Alumna to use psychology to help mentally ill offenders

When faculty at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology describe recent graduate Krystal Hedge, they say she shines.

“She excels without making others feel badly, but instead makes them feel uplifted,” says Lavita Nadkarni, director of the forensic studies program.

Hedge (MA forensic psychology ’08) applied to DU in 2006 after a professor at Fordham University told her if she wanted a master’s in forensic psychology, she shouldn’t bother going anywhere but DU.

Hedge says DU’s curricula, professors and required field placements were attractive features.

“It also has a great reputation within the forensic community,” she says. She chose her major as a way to give back. “I do not minimize or excuse the crimes these individuals have committed, but I recognize they need treatment to be able to function in the society to which they will one day return,” she says.

Fellow classmate Valerie Resendez has known Hedge since they began the program two years ago. She says Hedge puts forth 100 percent toward any endeavor she undertakes, yet always takes time to lend assistance to others.

“Many times I have told Krystal that she is an inspiration to me, and I could only hope to handle so many responsibilities with as much organization and grace as she does everyday,” Resendez says.

Nadkarni thought so highly of Hedge that she asked her to co-author a chapter of an upcoming book on forensic psychology training.

“Almost immediately, she stood out as a leader among her peers — socially, academically and clinically,” Nadkarni says.

Hedge has been accepted to the University of Alabama’s PhD program in clinical psychology where she plans to specialize in psychology and law. She’ll move on with fond memories of DU.

“I cannot say enough positive things about my experience here,” Hedge says. “The program exceeded my expectations at each turn.”

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