Out in Front
Updates from the MSPP School Psychology Program
Excellence in Teaching
We were pleased to announce at the beginning of the school year that Dr. Bruce Ecker, a School Psychology Program faculty member, was this year’s recipient of the MSPP Excellence in Teaching award. One MSPP instructor is honored each year.
In his 5 years on the MSPP faculty, Dr. Ecker has offered 9 courses—5 in the MA/CAGS Program and 4 at PsyD level—all with top evaluations. Recently, he offered additional special topic seminars for students in his 1st year Life Span Development and Child/Adolescent Psychopathology courses. More than half the students stayed on after class, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, to take advantage of this opportunity..
We Welcome Dr. Arlene Silva
This year, the School Psychology Program took a major step forward as Dr. Arlene Silva became the fifth core faculty member of the MSPP School Psychology Program faculty. Dr. Silva received her doctorate in School Psychology in 2007 from the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition to her school-based doctoral internship, she completed an internship with the National Association of School Psychologists and has continued to work closely with NASP on graduate student and early career issues.
Since earning her doctorate, Dr. SIlva has benefited from work experience in public schools, clinics, and higher education settings. Her research interests include consultee-centered consultation, supervision, and culturally relevant practice.
Arlene was featured on the MSPP website in September, as the Office of Multicultural Affairs recognized Hispanic Heritage month. Read more here...
Dr. Silva has taken over the reins as field placement director for the School Psychology Program—a responsibility that has expanded greatly with the addition of the doctoral program in school psychology. She hit the ground running as she coordinated the annual Field Supervision event on September 16th, which was a resounding success. As always, the program included a professional development program—this year, on public speaking skills for professionals, by prize-winning Toastmaster and public speaking expert Amy Samet.
(To ensure that field placements get off to a good start, the School Psychology MA/CAGS Program hosts a full day information/idea exchange/training event for its school psychology field supervisors and students—an innovation that other training programs have been impressed by, and may emulate.)
Latino Mental Health Program—On the Run
MSPP’s commitment to diversity and training of culturally and linguistically competency mental health professionals is often on display, especially so at the 10th annual Lucero 5K Run/Walk on September 25th. The Run/Walk (or Walk-Run, as it’s better known to many of us) attracted over 100 participants, with finishing times ranged from 20 minutes (a slower pace than usual) to an hour and 20 minutes.
The MSPP Latino Mental Health Program is a national model for training bilingual, cultural competent mental health providers, of which there are far too few. The 5K Run/Walk is one of several ways we raise the money to send LMHP students to summer immersion experiences in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Four school psychology students have participated in this program to date, and we expect one or two first year students to become our next LMHP scholars.
School Psychology Program participation at this year’s event was the biggest yet, including faculty members, students, spouses, program graduates, and other guests. Pets, too. Eden Gudonis, a Year 2 student, ran alongside her miniature dachshunds, Coco and Cappy, who impressively went the distance. For the second year in a row, the School Psychology Program accounted for the top finisher in the male 13-19 age category. Last year it was Sam Wyatt, son of 1st year school psychology student Gail Wyatt, who as a high school sophomore finished in the top ten.
NASP Convention Returns to the East Coast!
The annual NASP Convention is a peak experience for school psychologists and for school psychology graduate students. This year’s convention will be in Philadelphia, February 21-24, 2012 and program students and faculty will be there in force. MSPP defrays the cost of attendance for students.
For the fourth consecutive year, MSPP School Psychology Program students are represented on the NASP Convention program. Two MA/CAGS students will exhibit posters of the projects they completed for the 1st year Research and Evaluation Methods course: Christopher Stoddard compared academic performance of old-for-grade and young-for-grade elementary school students, and Erika Johnson investigated the effect of a structured recess program on teacher perceptions of student behavior. Also presenting at the NASP Convention are advanced standing School Psychology PsyD students Krystal Bartley and Lisa Leboeuf.
Last year, School Psychology PsyD student Kate McGravey and School Psychology MA/CAGS Program graduate Jacquelyn Kinsman offered a skills seminar at the NASP Convention on the Trevor Project, which provides resources and educational programs to promote safe and supportive environments for LGBT youth. This year, they added a new dimension to this topic this year for their presentation on "Intersections of Race or Ethnic Culture with Gender or Sexual Orientation" at the Boston College Diversity Challenge Conference, this October 29th, 2011.