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Graduate School of Professional Psychology
COPE oncology psychology DU

Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence


Faculty & Fellows

  • Nicole Taylor

    Nicole Taylor

    Clinical Associate Professor
    PhD, University of Maryland, 2008
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-6062
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 107


    Dr. Nicole Taylor is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at University of Denver. Dr. 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, especially in medical settings.

    Dr. Taylor received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland. She completed her clinical internship at the Towson University Counseling Center and her post-doctoral fellowship at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center. Dr. Taylor has worked as a Clinical Health Psychologist in both inpatient and outpatient settings, has led the psychosocial oncology team at Good Samaritan Medical Center, and worked as a psychological consultant to the Labor and Delivery, Antepartum, Postpartum, and NICU departments at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center. She has a broad range of interests in psychosocial oncology, health psychology, supervision and training, gender and sexuality, consultation, and social justice.

    Dr. Taylor has been a faculty member at GSPP since 2012 and teaches classes on psychosocial oncology, health psychology, integrated primary care, consultation, and qualitative research methods.

    Dr. Taylor has been a member of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society since 2007 and has presented nationally and internationally on issues of training and supervision in psychosocial oncology. She is a member of the Professional Development committee of APOS and helped start the Psychosocial Oncology Institute. She is actively involved in research on training and career development of psychosocial oncologists.

  • Name

    Shelly Smith-Acuña

    PhD, Loyola University of Chicago, 1989
    [email protected]
    Office Phone: 303-871-3880
    Ammi Hyde Building: Office 211


    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
  • Athena

    Athena Y. Baca-Chieza

    Adjunct Faculty
    PsyD, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2006

    LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. Baca-Chieza
    Dr. Baca-Chieza is the Associate Director of Behavioral Health in charge of Training and Staff Development at Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN), an FQHC that provides integrated primary care services to approximately 44,000 patients a year. Dr. Baca-Chieza received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2006. She completed a health psychology internship at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, with an emphasis in oncology and women's health issues. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rocky Mountain Blood and Marrow Transplant Program in conjunction with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2006. Following her fellowship, she remained a full-time staff member of the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute (CBCI) at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, CO until 2013. Dr. Baca-Chieza worked from 2013-2014 at the South TX VA Health Administration in San Antonio, TX as a primary care psychologist in their Integrated Primary Care program, but her love for Colorado prompted her return to the state in 2015. Her clinical interests include working with underserved, indigent, and Latino populations; working with patients coping with chronic and terminal illness; and providing education and support to oncology nurses/staff, as well as medical staff who provide care to chronic disease populations. Dr. Baca-Chieza is an integral member of the MCPN Pain Treatment/Education initiatives for patients and staff. She has been involved in training psychologists for over 10 years and has a passion for guiding the clinical and professional development of predoctoral and postdoctoral students. Dr. Baca-Chieza is fluently bi-lingual in Spanish and is a founding member of the COLORES de Cancer initiative (Colorado Latino Outreach and Resource, Education, & Support). She is the proud mother of two little girls, and her husband is a nurse in Vascular Surgery at The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. They love every part of their lives in beautiful Colorado and are thrilled to be a part of the health care community in this vibrant and diverse state.
  • Jana

    Jana Bolduan Lomax

    Adjunct Faculty
    PsyD, Illinois School of Professional Psychology, 2006

    Dr. Jana Bolduan Lomax is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver with COPE program. Dr. Lomax completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from University of Miami - Ohio. She completed both a Master's degree and Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Health Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Dr. Lomax completed her Internship at Denver Health Medical Center and a fellowship in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Medical Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Lomax also holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment at the University of Colorado Denver in the Health Psychology department. Dr. Lomax is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Colorado.

    Dr. Lomax has dedicated her career to clinical care, research, program management, training, and program development focused on Psychosocial Oncology and adjustment to chronic and life-limiting illnesses. Throughout her career, Dr. Lomax has found opportunities to work with and train future health psychology clinicians. Dr. Lomax has supervised externs and interns from doctoral psychology programs and enjoys teaching healthcare professionals about evidence-based psychosocial care in oncology. She has been an invited lecturer, advisor, and subject matter expert in the areas of psychosocial oncology, caregiving stress, coping with chronic illness, and development of psychosocial oncology programs. She has been involved in Cancer Survivorship clinical care and programming since 2006. She initially collaborated with a team funded by the LIVESTRONG foundation to develop and evaluate Survivorship Clinics and Care Plans at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center when such efforts were novel. She has continued to lead Cancer Support program development, implementation, and evaluation initiatives throughout her career in academic and community cancer centers.
    Dr. Lomax is the founder of Shift Healing, LLC, psychology services for people facing health conditions and life transitions. She is inspired by the resilience of her patients, their families, and their caregivers. Dr. Lomax finds joy in outdoor adventures with her husband and three children.

  • Hannah

    Hannah Katz

    COPE Fellow
    PsyD Student
    MA, University of Denver, 2011
    [email protected]


    I could not be more excited that COPE is coming to GSPP! When looking for doctoral programs I wanted to make sure I was able to get training or mentorship that involved psychological oncology as this is the area I want to work on as a career. One of the reasons I picked GSPP was because of Dr. Taylor and her experience and knowledge in the field.

    My interest in the field all started when my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer eight years ago. Sitting in an infusion center with my mom I felt I found my professional niche in the world. While my mom was getting treated I, the caregiver, would sit, talk, and learn from other patients, caregivers, and the medical staff. Everyone’s journeys were individual and intricate and amazing. There was a pull I felt to learn more, and I did just that. As my mom finished treatment I began to learn how little there was for the survivors of cancer. There was so much support for the patients, but then as the treatment was over and reality hit that these patients life was back to “normal” the support was gone as well. I wanted to do something about this, but I didn’t know what.

    After graduating from my masters program I began to work for the American Cancer Society (ACS) as a Patient Navigator. I loved working in an interdisciplinary field and learning from the cancer patients and caregivers themselves. I also learned about the different standards the field had, for example the Distress Screen and Survivorship Plans. I loved how the 6th vital sign (psychosocial aspects) were integrative in the care and how those in the cancer field took into account the whole patient. It was this experience that made me realize I wanted to be a Psychologist and specifically in the Oncology field. I knew that working with cancer patients and their caregivers, in particular the survivorship stage was something I wanted to continue to be apart of.

    While I have had the experience of having a field placement in a cancer center (St. Joseph's Cancer Center) having a program dedicated to training individuals on psychological Oncology (COPE) will allow myself and future generations of psychologist to not only work with cancer patients, but also take the information they learned and apply it to other medical disciplines with similar patient journey's, such as cardiology.