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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

November Fellow of the Month

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Dr. Jennifer Hsia

November 2019 Fellow of the Month Profile Photo
Dr. Jennifer Hsia is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California (USC). She also serves as a behavioral health consultant psychologist for the student health center in a new role that seeks to bridge the divide between student counseling and student health. She is an alumna of the American Psychological Association MFP Program and received her Ph.D. (2015) in clinical psychology from the University of South Dakota.

Dr. Hsia was initially drawn to the funding opportunities of the MFP program, and during the application process, she became interested in the MFP’s mission of addressing the needs of underserved populations. After becoming a fellow, she quickly realized that funding was secondary to the many amazing opportunities offered by the fellowship such as being mentored by distinguished professionals, meeting like-minded and accomplished peers and receiving advocacy training.

Dr. Hsia participated in both the Predoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MHSAS), which supports doctoral training in psychology and the Psychology Summer Institute (PSI), a week-long fellowship opportunity aimed at providing mentorship and career development for advanced doctoral students and early career doctoral recipients. The MHSAS fellowship empowered her to find her voice and advocate on behalf of marginalized individuals. Through the PSI, she engaged with multiple mentors who encouraged her to carve and craft a career path that perfectly suited her goals. Because of these experiences, Dr. Hsia identified a career goal of leading an interprofessional training program in a medical setting. Her current position is a major step in this direction where she is integrally involved in shaping and developing the behavioral health consultant program, with plans to include training experiences at the USC Student Health Center.

Dr. Hsia has been fortunate to have several supportive and dedicated mentors who help her both professionally and personally, two of which she met directly through the MFP. She credits the MFP for cultivating opportunities to develop impactful relationships with mentors and peers, which have directly shaped her career direction and given her the skills to navigate her professional path. The people she’s met have helped her to reflect critically on her path, and “if it weren’t for those conversations, [she] wouldn’t be where [she is] today.”

When asked what career building advice she would offer current MFP fellows, Dr. Hsia says “Dare to dream and make your career intentions and objectives known no matter how far-fetched they may seem. Even if you have no idea how you will get there, those goals will help guide and shape your path.”

And for anyone who may be considering applying for the MFP, Dr. Hsia shared “If you’re thinking about it, you should definitely apply. It’s a great experience and there are so many benefits. Don’t be too daunted by the numbers. Even though it’s competitive and you may start to doubt your chances, it doesn’t hurt to try. After all, if you don’t try, you definitely won’t get it.”

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