While studying abroad during my last semester at Southwestern, I had a several formative experiences which piqued my interest for the issue of community integration for people with serious mental illness. After working for about a year in Austin, I started a MA-PhD program in Clinical-Community Psychology at the University of South Carolina in 2010. Being in a joint clinical-community psychology program has allowed me to gain the clinical skills and experience necessary for working in applied mental health settings, while also learning to approach this work from the more participatory, strengths-based, and holistic values of community psychology. My current research largely focuses on how community experiences (positive and negative) and supports can impact an individual’s opportunities to live, work, and have meaningful relationships in the community, like everyone else. Eventually, I hope to work in practice-based settings, such as community mental health systems, to develop and implement innovative programs that promote opportunities for this type of social inclusion for community members with mental illness and other disabilities.


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