Health Emphasis Ambassadors

Katie Biesiada

4th Year | Clinical Psychology | Health Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Mount Holyoke College

Hometown | Lyons, Colo.

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 (Assessment I) - 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. Because of this course, I took on the role of Head Librarian for SGP’s Hersen Assessment Library and also worked as a TA for the course in my third year! I love learning about new assessment instruments and how they can be used clinically.

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!

Ravi Desai

5th Year | PsyD Program | Health Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | The State University of New York at Buffalo 

Hometown | Hillsborough, N.J.

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.

Alex Keene

4th year | Clinical Psychology | Health Emphasis | Sabiduría Emphases

Undergraduate Institution | University of South Carolina

Hometown | Pumpkintown, S.C.

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).

Samantha Lee

4th Year | Clinical Psychology | Health Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | Winona State University

Hometown | Ellsworth, Wisc.

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.