My Great Journey
I come from a family of gamers. While the most common games were always card or board games, I was a fresh 3 weeks old when the first game console came into my life.
I grew up on Sega consoles, from the Master System to the Saturn and, eventually, branching out to the Play Station 2. It was in college I found a love of Xbox via the Halo series. It was also in college where I first began to study psychology and video games. Fast forward a few years, I'm in my clinical psychology doctoral program and working games into every assignment possible. Sports psychology class? Here's an experiment using Dance Central. Freudian theory paper? Let's talk about Sephiroth. Ethical research discussion? Let me introduce you to GLaDOS.
Ultimately, I graduated with my doctorate after completing my dissertation Mediating Factors in the Relationship Between Video Games and Mental Health. 4 months later, I was a Knight Foundation Fellow studying game design at American University's graduate game studies program. Because of that program, I've had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with organizations like the National Institute of Mental Health, VOX Media, the Washington Post, and Educational Testing Services.
It's been an unpredictable journey up to this point, but at the moment I am delighted to serve as the Director of Community at Take This, a mental health non-profit dedicated to serving the gaming community. I also run my own therapy private practice and games consultation studio via Pixel Perfect Psych.
MA Game Design
4 months after completing 5 years of psychologist school, I won a Fellowship through the Knight Foundation to pursue a Masters in Game Design from American University's Game Center.
2009 - 2014
American School of Prof. Psychology
While I love research, the path forward for me in my clinical work was direct service. That's why I chose to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) instead of the traditional PhD route.
2004 - 2007
I originally went to school for Russian language and culture studies. But one abnormal psych class changed all that. Despite the degree change - and unmentionable amount of Halo 2 played in the dorms, I still managed to gradutae a semester early!