Bridging the Divide between Science and Practice

Angela Fournier, PhD, LP

Director

  I hold an MS and PhD in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech and work to advance the field of human-animal interaction in academic, clinical, and service pursuits. As a professor in the Department of Psychology at Bemidji State University, I teach students the psychology of human-animal interaction in the classroom and serve as Director of the Human-Animal Interaction Laboratory. Our research team conducts basic and applied studies into the psychological outcomes of human-animal interaction, focusing on development of theory and validated measures. As author of over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, I am a member of the International Society on Anthrozoology. As a licensed psychologist in Minnesota and certified mental health specialist with the Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association, I co-facilitate equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning at Eagle Vista Ranch and Wellness Center in Bemidji, MN.  

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Elizabeth Letson, MS, LPCC

Clinical Application and Outcome

 I hold an MS in counseling psychology from Bemidji State University. As a licensed professional clinical counselor in Minnesota, I am the founder of Eagle Vista Ranch and Wellness Center in Bemidji, MN. I am certified by the Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association as a mental health specialist and equine specialist. As a member of the Data-Driven team, my focus is on clinical applications and outcomes of human-animal interaction. 

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Thomas Berry, PhD

Method and Theory

 I earned a MS and PhD in psychology from Virginia Tech and am currently mentoring students and conducting research as Director of Applied Psychology Labs (APLABS) at Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, VA.  As a trained behavior analyst and methodologist, I enjoy investigating activities and lives of wild and domesticated animals.  As a member of the Data-Driven team, my focus is on the methods and theories that explore and explain human-animal interaction. 

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Jennifer Laitala

Program Development and Promotion

I hold a BS in English and am trained in photography and journalism. I am an equine specialist, certified by the Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association and the OK Corral Series, and certified in canine-assisted intervention through Therapy Dog International. As a practitioner, I facilitate animal-assisted psychotherapy and learning at Eagle Vista Ranch & Wellness Center in Bemidji, MN, focusing on observation and management of animal behavior. As a member of the team, I work on development,  testing, and mpromotion of new methods and measures. 

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