Erin Emery-Tiburcio, PhD, ABPP

Associate Professor
Behavioral Sciences, Rush Medical College
Role: Faculty, Researcher, Clinician
Joined Rush in 2005



I am the Co-Director of the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program of Illinois, which is called CATCH-ON and is based at Rush University Medical Center. I am an Associate Professor of Geriatric and Rehabilitation Psychology at Rush, and I co-direct Rush’s Center for Excellence in Aging. I am currently the Chair of the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Aging, and I am a past-President of the APA Society for Clinical Geropsychology. I am also a board-certified geropsychologist, and serve as a board examiner for the American Board of Professional Psychology.


What inspired you to get into your field?
I have always been fascinated by the mind-body connection, thus health psychology is a perfect fit. My first clinical placement was in a physical medicine rehab facility,where I primarily saw older adults. I found myself learning more from them than they were getting from me. Their stories showed me how exciting working with older adults can be. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from my older adult patients and teaching others how to work with older adults.


What excited you about your work at Rush?
I work with amazing teams of people who are incredibly committed to health, particularly in health equity. The work we are able to do together is 1000 times more powerful than any of us can do on our own.


What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship? Please comment about your experiences.
Mentoring can open doors to understanding and opportunities that trainees and junior faculty would never have considered. My mentors have offered me insight and roles I never would have known were possible, and in doing so, they have catapulted my career forward. I would not be where I am today without my mentors.


Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
Talk with others who are in the field – maybe even approach them with a cold call. Identify an article they’ve written or a project they’ve worked on that is particularly interesting to you and talk with them about their experience with it.


What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?
I love to cook, travel, kickbox, and, when the mood strikes, I love to paint.