Meaningful learning that brings us together. | Professional Intercultural Training & Development


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.


Professional Work Experience Highlights

  • Licensed Psychologist; Coordinator of Diversity and the Psychology Internship at Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) (2004 to present)

  • Owner and Intercultural Trainer at Bookmark Connections (2012 to present)

  • Mental Health Consultant for the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) (2008 to 2018)

  • Adjunct Instructor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey in the Intercultural Competence (ICC) Specialization graduate program (spring 2018)

  • Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA) Board of Directors (2017 to 2019) (program representative, 2010 to present)

Educational Background

Skidmore College, Saratoga Spring, NY

  • Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Psychology, Cum Laude

Tufts University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Medford, MA

  • Masters of Arts in Applied Developmental Psychology

Pacific University, School of Professional Psychology, Forest Grove, OR

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

  • Doctoral internship at the University of Washington’s Counseling Center; specialty rotation in Supervision & Training

Intercultural Communication Institute, Portland, OR

  • Intercultural Practitioner Certificate

  • Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC)

  • SIIC total (11 years): 30 classes/554 hours


  • Certified Advanced Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Facilitator; Cultural Intelligence Center

  • Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

Selected Publications

  • Forster, C. (2015). Disciplinary approaches to culture: Psychology. In J. M. Bennett (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (Vol. 1, pp. 255–261). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

  • Forster, C. (September/October 2010). How did we twist Martin Luther King Jr.’s words around to perpetuate racism?: The good intentions of color-blind racism. The Oregon Psychologist: Bulletin of the Oregon Psychological Association, Vol. 29 (5), 9 – 14. Portland, OR.

Additional Studies:

  • Audited 15 classes in interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB), training & development, organizational psychology, conflict resolution, and trauma-informed services at Portland State University

  • Korean language lessons at the Oregon Korean School

  • Completed training on psychological assessments for immigration

  • Completed training in EMDR (Part I & II; and the S.A.F.E. Approach – Somatic and Attachment Focused EMDR)

Honors and Awards

  • Diversity Scholar Award from the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA)

  • Honored for service in Portland State University’s Healing Feathers program

  • Contribution to Knowledge Award from Portland State University

  • The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program Guest Speaker Appreciation Award

Professional Associations

American Psychological Association (APA) Divisions (professional affiliate):

  • Division 17 - Society of Counseling Psychology

  • Division 45 - Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, & Race

  • Division 52 - International Psychology

  • Division 56 - Trauma Psychology

Past member of the Oregon Psychological Association’s (OPA) Diversity Committee

Presentations and Workshops/Trainings

  • Northern California Training Directors’ (NCTD) Annual Conference at the University of California at Berkeley (keynote presentation)

  • University of San Diego’s Student Health Center and Counseling Center

  • George Washington University’s Counseling and Psychological Services

  • University of Washington’s Counseling Center

  • Ohio University’s Counseling and Psychological Services

  • University of California, San Francisco’s Student Health and Counseling Services

  • The Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies’ (ACCTA) Annual Conference

  • Lewis & Clark College’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling – Center for Community Engagement

  • Oregon Mental Health CEU Consortium

  • Reed College’s Counseling Center

  • Oregon State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services

  • George Fox University's Graduate School of Clinical Psychology

  • Department of Human Services Supervisors’ Conference

  • NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association)

  • Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare

  • University of Rochester Medical Center

  • Community Partners for Affordable Housing Board of Directors

  • Pacific University’s School of Graduate Psychology

  • Pacific University’s College of Health Professions’ Conference

  • Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference

  • Energy Trust of Oregon

  • Portland Pearl Rotary Club

  • Children’s Program

  • Partners in Diversity: Breakfast for Champions

  • Portland Village School Board

  • Northwest Academy

  • YWCA of Greater Portland: Trainings for Social Change

  • Western Oregon Mental Health Alliance

  • Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA) (invited speaker)

  • Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

  • Oregon Psychological Association’s (OPA) Conference (including 2nd keynote)

  • Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) (evening sessions)

  • Oregon College and University Suicide Prevention Project (invited speaker)

  • Portland United Against Hate (City of Portland Grant; in conjunction with Lewis & Clark College)

Note: A few events are upcoming, and I have presented multiple times at some of the places listed