Search Close Search
Page Menu

Meet the Team!

HYPE Staff & Faculty

Michelle Mullen thumbnail Michelle G. Mullen, PhD, CRC, CPRP is the developer of HYPE and Principle Investigator of the NIDILRR funded Promoting Careers Among Transition-Age Youth and Young Adults with Psychiatric Conditions. She is with the Department of Psychiatry at the UMass Chan Medical School and was formerly an Assistant Professor for the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers University and the Director of CSPR.  She received her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with a specialization in Psychiatric Rehabilitation from Boston University and intends to complete her PhD in Social Welfare from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.   Michelle has led multiple research and development projects evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions for college students with psychiatric conditions. Her current interests and studies focus on standardizing services supporting college students with mental health conditions (e.g. Supported Education); evaluating the effectiveness of various educational supports; testing a cognitive remediation intervention for college students; and evaluating the services that are effective for young people to develop meaningful, long-term careers.  Michelle has developed of career services, by blending SE & SEd, in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. She has also assisted in developing first episode psychosis programs in various states.  Michelle is a seasoned consultant who has provided training and technical assistance to organizations, institutions of higher education, counties, states, and other countries on career services, psychiatric rehabilitation, service design, program development, and systems change.
Marsha Ellison ​Dr. Marsha Langer Ellison, PhD is a Co-Director of the HYPE project. Dr. Ellison is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the UMass Chan Medical School. Currently she serves as a Deputy Director for the Learning and Working During the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (Transitions ACR) funded by the federal National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. The Transitions ACR conducts research on interventions that speed the recovery and community integration of youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. Dr. Ellison was a co-Director of a contract with the federal office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation on the state of practice in supported education. She is also developing supported education services for Veterans at the Social and Community Reintegration Research Program at the Bedford MA Veterans Hospital.
Kathryn Sabella Kathryn Sabella, PhD is the Co-Investigator for the HYPE Project. She is also an assistant professor at the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (Transitions ACR). Her research and teaching interests are in sociology of mental health with a particular emphasis on mental illness during young adulthood, public perceptions of mental illness, and mental health disparities. Kathryn’s dissertation aimed to provide a longitudinal understanding of the employment and educational activities of youth and young adults with mental health conditions by interviewing young adults (ages 25-30), including young parents, who have experienced a life disruption (e.g., hospitalization, leave of absence from school) due to their mental health condition.
Maryann Davis ​Maryann Davis, PhD is a Co-Investigator on the HYPE project. She is also a Professor of Psychiatry at the UMass Chan Medical School and director of the Implementation Science & Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC), and of the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (Transitions ACR). Dr. Davis is an internationally recognized expert of services for transition age youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. Her work also emphasizes the development of evidence-based interventions that improve this population’s transition into adulthood.
Debbie Nicolellis thumbnail Debbie Nicolellis, MS, CRC, CPRP is the Training Director for HYPE at Transitions ACR. Ms. Nicolellis has over 30 years of experience supporting education, employment and careers for people with SMHC, and over 20 years of training experience with practitioners, administrators, peer supporters, and people who use services. Before joining Transitions ACR, Ms. Nicolellis was the Senior Training Associate at Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Training Division. She has led NIDILRR and SAMHSA-funded RRTC projects, developing an online training curriculum Advanced Practitioner and Peer Support Skills: Engaging People with Psychiatric Disabilities in Employment, developing the career-supporting Vocational Peer Support manual and curriculum, and directing the award-winning Certificate Program in Psychiatric Vocational Rehabilitation, which won the 2002 RSA Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in Training and Education.


We would like to acknowledge the effort and contribution of Katherine Holloway, Rachel Stone, Ally Murray, Katie Holloway, Sean Karyczak, Kenneth J. Gill, and special thanks to the young adults on our Participatory Action Council who have assisted in the ongoing effort to make the HYPE project what it is today.

Special Thanks to HYPE Manual Co- Authors: Patricia B. Nemec, Anne P. Sullivan-Soydan, Judy L. Thompson, Brittany Stone & Amy L. Banko.