“Today, I introduce myself as Dr. Gloria Turnipseed.”
Dr. Gloria Turnipseed, 44, is originally from Port Gibson, MS, but has spent the past 20 years in Colorado Springs, CO. She holds a Master of Arts in Sociology from University of Colorado; a Master of Arts in Psychology from Colorado School of Professional Psychology (now University of the Rockies); and, as of October 2010, a Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization from University of the Rockies.
Gloria’s interest in psychology started when she worked as a child protection social caseworker III for the Department of Human Services. “During this time, I encountered several psychologists in the community and observed how they worked with the families; I saw how they made a major impact.” However, while she was clearly drawn to psychology, she found herself more interested in the school setting than in the community, so she left the Department of Human Services and began teaching at a middle school. “I was astonished by the number of students who were unable to concentrate and succeed academically due to emotional stressors. I soon made the decision to pursue my Doctor of Psychology degree and become a certified school psychologist.”
Gloria admits that her goal is largely influenced by her personal background. “I grew up in an impoverished and small community that did not have a school psychologist. I think if students at my high school had been exposed to psychological services, the dropout and teenage pregnancy rate would have been minimized. For this reason, I am elated to pursue my certification in school psychology and offer hope to many students from disadvantaged environments.
“At University of the Rockies, I was able to develop my interest in working with families and children from underprivileged areas,” continues Gloria. Her dissertation, "Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Impoverished Conduct Disorder Adolescents," involved designing a treatment manual and program that employs interventions to help struggling adolescents and their families. Because the program has a heavy emphasis on school-based and home-based interventions, it is designed to lower dropout rates and make families more successful without removing children from the home.
Up until recent family medical issues caused her to take time off, Gloria was working as a post-doctoral candidate at two elementary schools providing psychological services to at-risk children and families in the school setting. Now she’s looking for her next opportunity in the field. “Now that I've completed my doctorate degree, I am well on my way to realizing my professional goal,” she says.
When Gloria reflects on what she has accomplished, she thinks of her mom. “She had a lot of obstacles to overcome, but she continued to be resilient. Being nurtured in that environment made me a stronger person. And today, I introduce myself as Dr. Gloria Tunipseed.”