Academic Services Associate
Colorado native Vanessa McWhirt currently works as an Academic Services Associate at the Morgridge College of Education. She has been in higher education since 2013, working in student travel and academic advising. Vanessa received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and went on to pursue her master’s degree in Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. At Morgridge, she works with the new 2U programs for the Online Master’s in Library and Information Science and School Counseling. Vanessa comes from a technical background and is here to support students with their educational journey. When not at MCE, Vanessa enjoys photography and likes to visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre for concerts and to see her winning photograph for the Red Rocks Photography Contest.
Academic Services Associate
Gabrielle Reimer is the current Academic Services Associate for the Counseling Psychology Department at Morgridge. She focuses on supporting the departmental administrative processes to maximize efficiency while supporting the students and faculty. Her passion for assisting others stemmed early and grew throughout her Peace Corps service in Madagascar. Reimer is committed to helping others achieve their higher education goals after her past work experience at the University of Kansas and University of Kansas Medical Center. Outside of Morgridge, she enjoys the typical outdoorsy things, live music, watching Jayhawk basketball, and practicing her Spanish.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Jillian Blueford earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Arts in Counseling from Rollins College, and is in the final stages of obtaining her doctorate in counselor education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jillian’s clinical professional background includes working in a variety of settings such as a hospice bereavement center, a psychiatric behavioral hospital, as an independent counselor for the Tennessee Department of Children Services, and finally as a professional counselor for an UT outreach program for college students from rural Appalachian areas. Jillian is a member of several program associations, including the American Counseling Association, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, American School Counseling Association, and the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her research focuses on professional counselor competency in grief counseling and developing systemic grief models for professional counselors. Jillian will begin serving as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Denver in July 2019.
Chao, Ruth, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Associate Professor
Dr. Chao received her PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, and received the American Psychological Fund Award (2007), the American Psychological Association Grant Award (2007), PROF (2010), and other grants. She publishes in Journal of Counseling Psychology, Psychological Assessment, and Journal of Counseling and Development. Dr. Chao’s primary research interests include multicultural counseling, counselor’s cultural competencies, issues of cultural diversity, racism and mental health, and social justice. She enjoys doing yoga, hiking, traveling, listening to musicals, and eating a wide variety of foods.
Dr. Chao was recently ranked as one of the top 99 counseling psychology professors in the U.S by mastersincounseling.org
Cross, William E. Jr, Ph.D.
Dr. Cross received his PhD from Princeton University. He holds professor emeritus status from another university but remains active, and he is President-Elect for Div. 45 (APA). Dr. Cross’ recent publications interrogate the structure of the self-concept; the range of identity profiles found among African American adults; cultural epiphanies; the identity implications of cultural miseducation and false consciousness; and the multiple ways racial identity is enacted in everyday life. He is a dedicated audiophile and is never far from music.
View Dr. Cross' Portfolio here.
Gafford, Jennifer, Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Gafford received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver following an MA in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education from the University of Colorado at Denver and a BA from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. After graduation, she took a “temporary” position as a staff psychologist for the Denver Sheriff Department. Almost nine years later, she was the Director of Correctional Behavioral Health for the Sheriff Department, overseeing all mental health services for incarcerated men and women in the Denver jails. She is a licensed psychologist, and one of her current responsibilities is as the training director for the Clinical Mental Health track for the Master’s program in Counseling. Her clinical interests include supervision, group therapy, psychotherapy processes and suicidality. View Dr. Gafford's Portfolio here.
Garriott, Patton, Ph.D.
Dr. Garriott received his PhD from the University of Missouri. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) of the APA, and the Society for Vocational Psychology. His work has been recognized by Division 17 of the APA and the National Career Development Association. He is currently a Co-Investigator on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, which focuses on the career development of women and Latinas/os in engineering. Dr. Garriott’s primary areas of research include the academic and career development of students underrepresented in higher education, multicultural issues in vocational psychology, as well as race and racism. He is an avid distance runner and enjoys biking, cooking, and spending time with his family.
O’Malley, John, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. John O'Malley previously held a lead faculty role at Johnson & Wales University (Denver) in the Applied Psychology program. His research interests include self-concept development, school counselors’ roles in post-secondary transitioning, and the psychosocial side of learning disabilities.
Owen, Jesse, Ph.D.
Dr. Jesse Owen earned his BS from Ball State University, his master's degree from U of Miami, and his doctorate from DU. He has worked at Gannon University and University of Louisville prior to joining the faculty at DU. He is a licensed psychologist and has had a private practice at times over the last decade. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at DU. His research focuses on psychotherapy processes and outcomes as well as romantic relationships. He is currently an Associate Editor for two APA journals (Psychotherapy and Journal of Counseling Psychology) and another top tier journal (Archives of Sexual Behavior).
Learn More about Dr. Owen's Research and Academics
Pinto, Stacy, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
After earning a BA in Psychology from Marist College, Dr. Stacy Pinto received both her MA in School Counseling and PhD in Counselor Education from Montclair State University. Her experience spans a variety of counseling settings, including K-12 and higher education environments, and both in-home and community-based mental health services. Prior to joining the faculty at DU, she served as both an administrator and adjunct instructor at Montclair State University. She is a National Certified Counselor, and both a certified School Counselor and Licensed Associate Counselor in the State of New Jersey. Her interests include intersectionality, queer issues across the lifespan, sexual identity labeling and language, and the creation of nurturing counseling and educational environments across settings.
Pusavat, Andi, Ph.D.
Counseling Services Clinic Director and Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Pusavat received her PhD from the University of Denver. She was formerly with the Iliff Counseling Center where she served as the Director for six years. Other career highlights include President of the Colorado Society of Psychologists in Private Practice for two years; founding member of the Colorado Psychological Association Society for the Advancement of Multiculturalism and Diversity; and presenter at the American Psychological Association and National Summit on Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Across the Lifespan. Dr. Pusavat’s research interests include multicultural counseling, social justice, trauma, interpersonal partner violence, and training and supervision.
View her Portfolio page here.
Raque-Bogdan, Trisha, Ph.D.
Dr. Trish Raque-Bogdan received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland in 2013. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, and is on the Board of the Division 17 Health Psychology Section and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Counseling Psychology. Dr. Raque-Bogdan’s areas of research include work and positive health psychology, with a specific focus on cancer survivorship; the relation between well-being and physical health outcomes; women's health; and qualitative research. Her research aims to integrate social justice principles and explore how work may serve as a means to achieving equity. As a former scholar of Russian history and library science, she enjoys people’s life stories and tales of resilience as expressed in history, literature, and the psychotherapy process.
Riva, Maria, Ph.D.
Professor and Training Director
Dr. Riva received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a past President of the APA Division 49, Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy, and on the editorial board of Group Dynamics; and Teaching and Education in Professional Psychology (TEPP). Dr. Riva is a past President of the Association of Specialists in Group Work (ASGW), and a Fellow of ASGW. She is also co-editor of the Handbook of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy (2004, 2014), and many other articles on group psychotherapy. Her research interests include group leadership, group supervision, adolescent development, and working with marginalized adolescents and school success. Dr. Riva is passionate about group counseling and psychotherapy, diversity considerations in groups, and training and supervision in counseling psychology.
Roncoroni, Julia, Ph.D.
Dr. Roncoroni received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida. She is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Roncoroni's primary research interests include health disparities, customized culturally sensitive health promotion and health care, and the integration of health promotion in medicine. She is a yoga and Zumba instructor and enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family. View her Portfolio page here.
Faragher, Mike, Psy.D.
Director, Addictions Specialization
Dr. Faragher received his PsyD from the University of Northern Colorado. He is a licensed psychologist and the Director of the Problem Gambling Treatment and Research Center and organizes the Colorado Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (CACII) elective coursework track in the Counseling Psychology Program. Dr. Faragher is certified as 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. His areas of research include cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, problem gambling, and addictive behaviors. Dr. Faragher enjoys golfing, fishing, and travel.
Portfolio site coming soon!
McRae, Cyndy, Ph.D.
Dr. McRae received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and became a Fellow of the Society of Counseling Psychology in 2013. Dr. McRae is also a member of the Movement Disorder Society and is the only non-MD to be chosen as an Investigator in the Parkinson Study Group. Her areas of research include psychosocial adjustment of persons with Parkinson's disease, caregiver issues, quality of life in chronic illness, the placebo effect, and the effects of "Dance for PD" on daily lives. Aside from work, Dr. McRae enjoys spending time with her family and performing music.