CSPP Alumni

Meet Tara Smallidge, 2011 CSPP Graduate

Tara Smallidge, CSPP GraduateDr. Tara Smallidge graduated from the Organizational Psychology Program in 2011. Prior to coming to CSPP, she worked on the East Coast in human relations at Bank of America and United Technologies Corporation.

Her pre-doctoral internship at CSPP was at the Naval Health Research Center in Point Loma, Calif., and that lead to her current career as a Research Psychologist in the United States Navy.

In Dr. Smallidge’s words, “I have the honor to apply the skills I have learned at CSPP to assist fellow service men and women in operational settings overseas. In my current role, I manage research and development efforts to support our sailors in a variety of environments related to human performance, training and development, and selection. As a Research Psychologist I deployed to Afghanistan and provided command consultation by engaging in routine site visits outside traditional medical settings in an effort to reduce mental health stigma and remove barriers to care. I conducted focus groups and provided real time data analysis on survey reports to the Fleet - these are Industrial-Organizational skills, which I learned during my time at CSPP.”

In her current position, Dr. Smallidge oversees 18 research programs as Department Head of the Warfighter Performance Group. She is one of the Navy’s subject matter experts on the social, psychological and cultural implications of Submarine Integration. She is the program manager and lead researcher overseeing a variety of psychological programs such as screening and selection, stress awareness training, and effective team performance, which have both local and Navy-wide impact. 

“The Industrial and Organizational PhD program at CSPP provided me with the foundation to build a successful and fulfilling career in the United States military,” said Dr. Smallidge.  “My education prepared me to make significant contributions right from the start of my career, and will continue through my professional life. CSPP’s seasoned faculty provided the integration of theory and practice, which was paramount to addressing real-world issues in today’s society. No matter what duty station I will serve in next, I will be able to apply the expertise and leadership skills that I gained in my program. CSPP has provided the opportunity for me to support the men and women who defend the country that I love. The future possibilities are endless…”