What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Professor of Psychology and Vice-President for Research and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies
What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
Professor of Psychology, San Diego State University (SDSU) and Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Diego (UCSD) and co-Director, SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology
Associate and Professor of Psychology, California State University, San Bernardino and Professor of Psychology, Loma Linda University and Director, Behavioral Health Institute
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Director, Behavioral Therapy Clinic, University Hospitals of Cleveland
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University School of Medicine
Obviously I cannot hold a job!
What is your academic background?
I have a Ph.D. in Psychology (with an emphasis in clinical psychology) from the University of Oregon
What is your favorite UCF memory?
On my first day, when I was still in California and working part-time coast to coast, I received a bouquet of flowers from the Provost’s office to welcome me to UCF. I thought that was the sweetest thing!
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
Two things: I would make everyday activities (such as payroll and travel) paperless; I find the sheer number of trees that sacrifice their lives (let alone the amount of time spent) in service of these mundane activities disturbing. And I would outlaw blaming anyone else for why things are the way they are now; we all need to work together to make UCF the best it can be, and spending time trying to assign blame for things that may not work as well as we would like them to today does not facilitate that goal.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
An endowed professorship. While students are the lifeblood of any university, faculty are the heart. We should actively find ways to support and encourage outstanding faculty.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I think I’m still too new to have had any successes yet, so I just want to thank the entire university community for giving me this opportunity to work with each of you.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Dr. Muriel Lezak. She taught the first college-level Introduction to Psychology course I took, and allowed me to volunteer to work with her over the summer before I left for college. She introduced me to what being an academic clinical psychologist was. When it was time to do my clinical internship I went back to the Portland, Oregon Veteran’s Hospital to work with her again. She was part of that generation of women in academia who broke new ground just by being there. Many of them were tough, no-nonsense kind of women who faced discrimination at every turn in the kind of overt ways that no longer tends to occur with the same regularity. These women opened doors solely through the power of their intelligence, tenacity, and grit, and those of us who walk in their footsteps owe each of them a debt of gratitude.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I like any kind of ethnic food.
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
This is a difficult question for me. Each time I try to answer it, I keep circling back to “favorite in what context?” My answer changes based on what I hope is not whim or whimsy but rather on variations in mood, setting, and why I am being asked.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Any warm environment that affords me the opportunity to experience a new and different history or culture.