Meet Our 2023 Student Board

President: Jaida Pryor

Jaida Pryor is a student in the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program at Texas Woman’s University. She has been a student member of TAMFT for two years, and she looks forward to continued membership, board service, and committee service within the organization. Jaida is completing her clinical internship at the UT Southwestern Family Studies Center, focusing on medical family therapy. She also has clinical and research interests which extend to families impacted by the justice system and incarceration. These interests were fostered and developed after having served as an intern in the Wrongful Convictions Clinic at Duke University’s School of Law – an experience that ushered her into a deeper understanding of the importance of thinking systemically. Jaida is passionate about collaboration, service, advocacy, and equity, and she plans to serve the students and associates of TAMFT to the fullest capacity this year.

Secretary: Emily Esail

Emily Esail is a student in the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program at Texas Woman’s University. She has been a student member of TAMFT for two years and currently serves as co-chair for the TAMFT Conference Committee. Emily will complete her clinical internship at the Children’s Advocacy Center for North Texas, where she practices trauma-focused therapy and works with children with problematic sexual behaviors and their families. Emily is also interested in working with families with neurodivergent members. In 2021, Emily graduated Cum Laude with a double major in Psychology & Child Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she founded The Association of Women in Psychology. She enjoys hiking and trying new coffee shops with friends in her free time.

Treasurer: Melinda Barsales

Melinda Barsales is a marriage, couple, and family counseling student in the Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program at St. Edward's University in Austin, TX, where she serves as the vice president of the MAC Student Association. She is a second-generation Filipino American originally from Houston, TX, and has called East Austin home for almost 20 years. Her work as a housing and homebuying counselor for a local affordable housing non-profit organization allows her to connect with longtime residents working toward a first-time home purchase. She finds this work rewarding and especially relevant to the counseling field as she considers place and context an integral part of systems work. In addition to her studies and job, Melinda teaches meditation and yoga and enjoys dance, writing, baking, and making art. This is her first term serving on TAMFT's student board.

Outreach Chair: Sydney Jeffrey

Sydney is a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy student at Texas Woman’s University. This is her second term serving in TSAMFT, and she looks forward to continuing to serve on the board. Sydney also is a Senator for her universities Graduate Student Council. Sydney is currently interning at Connections Wellness Group in Denton, Texas. There, she sees a variety of individuals, families, and couples as an intern. Sydney wants to reach more individuals for TSAMFT and generate more interest in the student board. Sydney also is passionate about advocating and working with individuals with disabilities and works part-time for TWU Disability Services for Students. In her spare time, Sydney likes to dance and be outdoors. She is from Decatur, Texas, and is an active community member.

Social Media Manager: Crystal Lina Lopez

Crystal Lina Lopez is a student in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Houston Baptist University. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Texas State University, with a minor in Sociology. Crystal is currently the Student Representative on the Board of the Austin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She has worked for the TX Dept. of Family & Protective Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the Texas Council on Family Violence. Crystal lives in Austin and enjoys live music, television/film, and spending time with her husband & dogs.



We Are Currently Accepting Applications and Nominations for the 2024 Student-Elect Board Representative!

Are you, or is someone you know, looking to make a difference in marriage and family therapy? The TAMFT Elections Committee is currently seeking nominations and applications for the next term of the TAMFT Student Representative. The candidate must be willing to serve a 2-year term:

  • One year as the TSAMFT President-Elect at the 2024 Annual Conference in April
  • One year as the TSAMFT President and TAMFT Board's Student Representative at the 2025 Annual Conference

Applicants must be TAMFT members in good standing and are strongly encouraged to still be students for most or all of their term. 

This is your chance to develop the necessary leadership skills and make important connections that will benefit you as you work to become a practicing clinician.

Apply for Student Board