Dr. Michelle Moore ’04 Named Chief of Psychology at LSU’s Health Sciences Center
Michelle B. Moore, Psy.D.
Michelle B. Moore, Psy.D. has come a long way since earning BAs in Psychology and Theatre from Marymount Manhattan College in 2004. From Louisiana to the 55th Street dorms, and ultimately back to her southern roots, the esteemed alumna is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center and serves as Training Director of the Psychology Internship Program. In February 2022, she was named Chief of Psychology.
Learn more about Dr. Moore’s unique college-to-career journey in a Q&A below.
Let’s go back in time. How did you end up at MMC?
MM: For my last two years of high school I attended a performing arts high school, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and I was in the theatre program. NYC felt like the ultimate dream and performing on Broadway was the goal. I knew I didn’t fit in with my suburban friends, and I didn’t want to go to the same state college that most of my childhood friends would be attending. I had a passion for theatre and discovering myself. I attended Loyola University in New Orleans for my freshman year as a Theatre major as I figured out my next steps. During that year, I heard about MMC from a current student who I went to high school with and decided I should not give up on my dream to live in NYC, so I applied to transfer as a Sophomore. As you might expect, I got in! I was elated and moved into my dorm on East 55th Street on September 1, 2001. While many students left following 9/11, I stayed and grew a love for the city that still shines bright to this day.
Did someone or something inspire you during your time at the College?
MM: When I started the theatre program at MMC, I knew I was a small fish in a giant ocean! As I dove deeper into my craft, I had a realization that I was not meant to pursue theatre professionally. I was taking psychology courses as electives and LOVED every one of them. I was excited to read my text books and absorbing all of the information from my professors. Dr. Cheryl Paradis helped connect me with my first externship as a research assistant for Dr. Mokrue at Downstate Medical Center. She was doing a pilot study on the efficacy of short-term cognitive behavioral therapy for victims of motor vehicle accidents being treated at Kings County Hospital. I felt at home shadowing a psychologist and knew this was the field I was meant to join.
You were recently promoted to Chief of Psychology at LSU Health Sciences Center. What do your day-to-day responsibilities include?
MM: This is a long list! I wear a lot of different hats in my roles. In my clinical work, I provide psychotherapy to children and adults as well as psychological testing for children in charter schools. I specialize in working with individuals who have experienced trauma in childhood. In my administrative roles, I am the Training Director for our psychology internship program and oversee the work of the faculty as the Chief. As an educator, I supervise psychology interns and postdocs, teach psychiatry residents and have coordinated a course called Human Behavior and Development for 1st year medical students for the last 5 years. As part of my service to the profession and my institution, I am a co-chair for the Faculty Development Commitee and co-chair for Women’s Affairs Committee with the School of Medicine at LSUHSC. I also serve as a Board Member for the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. In addition to this work, I am involved in various research projects, publications and presentations at regional and national conferences in psychology. Outside of my work, my husband and I have three children ages 9, 6 and 2 who bring joy to each day.
What would you tell students interested in following a similar career path?
MM: Find mentors! Individuals at all stages of their career trajectory can be immensely helpful to aid in your reflection of your career goals. If you are inspired by someone that you talk to and want to learn more about how they got to their place professionally, then ask! The mentors I have met along the way both formally and informally have continued to shape my professional identity and many of them were discovered from an initial email to set up a time to talk.
Peter De La Cruz ’86 remembers the suggestion that changed his life—and earned him a spot in MMC history. He was a senior and promising theatre student at New York City’s Julia Richman High School, weighing his options for the future, when his drama coach pulled him aside. “He said, ‘Listen, Marymount Manhattan is going co-ed, and you should apply,” De La Cruz recalled. “He told me I would learn a lot about theatre and have incredible opportunities there, so I took his advice.”