Q&A with Dylan Ross
California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University
MA and PhD in Organizational Psychology
San Francisco Campus
Vice President of Clinical Innovations at Rogers Behavioral Health in Denver, CO
Q: How did your Alliant experience contribute to your career growth?
A: My experience in the Organizational Psychology doctoral program in the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) prepared me well to join the field as both a practitioner and a researcher. The dedicated faculty within the program brought decades of real-world experience into the classroom enriching the academic experience through case studies and applied learning. Through field-based practicums and internships, I was able to accelerate my career growth through a diversity of organizational opportunities. My doctoral training as an Organizational Psychologist continues to create professional opportunities, including preparing me well for my new role as Vice President, Clinical Innovations with Rogers Behavioral Health. I am appreciative for the intellectual and practical learning I gained at CSPP that has prepared me for this next professional chapter.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: Innovation unto itself, is exciting. It works in the realm of possibility and challenges current paradigms when considering assumptions about problems and solutions. Working in innovation to solve problems of importance, such as those faced in behavioral health, keeps me engaged and enjoying the work I do day to day. Innovation also invites in multiple perspective, which is essential for equitable growth.
Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world?
A: Healthcare as a “system” within our country is fragmented, complex, and, in its current state, is designed in ways that perpetuate disparities in health outcomes in communities with the greatest need. Behavioral health in particular highlights the current design failures that are perpetuating inequity. Reasons for such disparaging gaps are many and the opportunity for improvement and inclusivity in the area endless. I see innovation within the behavioral healthcare space as a priority of critical importance, not only from clinical perspective – but also from a social justice and equity perspective. It is a privilege to work in the field at this time given the relearning and unlearning that is occurring in our country when it comes health equity and stigma related to mental health and addictions. Helping to reimagine how healthcare is conceived and delivered is deeply rewarding and inspires me.
Q: Any advice you have for current students.
A: Take full advantage of your student status. Doors from leaders not only open more frequently when in a student role, but also wider. Reach out to those in the field you’d like to meet, observe, and learn from. Network, stay curious, and push your comfort zone. Set intentions around outreaching professionals and informational interviewing. Participate in as many field-based projects as possible. Most learn best through doing and active practice. Fall in love with problems that you care deeply about. Such a love promotes engagement in life and work. Be vulnerable and allow yourself to learn – don’t rush this. Seek out organizations and teams that prioritize learning and foster psychological safety. Overall, have fun – humor and levity are required for the toughest of life’s challenges.