I am originally from Bismarck, North Dakota.
How did you learn about the Clinical Psychology graduate program in the Psychology department?
I came to be part of the Clinical Psychology graduate program at KU in a somewhat non-traditional way: My academic adviser (Dr. Kelsie Forbush) and I transferred from Purdue University when she accepted a faculty position here. I visited the Clinical Psychology graduate program prior to the transfer and was truly impressed by the clinical training, support from faculty and staff, and camaraderie amongst the graduate students. Looking back, I know I definitely made the right decision in accompanying my adviser to KU.
What is the current focus in your research? My research aims to answer three straightforward yet complex questions: 1) How do we define eating disorders? 2) How do we ask about eating disorders? and 3) How can we help persons with eating disorders? I work to answer these questions in two primary lines of research, the first being the diagnosis and assessment of eating disorders. I am interested in understanding and defining eating-disorder diagnoses in order to better capture the lived experiences of those who have eating disorders. I am also interested in evaluating eating-disorder assessments and have done so by examining psychometric properties of common measures of eating-disorder symptoms in understudied populations (e.g., men, individuals with overweight and obesity). My second line of research is in the development and dissemination of treatments for persons with eating disorders. My master's thesis examined predictors of treatment seeking for eating disorders in a large, nationally representative sample of adults. I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation, which will be a study to examine the effects of a brief, online treatment for eating disorders in adolescent girls with Type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Brittany's Poster Presentation at the International Conference of Eating Disorders in Boston, MA
How did you become interested in Clinical Psychology? I remember finding Abnormal Psychology to be one of the most fascinating courses I took as an undergraduate student. The course featured one lonely PowerPoint slide about eating disorders and I remember thinking, “Wait, these disorders are so complex; I need to know more!” Following my undergraduate degree, I worked in a residential/inpatient psychiatric hospital in rural North Dakota. In addition to working with a clinical population at the psychiatric hospital, I volunteered as a research assistant in an experimental psychology laboratory. Both the clinical and research experiences were invaluable to me and I soon realized I could find a career where I could do both. It was through these experiences that I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology.
What do you like best about Lawrence? What I like best about Lawrence is its strong sense of community and personality. The people who live here care about one another and about the community. The cost of living is reasonable and there is no shortage of delicious food and beverage places around town. Lawrence has a laid-back, easy-going vibe and there are fun events throughout the year. Plus, you really can’t go wrong with a 24/7 donut shop.
What are your plans for after graduation? I am currently applying for my clinical internship, which will round out my graduate training. After graduation, I hope to find a postdoctoral position to continue my clinical and research training in the field of eating-disorder assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.