Rachael L. Ellison

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Associate Director of Clinical Training (DCT) / Practicum Coordinator

Dr. Rachael L. Ellison joined the clinical area training faculty as an Assistant Professor in fall 2019. Dr. Ellison completed her clinical psychology internship through the UCSD/VA San Diego Healthcare System, with specialized rotations in neuropsychology, traumatic brain injury (TBI), cognitive rehabilitation, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She completed her two-year APA specialty accredited post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology through Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Dr. Ellison also engaged in post-doctoral research at Northwestern University throughout her fellowship. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology from DePaul University.

Prior to her training in neuropsychology, Dr. Ellison began her research and practice as a clinical/community psychologist, focused on better understanding ways to engage individuals, particularly those with varying levels of privilege, in social and racial justice. Her current research interests merge her background and interest in neuropsychology and social justice. Dr. Ellison is a clinical neuropsychologist, with lifespan clinical expertise in neuropsychological assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD.


Ph.D., DePaul University, Clinical/Community Psychology
M.A., DePaul University, Clinical/Community Psychology
B.S., Northwestern University, Human Development and Psychology Services/ Psychology

Research Interests

Clinical Neuropsychology

Intersection of neuroscience and social justice

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Race-based stress

Impact of the microbiome, inflammation, and vascular health on cognition

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Chair (2020-2023) Women in Neuropsychology (WIN) Committee; American Psychological Association (APA) Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (SCN; Division 40)

American Psychological Association (APA)

Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA; APA Division 27)

Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (SCN; APA Division 40)

The American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN)

International Neuropsychological Society (INS)         

National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN)

Asian Neuropsychological Association (ANA)

The Hispanic Neuropsychological Society

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)

Psychologists for Social Responsibility 


American Psychological Association 2020 Early Career Achievement Award


  1. Ellison, R. L. (2020). Goodnight COVID-19: A pandemic parody edition (K. Bradford, Illus.). Brain & Behavior LLC. 

  2. Stika, M. M., Riordan, P., Aaronson, A. A., Herrold, A. A., Ellison, R. L., Kletzel, S., Drzewiecki, M., Evans, C. T., Mallinson, T., High, W. M., Babcock-Parziale , J., Urban, A., Bender Pape, T. L., & Smith, B. (in press). Cognition and other predictors of functional disability among Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

  3. Ellison, R. L., Cory, M., Horwath, J., Barnett, A., & Huppert, E. (in press). Can mentor organizations impact mentor outcomes? Assessing organizational norms on mentor intent to stay and willingness to ‘go the extra mile’. Journal of Community Psychology. doi:10.1002/jcop.22391
  4. Ellison RL, Todd NR, Orth RD, McConnell EA. Openness to diversity and White privilege awareness: The moderating role of gender for White Christian students. Journal of College Student Development; 2019.
  5. Stephens JE, Ellison RL, Nwafor EN, Adam EK. Early to bed, more organized to rise? Preliminary evidence shows that an earlier bed time may be beneficial for teens’ cognitive functioning. [Internet]. Society for Community Research and Action, Children, Youth and Families, Mental Health section online publication; 2019. Available from: https://www.communitypsychology.com/early-to-bed-more-organized-to-rise/.
  6. Ellison RL. Teach the children well: Social justice in college predicts preference for socially responsible jobs. [Internet]. Society for Community Research and Action, Children, Youth and Families, Mental Health section online publication; 2019. Available from: https://www.communitypsychology.com/teach-socially-responsible-jobs/.
  7. Ellison RL. A community psychologist at heart: The value of a foundation in community psychology. [Internet]. Community Practice Bulletin, Society for Community Research and Action; 2018 May.
  8. Ellison RL. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and prospective employment decisions: Exploring social change through college students. Journal of College and Character. 2018; 19(4). doi: 10.1080/2194587X.2018.1517648.
  9. Ellison RL, Stika M. Feedback on invalid neuropsychological testing: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Journal of Health Service Psychology. Winter 2018.
  10. Preston J. New research takes an ecological perspective of mentor satisfaction. [Internet]. Chronic of Evidence-Based Mentoring; 2017 March. Available from: http://chronicle.umbmentoring.org/new-research-takes-ecological-perspective-mentor-satisfaction/?ct=t(March_15_20173_15_2017)&mc_cid=e69248c164&mc_eid=8c72bf835d.
  11. Todd NR, Boeh BA, Houston-Kolnik JD, Suffrin RL. Interfaith Groups as Mediating Structures for Political Action: A Multilevel Analysis. Am J Community Psychol. 2017 Mar;59(1-2):106-119. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12121. Epub 2017 Mar 6. PubMed PMID: 28262980.
  12. Ellison RL, Todd NR, Sanchez B. An ecological perspective of mentor satisfaction with their youth mentoring relationships. Journal of Community Psychology. 2016; 44(5):553-568.
  13. Todd NR, Suffrin RL, McConnell EA, Odahl-Ruan CA. Understanding associations between religious beliefs and White privilege attitudes. Sociological Perspectives. 2015 March; 58:, 649-665. doi: 10.1177/0731121415572689.
  14. Todd NR, McConnell EA, Suffrin RL. The role of attitudes toward White privilege and religious beliefs in predicting social justice interest and commitment. Am J Community Psychol. 2014 Mar;53(1-2):109-21. doi: 10.1007/s10464-014-9630-x. PubMed PMID: 24473921.

Community Service

Northwestern University's Council of One Hundred

Additional Info

Post-Doctoral Fellowship: APA Specialty Accredited Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology

Pre-Doctoral Internship: APA Accredited Psychology Clinical Internship (Neuropsychology/Traumatic Brain Injury/Cognitive Rehabilitation Emphasis) University of California San Diego (UCSD)/VA San Diego Healthcare System

Northwestern University Public Interest Program (NUPIP) Fellow