Palo Alto University’s Kimberly Balsam to Chair Department of Psychology; William Snow to Chair Counseling Department

September 4, 2018

Palo Alto University (PAU) President Maureen O’Connor, Ph.D., J.D., is pleased to announce that Kimberly Balsam, Ph.D., has been appointed chair of the university’s department of psychology and that William Snow, Ph.D. will chair the university’s department of counseling. The new appointments come as the university establishes a new departmental structure that better aligns its core academic offerings. Balsam and Snow are the inaugural chairs of these new departments.

“I am delighted that these senior faculty leaders have agreed to chair our psychology and counseling departments,” said PAU president O’Connor. “Both Kimberly and Will have deep experience in their respective fields and are passionate about PAU’s mission to advance the field of mental health through teaching, research and clinical training.  With their leadership, we will continue to enhance the work of our very accomplished faculty and optimize the educational and training experiences we provide to students at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels.”

Kimberly Balsam is a professor and the director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research (CLEAR) and the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis in the Ph.D. program.  She teaches research methods and clinically-oriented courses in the Ph.D. and M.S. programs. Her research and scholarship focuses broadly on the health and well-being of stigmatized populations, with an emphasis on ethnically diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. She also supervises student research in the Research on Intersectional Sexual and Gender Minority Experiences lab.  She has been the principal investigator on grants funded by National Institutes of Health and has received honors for her scholarship and advocacy from the American Psychological Association.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Palo Alto University by serving as the first chair of the Psychology Department. Our department is home to many talented scholars and a vibrant community of students undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs of study.  I am excited to work with my colleagues to advance PAU’s strategic plan, enhance the experience of students and faculty through departmental restructuring, and collectively elevate our profile as innovators and leaders in the field of psychology.”

Balsam received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Vermont in 2003 and her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from University of Oregon in 1994.  She completed a pre-doctoral internship at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington from 2002-2003, a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Washington from 2003-2006, and was a research assistant professor in the UW School of Social Work from 2007-2012. Balsam’s 20-year history of clinical practice spans a wide range of settings, including community mental health, correctional, inpatient, and most recently private practice. Her clinical interests include cognitive behavioral therapy with adults experiencing depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and couples’ therapy with same-sex and heterosexual couples. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, many in top journals in the field of psychology, and numerous book chapters.  She is also past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 44 (Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity). Additional information about Balsam can be found here.

William Snow, Ph.D. is an associate professor at PAU and director of the Master’s in Counseling program. His areas of interest include research and program evaluation, professional identity, career development theories, social justice, and organizational leadership. His current focus is on online education, pedagogy and understanding the strengths and challenges of the educational cohort model in graduate counselor education programs offered in both residential and online distance learning formats.

“It has been an exciting seven years since the inception of the counseling master’s program, its rapid growth to over 300 students annually, and the development of a core faculty second to none. The newly instituted Counseling Department structure now ideally sets the conditions for another seven years of innovation and growth to better serve our students as we move into the second decade of the rapidly evolving 21st century.  I am so pleased with what we have already accomplished and excited for what is surely yet to come.”

In 2017 Snow led the PAU Counseling faculty in achieving eight years of CACREP accreditation for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs and Marriage, Child, and Family Counseling programs. His early research was on behavioral health promotion with children and adolescents, and then devoted himself to research on how leader decision-making and actions positively or negatively impact the wellbeing of individuals and organizations.

Prior to joining Palo Alto University, he served at Bethany University for over 25 years where he was a professor, departmental chair, director of institutional research, and vice president for academics. Snow also served as a Colonel in the California Army National Guard Medical Department where he served as the State Surgeon and Medical Commander in supervising the physical and behavioral health assessment and health promotion of over 16,000 individuals. He also has extensive experience in peace keeping operations in Kosovo and working with Partnership for Peace programs in Ukraine, Thailand, and Nigeria.

Snow received his B.A and M.A. from Pacific Lutheran University and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.  Additional information about Snow can be found here.