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Florida School of Professional Psychology Faculty

Florida School of Professional Psychology Staff

Whether our students’ professional emphases are assessment, intervention , or other professional activities, one of the keys to their growth lies in the expert support and guidance of FSPP’s accomplished faculty.

Through these relationships, students apply their theoretical knowledge, implement clinical techniques, and integrate research findings to enhance their abilities as clinicians. These close mentoring relationships extend beyond the classroom to collaborations on professional presentations and publications.

Additionally, many of our students gain opportunities to work with faculty as teaching or research assistants. These roles can enhance and deepen professional collaborations and also may provide students with stipends or work-study funding.

As a result, FSPP students are poised to gain experiences that will better prepare them to acquire professional licensure, maintain ethical relationships with patients and colleagues, and develop a professional network.

Faculty Expertise

Our faculty specialize in a diverse range of clinical areas, including forensic psychology, trauma, multicultural issues and assessment of children, adolescents, couples and families. Many serve as peer editors of professional journals, maintain private practices, and serve as officers in state, regional and national psychological associations.


FSPP Faculty Members


Dr. Crystal S. Collier received her Psy.D. in clinical psychology at Wright State University School of Professional Psychology in Dayton, Ohio. She has over 13 years of experience in higher education and currently serves as the program director at the Florida School of Professional Psychology (FSPP) at NLU.

She has expertise and teaches in the areas of diversity, family and child therapy as well as mental health and spirituality. Her theoretical orientation is primarily influenced by assimilative psychodynamics and family systems. Prior to teaching at NLU, she taught at Argosy University Tampa and Wright State University. She is interested in working with diverse populations of children, adolescents, families, parents and women.

She is professionally affiliated with the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NSCPP) and the American Psychological Association (APA). She co-authored a book chapter entitled “Transgressions on Students and Faculty of Color in Higher Education: A Consideration of Potential Strategies” in 2018. She also authored a book chapter entitled “Black Males and the Courts” within the edited book, Black Males and the Criminal Justice System (out in July 2019 from Routledge press).


Dr. Howell is an associate professor and the director of practicum training at Florida School of Professional Psychology. He has dedicated himself to advocacy and support of the LGBT community for over 20 years now. As an undergraduate student he found himself on the front lines of HIV prevention work where he provided community workshops and volunteered at an AIDS Service Organization spanning 7,000 square miles in rural Texas.

For the past several years, he has worked to create a safe space in Tampa for LGBT individuals in need of mental health services. Over the past year, he has made a tremendous mark in his work with the transgender community by providing free group therapy to transgender and gender diverse youth as well as their parents.

As an openly gay psychologist, educator, and LGBT expert, Dr. Howell strives to shed light on bullying, suicide, and homophobia where possible. He has expanded his practice, the Center for Psychological Growth, in Tampa to make an even larger presence in the LGBT community and set up a non-profit, Institute for LGBT Health and Wellbeing, with an emphasis on training, education, and LGBT research regarding health, wellness, and healthcare disparities. The ultimate goal of the nonprofit is to create a summer retreat or camp for LGBT youth and serve as a conduit for social change.

Dr. Howell is a recipient of the 2016 Florida Diversity Council’s LGBT Leader Award and was an inaugural honoree of the 2016 Tampa Bay Business Journal’s LGBT Voices. His commitment to the LGBT community began during his undergraduate years, where he advocated for HIV awareness on his college campus (Austin College). He truly lives his life according to his favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi.

His passion for social justice was the inspiration for his community psychology course at FSPP and as a mentor, he has brought many students to the forefront of national leadership and advocacy efforts with APA and the Florida Psychological Association (FPA). Dr. Howell leads by example and served as an LGBT representative on the Hillsborough diversity advisory council as an inaugural member who was appointed to two terms (first as a member and ended his term as the vice-chair of the council) and has been nationally recognized as a “Guardian of Psychology” by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students Advocacy Coordinating Team.

He is the current secretary of FPA and the immediate past-chair of the FPA diversity committee. He received the FPA Early Career Psychologist Award for his contributions to FPA as an ECP and was previously recognized for his contributions to FPA. He has given countless hours of his time to fighting LGBT causes at the local, state, and national levels. He has provided and continues to provide pro bono services to survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting. He spoke before the Tampa City Council on the need for banning conversion (reparative) therapy for LGBT individuals, a ban that was approved unanimously. He is currently the APA Division 44 (LGBT) president-elect and will assume the presidency in August. He recently ended is term as the Florida diversity delegate to the APA Practice Leadership Conference, where he served as the 2018 diversity delegate liaison-elect and the 2019 diversity liaison and diversity subcommittee chair for the APA Committee of State Leaders.

He leads all efforts of FSPP’s involvement in LGBT equality events and his practice participates in pride events as well and is the faculty advisor to the FSPP Student Psychological Association. He takes a team of graduate students and psychologists each year to ride in the SmartRide to support HIV/AIDS services in Florida. They ride 165 miles from Miami to Key West each November, and 100% of the monies raised goes back to Florida HIV/AIDS organizations. They have raised nearly $40,000 as a team since beginning the ride in 2012.



Dr. Christina Brown is a licensed psychologist specializing in women’s issues, mental illness, and interpersonal trauma. She obtained M.S. and Psy.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University and completed both internship and postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida.

Dr. Brown is associate director of training and associate professor at the Florida School of Professional Psychology at National Louis University. She has worked extensively in community mental health administration and psychological practice with over 10 years of experience. She is involved in leadership for the Pinellas Chapter of FPA for which she was awarded for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Psychology.

Dr. Brown has a part-time private practice working with women ranging from adolescence to older adulthood. She is a member of the Association for Women in Psychology and Society for the Psychology of Women and chair of the women’s division for Florida Psychological Association. Her approach to treatment is integrative, merging an interpersonal and feminist model tailored to the unique needs of each individual.



Dr. Patricia S. Dixon earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Adler School of Professional Psychology, received her master's in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University, and her bachelor's in psychology from Michigan State University. She completed the Group Therapy Certificate program while attending Adler.

She is experienced working in the academic, research, and clinical settings. She has experience conducting psychological evaluations as well as facilitating individual, group, couples and family counseling with children, adolescents and adults. Her theoretical orientation is integrative, and she finds the utility of Constructivism and Adlerian principles useful. Her research interests focus primarily on social and psychological factors that contribute to positive mental health outcomes among minority populations.


Dr. Kathie Bates received her Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology at the University of South Carolina. She is director of clinical training and associate professor at the Florida School of Professional Psychology (FSPP), National Louis University, Tampa.

Her interests are in the areas of personality assessment and disorders, trauma, depression, adjustment, coping, and resiliency. She teaches courses in psychological assessment as well as mindfulness. She focuses her efforts as DOCT on assisting students during the application and placement process for the national predoctoral psychology internship match.

She has expertise working in the areas of general psychopathology, psychological assessment, trauma, substance abuse, gerontology, and women’s issues. Dr. Bates provides consultation and supervision in the Rorschach Comprehensive System, psychotherapy, geriatrics, and a range of clinical cases. She has a particular interest in consultations for complex conceptual and diagnostic cases for underserved adolescents, adults, and older adults.



Dr. Elizabeth Lane is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the Florida School of Professional Psychology at National Louis University. She earned her Ph.D. in biological psychology from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with an emphasis in clinical research related to cognitive aging and neuropsychological assessment.

Following the completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Lane completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she continued to develop her background in the application of clinical research methodology utilizing neuropsychological assessment and neuroimaging to investigate the biological mechanisms related to cognitive aging.

Dr. Lane’s research has focused on how heart health factors, such as insulin resistance and diabetes, impact cognitive aging to help find points of intervention to relieve individuals at risk or suffering from dementia. Dr. Lane has contributed to several publications, presented her work at national and international conferences, and has been the recipient of several grants and awards.

Dr. Lane utilizes her training and research experiences with cognitive aging and neuropsychological assessment to inform and greatly enrich her teaching and mentoring practices. Dr. Lane serves the Tampa Bay community as an Alzheimer’s community educator with the Alzheimer’s Association. Outside of work, Dr. Lane enjoys friends and family, cooking and eating, kayaking, and playing with her labradoodle, Moonshadow.



Dr. Costas earned her doctoral degree in counseling psychology and her master’s degree in clinical psychology at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas. She has a specialty in couples and family therapy and a minor in school psychology. She has been a core faculty member with the Florida School of Professional Psychology (FSPP) for eleven years.

She serves as lead instructor for the couples and families concentration and also teaches in the areas of psychotherapy interventions, ethics, lifespan development, group therapy, psychotherapy practicum seminar, and diversity. Prior to joining FSPP, she was a visiting assistant professor in the counselor education master’s program at the University of South Florida (USF). She has also been an adjunct instructor in psychology at the undergraduate level at various institutions in the Tampa area.

Dr. Costas is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida. She has extensive experience in collegiate mental health serving as staff psychologist at various local university counseling centers and as director of clinical services at the USF-Tampa counseling center. She has clinical experience working with diverse populations especially Spanish-speaking Latinx. She also has experience in group and couples counseling, brief therapy, risk assessment, career counseling, EAPs, and community mental health.

In addition, she has extensive experience supervising interns at an APA accredited internship site and facilitating interns’ didactic seminars on assessment and supervision. In addition, she clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and families. Her theoretical orientation is integrative with emphasis on CBT, systems theory, person–centered, solution-focused, and psycho-dynamic approaches.

Dr. Costas has been actively involved in the Tampa Bay Latinx community. She has been a member of the Tampa Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council for the last 13 years. She is a past president and lifetime member of the Tampa Hispanic Women’s Association (HPWA), a local organization that mentors and supports Latina students and professionals. Through this organization, she developed a mentoring program for Latina college students and young professionals. She is an active member of APA and various APA divisions as well as the National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA). She presents regularly on issues related to diversity and Latinx psychology.

Dr. Costas is committed to educating and mentoring culturally competent psychologists in order to lessen the significant need for providers, especially Latinx psychologists, who can work with growing diverse communities. She is also an advocate of education initiatives and services that can address the needs of the Latinx and other underserved communities and ensure the multicultural and language competencies of those who serve them. She is a native of Puerto Rico and has resided in the Tampa area for over 25 years.



    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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