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Nat R

- Research Program Mentor

EdM candidate at Columbia University


LGBTQ individuals, race and gender identity development, stigma and minority stress, qualitative research, linguistics and language learning


My name is Nat, I use he/him pronouns, and I currently work as the Research & Training Coordinator for the Gender and Family Project, an organization which focuses on providing affirming services to trans youth and their families. I am a graduate of the Counseling Psychology program at Teachers College, and I completed my Bachelor's degree in English Literature, with a minor in Linguistics and a concentration in Brain and Cognitive Science. I have always been interested in language, psychology, and my master's program gave me the opportunity to expand my skills in quantitative and qualitative research. I have experience with survey development, longitudinal studies, interview based research, and publication. My hobbies include skateboarding and snowboarding with my son, playing guitar, and hanging out with my husband and our three dogs! I also love spending time with other queer and trans folks and participating in activism for our community. I love research because it allows me to shed light on communities or issues that many people are unaware of, and sometimes it help us to find solutions to problems caused by prejudice and oppression. I look forward to working with students who are eager to think about the ways in which their identities and experiences inform their research interests. I have had many lovely mentors who have helped me to accomplish my research goals, and I am excited to pass down my knowledge through supportive, student-centered mentoring.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

LGBTQ school climate

Is your school a friendly environment for LGBTQ+ students? We can work together to create a survey or conduct interviews to learn more about how LGBTQ students feel in your school or how non-LGBTQ students and staff perceive LGBTQ students. With a quantitative survey, we can answer questions such as "Do white LGBTQ students feel more comfortable than non-white LGBTQ students?" or "What percentage of school staff would say they support LGBTQ students in your school?" With a qualitative survey, we can answer questions such as "How do LGBTQ students describe their experiences in the cafeteria?" or "What changes could be made to events such as school dances to make LGBTQ students feel more included?"

Perceptions of therapy

Although many people would say that mental health counseling is helpful, many people have feelings or beliefs about going to therapy that prevent them from utilizing mental health resources. We can develop a project to explore the perceptions that your family, community, peers, or a specific population hold regarding mental health counseling. Do they believe therapy is important? Do they utilize therapy themselves? What do they think of others who utilize therapy? Once we understand the beliefs that discourage individuals from participating in therapy, we can come up with interventions that can challenge those beliefs and improve mental health outcomes!

Becoming me

Identity development is an ongoing process of recognizing and developing our beliefs about our race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, or other aspects of our identity. It is influenced by the people around us, as well as what society thinks of people with our identities. We can develop a project to learn about a group of people who share a common identity (bisexual individuals, transgender men, Black women, individuals with disabilities). What do they think about their identity? Who influenced their perception of their identity? What does society think of people like them? How comfortable or happy are they with having this identity?

Coding skills

R for data science (intermediate), python (beginner), javascript (beginner)

Languages I know

Some Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin

Teaching experience

I have mentored peers in my research lab during graduate school, managed a team of interns in my current work, and


Work experience

Gender and Family Project, Ackerman Institute (2021 - Current)
Research and Training Coordinator
Queer Rock Rochester (2018 - 2018)
Program director for queer-focused music camp


University of Rochester
BA Bachelor of Arts (2014)
English Literature
Columbia University
EdM Master of Education candidate
Counseling Psychology

Completed Projects

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