“After considering several programs, I felt the Georgia School of Professional Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology degree would best suit my career goals.”
Dr. Jennifer Stapel has always loved children—especially infants and toddlers. This passion drove her to pursue a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree. She began her career path during an internship at Miami Children’s Hospital, where she focused on pediatric behavioral medicine and neurodevelopmental disabilities. “I then sought and completed a competitive postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology and neurodevelopmental disabilities at the Marcus Center/Emory University postdoctoral fellowship program. My early career focused on teaching, training, and clinical work with children with developmental disabilities. I conducted neuropsychological assessment, infant and toddler assessment and intervention, and [served as a] pediatric consultation liaison,” said Stapel.
Today, she’s an associate professor in the Division of Autism and Related Disorders within the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, as well as the director of the Infant Toddler Community Outreach Core at the Marcus Autism Center. Stapel earned a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology (now the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University) in 1998. She chose the school because of its programs and alignment with her professional aspirations.
The first five years of her career as a psychologist were spent working as a full-time clinician and program director at the Marcus Center, while also teaching as an adjunct professor at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology and training as an instructor and assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine. “I then accepted a position as a full time assistant professor at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology and maintained a clinical practice at the Marcus Center assessing infants and toddlers. I spent seven years teaching and was promoted to [the position of associate professor],” said Stapel.
During this time, Dr. Stapel continued her part time clinical work and established a private practice focused on neurodevelopmental assessment. She participated in departmental and institutional committees and served on committees and the board of directors for the Georgia Psychological Association—including positions as president elect, president and past president.
Her specialization is in assessment and intervention with young children, neurodevelopmental disorders, and consultation/liaison in multiple systems of care. Stapel’s current research focus is as an investigator on a National Institutes of Health Autism Center of Excellence/National Institute of Mental Health study on “Mobilizing Community Systems.” She’s also served as the principal investigator on several community-based grants that address early screening and intervention of infants and toddlers at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.
Stapel is currently leading several outreach efforts to build a community-viable healthcare system for infants and toddlers. She is the principal investigator and one of the key leaders behind a prevention and public health effort for all children called “Talk With Me Baby.”
She’s contributed to numerous publications and her recent honors include earning the Georgia Psychological Association’s 2014 Innovations in Teaching Award and the Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine 2015 Richard W. Morrell Community Commitment Award.
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* Now the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University