Dana Borchert, a 2001 Whitfield graduate, has a unique understanding of the brain’s many facets—both psychological and physiological—thanks to a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Saint Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in neuroscience. Dana is a practicing Industrial/ Organizational Psychologist also serving as a Vice President and Colorado Market Leader at CMA Global Inc. In her role is she able to work with clients, while leading other psychologists and teams.
In addition to being recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the “30 Under 30” up-and-coming young professionals in 2012, she has co-authored publications and presented many professional papers throughout her career. She is active in community affairs as she’s been able to Chair the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Young Friends Board and the United Way of Greater St. Louis Young Leaders Society pre-pandemic and now volunteers with the Aspen Education Fund and Aspen Valley Ski Club.
Dana’s niece Brielle ‘28 and nephew Tanner ‘25 currently attend Whitfield.
How did Whitfield prepare you for college and beyond?
My passion for science started at Whitfield in Mr. Gienke’s biology class working with fruit flies and exploring DNA strands. Whitfield’s approach to science and math makes STEM fun and accessible—spending time on theory in class and getting to apply theory in the lab. This prepared me well for college-level sciences and helped me gain my first position in the neuro-science lab as a sophomore.
Big picture, Whitfield’s approach to learning fostered a passion for education and a curiosity to dive into new fields. The seminar-style discussions prepared me for graduate school and the business world today.
What are you most thankful for from your Whitfield experience, both in and outside of the classroom?
I am thankful that Whitfield welcomed me into the family and taught me how to think, analyze, and care. While other schools push memorization, I was discussing books and theorizing with friends. Whitfield showed me how to make learning fun and to focus on pushing myself rather than worrying about how I compared to others’ performance.
What are some of your favorite Whitfield memories and/or classes?
When I first visited Whitfield, I was able to participate in a science class by dissecting an apple core. I’d never been in a lab environment like that before and quickly realized just how exciting science could be. Throughout my time at Whitfield, I enjoyed being in the lab whether conducting DNA extraction in biology or building Rube Goldberg machines in physics.
What were your primary interests and activities while you were at Whitfield?
It is so easy to get involved at Whitfield. I enjoyed my time on the dance team, in the photography studio, and on stage. In addition, Bonfire, Prom, and Spirit Week often brought our class together in hilarious and entertaining ways.
Why did you and your family choose Whitfield?
As I moved to St. Louis just before my sophomore year in high school, Whitfield provided a home and community quickly. I loved the small seminar-style classes as well as the exposure to arts and sports. I was able to rapidly feel like I was a part of the Whitfield family even though I didn’t start my journey as a sixth grader.
Describe your career.
As an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist at CMA Global, I partner with leadership to improve individual and organizational performance through executive coaching, succession planning, assessment, and team building. I get to analyze data, team up with executives, and support organizations. My focus is on understanding the dynamics of people in the workplace and leveraging that knowledge to help people thrive at work.
From large-scale culture change projects to individual testing, I/O psychology has many paths. However, my passion is coaching leaders and backing them on their voyage from good to great.
My journey thus far has included decades of school, years of mentorship, months of clinical supervision, weeks of collaboration, and days of both failure and success.