Neuro Emphasis Ambassadors

Matt Berry

4th Year | PsyD Program | Neuro Emphasis | Sabiduría Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution | University of California – Los Angeles

Hometown | San Jose, CA

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific for a number of different reasons. The Sabiduría program was a major factor in my decision and has given me the opportunity to provide services in Spanish to the local Latinx community. Furthermore, I was excited by the numerous experiences that were available through the program. Different professors provide different perspectives and approaches to practice, and I have continued to feel supported by the faculty. Finally, I chose Pacific because of the surrounding area. Hillsboro is a friendly community and is surrounded by amazing hikes and lakes.

Favorite PsyD course | Neuropsychological Assessment: I love learning about the brain and its role in psychological functioning. This class provided a great review of neuroanatomy as well as clear information on interpretation of neuropsychological tests. I appreciate classes that provide practical guidance and applied learning, both of which I received in this class. Neuropsychology is truly fascinating, and this class got me even more excited about working in the field the future.  

Hobbies | In my spare time I enjoy paddle boarding with my wife and dog. Hagg Lake nearby is a great place to hit the water and BBQ with friends. I also enjoying taking care of my chickens, hiking, and learning foreign languages. In the future I hope to start beekeeping and to get some goats!

Kylie Courtwright

5th Year | PsyD Program | Neuro Emphasis

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Undergraduate Institution | Walden University

Hometown | Syracuse, NY

Why I chose Pacific | Pacific University was my saving grace after an unexpected and unfortunate situation. For someone who had zero therapy experience prior to starting grad school, the opportunity to first gain experience in an in-house community-based clinic was a huge benefit to me. I also appreciated the varying concentrations and the opportunity to be part of the neuro emphasis. Coming from a previous program, I can honestly say the education within the neuro emphasis is unmatched to many other programs.  

Favorite PsyD course | Neuropsychology Seminar: Neuro seminar has been one of the most helpful classes as it provides discussion in a group setting, rather than listening to a lecture. Being able to hear other student and faculty perspectives about different disorders and neuropsychological approaches helps to really learn and understand the information that is vital to our success. With each seminar centered on a different aspect of neuropsychology, you get to spend a good amount of time focused on one area at a time, learning the nuances and details.

Hobbies | Moving to the PNW, I fell in love with exploring outside as much as possible. I especially love sunrise hikes, finding new outdoor staircases to run, and anything to do on the water, especially paddling boarding. I'm also a big fan of weight lifting, exploring new food and drink options, and hanging out with my very sassy cat. 

Lauren Dillier

5th Year | PsyD Program | Neuropsychology Emphasis

Email |

Undergraduate Institution | Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, Calif.

Hometown | Granite Bay, Calif.

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. 

Amal Soomro

4th Year | PsyD Program | Neuropsychology Emphasis

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Undergraduate Institution | Texas Tech University

Hometown | Tucson, Ariz.

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.

Ethan Wallace

3rd Year | PsyD Program | Neuropsychology Emphasis


Hometown | Portland, OR

Why I chose Pacific | I chose Pacific University for two major reasons: the neuropsychology emphasis and my prior experience at the university. Becoming a clinical neuropsychologist has been my life aspiration, so to be working towards a degree in this field is a dream come true. The curriculum emphasizes both research as well as practical application, which I think is imperative to be a well-trained psychologist. Additionally, the mixture of both assessment and therapeutic practica will provide me the experiences to ensure that I am competent to serve clients as both a neuropsychologist and a therapist. As for my prior experiences, I received my MA from the Applied Psychological Sciences program at Pacific University. The faculty were absolutely amazing and seeing the culture of Pacific made me want to stay. While graduate education is hard and rigorous, the faculty have demonstrated that they are

Favorite PsyD course | Biological Bases of Behavior: I am 100% a bio nerd, so learning about how behavior, emotions, and various disorders are studied and understood through biology at a graduate level has been amazing. It is a tough, but fair course and that also made it my favorite.

Hobbies | As a native Oregonian, I am contractually obligated to love hiking and the outdoors. Oregon has a lot of hidden and known gems when it comes to nature and I encourage everyone to explore the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has. My personal favorites are the Painted Hills and Whychus Creek Trail, but you can never go wrong with a trip to the coast (just don’t go in the freezing water!). Outside of being outside, I love to spend my downtime hanging out with friends, cooking, trying out local restaurants and cafes (although you can usually find me with a Starbucks in hand), playing the occasional video game, or tending to my plethora of plants that I have acquired during quarantine. I love meeting new people and giving recommendations, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions!