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“Having NFB as part of a counseling program is a natural fit because of the importance of integrating counseling techniques into the treatment,” Jones said. “While NFB research is burgeoning in certain graduate programs across the world, it remains to be seen if these schools will develop training tracks for the field. The pace of research into this modality has been increasing rapidly in the past few years and is showing great promise. UTSA is situated to become a nationally recognized program.” Since it is one of only a few programs in the country that offer neurofeedback, the Masters in Counseling program was exactly what Michael Russo was looking for after he graduated with his degree in psychology. “I got interested in neurofeedback as an undergrad through an internship with the psychology department,” Russo said. “In that internship experience, I was able to see the wide variety of patients you are able to help using neuroscience.” “The medical model, for example, looks at various aspects that are going on from a chemical standpoint, whereas neurofeedback looks at it from the electrical standpoint,” he explained. “So, it’s really an awesome way to be able to work with a lot of the same things, and the individual is able to work on those brainwaves themselves.”

Russo always knew he wanted to help people and had a special interest in psychology and counseling. But it wasn’t until he saw his friends return home from tours in the military that he began to focus on specific areas of counseling, namely the treatment of veterans. “I’ve got a lot of friends who are active military and retired military, and I’ve seen who they were before their deployment, and then who they were when they came back,” Russo said. “Recognizing what they have done, not only for me but for the country is awesome, and I want to be able to help them achieve whatever goals they set for themselves.” While his experience with NFB is just in its infancy stage, he is eager to be able to treat issues like PTSD, alcoholism, and depression— problems faced by many of our returning veterans. One of Russo’s manuscripts, “A Research Analysis of Neurofeedback Protocols for PTSD and Alcoholism,” has recently been approved for publication in The Journal of NeuroRegulation. This publication is not only a point of pride for the burgeoning scholar but also for UTSA. Having achieved a milestone as a researcher, Russo also plans to spend his next three years as an advocate for UTSA in its advances in the fields of psychology and counseling, and to “raise awareness of the program and its use of NFB.”

Knowledge. Leadership. Service.


he UTSA Top Scholar program combines a comprehensive, merit-based scholarship with personalized signature experiences in academics, leadership, and community service. The first of its kind at UTSA, the program is recruiting top-tier students for top-tier faculty. Students in the program bring with them some of the highest entering academic credentials seen at UTSA, including an average two-part SAT of 1434, and an average of 34 semester credit hours in Advanced Placement and dual credit. This impressive group includes valedictorians, Eagle Scouts, accomplished musicians, a black belt, an Intel International Science Fair winner, a member of Connexion SA’s 20 under 20, winner of a $10,000 National Association of Women Business Owners San Antonio chapter Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, and more. UTSA Top Scholars are advancing the Tier One mission of UTSA, and positively enhancing the university’s prestige. Sarah Santos, Marshall High School valedictorian and UTSA Top Scholar class of 2017, tells a story about high school teachers who tried to talk her out of coming to UTSA. However, Santos said that she found exactly what she needed here at UTSA to enhance her scholarly skills and excel academically. Support from the UTSA Top Scholar program and access to outstanding faculty made Santos’ first year of college better than even she could have imagined, landing her on the Dean’s List both semesters of her freshman year. A psychology major with a biology minor, Santos joined a neuroscience research lab this fall. Students are chosen as UTSA Top Scholars through a holistic application and interview process. The deadline to apply for the 2015 entering class is Dec. 1. More information, can be found at, or email Discovery 28

Discovery Vol 7  

UTSA Discovery is published annually by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

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