Student Ambassadors | PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Student Ambassadors | PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Our Ambassadors offer insight about Pacific University School of Professional PsyD in Clinical Psychology program to prospective students and any other party requesting information about student life or the area. In addition to this, the Ambassadors help assist with open house, interview days, and other events. They also work very closely with the Admissions office in providing an invaluable resource for prospective students.

If you would like to speak with a current student about their experience applying to or choosing Pacific University, you are invited to contact one of our student ambassadors. They will be happy to help you.

Adult Emphasis

Mykola Zubko

2nd Year | PsyD Program | Adult Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | UC Davis

Hometown | Nipomo, CA

Why I chose Pacific | Pacific had a lot wonderful qualities about it such as the resources that are available to you here. I cared a lot about getting exposed to different theoretical orientations, having access to literature, and interventions. The fact that this area also has 120+ breweries was a factor. 

Favorite PsyD course | Psychometrics -it is one thing for you to read someone elses research, and it is another thing entirely to know how much you should trust the findings. It is incredible how much research is published and very little is replicated, so knowing how to parse out potentially good or bad publications is crucial in our field.

Hobbies | I enjoy hiking, playing with my cats, traveling, reading, board games, escape rooms, learning languages, getting lost in the reabbithole of Youtube, and cooking.

Caitlin McCann

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Adult Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Juniata College

Hometown | Chevy Chase, MD

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific due to a combination of the geographic location and the investment in and care for students that I felt Pacific faculty have. I was also drawn to Pacific's in-house clinics that all students train in during their second year, and felt confident that I would graduate from Pacific as a well-trained and well-rounded clinician. 

Favorite PsyD course | Cognitive Assessment - This class was my first introduction to psychological testing, and I really enjoyed the professor (Dr. Cook) and the combination of practical lab work/testing practice and the lecture-based class. 

Hobbies | I enjoy spending time cooking, hiking and exploring the PNW, and am also an avid podcast listener.

Sarah Afromowitz

4th Year | PsyD Program | Adult emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | The George Washington University

Hometown | Mercer Island, WA

Why I chose Pacific | Pacific University stood out to me because of the commitment and importance within the program to include psychology within integrated and interprofessional health settings. I was also impressed by the reputation that Pacific University graduate psychology students have within the community when they are participating in various practicum sites, and by the genuineness I observed by the faculty and staff on Admissions Day. An additional bonus for me was returning to the Pacific Northwest after spending a number of years on the East coast.

Favorite PsyD course | Brief Psychotherapies - In this class I learned a few different types of brief interventions, which I found were really applicable and relevant to the work I want to do in health settings. It was a small enough class that class discussions were encouraged and helpful, and we frequently broke into triads to practice and provide feedback to each other. After every class, I walked away feeling excited and wanting to apply my newly learned skills. 

Hobbies | I enjoy taking day trips to the coast, finding hidden trails to go for walks, and binge-watching Queer Eye with my cat and a pizza.

Child Emphasis

Claire Flemming

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Child Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | University of Washington

Hometown | Seattle, WA

Why I chose Pacific | Two specific characteristics of the Pacific PsyD program that drew me to this school were the ability to choose an emphasis area of study (e.g., adult, child, forensic, neuro, health) and the Sabiduria (Latinx psychology) program. I want to work with children and families, so the ability to take child-specific classes and have practicums at child-specific sites has been awesome! Similarly, Sabiduria has been my favorite part of the PsyD program. Sabiduria students take additional courses specific to Latinx mental health and serving the Latinx community. We also participate in outreach events each year to connect, build community, and provide services to our Latinx neighbors. 

Favorite PsyD course | Clinical Interventions with Latinos - In this course, we learned about identity models, relational-cultural therapy and theory, and cultural adaptations for working with Latinx individuals. We also had guest lectures from Latinx-run organizations throughout the community, conducted interviews with Latinx community members, and created psychoeducational workshops that we presented to different community organizations at the end of the semester.

Hobbies | I enjoy cooking, traveling, searching for cute puppies to adopt, wine-tasting (truly one of the best things about living in Portland!), listening/dancing to Latin music, and spending time with family and friends. My favorite weekend activity is putting on my stretchy pants and checking out the amazing Portland food scene (you can always go for a hike to feel better about yourself later!), there's so much good food to try and no sales tax, so you can get that guac!

Miranda Moore

3rd Year | Clinical Psychology | Child Track

Undergraduate Institution | University of Nebraska at Kearney

Hometown | Kearney, NE

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because their program most closely aligned with my academic and professional career goals of working with children and families. I felt that the faculty and hands-on training opportunities would allow me to be my most competitive for internships and jobs in the future. I also love the Portland area: we are equidistant from the ocean and the mountains, and a forest is never too far away!

Favorite PsyD course | Child & Adolescent Interventions - Dr. Miller does an excellent job teaching basic intervention skills that can be applied with the majority of clients and families. She makes class engaging, involved, and fun (hello, therapy games!). 

Hobbies | I enjoy reading, trying new foods, watching movies, and relaxing on the Oregon coast.

John Perkins

3rd Year | Clinical Psychology | Child Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Colby College

Hometown | Minneapolis, MN

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University for a number of reasons, including: (a) the PsyD program offered in-depth clinical training to prepare me for work in a variety of contexts, (b) the program offered specialization in child and adolescent clinical psychology, and (c) I was able to continue calling the Pacific Northwest home and enjoy the community and wilderness in and around Oregon.

Favorite PsyD course |  Neuropsychological Assessment - This course, taught by Dr. Daniel, was a challenging, engaging dive into the basics of neuroanatomy and behavior from a physiological perspective. It also provided a foundation for administering, scoring, and interpreting common neuropsychological assessments.

Hobbies | I enjoy reading, backcountry skiing, trail running, photography, baking bread, and any sort of quality time in the outdoors with close friends.

Nandita Kumar

4th Year | Clinical Psychology | Child Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | University of California, Santa Barbara

Hometown | Saratoga, CA

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because their program most closely aligned with my academic and professional career goals. The interests of faculty closely matched my interests and I felt I had ample opportunities to get involved! I felt that the faculty, coursework, and hands-on training would set me up well for the next few years of training after the program.  

Favorite PsyD course | PARENT-CHILD INTERACTION THERAPY - I liked the PCIT course that Dr. Brandt teaches because of the applicability of the intervention. Throughout the semester, the course covers all the specific parts of this intervention and explains how to conduct it. I liked how students are given the opportunity to practice portions of the intervention and put them all together at the end!

Hobbies |  I love hiking, cooking, and traveling!

Forensic Emphasis

Rachael Alvick

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Forensic Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | MULTNOMAH UNIVERSITY

Hometown | VANCOUVER, WA

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because I have a passion for working with juvenile forensic populations, and I felt the forensic emphasis offered at Pacific would help me to accomplish my professional goals. At Pacific, I have to opportunity to hone skills in this specific area while also working with faculty who have diverse experiences and interests.  

Favorite PsyD course | PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT - I really enjoyed learning how to administer and interpret personality measures that can inform diagnosis, intervention, and behavioral predictions in a manner that is both data-centered and culturally-responsive. I have found the skills I learned in this course to be particularly useful in my practicum experience. 

Hobbies | I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and love enjoying all of the hiking and restaurants Portland has to offer. When I have time away from school, I also enjoy embroidery, calligraphy, and baking. 

Sara Shugert

4th Year | Clinical Psychology | Forensic Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | UMass Amherst

Hometown | Las Vegas

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because of the specialized emphases and the practicum placements. I knew I wanted to work in the forensic world, and the forensic coursework, professors, and community placements were what I was looking for in a program. The support from other students, faculty, and the program all made my decision to choose Pacific easy. 

Favorite PsyD course | Juvenile Forensic Psychology - I am not a kid person, but this course was so fascinating. I learned so much about the juvenile justice system, the differences between their system and the adult system, and studied some intriguing cases. 

Hobbies | I enjoy hiking and exploring the PNW, camping, happy hours with my dog, cooking, visiting vineyards, travelling, and watching true crime shows.  

Health Psychology Emphasis

Katie Biesiada

2nd Year | Clinical Psychology | Health Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Mount Holyoke College

Hometown | Lyons, Colorado

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because I felt that the faculty in the Health Emphasis had interests compatible with my own and were encouraging in wanting me to develop my clinical and research interests independently. The program's coursework and hands-on training in the in-house PCH clinics were also appealing in strengthening my education. I also love the size and diversity of Pacific's College of Health Professions campus, as it allows me to really get to know my cohort as well as providing significant opportunities for interprofessional education and collaboration.

Favorite PsyD course | Cognitive Assessment -  I loved taking Cognitive Assessment during the spring of my first year because it was an introduction into the world of administering and scoring a psychological test and what interpretations of test scores can mean for a client.

Hobbies | In my free time I love to explore the Oregon coast, since I came from a land-locked state, as well as spending some quality time with my cat reading or binge-watching Netflix!

Alex Keene

2nd year | Clinical Psychology | Health and Sabiduría Emphases

Undergraduate Institution | University of South Carolina

Hometown | Pumpkintown, South Carolina

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific because I value interprofessional collaboration, integrating treatment for mental and physical health challenges, and the opportunity to engage in community focused work in the Sabiduría emphasis. The Health Emphasis has been the perfect opportunity for me to develop tangible skills I can use to address the mental health impacts of chronic pain or diabetes with my clients or vice versa! All of the health affiliated faculty have been wonderful to work with and learn from and are among the best teachers I've had. The presence of so many other health professions programs on campus has also given me opportunities to meet and learn from peers in other disciplines. Though I'm only in my second year, I feel much more comfortable working with other health professionals to provide holistic care for the people we serve.

Favorite PsyD course | Health Psychology - I was in Dr. Seawell's section of this class and it was an incredible survey of what it means to be a health psychologist. Taking this class during the fall semester of my first year helped me to better understand ways that I could apply my values and clinical orientation in health service settings. I particularly enjoyed our discussions around health behavior change and the emphasis on applying some of the interventions we recommend to ourselves before suggesting them to our clients.

Hobbies | I adore reading and listening to audiobooks and you may often find me engaged in various book clubs around the School of Graduate Psychology. In addition, I enjoy playing D&D with my peers, and I love the natural landscape of the Pacific Northwest and the opportunities for hiking out here (my pro tip: get a nice rain jacket and waterproof boots so you can still hike during the winter when the trails are mostly deserted).

Ravi Desai

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Health emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | The State University of New York at Buffalo 

Hometown | Hillsborough, New Jersey 

Why I chose Pacific | | I chose Pacific because of their approach to teaching psychology and healthcare. Pacific views healthcare as an integrated approach by all healthcare professions. Since the industry is treading in this direction, getting an education here will better prepare me for the workplace. I feel prepared to work in settings such as primary care and internal medicine after I graduate. Through my clinical experiences thus far I have loved applying my knowledge and feeling like an integral part of the healthcare team. It is an exciting time to be in graduate school and I am ecstatic to be here at Pacific!

Favorite PsyD course | Health Psychology – In this class I learned what I am specifically interested in. It opened my mind to a plethora of possibilities of how health psychology can be applied. It was interesting to just scratch and then go in-depth on topics for example behavioral health, pre-surgical evaluations, and biofeedback. Without exposure to these topics, I would have such a different view on what our profession has a chance to do!

Hobbies | I love playing tennis and watching football! I enjoy exploring the city and nature for interesting things to do. I also love to watch movies and eat amazing food.

Samantha Lee

3rd Year | Clinical Psychology | Health Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Winona State University

Hometown | Ellsworth, WI

Why I chose Pacific | When looking at applying to graduate programs, I knew that I wanted to find somewhere that I would have the opportunity to gain intervention and assessment skills while working interprofessionally within healthcare and with other medical professionals. I chose Pacific University because the Health Psychology Emphasis would best prepare me to achieve my professional goals. 

Favorite PsyD course | Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Chronic Pain – This course helped me explore and gain understanding of a biopsychosocial approach to working with individuals who experience chronic pain or illness. I was able to better learn appropriate assessment tools and client centered approaches to providing care. Dr. Antick’s passion and insight was inspiring throughout the course.

Hobbies | In my free time, I love exploring what the PNW has to offer, going hiking, trying new vegan restaurants, and spending time with loved ones. 

Alejandra Ferris

4th Year | PsyD Program | Health & Sabiduria emphases 

Undergraduate Institution | University of Miami (Go 'Canes!)

Hometown | Miami, FL 

Why I chose Pacific | The Sabiduria Latinx emphases and the way the program was structured so that I could tag that onto my major emphasis, Health Psychology. I wanted a program that was integrated not just with other health professions but also with community organizations  so that I would have opportunities to engage in outreach activities.

Favorite PsyD course | Brief Psychotherapies - By far the class that has provided me with the most concrete and tangible tools I use in my practice. I loved that we got a deeper understanding of motivational interviewing and have seen the difference in an ability to connect with my patients in integrated medical settings. Sociocultural Foundations of Latinxs was also a favorite course because of the number of guest speakers that shared their experience and how it informs the work they do in the community. That class was instrumental to the development of my cultural awareness and for providing creating a space to consider sociocultural contexts that Latinx patients are directly impacted by or descendants of. 

Hobbies | I enjoy gardening, hiking, and generally being outdoors, especially when it's sunny. I play in an adult indoor volleyball league, volunteer at a local food pantry, and enjoy listening to music. True crime podcasts are my guilty pleasure. I also absolutely love food- I love cooking, baking, trading tips, talking about food, and giving out recommendations for where to eat around Portland.

Kayleigh Rogalski

4th Year | PsyD Program | Health Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Case Western Reserve University

Hometown | Cleveland, Ohio

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific because I saw a sense of community here unlike at any other program -- and my inclination was proven right! Faculty is open and available and there's no sense of competition amongst students. Of course it helps that Pacific is nestled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with access to beaches and mountains and forests so I can take much-needed breaks from all this quality education. :)

Favorite PsyD course | Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Weight Stigma is hands-down my favorite course. I thought I had a pretty good and progressive understanding of diet culture, body image issues, and weight stigma before this class, but I learned so so much! Moreover, what I learned in this class informs my clinical work with almost any patient I see (is anyone immune to cultural messaging about food and bodies?). 

Hobbies | I'm apparently an exhibitionist because I love doing improv and singing karaoke. And when I need some quiet reflection, there's nothing like a hike in the gorge or out on the coast!

Neuropsychology Emphasis

Jessie Li

2nd Year | PsyD Program | Neuropsychology Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Oregon State University 

Hometown | Tigard, OR

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because I believed their program would provide me with the well-rounded learning and training I was seeking as an aspiring neuropsychologist. I admire the connections that Pacific has fostered with community partnerships, and how these partnerships have become opportunities and training sites for students. The smaller cohort sizes have allowed us to build close friendships and work together in our journey to become professionals. 

Favorite PsyD course | Neuropsychological Assessment - This course was the reason I came to this university, and it did not disappoint! I have long been looking for a course that integrated the biology and psychology of neuropsychological assessment and this course was a happy medium between the two. We were able to learn about the brain structures and functions, in addition to learning about and practicing assessments that measure these structures and functions. 

Hobbies | I enjoy photography, hiking, exploring, and petting dogs. 

Amal Soomro

2nd Year | PsyD Program | Neuropsychology Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Texas Tech University

Hometown | Tucson, Arizona

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because its program most closely aligned with my academic and professional career goals. I felt that the faculty, coursework, and hands-on training would help make me the most competitive candidate that I can be for PsyD programs in the future. I also appreciate how small Pacific's graduate campus is because it provides a great opportunity to really bond with your cohort and connect with faculty. I admired the dedication of the faculty to their students in making sure their professional goals will be met, and also allowing various opportunities for a well-rounded experience and exposure that make us competitive candidates for other avenues in our careers. 

Favorite PsyD course | Neuro-Assessment - this is what I ultimately want to do as a profession. This class brings it all together before you begin your experience in the clinic, which is exciting!

Hobbies | I enjoy hiking, traveling to new places, and cooking with different recipes.

Lauren Dillier

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Neuropsychology Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

Hometown | Granite Bay, CA

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because of their comprehensive Neuropsychology concentration.  I knew coming into school that I had hopes and dreams of becoming a neuropsychologist. Not only is Portland an amazing hub of hospitals, specialties, and advancements in medical care, but this concentration also has their students to go to medical school for a term.  How awesome is that?!?  I felt that the faculty, coursework, and hands-on training would help make me the most competitive candidate that I can be for PsyD programs and Neuropsychology post docs in the future. I also feel in love with the Pacific Northwest after many trips to the area.  I love the big city feel with nature just on your doorstep. Not to forget to mention that Portland is a great food scene. After many hours of research for graduate schools, this school was my top choice and after talking with faculty and past students, I knew this was my next home. I am grateful for this opportunity and I am proud of the training and education I have been receiving.

Favorite PsyD course | Neuropsychology Seminar: I really enjoyed this course because it was nice to dive deep into various topics of neuropsychology.  The course was set up like a study group where we each ready articles and chapters in depth and came to class talking about what was relevant, what we learned, and what we didn’t understand.  We were able to use each others as resources to learn and think critically about various neuropsychology topics. Each year this course rotates to various topics to explore within neuropsychology. I felt like I learn a great amount of knowledge in this course.

Hobbies | I enjoy hiking and camping; I am hoping this year I can go camping once a month (after things open back up). I love cooking, baking, and going out to brunch. I enjoy doing various crafting activities including knitting and sewing. I love to travel (I hope to travel to all 50 states one day). I have a cat name Katniss that I enjoy cuddling up with when she is in the mood. I enjoy hosting gathering with friends especially when they include game night! I’m always down to go out for a drink and enjoy spending time in the city and exploring various places and locations (there is so much to see here). On the weekend I love going to farmers markets and finding delicious fresh produce and people watching. I’m a huge fan of working out; I currently am attending Tough Mudder Bootcamp and counting down till I get to go do another Tough Mudder Race.