Gina Coffee, PhD, NCSP
Dr. Coffee is a nationally certified school psychologist and published author with over 20 years of experience in school psychology practice, training and supervision of aspiring school psychologists, practitioner mentoring, and research. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Most recently, she served as the school psychologist for multiple schools within Denver Public Schools and previously was the school psychology program director and director of clinical training, as well as a tenured associate professor, at Loyola University Chicago. Born in Spain and raised in Germany, she identifies as Mexican American and is considered a “third culture kid” because she spent her formative years in countries that were not her parents’ homes - through these invaluable early life experiences, she developed a specific interest in identity formation. Dr. Coffee is eager to join the Parallel team in support of diverse learners’ continual growth and development.
In her free time, Dr. Coffee most enjoys exploring, hiking, dancing, reading, and cooking/baking and would have pursued a career in dancing, veterinary medicine, and/or animal rescue had she not discovered school psychology.
When I have worked with families who are uncertain about pursuing support, I have found that it is most helpful to first carefully and patiently listen to them to understand their feelings around pursuing support. Once I better understand their feelings, I provide information supported by scientific research and clinical experience, answer any questions the family may have, offer additional resources, and make myself available to continue the conversation and/or establish supports when they feel ready.
Like many school psychologists, I discovered the field of school psychology by happenstance. While chatting about my psychology, child, and school interests with the teaching assistant for my statistics lab, she shared that my interests seemed to align with a career in school psychology. I left that brief conversation eager to learn more, met with the school psychology program director at my undergraduate institution, applied to the EdS program, and graduated as a school psychologist 3 years later. With my passion for the field and my interest in diversifying my skill-set to further support learners and their families piqued, I eventually sought additional training and earned a PhD in school psychology.
I am especially excited that the vision and mission of Parallel seem to align with my own beliefs and professional passions. In addition, I am excited that Parallel’s remote service delivery model significantly enhances access to services for students and families.
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