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During the conference, staff members take up several roles.  First, they act collectively as management, taking responsibility for managing boundaries of task, time and space in such a way that all participants (members and staff) can engage the work of the conference. Second, individual staff members take up specific administrative, consultative, and/or directorial roles. It is the role of the staff, based on their experiences and observations of events, to offer working hypotheses about what is happening in the “here and now.”  The ways in which the staff, individually and collectively, take up their roles and exercise their authority are explicitly available for study by conference members.

The consulting staff will be selected from the list of AKRI-sponsored consultants that is posted on the AKRI website, www.akriceinstitute.org.  Consultant trainees will be selected from the list of consultant candidates that is posted on the AKRI website.

Patricia Kummel JD, PhD - Director

Psychologist and Organizational Consultant, New York, NY; Consultant, The Osborn, Rye, NY; Past Chair, Training and Certification Committee, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems; Fellow, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems; Associate, New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems, Past President, Philadelphia Center for Organizational Dynamics.

Leila Djemal - Associate Director, Head of Administration

Organization Development Consultant and Executive Coach,  Co-Director and Instructor, Touch OFEK Courses and Workshops, Graduate, William Alanson White Institute Organization Program, New York, Member, New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems, Associate, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems, Board Member, OFEK The Israeli Association for the Study of Group and Organizational Processes.

Kelechi C. Fluitt, Ph.D. - Administrator

Dr. Fluitt is a clinician and the Director of Outreach at the Howard University Counseling Center. She is completing a two year fellowship at the Washington School of Psychiatry National Group Psychotherapy Institute in Washington,DC. Lifetime member, Psi Chi international honor society.

Heather Churchill, PsyD - Consultant

Dr. Churchill is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. She works at at the Austen Riggs Center (ARC) as the Associate Director of the Therapeutic Community Program and the Health and Wellness Coordinator. She is also a certified consultant and member of the AK Rice Institute, and is current president of the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems (CSGSS).

Rebecca Weslie Ellison, M.A. - Consultant

Rebecca Weslie Ellison, M.A. has been involved in group relations work since 2004 and is an Associate of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems. She is the co-Founder of Taretok Child Prosperity which focuses on strengthening early childhood education and ecological stewardship within Maasai preschools in northern Tanzania. She has a master’s degree in International Education Policy and another master’s degree in Mass Communications. She contracts as a technical and education researcher and her professional experience includes ecommerce program management, analytics, qualitative and quantitative research, and knowledge management.

Xiaohua Lu, Ph.D. - Consultant-in-training

Associate Professor, Counseling Center of Beijing Jiaotong University; Secretary General of The Division of Group Counseling and Group Therapy, China Association of Mental Health; Consultant-in-training by Division of Group Counseling and Group Therapy, China Association of Mental Health and A.K. Rice Institute.Xiaohua Lu, Ph.D. (consultant-in-training): 

 

Laurie Nisco, Ph.D. - Consultant

Laurie Nisco, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist working in private practice in New York City and Westchester, NY. She has been involved with group relations work since graduate school at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1988. She has been an associate of AKRI and the New York Center since 1997, and has served on the Board of the NY Center in the roles of Secretary and President. She has directed and served on the consulting staff of numerous group relations conferences. She serves as chair of AKRI’s Director Development and Search Committee. She has taught courses in group dynamics and has worked as an executive coach conducting leadership trainings. 

Ian L. Pritchard, Ph.D. - Consultant-in-training

Dr. Pritchard is a Clinical and Consulting Psychologist in Reno, NV. He is Vice President of the A. K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI). Dr. Pritchard is also a current member and past Board Member of Grex, the Westcoast Affiliate of AKRI. Before entering independent private practice, he worked as Senior Supervising Psychologist and Director of Clinical Training for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Jonathan Rust, Ph.D., NCC - Consultant

Jonathan Rust, Ph.D., NCC, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Counseling at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz where he coordinates the Masters of School Counseling Program and teaches in Masters of School Counseling and Masters of Mental Health counseling programs.Dr. Rust is a New York State licensed psychologist and a Nationally Certified Counselor, who maintains a small private practice in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Additionally, Dr. Rust a consultant candidate and associate of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems and its affiliate the New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations, and Social Systems.

Leo Wilton, Ph.D. - Consultant

Professor, Department of Human Development, Binghamton University; Psychologist; Organizational Consultant; Associate and Former President, New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations, and Social Systems; Lifetime Member, Association of Black Psychologists; Former Chair, Board of Directors, The Black Gay Research Group

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