois SOR funded grant, “Illinois Substance Use Disorder Center of Excellence – SUD-COE,” and the Assistant Director of the Great Lakes NIH NIDA Great Lakes Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Sorrell’s doctoral work is in rural and urban underserved Mental Health and Substance use services research, with a minor in Complementary and Integrative Behavioral Health practices for Latino groups. Continue clinical research in best practices for SUD outcomes in the development or rural substance treatment facilities led to a $2.5 million grant in Colorado for improving access to MAT in rural counties. Her clinical and education work led to state and national accolades as she has served on national SAMHSA committees for Cultural Competence in Nursing Care. Additional research work focuses on culturally based Behavioral Health and Substance use treatment services, with a current NIH grant to incorporate traditional Latino care practices in SUD treatment. She’s published articles on increasing behavioral health/substance outcomes of rural/urban under-served populations by promoting culturally based approaches to increase access, engagement, and outcomes in care.  

Amanda Seanior, LCPCAmanda Seanior
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Amanda Seanior, LCPC, is a licensed professional counselor and Manager of Community Engagement in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Section of Community Behavioral Health. She received her BS in Psychology at Howard University and MA in Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been in the field for 10 years with a focus on providing relational; trauma-informed therapy to individuals across the lifespan. Her clinical expertise is working with individuals who are struggling with depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress reactions/disorder, and relationship conflicts.

Amanda is both an empathic and direct therapist, utilizing humor and displaying patience with the process of treatment, while providing a safe and secure relationship with which clients can process their vulnerabilities. She believes in providing transformative and equitable clinical care to under-resources communities; with a special focus on BIPOC AND LGBTQ+ identified populations. Amanda’s training includes evidenced-based treatments included but not limited to, Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

Anne Rufa Anne K. Rufa
Adjunct Professor

Anne K. Rufa, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences with clinical experience serving clients across the lifespan and in varied settings, including community mental health clinics and the VA. She received her doctorate at DePaul University in Clinical/Community Psychology, and is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois. Her clinical interests focus on trauma and interpersonal violence, and she engages in community-based research aiming to reduce mental health concerns associated with trauma and identify effective prevention/intervention efforts with the goal of health equity.

Madeleine Shalowitz
Associate Chair for Strategy and Innovation

Faculty profile

Madeleine Shalowitz, MD, MBA, FAAP is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician with master’s level training in management and strategy and health systems management, and AHRQ-funded post-doctoral training in health services research. She is the James A Hunter Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, conjoint with Pediatrics, serving as the Associate Chair for Strategy and Innovation in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Shalowitz’s clinical career has focused on helping families navigate the medical, social and economic pressures that challenge even the most resilient families, but which make others with less robust resources more fragile. She has substantial experience in shared decision-making with parents on trans-disciplinary treatment plans for children under three years with developmental delays, directed a program for children who were failing to thrive, and provided medical diagnostic evaluation to children entering the foster care system.

Early in her career, she became committed to building service systems that took better account of the social determinants of health. She developed and validated a measure of life stress, the CRISYS-R, on the South Side of Chicago, that now is nationally recognized for its ability to connect the experience of life stressors with physical and mental health. She is committed to life course, multi-generational approaches to prevent, educate and treat families, building strength in healthy relationships and resiliency in the face of trauma.

Dr. Shalowitz paused full time clinical practice to pursue advanced management training and to develop health services research skills.  Since completion of her training, she has been funded for studies on stress, health and health disparities by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NHLBI, NIEHS, and HRSA. Each of these studies included community partnership throughout. She co-led the early community engagement work for the Chicago-based PCORI-funded Community Data Research Network, CAPriCORN.

For her NICHD-funded work on preconception and prenatal influences of stress on birth and childhood outcomes, as well as maternal and paternal health, she received the Dorothy I Height Racial Justice Award, the Lake County YWCA’s highest honor. Dr. Shalowitz has more than 70 academic publications and authored a newsletter on topics of interest to young families. She has significant experience in mentoring the next generation of providers, researchers and educators. She has also provided reviews for several federal review panels serving the NIH and CDC. She recently completed a 6 year term reviewing for the NIH’s Panel on Health Disparities and Equity Promotion.

Avelina Padin
Assistant Professor

Avelina Padin, PhD, is a clinical health psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Ohio State University and completed residency and fellowship training in the Women’s Health and Trauma Psychology program at Rush. Dr. Padin has expertise in the assessment and treatment of behavioral health concerns related to women’s reproductive health, sexual health, and psychological trauma. She is an attending psychologist in the Center for Women’s Behavioral and Mental Health, where she provides individual and group psychotherapy and supervises resident psychology trainees. Additionally, Dr. Padin co-directs the Rush DBT program and serves as project director for the BRIDGES program, a grant-funded effort to improve systems of care for families of young children impacted by trauma on the West Side of Chicago. Dr. Padin’s theoretical orientation is cognitive-behavioral, with a strong emphasis on third-wave CBT approaches like ACT and DBT. She has received specialized trained in evidence-based therapy approaches for the treatment of PTSD and trauma-related disorders, including Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).  

Deanna Doss

Deanna Doss
Social Worker & Administrative Assistant


Deanna Doss, MSW, LSW, is the administrative assistant and social worker in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Section of Community Behavioral Health. She completed her undergraduate degree in Community Health at Chicago State University as well as her Masters in Social Work. Her education and career have always focused on her passion for working with children and families. Deanna is continuously seeking to gain more skills and broaden her education. She will soon be engaged in supervision to obtain her clinical hours to take the exam and become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Deanna believes that change happens when people are given the guidance they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, happy lives.

Janel Draxler Janel Draxler
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Janel Draxler, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She has nearly a decade of experience in psychiatric nursing serving patients across the lifespan in various treatment settings. Additionally, she has advanced training in public health nursing. Janel strongly values the intersection between education, research, and evidence-based clinical practice. Her professional interests include working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, examining social determinants of mental health, and reducing healthcare disparities in youth with socially complex needs.

Colleen Stiles-Shields

Colleen Stiles-Shields
Adjunct Professor

Faculty profile

Colleen Stiles-Shields, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the Section of Community Behavioral Health within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her research is centered on harnessing digital mental health and telehealth as delivery mechanisms to reach and improve behavioral health targets. Within this work, she specifically aims to design/adapt, evaluate, and disseminate technologies to better meet the needs of underserved pediatric populations and their families.

Rosemary Fister

Rosemary Fister  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner





Rosemary Fister, MN DNP PMHNP-BC is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and the assistant director of the Illinois Substance Use Disorder Center of Excellence at Rush University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry Section of Community Behavioral Health. Dr. Fister received a Masters of Nursing and Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Minnesota and has worked in homeless services with an emphasis on harm reduction since 2004. Prior to coming to Chicago’s southwest side, Dr. Fister established Hennepin County’s Addiction Care and Buprenorphine (AC&B) program at Health Care for the Homeless and worked in community psychiatry at an FQHC on the south side, primarily with people impacted by displacement.

Octavia Daniels
Operations Manager

Octavia Daniels, is the Operations Manager in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Section of Community Behavioral Health. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University. After spending 14 years working at a leading global financial services firm in various roles, Octavia began a path in non-profit. Prior to this role, Octavia was a Project Manager at an executive search and consulting firm where she partnered with non-profit clients nationwide performing candidate outreach and interview processes.  Currently, Octavia is a Board Member with Girls Like Me Project, Inc, a mentor program catered to African -American girls aged 11-17. She’s also currently a mentor with One Million Degrees and has been a dedicated volunteer and mentor throughout Chicagoland for the past 20 years. She is passionate about education and believes in doing her part to create meaningful change within the community. 

Natalie Stevens

Natalie R. Stevens
Associate Professor

Faculty profile

Natalie R. Stevens, PhD, is faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Stevens’ research focuses on the treatment of traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety in pregnancy, postpartum and early parenting, integrating approaches across mental health, obstetric and community settings. Clinically, Dr. Stevens specializes in providing evidence-based interventions and psychotherapy treatment to enhance individual well-being across the reproductive lifespan and strengthen caregiver-infant relationships. Dr. Stevens trains and supervises psychology residents and postdoctoral fellows, medical students and residents, nurses and other perinatal health professionals in trauma-informed assessment and intervention. She is a part of a network of trainer-practitioners, supported by Vivo International, of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), an evidence-based, culturally inclusive mental health tool for individuals and communities continually exposed to systemic violence, oppression and human rights violations.