Forensic Emphasis Ambassadors

Erikjone Cruz

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Forensic/Sabiduría Emphasis


Undergraduate Institution: University of Portland

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 an important factor in my decision to attend.

Favorite PsyD course: Personality Assessment – I 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. Do you want to know if someone is attempting to manipulate assessment results via positive or negative impression management? This class will teach you how to do that. Are you interested in seeing 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 the current measurement tools and assessments available.

Hobbies: I spend most of my free time outdoors. On the weekends I am often camping, hiking, and exploring, or looking for new fishing spots to try. I also like to cook, spend time with family, and enjoy both watching and playing soccer. 

Elijah Hill

5th 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

4th Year | PsyD Program | Forensic Emphasis


Undergraduate Institution | Hawai'i Pacific University

Hometown | Mililani, HI

Why I chose Pacific | I loved that Pacific offered a forensic emphasis within the generalist foundation.  Pacific also has amazing licensure and match rates to APA accredited internship sites.  Additionally, the professors and staff I have interacted with have been wonderful and truly want to help students succeed.  Lastly, working at Pacific's "in house" clinic in 2nd year helped shape me into a well-rounded clinician.

Favorite PsyD course | Projective Assessment: I enjoy assessments, and this course examined a famous psychological assessment - the Rorschach! Learning how to code and interpret responses to inkblots was fascinating and Dr. Grover is an amazing professor!

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