I am a provider at Akron Children’s Hospital. I am the director of the Tic and Tourette Service, a multidisciplinary program for children with Tourette’s/motor and vocal tics. I am also the psychologist in the School Success Clinic, providing multidisciplinary evaluations to help identify the factors affecting a child’s difficulties in school performance.
Choosing the Right College
Mount Union was the first institution that I looked it during my college search, and it thus became the bar and the standard that I used to compare all other universities during the college selection process. The other schools I visited could not compare. The overnight event, campus tour, opportunity to interview for the presidential scholarship, and getting to know my admission representative (Hi, Rich Jackson!) really solidified this decision for me.
I feel like the individual attention to each student’s growth and development within a liberal arts model really makes UMU a standout. I liked that I knew my professors, and my professors knew me. There were so many important faculty that really had an incredible impact on my personal and professional identity- to just name a few, Drs. Kramer, Jones-Walker and Muller (Psychology), Drs. Coleman and Eicholtz (Communication) and Dr. Piker-King (Sociology).
As I knew that my long term plan was to go graduate school and become a child-oriented psychologist, I felt that an undergraduate internship was imperative, especially in the very competitive graduate applicant process. So, I actually cold-called the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism in the spring of my Junior year at UMU- at the time, CCCA didn’t know much about our institution, and definitely didn’t know anything about me. It was probably one of the most ambitious things I have ever done- because I really had to prove myself. I interviewed and worked for free the summer of 2006, being paid only in experience. That summer was one of the most important experiences of my life and has opened up every door I can think of professionally. After my incredible summer at CCCA, I returned to my home faculty and classmates to talk to share these experiences. From this, Outreach at Mount was established. And eleven years later, the OAM program has expanded to become a really unique and priceless opportunity for UMU students.
I was a Preview and Orientation Guide, a Program Assistant in Residence Life, the President of Janus (a social responsibility club), a Tour Guide, a member of the Psychology Club, SPECTRUM, IVOP, and part of the “Greening” of Mount through Sustainability Initiatives…you could say I was busy! Through clubs like Janus, SPECTRUM and (now the aptly called) Green Raiders, I learned how make systemic-level changes to make the university a more tolerant and socially just place. This has been an absolute keystone to my ethos and world outlook. Being a Preview Guide and part of Residence Life taught me outstanding program development skills that I have used to get the Tic and Tourette Service from an idea to a clinic here at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Life After Mount Union
I have a Master’s Degree in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology from Lehigh University (2010) and a PhD in Pediatric School Psychology from Lehigh University (2015). I also completed my residency/clinical internship at Rutgers University Behavioral Health and Robert Wood Johnson (2015) and a post-doctoral Fellowship at Akron Children’s Hospital (2016). After being out on the east coast for almost a decade, we are happily back in NE Ohio, which has allowed me to get re-connected to UMU. I recently participated in the “Dinner with 12 Strangers” event, and since that evening, have helped mentor other Psychology majors who are going through the graduate application process.
Best Part of My Job
I have the best job in the world! I provide care to some really amazing children from all over NE Ohio. The children I serve are always keeping me guessing and laughing. I never know what each day might bring, which is something I really enjoy about my job. Yesterday brought Super Hero window washers! Last week, we had a carnival at the hospital, and the week before, Brad Paisley contacted one of my patients- life is good.