Class of 2018 alumna Maisa Della Valle will pursue a career in psychedelic-assisted psychiatry following her graduation last spring from Wake Forest University. She majored in psychology and double minored in chemistry and biology.
With her academic interest in psychology and her personal interest in how the science of psychedelic therapy helps mental health, she joined an addiction studies research team at the Wake Forest School of Medicine and earned a grant for independent study. Through the study, she traveled across the country to assist in legalization advocacy in Honolulu, Hawaii, interviewed patients at a cannabis assisted center in Maui, and monitored clients at a ketamine clinic in Utah.
“Patient interviews and ketamine manuscript collaborations allowed me to view the matter from multiple perspectives and inspired me to found the Psychedelic Research Society of Wake Forest,” said Maisa. “Pursuing my interests created a space on campus for conversations about personal challenges that did not exist before.”
Maisa presented her research findings at the University of Oxford. Additionally, she helped edit two psilocybin bills in Hawaii, published a scientific article, and received a certificate for a psychedelic therapy 40-hour live training program. She remains determined to educate herself so she can successfully lobby for effective treatment and destigmatize mental illness.
Currently, Maisa works full time as a clinical operations manager for Ensage, a start-up centered on geriatric psychiatry and behavioral care management. She noted that joining the business early gave her the opportunity to work closely with the team and help build the collaborative care plans that provide accessible patient treatment and guidance to caregivers. Maisa said she looks forward to attending medical school and pursuing her passion in the psychedelic field.
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.