Jenna Bagley '16 pursues a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Case Western Reserve
Jenna Bagley graduated from SCU in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies, as well as minors in Sociology and Latin American Studies. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant, administrator, and assessor at the University of Chicago evaluating the effectiveness of multimedia educational curricula for strengthening low-income English- and Spanish-speaking children’s early learning environments. She then worked as a clinical research assistant and later as a research coordinator for the Road Home Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. At Rush, Jenna coordinated various research studies evaluating the effectiveness of intensively-delivered, evidence-based PTSD treatment for veterans who had experienced combat-related and/or military sexual trauma, until she started graduate school in 2020.
Jenna is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Her research interests include improving treatment access, engagement, and efficacy for PTSD, depression, and related mental health disorders, particularly among survivors of sexual trauma. As a part of her training, Jenna also conducts neuropsychological testing at Cleveland Clinic and sees therapy clients as a supervised trainee in her department’s training clinic.
About her time at SCU, Jenna writes:
“The support I received from the Psychology Department during my undergraduate years at SCU was the springboard for pursuing my dream career in clinical psychology. It began with the knowledge and skills I gained from my professors throughout my courses, including a strong foundation in research methods from my classes with Dr. Lisa Whitfield, my formal introduction to mental health disorders by Dr. Tom Plante, my first exposure to pharmacological treatments for psychological disorders with Dr. Patti Simone, and learning to critically evaluate empirical literature in Dr. Katy Bruchmann’s advanced social psych seminar.
Further, my research opportunities at SCU set me on the path to a successful graduate school career. Working in Dr. Whitfield’s lab provided me my first ever opportunities to run study visits, organize data, and present research at a professional academic conference. Consulting with Dr. Plante during my Bioethics work with SCU’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics informed my sustained commitment to ethical practice in clinical psychology. Furthermore, I was able to conduct a senior thesis about college students’ misperceptions of sexual intent (a known predictor of sexual assault) under the guidance of Dr. Bruchmann. We continue to collaborate on this project and have a paper under review at the Journal of American College Health. This project positioned me to pursue my program of research on examining factors which confer risk or resilience for developing posttraumatic psychopathology after unwanted sexual experiences.
My advice to current and prospective undergraduate psychology students at SCU is to take advantage of the many opportunities and excellent mentorship so graciously offered by members of the department. Get to know and connect with your professors. They are brilliant, experienced, and kind, and they want to help you accomplish your goals! I didn’t have a job lined up after graduation – until Dr. Whitfield came across a posting for the position at the University of Chicago and sent it my way because it made her think of me. When I wanted to get experience in clinical mental health treatment research, Dr. Simone was the one who first told me about the Road Home Program at Rush (which then opened the doors to graduate school, and I am now attending my top choice PhD program!). I could not be more thankful for the support I received from the professors in the Psychology Department during my time at SCU and beyond – they have truly played such an instrumental role in my journey to where I am today!”