Who We Are

Suniya Luthar

Suniya Luthar

Founder and Executive Director
Suniya leads AC Groups in-person and through video conferencing, and provides training and supervision for AC Group facilitators in different locations.

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Suniya Luthar

Founding Director of Authentic Connections, Dr. Suniya S. Luthar is Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Professor Emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Luthar's research involves vulnerability and resilience among various populations including youth in poverty, children in families affected by mental illness, and teens in upper-middle class families. Her recent research has been focused on motherhood, exploring factors that best help mothers negotiate the challenges of motherhood. Luthar is the mother of two adult children. She lives in Tempe, AZ.
Nina Kumar

Nina Kumar

Chief Executive Officer
Nina leads strategy, outreach, and partnerships for AC Groups for organizations and individuals. She also manages our technology and created this website :).

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Nina Kumar

Nina Kumar is committed to fostering the welfare of girls and women. She has volunteered for mentorship programs benefiting middle school, high school, and college students, and at "My Sisters’ Place", a non-profit organization that works to end violence in intimate relationships and to reduce ill effects of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Nina graduated from Williams College with a BA in Computer Science and Psychology, and a concentration with Honors in Cognitive Science.
Renee Benoit

Renee Benoit

Director of AC Groups Research
Renee manages our AC Groups research. This includes administering assessments, analyzing data, and preparing reports based on the findings. She also assists with our digital outreach efforts and monthly newsletters.

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Renee Benoit

Renee is a researcher interested in risk and resilience and how the various contexts in which individuals exist can impact them on both a small and large scale. Renee graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Special Education and is currently a first-year PhD candidate in the Developmental Psychology program at Arizona State University.
Suniya Luthar

Suniya Luthar

Founder and Executive Director
Suniya leads AC Groups in-person and through video conferencing, and provides training and supervision for AC Group facilitators in different locations.

Nina Kumar

Nina Kumar

Chief Executive Officer
Nina leads strategy, outreach, and partnerships for AC Groups for organizations and individuals. She also manages our technology and created this website :).

Renee Benoit

Renee Benoit

Director of AC Groups Research
Renee manages our AC Groups research. This includes administering assessments, analyzing data, and preparing reports based on the findings. She also assists with our digital outreach efforts and monthly newsletters.

Board of Directors

  • Susan Budinger - President
  • Nikhil Kumar - Vice President, Treasurer
  • Judith Benenson - Secretary
  • Suniya Luthar - Board Member
  • Nina Kumar - Board Member
  • Tom Benenson - Board Member
  • Elise Geithner - Board Member
  • Kimber Bogard - Board Member

Additional Team Members

  • Jackie Humphreys, LICSW, MA - AC Groups Facilitator
  • Judith Engelman, MD - AC Groups Facilitator
  • Sherry Chesak, Ph.D., M.S., RN. - AC Groups Facilitator
  • Susanne Cutshall, APRN, CNS, D.N.P. - AC Groups Facilitator
  • Alexandra Ingram, MA - AC Groups Facilitator
  • Katherine Mooney - Logo Designer