Current RVT Students

Melissa Gowen (pictured on the left) is originally from the Midwest. She moved to Seattle to pursue her graduate degree at SPU. She graduated with a BS in Psychology in 2012 from Missouri State University, and earned her MS in Psychological Science in 2014 from Seattle Pacific University. Her dissertation topic involves studying psychological well-being following trauma. She has completed practicums at the Monroe Correctional Complex (2014) and HealthPoint (2015), and is currently at Madigan Army Medical Center (2016). She likes SPU because professors care about their students, and the mentorship model is valued. Living in Seattle has been a unique and wonderful experience for her. In her free time, she enjoys crossfit, reading, and playing soccer in a local league.

Clara Roberts (pictured on the right) is a fifth-year within Dr. Bikos’s lab who is currently on internship and applying for neuropsychological postdoc. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Washington and received her Master’s from SPU in 2015. Clara has completed two practicums, one at Sound Mental Health, a community mental health clinic where she completed neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic assessments, as well as group therapy, and Swedish Family Medicine, where she completed individual and brief interventions as a behavioral health consultant while also working within the geriatric assessment clinic. Her dissertation focused on sexual assault coping self-efficacy as moderated by social support and age. She loves that SPU offers a small community feel on a beautiful, historic campus.

Kaitlin Patton (pictured on the left) moved to Seattle to pursue her doctoral degree in clinical psychology  after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Biola University, earning her Masters in Psychological Science from SPU in 2015. Her clinical interests have included trauma, international applications of clinical psychology, adjustment, and health psychology. These interests have been fostered by her practicum work at Monroe Correctional Complex and the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the Neuroscience Institute at Swedish Hospital. Most recently, Kaitlin has been part of a behavioral health team in a primary care practice, focusing on brief intervention within a family care setting. She is currently working on her dissertation which focuses on mental health trajectories of female expatriates over the first year of living in Turkey. She shared the following about her training at SPU, "One of the things that I love the most about the clinical psychology program at SPU is the Research Vertical Team. I have gained so much knowledge, experience, and help through this model, and, as I have moved along in the program, have seen the benefits of passing that along to those joining us in our research group. Also, we are the best at making RVT a gourmet experience, which I am grateful for." Kaitlin enjoys getting outside, has come to appreciate a great cup of coffee because of living in Seattle, long walks on the beach, and cooking.

Lindsay Moore (pictured on the right) is a Clinical Psychology Doctoral student in her fourth year of study. She received a Master’s of Science Degree in Psychological Science in 2016 from Seattle Pacific University where she is continuing her doctoral studies. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Arts from Fresno Pacific University. Her areas of interest include trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance use and misuse. She is currently working on her dissertation proposal which focuses on adolescent PTSD symptoms and their relation to suicide and substance use. Lindsay is also finishing her first practicum where she spent a year working with active duty military service members at Madigan Army Medical Center doing group therapy. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her boys play baseball, travelling, and playing with her cat.

Caitlin Coyer (pictured on the left) is in her third year at SPU, with research interests in trauma, international psychology, and health psychology. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota in 2015 and then moved to Seattle to pursue her Ph.D in clinical psychology. She is currently at the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center for practicum, and is also in her third year as a graduate career advisor at the Center for Career and Calling on campus. For their 2YP, she and Desta examined the effects of global service learning experiences and a campus shooting on the calling trajectories of students. Outside of psychology, she is interested in history and traveling, which led her to travel to Croatia for a month to participate in an archeological investigation of Roman ruins.

After finishing her Bachelors of Science in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, Desta Gebregiorgis (pictured on the right) started attending Seattle Pacific University to pursue her doctoral degree in clinical psychology. She is interested in trauma, cross-cultural applications, and health psychology. As a third-year student, she is currently doing her practicum at Swedish Primary Care in Issaquah. For their second year project, Caitlin and Desta are researching calling trajectories in college students after exposure to a college shooting and global service learning experience. Desta loves the close atmosphere at SPU. Her cohort and RVT have made this experience worthwhile! In her spare time, Desta loves to cook for her friends, knit and crotchet, and smash the patriarchy.

Lauren Hirsch (pictured on the left) is a second-year student within Dr. Bikos's lab, having graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Psychology in June 2016. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she was excited to be able to stay in the PNW for graduate school. Currently, she is working as a graduate administrative assistant for Dr. Bikos, focusing on collecting data regarding study abroad. She hopes to continue working with and understanding the implications of international psychology throughout her time at SPU. At SPU, she loves that there are many opportunities to collaborate with other students in class who have different interests and find interesting new topics to work on together. Lauren anticipates being able to integrate her love of international psychology into her clinical practice once she graduates. Fun facts about Lauren: she can read, write, and speak Japanese; loves cats; has traveled to 20 different countries, most recently Japan.

Thomas Pankau (pictured on the right) is a second-year graduate student who joined Dr. Bikos' RVT in 2016 after having graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2014. Having lived overseas for many years, he was interested in the international component of Dr. Bikos' research and hopes to work internationally in the future. He is currently working on his second year project with Lauren, in which they are analyzing the covariance of psychological distress and substance use across time in a sample of expatriate wives in Turkey. He currently works at Office of Global Engagement at SPU, mostly within International Student Services. He enjoys small, close-knit nature of SPU and the opportunity it provides to explore the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys playing, writing, and recording music, and traveling.

Elena Cantorna (pictured on the left) is a first-year graduate student in Dr. Bikos' lab. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Penn State University in 2015.  She has an interest in the international component of Dr Bikos' research and hopes to use her Spanish language skills in the future. She currently works at the Center for Career and Calling with undergraduate students on their vocational discernment. The only place you will realistically see her outside of school is on a rugby field, usually playing with the Seattle Saracens. She also enjoys reading, traveling and watching movies.

Megan Fox (pictured on the right) is a first-year student who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Whitworth University in 2017. During this time, she gained research experience in vocational psychology as well formative work experience with adolescents. She is currently working as a Graduate Career Advisor at the Center for Career and Calling at SPU. Aligning with Dr. Bikos’s research, she is collaborating with other doctoral students on an online interactive course studying vocational development for undergraduate students. She plans to continue her studies with career development, while also incorporating work with adolescents in future practicum opportunities. Megan is originally from Colorado and is an avid skier who is struggling with her first winter without snow. However, she is enjoying living close to the ocean for the first time and has found community within the SPU RVT model and her cohort.

Katherine Degenhardt (pictured on the left) is a first year graduate student in Dr. Bikos’ lab who hails from Portland, Oregon. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon where she studied journalism and women’s studies and completed her thesis on the film industry in Ghana for which she conducted independent research in Accra. After working at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, she moved to Seattle in 2017 to pursue her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Seattle Pacific University. Her research interests include international and cross-cultural psychology, trauma, and health psychology. She loves the beautiful Pacific Northwest and enjoys spending time with her family, photography, hiking, cycling and cooking.