CalSouthern Faculty Mentors

CalSouthern’s faculty mentors are talented, highly credentialed educators who are also experienced practitioners in the subject areas in which they teach—and they use that practical experience to help learners apply the concepts they learn to current, real-world issues.

A common misconception about online learning is that it is impersonal, that learners are on their own. At CalSouthern, that could not be further from the truth. Faculty mentors get to know their students and provide one-on-one, personalized feedback on their assignments. They are also available by email, phone or Skype to answer their questions or provide any additional support or guidance they might need.

To learn more about CalSouthern’s faculty mentors, their professional and academic backgrounds and research areas of interest, please use the directory below.


Patrick McKiernan, PhD

Faculty Mentor, Behavioral Sciences

Areas of Interest and Expertise
Alcohol and drug dependence, including screening assessment, diagnosis, special populations (particularly criminal offenders, pregnant women and families) and interventions

Dr. McKiernan began work as an alcohol and other drug counselor in 1983. He has worked with a wide variety of populations including adolescents, pregnant women, mothers, criminal justice clients, clients with HIV/AIDS, and those with severe and persistent mental illness. For 16 years, Dr. McKiernan worked for Volunteer of America of Kentucky, directing the Alcohol and Other Drug Community and Mental Health Services, developing programs, training counselors, and continuing his professional development.

Currently, Dr. McKiernan works for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, coordinating services, and developing programs for homeless veterans with substance abuse and mental health problems. In addition, he has an appointment to the University of Louisville Graduate Faculty, teaches courses for the Kent School of Social Work, and co-directs the Alcohol and Drug Counselor Specialization. He maintains a 20-bed recovery-focused facility for men, which is his passion. He hopes to expand this facility so he can serve up to 200 individuals.

Dr. McKiernan’s second passion is teaching at the university level, and he is a firm believer in, and passionate advocate for, the advantages of distance learning.

He is married with two children and enjoys travel, swimming, biking, hiking, and basketball.

Educational Background

PhD Psychology, Northcentral University, Arizona; MS Applied Addictions Studies, Nova Southeastern University, Florida; BS Guidance and Counseling, University of Louisville, Kentucky

Courses Taught
  • PSY 2307 - The Physiology and Pharmacology of Substance Abuse
  • PSY 2309 - Ethical and Professional Issues in Chemical Dependency
  • PSY 2312 - Group Treatment of Addiction
  • PSY 2314 - Aids and Chemical Dependency
  • PSY 7802 - Graduate Project in Psychology
  • PSY 86899 - Master's Thesis
  • PSY 87115 - Psychology of Coaching
  • PSY 87120 - Enhancing Performance: Preparation/Motivation
  • PSY 87552 - Diagnosis & Treatment of Individuals with Intellectual Disability & Borderline Intellectual
  • Functioning
  • PSY 87999 - Doctoral Project III
  • PSY 89997A - Doctoral Project I
  • PSY 89997B - Doctoral Project II
  • PSY 89998 - Doctoral Project II
  • PSY 89998A - Doctoral Project III
  • PSY 89998B - Doctoral Project IV
  • PSY 89999 - Doctoral Project V