Dr. Sejal Barden is the Executive Director of the Marriage and Family Research Institute and Principal Investigator for Project Harmony. Dr. Barden earned her doctoral degree in Counselor Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and completed her masters and education specialist degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Florida. Dr. Barden’s primary research interests include: supporting healthy relationships for individuals and couples from underserved populations and improving quality of life for chronically ill persons. Her favorite part of her job is mentoring students and working with our team to make data driven decisions to most effectively provide services grounded in strengthening relationships for participants in Project Harmony. She loves that every day allows us the ability to think outside the box and learn from one another. She loves to be outside, often spending free time with her family at the beach, in the pool or at the park. She is a lifelong learner and loves trying new foods, reading books from a variety of genres and traveling to new places.
Dr. Dalena Dillman Taylor
Dr. Dalena Dillman Taylor
Dalena Dillman Taylor, PhD, LPC, LMHC, RPT is the Co-Principal Investigator and Senior Implementation Director at Project Harmony. Dalena Dillman Taylor, PhD, LPC, LMHC, RPT, is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida. She graduated with from the University of North Texas with a Master’s in Community Mental Health, specializing with children in 2010 and with a doctorate in Counseling, specializing in play therapy in 2013. Dr. Dillman Taylor is the Mental Health Track Coordinator, the play therapy certificate coordinator, Senior Implementation Director of the Marriage and Family Research Institute, and the Director of the Center for Play Therapy Training and Research at UCF. She is a certified child-centered play therapist supervisor, a certified child parent relationship therapist supervisor, and a trained Adlerian play therapist. Her favorite part of her job is witnessing the impact each team member has on the community through providing services or connecting participants with needed resources. It is great to see the MFRI as an integral part of the central Florida community. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, traveling, and engaging in home improvement projects (HGTV Fixer Upper is her inspiration).
Nicole Silverio is the Project Director at Project Harmony. Nicole obtained her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida in 2011. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has been a part of Marriage and Family Research Institute team since 2013. Nicole’s favorite part of working at the MFRI is seeing and hearing the impact that Project Harmony has on the families that attend our workshops. Nicole’s favorite hobbies include cooking, hiking, and reading.
Nakita Carroll is the Assistant Director of Family Services at Project Harmony. Nakita came to the MFRI as an intern in 2011 while earning her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Central Florida. She is currently a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern working towards licensure. In addition to her work at the MFRI, Nakita owns and operates a private practice in the Lake Nona area. Nakita most enjoys providing the relationship education in the workshops. She says, “There is something very special about joining in with the couples and individuals who come through our doors on their journey to improve their relationships. It is my absolute favorite part of my role.” Nakita loves spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys singing and hanging out at local poetry spots.
Maria Riccardi is the Assistant Director of Recruitment at Project Harmony. Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has more than 15 years of recruitment experience specifically working with low income at risk populations. Maria has worked at the MFRI since 2007 and previously held a position at Healthy Families Orange County. Maria loves to serve and work with the community and enjoys establishing connections with individuals and organizations. She also loves to spend quality time with her family, enjoys traveling and trying new dishes from different cultures.
Nataly Larenas is the Assistant Director of Operations at Project Harmony. Nataly previously worked in the UCF College of Education for 6 years and with the Marriage and Family Research Institute for the last 6 years. Currently she is working on a Bachelor’s degree in Event Management with UCF Rosen College. Nataly loves all the moving pieces that come with her position. She finds it exciting and rewarding that she gets to help create an experience that enriches the lives of our participants. When Nataly has free time, she loves to spend it with her family. She enjoys anything that involves being creative or learning something new.
Eliseo Elias is a Family Case Coordinator at Project Harmony. Eliseo has worked in the mental health field as a Targeted Case Manager assisting clients obtain services from community resources. He graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in leadership studies. Eliseo enjoys seeing participants implement the tools learned from the workshops and assisting them with obtaining additional resources that will help participants reach their individual and relationship goals. Eliseo enjoys spending time visiting new places in Florida and watching Netflix.
Thays graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Family Sciences from the University of Kentucky. She worked with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension for about 4 years as a Family and Consumer Science Agent. There she had the opportunity to teach individuals ways they can better themselves and the community. She enjoys being able to connect with people from all different branches of life. She also likes that she gets to see the change in the individuals first hand. Thays loves to travel and meet different people and learn from them and their culture. One of her favorite things to do while traveling is to try all the delicious cuisine from different countries.
Diana Rodriguez is a Family Case Coordinator at Project Harmony. Diana received her B.S. in Psychology from UCF. She has worked in the mental health field as a Volunteer at National Alliance on Mental Illness, assisting clients obtain services from community resources, handling crisis calls, attending and speaking at health events, as well as training incoming volunteers. What Diana loves most about her job is being able to help her community. In her free time, Diana enjoys spending time with her cat, Bagheera, cooking with her partner, and binge watching Netflix.
Angel L. Ramos is the Research and Programs Coordinator at Project Harmony. Prior to joining the MFRI, Angel worked as a Data Manager for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) and Student Services Coordinator for the nursing program at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) where he also obtained his Master’s in Business Administration. He also has a B.S. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Education and Commerce. Angel attributes his success to relying on a hard-earned skill-set of critical thinking, complex problem solving, management, marketing, and program development. Angel’s favorite part of the job is working with such an amazing team that values building relationships. He also likes the ability to solve complex problems and help people. Angel enjoys spending time with his family and exploring Central Florida. He also likes creating graphic design projects in his spare time.
Jamie Santos is a Family Case Specialist at Project Harmony. Jamie earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2015. She joined the Marriage and Family Research Institute during a previous grant under Project TOGETHER. Before rejoining the Institute with Project Harmony, she worked within a private agency helping children in the foster care system. Jamie takes joy in knowing the work she does has the potential to inform research that will impact future couples and individuals. Working closely with her participants is her favorite part of her role in Project Harmony. Jamie enjoys spending time in art museums discovering new artists. She also enjoys spending quality time with friends and family.
Rosa V. Quintero Mora
Rosa V. Quintero Mora
Rosa V. Quintero Mora is a Recruitment Specialist at Project Harmony. Rosa obtained her B.S. in Psychology at the “Universidad Rafael Urdaneta”, Venezuela. Her professional background includes Human Resources, Recruitment, Training and Cultural Corporative Change in a Fortune 500 company (USA). Rosa’s favorite part of her job is getting to know people that can take advantage of the program and interact with a lot of children. She loves reading, dancing, baking and going to the beach.
Marangelie Velez is a Recruitment Specialist at Project Harmony. Marangelie earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2018. Marangelie is currently a graduate student at UCF’s Counselor Education Program on the Marriage, Couples, and Family Therapy track. Her favorite part of being a recruiter is meeting new people and exploring new sites. In her free time, she likes to go to concerts, travel to new places, and explore different restaurants in Orlando.
Melissa Miranda is a Family Program Assistant at Project Harmony. Melissa is from Miami, FL and received her B.S. in Psychology from UCF. Currently, she is a graduate student in UCF’s Counselor Education Program on the Marriage, Couples, and Family Therapy track. What Melissa loves most about her job is being a part of a project that creates such positive growth and change in the lives of others. In her free time, Melissa enjoys baking delicious desserts, traveling to new places, and watching movies and TV shows from her childhood.
Thadayti Silva Arocha
Thadayti Silva Arocha
Thadayti Silva Arocha is a Recruitment Specialist at Project Harmony. Thadayti obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Administration at the “Universidad Fermin Toro” in Venezuela. Her professional background includes Operations, Human Resources, Recruitment, Organizational Development, and Cultural Corporative Change. She enjoys working with participants to make a difference in their lives and overall wellness, and connecting with the community. She has a passion for serving others and is convinced that there is always something to be learned in order to keep growing. She loves spending quality time with her family, enjoys traveling, and learning new things.
If you are interested in receiving more information about Project Harmony, please fill out the inquiry form at this link and one of our team members will be happy to contact you: http://mfri.ucf.edu/contact-us/
Sign up for the Jingle Run 5k December 14th at the RDV Sportsplex to support an awesome cause. All the money raised at this event goes back to helping kids in the Eatonville Club. Your donation helps give a young person a brighter future!
The start of the next Individuals’ Workshop is coming up! Call (407) 823 – 1748 today to reserve your spot. This workshop teaches techniques on how to improve your daily life, relationships, and much more. #MFRI #ProjectHarmony #relationships #marriage #couples