Dr. Darla Dunlop, was a military brat as a kid and grew up all over the world. She spent her formative years on the east coast between Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA and in foreign countries like Germany, Saudi Arabia and North Africa. For her undergraduate studies she attended Northeastern University receiving a B.S. in Nursing and went on to Boston University to earn a M.S. in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. She taught at Boston College in the School of Nursing for four years and worked as Nurse/Psychiatric Clinical Specialist in both inpatient and outpatient mental health programs for 17 years. Wanting to further her education, she moved to Los Angeles for her Ph.D. in Social-Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute, Los Angeles. While completing her doctoral degree, she worked at Cedars Sinai Medical Center’s Emergency Department, evaluating patients with psychiatric problems and referring them for in-patient or outpatient treatment. She also provided consultation and support services to the Emergency Department, working with family members of trauma victims and the seriously ill patients in the department. After receiving her Ph.D., she was a staff psychologist for four years at Metropolitan State Hospital and then went on to open her own private practice working with children, adults and families and supervising M.F.T. interns in several outpatient mental health agencies. Wanting to help in a different way, Dr. Dunlop changed her focus from clinical practice and moved into development where she began fundraising, writing grants and developing programs for a mental health agency and special education school.
Beginning at Mount St. Mary’s in 1996, Dr. Dunlop began teaching part-time in both the undergraduate and graduate program. In 2009 she joined the faculty full time and teaches primarily in the graduate psychology department. “I really like making clinical classes “real” by sharing my client “stories” and transforming theory into clinical practice.” With her diverse background in health care and nonprofit management, she was thrilled to have an opportunity to teach the Managing Not-for-Profit Organizations class in the Mount’s MBA program. In her new position as Clinical Coordinator, Dr. Dunlop provides advisement to graduate students and helps them gain the skills they need to transition from graduate school to working professionals. An exciting aspect of her job has been to explore ways of integrating technology into her teaching methods and working with the Director of the Graduate Psychology Program to write a portion of the current Title V grant. “This grant has been instrumental in our department’s expansion and the development of two new counseling psychology specializations.”
At home she is entertained by her four cats and three parrots. If you were to call her at home on any given night, the background may sound a bit like a jungle with birds squawking and cats chasing one another. When she finds some free time, she loves riding her bike at the beach with friends and taking photographs.