Ximena was born in Quito, Ecuador and came to the United States to pursue her college education. She graduated with a mental health counseling master’s degree from Stetson University and completed her doctorate degree in counselor education from University of Central Florida.
Ximena has worked for 20 years supporting college students through their adaptation and development in their college experience in various roles. She worked as an admissions counselor, international student advisor, and as the director of the Cross Cultural Center at Stetson University. She also taught undergraduate courses in Women and Gender Studies, and graduate courses in counselor education programs at University of Central Florida and University of Vermont.
Ximena is a licensed mental health counselor with expertise in trauma, diversity and inclusion, immigrant mental health, and counselor training and supervision. Her experiences in community counseling, experiential counseling interventions, and immigrant mental health have highlighted innovative models of service delivery to traditionally underserved populations.
Her dissertation studied the impact that sandplay therapy had on the mental health status and resiliency attitudes of Mexican farmworker women. Her publications include: “Gender Matters: Working with Men survivors of Trauma”, and “Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues in Counselor Education: The Potential of Service-Learning in the Development of Sensitive and Competent Mental Health Professionals”. Ximena’s counseling interests and experiences provides students with support as they grow through their personal and academic experiences.