Research Staff

Suzy Bird Gulliver, PhD

Director, Warriors Research Institute

Dr. Suzy Bird Gulliver is a licensed clinical psychologist and clinical researcher. Currently, she serves as Director and Chief of the Warriors Research Institute and as a Professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.


Elizabeth Coe, PsyD

Assistant Investigator

Dr. Coe joined the Warriors Research Institute in February 2018 after earning her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Baylor University. Prior to joining the WRI, she completed training rotations at the Baylor Psychology Clinic, Talitha Koum Institute, Methodist Children’s Home, and the Baylor University Counseling Center in Waco, TX, and completed her predoctoral internship at The Help Group in Sherman Oaks, CA.


Alexia Maness

Research Manager

Alexia joined Baylor Scott & White Research Institute in November 2015 as a Program Manager. She is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Following undergraduate education, she taught middle school English language arts and worked in management at American Income Life Insurance Company.


Michelle Pennington, MPH

Program Manager II

Michelle joined the Warriors Research Institute (WRI) team in July 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Education from Baylor University. Michelle currently attends the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health where she is working on a PhD in Epidemiology.

Michelle has been involved in a variety of research projects related to firefighters and veterans examining topics, including suicide, stigma, telehealth, peer support, and traumatic brain injury. Michelle is a native Texan. In her spare time, she enjoys attending Baylor football games, running, couponing, and playing with her nieces.

Jessica Rostockyj, MS

Clinical Research Supervisor

Jessica graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and holds a Master of Science degree in Health Promotion Management from Nebraska Methodist College. She first started at Baylor Scott & White Health in 2010. During this time, she’s worked within Baylor Scott & White Research Institute in Research Administration as well as with Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in an Injury Prevention Program. She transitioned back to the Research Institute in 2018, serving as a Program Manager for the Warriors Research Institute until 2022. In February 2022, she became a Clinical Research Supervisor for the Trauma Research Center and Warriors Research Institute at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and vacationing.

Kira Swensen, MPH

Program Manager II

Kira Joined the Warriors Research Institute (WRI) team in June of 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Promotion and a Master of Public Health degree from Utah State University. Her professional background includes work as an Advanced-EMT, volunteer firefighter, graduate teaching assistant and education advocate. Her public health experience includes community-based opioid overdose prevention and harm reduction services, child nutrition, dementia caregiver health and wellness, first responder and military mental health, policy development and advocacy, research, and mental health service management.

Victoria A. Torres, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Victoria A. Torres currently serves as a research post-doctoral fellow at the Warriors Research Institute. She is passionate about improving accessibility to high quality mental healthcare for underserved groups. Clinically, Dr. Torres enjoys using evidence-based approaches to support people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

Completion of her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Baylor University laid a strong foundation for her work as a WRI research assistant from 2014 to 2016. At the WRI, Dr. Torres became PI on her first mentored grant award “Identifying Frequency of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) in Firefighters.” Under the supervision of Dean Lee M. Cohen, PhD at the University of Mississippi, she completed her dissertation focused on developing profiles of e-cigarette use outcome expectancies among young adults. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX. During internship, Dr. Torres engaged patients in mental health services through rotations at the Transitional Care Clinic (TCC) and San Antonio State Hospital (SASH).

For fun, Dr. Torres enjoys painting, playing with her dogs, and cooking/baking.

Jalisa Jackson

Clinical Research Assistant

Jalisa Jackson joined the Warriors Research Institute team in June 2023. She graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and African & African American Studies in May 2021. Before joining our team, Jalisa studied access to and interventions for mental health resources amongst college students and previously worked as a research assistant at the Duke Center for Eating Disorders investigating treatments for children and families impacted by avoidant and restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

Jalisa plans to pursue graduate school in the future. Her research interests are centered around improving access to evidence-based and community-centered treatment and resources for those impacted by various trauma. For fun, she enjoys attending comedy shows or concerts and spending time with her family!


Ian Walker

Clinical Research Assistant

Ian joined the Warriors Research Institute (WRI) team in December 2023 as a Clinical Research Assistant. He graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, double major in Child Learning and Development and minor in Criminology. He later graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2023 with a Master of Science in Psychological Sciences. Before joining the WRI, Ian worked as a research assistant in the Close Relationships and Health Lab at the University of Texas at Dallas, studying topics including the associations between sleep health and personality traits in couples, social factors contributing to health in Hispanic/Latino families, and the associations between stress, social support, and physical activity in couples.

Ian plans to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. His research interests include relationships, stress, social support and coping processes, and behavioral medicine. Ian is a native of Dallas. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends, family, and girlfriend, lifting weights, reading, playing videogames, and watching hockey.

Skyla Renner

Practicum Student

Elizabeth Hernandez

Practicum Student

Cade Lemmons

Practicum Student

Alejandro Flores

Practicum Student

Alejandro Flores (he/him), M.A., is a second-year doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at Texas A&M. Originally from Laredo, Texas, Alejandro completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). After graduating, Alejandro spent a number of years working at a non-profit organization serving underserved populations with substance use and co-occurring disorders as a chemical dependency counselor.  After working primarily with adults in both inpatient and outpatient facilities, Alejandro returned to TAMIU to complete his master’s degree in counseling psychology. Alejandro takes a person-centered approach to therapy, integrating interventions from Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Alejandro believes therapy is a collaborative effort and is honored when clients allow him to be a part of their wellness journey. Alejandro’s research interests include a focus on multiculturalism, culturally informed therapies, and acculturation. 

Jacqueline Cummings

Practicum Student

Michelle Alvarez

BEAR Intern

Emma Hindle

BEAR Intern

Emma joined the Warriors Research Institute in Fall of 2023 as a clinical research intern. She graduated from Baylor University in December of 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and two minors in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. Emma plans to attend graduate school to achieve a Master’s degree in Sport and Performance Psychology. She is excited to expand her research experience with the WRI while furthering interests in trauma response and improving quality of life for Military Veterans and First Responders.

She grew up in Waukesha, Wisconsin, but she has loved living in Texas within her Baylor community over the past few years. In her free time, she enjoys coaching gymnastics, attending Baylor sports games, and trying out local coffee shops.

Jordan Scott

BEAR Intern

Merritt Bush

BEAR Intern

Former Interns

  • Braden Popelsky Summer 2021
  • Sophie Jones Summer 2021
  • Kristy Hoffman Fall 2020 – Spring 2022
  • Kyle Krautkramer Fall 2020 – Spring 2022
  • Ashley Kim Fall 2022 – Spring 2023
  • Jourdan Milton Summer 2023