2016 Tillman Scholar

Lucas Hansen

University of St. Thomas
University of St. Thomas Doctor of Psychology

“Positive change is possible, and I plan on being a principal force behind it.”

After college, Luke deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, serving in various leadership roles. However, when he returned from Iraq, he faced a new challenge: multiple soldiers within his company were suffering from traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, and reintegration issues. The difficulties his former soldiers faced haunted him and ultimately opened his eyes to the need for continued, effective, mental health care for soldiers. This eventually fueled his pursuit of psychology.

Throughout graduate school, he participated in several different research studies with the Minnesota National Guard aimed at improving our understanding of PTSD and mechanisms of resilience. His dissertation research focused on relationship changes between service members and their partners throughout the course of a deployment. Luke is currently completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the Minneapolis VA and works in a wide variety of clinical settings providing cognitive and psychological assessment to Veterans. His research is now focused on aspects of cognitive functioning in Veteran populations.

Long term, he wants to continue working with the Veteran community in both a clinical and research context. However, he is passionate about improving mental health care delivery both within and beyond the VA and participating in more broad-level health care reform.