Rita’s career in psychology began as an undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University where she earned a B.A. in psychology. Upon graduation, she accepted a position as a research technician at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System. Rita worked on a number of research projects, including the development, testing, and validation of a collection of measures designed to assess deployment-related experiences in military personnel and veterans. Following her employment at the NC-PTSD, Rita earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Purdue University where she took courses on test development and validation and advanced research statistics. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center/G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center Consortium, completing several neuropsychology rotations while on internship. In both of these settings, Rita gained significant experience and expertise with neuropsychological assessments. After graduation, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she served as the project manager and data analyst for a multi-site, multi-year study examining experiences of sexual re-victimization among young adult women.
Currently, Rita works in private practice using a variety of assessment tools to provide psychological evaluations for state and local agencies such as the Iowa Social Security Administration, Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and University of Iowa Child Health Specialty Clinics. She has also taught abnormal psychology and introduction to counseling courses at the local college: Luther College. Rita is passionate about using psychological assessment to inform best practices.
– Rita Dykstra, PhD – Senior Soft Skills Assessment Research Consultant