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Core CLEAR Faculty
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Dr. Kimberly Balsam

Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs

Dr. Kimberly Balsam is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University, where she teaches and mentors doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and in the PGSP-Stanford Consortium Psy.D. program.  Dr. Balsam serves as the Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research (CLEAR) and the Director of the LGBTQ+ Area of Emphasis in the Ph.D. program. Dr. Balsam is also Past President of APA’s Division 44, the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, and is currently active on their Science Committee. Dr. Balsam’s research and scholarship to date has focused on four main areas: 1) disparities in mental health and health-related behaviors between LGBTQ+ and cisgender/heterosexual populations, 2) trauma, victimization, and minority stress, 3) interpersonal, social, and legal factors affecting LGBTQ+ couples and families, and 4) intersectionality and diversity within LGBTQ+ populations, with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ people of color, bisexual+ people, and (most recently) transgender and nonbinary people.  Much of her research uses mixed methods in emerging areas of inquiry, and she has developed three measures of minority stress, including a measure of intersectional stress among LGBTQ people of color. She received 15 years of NIH research funding, and she has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, many of them among the first LGBTQ-focused articles in top APA journals. She also has published an edited book, as well as numerous book chapters and other professional writings focused on LGBTQ psychology. 

Dr. Peter Goldblum

Pronouns: he/him/his

Dr. Peter Goldblum is a Professor Emeritus of Palo Alto University and founding director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-based Applied Research, the Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic, and the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis at Palo Alto University. He is a pioneer in the development of community-based mental health programs for LGBTQ clients with over forty-five years’ experience serving this population in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Goldblum has contributed to the professional literature related to gay men's health, culture and suicide, end of life issues, HIV and work, and AIDS bereavement, including two highly acclaimed books: Strategies for Survival: A Gay Men's Health Manual for the Age of AIDS (with Martin Delaney) and Working with AIDS Bereavement (with Sarah Erickson). More recently his research has focused on suicide and bullying, including serving as senior editor to the book Youth Suicide and Bullying, by Oxford University Press. His awards include the NCSPP Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Committee Award for his contribution to professional psychology (2008), APA Division 44 Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training Award (2013). Larry Beutler Faculty Award, Palo Alto University, In recognition of outstanding national and international contributions to the Field of Psychology (2013). Dr. Goldblum is currently Project Manager of Project Trust, a project with San Francisco Theological Seminary and Kaiser Permanente to encourage collaboration between mental health and spiritual providers.


Dr. Em Matsuno

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Dr. Em Matsuno is the inaugural CLEAR Goldblum-Carr Postdoctoral Fellow, working under the mentorship of Dr. Kimberly Balsam. They graduated in 2019 with a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Em’s research goals are two-fold: 1) to understand the minority stressors and resilience factors that transgender and nonbinary people experience and 2) to develop and test interventions to reduce minority stressors and/or increase resilience factors for gender minority populations. For their dissertation, Em developed and pilot tested an online intervention to increase supportive behaviors among parents of transgender youth and is currently conducting a larger efficacy study of the program through funding from the American Psychological Foundation. Based on their advocacy and research supporting trans populations, Em received the award for Outstanding Graduate Student from APA Division 17 in 2018 and the Distinguished Student Contribution Award from APA Division 44 in 2019. Em currently leading the “Enby Project,” a study aimed at identifying and measuring minority stress and resilience among nonbinary people. In addition to leading their own research projects, Em provides research consultations to PAU faculty and students and provides therapy and supervision at the sexual and gender identity clinic.

Dr. Liz. McConnell

Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) McConnell is an Assistant Professor of LGBTQ Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. They also completed a three-year NRSA Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Pre-doctoral Fellowship (F31) Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse with Northwestern University's Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. Dr. McConnell’s research focuses on relational and structural influences on the health and wellbeing of intersectionally diverse sexual and gender minority populations using a variety of methodological approaches.  Their dissertation utilized social network analysis, GIS, and qualitative methods to examine multilevel factors contributing to racial disparities in HIV among young men who have sex with men in Chicago. At PAU, Dr. McConnell is excited about clinically supervising students in the Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic and continuing her work examining relational influences on LGBTQ health.

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