High impact

Interim Dean LaTrelle Jackson working to raise the profile of the School of Professional Psychology

LaTrelle Jackson is serving as interim dean of the Wright State School of Professional Psychology.

The Wright State University School of Professional Psychology is an American Psychological Association Accredited clinical psychology doctoral program. With a rich 40-year history, SOPP has nationally acclaimed faculty and a rigorous curriculum to prepare the next generation of psychologists.

Faculty expertise spans many domains, including but not limited to evidence-based child and adult assessment and treatment, alcohol and substance abuse, trauma care, consultation and program development, research design, military psychology, posttraumatic stress disorder, forensic assessment and treatment, geriatric care and couples issues. SOPP is a generalist program with opportunities to customize the educational experience in emphasis areas — child and adolescent, forensic and health, rehabilitation and primary care.

SOPP has an in-house clinical training site for doctoral students at the Ellis Human Development Institute. The site celebrated its 30th anniversary last year and offers an array of low-cost, high-quality services to the Dayton community, including assessment; individual, couple and group therapy; and consultation services. Services are offered by trainees who are under the direct supervision of licensed psychologists.

Keeping with Wright State President Susan Edwards’ focus on recruitment, retention and relationships, SOPP is poised to excel in its mission: “preparing tomorrow’s psychologists for a diverse world.”

LaTrelle Jackson, interim dean of the School of Professional Psychology, is actively cultivating relationships with community members and businesses to support training initiatives while offering stellar services. The Ellis Institute is in a prime position to meet these objectives.

“I see SOPP’s Ellis Institute as a pivotal resource for progressive thought and action in the Dayton community. I believe it can be a place for community and organizational engagement,” Jackson said. “We have a great deal to offer, and I think we are a hidden gem. I don’t want us to be hidden anymore.”

Jackson said one of the biggest challenges for professional psychologists today is adapting to America’s changing landscape, including issues with mental health care access, funding and stigma.

“It is important to offer mental health services and ensure access to those that need it. Psychologists play a vital role in partnering with law enforcement, the health care industry, schools, churches, mosques, synagogues, forensic settings, government, higher education and businesses,” said Jackson.

SOPP prepares doctoral students to be able assess, treat and consult with people impacted by various events and offer optimal care.

When asked what excites her the most about SOPP, Jackson said, “We have a nice mix of brilliant faculty with a variety of expertise areas and bright, committed students who want to make a difference in the world. It is very rewarding to take part in legacy-building for our profession.”

Jackson grew up in Savannah, Georgia. Although she comes from a long line of educators, Jackson had her sights set on being a businesswoman until she took a psychology class in 11th grade at St. Vincent’s Academy.

“It blew my mind,” she said. “I realized that psychology can apply to anything you do in life. If you use it wisely, you’ll be better for it and those around you will be better for it too. There was no doubt as to my career choice after that class.”

After graduating from St. Vincent’s, she enrolled at the University of Georgia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and her Ph.D. in counseling psychology.

She completed her internship at Michigan State University, where she gained diversity competencies by working with psychologists in the Counseling Center’s MECCA (Multi-Ethnic Counseling Center Alliance) and engaged in consultation. Two of her proudest achievements were to assist East Lansing parents in establishing a charter school for their children and conducting research at the Malcolm X Academy in Detroit.

Jackson then worked at Penn State University as a staff psychologist and multicultural student programs and services coordinator. In 1997, she took a clinical assistant professor position at the University of Florida and had multiple roles, including coordinator of intern consultation, coordinator of the Peer Counseling Program and outreach coordinator.

Jackson moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 2003 and worked at Regent University for 11 years. During her tenure there, she served as a faculty member, Psychological Services Center director, director of clinical training, special assistant to the vice president for student services and special assistant to the executive vice president.

In 2014, she joined the faculty at the Wright State School of Professional Psychology. Having a passion for student development, she accepted a time-limited opportunity to serve as the associate vice president for student affairs while maintaining her faculty duties at SOPP in 2017.

Jackson is a diplomate in clinical psychology, a clinically certified forensic counselor and a member of the American Psychological Association.

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