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NMSU endowed scholarship honors legacy of late psychologist

The Clinical Psychopharmacology program at New Mexico State University recently awarded the first Dr. Timothy Fjordbak Endowed Scholarship, named after a dedicated psychologist who earned his master’s degree in psychopharmacology from NMSU in December 2014.


Tragically, Fjordbak was killed January 2015, during a shooting at the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System clinic, where he was the chief psychologist. Fjordbak was a psychologist who committed to helping U.S. soldiers following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“His heart was with others and their needs, and he did not focus on himself,” said Fjordbak’s brother, Ed Fjordbak.

Timothy Fjordbak had 33 years experience as a psychologist and was licensed to practice in Florida, Georgia and New Mexico. He earned a doctoral degree of psychology from the University of Denver. He did his prescribing practicum at Mescalero Public Health Service Indian Hospital in New Mexico, and was exceptionally knowledgeable about neuroscience, including traumatic brain injury, according to an article by the American Psychological Association.

The scholarship was started in 2015 with an initial gift of $8,000 pulled together by family, friends and colleagues of Fjordbak. The scholarship is awarded each year to a postdoctoral master’s student in Clinical Psychopharmacology, a program for practicing psychologists to become trained in prescription privileges. At minimum, the recipient must also be a licensed psychologist receiving training in the NMSU psychopharmacology program for prescriptive authority.

Dr. Elizabeth Moxley-Paquette from Whitby, Ontario, is the first to have received the scholarship. The program currently has 14 post-doctoral students, including eight from within New Mexico.

New Mexico is one of five states in the U.S. where psychologists are allowed to prescribe medications. The Clinical Psychopharmacology program at NMSU attracts students from all around the U.S. and Canada, and in the past has included students from all over the world, said Casey McDougall, training director of the NMSU Clinical Psychopharmacology program.

The program is designed to meet the needs of employed licensed psychologists who attend training sessions both online and in person. Training sessions take place on weekends periodically during the two-year program.

For more information about the Clinical Psychopharmacology program, visit https://cep.nmsu.edu/academic-programs/clinical-psychopharmacology/.

To donate to the Dr. Timothy Fjordbak Endowed Scholarship, visit https://education.nmsu.edu/scholarships/counseling-educational/dr-timothy-fjordbak-endowed-scholarship/ or call 575-646-1613.