Dainelys Garcia

Degree: Ph.D. in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology; Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology

College/School: College of Arts, Sciences & Education; School of Integrated Science and Humanity

Dainelys Garcia has shown tireless enthusiasm for and commitment to her education and research despite obstacles that would have made others buckle. As an undergraduate, she stood out to her mentor, Professor Daniel Bagner, as highly impressive. At the time Nely, as she is known, had just undergone spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis. In her subsequent recovery period, she managed to finish her bachelor’s degree at FIU in just one year after completing the two-year honors program at Miami-Dade College.

That record made her an ideal candidate for the FIU’s new Clinical Science Program in Child and Adolescent Psychology. During her graduate training, Nely demonstrated perfection in her coursework and excelled in her clinical responsibilities. Every family with whom she worked had tremendous affection for her. And she likewise soared in her research: She has 10 publications in top journals and conducted important work to improve treatment for children with traumatic brain injuries. Her investigations integrate pediatric neuropsychology, health psychology and child clinical psychology.

Today Nely is graduating with her Ph.D. a year early, despite continuing pain as a result of her surgery. Nely never complained or used her condition as an excuse and dismissed her professor’s encouragement to slow down in the interest of her health. Instead, the scientist in her moved to keep going. After graduation, she will continue her work as a post-doctoral student at FIU.