Warriors Research Institute Team
Director and Chief
Suzy Bird Gulliver, PhD – Suzy.Gulliver@BSWHealth.org
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.
A native of Massachusetts, Dr. Gulliver began her academic journey in the north by attending Quinnipiac College for her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology, followed by a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Connecticut College. After completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Vermont, Dr. Gulliver went on to work as a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University and later spent 12 years in a variety of roles at the VA Boston Healthcare System including Associate Director of Outpatient Mental Health Programs.
Dr. Gulliver made her way to Texas in 2007 and served as the Director of the VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence in Waco, Texas before founding the Warriors Research Institute (WRI) within Baylor Scott & White Health in 2013.
In her spare time, Dr. Gulliver can be found riding her horses, playing with her dog, Maggie, making a Starbucks run or doing yoga.
Alexia Maness – Alexia.Maness@BSWHealth.org
Alexia (Lexi) joined the Warriors Research Institute team in November 2015 as a program manager. She graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. After graduation, Lexi taught English language arts at the middle school level in Waco, Texas. In 2010 she changed careers and has most recently worked in management at American Income Life Insurance Company.
Lexi is a native of Waco. She loves spending time with her husband and stepson, especially at Baylor football games. She also enjoys her pets, riding horses, and spending time with friends. In her spare time, Lexi works with horses as a part-time veterinary technician.
Michelle Pennington – Michelle.Pennington@BSWHealth.org
Michelle joined the Warriors Research Team in July 2013 and is currently the program manager for the FEMA Award “Stamp Out Stigma: A National Campaign to Decrease Stigma and Increase Behavioral Health in Fire Service.” She graduated with honors from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in May 2013. While in school, Michelle worked as a tutor and volunteered at a residential psychiatric treatment facility for adolescents.
Michelle is interested both in clinical work and research and plans to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the future. She has worked on a variety of research projects examining topics including suicide postvention in fire service, traumatic brain injury, and neuropsychological deficits in schizotypy. Michelle is a native Texan. In her spare time she enjoys attending Baylor football games, running, crafting, and playing with her niece.
Denise Gomez – Denise.Gomez@BSWHealth.org
Denise joined the Warriors Research Institute team in December 2015. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from Baylor University in May 2014, majoring in Child and Family Studies. During her college career, Denise volunteered at a local homeless shelter and served as a practicum student at Baylor University’s laboratory school for early child development.
Denise is interested in both research and clinical work and plans to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree in future. She has worked in research labs examining topics including post-partum depression, family stress and resilience, and the effects of miscarriage and infertility on family dynamics. In her spare time, Denise enjoys doing strength training, running, supporting the Baylor bears and attending local Waco events.
Peyton Thomason – Peyton.Thomason@BSWHealth.org
Peyton recently joined Warriors Research Institute in June 2016. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Baylor University in May 2016. During her time at Baylor, she worked at the Central Texas VA as an Undergraduate Research Assistant. There, she worked on understanding the role of social cognition in veterans with PTSD and suicidal ideation. In the future, Peyton is looking to work with the criminal justice system, either with litigation or rehabilitation and reintegration. In her spare time, Peyton enjoys spending time with her two dogs, crafting, reading, and exploring new places in Waco.
Tessa Denman – Tessa.Denman@BSWHealth.org
Tessa joined the Warriors Research Institute team in July of 2016. She graduated with honors from Baylor University in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with double majors in Psychology and Sociology. During her undergraduate career, Tessa was also able to participate in the Baylor in Great Britain Study Abroad Program where she attended classes at Imperial College in London, England during the summer.
Tessa plans to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Forensic Psychology in the future. Her undergraduate internship with the McLennan County District Attorney’s Crimes Against Children unit has helped shape her passion for forensic psychology. Tessa is a native of Waco and in her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, crafting and watching movies.