Psychology Alumni Bo Roberston Studies Clinical Health Psychology

Psychology Alumni Bo Roberston Studies Clinical Health Psychology

Psychology alumni Bo Robertson is currently a third year Clinical Health Psychology PhD student at the California School of Professional Psychology. He was able to reach out to the department to share his experience in getting his doctoral degree. 

Can you describe your program of study in general terms?

My academic and clinical work focuses on applied psychophysiology in a wide range of health and performance outcomes. I am primarily interested in psychophysiological biomarkers of neurocognitive, affective, and autonomic regulation. My clinical placements include UCSD Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Sharp Mesa Vista psychiatric inpatient, and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. Within my program, I am developing expertise in psychoneuroimmunology, biofeedback/neurofeedback, oculomotor and EEG profiles, and interoceptive awareness, and how this multimodal approach can prevent, treat, and improve health and well-being.

Can you describe the research projects you are involved in currently?

My dissertation is focused on the mechanisms of recovery from brain injury. I will use cognitive, oculomotor, and psychophysiological measures to predict functional and operational capabilities after mTBI, in hopes to assist in return-to-duty decision making, treatment planning, and quality-of-life outcomes within an active duty Navy Special Warfare population. This multimodal approach will provide rapid, objective, and ecologically-validated assessment of neurocognitive function that will lead to better understanding of the mechanisms of impairment in a TBI population. My primary long-term goal is to incorporate this research into my clinical practice as an active duty military psychologist. 

How did your undergrad education at USD prepare you for your grad studies?

USD played an invaluable part in my transition from the Marine Corps to my academic career. The professors at USD provided rich and meaningful instruction and mentorship. The veteran community on campus, along with the military and veteran program, offered an essential social support network. Engaging in military and veteran community outreach under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Clack gave me the skills and motivation I needed that allowed me to serve as the student representative for APA’s Division 19 (Society for Military Psychology) and to establish the Student Association for Military Psychology in my graduate program. I will always be grateful to USD for helping develop my core values of compassionate service and the constant pursuit of knowledge.

Bo Robertson

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Jessica Lee

College of Arts and Sciences

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