Forensic Emphasis Ambassadors

Rachael Alvick

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Forensic Emphasis


Undergraduate Institution | Multnomah University 

Hometown | Vancouver, Wash.

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. 

Erikjone Cruz

2nd Year | PsyD Program | Forensic/Sabiduría Emphasis


Undergraduate Institution: University of Portland, Portland, OR

Hometown: Corvallis, OR | Guadalajara, Jalisco

Why I chose Pacific: I chose Pacific due to the learning opportunities offered by the Forensic Emphasis and its faculty within the School of Graduate Psychology. Additionally, as a bilingual student with an interest in developing the skills necessary to perform culturally and linguistically informed work with the LatinX community, I was drawn by the mission and vision of the Sabiduría program. Pacific’s location in the beautiful PNW was also rather persuasive.

Favorite PsyD course: Personality AssessmentI think we have all heard of or taken a Facebook version of a personality test but this course highlights the clinical, forensic, and professional utility of valid personality assessments. Want to know if someone is attempting to manipulate assessment results via positive or negative impression management? This class will teach you how. Interested to see if a client’s symptoms are indicative of malingering? By the end of this course, you will be able to interpret such results.  I also liked the fact that this class emphasized the necessity for continuous improvements to current measurement tools and assessments.

Hobbies: I spend most of my free time outdoors, camping, hiking, and exploring – often looking for new fishing spots to try. I like to cook, spend time with family, and also love playing soccer.  

Elijah Hill

4th Year | PsyD Program | Forensic Emphasis


Undergraduate Institution | Minnesota State University, Mankato

Hometown | Nicollet, Minnesota

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University because it best aligned with my interests of working with the adult forensic population, and I felt the forensic emphasis offered at Pacific would help me to accomplish my professional goals. Being able to see adults clients during my 2nd and 3rd year has been very rewarding. At Pacific, I have the opportunity to hone skills my skills by working in a variety of clinical settings and with a range of populations.

Favorite PsyD course | Brief Psychotherapies: I have several classes I really enjoyed but Brief Psychotherapies really demonstrated how to work with clients when time with them may be limited. While learning how to apply strength-based interventions in my practice, I was able to have many discussions on how these skills can be applied to a forensic setting specifically. 

Hobbies | Having grown up in the Midwest, I have spent my time exploring all the PNW has to offer whether it be outdoors at the beach or many hiking trails, or in the city enjoying some tasty foods. 

Natalie Pierson

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Forensic Emphasis


Undergraduate Institution | Hawai'i Pacific University

Hometown | Mililani, HI

Why I chose Pacific | I loved the forensic emphasis that was offered within the generalist foundation.  Pacific also has amazing licensure rates and match rates to APA accredited internship sites.  The professors and staff I have interacted with have been wonderful and truly want to help us succeed.  Even though my career goals involve forensic assessment, having 2nd year practicum in the Pacific Psychology Clinic has helped shape me into a well-rounded clinician.

Favorite PsyD course | Cognitive Assessment: I enjoy assessments, and this principle course set a great foundation for all types of assessment administration and writing.  I also had a great professor (Dr. Cook) who challenged us, while making the material enjoyable.

Hobbies | I love reading (especially Harry Potter for the 100th time), singing, puzzles, playing with my dog, and spending time near the ocean!