People | Mindful Health & Resilience Lab

503-352-2498

Mike has a long-standing research interest in the science and practice of mindfulness meditation and related contemplative experiences. His interest in this area began when he lived in Thailand in the late 1990s and began to study Theravāda Buddhism. In his early research he investigated mindfulness measurement, with a particular focus on Buddhist cultural validity of Western mindfulness measures. More recently, he developed an interest in mindfulness training as a method to enhance stress resilience and health. He and his colleagues (Richard Goerling, Sarah Bowen, and Brant Rogers) developed Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training (MBRT), an integrated mindfulness and resilience training designed to improve stress reactivity and health outcomes among high-stress cohorts. The lab is currently studying MBRT feasibility, mechanisms, and biological, behavioral, and psychological outcomes among first responders. When not in the lab, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, cooking, and growing whatever he can in the garden. 

Research Assistant

Ashley is a 3rd year clinical psychology PhD student. Her research interests include stress, resilience, and mindfulness in first responders. She is an RA on several NIH grant-funded projects. When not in the lab, Ashley can be found hiking with her dog and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Research Assistant

Jenna is a 3rd year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her research interests currently include corrections, resilience, trauma, and stress; however, this list keeps growing.

Lt. Richard Goerling, MBA, CMF
Co-Investigator

Richard has served in law enforcement for over two decades. He’s held both federal and municipal level positions in a variety of investigative and operational assignments. Richard has spearheaded the introduction of mindfulness into policing as part of a larger cultural transformation toward a compassionate, skillful and resilient policing.

Alongside his civilian police career, Richard served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for 27 years, both active and reserve, retiring in 2015 at the rank of Commander while assigned to Coast Guard Sector Charleston, SC. He holds an appointment as an affiliate professor in the School of  Graduate Psychology at Pacific University in Oregon and serves as a researcher and trainer in a current NIH funded research project with Portland Police Bureau and Albuquerque Police Department. Richard completed a year-long training program at the University of California at Los Angeles, Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) under the direction of Diana Winston, Dr. Susan Smalley, and Dr. Marvin Belzer. He is a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator through UCLA.

Research Assistant

Kaylie is a 4th year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her primary research and clinical interests include resilience, post-traumatic stress, and sleep deprivation in first responder populations. Kaylie’s father is a firefighter in the Pacific Northwest, and she is very passionate about finding ways to improve the lives and mental health of these hardworking populations. Aside from academia, Kaylie spends her time outdoors, hiking, taking her cats for walks, and riding downhill mountain bikes.

Associate Professor | Program Director, MA/MS APS Applied Psychological Science
503-352-3612

Dr. Hunsinger is the Program Director for the MA/MA APS Applied Psychological Science program.  Matthew's interests include social cognition, intergroup relations, intergroup bias, meditation (including mindfulness), and affect / emotion.

He is a Co-Investigator and Statistician in the Mindful Health and Resilience Lab and conducts research on intergroup bias and meditation/mindfulness, with a current focus on the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on force response decision-making for law enforcement officers.

Research Assistant

Nicole is a 2nd year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her research interests include mindfulness, impulse control, resilience, and burnout in first responders and veterans. In her free time, Nicole enjoys long-distance running, playing basketball and surfing.

Reasearch Assistant

Aurora is a 2nd year clinical psychology PhD student. Her research interests include examining treatment outcomes for high stress populations using mindfulness based interventions through a Self Determination Theory lens. Outside of the lab, Aurora enjoys boxing and watching sloth videos. 

Research Assistant

Andi is a 4th year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her primary research and clinical interests include military veterans and their children, yoga, mindfulness, posttraumatic stress, resilience, and cross-cultural mental health. She graduated from Duke University with her M.S. in Global Health, where she focused on cross-cultural and post-disaster psychology.  Andi is a Navy veteran and served as a helicopter electronics technician. For fun, she loves to practice yoga, go hiking with her dogs, and spend as much time adventuring outdoors as possible.

Reasearch Assistant

Akeesha is a first-year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her primary research interests include mindfulness-based interventions, post-traumatic stress, and resilience in high-stress populations. She also has an interest in cross-cultural psychology, ecopsychology, and holistic methods for health and wellness. Outside of academia, she can be found spending time outdoors, traveling,  and studying herbalism. 

Reasearch Assistant

Alicia is a 2nd year clinical psychology PhD student. Her research interests include examining treatment outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions for underserved and underrepresented populations. She is an RA for an NIH grant-funded project as well as a Mind and Life grant-funded project. When not in the lab, Alicia can be found spending time with her family and dogs, playing Nintendo 64, and doing freelance makeup work.

Research Assistant

Candice is a 5th year PhD student and currently completing her doctoral internship at the Sheridan VAMC. Her research and clinical interests are focused on mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions in high-risk populations. In her free time, Candice enjoys being with her husband and baby son, as well as dreaming of gardening projects and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Research Coordinator

Eli is a 5th year PhD student and currently completing his predoctoral internship in Neuropsychology and OUD/SUD assessment and treatment at the Missouri Health Sciences Psychology Consortium. He recently completed data collection for his dissertation and hopes to defend soon. He coordinated several NIH studies in the lab. His research interests include stress, self-compassion, resilience and burnout in first responders. He was a 2017 Berglund Fellow, and has a patent pending with the U.S. Patent Office. In his free time he enjoys traveling with his wife, hanging out with his dog, and searching for the perfect croissant.

Project Coordinator

Janae has 20 years of experience as a research coordinator, and program evaluator for research and demonstration projects, research studies, and longitudinal clinical trials. She is the project coordinator for several lab projects. Janae’s clinical and research interests are evaluating intervention and prevention programs that integrate strength, resilience and mindfulness-based approaches to improve the quality of life for high-stress populations. She also enjoys adapting and tailoring evidence-based practices to meet individual population’s needs and mentoring graduate students. She enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, and kirtan, and has recently discovered kayaking.

Lab Alumnus

Dana Dharmakaya received her doctorate degree in 2017. She is currently an NIH-T32 Postdoctoral Scholar and Board Eligible Neuropsychologist in the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health and Science University. Her research employs quantitative and qualitative approaches to (1) investigate behavioral, psychophysiological, and neural mechanisms of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) that may mitigate the harmful effects of stress and improve chronic pain; and (2) develop, optimize, and evaluate treatment outcomes of culturally-appropriate and trauma-informed MBIs for high-stress and chronic pain populations. Clinically, she conducts pre-, intra-, and postoperative neuropsychological assessments for individuals undergoing awake craniotomies and provides yoga therapy for chronic pain populations.  She loves to explore faraway places, wander through the woods, and scuba dive in warm waters.

Lab Alumnus

Aaron enrolled in the first PhD cohort and received his doctorate in 2019. He is currently currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral health research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the departments of Emergency Medicine and Obstetrics. He is a native of Vashon Island, WA and his research interests include mindfulness-based interventions for high-risk populations. 

Lab Alumnus

Josh earned his PhD from Pacific University in 2020 after completing a doctoral internship at the VA Portland Healthcare System. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar studying biomarkers of stress reactivity and resilience as part of an NIH/NCCIH T32 grant through the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University. Josh is an active musician and plays with his band in the Portland area. He enjoys swimming with his pups, hiking with his pups, and playing video games while his pups nap.