2024 Alumni Awards Profiles

Alissa Briggs ’05Alissa Briggs ’05

Reunion: 20th
Residence: Lexington, Kentucky
Grinnell major: Psychology and sociology
Other degrees: Master of Education in educational psychology from Loyola University Chicago (2008); Ph.D. in school psychology from Loyola (2012)
Profession: Licensed psychologist and associate professor

3 ways Alissa embodies Grinnell College’s mission of lifetime learning and service

  1. Alissa is a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist, researcher, mentor, and public advocate who has devoted her career to social justice-focused youth psychology. While Alissa already had prolifically published in peer reviewed journals, books and monoliths, and electronic media, she stepped into a much more public role during the pandemic, speaking on a variety of topics related to youth and teen mental health, depression, and suicide.
  2. An associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Kentucky and the school behavioral health director, Alissa directs school-based mental health services, conducts neurodevelopmental assessments, and builds systems for suicide screening and intervention. She also has served as clinical supervisor for 17 doctoral and postdoctoral students, helping to shape the next generation of pediatrics practitioners.
  3. Alissa is developing a pediatric abusive head trauma clinic that will serve children from time of injury through adulthood. She is working with child abuse pediatricians and social workers to develop a plan of healing for all children and families impacted by violence.

Something you probably didn’t know about Alissa

Alissa is an editorial board member for the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation.

A collage of photos featuring Alissa Briggs ’05

Bonus Alissa Fun Facts

  • From 2012-2014, Alissa was the school psychiatrist at Lincoln County High School in Stanford, Kentucky, serving as the first-line provider of mental health services to children in an underserved community.
  • She currently consults on mental health services with the Jessamine County Schools and 4Kids in Lexington, Kentucky, as well as directs mental health screening and multi-tiered intervention via outreach clinics funded by a public health department in three school districts.
  • Alissa is working on a project to develop online resources for teachers and high school athletic coaches for identifying and responding to child and adolescent mental health crises.

A quote about Alissa

“No one works harder or with more passion and drive than Alissa, and the results of her dedication to her field are remarkable. At a time when an entire generation of children have been failed by systemic inequities and have experienced life-defining individual and collective traumas, she is fighting the truly good fight to ensure that every child has access to the resources they need to heal and to be successful, and that the communities that surround them understand their needs and can respond to them.”

Cristina Briskie-Wood ’05

Read more 2024 Alumni Award Recipient profiles.