Growing up, my mother worked as a teacher and my father as a social worker. I never would have thought that I would end up being a combination of them both! I knew from the first time I took a psychology course in college that this was the field I wanted to enter. I also participated in multiple volunteer opportunities during college where I worked with children. From these experiences I learned the importance of early intervention in mental health work and the amazing impact we can have on the lives of children through school-based programming.
Another one of my loves is learning about other cultures. I have spent years of my life living abroad in such places as Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala. I have a genuine interest in the cultures, traditions, and beliefs of others. I have learned more about myself and the importance of mental health promotion through my time abroad. In my opinion, education is much more than course work; it is also the ability to immerse yourself in other cultures and empathize with the challenges that groups face on a daily basis.
I have focused my work on promoting a greater awareness of minority populations, specifically English language learners, in our schools. I attempt to promote greater cultural responsiveness and advocacy for these populations and their families. With the increase of immigrant populations in the United States, I believe that each future school psychologist should be prepared to work in this changing world. Not only should they have the practical knowledge to work with minority populations, but I hope they will act as change agents in their places of work to promote awareness, empathy, and best practice to their clients and colleagues.
My students at University of Colorado Denver:
My students are motivated, ambitious, and forward thinking. They are the future of our field and are proud to represent themselves this way. They are insightful, critical, and life-long learners. Each student comes with a unique history. This makes our classroom one where we not only learn the knowledge, but also learn from each other.
Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
- School Based Interventions: Children, Youth, and Families - SPSY 6350
- Early Childhood Assessment - SPSY 6170
- School Based Interventions: Groups, Families and Systems - SPSY 6400
- School Based Multicultural Interventions - SPSY 5900
- Psychoeducational Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students - SPSY 6140
My research interests:
- Culturally responsive psychoeducational assessment and intervention
- Disproportionality of autism identification and services among diverse populations
- Underrepresentation of English language learners in gifted education
- Acculturation and Immigration
I am a transplant to Colorado so I enjoy exploring the natural beauty and endless activities Colorado has to offer! I also greatly enjoy traveling, cooking and entertaining. Lastly, I love spending time with my son, husband and dog, Cassi.
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