School of Psychology

Careers and Alumni

Xavier's doctoral graduates have gone on to an interesting variety of positions. Some have pursued formal post-doctoral training in neuropsychology or developmental disabilities. Employment settings range from community mental health centers, forensic or correctional agencies, medical centers, college counseling centers, and private practices. Their activities include assessment, therapy, consultation, serving as expert witnesses, administration or management, teaching, and applied research.

Alumna: Michelle Mlinac, Psy.D., ABPP

Learn more about Michelle Mlinac in her own words:

Xavier Degrees: M.A. (2002)/ Psy.D. (2005)

Current Positions: Staff Psychologist in Home-Based Primary Care VA Boston Healthcare System; Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Current Professional Service: Chair-Elect for the Council of Professional Geropsychology Training Programs (CoPGTP); Secretary of the American Board of Geropsychology (ABGERO)

Career Path: I completed my pre-doctoral internship at Temple University Health Sciences Center in Health/Rehab Psychology and clinical fellowship in Geropsychology at the Boston Consortium (VA Boston). After fellowship I provided consultation services to long-term care settings through a private practice organization. In 2008, I returned to VA Boston as a psychologist on the Home-Based Primary Care team.

I recently co-edited a book, Providing home care for older adults: A professional guide for mental health practitioners (Terry et al., 2021), about the emerging model of home-based mental health care for older adults, with the hope that more psychologists become interested in this fun and rewarding work.

The Xavier Experience: Having a grounding in a diversity of clinical experiences at Xavier prepared me for the unpredictable nature of home-based psychology visits. Xavier’s faculty also emphasized obtaining ABPP (Board) certification as an important career goal; going through the Clinical Competency Exam (CCE) process at Xavier made sitting for my ABPP exam much easier. Peer support and mentoring is also an integral part of my professional life. I continue to rely on my former classmates at Xavier as friends and collaborators.

Dr. Mlinac’s Harvard Catalyst Profile

Alumna: Cynthia Van Keuren, Psy.D.

Learn more about Cynthia Van Keuren in her own words:

Xavier Degrees: M.A. (1999)/ Psy.D. (2003)

Current Position: Staff Psychologist, Cleveland Clinic. I am a health psychologist for a 60 bed medical rehabilitation hospital. I am responsible for providing behavioral health support for all inpatients and their families.

Current Professional Service: I am the current president of the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA).

Career Path: After a very enriching education at Xavier, I accepted an internship position with the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System. At that time, I had intended to work with the SMI population, but my career ended up on a rather circuitous course. Subsequently, I accepted a two year residency with the Cleveland Clinic specializing in chronic pain rehabilitation. This opportunity opened a lot of doors and provided a great foundation for the various positions that I’ve held since that time. My first job after residency was at the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System working with the inpatient Gambling Treatment Program. I was then promoted to run the residential treatment program for PTSD. I later moved to the chronic pain clinic where I stayed for 10 years. During that time, I developed and ran a CARF accredited chronic pain program, among other responsibilities. Being the restless soul that I am, I made a couple of additional horizontal moves within the VA to include primary care mental health integration and polytrauma. In January of 2020, I left the VA and moved to the Cleveland Clinic where I am happy to be working with patients with complex medical conditions.

The Xavier Experience: The comprehensive, generalist training at Xavier allowed me to adeptly move to various positions with a diverse patient population throughout my career.

Dr. Van Keuren’s Cleveland Clinic Profile

Alumna: Sehra Polad, Psy.D.

Learn more about Sehra Polad in her own words:

Xavier Degrees: M.A. (2013)/ Psy.D. (2016)

Current Position: Clinical Psychologist at TriHealth Community Outreach Program; Independent Contractor at Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP); Adjunct Professor, Xavier University School of Psychology

Career Path: Dr. Polad completed her internship at the Center for School Mental Health in Baltimore, MD and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the TriHealth School Based Behavioral Health (SBBH) Program. She was hired as a psychologist with the SBBH Program after her postdoc year, and currently serves as a program supervisor. Dr. Polad’s roles include providing direct service to students and families at a public elementary school, supervising psychology trainees, and overseeing the program across three schools. Dr. Polad also works at ASAP Cincinnati, where she provides direct service to teens and families in a DBT-based intensive outpatient program and private practice setting. Finally, Dr. Polad is an adjust professor in Xavier’s School of Psychology, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in child psychology.

The Xavier Experience: Dr. Polad’s primary area of interest at Xavier was child and adolescent psychology, with a focus on school mental health. Xavier offered relevant child and adolescent clinical coursework, practica experiences at local schools, and the opportunity to conduct her dissertation at elementary school, which prepared her for a career serving children, adolescents, and families in schools and other settings.