As a licensed psychologist and an Asian-American woman, Dr. Cheryl Forster brings a strong and unique set of skills to her work as an intercultural trainer. Her subject matter expertise, love of learning, and warmth come across in her workshops. It was her commitment to the learning process and desire to make a difference that led her to establish Bookmark Connections in 2012.
Cheryl began working at Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Student Health and Counseling in 2004, where she is the Coordinator of Diversity and the Psychology Internship (PSU has a doctoral internship training program). Her educational background includes a master’s degree from Tufts University in applied developmental psychology, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacific University. Moreover, she has pursued post-graduate studies in intercultural communication from the highly respected Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI). She attended ICI’s Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) for 11 summers (took 30 classes from 2008 to 2018), and in 2014, she earned her advanced-level Intercultural Practitioner Certificate. Cheryl also had served as SIIC’s mental health consultant.
Cheryl is a former Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies’ (ACCTA) Diversity Scholar, and currently serves on the ACCTA Board of Directors (2017 to 2019). In the spring of 2018, she taught a class at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and through the Cultural Intelligence Center, became a Certified Advanced Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Facilitator. Moreover, Cheryl is a contributing author in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (2015), and she is currently working on an article about integrating intercultural sensitivity and cultural intelligence into diversity and social justice training in psychology.
Other professional interests include stress, trauma, and attachment from an interpersonal neurobiology perspective. Cheryl has completed training in EMDR therapy and how to integrate polyvagal theory into clinical practice; she uses a trauma-informed approach in all of her work.
All in all, Cheryl’s personal experiences as a Korean adoptee, growing up in an intercultural family, and being one of the only people of color in her hometown, led her to diversity, social justice, and intercultural work. As a way to improve her sociolinguistic intercultural competence and connect more to her birth culture, Cheryl also takes Korean language lessons whenever she can.