I grew up in the beautiful Park Hill neighborhood of Denver and have lived in this city my entire life. I love it here and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
I knew in high school that I wanted to work in the field of psychology and that I wanted to impact the lives of children. I attended Metro State College in Denver for my undergraduate degree, majoring in psychology. I worked as a counselor for emotionally disturbed youth for several years and realized that to really make a difference I had to pursue graduate education. I obtained my master’s degree in counseling from CU Denver and then discovered the field of school psychology. When I realized that I could work as a mental health professional with children in the school setting, I chose to pursue a doctoral degree in school psychology at the University of Northern Colorado.
When I began my career as a school psychologist, I was astounded by the resilience of the children with whom I worked. Confronted with multiple hardships and crises, many of these kids overcame these obstacles and often reached out to others who were struggling. Providing such young people with support and school-based mental health services was a challenging, yet gratifying experience that I treasured. This work as a practitioner remains a part of who I am as a faculty member and I incorporate these experiences into my role as an instructor, advisor, mentor, and supervisor.
My work as a practitioner has also fueled my passion to understand and address some of the most important and pressing issues in the schools, including school violence. I am committed to furthering our understanding of the risk factors and underlying causes of various child- and school-related crises, as well as to making connections between these mental health issues and achievement. Ultimately, my goal is to help enable school personnel to prevent and/or effectively intervene in crisis situations and to better meet the mental health and academic needs of all children and youth.
My students at University of Colorado Denver:
I have the enviable position of teaching and mentoring exceptionally bright and committed students. The individuals who make up our program truly see themselves as advocates for those children and youth who face the most challenges and each of our students brings something unique to the classroom. I make an effort to support students in the development of critical, creative, and reflective thinking skills and to help them see how their unique background and experiences will contribute to their effectiveness as future school psychologists.
Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
- School Psychology: Professional and Legal Foundations - SPSY 6100
- Psychoeducational Assessment I - SPSY 6150
- Psychoeducational Assessment II - SPSY 6160
- Crisis Planning, Prevention, and Intervention - SPSY 6420
- Advanced Practicum in Psychological Assessment - SPSY 6917
- School Psychology Practicum - SPSY 6911
My research interests:
- Child trauma
- Crisis response and intervention
- Child and youth suicide
- School violence prevention
As a native of Colorado, it's probably not surprising that I love to ski. Skiing is one of my most favorite things to do, especially with my two kids. I also enjoy running with my dog, reading, and cheering for all the Denver and Colorado professional sports teams.
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