News & Announcements
Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Health Psychology
What do you love most about Health Psychology at Mizzou? What are you looking forward to?
I love that the faculty in DHP are friendly and collaborative, as well as enthusiastic about providing high quality innovative psychological services to both children and adults. I also love their strong commitment to training and clinical research.
What are you looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to building collaborative relationships with faculty, trainees and staff within the department, school and across the Mizzou campus to promote research, clinical services and training, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion.
Tell us a little about yourself! What is your background?
My training background is in clinical psychology, with a particular emphasis in pediatric psychology. Pediatric psychology is an overlap between behavioral medicine and child clinical psychology and focuses on improving child health and functioning for a range of physical and mental health conditions.
My specific clinical and research expertise are in pediatric obesity and family-based weight management treatments. Clinically I have been involved in developing and implementing multidisciplinary pediatric weight management outpatient medical clinics that provide psychological services.
My research has focused on evaluating medical and psychological comorbidities experienced by youth and examining predictors of weight management treatment response. The second area of my research has focused on developing and evaluating interventions to improve health and psychological functioning in youth with overweight and obesity
From an education and training perspective I have been involved in training health care providers from a variety of health care fields, such as social work, nursing, pediatrics, psychiatry and psychology, and at a variety of trainee levels. However, most of my experience has focused on training and mentoring clinical psychology interns and post-docs in the provision of psychological services and the conduct of clinical research.
What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to spend time with my immediate family — my husband and two daughters, who are 8 and 5 years old, as well as our extended family when they are in town visiting. I also enjoy cooking, reading, traveling and watching sports in my free time.
What brought you to Mizzou all the way from Mississippi?
I came to Mizzou due to my passion for and interest in working with faculty, trainees and staff to advance the field of health psychology. I want to strategically develop, expand and improve programs that provide evidence-based clinical services for both adults and children. I also want to focus on supporting and promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative research and health psychology-focused training programs. Given my interest in working with underserved families and trainees, I was interested in opportunities to continue providing services to rural residents and collaborating with those living in rural communities in Missouri. I also want to expose underserved trainees at all levels to health psychology.
What is something about you that might surprise others?
I think others may be surprised that I am a big sports fan. I love watching both college and professional sports of all types, but my favorite sports are hockey, football, martial arts and gymnastics. Hockey surprises most people since I grew up in Florida, but my dad is Canadian, and he has played and coached hockey most of my life, which means I spent a good part of my childhood in hockey rinks. My daughters and husband enjoy learning jiujitsu. They recently joined a gym in Columbia to continue their training and I enjoy watching them practice and train. I am looking forward to attending Mizzou sporting events with my family, as well as traveling to St. Louis and Kansas City to attend professional sporting events.