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Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Faculty

Faculty

  • Name

    Shelly Smith-Acuña

    Dean
    Professor
    PhD, Loyola University of Chicago, 1989
    Shelly.Smith-Acuna@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3880
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 211
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. SMITH-ACUNA

    Areas of Specialization

    family systems theory; integration of community, family and individual interventions; psychotherapy process and outcome research; couples therapy; issue of culture and gender in family therapy

    Publication Areas

    gifted children; process of psychotherapy with children
  • Mark Aoyagi

    Mark Aoyagi

    Director, Sport & Performance Psychology Program
    Associate Professor
    PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2006
    Mark.Aoyagi@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3882
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 123
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. AOYAGI

    Areas of Specialization

    sport and performance psychology;multicultural and diversity issues; team effectiveness; training and ethics in sport psychology; individual growth, development, and fulfillment through sport; sport as a mechanism for social change

    Publication Areas

    expert approaches to sport psychology; models of sport psychology practice; best practices in sport psychology; team effectiveness; leadership; satisfaction; motivation; burnout; ethics

    Professional Activities

    American Psychological Association (APA); Association for Applied Sport Psychology; International Society of Sport Psychology
  • Photo of Tom Barrett

    Tom Barrett

    Clinical Professor
    PhD, West Virginia University, 1973
    Thomas.Barrett@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-4803
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 121
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. BARRETT

    Areas of Specialization

    Dr. Tom Barrett received his M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from West Virginia University. Dr. Barrett taught international disaster psychology at the University of Zagreb in Croatia as a Fulbright professor in the spring of 2011. He also received a scholarship to complete Senior Government Executive Training at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in June of 2002.

    Dr. Barrett is a full clinical professor in the International Disaster Psychology Program in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) at the University of Denver. He has taught program evaluation in the doctoral program in GSPP since 1980. Previously, he was senior medical officer and consultant for the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department in the World Health Organization. Between 1994 and 2004 he was the mental health director for the state of Colorado. He is also past president of the National Association of State Mental Health Directors.

    Dr. Barrett has authored or co-authored many journal articles and made keynote addresses at many national and international professional conferences. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America in Colorado. Dr. Barrett has a strong mental health evaluation background and his current work focuses on evaluating and improving mental health systems in the United States and in low and middle income countries around the world.

  • Peter Buirski

    Peter Buirski

    Dean Emeritus
    Professor
    PhD, Adelphi University, 1969
    Peter.Buirski@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-2382
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 201
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. BUIRSKI

    Areas of Specialization

    psychoanalytic theories of personality and treatment

    Publication Areas

    primate behavior; self psychology; intersubjective systems perspective

    Professional Activities

    Member, Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis; Editorial board, International Journal for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology
  • Jenny Cornish

    Jenny Cornish

    Director of Clinical Training and Internship Consortium
    PhD, California School of Professional Psychology, 1982
    ABPP, Counseling Psychology, 2007
    Jennifer.Cornish@du.edu
    Associate ProfessorOffice Phone: 303-871-4737
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 206
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. CORNISH

    Areas of Specialization

    supervision, education and training; ethics; multiculturalism; integrated models of psychotherapy

    Publication Areas

    Supervision and training; ethics; group supervision; multiculturalism

    Professional Activities

    APPIC Chair-Elect; CPA Ethics Committee; Associate Editor, Training and Education in Professional Psychology
  • Terri M. Davis

    Terri M. Davis

    Director, PsyD Program
    Associate Professor
    PhD, The Ohio State University, 1995
    Terri.M.Davis@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3346
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 213

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. DAVIS

    Areas of Specialization

    leadership skills development; academic program assessment; social justice

    Publication Areas

    suicide assessment and crisis intervention; multicultural supervision and training; therapist self-care

    Professional Activities

    American Psychological Association (APA) Fundraising and Keynotes Coordinator for the National Multicultural Conference and Summit 2015; Member, APA Society of Counseling Psychologists
  • Judith E. Fox

    Judith E. Fox

    Director, International Disaster Psychology Program
    Associate Professor
    PhD, University of Kansas, 1981
    Judith.Fox@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3879
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 222

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. FOX

    Areas of Specialization

    Dr. Judith Fox has been involved in University teaching and practice of psychotherapy with children, adolescents and families throughout her career. She has practiced and supervised mental health professionals in training in community, hospital inpatient and emergency room, and private practice settings. Taking an integrative theoretical approach, Dr. Fox has significant expertise working with many clinical populations including those affected by trauma.

    Dr. Fox has presented globally on many subject areas including the discipline of international disaster psychology, attachment theory, trauma and peace building, therapist vicarious-trauma and post-traumatic growth, and postpartum depression. Her publications include articles, chapters & books related to mental health stigma and psychotherapy, attachment theory & trauma, psychotherapeutic technique, international disaster psychology training, developing international internship partnerships, stress and coping in childhood, and health psychology.

    Dr. Fox works internationally in such contexts as Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Belize, Ghana, China and India determining ways in which our graduate students may facilitate agency goals through their involvement as international summer interns. Prior to directing the MAIDP Program, she was Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center where she directed the Adult Outpatient Psychological Services at National Jewish Hospital, worked with veterans affected by HIV and AIDS, and taught residents and interns as an attending on the psychiatric inpatient service at Denver V. A. Medical Center. She has been a consultant to Head Start and currently collaborates with the State of Colorado Office of Refugee Resettlement's Refugee Wellness Center providing psycho-educational support groups to newly arriving refugees. Further, she has developed and directs the Trauma and Disaster Recovery Clinic at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology; a clinic providing outreach and in-house mental health services to those affected by trauma and disaster.

  • Brian Gearity

    Brian Gearity

    Director, Online MA in Coaching & Sport Education
    PhD, University of Tennessee, 2009
    Brian.Gearity@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-4027
    Annex Building: Office 126A


    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. GEARITY

    Areas of Specialization

    Coach education, learning, and development; psychological, sociological, and social theory applied to coaching; strength & conditioning; philosophy of science and qualitative research; service-learning and leadership

    Professional Activities

    Associate Editor-in-Chief of National Strength & Conditioning Association's Strength & Conditioning Journal; editorial board for Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health; consulting for coach and organizational learning; portfolio reviewer for National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education; ad hoc reviewer for: International Sport Coaching Journal; Sex Roles; Journal of Sport and Social Issues; Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy
  • Kim Gorgens

    Kim Gorgens

    Director of Continuing Education
    Clinical Associate Professor
    PhD, Southern Illinois University, 1998
    ABPP Rehabilitation Psychology, 2011
    Kimberly.Gorgens@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-4160
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 229
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. GORGENS

    Areas of Specialization

    board certified in rehabilitation psychology; clinical neuropsychology; health psychology; Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); disability; size diversity

    Publication Areas

    internship training; neuropsychological assessment; burn survivors; TBI

    Professional Activities

    TED.com; TBI advocacy and leadership; APA Division 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology) governance; conference planning; service learning

  • W. Neil Gowensmith

    W. Neil Gowensmith

    Clinical Assistant Professor
    PhD, Colorado State University, 1999
    Neil.Gowensmith@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-4841
    Annex Building: Office 126a

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. GOWENSMITH

    Areas of Specialization & Publication

    forensic assessment (reliability, validity, quality, impact of ethnicity); public forensic mental health systems and programs policies for insanity acquittees

    Professional Activities

    Private forensic assessments for the criminal court; Competency to Stand Trial evaluations; Development of alternative programs and systems for forensic mental health populations; Representation on legislative committees related to forensic mental health populations; Member, APA Division 41 (Forensic Division); Member, American Psychology-Law Society Dissertation Review Committee; Member, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Forensic Division
  • Lynett Henderson Metzger

    Lynett Henderson Metzger

    Clinical Assistant Professor
    PsyD, University of Denver, 2003
    JD, University of Denver, 1997
    LHenders@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-4684
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 234

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. HENDERSON METZGER

    Areas of Specialization

    the intersection of law and mental health

    Publication Areas

    domestic violence; sociocultural issues; student training

    Professional Activities

    Member, American Psychological Association (APA), Division 29; Division 41 (American Psychology-Law Society); Assistant Editor, Psychotherapy Bulletin; American Bar Association; Colorado Psychological Association
  • Melanie Heto

    Melanie Heto


    Director, Bilingual Program
    Clinical Assistant Professor
    PsyD, The George Washington University, 2010
    Melanie.Heto@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3084
    Annex Building: Office 126d

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. HETO

    Areas of Specialization

    multicultural mental health; Latina/o psychology; forensic psychology; immigration; trauma: violence: relationships

    Publication Areas

    psychology of violence; psychotherapy process; group processes; attachment; mentalization

    Professional Activities

    immigration evaluations; forensic evaluations (criminal: Competency to Proceed, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity); forensic consultation; individual psychotherapy; program development; clinical supervision; Memberships: APA, CPA, Physicians for Human Rights, HealthRight International
  • Michael Karson

    Michael Karson

    Professor
    PhD, University of Michigan, 1978
    JD, Western New England College, 2000
    MKarson@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3881
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 228
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARSON

    Areas of Specialization

    psychotherapy; assessment; child abuse

    Publication Areas

    early memories; report writing; child abuse; psychotherapy

    Further Reading

    Visit Michael's blog, "Feeling our Way"
  • Fernand Lubuguin

    Fernand Lubuguin

    Director, Professional Psychology Clinic
    Director of Diversity & Multicultural Training, PsyD
    Clinical Associate Professor
    PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1993
    Fernand.Lubuguin@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3988
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 5

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. LUBUGUIN

    Areas of Specialization

    I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1993. For the subsequent seven years, I was a full-time staff psychologist at Kaiser Permanente (which is a national health maintenance organization) where I practiced psychology in a variety of roles and settings with a broad range of clients. In the outpatient clinic, I provided primarily short-term psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults, and elderly clients in individual, couples, and family therapy modalities. I also taught classes in anger management and couples communication skills, and provided clinical supervision to practicum students and pre-doctoral interns. In the inpatient psychiatric hospital, I treated adults as a member of an interdisciplinary treatment team. Lastly, in the medical hospital, I provided psychiatric consultative services to physicians. Working in this wide range of roles and settings provided me with the invaluable opportunity to become a well-rounded psychologist.

    In 2000, I became an adjunct faculty member at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology where I co-led the Multicultural Psychology professional seminar. The following year, I became a half-time core faculty member with the role of Director of Diversity and Multicultural Training for the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) training program. In this role, I contribute to the training of culturally competent psychologists by teaching two of the four-course year-long required classes in multicultural psychology – namely, Racial/Ethnic Identity Development and Culturally Competent Psychotherapy. The other two courses in this sequence are the Social Psychology of Racism and Oppression, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues.

    As an immigrant from the Philippines, multiculturalism and diversity have great personal meaning and implications. My commitment to studying and advancing diversity began during my undergraduate training at the University of California at Berkeley, where I wrote my senior-year honors thesis about a multicultural topic. During my graduate training, my research remained focused on multicultural issues and culminated with my dissertation on acculturation. I was mentored by the late Peter G. Ossorio, Ph.D., who trained me in the intellectual discipline of Descriptive Psychology, which is a systematic, existential, and reality oriented conceptual system that guides all of my clinical and academic endeavors.

    In 2005, I became a full-time faculty member when I was given the additional role of Director of the Professional Psychology Clinic, which is the on-site training clinic for the Psy.D. program. I am very privileged and fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to two distinctive characteristics of our Psy.D. program – specifically, the four-course year-long multicultural psychology training, and the on-site training clinic. I am very grateful to have found my professional niche; as I work in an innovative and creative academic setting, as I have exceptionally competent colleagues, as I train outstanding students who are quite eager to learn, and as I have roles that promote my passions of teaching and training in ways that incorporate advancing diversity and inclusiveness, and promoting clinical competence.

  • Hale Martin

    Hale Martin

    Clinical Assistant Professor
    PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1993
    HaleMartin@gmail.com
    Office Phone: 303-871-3878
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 105

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. MARTIN

    Areas of Specialization

    personality, cognitive, and neuropsychological assessment (particularly in the context of therapeutic assessment, which strives to maximize the therapeutic impact an assessment can have on the client); intersubjective/self-psychology, cognitive-behavioral, and systems; approaches to treatment; masculinity-femininity; personality disorders; couples therapy; Spanish speaking populations

    Publication Areas

    psychological assessment including: therapeutic assessment, Rorschach Inkblot Method, MMPI-2, assessment in the managed care environment; masculinity-femininity
  • John McNeill

    John W. McNeill

    Associate Professor
    PsyD, University of Denver, 1983
    JWMcNeill00@gmail.com
    Office Phone: 303-871-3876
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 233

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. MCNEILL

    Areas of Specialization

    behavior analytic theory and practice, including the use of mindfulness and acceptance, dialectics, behavioral activation, and exposure-based approaches to intervention; philosophy of science, with special interest in Jamesian process-thinking, and Daoist/Buddhist subfields of Chinese Philosophy; sport and performance psychology

    Publication Areas

    behavior therapy;  behavioral medicine; behavioral assessment

    Professional Activities

    Association for Contextual Behavioral Science; Chuang Tai Zen Support Group of Denver; Daoist Studies Organization for Chinese Americans; Part-time private practice; Consultation to sport programs and athletes
  • Laura Meyer

    Laura Meyer

    Clinical Assistant Professor
    PhD, University of Denver, 2008
    Laura.Meyer@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3203
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 230
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. MEYER

    Areas of Specialization

    research and statistics; program evaluation; the study of human-animal interactions/bonding

    Publication Areas

    pain; assistive technology; autism

    Professional Activities

    IRB member
  • Lavita Nadkarni

    Lavita Nadkarni

    Associate Dean
    Director, Forensic Psychology Program
    Professor
    PhD, Adelphi University, 1995
    Lavita.Nadkarni@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3877
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 224

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. NADKARNI

    Areas of Specialization

    Dr. Lavita Nadkarni has a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University. She has been working with forensic populations and law enforcement personnel for over 20 years, primarily providing clinical services (therapy, forensic assessment, expert testimony) and training. Dr. Nadkarni is the Director of Forensic Studies at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, and is responsible for providing supervision and training to graduate students in their clinical work with clients who have involvement with the civil, criminal or family legal systems.

    Her research interests lie in the area of interpersonal violence and trauma, adolescent truancy, entitlement, clinical training, and diversity issues within psychology. In addition to publications in these areas, Dr. Nadkarni is a textbook, manuscript, and proposal reviewer and Associate Editor of Psychotherapy Bulletin.

    Dr. Nadkarni believes in reaching out to diverse external communities, routinely providing pro bono or low cost services to individuals and agencies. She has been a Human Rights clinic volunteer for Doctors of the World for over five years.

    Dr. Nadkarni’s forensic experience has included working at NYU‐Bellevue Hospital’s inpatient forensic unit and the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center, and as a court appointed child and family forensic evaluator. She has continued her work conducting competency evaluations as well as other criminal and civil forensic assessments, and has also been instrumental in training judicial and social service personnel on the use of psychological evaluations and the effect interpersonal violence has on family legal disputes.

    Dr. Nadkarni is an active member of the American Psychology‐Law Society and the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology and has held leadership positions within these organizations.

    As providing enriching training experiences is part of Dr. Nadkarni’s mission at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, she has actively sought and received grants which have allowed students to a) conduct assessments, examining the percentage of mentally ill in corrections and validating a screening tool, b) conduct assessments on adult offenders using the SCID, c) conduct research on the MAYSI‐2, and d) provide psychoeducational training to probation officers.

  • Artur Poczwardowski

    Artur Poczwardowski

    Director of Field Placement, MASPP
    Professor
    PhD, University of Utah, 1997
    Artur.Poczwardowski@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-2809
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 209
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. POCZWARDOWSKI

    Areas of Specialization

    sport/performance psychology practice; curriculum development and teaching in sport/performance psychology; interpersonal relationships in sport/performance; psychological skills training; knowledge generation and application

    Publication Areas

    models in sport psychology service delivery; professional philosophy in sport psychology consulting; coach-athlete relationships; coping strategies in elite performers in sports and arts; methodology in sport and exercise psychology
  • Steve Portenga

    Steve Portenga

    Clinical Assistant Professor
    PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2004
    Portenga.DU@gmail.com
    Office Phone: 303-960-5711
    Annex Building: Office 126e

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. PORTENGA

    Areas of Specialization & Publication

    the psychology of elite performance; neuroscience and performance; the intersection of leadership (coaches and peer) and team development; the psychology of injury; the ethical practice and training of performance psychologists; the theoretical foundations of human performance

    Professional Activities

    USA Track & Field; American Psychological Association; Association for Applied Sport Psychology; International Society of Sport Psychology; American College of Sports Medicine
  • Jamie Shapiro

    Jamie Shapiro

    Assistant Professor
    PhD, West Virginia University, 2009
    Jamie.Shapiro@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3583
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 221
    DU Portfolio

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. SHAPIRO

    Areas of Specialization

    sport and performance psychology; exercise psychology; psychology of sport injury; psychological skills training; counseling athletes; learning life skills through sport; ethics and training in sport and exercise psychology

    Professional Activities

    Member, Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP); Member, American Psychological Association (APA); Certified Consultant of AASP (CC-AASP); National Certified Counselor (NCC); Professional member of USA Gymnastics
  • Ragnar Storaasli

    Ragnar Storaasli

    Clinical Associate Professor
    PhD, University of Denver, 1991
    Ragnar.Storaasli@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-3866
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 232

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. STORAASLI

    Areas of Specialization

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); applied behavior analysis; behavior therapy; philosophy of science; cultivation of compassion and critical thinking

    Publication Areas

    behavior therapy; behavioral medicine; marital and family psychology; diversity and theoretical issues; student interests
  • Nicole Taylor

    Nicole Taylor

    Clinical Assistant Professor
    PhD, University of Maryland-College Park
    Nicole.E.Taylor@du.edu
    Office Phone: 303-871-6062
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 107

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. TAYLOR

    Areas of Specialization

    Dr. Nicole Taylor has been involved in the supervision and training of students at the undergraduate, graduate, internship, and post-doctoral level. She has worked in counseling centers, hospitals, and academic institutions and is passionate about improving the clinical training and supervision of students at all levels. In addition to her work here at GSPP, she also works as a Psychologist with the Obstetrics and Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center.
  • Gwen Vogel

    Gwen Vogel

    Assistant Professor
    Director of Field Placement, MAIDP
    PsyD, University of Denver, 2005
    Gwenatu@gmail.com
    Office Phone: 303-871-3510
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 106

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. VOGEL

    Areas of Specialization

    Dr. Gwen Vogel received her Psy.D. from the University of Denver in 2005 and is a licensed clinical psychologist in the State of Colorado. She is co-founder of and Director of International and Clinical Services for SalusWorld, an International NGO focused on healing the invisible scars of trauma worldwide (www.salusworld.org). She also maintains a private practice and conducts psychological evaluations for asylum seekers, T and U Visas for local immigration attorneys and HealthRight international.

    Dr. Vogel has worked for many years as a trainer, consultant, and program developer for humanitarian organizations including Doctors without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontiers, the Center for Victims of Torture and the Open Society Foundation in various locations including Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Jordan, Myanmar, Thailand and Bosnia. She also provided support for a global evaluation of UNHCR's mental health and psychosocial support for humanitarian staff and was a member of a UNICEF technical work group focused on child protection inside Myanmar. She played a part in the development of a mental health policy for the country of Liberia and has developed programming for marginalized groups including People Living with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ communities, former political prisoners and torture survivors.

    Dr. Vogel has presented at conferences domestically and internationally and co-authored various publications in the areas of: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in refugees and IDPs, Post Traumatic Growth (PTG), counseling applications with people of African ancestry, the impact of war on civilians, therapeutic photography, re-entry trauma and the experience of working as a psychologist internationally.

    In the U.S. she has provided crisis intervention, psychological evaluations, and risk assessments in emergency rooms and correctional facilities and facilitated individual and group therapy for adult survivors of trauma and professionals in distress. She has also provided expert testimony in the areas of immigration, PTSD, child abuse, criminal mitigation, fitness to practice and sex offense specific.

    Dr. Vogel has particular interest in staff welfare, capacity building of local NGOs and refugee and military trauma. In addition to working in the humanitarian arena, Dr. Vogel is responsible for providing short-term, non-medical counseling to US military service members and their families. In this role she offers on and off site support, therapy and consultation through the service member's cycle of deployment Included in these referrals are assessments for PTSD, depression, adjustment problems, traumatic head injuries and other neuropsychological issues. Most recently she has served as a staff psychologist at the University of Colorado in Denver, conducting psychological evaluations in their Emergency Department. She teaches Crisis Intervention and Preparation for International Internship at GSPP and is the Field Placement Director for the International Disaster Psychology M.A. program.