At work: Clinically, I specialize in working with individuals affected by trauma. As a professor at Walden University, I teach doctorate and master’s level courses in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. As an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, I teach bachelor’s level courses in the Department of Counseling and Human Services. I also conduct research and have published over 30 peer-reviewed articles on various topics, including crisis intervention, mass shootings, threat/risk assessment, intimate partner violence and suicide.
Volunteer activities: I am a disaster mental health supervisor with the American Red Cross and have deployed to numerous national disaster response operations such as the Route 91 Harvest Festival; Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; and Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. When in steady-state, I provide coverage across Virginia, where I work with individuals who have been displaced from their homes due to fires or other disasters. I also serve on the state commission recently formed to investigate the May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach mass shooting.
Home and family: I was born and raised in Hampton Roads and live in Chesapeake.
Motivating factor: Helping others to heal and find hope.
Advice for women in business: Don’t wait for someone to give you permission or approval when you have a dream or a vision. Go for it. Surround yourself with individuals who are supportive and forget everyone else. Keep moving forward, and don’t look back.
How the coronavirus pandemic has affected my work: I moved my entire private practice online and offered telehealth appointments for about a year.
The one thing I would change about Hampton Roads: There is a substantial need for additional mental health resources and treatment options.
Professional goal in five years: I am currently working on a second master’s degree with a concentration on terrorism, and I hope to have this completed by 2023. I also plan to continue conducting and publishing research on mass shootings focusing on prevention, intervention and policy.
Downtime: Spending time in nature, traveling and reading.
What really gets under my skin: Selfishness.