Clinical Psychology (PhD) – Trauma Focus (1st Cohort)
My education began at the University of Wisconsin where I graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry. I later received a M.S. in computer science from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), specializing in artificial intelligence. Upon graduation I worked as a staff scientist for a small engineering research firm, conducting research in a variety of software technologies and applications. In addition to my engineering career, for the past four years I have volunteered my services as the Mentor Director for a small non-profit organization providing aftercare for victims of human trafficking. As mentor director, I have been involved in the development and implementation of one of the few programs in the United States that offers mentoring services to domestic human trafficking victims. We currently partner with local (CSPD) and national (FBI) law enforcement to help provide services to rescued victims.
As a result of my work with human trafficking survivors, I was the recipient of the 2014 International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Outstanding Student Advocacy and Service Award that recognizes those who have made significant contributions in the field of public advocacy, clinical work, and traumatic stress at the local, national, or international level. In an effort to further understand the trauma experienced by survivors, I applied and was recently accepted into the UCCS Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Program with an emphasis in Trauma. My current research focuses on developing trauma recovery web interventions and understanding the social cognitive factors that influence engagement with computer interventions. This is an important area of research that may eventually help to understand engagement in other, non-computer based therapeutic settings. Once the process of engagement is better understood, I hope to broaden my research to the design of efficacious trauma recovery web interventions. In addition, as a future clinician, I am hoping to work with the University of Colorado Trauma Health and Hazards Center (THHC) to help develop trauma-informed mental health care services for victims of human trafficking in Colorado.