Experts: Mental Health

Qiuchang (Katy) Cao

Assistant Professor, College of Social Work

Katy (Qiuchang) Cao is an assistant professor at the College of Social Work interested in Gerontology. Katy’s scholarship has focused on strengthening social inclusion related to age, abilities, country of origin, race and ethnicity via community-engaged research and secondary data analysis. She is particularly interested in the social mechanism that contributes to health among various groups of older adults. Her recent work examines how childhood and midlife experiences influence cognitive health in later life using data from the Health and Retirement Study and the Occupation Information Network. Her research highlights the importance of the community environment and life course experiences in the physical, mental, and cognitive health of older adults. Katy’s work involves the use of qualitative, quantitative, and network analyses.


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Deborah Ebener

Professor and Director of Clinical Training

Ebener is Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems. Ebener’s research focuses on psychological and social factors that influence an individual’s coping and adaptation to disability and chronic illness, as well as recovery from substance use disorders. Her current research examines positive psychology constructs of humor, spirituality and optimism as coping mechanisms in recovery and adaptation.

(850) 644-1789

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Nicole Gabana

Assistant Professor of Sport Psychology

Gabana’s research focuses on developing applied sport psychology programs to enhance athlete mental health, well-being and performance.

(850) 645-2444

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Nancy Gerber

Specialized Teaching Faculty, Art Therapy Program, Florida State University

Dr. Gerber has been a practicing art psychotherapist, educator, researcher, and innovator for the past 40+ years. Her expertise spans clinical, academic, and research domains.  As a   clinician for over 22 years, her expertise has been in using art psychotherapy to help adolescents and adults facing psychological challenges and trauma.  More recently, Dr. Gerber’s expertise has been in higher education and specifically doctoral education. She created, developed, and directed one of the first doctoral programs in Creative Arts Therapies while also directing and teaching a master’s degree program in art therapy.

Alongside her commitment to doctoral education is her research expertise in the areas of arts-based research and mixed methods research. Aligned with her interest and expertise in ABR, she co-founded the Arts-Based Research (ABR) Global Consortium. The ABR Global Consortium is a group of global arts-based research scholars who are working towards increasing the visibility, accessibility, valuation and aesthetic impact of research that can elucidate and communicate major global issues through aesthetically powerful socially engaged arts-based investigation and dissemination.


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Tomi Gomory

Associate Professor

Dr. Gomory has over 35 years of experience as a clinician, administrator, and educator in the areas of social work, mental health, and homelessness. He has co-authored an award-winning book on mental health titled Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, diagnosis, and drugs along with more than three dozen articles and chapters.”

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Fran Gomory


Fran Gomory is a teaching professor and has been director of the MSW program at the College of Social Work since 2015. Her areas of expertise in social work practice include group work, clinical practice, social work administration and women’s issues. She teaches courses in these areas both in-person and online.

(850) 645-5768

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