aasect.org has a fresh new look!


Hello AASECT family,

I’m Dr. Chris Fariello and I am so excited to represent you as AASECT President over the next two years. I have been an AASECT member for 30 years. I started as a student volunteer and immediately found AASECT to be my new professional home, and it has remained so ever since. My hope is to help make AASECT feel that way for every member as well.

I would like to give a shout out and a tremendous thank you to the Board members and volunteers from the past two years working alongside President Dr. Susan Stiritz. They accomplished much and set the foundation for us to move into the future. As President-elect, I was witness to the hard work that so many did. It is important to remember that we are mostly an organization of volunteers. The work that gets done behind the scenes often is unrecognized by most members. I am very thankful for the hundreds of hours every week that our volunteers offer in an effort to make AASECT a better, safer, and more useful professional home.

I would like to welcome our new Board members and volunteers that I will have the pleasure of working with for the next two years. I am very excited about this skilled and motivated group. They have already begun working hard and have a great deal of excitement about the changes to come.

Current AASECT Board Members:

President: Chris Fariello, PhD, MA, LMFT, CSE, CST, CSTS

President-elect: Rosalyn Dischiavo, EdD, MA, CSE, CSES

Treasurer: Christopher Belous, PhD, LMFT, CST, CSE

Secretary: Melissa Novack, MSW, LCSW, CST, CSTS

Vice President of Membership (MSSC): Lexx Brown-James, PhD, LMFT, CSE, CSES

Chair, Certification Steering Committee (CSC): Eric Garrison, MAEd, MSc, DipLSHTM, CSCS, ACS, FRSPH

Chair, Communications Steering Committee (CoSC): Donna Oriowo, PhD, LICSW, CST

Chair, Outreach Steering Committee (OSC): Juan Camarena, PhD, LMFT, LPCC, CST

Chair, Professional Education Steering Committee (PESC): Joli Hamilton, PhD, CSE, CBI

Chair, Public Relations, Media, & Advocacy Steering Committee (PRMA): Shadeen Francis, LMFT

Meet the AASECT Board of Directors

Current Chairs of Standing Committees reporting to the Board: 

Chair, Nominating Committee- Susan Stiritz, PhD, MBA, MSW, CSE, CSES

Chair, Ethics Committee, Neil “Nelly” Cannon, PhD, LMFT, CST, CSTS

Chair, Bylaws Committee- Melissa Novak, MSW, LCSW, CST

Chair, Personnel Committee- Liz Hass, LMSW, ACSW, CST

Chair, Awards Committee- Bianca Laureano, MA, CSE, CSES, (honorary doctorate)

Co-Chairs, Strategic Planning Committee- Eli Green, PhD, MA, Med, CSE & Tameca Harris-Jackson, PhD, LCSW, CSE

These hardworking people deserve all the respect I can give as they continue to volunteer their time and energy. I would like to remind you all that there is always space for you in AASECT. Any time you would like to contribute to creating a better tomorrow, please just ask at info@aasect.org or contact our Executive Director or myself directly.

Our Bostrom Management Team:

Kellie Braband- Executive Director, AASECT

Jessica Gonzalez - Continuing Education and Certification Manager

Kristen Dube - Membership Services Manager

Cat Wilson - Content Marketing Manager

With many years in AASECT, I have some clarity of all the greatness that AASECT is and could be, as well as many of its limitations. Overall, AASECT is a strong organization. We have a passionate and talented membership, a stable organizational structure, and we are on our way to a secure financial future. We are an organization made up mostly of volunteers. We depend on them do to the hard work of our mission. I am continually surprised just how much they show up- and deliver. 

These are very challenging times. We are facing a virus that continues to keep us on our toes, and in our houses. But AASECT, and the work we do goes on. We were so happy to be able to pivot our annual conference this year. With the help of or sponsors, our financial stability, and our dedicated volunteers and staff, we were able to nimbly adjust to a virtual summit at no cost to our members. 

In addition, the political climate has been one that has often undermined the nature of our work, our members, and the people we work with. Whether it be limiting access to comprehensive sexuality education, sexuality products, and services, the rights to make decisions about our own bodies, or discrimination against people for their sexual orientation or gender, or the systemic racism that is promulgated throughout our communities, AASECT members are strong and we continue to fight for what we know and believe to be just.


After three years of very hard work, we have been able to collaboratively develop a Strategic Plan that in essence, will become a roadmap to strengthening and enhancing our organization for years to come. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who contributed to the Strategic Plan and specifically to the SP co-chairs and the DEI committee. This working document will be the basis of my goals for the coming years. Outlined here as overall goals, will birth many initiatives for which working groups will be tackling over the next few years:

Goal 1: To examine AASECT services, policies and procedures through the lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) - specifically, but not limited to, inequities in class and race - to shift the organizational culture towards one that centers DEI as a fundamental component of our organization. 

Goal 2: To conduct a comprehensive assessment of the AASECT certification process for the purpose of ensuring that certification processes and procedures are clear, consistent, support equitable access, provide value across disciplines, and align with AASECT’s commitment to centering DEI. 

Goal 3: To increase the value, benefit, and appeal of AASECT membership for current and potential members, with particular attention to supporting the value and benefit of members who are, or desire to be, sexuality education and counseling members. 

Goal 4: To Improve the overall health of the organization by increasing member accessibility and engagement at all levels of the organization. 

Goal 5: To examine the structure of AASECT’s leadership model with the goal of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the BOD, Committees, and overall functioning of the organization to better meet the demands of a growing membership. 

Goal 6: To stabilize the long-term financial health of the organization so that AASECT is better prepared for periods of financial hardships and creates opportunities to utilize excess funds in ways that advances Goals 1-5, with a particular focus on goal 1.

Expect to see AASECT ramp up our work in September. Today, we launch a refreshed website. We hope you find it a more user-friendly experience.

Finally, I will work to the best of my ability to represent you. I am certainly not perfect. I am sure I will make mistakes and that there will be differences. But I know we can work it out. I am aware of my position of power as a white/heterosexual/cis/male. I am also aware that I am supported by a wonderful diversity of people with passion and ability, who I know I can rely on to call me in and work with me to accomplish our goals. My intentions are to leave AASECT better than it is today. I want to offer that you please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or hopes that you may have.

Can’t wait to see you all in person at the next AASECT conference in June 2021 in Tampa. Until then, stay safe and be well.


Chris Fariello, PhD, MA, LMFT, CSE, CST, CSTS
AASECT President- 2020-2022

See the web refresh at www.aasect.org

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