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Commencement Keynote Speaker

Moreno HeadshotDr. Oswaldo Moreno is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, the Research Director of La Esperanza Research Program, and the Co-Director of the Latina/o Mental Health Clinic at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Moreno is a fellow of the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program and a research fellow with the National Hispanic Science Network’s Early Stage Career Mentoring for NIDA Research Program.

Broadly, his research and clinical interests involve understanding and addressing the mental healthcare disparities in the United States that affect individuals from low-income and racial/ethnic minority backgrounds, especially the Latina/o communities. His research program includes both applied and basic research that lie at the intersection of cognitive-behavioral theories, prevention science, and cultural and contextual approaches including psychology of religion and spirituality. His research projects have included evidenced-based practices, culturally sensitive interventions, prevention for Latina/o youth and families, as well as substance use and mood disorders. Currently, Dr. Moreno is investigating how early immigration and current policies, such as DACA and Dream Act, have impacted the psychological wellbeing and outlook towards life of first-generation college students. Dr. Moreno’s research training has been funded by the American Psychological Association, the National Hispanic Science Network, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Dr. Moreno has also served in various consulting positions as an expert in qualitative research and substance use among ethnic minority at-risk youth. Currently, he serves as a Latino Mental Health Consultant for a local nonprofit organization that serves immigrant Latina/o youth who recently immigrated to Virginia. Dr. Moreno also aims to supervise and mentor Latina/o doctoral students at Virginia Commonwealth University who have a burden to better the lives of ethnic minority and marginalized groups in the United States.

Dr. Moreno holds a B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University, a M.T.S from Harvard University, a M.A. & Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Clark University, and a post doc from Brown University School of Public Health. He has also received applied clinical training from the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Moreno was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico and immigrated to Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 4. He is a first-generation high school graduate, first to attend college, and first to pursue a post-secondary education. He has been a recognized asset to the Latina/o community and has been heavily involved in Latina/o young adult ministries at local, state, district, national, and international levels. He currently serves as the International Treasurer of the Messengers of Peace, an international ministry that reaches more than twenty thousand young adults throughout the world.

Dr. Moreno resides with his wife in Virginia. Together, they are happily raising their 3 year old daughter.


College Education
Arizona State University
– Bachelor of Science in Psychology (minor Religious Studies)

Harvard University
– Master of Theological Studies

Clark University
– Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

Psychology Resident
Boston Medical Center / Boston University School of Medicine

Board Certification
Licensed Psychologist in Virginia (in process)

National Latina/o Psychological Association (lifetime member)
American Psychological Association (minority fellow)
National Hispanic Science Network (early career fellow)