ialgbtic board of directors 2017-2018


Missy Lugo

President - Missy Lugo, MSEd, LPC, NCC, PEL-School Counselor is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Missy has experience providing counseling to children, adolescents, and adults, as well as working in student affairs. She has provided individual and group counseling at the middle school level and has experience in academic advising. Missy worked for a company affiliated with DCFS providing supervised parental visits. She is a Student Success Specialist at NIU where she focuses on retention. She is currently transitioning from higher education to school counseling at the high school level. Missy is an adjunct professor and works in private practice at Lighthouse Professional Counseling Center in Sycamore , IL. Current professional memberships include ACA, ICA, ALGBTIC, IALGBTIC, ACES, ICES, NCACES, AMCD, IAMC, ASCAm and ISCA.


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gideon litherland

President-Elect - Gideon Litherland MA, LCPC, CCMHC, NCC, is Therapist at Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center in Skokie, IL and Adjunct Faculty at Counseling@Northwestern. He received his MA in Counseling Psychology from The Family Institute at Northwestern University and is a proud alum serving on the Alumni Advisory Board. He is currently working on his PhD in Counseling at Oregon State University. Gideon is a member of the Association for the Development of the Person Centered Approach (ADAPCA), the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), ICA, IMHCA, ICSJ, ACES, ALGBTIC and ACA.

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Secretary - Dr. Tamekia Bell is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Adler University, Chicago Campus. Dr. Bell completed her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia in May 2012. Her dissertation was on counselor competency in counseling individuals with learning disabilities. Dr. Bell completed her master’s degree at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee in Counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. 

Dr. Bell has a variety of work experience, which includes three years working as a full-time tenure track faculty member and program co-director in the Educational Counseling program at California State University in Bakersfield, California. Prior to her enrollment at Old Dominion University, Dr. Bell worked for three years in student affairs in the roles of Resident Director, Area Coordinator, and Undergraduate Admissions Counselor. 

Dr. Bell is a member of several professional counseling organizations, such as the American Counseling Association, Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling, Illinois Counseling Association, Illinois Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, and the Illinois Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues in Counseling. She is currently involved in Chi Sigma Iota as a Chapter Faculty Advisor for Alpha Iota Delta and Chair of the Public Policy and Advocacy in Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling. 

Dr. Bell’s research interests includes multicultural competency as it relates to individuals with disabilities and LGBTQI+ individuals, intersectionality of cultural identities, couples and family counseling, and assessment and program evaluation in counseling.

david barreto

Treasurer - David Barreto for the past 8 years has worked as a college counselor at Waubonsee Community College, providing mental health, career and academic counseling to college students. He completed his first master’s degree at Roosevelt University in psychology with an emphasis in clinical psychology. His second master’s degree is in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adam State University. He is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor. David is a member of the Psi Chi honor society, as well as part of the Alpha Sigma Chi chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. His professional interests include counseling LGBTQ individuals and partners, counseling HIV-positive clients, college student mental health and fostering personal resilience. Current professional memberships include ICA, ACA, ALGBTIC and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science.


N. Jahaan Abdullah

Member-At-Large - Jahaan is a nationally certified (NCC) licensed counselor and holds a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Governor’s State University. She hold a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology, a Masters of Arts degree in Community Counseling from a CACREP accredited institution, and various certification related to the mental health field. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the CACREP accredited Counselor Education and Supervision program at Governors State University with multifacited research and scholarship interests in social justice, marginalized populations, and Afrucan American relationships . She has over 20 years of experience in the mental health arena and is a strong advocate for social and restorative justice. Throughout her career Jahaan has worked with adolescent, adult and geriatric populations in hospital and community settings. At this time Jahaan works both in private practice and the hospital settings. Within the hospital setting she primarily works with both adult and geriatric populations who present with major depression, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, and acute psychosis. Jahaan was recently selected as one of the 2017 NBCC Doctoral Fellows and serves on the board for Illinois Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling, Illinois Black Counselors Association and she is chair elect of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

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Courtney emery

Member-at-Large - Courtney Emery, MA, LCPC, is a Program Manager at Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare in Chicago where she directs the work of therapy and case management teams. The previously directed The Living Room at Turning Point, an alternative to Emergency Departments for adults in crisis. She received a MA in Counseling Psychology from The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and her foremost interests include serious mental illness, mental healthcare needs of underserved populations and the intersections of counseling and social justice. She is a member of ACA, ICA and IALGBTIC. 


Joel Filmore

Immediate Past-President - Dr. Joel Filmore is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with a vibrant clinical practice at Lighthouse Professional Counseling Center. He provides counseling and therapy for families, couples, and individuals (child/adolescent/adult), focusing on affective and mood disorders, as well as trauma. He especially loves working with couples to improve their relationships. Dr. Filmore received his Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Northern Illinois University in 2014, his MA in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University in 2010, and his BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006.