Sara H. Qualls, PhD, ABPP

Sara H. Qualls, PhD, ABPP

Sara H. Qualls, PhD, ABPP

Kraemer Family Professor of Aging

Professional Summary

Since 1984, Dr. Qualls has been a member of the Psychology faculty. She served as Department Chair (1993-2000), Director of Clinical Training (1987-96; 2004-07) and Director of the UCCS Aging Center (2016-2018). She teaches primarily at the graduate level, maintains a lab of research mentees, and conducts research on the caregiver program within the department's training clinic, the UCCS Aging Center. Other campus roles include Director of the Gerontology Center, and Faculty Director of the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences. 


PhD Clinical Psychology with Minors in Adult Development and Aging; Brain Organization and Function, Pennsylvania State University, 1983
MS Clinical Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 1979
BS Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, 1977

Areas of Interest

Mental health and aging, family caregiving, integrated healthcare, senior housing and wellness, technology and aging


Dr. Qualls teaches Clinical Geropsychology: Settings and Contexts of Practice, supervises clinical students, and trains students to provide services to aging families and caregivers at the UCCS Aging Center.


PSY 1100 - The Profession of Psychology
PSY 6610 - Clinical Geropsychology I
PSY 6730 - Diversity of Culture and Family: Professional Development II
PSY 6740 - Clinical Practicum (Aging Center)
PSY 6930 - Clinical Psychology Supervision


ABPP in Clinical Geropsychology

Professional Experience

Dr. Qualls is a clinical psychologist who maintained a private practice for 22 years, and has served as an organizational consultant assisting with strategic planning for non-profits and academic units.

Representative Publications

Qualls, S. H. & Williams, A.A. (2013). Caregiver family therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.

Segal, D. H., Qualls, S. H., & Smyer, M. A. (2011). Aging and mental health (2nd ed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Qualls, S.H., Klebe, K.J., Berryman, K., Williams, A., Phillips, L., Layton, H., Hiroto, K., Stephens, M., Anderson, L., & Rogers, M. (2015). Motivational and cognitive pathways to medical help-seeking for Alzheimer's Disease: A cognitive impairment response model. The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 70, 57-66. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu058.

Qualls, S.H. (2015). Building competencies in professional Geropsychology: Guidelines, training model, and strategies for professional development. In P. Arean (Ed.), Treatment of late life depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse. (pp. 11-48). Washington, DC: APA Press. doi:10.1037/14524-002

Honors & Awards

UCCS Endowed Chair - Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies, 2006
UCCS Millon Dollar Club (Research Funding)
UCCS Bank One Colorado Corporation Faculty Community Service Award, 1999

APA Committee on Aging Award for Distinguished Service to Profession, 2014
Colorado Gerontological Society Distinguished Pioneer in Aging Award, 2014
Distinguished Clinical Mentorship Award, Society for Clinical Geropsychology, 2012
CU Technology Transfer New Inventor of the Year at UCCS, 2009 
Professional Contribution Award, The ARC
Bank One Community Service Award, University of Colorado System
Cornelia Sabine Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychology, El Paso County Psychological Society


American Psychological Association (Fellow)- multiple leadership roles within Divisions 20, and the Society of Clinical Geropsychology (Division 12-Section 2), member, Division 43.
Gerontological Society of America - Behavioral and Social Sciences Section
National Council of Family Relations
Psychologists in Long Term Care
Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Region

Representative & Recent Service/Leadership Roles

Intergeneration Foundation, Trustee
APA Committee on Aging (2009-11; Chair 2011)
APA Inter-Organizational Work Group on Competencies for Psychological Practice in Primary Care (2012)
APA Geropsychology Workforce Working Committee (2010-14)


Psychologist, State of Colorado

Curriculum Vitae