Principal Investigator: Dr. Christine McKibbin
University of Wyoming
Department of Psychology, Dept. 3415
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2943
The Health and Aging Lab was established at the University of Wyoming in 2007 by Dr.
Christine McKibbin. She also became Director of the Wyoming Center on Aging in 2012 and has served as the Director since that time. The lab enrolled its first
graduate student in 2008. Funding obtained by Dr. McKibbin supports our research,
graduate assistantships, student summer salary, and graduate student travel to national
meetings. Our lab has two primary foci: (1) Improving health outcomes for older adults
and families (both with and without mental health disorders) (2) Intervention development
Our lab is funded by over 10 grants and contracts from both Federal and State sources.
Data are currently being collected on several interventions development and implementation
projects. This year, two graduate students received special funding (separate from
our standard departmental funding) from the Health Resources and Services Administration-funded,
Wyoming Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program and one graduate student received
support from the IdeA Networks in Biomedical Research Excellence (and some of the
research received support from the Mountain West Clinical and Translational Research
– Infrastructure Network). Graduate students can become involved in any of the projects
within the Wyoming Center on Aging or the Health and Aging Lab. Graduate students
in the lab often receive funding and support to present at national conferences and
to fund research for publication. In addition to projects in aging, we are also pleased
that we have received funding to develop a new technology-based intervention for youth
with serious mental illness who are served in community mental health settings in
Wyoming and Colorado.
Other projects that our graduate students may choose to engage in include the examination
- Remote patient monitoring: A technological tool to improve health outcomes of rural
- Project ECHO: Adaptation for rural caregivers of older adults with dementia
- Implementation of the Medicare Chronic Care Management program: Provider perspectives
- Factors influencing engagement of parents in online interventions to improve health
outcomes of youth with serious mental illness
The Health and Aging Lab seeks to accept one to two graduate students in the Clinical
concentration this year. Applicants at both the Bachelor's- and Master's-level will
be equally considered. Prior experience in research settings (e.g., undergraduate
research assistantships) and/or clinical settings (e.g., case management; volunteer
positions) are competitive.
As a graduate student in the Health and Aging Lab, ample opportunity will be provided
to gain experience in research (including data collection, manuscript-writing, and
national conference attendance). Graduate students can expect to gain a wealth of
experience in all stages of research, from conducting studies to presenting results,
and can expect to accumulate many experiences working with clinical populations as
well as with other health and mental health care providers. Many graduate students
in our lab also maintain individual projects of their own with assistance and support
from Dr. McKibbin and their fellow graduate students.
Mentoring is very important to me. I talk individually with my students, learn about
their goals, and integrate their goals with training and professional opportunities
to craft a package of skills, abilities, and experiences that set them up for success.
I use an Individual Development Plan that integrates all aspects of the training with
your goals in mind. This plan is revisited regularly.
Christine McKibbin, Professor
Research interests: Aging/geropsychology, SMI, behavioral medicine, diabetes, intervention
development, rural mental health
Former Graduate Students:
Thomas Wykes, Ph.D. 2016
Research interests: SMI, behavioral medicine, diabetes, intervention development
Katherine Kitchen, Ph.D. 2015
Research interests: Aging/geropsychology, behavioral medicine, health promotion intervention,
rural mental health care
Katelynn McConnell, Ph.D. 2018
Research interests: Development of health focused interventions for pediatric SMI
populations; impact of psychiatric symptomatiology on intervention adherence and outcome.
Aaron Lee, Ph.D. 2016
Research interests: Health promotion and outcomes in SMI populations as well as public
and self-stigma associated with SMI