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Graduate School of Professional Psychology


  • Katy Barrs

    Katy Barrs, PsyD

    Clinic Director, Sturm Center
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-4930
    Annex Building: Office 105

    Learn more about Katy

    Dr. Katy Barrs completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology in 2007. She recently returned to the University of Denver as the Clinic Director of the Sturm Center. Dr. Barrs has worked with Veterans, Service members and their families at the Minneapolis V.A. Medical Center, the Boston V.A. Healthcare System, and most recently the Denver Vet Center where she served in the role of Military Sexual Trauma Treatment Coordinator. Dr. Barrs oversees the Sturm Center, provides clinical education to multiple students within the clinic, and provides licensed community clinicians with education and consulting about these populations. She has been featured in the documentary Acronym, a timely expose about the nature of PTSD from combat. Dr. Barrs is also the 2016 recipient of the American Psychological Association's Society for Military Psychology (Division 19) Arthur W. Melton Early Achievement Award. She feels honored to give back to those who have served our country.

    You would see Katy for:

    Anything related to military/veteran psychology, the Sturm Specialty in Military psychology program, psychotherapy for trauma and/or psychological assessment (specifically personality assessment)

  • Rebecca K. Berg

    Rebecca Berg, J.D.

    Director of Alumni Engagement
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-2219
    Annex Building: Office 126b

    Learn more about Rebecca

    Rebecca was born and raised in Australia. After completing her BA in communications, Rebecca went on to study law, earning a JD from the University of New England (AU) and her GDLP from the Australian National University. Rebecca's studies focused upon policy, equity, international law, risk and sustainability.

    In her free time, Rebecca enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening and relaxing in the mountains. She also loves travelling and visits Australia at every opportunity.

    You would see Rebecca for:

    alumni engagement, volunteerism, continuing education programs, DU event information, submissions for the alumni newsletter and alumni updates. If you have a change of job or life event you'd like to tell us about, please send the details to me!

  • Claire Carroll

    Claire Carroll, MPP

    Events Manager
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-3558
    Annex Building: Office 126c

    Learn more about Claire

    Claire grew up in Limon, a small town on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. She attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas where she majored in sociology and communication studies. Claire earned a master's degree in public policy from the University of Denver and wrote her thesis on preventing depression and suicide in Denver public middle schools.

    A fifth generation native of Colorado, Claire enjoys hiking, skiing, and spending time in the mountains. She is a voracious reader and thinks red wine and any cheese (except Swiss) pair well with a good novel. She loves traveling, dancing, and living in this state full of sunshine with her husband, Michael, and her shih-tzu, Lily.

    You would see Claire for:

    event and conference planning and execution, strategic planning for events, logistical support for internal events

  • Rachel Caskey

    Rachel Caskey, MA

    Director of Academic Services
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-3873
    Annex Building: Office 119

    Learn more about Rachel

    Born and raised in Northeastern Ohio, Rachel attended Kent State University where she double-majored in Psychology and Sociology. She re-located to Colorado in 2006 and lives in the mountains with her husband and two "children": an albino husky named Cane and a border collie/husky mix named Cosmo. In her spare time, you can find Rachel helping with her husband's food truck, Farm to Truck, seeing live music, reading, traveling, exploring Colorado, exercising, and outdoors (hiking, biking, camping, yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and gardening).

    Professionally, she has worked in higher education since 2004, with experience in Student and Faculty Services, Admissions, and the Registrar's Office. Rachel obtained a Masters of Art degree in Professional Communication with a specialty focus in Organizational and Professional Development from the University of Denver.

    You would see Rachel for:

    Course Scheduling; Registration Issues; Room Reservations; Faculty/Adjunct Support (Academic Deadlines, Syllabi, HR Support); Seminar Sign-up; Graduate Bulletin; Student & Instructor Handbooks

  • Renee Colburn

    Renee Colburn

    Manager, Business & Operations
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-3875
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 203

    Learn more about Renee

    Born and raised in southeastern Oklahoma, Renee completed her undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma where she majored in Business Administration and minored in Management. She relocated to Sterling, Colorado in 1997 and then onto Denver in 2012. Renee has enjoyed working in higher education with experience in Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence, Campus Safety and Parking Services.

    Away from work Renee enjoys traveling, hiking, river floating, golfing, biking, skiing, spending time with friends and family, walking, reading, watching fast pitch softball, and most anything outdoors.

    You would see Renee for:

    Support for all budget, purchasing, HR (hiring, payroll, transfers), financial aid, contracts, gifts & grants for the MAIDP, MASPP, MASC and CERT programs and Administrative staff 

  • Judy Farmer

    Judy Farmer, MA

    Student Services Coordinator
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-2968
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 235

    Learn more about Judy

    Judy Farmer was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia with a BS in Education and an MA in History and Sociology. She taught high school Social Studies before moving to Colorado and still has great interest in how history shapes current day events. Judy loves movies, museums, mountains, and meeting new people. The other great love is travel in Europe and the U.S.

    You would see Judy for:

    student records; field placement & hours reporting; class petitions; graduation; licensure requests 

  • Janice Gerondale

    Janice Gerondale

    Administrative Assistant
    [email protected] 
    Office Phone: 303-871-2572
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 135

    Learn more about Janice

    Coming soon!  

    You would see Janice for:

    Receipt of forms uploaded into STARS

  • Ashley Haliko

    Ashley Haliko

    Executive Director of Development
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-2675
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 106

    Learn more about Ashley


    Ashley joined DU in 2010 to further her passion for building opportunities in higher education through fundraising and assisted in the completion of the $490M+ ASCEND Campaign. In her present role as Executive Director of Development, Ashley is responsible for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major and principal gifts for DU's Graduate School of Professional Psychology.


    Ashley remains active in volunteer and professional organizations in Denver, and in her free time, she enjoys yoga, a good book, and traveling to her native Florida. She resides in Wash Park with her two Bernese Mountain dogs.


    You would see Ashley for:

    Matters related to fundraising and philanthropy at GSPP

  • “Cassie

    Cassie Heykoop

    Director of Marketing and Communications
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-4578
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 126b

    Learn more about Cassie

    Cassie was born and raised in Littleton, CO. She attended Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO and graduated with a degree in Mass Communications. Cassie began her career in broadcast news at KKCO 11 News as an anchor and reporter and then at 9NEWS in Denver as a producer for the morning show. After two years in broadcast news, she decided to pursue her passion for local government and accepted a position with the City of Littleton as a Digital Media Specialist. Before joining the GSPP team at DU, she was a Media Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau and assisted with media in five states.

    You would see Cassie for:

    news & media requests and assistance; general marketing inquiries; website & social media updates; student, faculty, staff email list serves; PioneerWeb content

  • Brittany Kahl

    Brittany Kahl

    Program Manager, Sport, S&C, and Fitness Coaching
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-3409
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 104

    Learn more about Brittany

    Born in New York City and raised on the coast of Connecticut as well as in Boulder, Colorado, Brittany completed her undergraduate degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she double-majored in International Studies and Spanish.  Throughout her time at CSU, she spent time living, studying, and teaching abroad in Spain, Chile, and the Dominican Republic.  Upon graduating from CSU, she ventured off to Merida, Mexico where she earned her CELTA teaching certificate and worked as an English teacher at a private language school.

    Brittany moved to Denver in 2009. When she's not at work, she is trail running, cycling, mountain biking, competing in duathlon races, playing with her Aussie Shepard mix LiLu, and partaking in any and all mountain adventures.  

    Before joining the GSPP team, Brittany worked for 4 years as an Admissions Assistant, English Instructor, and Spanish Translator at an international language institution here in Denver. 

    You would see Brittany for:

    MA Sport Coaching admissions, recruitment, marketing, social media updates, student services; online classroom technology

  • Liz McKinney

    Liz McKinney

    Director of Business & Operations
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-2297
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 232

    Learn more about Liz

    Raised by public servants in a planned community near Washington, D.C., Liz grew up with a (fervently idealistic) belief in the power of inclusive communities. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Anthropology at Harvard University and a master's degree in International Relations at Cambridge University, Liz helped elect President Barack Obama in 2008, then worked at the United States Institute of Peace, a Congressional think tank. She then pivoted from world peace to inner peace, becoming a registered yoga teacher and academic coach before joining the University of Denver in December 2014.

    After a brief stint studying social work to pursue her passion of promoting self-care for people in helping professions, Liz decided to support therapists by coming to work at GSPP. In her job, she enjoys playing with numbers, trying to practice what we preach, serving as an advocate, and learning from the amazing people around her. Outside of DU, Liz enjoys hiking, singing, traveling, reading, yoga-ing, and playing with her family and friends.

    You would see Liz for:

    Support for all budget, purchasing, human resource (including hiring, payroll, and promotion), financial aid, contract, field placement attestation, clinic, and other operational processes for PsyD (including the specialties and specialty clinics), MAFP, Denver FIRST, the Consortium, and the Center for Professional Development

  • Rachel Nielsen

    Rachel K. Nielsen, PsyD

    Director, Colorado Resilience Collaborative
    International Disaster Psychology 
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 720-410-1653

    Learn more about Rachel

    Rachel Nielsen is the Director of the Colorado Resilience Collaborative (CRC), an initiative of the International Disaster Psychology program. The CRC addresses identity-based violence through education and training, consultation services, and research. The CRC works closely with federal and state agencies, law enforcement, school districts, mental health workers, community members, and religious leaders. The program supports the provision of culturally competent, trauma-informed services to survivors of targeted violence, and it addresses violent extremism in Colorado.

    Rachel is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. She first came to GSPP to complete her Master's degree in Forensic Psychology in 2003. She provided therapy and psychosexual evaluations of sex offenders in Colorado until 2008. She then returned to Knoxville and managed a non-profit program for new parents, using strength-based approaches and support to prevent child abuse and improve outcomes for children. In 2014, Rachel returned to GSPP as a student to complete the PsyD program. Her field placements focused on trauma interventions for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and childhood abuse and neglect. Rachel completed her APA-accredited internship through the DU Consortium at Nicoletti-Flater Associates, where she continues to work as a staff member. Her specialty focus was Behaviorism, and her doctoral paper addressed human trafficking in the United States.

    Rachel is married with two children and lives in the Denver area. She enjoys snowboarding, camping, and spending time with her family.

    You would see Rachel for:

    Matters related to the Colorado Resilience Collaborative at GSPP

  • Jennifer Paz

    Jennifer Paz, PsyD

    Senior Program Associate & Program Developer
    Latinx Psychology Specialty
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-3736

    Learn more about Jenn

    Jennifer "Jenn" Paz is Senior Program Associate and Program Developer for the Latinx Psychology Specialty, working to create a project linking the Latinx Psychology Specialty and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Specialty at GSPP. In this role, Jenn works to identify new community partnerships, create professional development modules and trainings, and collaborate between the specialties with the focus of increasing access to services and support systems for Latinx and IECMH populations in Colorado. She also continues to support the development of the Latinx Psychology Specialty focusing on marketing, media, and curriculum development.

    Jenn is the co-director of Elevated Insights: Psychological Assessments for Children, Adolescents, and Families. As a graduate with her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver, Jenn specializes in bilingual (Spanish) assessment and treatment of children/adolescents and their families. Jenn earned her Masters of Education through Regis University and taught for five years within DPS. There she dedicated herself to providing a culturally responsive classroom, formed strong relationships with her students and their families that continue today, and was awarded Mile High Teacher of the Year 2009/2010. Jenn's experience as a classroom teacher allows her to communicate and navigate effectively within the education system and understand the obstacles and capacity of current classroom teachers. Commitment and admiration for underserved populations led to volunteering with AmeriCorps and Jenn was awarded with the 2014 Mountain West Engagement Award for Excellence and honored by the University of Denver Magazine.

    You would see Jenn for:

    Questions regarding the Latinx Psychology Specialty, as well as the link between Latinx Psychology and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

  • Julie Schellman

    Julie Schellman

    Director of Admissions
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-2908
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 102

    Learn more about Julie

    Julie Schellman is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Denver in 2004. She graduated from Missouri State University with her degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Psychology, and has been taking graduate classes through the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business.

    Julie has worked in Admissions and Student Services since 2005 and has been working at GSPP since 2008. Julie enjoys spending time with her family and loves to run, hike, ski, and to be outdoors.

    You would see Julie for:

    admissions, application & interview questions; orientation details; open house information; backup web edits; recruitment

  • Julie H Smith

    Julie Hanna Smith, MS LMFT

    Administrative Director, Professional Psychology Clinic
    [email protected] 
    Office Phone: 303-871-4004
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 43

    Learn more about Julie

    Julie is a native of Colorado but has spent time living in San Diego, London, San Francisco, and Nashville. Julie completed her undergraduate degree at University of Northern Colorado where she majored in Political Science and International Relations. After graduating from UNC, Julie moved to San Francisco and worked as a management consultant in the tech industry. After many years working in Silicon Valley, she realized she liked working with people and their relationship with others rather than people and their relationship with technology. To pursue this passion, she earned a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a licensed MFT in Colorado. Julie currently works with families and couples at The Sturm Center.

    Before joining the GSPP team, Julie worked as the Clinical Director at a residential treatment facility for adolescent girls.  

    You would see Julie for:

    Policies, procedures and daily operations for the PPC, New Start, TDRC, CUB, CPEX, DenverFIRST, COPE and the Sturm Center, hiring Clinic Assistants, government insurance programs and OBH grant funding, emergency clinical support, Titanium questions, clinical supervision at The Sturm Center

  • Marijke

    Marijke Swierstra

    Executive Assistant
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-7532
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 210

    Learn more about Marijke

    Marijke Swierstra hails from South Africa where she obtained a degree in natural and medical sciences from the University of Pretoria. She completed diverse business and professional courses at numerous universities and institutions, as well as MBA courses at Pepperdine University in California. Marijke has extensive experience in non-profit administration and joined the University of Denver in 2011, as a member of the University Advancement team. She then transferred to Colorado Women's College, and in February 2016 became the executive assistant to GSPP dean Shelly Smith-Acuña.

    Marijke's interests range from watching movies and listening to music from the comfort of home, to tending to her potted plants (the quiet, contemplative one). Then there is snowshoeing, hiking, wildlife encounters, aspen viewing in the fall, and being outdoors (the adventurer). Bird watching - she does not consider herself a "birder" – has led her to visit the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge, Bosque del Apache Refuge and the Rowe Sanctuary to view the awe-inspiring sandhill crane migrations. She also loves exploring new places and encountering new cultures

    You would see Marijke for:

    Matters related to the Dean's office, e.g. scheduling with the Dean; special projects for the dean, FEAC report, assistance to the GSPP Board of Advisors; and certain office supplies.

  • Ethan

    Ethan Taylor-Pierce

    Building & Operations Coordinator
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-2179
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 135b

    Learn more about Ethan

    A native of Kennebunk, Maine, Ethan moved from the rocky coast to the Rocky Mountains in 2014. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Maine, with aspirations of acquiring his MBA in the near future. Ethan finds immense value in his non-profit career path, which led him to GSPP's Building and Operations team in 2018. Previously, he worked on the finance and administration team at USA Ultimate, the National Governing Body for the sport of ultimate.

    Ethan greatly enjoys hiking, traveling, Boston professional sports, dogs, ultimate frisbee, landscaping, golfing, food, spending time with family/friends, and the Atlantic Ocean.

    You would see Ethan for:

    issues regarding the Ammi Hyde Building or Annex Buildings (including heating/cooling, maintenance, classroom supplies); P-Card submissions for GSPP's staff/faculty

  • Linda Ziembko

    Linda Ziembko

    Systems Analyst, Data and Technology
    [email protected] 
    Office Phone: 303-871-3212
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 202

    Learn more about Linda

    Linda and her family relocated to Colorado from the New York City. Originally from Connecticut, Linda graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Management Information Systems and also attended Parsons School of Design. She began her career working as a database analyst then moved to systems infrastructure and operations, specializing in creative environments. Her tech experience spans a diverse range of sectors including marketing, arts & entertainment, financial services and non-profit. She is excited to add higher education to this list.

    You would see Linda for:

    STARS database-related issues; accreditation reporting; technical assistance; IT liaison