Department of Psychology

Topics of Interest

Childhood traumatic grief

Children of divorce

Cognitive Development

Grief counseling



Alzheimer's Disease


All faculty experts can be reached through the Office of Communication and Marketing by calling Janel Shoun at 615.966.7078 or Kim Chaudoin at 615.966.6494 or by submitting an online  media resources request by clicking here.

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Dale Alden
Assistant Professor of Psychology

B.S. - Freed Hardemann University
M.S. - Abeline Christian University
Ph.D. - Virginia Polytechnic Institute State University
Post-doctorate residency and internship at Vanderbilt School of Medicine (Alzheimer's research)
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society – 1991
National Academy of Neuropsychology – former member
Geriatrics Society of America – former member
Tennessee Psychological Association
Co-investigator on Aricept
Professional Experience
Private practice since 1992 in Columbia, TN, and at Vanderbilt
Professional Information
Licensed clinical psychologist in Tennessee


Chris Gonzalez
Director of Family and Marriage Program
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D., Family Social Science, University of Minnesota
M.M.F.T., Marriage and Family Therapy, Abilene Christian University
B.A., English Education, Harding University

SALT service learning course development honorarium, 2011
First place, State winner, Florence Hall Award, National Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences, 2008

Professional Experience
Public School Teacher, 1994 – 1996
Marriage and Family Therapist, Central Psychological Services, 2000 – 2001
Marriage and Family Therapist, Better Life Counseling Center (Associated with Southwest Church of Christ), 2001 – 2006
University of Wisconsin, 2007
Marriage and Family Therapist, Private Practice, 2007 – 2010
University of Minnesota, 2009 – 2010
Marriage and Family Therapist, Private Practice, 2011 – present
MFT Supervision, Agape Family Services, 2012 – present

Professional Information
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 2000 – present
Tennessee Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 2011 – present
Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 2006 – 2010
National Council on Family Relations, 2000 – present
Southeast Council on Family Relations, 2010 – present
Society for Research on Adolescence, 2006 – present
Arkansas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (Board Member 2004), 2001 – 2006
National Health Service Corps, 2003 – 2005

Research Information
Dissertation: Parental influence on civic contribution during adolescence and emerging adulthood
Study of Adolescents and Faith, Community and Risk Behaviors, Lipscomb University

Interesting Information
Mental health consult with Touch A Life and Connor’s Song in Kumasi, Ghana, 2013
Meals on Wheels, Room In The Inn, Otter Creek Church of Christ, 2012

Shanna Ray
Associate Professor of Psychology

-- B.S., Psychology, Lipscomb University
-- M.A., Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University
-- M.S., Psychology, Vanderbilt University
-- Ph.D., Developmental Science, Vanderbilt University

Cum Laude, Lipscomb University
Outstanding Graduate Student in Experimental Psychology, MTSU
Hardy Culver Wilcoxon Award, Vanderbilt University

Professional Experience
Teaching Assistant, Vanderbilt University, 1999 – 2002
Research Assistant, Center for Evaluation Research and Methodology, Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, 2001
Research Assistant, John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University, 1996 – 1999

Professional Information
Member, American Psychological Association
Member, Association for Psychological Science
Member, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Member, Project Kaleidoscope Faculty for the 21st Century Fellow

Research Information
Published in:
Cognitive Development
Child Development
Developmental Psychology

Presented at:
Association for Psychological Science annual meeting, Chicago, Ill.
National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, San Francisco, Calif.
International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Conference, Baltimore, Md.
Cognitive Development Society Conference, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Interesting Information
Creator/founding Co-Director of the Graduate Counseling program, Lipscomb University, 2005 – 2008
Organized a “Psychology Department” team to participate in the 2010 Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure.”
Organized a “Psychology Department” team to participate in the 2010 Franklin Classic, A 10K/5K run and 4K walk to benefit Mercy Children's Clinic.
Organized a “Psychology Department” team to participate in the 2012 “Run to Beat the Blues”, a 5K/1K run/walk to benefit Mental Health America.
Communion server at Woodmont Hills Church of Christ.

Douglas Ribeiro
Assistant Professor of Psychology

-- B.S., Biblical Studies with Spanish minor, Freed-Hardeman University
-- M.S., Mental Health Counseling, Freed-Hardeman University
-- Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, Georgia State University

Professional Experience
Georgia State University – Counseling and Testing Center (APA Accredited), 2011 – 2012
Genesis Center for Christian Counseling, Atlanta, Ga., 2010 – 2011
Emory University - Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, 2009
Access Center Clinician, Ridgeview Institute, Smyrna, Ga., 2006
Timber Hills - Region IV Mental Health, Corinth, Miss., 2005 – 2006

Professional Information
Member, American Psychological Association, 2007 – present
Member, American Counseling Association, 2004 – present
Member, Counseling Psychology Student Association, 2007 – present
Member, Latin American Student Association, 2007 – 2012
President, Sojourners – Georgia State University (International Counseling Students), 2007 – 2010

Research Information
How the stress of being an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. has an effect on marriage and family.
Published in:
The Georgia Psychologist
Southern Anthropologist

Interesting Information
Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Denis’ A. Thomas
Assistant Professor of Psychology

-- Ph.D., Counselor Education, University of Tennessee
-- M.Ed., school counseling, Middle Tennessee State University
-- B.A., Journalism, Abilene Christian University

Professional Experience
Assistant professor in the School of Professional Counseling, Lindsey Wilson College, 2009-2012
Grief counselor for elementary students who lost parents, University of Tennessee Community Program, 2009
School counselor, Knoxville Christian School, 2007-2008
School counselor, Cannon County Schools, 2004-2006

Professional Information
Member of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
Member of the American Counseling Association
Member of the Tennessee Counselors Association

Research Information
“Resilience in adult children of divorce” in Marriage and Family Review
“A Career Counseling Approach for Adolescents of Divorce” in Professional School Counselor
“Art as data: Resilience in adult children of divorce” in The Qualitative Report

Interesting Information
Author of “Newly Wed and Newly Cooking,” a 2004 cookbook supplemented with Bible verses, inspirational quotes and advice from happily married couples.