alumni Q&A with: kendra simpkins
USFSM ‘14, psychology
What are you doing now?
I am a clinical social worker and own a private practice in Sarasota, providing Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT), which is a brief solution-focused approach to clear trauma. I also am a co-trainer for the Institute of Rapid Resolution Therapy, traveling nationwide to train other mental health professionals; clinical director of the Brian Bill Foundation, which holds Warrior Healing retreats for Special Forces veterans; and founder of Operation Warrior Resolution, a nonprofit providing RRT to military and veterans.
What motivated you to become involved in research as an undergraduate student? Research interested me because after I transitioned from the military and had to go through “the system,” I knew there had to be a better way to care for returning service members. As I narrowed my focus to the field of direct clinical practice, I saw individuals suffering from mental health issues without appropriate resources. This was the beginning of my advocacy to improve access to veteran benefits and provide effective services. Programs and treatments, especially government-run ones, require data to support a new initiative, so I began to see the value of research.
Do you feel that the skills you gained at USFSM benefited you in graduate school?
Most definitely! The opportunities and research experiences provided at USFSM not only gave me invaluable experience, but I also felt I was much more knowledgeable and prepared going into graduate school at Columbia University than my peers.
Do you have any advice for students?
Take advantage of every opportunity you can. You don’t have to know exactly what your main interest is-jump into something that you think you may have an interest in. Even if it ends up being something you won’t continue to do, you’ll definitely learn something; it will lead you on a path and narrow your direction of focus. Also, have fun!