Department of Psychology welcomes Rachel Brenner, Ph.D.

In Fall Semester 2020, the Department of Psychology welcomed Assistant Professor Rachel E. Brenner as the newest Counseling Psychology faculty member.  

Brenner received her B.S. in Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Florida in 2011, her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University in 2015, and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Graduate Certificate in Quantitative Psychology from Iowa State University in 2018. That same year, she completed her doctoral internship in Health Psychology at the Colorado State University Health Network with specialized rotations in sexual and gender diversity, clinical supervision, and behavioral health. After completing her Ph.D., Brenner served as an assistant professor with the Counseling Psychology faculty at the State University of New York at Albany before joining the CSU faculty this fall. 

Brenner is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) as well as the APA Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology), Division 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues), and Division 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity). She has received several awards including the Research Excellence Award from the Iowa State University (ISU) Graduate College, the Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring Award and the Outstanding Empirical Article Award from the ISU Department of Psychology, and the John A. and Elaine V. Bathe Award from the ISU Counseling Psychology program.

Brenner’s research examines how people respond to distress and how these responses impact mental and physical health. She focuses on how to measure clinically relevant constructs (such as self-compassion, stigma, and discrimination) and how these constructs best inform theory and interventions to improve psychological health and reduce stigma for cross-cultural and at-risk populations. At CSU, she plans to focus her research on stigma and discrimination, LGBTQ mental health, self-compassion, and behaviorally measured sleep outcomes.