apryl alexander headshot

Apryl Alexander

Associate Professor


Forensic Psychology, juvenile justice, trauma, interpersonal/gender-based violence, childhood sexual abuse, violence, sex offending, public policy, social justice, culturally responsive practice, Cultural Humility, popular culture

Professional Biography

Dr. Apryl Alexander is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver (DU). She received her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology with concentrations in forensic psychology and child and family therapy. Dr. Alexander primarily teaches in the master’s in forensic psychology program and serves as Director of the Forensic Institute of Research, Service, and Training (Denver FIRST) Outpatient Competency Restoration Program, which provides outpatient competency education and restoration for low-risk, court-ordered adult defendants and juveniles. She is Founder and former Co-Director of the DU Prison Arts Initiative, a program that provides therapeutic, educational creative arts programming to incarcerated men and women in Colorado state prisons.

Dr. Alexander is a DU Public Impact Fellow and has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, and NBC Nightly News, about her research and advocacy work. Recently, she received the 2019 APA Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families and the 2019 Michele Alexander Early Career Award for Scholarship and Service from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI).

Dr. Alexander also enjoys bringing psychology to the public through popular media. She is a frequent presenter at Denver Pop Culture Con and has previously contributed to The Joker Psychology: Evil Clowns and the Women Who Love Them and Black Panther Psychology: Hidden Kingdoms.

Additionally, Dr. Alexander is also a community organizer with Black Lives Matter 5280 and a board member for the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center and the Colorado Criminal Defense Institute.


  • PsyD, Clinical Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology, 2012
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, Radford University, 2007
  • BS, Psychology, Virginia Tech, 2005

Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychology-Law Society
  • Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
  • Colorado Psychological Association
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Media Sources


Dr. Alexander’s research broadly focuses on violence, victimization, forensic assessment, and trauma and culturally informed practice. Inspired by her years of providing trauma treatment to child and adolescent victims of sexual violence, much of her research centers on examining outcomes related to childhood maltreatment in adolescents in the general population, juvenile justice-involved adolescents, and emerging adults. Recent projects center on the assessment of adjudicated juveniles, victimization in adolescence and emerging adults, and providing trauma-informed care to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. As you can see from her CV, her work has been published in leading journals including the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, Child Maltreatment, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Abuse. Dr. Alexander is the recipient of the 2017 APA Early Career Achievement Award, as well as the recipient of the 2017 APA Section on Child Maltreatment Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research.

Key Projects

  • Denver First Competency Restoration Project
  • GSPP Reducing Risk for Juvenile Girls in the Juvenile Justice System Project

Featured Publications


  • The Michele Alexander Early Career Award for Scholarship and Service, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
  • Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families, Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (CYF), American Psychological Association
  • APA Achievement Award for Early Career Psychologists, Committee on Early Career Psychologists (CECP), American Psychological Association (APA)
  • The Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research/Practice in the Field of Child Maltreatment, Division 37 (Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice), American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Outstanding Recent Alumna, Virginia Tech Influential Black Alumni Awards, Virginia Tech Alumni Association