CUSP Fellowship

Counseling Underpriviliged Populations logo

As part of the White House's Now is the Time initiative (begun under the Obama administration), University of Detroit Mercy's Counseling program was awarded more than $1.6M by the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) to expand the behavioral health workforce serving individuals in greatest need.  Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Detroit Mercy's Working with At-Risk Youth (WARY) Fellowship program was implemented from 2014-2018 while a second award was made for implementation of the Counseling Underserved Populations (CUSP) Fellowship program from 2017 - 2022.  Whereas the WARY Fellowship program was designed specifically to train Master's-level counselors to work with high risk adolescents, the CUSP Fellowship program expands this initiative emphasizing the clinical treatment of high risk individuals across the lifespan and particularly, those in medically underserved communities.  As a result of the WARY and CUSP Fellowship programs, more than 100 Detroit Mercy Counseling students will be able to receive advanced training and financial support through these federal initiatives.  

Program Description

With a particular emphasis on treating highly marginalized individuals involved in public systems (child welfare, criminal justice, mental health) and individuals living in poverty, the CUSP Fellowship program provides enhanced academic coursework, preparation, and experiential training to participating Counseling students. CUSP Fellows receive advanced training and preparation at no cost as well as a $10,000 stipend for program participation and an early career commitment to treating individuals in greatest need.  

CUSP Advanced Training Curriculum

The CUSP curriculum includes four courses that are completed during the Fellows' final year of the Counseling program. Coursework includes:

Counseling Vulnerable Individuals:  Advanced Preparation and Practice
An advanced semester-long course emphasizing the treatment of vulnerable individuals across the lifespan, and specifically those related to poverty, geography, and ethnicity.  In addition, the course provides advanced preparation in trauma treatment and addiction, as well as a deep, developmentally-informed examination of the myriad issues affecting individuals living in poverty.

Integrated Treatment and Underserved Communities

Mirroring the course content, the course is co-taught by teams of behavioral and primary health professionals, and deals with such topics as co-located vs. integrated treatment, the delivery of behavioral health care in primary care settings, and working with the public health system to create community safety nets. The course also emphasizes integrated treatment for common health problems (e.g., depression and diabetes).

CUSP Pre-Internship Workshop
A brief, highly focused workshop that includes outside reading and writing to prepare students for the specialized internship working with vulnerable populations.

CUSP Inter-Professional Seminar Series:  Learning from the Leaders
The seminar series provides an opportunity for Fellows to learn directly from seasoned community-based leaders and practitioners who specialize in treating vulnerable individuals in behavioral and primary health. In addition, leaders from the public systems of mental health, juvenile justice, and child welfare are highlighted, as well as those from the addiction field and K-12 schools.  


In order to be eligible for a CUSP Fellowship, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled in University of Detroit Mercy's master's programs in Counseling, in Clinical Mental Health, Addiction or School Counseling;
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the Counseling program;
  • Maintain 90 percent or better attendance in the Counseling program; and
  • Have U.S. citizenship, be a non-citizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of award.

Participation in the CUSP Fellowship is open to both current Counseling students as well as to those admitted to the Counseling program through 2020.

Financial Information

CUSP Fellows participate in all of the CUSP enhanced coursework free of charge and receive a stipend of $10,000 for completion of the Fellowship, including completion of the specialized internship.

Authorized CUSP and WARY Internship Sites

Currently, there are several authorized internship sites that include but are not limited to:

  • Ascension Health
  • Berkley Public Schools
  • Black Family Development
  • Brighton Hospital
  • Chippewa Valley High School
  • Counseling & Psychological Services, Wayne State University
  • Detroit Public Schools
  • Development Centers, Inc.
  • Easter Seals
  • Hamtramck Public Schools
  • Harbor Oaks Hospital
  • Mariners Inn
  • McAuley Health Center
  • Meridian Health
  • New Oakland Mental Health 
  • Oakland Family Services 
  • St. Mary's Hospital
  • The Guidance Center
  • Ypsilanti Community Schools

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    2020-22 CUSP Fellows

    • Ashley Adams
    • Mona Baydoun
    • Reyma Bazzi
    • Tina Cardamone
    • Kezzi Chudler
    • AlexSaundra Clark
    • Brandy Edmonds
    • Samantha Fair
    • Susie Garrett
    • Steven Hall
    • Maureen Horan
    • Nicole Hoxsey
    • Bria Hutchins
    • Liliana Ismail
    • Christopher Jordan
    • Dymin Mahone
    • Olivia Maleckas
    • Amanda Martin
    • Jessica McKillop
    • Camilla Ndojac
    • Stacy Rucinski
    • May Sabah
    • Damaris Smith
    • Chelsi Steen
    • Damya Toney
    • Baron Warren
    • Malaika Williams
    • Quanda Young






    2019-20 CUSP Fellows

    • Lara Elia
    • Juantonia Hill
    • Nicholas Olsen
    • Marla Moss
    • Shauni Ford
    • Alex Belanger
    • Hailey Joppich

    2018-19 CUSP Fellows

    • Audra Adu
    • Victoria Akinboboye
    • Allison Cumper
    • Elisabeth Formica
    • Diamond Johnson
    • Amber Kilanowski
    • Emerie Loomis
    • Kathryn Marburger
    • Anna Orletski
    • LaTesha Powell
    • Karen Sherman
    • Gabriell Wardlaw-Pfaff

    2017-18 CUSP Fellows

    • Matthew Cavins
    • Brittany Harris
    • Ja'Keya Kellom
    • Sherry Miller
    • Kevin Parrish
    • Tiffany Ruff
    • Bethany Schindler
    • LaTasha Spencer
    • Namer Zayouna

    2016-17 WARY Fellows

    • Kristen Albright
    • Rusmira Bektas
    • Analena Iacobelli
    • Chioke Bracy
    • Aisha Cunningham
    • Elizabeth Curtis
    • Ashley Grimes
    • Taliah Williams-Hunter
    • Robert Kaiser
    • Dayna Kanouna
    • Audrey Kary
    • Heather Kohl
    • Kelly Maveal
    • Joy Montgomery
    • Timothy Ossman
    • Eva Qerama
    • Jennifer Villarreal
    • Megan Waterbury
    • LynShannon Williams
    • Tanesha Windom

    2015-16 WARY Fellows


    • Christina Arsenault
    • Cortney Ball
    • Jessica Elezaj
    • Thomas Grden
    • Timothy Mann
    • Michelle Marshbanks
    • Rema Mourad
    • Peter Petroske
    • Jennifer Schilling
    • John Simmons

    2014-15 WARY Fellows

    WARY Fellows 14/15

    • Layla Almaliky
    • Molly Belill-Biondo
    • Marques Blanford
    • Kylie Chaffin
    • Shimika Chillous
    • Ann Dadah
    • Brandon Johnson
    • Tearah Kemp
    • Tracy Manigold
    • Andrea Maxwell
    • Robert Oden
    • Shaaree Presley
    • India Schumake
    • Randa Shakra