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Dr. Torrey Wilson announced as Dean of GSPP

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Mary Clark

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Dear DU community members,

It is with tremendous delight that I share, with the concurrence of the Chancellor, that Dr. Torrey Wilson has been appointed as our next dean of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP), effective August 22, 2022.

Dr. Wilson comes to us from the University of Indianapolis, where he is currently serving as Dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Wilson previously served as Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and as Chair of the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program at Adler University in Chicago.

Dr. Wilson earned his Ph.D in Counseling Psychology at Loyola University-Chicago and his B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Counseling at Xavier University in New Orleans. Dr. Wilson’s areas of research and teaching expertise include the experiences of under-represented minority populations in group therapy, sexism and sexual harassment in doctoral training programs, and the experiences of black couples in counseling. Dr. Wilson’s earlier work focused on social support and self-efficacy for African-American students attending historically black universities.

Dr. Wilson will be leading GSPP’s growth into the domain of allied health programming, including sports medicine, nutrition, physical and occupational therapy, and other programming that complement GSPP’s historic focus on applied mental and behavioral health.

Upon learning of his appointment, Dr. Wilson remarked, “I am excited to build on the legacy of GSPP and its impact within the behavioral health community. Additionally, the opportunity to lead the movement into allied health and further the university’s contribution to interdisciplinary training is beyond my professional dreams. Thank you to the search committee, GSPP and the university leadership for this opportunity.”

I am delighted at this time to offer my deep thanks to the GSPP dean search committee for their tremendous time, thoughtfulness, and insight. It was wonderful to partner with such a hard-working committee:


  • Michael McGuire, Dean, University College.
  • Tracy Vozar, Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology.


  • Apryl Alexander, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology 
  • Jim Griesemer, Trustee, University of Denver
  • Ashley Haliko, Executive Director of Development, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Travis Heath, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Laurie Ivey, Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Clayton Kuklick, Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology 
  • Melissa Levy, Student, Psy.D program, Graduate School of Professional Psychology 
  • Liz McKinney, Director of Business and Operations, Graduate School of Professional Psychology 
  • Henrietta Pazos, Clinical Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology 
  • Rachael Ruff, Student, Forensic psychology program, Graduate School of Professional Psychology 
  • Julie Schellman, Director of Admissions, Graduate School of Professional Psychology 
  • Emily Spencer, Member and Chair Emerita, Dean’s Board of Advisors, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • With Support from Lynda Medina, Executive Assistant and Project Coordinator, University College

In reflecting on the search experience, Dean McGuire observed, “It was my privilege to serve with such a thoughtful and diligent search committee whose efforts allowed us to attract a candidate like Dr. Wilson who will help build on the rich legacy of GSPP and lead the school into its next chapter.” Dean McGuire continued, “Dr. Wilson’s robust academic and professional experience, his commitment to social justice, and passion for students and the field of psychology will serve to expand the impact of the great work being done at GSPP.”

Co-Chair and GSPP Professor Tracy Vozar added, "I am thrilled for our entire GSPP community to get to know Dr. Torrey Wilson as a person and as a leader. His transparency and commitment to social justice are exactly what we need,” and noted, “I'm thankful to our Provost, Mary Clark, my search committee co-Chair, Michael McGuire, the behind-the-scenes wizard, Lynda Medina, and to our great committee for their efforts in recruiting our next Dean. We welcome Dr. Wilson and I am excited for what's next for GSPP."

Dr. Wilson will succeed Dean Shelly Smith-Acuna who has so ably led GSPP over the last decade. Under Dean Smith-Acuna’s leadership, GSPP has seen an important increase in enrollments, tremendous gain in grant funding and philanthropic support, inauguration of the “Redefining Mental Health” series, and diversification of programming, including the establishment of the Perinatal-5 Mental Health specialty, the Military Psychology specialty, the Center for Sport and Human Development, and the kinesiology minor.

This year, Dean Smith-Acuna has also led the University’s Strategic Health Initiative to further develop our capacity in and interdisciplinary engagements with behavioral health and the basic science of health, including in partnership with National Jewish Health. Following an exceptionally well-deserved sabbatical, Dean Smith-Acuna will return to the faculty and her clinical practice within GSPP.

I am deeply indebted to Dr. Smith-Acuna for her tremendously thoughtful leadership of GSPP and DU more broadly, and I look forward to celebrating and thanking her for her wise leadership.

Dr. Wilson is excited to be moving to Denver. He is delighted to make Colorado his home and to begin this wonderful new chapter of his life.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Wilson to DU!

I’ll look forward to meeting with the GSPP community in the weeks ahead to engage around the dean transition. In the meantime, I wish everyone a wonderful start to the summer!

With best regards,

Mary Clark Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor