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Franco Dispenza

Assistant Professor    Rehabilitation Counseling and Counselor Education    

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Georgia State University
C.A.S in Quantitative Research: Statistics and Methodology, Georgia State University
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling,University at Albany
B.A. in Psychology and English Literature,University at Albany,New York


Dispenza's scholarship and clinical specialization is in the area of sexual and gender diversity (i.e., diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) related issues in the field of counseling and psychology. He focuses on three particular aspects with this population: (1) the experience of Chronic Illness and Disability (CID); (2) lifespan and career/vocational development; (3) rehabilitation/mental health practitioner training, education, and supervision.


Originally born and raised In Brooklyn, New York, Franco Dispenza moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2007. He is a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC), and has clinical, social justice and research interests in the areas of sexual and gender minority populations, persons living with chronic illness and disabilities, career development and counselor education/psychologist training. Dispenza is also actively involved in professional service with the American Psychological Association, and involved in community service in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

  • O’Hara, C., Dispenza, F., Brack, G.L., Blood, R.A.C. (2013).The Preparedness of Counselors-in-
    Training to Work with Transgender Clients: A Mixed Methods Investigation. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 7(3), 236-256.
  • Watson, L.B., Robinson, D. Dispenza, F., Nazari, N. (2012). African American Women’s Sexual
    Objectification Experiences: A Qualitative Study. Psychology of Women’s Quarterly, 36 (4), 458-475. DOI: 10.1177/0361684312454724
  • Dispenza, F., Watson, L.B., Chung, Y.B., & Brack, G. (2012). Experience of Career-Related
    Discrimination for Female-to-Male (FTM) Transgender Persons: A Qualitative Study. Career Development Quarterly, 60, 65-81.
  • Harrison, M.A., Shortall, J.C., Dispenza, F., & Gallup, G. G. (2011). You Must Have
    Been a Beautiful Baby: Ratings of Infant Facial Attractiveness Fail to Predict Ratings of Adult Attractiveness. Infant Behavior and Development, 34(4), 610-616.
  • Chung, Y.B., Williams, W., Dispenza, F. (2009). Validating Work Discrimination and Coping
    Strategy Models for Sexual Minorities. Career Development Quarterly, 58, 162-170.
  • Hughes, S.M., Dispenza, F., & Gallup, G. G., (2004). Ratings of voice attractiveness predict
    sexual behavior and body configuration. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25, 295-304.
  • Select Presentations:
    Dispenza, F., Phelps, R., Lantz, M. (2013, August). Updates on Undergraduate Education Related to Counseling Psychology. Paper presented as part of a symposium during the 121st APA Convention, Honolulu, HI.
  • Dispenza, F. (2012, August). Undergraduate Programming and Society of Counseling Psychology’s Leadership Academy. Paper presented as part of a symposium during the 120th APAConvention, Orlando, FL.
  • Motulsky, S., Chung, Y.B., & Dispenza, F. (2012, June). Adding the “T” to LGB: Understanding career and work-related issues of transgender people. Roundtable Discussion and Presentation at the National Career Development Association Convention, Atlanta, GA.
  • Dispenza, F. & Chung, Y.B. (2010, August). The intersection between transgender identity,
    childhood/adolescent development, and career development. Paper presented as part of a symposium during the 118th APA Convention, San Diego, CA.
  • Dispenza, F., Chung, Y.B, Watson, L., & Brack, G.L. (2009, April). The Experience of Discrimination for Female-to-Male (FTM) Transgender Persons in Life and in the Workplace. Paper presented during the 2009 Southeast Regional Counseling Psychology Conference, Athens, Georgia.