DSH - Patton: Internship Alumni

Internship Alumni from 2011-2012
Back row from left to right: Kento Yasuhara, Ph.D. and Christopher Baker, Ph.D.  Front row from left to right: Tamika Backstrom-Sieh, Ph.D., Danielle, Burchett, Ph.D., Elena Welsh, Ph.D., Apryl Alexander, Psy.D.


Where are they now? Profiles from the 2011-2012 Internship Class

Graduates of the Patton State Hospital Internship in Clinical Psychology have a strong track record of successful placement into competitive postdoctoral fellowships and employment settings following their internship year. Former interns hold leadership positions throughout the country in various settings including forensic state hospitals, medical hospitals, private practices, correctional settings, Veteran’s Administration hospitals, and academia.

The profiles below provide a sample of the types of early career trajectories followed by our alumni, as they chronicle the career paths of an entire internship class (the 2011-2012 class) during their first three years following internship. These profiles were written in August 2015, exactly three years after the 2011-2012 class finished their internship.

Apryl Alexander, Psy.D.

Dr. Alexander received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology upon completing her internship at DSH-Patton. Following internship, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Forensic Psychology at Minnesota State Operated Forensic Services (MSOFS), where she received additional training in conducting competence to stand trial and criminal responsibility evaluations for inpatient and outpatient defendants, and violence and sexual violence risk assessments. Dr. Alexander was appointed as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama following her fellowship. Her duties consist of providing clinical and research supervision for the Accountability Based Sex Offender Program (ABSOP), a residential treatment program for adolescents with illegal sexual behaviors. Additionally, Dr. Alexander currently serves on the Teaching, Training, and Careers Committee of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS).

Tamika Backstrom-Sieh, Ph.D.

Dr. Backstrom-Sieh received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University upon completing her internship at DSH-Patton. Following internship, she completed postdoctoral training at the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA), where she received training in Community Mental Health Research, Program Evaluation and Consultation. Dr. Backstrom-Sieh currently works as a Clinical Outcomes Analyst for the Adult Mental Health Services, Children's Mental Health Services, and the Forensic Services of MHMRA. She also serves as one of the program evaluators for the Senate Bill 1185 Jail Diversion Program for Harris County, Texas. In addition to these duties, Dr. Backstrom-Sieh works as an adjunct faculty member to Lone Star College where she teaches Social Psychology and General Psychology and the University of Houston-Clear Lake where she teaches Forensic Psychology.

Christopher Baker, Ph.D.

Dr. Baker earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Cincinnati with an emphasis in clinical neuropsychology. After completing his internship at Patton State Hospital, he completed a two-year postdoctoral residency in clinical neuropsychology at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.  His clinical expertise and experience includes adult neuropsychological assessment.  He works with individuals with a wide range of neurocognitive disorders, including but not limited to differential diagnosis of dementia, brain injury, and a host of other medical/neurological conditions.  Dr. Baker’s current practice also includes forensic neuropsychological assessment of adults.  These evaluations include, but are not limited to, independent medical examinations, disability/return-to-work, guardianship, and intellectual/ developmental disability.

Danielle Burchett, Ph.D.

Danielle Burchett (Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Kent State University) is a licensed psychologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at California State University, Monterey Bay. Her research focuses on the validation of psychological assessment instruments, with an emphasis on scales that detect invalid test responding. She is especially interested in examining the utility of validity scales in forensic settings and continues to conduct MMPI-2-RF research with Dr. Glassmire, funded by a University of Minnesota Press--Test Division research grant. She also works with the United States Air Force Psychology Research Service Analytic Group, conducting evaluations of military screening, treatment, and decompression programs and examining the utility of psychological tests that are used operationally in the active duty Air Force.

Elena Welsh, Ph.D.

Elena Welsh, Ph.D. received her degree in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Following internship at Patton State Hospital, she completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at Gateways Hospital in Los Angeles, CA.  Dr. Welsh is currently a licensed psychologist in California and serves as a Staff Psychologist at DSH-Patton where she remains involved with the internship program.  She also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University Los Angeles, teaching courses in the trauma specialization, as well as general psychology courses required for licensure in California. Dr. Welsh is also the Co-Founder and Clinical Director of The Access Tree, which is a non-profit organization aimed at increasing access to quality and effective mental health services via providing screening, brief interventions and referrals to long-term treatment in school settings.

Kento Yasuhara, Ph.D.

Dr. Yasuhara obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Drexel University with a concentration in Forensic Psychology.  After completing his internship at Patton State Hospital in the Forensic Psychology track, Dr. Yasuhara completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Forensic Psychology at the University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy / Western State Hospital, where he received specialized training in the assessment of criminal responsibility, competency to stand trial, and violence risk.  Dr. Yasuhara currently holds a tenure-track, full-time position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut.  Dr. Yasuhara's research interests include perception of mental illness and violence and violence risk assessment.  He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Psychology-Law Society as the website editor.