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Psychology Division graduates honored during 2021 virtual ceremony

The division recognized six interns and four postgraduate fellows.

The Division of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Kansas Medical Center celebrated its 2020-21 graduates with a virtual ceremony on June 12.

"I'm so very proud of those of you who are graduating from our program. We celebrate you. Thinking back on what was a wonderful year in challenging times we made it and, I think we did it in a beautiful way," said Edward Hunter, Ph.D., ABPP, director of training for the psychology division, in addressing the graduates, family members and other guests during the ceremony.

Six interns and four postgraduate fellows were honored during the celebration.

This year's intern class included:

  • Darren (D.J.) Garcia, M.S. (University of Tennessee)
  • Bridget Kromrey, M.A. (University of Denver)
  • Karena Leo, M.S. (University of Utah)
  • Dacia Oberhelman, M.A. (University of North Dakota)
  • Anne Roche, M.A. (University of Iowa)
  • Shuen-En Ho, M.S. (Seattle Pacific University)

The postdoctoral fellows included:

  • Lindsey Jenkins, Ph.D. (University of Kansas)
    • Neurorehabilitation Psychology
  • Bre-Ann Slay, Psy.D. (University of Denver)
    • Clinical Child Psychology
  • Nichmarie Soto-Bonilla, Ph.D. (Ponce Health Sciences University)
    • Clinical Health Psychology with emphasis on Oncology-Psychology
  • Stefanie Moynihan, Ph.D. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
    • Advanced Clinical Psychology

"We have learned a lot from all of you, and we hope you were able to learn at least a little bit from us as well," said Monica Kurylo, Ph.D., ABPP, director of the Division of Psychology, as part of her welcome. "Thank you so much for giving us the honor of being able to train, instruct and supervise you this year. We're very excited to be able to be with you in this graduation ceremony. You will be in our hearts and our minds forever."

Calling it an honor to annually address graduates of the department's training programs, William Gabrielli, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the department, said the ceremony was a chance to offer some words of inspiration and celebration.

"This is the moment in time as you remember the challenges and celebrate the success, as you stand at the threshold of your next moment in time," Gabrielli said as part of his congratulatory remarks during which he quoted lyrics from the song, "One Moment in Time," written by Albert Hammond and John Bettis and famously performed by the late entertainer Whitney Houston. "You'll take the skills you have honed, the knowledge we have imparted to you, and add them together so that you can make a difference in our world, a difference for those lives you touch."

During the ceremony, Elizabeth Penick, Ph.D., ABPP, was honored for serving as director of the psychology division from 1980 to 2020. During her remarks, she congratulated the graduates and highlighted their scholarly activity this year, which included nine published articles, three posters, 24 presentations and 10 leadership activities with national and regional organizations.

The ceremony closed with a toast to trainees by Danielle Johnson, Ph.D., a former intern in the program and currently an assistant professor on the faculty.

"I want to speak for all the faculty when I say thank you for all of your hard work, and your willingness to lean in into what's been an unusual year, shall we say, in completing your internship," Johnson said during the toast. "What we know about COVID today was not known when you guys started July 1, 2020, and you guys hit the ground running. What we didn't know did not stop you from being present, engaged and doing awesome clinical work in person and via zoom. I know you will go off and do great things."


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

University of Kansas Medical Center
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Mailstop 4015
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-6433
Fax: 913-588-6414