As part of KUSA Channel 9 Denver’s Recovery Week special on addictions, news anchor TaRhonda Thomas interviewed Counseling Psychology (CP) Addictions Specialization director, Mike Faragher. Faragher is a Level II National Gambling Counselor, as a Board Approved Clinical Consultant by the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board, and as Level III Senior Addiction Counselor by Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. Dr. Andi Pusavat, Counseling Service Clinic Director and Clinical Assistant Professor addressed addiction causes in a live interview during the broadcast. Faragher and Pusavat were joined by Amy Hudson, CP PhD student, Wesley Pruitt, ’15 CP MA grad, and Tammy Pope, MS, NCGC1 from Choice Counseling & Recovery. All five manned the live phone lines answering questions on a wide range of addiction issues and connecting callers with local resources and support groups, including MCE’s Counseling and Educational Services Clinic.

You can find more photos from the interview in our Flickr album.

On Saturday, September 23, eight Morgridge Counseling Psychology students were recognized at the annual NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals (formerly the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) conference in Denver as National Minority fellows for Addiction Counseling. The students and Morgridge were acknowledged in front of over 800 participants at the conference.

The fellowships are awarded by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) and seek to increase the number of culturally-competent master’s level addiction counselors available to serve underserved and minority populations.

Congratulations on this rare accomplishment!

Chesleigh Keene, a doctoral student in the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) Counseling Psychology program, is an exceptional student and an exemplar of inclusivity. She is an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellow, is working on her dissertation, coauthoring a book chapter on best psychological practices for Native American girls and women, and working on her first first-authored article. In addition, she serves as the Research Chair for CO Psychological Association of Graduate Students (COPAGS).

Chesleigh combined professional and personal interests when she reached out to the Native American community in Denver through a nonprofit called Denver Indian Center. Through Denver Indian Center, she has volunteered her time to assist with community events and participated in sociopolitical events including attending the Sand Creek March in 2013 and raising awareness about the issues and controversy surrounding Standing Rock.

According to Keene, participating in these events puts her close to the current issues and allows her to see the impact of sociopolitical events on the Native community.

“This helps me to inform my practice for other groups that are similarly impacted, “she said. It also impacts my research as I consider what the most salient concerns in a community might be.”

Keene’s path to counseling psychology was largely influenced by her decision to take time off from education after her master’s graduation. During this time she worked in an inpatient psychiatric hospital and got to work with every type of psychology provider in one setting. It was there that she was encouraged and motivated to pursue a PhD. Her master’s was a research-based community counseling degree and initially Keene thought that she’d pursue a clinical PhD. Working in a neuroscience laboratory changed her mind and she realized she wanted the freedom of practice and research that counseling psychology allows. In in the field of counseling psychology, she could use her scientific background and her community training to inform her research practice.

After having decided what she wanted to study, Keene needed to find a program and an environment that suited her. Initially, she had not considered the University of Denver (DU). A friend she knew from Denver Health referred her to an open house that was hosted by University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. It was there that she was introduced to Anthea Johnson Rooen at DU’s Center for Multicultural Excellence, who assured her that she would receive the support and resources she needed to meet her educational goals. Rooen provided Keene with contacts and helped her build a larger network. Based on this experience, she felt that DU and MCE could provide her the opportunities she was seeking, not just as a doctoral student but as a Native American student.

“I think prospective students should really consider which programs are going to support their professional and personal growth,” she said. “Even as doc students, we have growing pains and it’s so helpful to have mentors and faculty who can share their own experiences of managing difficult caseloads or overwhelming deadlines and who can provide guidance.”

“In the end, you want to finish your doctoral education as a psychologist who still has all of that early enthusiasm, empathy, and drive still intact,” she continued “It doesn’t help anyone if you finish a program just a shadow of yourself, so consider how you will fare in the programs you’re considering.”

Khara Croswaite Brindle graduated  from Morgridge College of Education Counseling Psychology master’s program in 2012 with a passion for helping and a keen ear for listening – and understanding – others. Today, she is a private practice licensed professional therapist with a focus on clients using Medicaid. At nights and on the weekends, she runs her own business developing an app to assess and prevent suicide.

“I saw a need for this assessment tool,” she said, as if this were the simplest thing in the world. “I want people who want to go ‘there’ to be able to have that tough conversation and be able to access resources to get help.”

By people who want to go “there,” she means teachers, coaches, case managers, anyone who may be in a professional position to see another person struggling but not be a clinical mental health professional. Her goal is to make the conversation about suicide easier to approach, easier to have, and easier to know what to do. Her app works like this. Said person (let’s call them the professional) sees another person struggling. Maybe they have every day contact, maybe they see them once a week, but they believe this person is having a hard time. They decide to broach THE question, the tough question, the one they know the answer to but maybe do not know what to do with the response.

“Do you want to kill yourself?”

“Are you suicidal?”

“Do you have thoughts of harming yourself?”

They bring up the app. The app is loaded with the suicide risk assessment, and the professional begins the heart-to-heart. Together, they talk, the professional listens, and they have the conversation. Once complete the app populates next steps, organizations to contact for additional help, where to find online and face-to-face support, and who to call for emergency assistance. It also goes one step further and populates resources based on factors such as age and geographical location. Currently its resources are for the entire state of Colorado.

Croswaite Brindle stresses that this app is not meant to be a total assessment. This is also not a one and done conversation. This app is meant to help on the spot and give the professional and the person hurting a beginning roadmap to intervention and recovery.

In her practice, Croswaite Brindle regularly works with at-risk populations. This is a conscious decision to provide the best possible care to patients with Medicaid. She works with teenagers, single parents, individuals struggling with gender identity, veterans; she works with regular, everyday people who are struggling and each and every day her goal is to provide them with the best possible care.

“I think my cohort at Morgridge helped to frame my career now,” she said. “My class graduated and we were so excited to get out and be agents of change.”

An agent of change she is. Already her app is in use and under development. She has started to work with the Mental Health Center of Denver and run workshops with other professionals to continue to build resources and continue to assess risk factors. She considers Colorado to be her pilot state, but her long-term goal is to have the application be used nationwide and endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Through it all, she stays in contact with her professors at Morgridge. Now colleagues in the field, she finds their support and encouragement invaluable.

“My connections are wonderful to have,” she said. “It’s been great to continue to collaborate and exciting for me to see the cohorts grow. I definitely am a proud Morgridge alum, and someday I hope to be back in some capacity.”

Back as in, getting a PhD, teaching the next generation of mental health professionals?

“I can see all of that,” she smiles. “Someday.”

More information about the app can be found at Cacs-co.com.

Earlier this year, masters and doctoral students in the Morgridge College of Education Counseling Psychology (CP) program saw a rising need in their community for social justice and advocacy for underrepresented people. Instead of sitting idly by, the students decided to take action through the creation of the Social Justice Committee with help from faculty members Pat Garriott and Ruth Chao.

Many students attend the CP program here at Morgridge specifically for its focus on issues of diversity and multiculturalism, and while much of our course content currently reflects that focus, many students and faculty feel we could still be doing more, hence the formation of the committee. Since the committee’s inception, they have kept busy with lots of activities and efforts to promote inclusive excellence and create a more equitable and welcoming space for all community members, both on campus and in the greater Denver area. Here are just a few ways they are making an impact:

  • Revamping Curricula: The Social Justice Committee is currently collaborating with faculty to find ways to incorporate issues of power, privilege, and inequity into all of the Counseling Psychology curriculum through possible instructor trainings, and reflective surveys for students where they can provide feedback on their in-class experience, particularly related to socio-political and multicultural climate in the classroom. Their hope is that in the future, curricula across University of Denver (DU) programs will reflect those themes, and provide a space where all students and faculty feel safe.
  • Workshops: They are working with the Center for Multicultural Excellence in hopes of providing training opportunities and workshops for all community members that address these issues. In the fall, several students in conjunction with the Social Justice Committee plan to host one such workshop on “Responding to Microaggressions” (stay tuned for further details).
  • Bias Incidence Reporting: The committee has also taken steps across campus to address issues of social justice, particularly in the reporting of bias-related incidents, and the way in which individuals are described and identified in reports of crime or other incidents. Committee members noticed that bias-related incidents were not consistently reported to the whole university community, and that many reports only identified individuals’ racial and ethnic identity if they were a person of color, and in turn joined the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) to address these issues with Campus Safety (who was very responsive to the committee’s concerns). Using counseling skills they’ve learned in the classroom and in practice, the team was able to effectively work with Campus Safety to change the way incidents are reported and improve the relationship between campus law enforcement and students. While this change is a step in the right direction, the committee thinks we can still do more. First year PhD student, Ellen Shupe, who led this effort, had this to say about the process: “Anytime you try to change a system you experience barriers. Hopefully through continued work with the Campus Safety department, we can continue to move in the direction of minimizing racial profiling and the criminalization of people of color on campus. Additionally, we want to make sure that violent acts against people of color are reported and investigated with as much urgency as those against white people.”

The Social Justice Committee currently meets twice a quarter, and they are always looking for new members who are committed to social change. For more information on joining the committee or their current efforts, you can contact PhD student, J. Galluzzo at Joseph.Galluzzo@du.edu, or subscribe to the Social Justice listserv here.

The Counseling Psychology (CP) Department has distinguished themselves by having eight CP students receive acceptance into the highly competitive National Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors (NMFP-AC). The fellowships are awarded by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) and seek to increase the number of culturally-competent master’s level addiction counselors available to serve underserved and minority populations.

Morgridge student recipients will receive tuition stipends of up to $15,000, receive support to attend the NAADAC Annual Conference and participate in training and mentorship projects designed to enhance their inclusion competency in working with diverse cohorts and transitional age youth.

Cochran Riley

Riley Cochran

Riley Cochran is a 27-year-old student from Denver, Colorado. He enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, attending local sporting events and connecting with others through social and professional events. A graduate of the University of Colorado Denver’s undergraduate program, Cochran majored in psychology and minored in sociology. He is currently anticipating a June 2017 graduation from the University of Denver’s Counseling Psychology program with a master’s in Clinical Mental Health. After an adolescence full of challenges and character growth, Cochran developed a passion for wanting to help others facing the complex intersections of life. He has a specific interest in helping transitional-aged youth involved with the judicial system and struggling with addiction. Cochran currently holds a position as an addiction counselor at Arapahoe House, an organization providing multiple levels of American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) care to a diverse population of clientele within the state of Colorado.

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Christelle Cook

Christelle Cook is a life-long Coloradan who plans to stay in the state as she pursues her mental health career in the coming months. Cook completed her undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology through the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently finishing her final year of a master’s program at the University of Denver in Counseling Psychology. Throughout this program Cook has worked in practicum and internship sites that focused on substance use treatment with adults and crisis stabilization with adolescents. She is grateful for this recognition and looks forward to investing herself in the Colorado mental health profession.

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Demi Folds

Demi Folds is a second-year master’s student at the University of Denver in the Clinical Mental Health Program with an Addictions Specialization. She earned her BS in psychology from the University of Georgia. Before starting graduate school, Folds tutored student-athletes, worked at a methadone clinic and traveled abroad. She is currently a student intern at a private practice center, providing psychotherapy and brief substance abuse interventions. In her first year of her master’s program, Folds worked with underserved youth at a Denver high school. She is passionate about working with those struggling with and affected by substance use disorders and enjoys conducting research on addictions and underserved populations. Folds plans to eventually obtain her PhD in Counseling Psychology and continue counseling and serving disenfranchised populations.

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Megan Kenney

Megan Kenney is from Maple Grove, Minnesota, and obtained her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in 2015 with a double major in Psychology and Child Adult and Family Services. Following graduation, Kenney continued her studies at the University of Denver where she is in her second year of the Counseling Psychology program in the Clinical Mental Health track working towards an addictions specialization. Aside from school, Kenney enjoys the Colorado mountains, snowboarding, hiking, running, and yoga, along with spending time with friends and family. Following graduation in June 2017, Kenney plans to pursue her passion of working with adolescents and underserved populations.

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Elizabeth Kidd

Elizabeth Kidd is a second-year master’s student at the University of Denver and will be graduating with a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in June 2017, with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a specialization in addictions. She is an intern at Progressive Therapy Systems,  a sex offender treatment provider. During treatment, Kidd focuses on the dysfunctional response cycle, anger management, and emotional regulation, along with cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic therapy. Prior to her internship, Kidd was a practicum student at Dakota Ridge High School where she worked with adolescents who had substance abuse issues, social anxiety, and difficulties in school. Kidd also works at DU’s Counseling and Educational Services Clinic providing couples counseling and working with clients who identify as LGBTQ. Kidd plans to continue seeking minority populations throughout her counseling career.

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Kathleen (Katie) Larkin

Katie Larkin is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and is completing her master’s at the University of Denver in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Addiction Specialization. Larkin’s goal is to obtain a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) Level III licensure in Colorado. As a child of foster parents, Larkin has personal experience with the foster care system and saw first-hand the impact that addiction can have on both youth and families. It was this experience that pushed her towards a career in the counseling field. Larkin developed her clinical experience working in community mental health with the Salvation Army as a counselor for homeless men with addictions. She is currently working in an acute psychiatric unit in a hospital setting in Denver. Larkin is honored to receive this fellowship and to apply the experience to her  professional career.

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Stephanie Nisle

Stephanie Nisle is pursuing her master’s in counseling psychology with a specialization in addictions at the University of Denver. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois in 2012 where she participated in a semester abroad French language immersion program in Aix-en-Provence, France. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant analyzing residential substance abuse treatment facilities. Nisle has also worked in the addictions field providing group and individual counseling to adults and adolescents with co-morbid disorders. Additionally, she has spent the past eight years working and volunteering with at-risk and special needs students. The combination of her teaching and work experiences, have led to the formation of her research interests related to personal, environmental, and behavioral factors that contribute to adolescent development and substance abuse. In the future Nisle aims to develop programs and interventions to create greater empowerment within these communities.

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Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson was born and raised in Colorado and graduated with a BA in psychology from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is a second-year master’s student at the University of Denver in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Addictions Specialization program. Thompson worked for four years for the State of Colorado caring for mentally or physically disabled, severely mentally ill, and disabled sex offender clients. She completed her practicum at Creative Treatment Options as an outpatient addiction counselor and currently works at Arapahoe House, working with clients who suffer from addictions in withdrawal management.  Thompson also serves as an intern at Jefferson Center of Mental Health, working as an outpatient clinician for adults and children. Thompson’s experience growing up in an addictive environment makes her passionate about the value of treatment and prevention.

View Resume

Last month Jonah Li., one of our talented Counseling Psychology grad students, presented “Building Rapport Across Cultures.”
at the 2017  DU Research and Performance Summit (DURAPS). In his presentation Jonah discussed a perception-changing counseling experience that he had with a challenging client.

Researcher: Jonah is a master’s student in Morgridge College of Education’s Counseling Psychology program.

Current Research: My research interest is in using positive psychological interventions and spirituality to build resilience and promote well-being among diverse clients and ethnic minorities, including international students and Asian students, in the lens of multicultural counseling.

My current research mainly falls into two areas: positive psychology and multicultural counseling. For positive psychology, I aim at building resilience and promoting well-being for clients in face of difficulties. One representative research, which is my master’s thesis, is exploring the moderating roles of subjective happiness and meaning in life on the relationship between perceived stress and well-being and distress. For multicultural counseling, I aim to discover strengths, positive experiences, quality of life  promotion, and quality relationship promotion among diverse clients, including LGBT clients, college students, international students, patients with Parkinson’s disease, couples etc.

Collaborators: To achieve the above research directives I work with Dr. Chao, Dr. McRae, and Dr. Owen and their research teams. While working with them I have had the opportunity to learn more about the life stories of minority groups.

DURAPS Presentation: My presentation covers a counseling experience that I had while working as a clinic counselor during the 2016 fall quarter. I was a year and a half into my master’s program when I met a middle-aged Caucasian male client who was dealing with problematic gambling behaviors and romantic relationship concerns. During our first two sessions I faced challenges in building rapport with my client in terms of my age and counseling competence. I am an international student originally from Hong Kong and also dealt with some challenges relating to my racial identity. During our sessions I heard responses like

“That movie I watched was really inspiring…oh sorry! I forgot to tell you that you were not even born that time!”
…and
“I have seen different therapists, including useful therapists and useless therapists…”

To face these challenges I used unconditional positive regard and showed a caring attitude toward my client. Concurrently, I calmed myself and tried to work with my client by exploring his gambling issues and investigating the pros and cons of his behavior. From there, my client gradually built more trust in me, feeling that my work had a positive impact on his process. He even started asking for my opinion about his problems. In later sessions, I initiated cultural dialogues and showed my humility, asking questions like

“how would my cultural identity play a role in our relationship?”
and
“you may know more about that than me. Tell me about your experience about that.”

These questions helped further address our cultural differences and helped me build rapport with my client. Finally, my client provided positive comments about my work and requested that I be his counselor for the next quarter. The whole clinic team witnessed the difference of our rapport and the client’s perception towards me, which was a really encouraging experience in my counseling practice.

Research Advice:

Think critically. This is the most important part of doing the research, in terms of research questions, designs, methods, analyses, and writing the results. You may not want to ask the repeated questions that were addressed by other researchers or not significant in the literature or practical in society, but they are incredibly important. Thinking critically helps form a good research question and generates a quality research study.

Want to present your research at DURAPS? GSG welcomes complete or work-in-progress submissions. Be sure to submit your abstract by 2/27!

Second year Ph.D candidate, Brooke Lamphere, has a long history with the University of Denver (DU). In 2010 she completed her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology and Psychology. She then went on to complete her Master of Arts in Sports and Performance Psychology through the Graduate School of Professional Psychology here at DU in 2013. As a DU Alumna and second year Ph.D student in the Counseling Psychology program, Brooke knows and appreciates the connections the university makes within the greater Denver community. Connections that support marginalized and underrepresented populations, which she cites as a major factor in her decision to continue her education here. Brooke highly values the support received from faculty who encourage her to personalize and take ownership of her degree at DU. Her positive experiences in her undergraduate and Master’s programs at the university, combined with the emphasis on collaboration over competition in Morgridge, made it easy for her to choose the Counseling Psychology program for her doctoral work.

Brooke was first attracted to the field of counseling psychology based on her wide interest about the human condition, and her specific interests in strengths-based approaches to treatment, social justice, and multiculturalism in the field. She also likes being able to combine her interest and experience in sport, health, and positive psychology under one discipline. She loves the environment of working and studying in a university, and hopes to pursue a career in academia, both in research and teaching.

Brooke has had some interesting and eye-opening experiences in her clinical training thus far. She currently works as a psychology graduate student trainee at AF Williams Family Medicine Clinic, where she works with a diverse client-base present with a wide variety of physical and mental health issues. AF Williams Family Medicine works under an integrated healthcare model, in which all aspects of physical and mental health can be addressed by a collaborative team under one roof.  Brooke also has experience working with Eating Recovery Center’s Behavioral Health Hospital programs for adults with eating disorders, and other comorbid mental and physical health issues. This experience has broadened Brooke’s perspective, both personally and professionally, and reminded her to practice consistent self-care and self-compassion.

Brooke is very actively involved in research teams in the department, and has co-authored several manuscripts, one of which was recently accepted into the Journal of Health Psychology. She has completed extensive work with Dr. Trisha Raque-Bogdan on the psychology of cancer survivorship and the utility of self-compassion. She also works with the Marsico Institute lab on their Early Learning Trajectories team, and as a team member in Dr. Jesse Owen’s Relationships and Psychotherapy research lab.

For prospective students who are looking for a counseling psychology graduate program, Brooke recommends not only finding a fit with research interests and career goals, but selecting a program that aligns with your personal and professional value system. Brooke feels that the Morgridge College of Education and the University of Denver create opportunities to work collaboratively toward our goals of fostering an inclusive and socially just academic environment that respects and honors diversity in experience, interest, and identity.

Counseling Psychology alumna, Khara Croswaite, M.A,, LPC, has been busy since graduating in 2012. She is a business owner and a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in the Lowry neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.  In addition to supporting students, adults and Medicaid clients with anxiety, depression, trauma and life transitions, she also offers clinical supervision as an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) to Masters-level clinicians seeking licensure in Colorado as an LPC.  She even teaches as an Adjunct Faculty at Red Rocks Community College in the Psychology Department!

We had a chance to catch up with Khara to talk a little bit about her work, and how she feels the Counseling Psychology Master’s program here at Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, prepared her to enter the counseling field. “DU was vital in contributing to my success in the Denver professional community today. It was thanks to DU that I received a competitive, valued degree that allowed me to find the right jobs based on hands-on experience in the program.  DU contributed to my ability to build a solid network of professionals and resources in the metro area to be successful in private practice. I am a proud alum and hope to give back to the University in the future as an educator!”

In addition to her professional work, Khara is currently presenting workshops on self-harm, suicide and safety planning, including the Mental Health Professionals conference at DU, hosted by the Colorado Counseling Association, scheduled for next April. If you would like to see Khara, and other counseling professionals, present at the conference, make sure to register here.

So what are Khara’s future plans? The next item on her to-do list is to get into a Ph.D. program in Counseling Education and Supervision in order to continue teaching, which she loves. She also hopes to write a collaborative book next year with colleagues to support clinicians working in Community-based programs.

Campus Conversations is a monthly, student-led group that discusses issues of identity, oppression, and privilege. The group was founded by Grace-Ellen Mahoney, a first-year graduate student at the Morgridge College of Education (MCE). Mahoney’s efforts are supported by MCE Faculty members Andi Pusavat, Ph.D, a Clinical Assistant Professor, and Patton Garriot, Ph.D, an Assistant Professor, of the Counseling Psychology (CP) Department.

The first meeting took place on April 7, with a great turn out by faculty and students from a variety of different programs across campus. The meeting focused on what goals Campus Conversations should pursue, as well as setting group norms for future meetings.

Mahoney is a first year CP graduate student at MCE. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2014 with a degree in Family and Human Services. Her academic and professional interests include providing culturally responsive mental health services to marginalized and under-served populations. Mahoney began Campus Conversations because she believes that an important aspect of graduate school is learning from others and having one’s beliefs challenged. This belief fueled an interest in providing students with a space to openly discuss issues of identity and social justice outside of the classroom.

Andi Pusavat, Ph.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Counseling Services Clinic Director in the Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Denver. Dr. Pusavat’s clinical interests are in the intersections of identities and her research interests focus on emotional abuse. She is very excited to be a faculty sponsor of Campus Conversations and she is a current member of the Counseling Psychology Diversity Task Force and Morgridge College of Education Inclusive Excellence Committee at the University of Denver. Dr. Pusavat feels very fortunate to have participated in the first Campus Conversations meeting and looks forward to supporting the program as it continues to address issues of identity, oppression, and privilege. She espouses that transformational conversations about diversity and privilege require honest, respectful dialogue that both empowers and challenges participants to think and feel within the context of brave spaces. “It is never too late to give up our prejudices.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Dr. Garriott’s work focuses on the intersections of race, class, and vocational psychology with an emphasis on issues of access and equity. He is a member of the Counseling Psychology Diversity Task Force and proud faculty sponsor of the Campus Conversations program at DU. Dr. Garriott believes that Campus Conversations offers students, staff, and faculty the opportunity engage with one another on issues of privilege, oppression, and equity. He believes open dialogues on issues of diversity help us check our own biases and communicate at a broader level that the university community is invested in creating an environment that is truly inclusive.

The next Campus Conversations meeting will take place on May 12, from 4:00pm – 5:00pm in Katherine Ruffatto Hall Room 105. Campus Conversations is open to all DU students, faculty, and staff.

Interested in getting involved? Email Mahoney at Grace.Mahoney@du.edu.

Brinda Prabhakar-Gippert, a PhD candidate in the Counseling Psychology program at the Morgridge College of Education (MCE), has been selected as one of the two graduate student winners for the November 2015 Distinguished Graduate Community Leader Award.

The award reflects Prabhakar-Gippert’s demonstration of excellent work ethic, dedication to her research, good character, and inclusivity. Her doctoral dissertation, an embodiment of her commitment to improving services for underrepresented groups, explores mental health-seeking behaviors of international college students with the hope of uncovering ways to provide them with better resources and services. Additionally, she has published work on parental support and underrepresented students’ math and science interests. She is a dedicated researcher who is committed to thoughtfully integrating scientific findings into her clinical work.

Prabhakar-Gippert also works at Denver Health Medical Center as a pre-doctoral intern in the APA accredited psychology internship program, spending more than 40 hours each week providing counseling services to the community. She is an involved community member at DU actively participating as a student leader and serving as past representative of doctoral students at MCE. Colleagues and peers look up to her, stating that she is consistently warm, respectful, attuned to issues of power and privilege, punctual, and funny.

DGCLA winners are selected through a peer-nomination process. To nominate a colleague, email du.gsgs@gmail.com with a 250-500 word statement describing why the nominee deserves to be an DGCLA winner.


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