Cynthia Spering

Davis & Elkins College

Cynthia Spering
Adjunct Professor in Psychology


  • Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
  • M.A. Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • B.A. Psychology, Boston University, Boston, Mass.


Most recently, Spering worked as a research psychologist at Momentous Institute in Dallas, Texas, where she developed and managed research projects for a non-profit community mental health agency. Prior to that, from 2011 to 2015, she served as assistant professor of psychology and counseling at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses. At Northeastern, she was presented the Outstanding Faculty Award in Service and the Faculty Development Travel Award to study public health in Botswana and South Africa.

While pursuing her graduate degrees, Spering held several positions at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, including instructor of record, mass survey coordinator and graduate research lab member in positive psychology and neuropsychology.

In the clinical setting, Spering completed an American Psychological Association accredited pre-doctoral internship with an emphasis in neuropsychology and assessment at Battle Creek Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Battle Creek, Mich. She also completed practicums at regional mental health facilities and private practices.

Research Interests/Professional Activities: 

Since 2007, Spering has presented at numerous professional sessions and workshops including the American Psychological Association, World Congress on Positive Psychology, National Academy of Neuropsychology, Southwestern Psychological Association and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She has also mentored student presentations at Northeastern State University’s Undergraduate Research Day, where the students won the Outstanding Scholar competition, and at Oklahoma Research Day at the University of Central Oklahoma.


Spering was selected for the Texas Tech University Graduate Student Research Award based on her achievements in research, the AT&T Chancellor’s Fellowship and the Psychology Departmental Scholarship. Additional honors include the Outstanding Faculty Award in Service from the College of Education and the Faculty Development Travel Award - Botswana and South Africa from Northestern State University, Health and Social Services Fellowship from Covenant Health Systems and the Gallup Positive Psychology Student Fellow Award from the Gallup Organization.


Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Spering, C. C., Hobson, V., Lucas, J. A., Menon C. V., Hall, J. R., & O'Bryant, S. E. (2012). Diagnostic accuracy of the MMSE in detecting probable and possible Alzheimer's disease in ethnically diverse highly educated individuals: An analysis of the NACC database. Journals of Gerontology: Series A Biological and Medical Sciences, 8, 890-896.
  • Robitschek, C., Ashton, M. W., Spering, C. C., Geiger, N., Byers, D., Schotts, G. C., & Thoen, M. A. (2012). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Personal Growth Initiative Scale – II. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 274-287. doi: 10.1037/a0027310
  • Duff, K., Spering, C., O’Bryant, S., Beglinger, L., Moser, D., Bayless, J., et al. (2011). The RBANS Effort Index: Base rates in geriatric samples. Applied Neuropsychology, 18, 11-17.
  • Hobson, V., Spering, C., Humphreys, J. D., & O’Bryant, S. E. (2009). An evaluation of the age- and education-adjusted MMSE scores among rural-dwelling Mexican American elders: The Cochran County Aging Study. Texas Public Health Journal, 61, 22-24.
  • Zhang, Y., Spering, C., Jenkins, M., & O’Bryant, S. E. (2009). An examination of health-related gender differences in a rural-dwelling cohort. Texas Public Health Journal, 61, 17-21.

Book Chapter

  • Robitschek, C., & Spering, C. (2012). "A critical review of positive psychology theory and research." In: N. Fouad, L. Subich, & J. Carter (Eds). The APA Handbook of Counseling Psychology. Wiley Publishing.

Encyclopedia Article

  • Robitschek, C. & Spering, C. (2009). “Personal Growth Initiative.” In: Ed. Shane J. Lopez. The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology. Blackwell Publishing.

Additional Info: 

She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Southwestern Psychological Association and Psi Chi.