Sara Roldan

Sara Roldan

Sara Roldan, manager of the Forensic Lab at San Diego State University, is one of the many content-specialist instructors in a new online program launched by SDSU’s Homeland Security graduate program, in partnership with the College of Extended Studies.

The Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology examines the intersection between human behavior and the law, and was created in response to the ongoing challenges that emergency responders and law enforcement professionals face when dealing with cultural differences, polarized worldviews, and mental health challenges among the public they serve.

Roldan holds an M.S. in Homeland Security from SDSU, with the focus of her studies on inclusion and mental health.

“As an immigrant, I have  a unique perspective on inclusion and diversity, improving risk assessments, and what communities can do to support the people with invisible disabilities,” said Roldan, a native of Guatemala.

In addition to being an inclusion advocate, she has taught a wide variety of classes including psychology, multicultural treatment, developmental psychopathology, and special education. In the new online Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology program, Roldan will teach Introduction to Mental Health.

She is also the co-founder and director of intercultural communication at the Palimpsest Aurora Consortium in San Diego, whose mission is to “mitigate the strain of mental illness and to enhance community policing through improved communication with disabled and minority populations.”

“Our goal is to write a new story, over the stories of trauma and violence, for both the protectors and the protected,” said Roldan.

The unifying themes across her career are inclusion, intercultural communication, mental health, and resiliency.

“The focus of my interest is in education as an opportunity to engage communities in productive critical dialogue about sustainability, building resiliency, and adaptability practices to train others, especially community support members, to make right choices,” said Roldan.

She is currently pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her research includes perceived barriers to traveling abroad, culture shock and reverse culture shock, and factors influencing bias and inclusion in various settings.

For more information on SDSU’s online Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology, visit or email