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Alumni Spotlight: 

Q&A with Christopher L. Smith 

California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University 

PhD in Clinical Psychology, San Francisco Campus 

Professional Information 

Clinical Psychologist at Belin-Blank Center in the College of Education at the University of Iowa

Q: How did your Alliant experience contribute to your career growth? 

A: The Alliant PhD program at the San Francisco campus prepared me very well for my career path.  I feel I was adequately trained in all areas that clinical psychologists might find themselves working, whether this be practice (therapy, testing, supervision) or research.  As careers take turns, it is helpful to be able to go back to knowledge I may not have used for a number of years but is still there from graduate school. 

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work? 

A: As I touched on earlier, I enjoy the variety of tasks that I am able to engage in as a psychologist.  I also enjoy working in an academic setting for the richness and opportunities that are provided. 

Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world? 

A: As my career is focused on working with children and adolescents, I enjoy every day working with young folks who bring so much to the table and the world.  It is inspiring every day. 

Q: Any advice you have for current students. 

A: - For current students I would recommend getting exposure to a variety of populations and work settings.  Having trained in outpatient, inpatient, residential, academic, and VA settings with clients with mild to severe mental illness, I have felt the exposure gives me a leg up when starting a new position that I may have worked in years before.  Also, get exposure to the different roles psychologists can fulfill because you never know 5, 10 years after graduation what you might find yourself doing.  And if you are interested in research, I would recommend pursuing external opportunities while in grad school. 


If you would like to share your reflections in an Alliant alumni spotlight, please click here or email

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