Joanna Mendez (she/her/hers) is a Texas native, bilingual (English/Spanish) mental health professional, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and twice graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Social Work. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UT Austin’s Steve Hicks School of Social Work and serves as the Board Vice President of the Social Work Alumni Network (SWAN). Separate from UT, Mendez has an active interest in serving diverse communities and those affected by trauma. Mendez is certified in Mental Health First Aid and Trauma-Informed Cross Cultural Psychoeducation, and trained in Mental Health Officer Certification and Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). The span of her career has focused in the areas of mental health and wellness, community partnerships, published research, trauma-informed care, domestic violence and sexual assault/abuse, human trafficking, refugees and diverse communities, supervising social work interns, providing individual, group, and family therapy, and delivering mental health presentations at state-wide conferences, local schools and universities, the Austin Police Department cadet academy, and other professional development events. In her private practice, she specializes in providing psychological evaluations for immigration cases. Through her assessments she brings life to people’s stories, hardships, and relationships so that each case is real and compelling. Her assessments give strength to court cases to increase the rate of success for a positive outcome.