Director of Community Education and Advocacy
Areas of Specialty
- Developmental Trauma
- Foster Care
- Infant Mental Health
I love to drink Dr. Pepper. As in REALLY love. As in, I choose restaurants I go to based on whether they serve it.
I grew up in Holland, moved away as a teenager (to Texas and then Oklahoma), and moved back with my family in 2014. We moved back and had to unpack during a blizzard. In Oklahoma they closed everything down at the chance of snow.
I have had the same best friend since third grade when she moved in next door. At this point I think I should be able to just call her my sister. And she again lives next door.
"Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her." -Urie Bronfenbrenner
I love my work. It’s not just what I do, it’s a part of who I am. Whether it’s working with kids and their families, teaching college students, or providing trainings to adults, I look forward to it and have no intention of stopping. I also love my family. I have an amazing husband who I really like to spend time with and we have five awesome permanent kiddos, though sometimes the number of kids we parent is higher than three when you combine our biological, adopted, and foster children.
Because I’m solar powered, when the sun is out, I love to spend time outdoors. Otherwise I love to do crafty things at home – repurpose antiques, sew, knit, or whatever else pops into mind. My husband has learned to just go with it when I tell him about some project I’m envisioning that I’d like his help with.
Oklahoma State University, PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology & MS in Psychology
Southern Nazarene University, MA in Marriage and Family Therapy & BS in Psychology
2001-2004 & 2004-2006
Most of my clinical work has been with children & their families. My focus areas are on infant mental health (0-3 years) and children who have experienced trauma, particularly trauma associated with foster care and adoption. In my years before coming to DE, I have had a private therapy practice and have worked as a therapist at inpatient psychiatric hospitals. I held a full-time faculty position in the Psychology Department at Southern Nazarene University and my research area has involved infant development, specifically social-emotional factors, such as empathy and attachment. In addition to my clinical work, I provide regular trainings on topics such as trauma and infant mental health across the country.