General Psychology; Human Growth and Development; Organizational Psychology; and Psychology of Deviance
M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Hodges University, 2013
B.S. Clinical Psychology, Catholic University of Santo Domingo, 2004
Joining Hodges University in 2015, Rafael (Alex) Olivares is an adjunct faculty member in the Applied Psychology program in the Nichols School of Professional Studies. His areas of expertise include trauma informed care, adolescents, organizational management and human trafficking. Not only is he a faculty member at Hodges, but he is also an alumnus. Olivares graduated with a master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Hodges in 2014.
Earning his bachelor’s degree in 2004, he worked in various social services settings. He spent time working as a clinician for the HES psychiatric outpatient program in Lawrence, Mass, where he worked with chronically mentally ill patients and received certifications in motivational interviewing and dialectical behavioral therapy group model.
Moving to Florida, he worked as a non-residential counselor for Lutheran Services Florida before becoming the residential program director of the Oasis Youth Shelter. In October 2009, he became the program director for human trafficking services for Catholic Charities. He and his team provided services to 194 victims of trafficking in the SWFL area. From October 2011 to February 2013, he served as the chairperson of the Southwest Florida Human Trafficking Coalition.
After obtaining his master’s degree, he completed an internship at Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc. The Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence certified him as a domestic violence advocate. Currently, Olivares serves as the coordinator for the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Resource Center on Human Trafficking, as well as a consultant and therapist in the Human Trafficking Victims Assistance Counseling Program out of Catholic Charities.
In 2015, Olivares received the Founder’s Award by Hodges University, which is presented to distinguished alumni for contributions to the community. He has trained more than 1,300 individuals since the inception of the Human Trafficking Resource Center at FGCU. He also served as a co-author on “A Model of Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration in Regional Anti-Slavery Efforts” journal article published in Slavery Today.
In his spare time, he enjoys baseball, movies and reading.