Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization, 2012
“Several educators at the Rockies stand out in my mind as being especially influential and inspirational."
When Dr. Kristin Schwartz was pre-med at the University of Arizona, she found herself attending psychology courses for her own enjoyment. It took her nearly three full years from that point to realize she would be happier as a psychologist than as a physician. After this realization, she decided to go after obtaining her PhD. It took a decade for the dream to become a reality, but she ultimately graduated from University of the Rockies with her Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization, in August 2012.
Kristin’s interests are primarily in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on research and assessment. Her biggest focus has been in helping the medical community find more effective communication skills when working with families and patients experiencing acute loss, death, and emotional crisis. She also enjoys working with underserved populations, including low-income individuals and families.
Kristin’s dissertation, Decoding the Ideal Organ Donation Requestor, has been published, presented, and cited, as have a few of her abstract length summaries from presentations at conferences like The American Association of Clinical Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association, The International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement, and the National Association of Transplant Coordinators. She is currently employed as the in-house coordinator for University of Arizona Medical Center, where she can simultaneously work toward pursuing an expansion on her dissertation research. Her role there is to function as a liaison between the organ procurement organization and the hospital. She provides education to doctors, nurses, and staff in the hopes of developing and growing their organ and tissue donation program. A portion of her time is also spent in clinical evaluation of potential donors and working with the families of potential donors. Kristin says, “It is all truly amazing work, and I feel as though I'm making a difference everyday.”
Kristin applies her degree to her work on a daily basis and believes taking full advantage of the opportunity to be mentored at University of the Rockies was one of the contributing factors to her success. She says, “Several educators at the Rockies stand out in my mind as being especially influential and inspirational. In particular, internship supervisor Dr. Judith Schaeffer should be recognized as a valuable contributor. Dr. Steven Gray was also an incredible mentor and played an integral role in the success of my dissertation.”
Kristin advises individuals who might be considering University of the Rockies for themselves, “The most important aspect of being a student at the Rockies is that you are responsible for your own success or lack thereof. It’s important to remember that graduate school is not the same as undergraduate school. No one here will spoon-feed you your education. It’s your responsibility to make it happen. I had a lot of personal obstacles throughout my three years at the Rockies. However, I am thankful that I toughed out all of the rough times and leaned on the support of my fellow students and teachers.”