About DoSAA

DoSAA is a community of students and professionals committed to understanding social, emotional, political, and personal influences affecting South Asians in psychology and creating a forum to impact change for the betterment of South Asian mental health. DoSAA intends to be a credible source of information and resources on South Asian mental health issues. Specifically, DoSAA spearheads efforts around:

  • Providing information on factors affecting South Asian mental health, ranging from broader concerns like immigration and acculturation to everyday issues like parenting and relationships.
  • Creating a nurturing space for mental health clinicians, researchers and students to engage in collaboration, consultation and mentorship.

DoSAA Facebook

Contact DoSAA

Upcoming Events

For the most up-to-date information on DoSAA-hosted events, please sign up to become a member so you can receive emails on our listserv. You can also find updated information on our Instagram and Twitter (@dosaaonline).

Past Events

Division News

Chai Chat: Self-Compassion during COVID (and difficult times) Reflections was held on 5/28/2020, as part of the AAPA Divisions Speak Series during AAPI Heritage and Mental Health Awareness Month.

DoSAA had a very powerful and valuable discussion between our amazing speakers: Ali Mattu, Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, and Rahul Sharma and co-facilitated by Asha Unni and DoSAA Chair Devika Srivastava.

DoSAA’s FIRST ever conference on Friday September 28, 2018 in NYC at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The theme of the conference was “Raising South Asian Voices in Mental Health through Research, Practice, and Advocacy”.  The conference highlighted critical issues and mental health research focused on South Asian American populations while creating a forum to help foster change.  We hope to attract an audience of students, researchers, psychologists, MFT’s, social workers, and community members, and anyone concerned about South Asian American mental health.

DoSAA on July 8th, 2010 released a Statement in response to Time Magazine’s choice to publish “My Private India,” an opinion editorial piece by Joel Stein.

DoSAA on September 2011 were invited as guest bloggers by the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) to explore “Anniversary Reactions: Mental Health After 9/11.” View the article at SAALT.

DoSAA’s Chai & Chat series aims to provide a safe and welcoming space to foster dialogue and communication related to various topics related to South Asians and South Asian mental health. These events are meant to be informal and foster connection among DoSAA members. Bring a cup of chai/cha (or your beverage of choice) and join us for our next discussion! If you have any suggestions for future topics, please fill out this form. 


Past Chai & Chat discussions: 

  • 8/17/2023: Let’s talk about guilt!
  • 6/07/2023: Defining “self-care” from a collectivistic culture
  • 4/12/2023: Individuating from parents while still honoring family and culture: How to embrace your individuality while still honoring your heritage
  • 2/08/2023: Navigating the Post-Holiday Blues: How Do You Have Fun?
  • 11/02/2022: Let’s Talk Politics: Conversations Pre-Election Day
  • 9/07/2022: Intimate Partner Violence in South Asian Communities

Chai & Chat

Advanced Clinical Consultation Group - Ongoing

This reoccurring virtual group will focus on:

  • Clinical consultation for clinicians of South Asian descent who work with clients of South Asian descent
  • Consultation related to professional issues
  • Stories and themes related to South Asian and South Asian American culture, immigration, and experiences


Who can participate?

  • Licensed clinicians of South Asian descent
  • Postgraduate licensed interns of South Asian descent
  • Students and unlicensed interns are not eligible to join


Attendance at every meeting is not required, but you must register to attend. It is recommended that you are a DoSAA member as our dues allow events like these to be offered for free.


RSVP: https://forms.gle/bYq8dBQjcaFY8cQu6

DoSAA Advocacy

Summer Fellowship Program

The annual DoSAA Summer Fellowship Program (SFP) is geared towards graduate student members involved in mental health in any capacity (Ph.D., Psy.D., M.S., M.Ed., MFT, LSW, etc.) who have a passion and interest for South Asian/South Asian American mental health, including research among South Asian populations, leadership, and community building. Fellows will be paired with a mentor from the DoSAA community and will complete a small project related to South Asian American mental health. These projects may vary in issue or topic but will be used to further add to mental health resources for our South Asian American communities.


DoSAA membership is required for all participants. We will prioritize student applications of those experiencing challenges in seeking mentorship. This project will culminate in a final presentation via webinar during early Fall. 


Fellow’s Qualifications:

  • Currently a graduate student
  • Create and communicate 1-2 structured goals for mentorship focus.
  • Available to collaborate with their mentor via phone/virtual format ~ 2 – 4 hours/month for a total of at least 6 hours between program start and end dates.
  • Complete a specific/short summer project (as discussed and decided collaboratively with mentor)
  • Be available and willing to collaborate with other fellows (To engage in monthly fellowship calls and present their project via webinar in early Fall).


Mentor’s Qualifications:

  • We welcome both early-career (including associated/pre-licensed) and mid-career professionals who have completed their graduate training (Ph.D., Psy.D., M.S., M.Ed., MFT, LSW, etc.) to apply to be mentors. Early-career professionals may support fellows who are in the early stages of their graduate program (e.g., Year 1 Master’s student, Years 1 – 3 Doctoral student). 
  • New this year: We welcome graduate students in the late stages of their graduate programs to mentor incoming and early-stage graduate students
  • Willing to collaborate with a student fellow and commit to regular meetings via phone/virtual format (as agreed upon by mentor & mentee) for ~ 2-4 hours per month for the duration of the project.
  • Available to check in with the Program leads for updates on project progress and to receive guidance and support in mentorship of the fellow’s project. 
  • Able to support your mentee in creating 1-2 structured goals and brainstorm general topics that will support their research and growth. (We will help provide some general topics you can choose from in case you are unsure of what to focus on).
  • Be able and willing to provide mentorship to the student and support them in accessing resources to succeed in completing their summer project.
  • Open to communicating their expectations to the program leads and reach out to them if they can no longer commit to the expectations of the mentorship (life happens, just let us know as soon as you can).


Examples of Past Projects


This is an ever-evolving list. If you have resources you would like shared on this page, please email us at dosaa.communication@aapaonline.org

DoSAA Executive Committee

Chair: Rose Dhaliwal, PsyD

Dr. Rose Dhaliwal (she/her) received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) from the University of La Verne in August 2023. She is currently completing her postdoctoral hours at the Department of State Hospitals – Metropolitan, where her work focuses on providing treatment for patients who are involved in the justice system and have been adjudicated incompetent to stand trial. Dr. Dhaliwal’s background working in the public sector has also allowed her a greater understanding of how systemic structures influence the daily lives of the communities we serve. As the DoSAA chair, she is responsible
for the implementation of DoSAA’s mission and vision and tp lead cross-collaboration among peer divisions within and outside of AAPA. 

Dr. Dhaliwal’s research has focused on LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and the experiences of transgender and gender-expansive youth of color involved in legal systems. Her clinical training and interests also include working with transition-age youth in correctional and child welfare settings who have significant exposure to adverse childhood experiences.

As a child of immigrants from Punjab, Dr. Dhaliwal believes in the importance of understanding how bicultural identity and intersecting identities impact the lived experiences of communities of color. As Chair, she aims to highlight these important topics to facilitate dialogue among DoSAA members and foster connections with organizations focusing on similar topics. In her spare time, Dr. Dhaliwal enjoys spending time with her loved ones, going on hikes with her Siberian Husky, dancing, and exploring new places.

Co-Chair: Sonia Kaur Bajwa

Sonia Kaur Bajwa (she/they) is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and recently graduated with their doctorate in counseling psychology (PsyD). From their social work internship at VA Pittsburgh’s Community Living Center to employment in the behavioral health division and subsequent work settings, Sonia has valued working with veterans, their family members, and members of the armed forces. From 2013 to 2021 Sonia worked as an independent psychotherapist at a private psychiatric practice. They entered doctoral studies in 2017 and have found it helpful toward deepening their work as a culturally responsive and social justice-oriented therapist through additional education and training in community and university settings. Sonia recently completed a year as training coordinator at University of Pittsburgh’s University Counseling Center following their doctoral internship at this location. 

Currently, Sonia is establishing in private practice where they look forward to continuing to engage with adults, older adults from a wide range of backgrounds and identities. They are passionate about advocacy work with various minoritized communities.

Chair-Elect: Ankita Nikalje, PhD

Ankita Nikalje is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the Counseling program at UW-Milwaukee. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Purdue University (U.S.), her MS in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Brunel University (U.K.), and her BS (Hons.) in Psychology from the University of Melbourne and Bond University (Australia). Her educational experiences drive her passion towards building decolonial psychological knowledge, research, and practice.

Dr. Nikalje’s identity as a Dalit woman informs her research focused on the impact of systemic, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized oppression on lived experiences and mental health. She is particularly passionate about issues of within-group discrimination and uplifting
the experiences of those who are minoritized within their communities and social/identity groups. Currently, her research seeks to address the issue of caste/ism and how caste discrimination continues to manifest outside of South Asia.

Secretary/Historian: Ritika Rastogi, PhD

Ritika Rastogi, PhD is a developmental-cultural psychologist, educator, and community activist/organizer. They earned their doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2022 and are currently serving as a postdoctoral research fellow on The BOBA Project, the current largest research on Asian youth identity, development, and mental health in the US. Dr. Rastogi’s research aims to identify mechanisms and factors to promote the positive development, resilience, and resistance of marginalized youth against structural oppression. She is passionate about community-engaged and youth-centered approaches to research, working to equip and empower children and youth with the skillset and agency to transform the material conditions of their lives. Across her work, Dr. Rastogi strives to leverage her caste, class, and settler privilege in order to fight for the liberation of oppressed peoples across the US and transnationally. They previously served as the Co-President of the Underrepresented Graduate Students in Psychology at UCLA, and are excited to use the skills and expertise gained from this position to advocate for South Asian Americans as the Secretary/Historian of DoSAA.

Student Representative: Rebecca Miah, MPH

Rebecca Miah, MPH, is a second year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the California School of Professional Psychology. Originally from Detroit, she attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. Her interest in health beyond the physical body led her to obtain a master’s degree in Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta, GA where she focused on Global Health with a concentration in Community Health and Development. She then moved to Philadelphia to work at the Department of Public Health specializing in Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness, frequently liaising with local and state governmental agencies. Most recently she worked at a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization called Americares and utilized her knowledge in emergency preparedness to develop an expertise in climate change and disaster resilience. Working within disaster response, she recognized the importance of disaster mental health and addressing the long-term effects of (often recurring) trauma and stress faced by survivors, first responders, and the community. The exacerbation of climate-related health impacts along with the increase in rates of eco-anxiety, or the chronic fear of environmental doom, prompted her current pursuit of a PsyD at Alliant International University in San Francisco.

Finance Officer/Treasurer: Shubh Agrawal (she/her)

Shubh Agrawal (she/her) has been a licensed K-12 school counselor since 2018 and is a current doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at William James College. Throughout her training, Shubh has focused on developing skills in multicultural counseling while serving clients across the lifespan. Shubh’s training has occurred in outpatient, community mental health, rape crisis, and inpatient settings, where she has appreciated opportunities to work collaboratively on interdisciplinary teams. Shubh brings with her to different settings a curiosity for the ways in which her clients’ intersectional identities and sociocultural contexts inform their experiences. She is excited to continue to grow and develop her practice as a clinician, researcher, and advocate. 

Membership Chair: Rohan Arcot, M.S.

Rohan Arcot (he/him) is a second-year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at Boston University. He holds a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), a B.A. in psychology from Hamilton College, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. He works as a research team member in the ARISE lab and for the Center for Character and Social Responsibility. He previously worked as a teaching assistant at JHU and lab manager for the SPIEE lab. His research interests include Asian American mental health, culturally sensitive therapeutic treatments, positive psychology, anti-racism, and multicultural counseling training. He is an avid sports fan and loves to bake. You can contact him at rarcot@bu.edu.

Communications Chair: Brahmpreet Kaur

Brahmpreet Kaur (she/her) is a researcher, mental health advocate, and a graduate student. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since her graduation, she has worked with the Mazzeo Research Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her current research project centers around adapting existing diagnostic tools for South Asian Women. Her research interests include modifying approaches to assessment, prevention, and treatment of mental health conditions of racial and ethnic minority populations with a particular focus on South Asian communities. Currently, she serves on the executive committee as the communication chair of the Asian American Psychological Association’s Division of South Asian Americans (DoSAA). Outside of work, she enjoys reading, going on hikes, listening to music, and traveling.