Texas Tech University

People

Schmidt

Adam Schmidt, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

My background is in the area of pediatric neuropsychology and clinical psychology. I began my research examining the long-term impact of lead toxicity and then iron deficiency on brain development using animal models. This work gave me a profound appreciation for translational science and emphasized the need to integrate animal studies into one's thinking about human conditions. My postdoctoral research examined the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on social cognition and how these outcomes were influenced by a child's family environment. This work emphasized to me the importance of context in shaping outcomes following an insult to the developing brain and provided a natural bridge to my work as an independent investigator.

CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS:

Amber

Amber (Morrow) Benet

  • Amber is one of the PRYDe Lab managers for 2020!
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Oklahoma
  • M.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • Bio: Amber earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in General Business from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to her graduate training at Texas Tech, Amber worked under Dr. Jane Silovsky and Dr. Susan Schmidt at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect and Child Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. So far in her training, Amber has gained clinical and psychological assessment experiences at the TTU Psychology Clinic, TTU Health Sciences Center – Center for Superheroes, Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research, and Spendlove, Driskill, and Bates Psychology Private Practice. Her clinical interests include implementing evidence-based treatments with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), particularly Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT). Amber currently serves as the Project Manager on the second phase of the lab's CH Foundation Head Start grant. In service to the Department of Psychological Sciences, Amber has served for two years as one of the Clinical Graduate Student Council Co-Presidents (a liaison between the clinical students and faculty) and previously served as secretary. Further, Amber was awarded the Covenant Health and Social Services Graduate Fellowship for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Research Interest(s): Currently, Amber's research interests include examining executive functions and externalizing behavior problems in preschool-aged children, as well as parent discipline behaviors (i.e., spanking) and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). More specifically, she is interested in examining these variables in Head Start populations.
  • Professional Goals: PCIT and TF-CBT Training and Consultation; Evidence-Based Psychological Assessment and Intervention for Children
  • Master's Thesis: Examining Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Spanking in Head Start Children
  • Email: amber.benet@ttu.edu 

Chelsy

Chelsy Simmons

  • Chelsy is one of the PRYDe Lab managers for 2020!
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
  • Bio: Chelsy Simmons earned her Bachelor of Science in Honors Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Chelsy worked in a psychiatric hospital in Austin before coming to Lubbock to pursue her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Texas Tech University. She is gaining neuropsychological assessment experience in a private practice clinic working with foster children and juveniles in the justice system. Additionally, Chelsy enjoys providing therapy to children, adults, and families at the Texas Tech Psychology Clinic and working in a multidisciplinary team at the Southwest Cancer Center.
  • Research Interest(s): Influence of childhood adversity on executive functioning, psychopathology, and treatment-related variables (e.g., cognitive reappraisal/positive reframing) in children and adults. She is broadly interested in how adverse childhood experiences affect factors relevant to psychopathology and treatment. Through her research, Chelsy hopes to use assessment to gain insight into how childhood adversity affects emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development.
  • Professional Goals: Clinician, cognitive assessment
  • Master's Thesis: Executive Function, Intent to Exercise, and Consideration of Future Consequences: A Mediation Model
  • Email: chelsy.simmons@ttu.edu

James B

James Barnett

  • B.A., Psychology, Humboldt State University 
  • B.A., Communication Studies, Humboldt State University
  • M.A., Psychology, Humboldt State University 
  • Bio: James Barnett earned his Bachelors of Arts and Master of Arts from Humboldt State University. After graduating, James was a social worker for the California foster care system where he worked directly in bolstering the outcomes of rural at-risk children. James left social work for Texas Tech University to learn the skills necessary to work with children in a clinical context. James recently received the CH Foundation Graduate Recruitment Fellowship.
  • Research Interest(s): He is broadly interested in areas pertaining to outcomes of cumulative trauma across the lifespan; however, he focuses his attention toward exploring whether specific combinations of adverse childhood experiences are more likely to result in different outcomes. In his doctorate studies, James aims to investigate the mechanisms influenced by cumulative risk, and explore whether specific dimensions or clusters of adversity differentially impact them. He is particularly interested in identifying transdiagnostic mechanisms that confer risk to diverse comorbid psychological outcomes following childhood adversity.
  • Professional Goals: Trauma-Focused Clinician (Child)
  • Master's Thesis: Multiple Maltreatment and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Exploring Cumulative Threats to Attachment Quality
  • Email: James.E.Barnett@ttu.edu 

Becca

Becca Bergquist

  • B.A., Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • B.A., Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • M.A., Forensic Psychology, George Washington University
  • Bio: Becca Bergquist graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2016 with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Criminal Justice. She then went onto receive her MA in Forensic Psychology from the George Washington University in 2018, where she further developed her research interests in the reliability and validity of juvenile risk assessments and the role of protective factors in the assessment and treatment of juvenile offenders. During that time, she worked as the lab manager for Dr. Jennifer Woolard's Georgetown Community Research Group, where she gained experience working with justice-involved youth and developed an increased interest in this population. This expanded into a desire to better understand the the importance of developmental assets that may help this population to desist from offending. The accumulation of these research interests led her to Texas Tech University, where she hopes to further explore and contribute to the literature examining the intersection of psychology and law.
  • Research Interest(s): Risk assessments; risk and protective factors for juvenile offending; resiliency
  • Professional Goals: Tenure track in academia; ABPP certification in forensic psychology
  • Master's Thesis: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Juvenile Justice Outcomes: The Role of Individual and External Protective Processes
  • Email: Becca.Bergquist@ttu.edu 

Tucker

Tucker Short

  • B.A., Psychology, Brigham Young University-Idaho
  • Bio: Tucker Short earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2017. While earning his B.A. he studied both health psychology and neuroscience. Upon graduation, Tucker returned to his hometown of Seattle, Washington to prepare for applying to graduate programs in clinical psychology. While in Seattle he simultaneously interned in the Stress and Development Lab at the University of Washington and gained experience working with professional clinicians administering neuropsychological assessments. During his undergraduate years, Tucker developed a broad interest in the neurological correlates of violent offenders, particularly those with antisocial behaviors. He has particular interest in fMRI and other imaging approaches in uncovering these correlates. This interest stemmed in part from his work in a juvenile correctional center in Southeastern Idaho. Tucker is very excited to be part of the PRYDE lab at Texas Tech University. In his research, Tucker aims at advancing current knowledge of neurological underpinnings of violent offenders and individuals with antisocial personality disorder.
  • Research Interest(s): Tucker's current research interests involve examining the underlying mechanisms of childhood adversity and how they differentially affect different cognitive outcomes. He hopes that this research will better equip researchers and clinicians will knowledge of specific correlations between early childhood adversity and cognitive outcomes. 
  • Professional Goals: Clinical Neuropsychology; Forensic Neuropsychological Consultation
  • Email: Tucker.Short@ttu.edu

James W

James Ward

  • B.S., Biology, Ouachita Baptist University
  • Bio: James earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Ouachita Baptist University. Prior to pursuing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Texas Tech University, James attended Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine with intent to earn an MD. Clinical work with mentally ill and traumatized patients revealed the lack of psychological rehabilitation available to victims of maltreatment. Recognizing that practicing as a physician would emphasize general medication management far more than psychological assessment and psychotherapy for maltreated patients, James decided to withdraw from medical school. James then started working at the TTUHSC Center for Superheroes, a place specializing in psychological rehabilitation for maltreated children. While at the Center for Superheroes, James became a research and clinical assistant under Dr. Michael Gomez. Currently, James is thankful to work under Dr. Adam T. Schmidt in the Pathways to Resilient Youth Development (PRYDe) Research Lab at Texas Tech University. His broad interests involve implementing evidence-based, trauma-informed interventions and examining factors related to risk and resiliency for justice-involved and maltreated youth.
  • Research Interest(s): Evidence-based, trauma-informed intervention research related to factors affecting outcomes in maltreated youth. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of factors affecting recidivism in justice-involved youth 
  • Professional Goals: TF-CBT, PCIT, and TARGET intervention and consultation; Evidence-based, trauma-informed assessment, intervention, and research in a healthcare setting (child and adolescent)
  • Email: James.A.Ward@ttu.edu

GRADUATE STUDENTS ON INTERNSHIP:

Allie Headshot

Alexandra “Allie” Gibson

  • B.A., Psychology, West Virginia University
  • M.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • Bio: Allie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in French from West Virginia University (WVU) in 2012. At WVU, Allie was a research assistant under Dr. Cheryl McNeil and Dr. Claire St. Peter, where she assisted with research on Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and applied behavior analysis in educational settings, respectively. Allie earned her Master of Arts in Psychology from Texas Tech University. Her thesis examined a 1-hour online training focused on commonly used behavioral principles used for child behavior management. In 2018, Allie joined the PRYDe lab and served as a Project Manager for the first phase of the lab's CH Foundation Head Start grant. This project investigated the impact of a classroom behavior management program, the Good Behavior Game, on the externalizing and prosocial behaviors of six Head Start children.
  • Research Interest(s): Investigating prevention-interventions for preschoolers with disruptive behaviors and the use of functional behavior assessment to inform behavioral interventions.
  • Professional Goals: Clinical child psychologist in an academic medical center serving youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with an emphasis on early childhood populations.
  • Dissertation (Defended in October 2019): Examining a Positive Variation of the Good Behavior Game in Head Start Children
  • Predoctoral internship: Clinical Child Intern at Children's Mercy Kansas City. During this internship she has completed rotations in ADHD and Behavioral Pediatrics, Feeding and Elimination Disorders, and Special Needs populations, including ASD and Down syndrome.
  • After internship, Allie will begin her postdoctoral training as the Clinical Child Fellow at Children's Mercy Kansas City starting in August of 2020. She will continue to receive specialty training in the assessment and treatment of disruptive behaviors, ADHD, and ASD, in addition to working in a primary care setting focusing on behavioral pediatrics.
  • Email: alexandra.gibson@ttu.edu 

Jenny

Jenny Chong Hutchinson

  • B.B.A., Marketing, University of Texas at Austin 
  • M.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • Bio: Jenny Chong Hutchinson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing with minors in Management and Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, Jenny worked as a research laboratory coordinator in the Parenting Research Laboratory at Southern Methodist University. Through her doctoral education and training, Jenny developed a broad interest in studying the impact of trauma exposure, neuropsychological functions, and family factors on mental health outcomes in children and adolescents. Jenny recently received a Graduate Student Research Support Award through Texas Tech University to pursue her dissertation project focused on parental alcohol use problems, positive parenting behaviors, and internalizing symptoms during adolescence. Jenny will soon be a certified PCIT therapist (after completion of her internship in June) and will be eligible for TF-CBT therapist certification once she is a licensed psychologist. Jenny looks forward to becoming a certified PCIT trainer. 
  • Research Interest(s): Impacts of trauma exposure, neuropsychological functions, & family factors on mental health outcomes in children and adolescents
  • Professional Goals: Trauma-Focused Clinician (Child and Adolescent); Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment; Training and Consultation
  • Thesis: Girls' Rumination and Maternal Rejection: Independent, Combined, and Specific Relations to Girls' Depression versus Anxiety 
  • Dissertation: Prospective-Longitudinal Associations of Parental Alcohol Use Problems and Parental Warmth with Anxiety and Depression from Early to Late Adolescence
  • Predoctoral Internship: Jenny has been completing her internship at the UC Davis Children's Hospital - CAARE (Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation) Center. Her primary responsibilities include implementing PCIT, PC-CARE, and TF-CBT with child and adolescent victims of trauma and their families, conducting child welfare and psychological testing evaluations, and providing training and supervision to junior trainees as well as other professionals in the community.
  • Post-doc Information: Jenny will be continuing her postdoctoral fellowship at the UC Davis Children's Hospital - CAARE Center during the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Email: Jenny.Chong@ttu.edu 

LeRoi

LeRoi Hill

  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • Bio: LeRoi Hill earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Before relocating to Texas Tech University to pursue graduate training, LeRoi worked with adolescents at-risk for housing instability, substance abuse, and juvenile justice involvement. His research interests are anchored in developmental psychopathology as influenced by acute and chronic traumatic childhood experiences. Additionally, he is interested in the development and delivery of evidence-based, trauma-focused treatments for children and adolescents. His dissertation examines the influence that a history of trauma and time served in detention has on recidivism for justice-involved youth with a history of child welfare involvement. In service to the Department of Psychological Sciences, LeRoi served as the student/faculty liaison for the TTU chapter of the national psychology honor society, Psi Chi, and as the Clinical Psychology Program's representative on the department's Diversity Committee. LeRoi is also the 2018-2019 Major General Vincent Luchsinger Scholarship recipient.
  • Research Interest(s): Racial microaggressions and psychological distress; relationships between childhood trauma, adversity, maltreatment, and development of psychopathology in the justice-involved juvenile population; resilience to and treatment for childhood adversity
  • Professional Goals: Juvenile justice trauma consultant; Trauma-focused clinician (child)
  • Dissertation: The Effects of Child Protective Services Involvement, Childhood Trauma, and Time in Detention on Crossover Youth Recidivism 
  • Predoctoral Internship: LeRoi has been completing his internship at Monterey County Children's Behavioral Health, in Salinas, CA. He has administered child and family mental health assessments as well as provided therapy services to transitional aged youth with serious mental illness.
  • After internship, LeRoi hopes to transition to training in the assessment and treatment of juveniles or recieve training within the criminal justice system. 
  • Email: leroi.hill@ttu.edu

Maloney

Kelsey Maloney

  • B.S., Psychology, Mississippi State University (2014)
  • M.A., Clinical Psychology, Sam Houston State University (2016)
  • Bio: Kelsey Maloney is a senior graduate student and one of the lab managers in the PRYDe lab. In service to the Department of Psychological Sciences, Kelsey has served as the Clinical Council co-president (2017-2019), and in service to the greater community, she served as student representative for the South Plains Association of Psychologists (2018-2019). She has gained clinical experience from the SHSU and TTU psychology clinics, TTU Institute for Forensic Science forensic assessment practicum, Lubbock-Crosby County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, TTU Health Sciences Center - Center for Superheroes, and University Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, as well as various assessments for juvenile justice and community neuropsychology populations. 
  • Research Interest(s): Kelsey's research interests are rooted in the intersection of forensic psychology and neuropsychology, especially neuropsychological assessment in juvenile forensic populations. Other research interests include developmental trajectories of mental health outcomes (especially trauma and disruptive behavior disorders) in juvenile-justice populations, traumatic brain injury, vicarious trauma to forensic mental health providers and assessors,  the relationship between executive functioning deficits and forensic questions (e.g., adjudicative competency/developmental incompetency, risk assessment, juvenile waiver to criminal court), public policy and dissemination of evidence-based treatments in juvenile justice settings, and the development of normative data for neuropsychological assessment in juvenile-justice populations. Along with Dr. Schmidt, she currently serves as Co-Principal Investigator on a REID Grant from the American Psychology-Law Society entitled “Exploring Epigenetic Influences of Aggression, Risk, and Resilience in Justice-Involved Youth.”
  • Professional Goals: She hopes to one day obtain American Board of Professional Psychology certification in forensic and/or neuropsychology and a tenure track position in academia.
  • Master's Thesis: Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, and the Effect on Executive Functioning Abilities
  • Qualifying Examination: Neurocognitive Factors and the Trajectory of Justice-Involved Youth
  • Dissertation: Neuropsychological Assessment and Comorbidities within Justice-Involved Youth
  • Kelsey will be completing her APA-approved internship at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Professional Psychology Internship Consortium in 2020-2021.
  • Email: kelsey.maloney@ttu.edu

Alli

Alli Morton

  • B.A., Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
  • M.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University 
  • Bio: Alli Morton earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014. Prior to pursuing her graduate training at Texas Tech, Alli worked at an emergency shelter for youth involved with child protective services or the juvenile justice system and volunteered as a research assistant in Dr. Hansen's Project Sexual Abuse and Family Education lab. Alli currently serves as the president of the student special interest group for the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (ABCT). She has gained clinical experience through the Texas Tech Psychology Clinic, StarCare, Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center, and the Center for Superheroes. Alli was recently awarded the Helen DeVitt Jones Graduate Fellowship through Texas Tech University.
  • Research Interest(s): Throughout her doctoral training, Alli's research and clinical interests have begun to center around evidenced-based, trauma-informed assessments and therapeutic interventions for youth in foster care or the juvenile justice system. More specifically, she is interested in the relation between trauma exposure, externalizing behavior problems, and juvenile justice involvement as well as mechanisms of change. She aspires to utilize methods to identify and critically evaluate evidence-based practices.
  • Professional Goals: Alli's professional goals center around children and adolescents and obtaining additional training to become proficient in the implementation of evidence-based practices, with specialized training in treating individuals who have experienced trauma or are involved in the justice system. Further, she aspires to pursue a career that allows her to provide evidence-based clinical services to underserved populations, conduct clinical research, inform public policy, and help as many children and families as possible. 
  • Masters Thesis: The Relation Between Parental Psychological Control and Youth Internalizing Symptoms Moderated by Parenting Constructs 
  • Dissertation: An Examination of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Externalizing Behavior Problems in Adolescents
  • Alli will be completing her APA approved pre-doctoral internship at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences in 2020-2021.
  • Email: allison.morton@ttu.edu