Spring 2011
Elise Haas

ELISE HAAS (‘09, PSYCHOLOGY), a current HSU graduate student, grew up in rural Ukiah, Calif. At age 11, her mother left and her father became abusive. Haas persevered through hardships, including homelessness, and pursued education as a way to help others living with trauma. She was recently named a CSU Hearst scholar, among the highest recognitions for student achievement in the CSU system. In addition to pursuing her graduate degree at HSU, Haas is applying to Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology.

SMALL MIRACLES “Working with children can sometimes be very frustrating. You feel like you aren’t making a big enough difference. Most of the time, I’m grateful for the little miracles. If you can say, ‘So-and-so didn’t hit his brother today,’ then that was a good day.”

NOTES FROM THE FIELD “I’ve had a lot of good professors. One of them, Professor Dupree, teaches a class on family therapy. He’s been working in the field so long that he brings a lot of depth to each lesson.”

PSYCHOLOGYAND ZEBRA FISH “I worked for a year in a behavioral neural science lab with Professor Ethan Gahtan. We worked with larval zebra fish and studied stress response. The way their systems operate, they can be used to make generalizations about other organisms—like people—easily.”

STRONG CONSTITUTION “Working with children and families, as well as being a researcher in psychology, takes a great deal of perseverance. I have a strong constitution. You have to, to be able to do this work. It’s an unwillingness to accept failure as an option. It’s what helped me when I was living in a tent. And it’s why I’m able to do what I do.”