I believe there is uniqueness in teaching that most other professions do not get to experience. I am both energized and humbled to be a teacher: to be able to academically challenge my students while being open to being challenged myself, is very rewarding work. I’ve found my students learn best when concepts can be presented and discussed in a dynamic environment; I challenge my students to delve into the content, and they know I look forward to being challenged myself. I am willing to admit to my students that I do not know all the answers and students should not feel they will be expected to have opinions that are seemingly perfect. I strive to create an open classroom from the first day, encouraging students to ask questions, share opinions and, perhaps most-importantly, to respect their classmates’ questions and opinions. In this way, I work to cultivate an environment for student success: an environment that encourages academic growth, critical thinking and confidence within each individual student.
While I believe there is a place for basic fact presentation and rote memorization, I know I personally learn best in context. I learn and retain even more when I can apply a concept or technique beyond its original context, and I feel the study of psychology offers students a unique opportunity for personal growth. To keep information alive and to engage students, I believe that there must be a story behind each new concept, technique, or theoretical argument. I find the best way to ensure student success and involvement is to teach through demonstrations and activities. I encourage students to apply what they’ve learned in these exercises to their personal lives, as they see how the extent of their knowledge of a situation can influence their thoughts and actions.
I am a clinical psychologist with a background in trauma and substance use concerns. I received my doctorate in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Along with being a Licensed Psychologist (LP), I am also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CADC) in the state of Illinois.
Prior to accepting a tenure-track faculty position at GSU, I spent two years training at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in their inpatient and outpatient programs gaining experience in many areas, including but not limited to, dual-diagnosis, opioid-specific treatment, trauma- informed care, crisis management. I have many years of experience working with trauma populations in various settings including substance abuse treatment centers, mental health facilities, community mental health centers, outpatient centers, inpatient environments, and schools. In addition, I am trained in conducting individual and group therapy, workshop outreach, crisis intervention, mental health assessments, and consultation within a
multidisciplinary team. In addition, I have been involved in many other instructional opportunities including: serving as the site leader for the Suicide Assessment Training Team, providing trauma training for CD counselors, developing a training didactic for APA interns, and teaching for Hazelden’s graduate school.
Just as I was inspired and challenged by my own professors, it’s important to me to continue to grow as a clinician and educator, and to strive to inspire further growth within my students. I have a strong passion for giving students the tools necessary to find their own passion and learn more about the things that interest them the most. In the coming years, I plan to continue to help the field make strides in both substance use and trauma concerns through conducting research and offering training. I strongly believe in the importance of combined treatment for sustaining recovery and improving overall mental health.
I also believe that campus and community commitments help us to remain connected with the needs of those around us. I am strongly involved in the university community and I am active on several department and university level committees. I also volunteer as a crisis therapist for an organization called Operation Snowball, which provides support for at-risk youth. Within my involvement with Operation Snowball, I attend meetings as well as weekend events throughout the year to support students and staff alike.