Texas Tech University

People

Dr. Adam Schmidt

Assistant Professor

Adam Schmidt, Ph.D.

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.

See the Research page for more.

CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS

James Ward

James Ward

  • B.S. Biology, Ouachita Baptist University (2012)
  • Bio: James earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Ouachita Baptist University in 2012. Prior to pursuing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Texas Tech, James attended Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine with intent to earn an MD. Clinical work with mentally ill and abused patients revealed the lack of psychological rehabilitation available to victims of maltreatment. Recognizing that earning a MD would likely not match up with his aspirations of psychological assessment and psychotherapy for victims of abuse, James decided to withdraw from medical school. James then started working at the TTUHSC Center for Superheroes, a place specializing in psychological rehabilitation for children who suffered maltreatment. While at the Center for Superheroes, James became a research and clinical assistant under Dr. Michael Gomez. James's current interests include linking biological markers to non-accidental pediatric head injury and implementing evidence-based assessments and treatments for maltreated youth.

Alli Morton

Alli Morton

  • B.A., Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2014)
  • M.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University (2018)
  • 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. Throughout her doctoral training, Alli's research and clinical interests have begun to center around delivering 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. 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.

Chelsy Simmons

Chelsy Simmons

  • B.S., cum laude, 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 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 may affect emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development. 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 interests: influence of childhood adversity on executive functioning; physical and mental health in justice-involved juvenile population.
  • Professional goals: clinician, cognitive assessment
  • Email: chelsy.simmons@ttu.edu

Becca Bergquist

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
  • Professional Goals: tenure track in academia; ABPP certification in forensic psychology
  • 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 risk assessments, the role of mental health and trauma in offending, and the inclusion of neuropsychological assessments in forensic settings. 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 a specific interest in this population. This expanded into a desire to better understand the relationship between risk and protective factors in juvenile 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.

Kelsey Maloney

Kelsey Maloney

  • B.S., Psychology, Mississippi State University
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Sam Houston State University
  • Bio: Kelsey Maloney earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Mississippi State University in 2014. She began her graduate training in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Sam Houston State University before earning her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and transferring to Texas Tech University with Dr. Schmidt in 2016. Her thesis examined the independent and cumulative effects of traumatic brain injury and disruptive behavior disorders on executive functioning deficits. Her 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, 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. In service to the Department of Psychological Sciences, Kelsey serves as the Clinical Council co-president (a liaison between the clinical students and faculty), and in service to the greater community, she serves as the student representative for the South Plains Association of Psychologists. 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 various assessments for juvenile justice and community neuropsychology populations. She hopes to one day obtain American Board of Professional Psychology certification in forensic psychology and a tenure track position in academia.
  • Research interests: physical and mental health in justice-involved juvenile population; juvenile probation officer/juvenile offender relationship; public policy & dissemination of evidence-based treatments in juvenile justice settings; forensic assessment
  • Professional goals: forensic post-doc, tenure track in academia, licensure, obtain ABPP in Forensic Psychology
  • Email: kelsey.maloney@ttu.edu

LeRoi Hill

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 interests: 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)
  • Email: leroi.hill@ttu.edu

Tucker Short

Tucker Short

  • B.A., Psychology, Brigham Young University-Idaho
  • Professional Goals: Clinical Neuropsychology; Forensic Neuropsychological Consultation
  • 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.

Jenny Chong

Jenny  Chong

  • B.B.A., Marketing, University of Texas at Austin (2010)
  • M.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University (2014)
  • Professional Goals: Trauma-Focused Clinician (Child and Adolescent); Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment; Training and Consultation
  • Bio: Jenny Chong 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 with Dr. George Holden 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. More specifically, she is interested in the protective role of positive parenting and executive functioning in the context of adverse childhood experiences and youth psychopathology. Jenny recently received a Graduate Student Research Support Award through Texas Tech University to pursue her dissertation projectfocused on parental alcohol use problems, parenting behaviors, and internalizing symptoms during adolescence.

James Barnett

James Barnett

  • B.A. Psychology, Humboldt State University (2014)
  • B.A. Communication Studies, Humboldt State University (2014)
  • M.A. Psychology (Developmental Psychopathology), Humboldt State University (2017) Professional Goals: Trauma-Focused Clinician (Child); Cognitive Assessment
  • 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. 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. James recently received the CH Foundation Graduate Recruitment Fellowship.

Amber (Morrow) Benet

Amber (Morrow) Benet

  • B.A., Psychology, University of Oklahoma
  • Bio: Amber earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in General Business from the University of Oklahoma in December 2014. 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. Currently, Amber's research interests include examining parent discipline behaviors (i.e., spanking), adverse childhood experiences, and externalizing behavior problems in children. More specifically, she is interested in examining these variables in Head Start populations. Her clinical interests include implementing evidence-based treatments with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach (e.g., PCIT, Trauma-Focused CBT), as well as psychological assessment for disorders such as Autism. So far in her training, Amber has gained clinical experiences in the TTU Psychology Clinic, TTU Health Sciences Center – Center for Superheroes, and Spendlove, Driskill, and Bates Psychology Private Practice. Additionally, Amber currently serves as a Project Manager on the second phase of the lab's CH Foundation Head Start grant. Amber also currently serves as the Clinical Graduate Student Council Co-President (a liaison between the clinical students and faculty) and previously served as secretary, in service to the Department of Psychological Sciences. Further, Amber was recently awarded the Covenant Health and Social Services Graduate Fellowship for the 2019-2020 school year.