Ph.D. Graduate: Interest in working with student veterans led Adam Kinney to pursue doctorate degree at CSU

Portrait of Adam KinneyGrowing up in upstate New York and obtaining undergraduate degrees in psychology and statistics, Adam Kinney quickly realized that he wanted to become an occupational therapist. After receiving his master’s degree in 2014 and working as an occupational therapist, he choose to attend Colorado State University and pursue a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Occupational Therapy’s Occupation and Rehabilitation Science program. Because of the research interests of Aaron Eakman, his dissertation adviser and director of research for CSU’s New Start for Student Veterans program, it provided the perfect opportunity for Kinney to follow his interest in working with student veterans.

Why did you choose to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Occupation and Rehabilitation Science at CSU? 

I chose to pursue a Ph.D. because I truly enjoy doing research. I chose to pursue my Ph.D. at CSU primarily because it provided me with the opportunity to research veteran-related issues, but the year-round sunshine in Colorado was also pretty compelling.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a Ph.D. student?

My most rewarding experience as a Ph.D. student was explaining my dissertation findings to a student veteran, who found them to be 1) consistent with his personal experience and 2) an important contribution to how we think about providing care to combat veterans. The fact that my findings resonated with a member of the population that I’ve been committed to for so long was extremely meaningful to me.

What are your plans with your Ph.D. degree? 

Aaron Eakman and Adam Kinney at graduation
Aaron Eakman and Adam Kinney

After graduating in August, I started a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, which is housed in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado. I am conducting research that aims to understand supports and barriers to providing evidence-based care to veterans with a history of mild traumatic brain injury within VA facilities.

The Department of Occupational Therapy is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.