Newsletter Article

Honoring Dr. Jeffrey A. Jaeger's Legacy by Supporting Clinical Students

The Department of Psychology is honored to announce the creation of the Jeffrey Jaeger Clinical Scholar Fellowship. This fund was established by clinical psychology alumna Dr. Briana Woods-Jaeger in honor of her late husband, and clinical psychology alumnus Dr. Jeffrey A. Jaeger, who passed away at the age of 41 after a long and heroic battle with cancer. This gift supports the learning and growth of clinical psychology graduate students as clinician scientists who aim to improve the lives of others as Jeff did and continues to do through his lasting legacy.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Jaeger was an alumnus of the clinical psychology graduate program in the Department of Psychology. During his time in the Department, Jeff received the Top Scholar Award, recognizing his scholastic achievements, and an F31 grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health to pursue his dissertation focused on underlying processes of emotional numbing in PTSD. Jeff received clinical training as part of the UW Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress, providing prolonged exposure for adults with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as the UW Behavior Research & Therapy Clinics, where he provided dialectical behavior therapy for suicidal adults with borderline personality disorder and suicidal adolescents with emotional and behavioral dysregulation. After graduating with his doctorate, Jeff continued his training through internships and post-doctoral fellowships, and then became a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.  After this Jeff became the Associate Director at the Kansas City Center for Anxiety Treatment and then a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. In every place he lived and worked, Jeff had an incredible ability to develop deep friendships and connect with people in a meaningful way that left a lasting positive impact.

Jeff was a loving and devoted husband and father. His daughters Ella and Cora were the light of his life and he took such pride and joy in being a dad. From exploring nature, movie and games nights, building elaborate Lego sets, and making music, to traveling and building creative family traditions like pumpkin carving and making gingerbread houses, Jeff delighted in finding new and creative ways to show the girls the beauty and wonder in life.  He was also a true partner in life with his wife, Briana, and a constant source of love, strength, and support. Even while he was struggling with the physical cruelties of cancer, Jeff always made sure those he loved were taken care of and did it with such whole-heartedness and generosity of spirit, giving of his full self. He lived life to the fullest, in the big and small moments, reflected through his many major achievements and the daily “little” things that have left a lasting impact felt across so many.

Dr. Briana Woods-Jaeger, Ella and Cora traveled to Seattle to award the first recipient of the Jeffrey Jaeger Clinical Scholar Fellowship at the 52nd Annual Psychology Research Festival on May 31st. During the awards ceremony, where the Department recognizes students receiving distinguished teaching awards, fellowships, and scholarships, Dr. Woods-Jaeger presented Victoria Szydlowski, a fifth-year adult clinical psychology graduate student with the inaugural Jeffrey Jaeger Clinical Scholar Fellowship.

We thank the Woods-Jaeger family for choosing to honor Jeff’s legacy with a gift to the Department to support the academic and professional development of clinician-scientists.

To learn more about Dr. Jeff A. Jaeger and his legacy, please visit the Donor Story page on the Department of Psychology website.

If you would like to support the mission of the Jeffrey Jaeger Clinical Scholar Fellowship, you may do so here: Give to the UW.