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Zeitgeist Checkmate! Community-engaged research at play

Summer 2014 VCU Department of Psychology


Wendy Kliewer Chair

Michael Southam-Gerow Director, Graduate Studies

Linda Zyzniewski Director, Undergraduate Studies

Dorothy Fillmore Associate Director for Academic Operations

PROGRAM DIRECTORS Eric Benotsch Health

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Jeff Green Social

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Barbara Myers Developmental

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Bruce Rybarczyk Clinical Jennifer Elswick Newsmagazine Production

Important Alumni Links

Everett Worthington Counseling

View the alumni directory. Get your alumni email address. Jody Davis Website and Facebook


Tom Eissenberg, Ph.D., is a renowned expert in the study of novel tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes (shown above). Check out the recent media interest in his research on page 31.

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Class notes

COVER STORY International Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, the first African-American to achieve this title, visits campus to deliver keynote address to students participating in chess research program. Zewelanji Serpell, Ph.D.

Faculty and students in the media

6 Alumna spotlight Courtney Cornejo (B.S. ‘11)

7-9 Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment Jenson Larrimore (‘14)

10 In memoriam John “Jack” Hartnett, Ph.D.

11 Award recipient Faye Belgrave, Ph.D.

12-13 Graduate student spotlight Therese Cash

32-33 Currents of change award VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development

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Student scholarships and awards

Federal grant expands trainee-delivered behavioral health for safety net primary care clinics

Undergraduate student spotlight

28-29

Jacqueline Hoyt, Class of ‘14

Department news and updates

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16-17 Leadership in psychology Wanda Collins (M.S. ‘95, Ph.D. ‘98)

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Ask the CPSD Selective mutism

Outstanding faculty mentor awards Jeff Green, Ph.D. Scott Vrana, Ph.D.

20-21 CPSD and Puller Clinic celebrate five-year collaboration

Newly funded research

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Visiting speakers

38-39 May graduates

40 APA campus presentation


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Class Notes UPDATES 2000s After graduating with degrees in both psychology and biology, Christina Kim (B.S. ’09) got a job as a scientist for a pharmaceutical company here in Richmond, PPD, and has been there for four years now. She also works as a tissue recovery technician at Lifenet Health on nights and weekends, where she recovers human tissue from donors for use in transplantation and research. Christina is considering the possibility of going back for an advanced degree in psychology and has recently accepted a position as staff associate at the Child Mind Institute in New York to further explore this possibility.

2010s

also serves as a staff psychologist at FAU's Counseling and Psychological Services Center in Jupiter and the Multicultural Community Mental Health Center in West Palm Beach, and as an adjunct instructor at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

started a two year position as a child and adolescent psychology postdoctoral fellow with New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center. As part of her fellowship, she spent four days a week doing outpatient clinical work focused on cognitive behavioral therapy to treat Iglesias has authored several articles children and adolescents with range that were published in the Internaof anxiety disorders, as well dialectitional Journal of Clinical and Experical behavioral therapy (DBT) to treat mental Hypnosis, American Journal adolescents, families and young of Clinical Hypnosis and Journal of adults. She spent one day each week Experimental Psychology. He was working on a research study examinawarded the Josephine R. Hilgard ing the effectiveness of a DBT Award for Scientific Excellence in adapted for children and was Writing on Pediatric/Adolescent trained to administer the treatment Uses of Hypnosis by the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis in 2010 as part of the study. and 2011 . In March, Kelly finished her fellowship and moved on to a new job as a After graduating magna cum laude psychologist in a private group pracfrom FAU 's Honors College in 2003, tice in Summit, N.J. The practice is Iglesias went on to receive a masdedicated to providing DBT treatter's degree in experimental psyment to adolescents, their families chology from the Honors College in and young adults. Summit is really 2005 and a doctorate from Virginia close to her husband’s job in FlorCommonwealth University in 2010. ham Park. He has been the coordiAt the Honors College, he started nator of college scouting with the the club soccer program and served New York Jets for almost six years as a student coach and captain. As a now and loves his job. graduate student, Iglesias had the opportunity to mentor and tutor In Memoriam undergraduate student-athletes at A. Clinton Greene II (B.S. ’73) of FAU. Richmond, Feb. 7, 2014, at age 69. Iglesias lives in Palm Beach Gardens James H. Jones (B.S. ‘96) of North and enjoys playing soccer, playing the drums, and spending time with Chesterfield, Va., Jan. 21, 2014, at age 46. his family.

Congratulations to Adam Iglesias (Ph.D. ‘10), winner of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Florida Atlantic University Honors College. This award recognizes a distinguished alumnus who has demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to their profession and/or to the community. Dr. Adam Iglesias is a psychologist in private practice in Palm Beach Gardens, where he provides evaluation and treatment Wilma Whitehill (B.A. ’92) of NaKelly L. Pugh Zbojovsky (M.S. ‘09, to English- and Spanish-speaking Ph.D. ‘12) married Dan Zbojovsky in ples, Fla., March 31, 2014, at age 70. children, adolescents and adults. He July of 2012 and in the same month,


Alumna feature Courtney Cornejo

When Courtney Cornejo was homeless, she found it difficult to make it to school every day... Cornejo, a Portsmouth, Va., native, moved from house to house with her birth mother for four years, finding shelter with friends and relatives. They were never on the street, but they were also never in one place for long. Cornejo didn’t have a bedroom of her own or a favorite place to study. The persistent disruption and lack of stability – the shifting availability of the basics of food and shelter – frequently relegated classes to a secondary concern.

took her in late in her high school tenure and gave her a place to live, ending the cycle of unpacking and packing, settling and resettling. And three, she was blessed with high school counselors who believed in her.

of 23, having swept through school on an ambitious schedule of classes.

“I almost dropped out,” Cornejo said. “But they kept me in school, worked with my teachers to help me out and made sure I applied Despite the high number of abfor college. If they hadn’t done sences and tardies on her record, that, I don’t know what I’d be however, Cornejo thrived in her doing right now. I’d probably be course work at Churchland High struggling in Portsmouth.” School. She scored excellent grades, ultimately building up a The counseling department had such an influence on Cornejo catalogue of 28 college credits, that she decided to pursue a caand she graduated on schedule reer that would allow her to have and headed to VCU. She points a similar impact on students in to three chief reasons for her tough spots. She earned a bachesuccess. One, she happens to lor’s degree in psychology at VCU love school. Working hard and then entered immediately on academics into a master’s program in comes natu- the School of Education. This month, Cornejo will graduate rally to her. with her master’s degree in Two, a friend’s family counselor education, specializing in school counseling, at the age

a good track,” said Cornejo, the recipient of VCU’s Student of the Year recognition from the Virginia School Counselors Association. “She was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”

Cornejo said her classmates and instructors at VCU have spurred her forward in pursuit of her goals. She particularly points to Those counselors, she said, pre- the help of her adviser, Donna vented her from turning her back Dockery, Ph.D. on high school for good during “She saw my motivation to do her junior year. this, and she helped me keep on

Photo and story courtesy of VCU News

Cornejo is eager to share what she’s learned – both from her experiences and her education – with students facing their own difficulties, and she will seek a school counselor job after graduation. She’s quick to note that students face many challenges that may look trivial next to homelessness, but they are not trivial to the student – nor are they to Cornejo. “I want to help them through their adversity, no matter what it is,” she said.


Photo by Chris Conway, The Commonwealth Times

Jenson Larrimore (class of ‘14) Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment Student recipient 2014


Left: Sidewalks in disrepair are but one of the many campus access problems for people with physical disabilities.

Having finally earned enough money to buy a plane ticket, Larrimore headed to Hawaii to help new partners open a restaurant. Though invigorated by this new venture, he remained eager to learn enson Larrimore began his about the culinary traditions in first apprenticeship as a other parts of the world, as cook in Richmond when well. As such, he never lost sight he was 13-years old. He got a of his dream to make his way to worker’s permit at 14 and start- Thailand to master the use of ed working part-time in a restau- exotic, native Thai spices and to rant. At 16, he was a full-time learn firsthand the delicious secook and went on to manage his crets of Thai chefs. first kitchen at 19. But first, to get his restaurant in

and paralyzed from the chest down.

Pain, anger, self-pity, sadness, passion, hope—Larrimore has experienced an intensity and range of emotions most cannot imagine with grit and gumption throughout. Though he has mobility obstacles to overcome when traversing public spaces, battles chronic pain and continues a rigorous rehabilitation regimen with the goal of achieving more and more independence, Larrimore has maintained hope, passion, charisma and ease with making new friends through it By the time he was 20, Larrimore Hawaii off the ground, Larrimore all. decided he wanted to pursue his pinched every penny; he lived in natural leader, Larriculinary interests by traveling humble accommodations, drove more is adept at rallying across the U.S. and then ultia scooter and worked long, hard people to action, particmately to Thailand to immerse hours for low wages. One late ularly around compliance issues himself in other cultures while evening after a long day of work, associated with the Americans learning new cooking techniques he hopped on his scooter and with Disabilities Act. For examalong the way. Over the course headed home for a few hours of ple, his problem-solving apof five years, he lived in places sleep. Along the way, an under- proach has led to tangible suclike New Orleans and Arizona, age driver was joy-riding in his cesses in campus accessibility: where he worked to refine his mother’s car and never even work was completed to improve skills as a professional chef in a slowed down when his car maneuverability on the ramps variety of award-winning, fine crashed into Larrimore’s scootinto Scherer Hall, the lift into the dining restaurants. er. The accident left the would- third floor Hibbs auditorium was be Thai master chef in a coma


by Brian Ohlinger, associate vice president, Facilities Management, and Anne Stratton, director of administration, College of Humanities and Sciences replaced and an emergency phone line was established for people with disabilities to call for help when they encounter accessibility difficulties. Also, his advocacy helped establish a student worker position in VCU Facilities Management. The student worker dedicates his or her time to checking automatic doors and other accessibility mechanisms, proactively ensuring that all are in working order.

cludes helpful hints for those with mobility limitations who want to learn, or re-learn, their way around a kitchen.

VCU is committed to promoting inclusive excellence and Larrimore is a significant contributor to this mission. As a founding member and current president of Students for Disability Awareness and Advocacy (SDAA), he has helped create an infrastructure for disability advocacy and As for career goals, Larrimore’s education. SDAA brought Robert accident has inspired him to ex- Tudisco, a nationally recognized pand his original focus of learn- speaker in the disability commuing the ins and outs of Thai cook- nity and a frequent resource for ing to developing a rehabilitation the media on issues involving model based on teaching people ADHD and disability advocacy, to with spinal cord injuries how to VCU this spring and Larrimore is cook. He recently created his working with university leaders second pilot video of a cooking to increase the functionality of class for all audiences that inthe Monroe Park campus’ Disability Support Services office. He was also asked to join the College of Humanities and Sciences’ inaugural equity and diversity committee, a committee designed to articulate the College’s commitment to issues of equity and diversity and the actions that support the embodiment of those values. In 2013, Style Weekly took notice of Larrimore and spotlighted his work as part of their annual feature, Richmond’s “Top

40 Under 40.” After the article was published, he was invited to speak at the Charterhouse School for the Disabled in April. (Read the article.) n an interpersonal level, Larrimore educates fellow students, staff and faculty on mannerisms, language and actions that demonstrate civility and respect toward those with different perspectives. It is no surprise, therefore, that he was named the student recipient of VCU's Presidential Award for Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) for 2014. The PACME award honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward enhancing VCU's commitment to diversity. Four separate awards recognize students, faculty, staff and administrators. In addition to the award, each recipient receives $500. As VCU strives to promote and maintain a community rich in diversity, its students must embrace the roles of advocate and educator to best translate the mission from words to actions. Larrimore embraces these roles and understands the power of the individual to ignite positive change. VCU is a better place from the work he does and the example he sets for others.

Larrimore pushed for changes to this ramp behind Scherer Hall, which led to improvements in maneuverability.


In Memoriam John “Jack� Hartnett, Ph.D. by Scott Vrana, Ph.D.

served proudly in the United States Army from 1954 to 1958.

taining students and faculty with stories about the early days at VCU. His stories could be breathtakingly funny or poignant and sad; for instance, he told of his While a faculty member at VCU, memories about student and Hartnett regularly faculty protests at the prison taught courses in near VCU when an execution was industrial-organizational psychol- scheduled and the way the lights he department was very dimmed on campus when the ogy, tests and measurements saddened to hear of the and introductory psychology and execution was carried out. passing of Jack Hartnett, provided consultations to local He remained busy in retirement Ph.D., on April 10 of this year. businesses on industrialby volunteering as a courtHartnett was an energetic and organizational issues. In the later appointed special advocate for popular faculty member in the part of his career, he taught four abused, neglected and abandepartment for 38 years, until his sections of Introduction to Psydoned children in Chesterfield; retirement in 2006. Hartnett can chology (PSYC 101) every year, he enjoyed gardening, reading be considered one of the found- teaching as many as 1,200 stumysteries and following the New ing faculty members of Virginia dents per year. It is safe to say York Giants. He is survived by his Commonwealth University; he that for many alumni of our de- wife, Nancy, his daughters, Kelsie began his career here in 1968, partment and the College of Hu- and Jill and his five grandchilthe same year that MCV was manities and Sciences, Hartnett dren. He will be remembered merged with Richmond Profeswas the face of the psychology fondly by faculty, students and sional Institute to create VCU. department. alumni at VCU. He graduated from the Universi- Hartnett remained engaged with Read the Richmond Times-Dispatch ty of Vermont's industrial psyobituary. the community and with VCU chology program in 1962. He re- after his retirement. He enjoyed ceived a master's degree from his status as professor emeritus, North Carolina State and a Ph.D. often showing up at VCU and from Wayne State University. He departmental events, and enter-


PACME Award Faye Belgrave, Ph.D. 2014

he department would like to congratulate Faye Belgrave, Ph.D., faculty co-recipient of the 2014 VCU Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) and the Riese-Melton Award. The PACME honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward enhancing VCU's commitment to diversity. Four separate awards recognize students, faculty, classified and hourly staff and administrators. Psychology major Jenson Larrimore was the student winner this year for his campus advocacy for students with disabilities. (See profile on pages 7-9.)

vention- focused and attends to aspects of culture (gender, ethnicity, age, place, etc.) to promote wellbeing among African American youth and young adults. She works collaboratively with community-based agencies to identify and implement relevant programming and research.

A recent project provided a culturally-integrated substance abuse and sex education curriculum to students attending middle school. In another project, she and her team implemented and The Riese-Melton Award, which evaluated a culturally-specific is given for contributions to cross HIV prevention intervention for African American females, which -cultural relations, is the capstone award and is given to one was later expanded to include a male component. of the four PACME winners. Belgrave is a professor of health One of Belgrave’s other projects psychology and serves as direc- examines the role of culture and tor of the Center for Cultural Ex- community in tobacco and other drug use among African Ameriperiences in Prevention. Her can youth in rural and urban work is community- and intercommunities.

Belgrave’s work has involved other areas of health promotion (e.g. prevention of cancer, diabetes, depression) and with other ethnic minority populations (e.g. Latinas and Asian Americans), as well. Her activities and research have included collaborative work with local school systems, churches and faith-based institutions, community-based youth servicing agencies, local health clinics and black colleges and universities among others. Her most recent work was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the VCU Office on Women's Health.


Graduate student spotlight Therese Cash, M.S. Therese Verkerke Cash came to VCU in 2010 after receiving her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Virginia. She works with Scott Vrana, Ph.D., in the clinical psychology program with a behavioral medicine concentration. Cash plans to defend her dissertation next spring and go to clinical internship in the fall of 2015. After internship she will receive her doctoral degree in the spring of 2016. She took time recently to speak with fellow clinical student Sarah Braun about her experiences.

medical populations, and interventions that assist people in emotion regulation. I am also interested in mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions.

But my dissertation is tangential. My topic for this project came from my clinical experience. I had a patient in the Anxiety Clinic at the Center for Psychological Services and Development with misophonia, a disorder that causes negative experiences of sounds. This sparked my interest in these emerging diagnostic categories related to decreased sound tolerance and selective What are your research and clin- sound sensitivity. My dissertation ical interests? will examine clinical characterisMy general area of interests are tics, environmental triggers, emotion regulation, especially in prevalence, validity of the curthe context of chronic illness and rent diagnostic criteria and the development of a scale.

am focused on mindfulness, working with medical populations, behavioral medicine and mind-body interventions in general. In my first years at VCU I was very involved with the Anxiety Clinic and the chronic depression team led by James McCullough. Ph.D. For my practicum I did transplant evaluations for the Department of Psychiatry, which I really enjoyed. Do you have any teaching experience and interests?

I have not had a lot of teaching experience, but I taught a lab section of research methods one summer and I am teaching stress and its management this summer—a new experience I am excited about. I also very much enjoy mentoring undergraduate research assistants. I would like to continue teaching regardless Another major project I am working on is a pilot study of of what type of job I hold, even if I am working in the community. mindfulness-based stress reduction with Parkinson’s Where do you see yourself in patients and their caregivers. ten years? We are looking at neurocog- Right now I think my ideal posinitive outcomes: verbal flu- tion would be as a faculty memency, attention, working ber in a medical center or in a memory, executive function- Veterans’ Affairs hospital where ing, quality of life and symp- my primary responsibility would toms of anxiety and depres- be clinical work, but with the sion. opportunity to collaborate on As for my clinical interests, I

research and teach. It is im-


Wanting to quit graduate school is almost a right of passage . It gets better the further you go... portant for me to stay connected to evidence-based practices, ideally working as part of some sort of interdisciplinary team. It seems like graduate school is infamous for being stressful, what have you found to be a healthy way to deal with the stress?

schedule I like to have in my life—so, basically just setting clear boundaries for myself and observing them.

beach. I really like cooking. I run and I enjoy it. I also enjoy spending time with my family and husband.

How have you maintained moti- What is your favorite thing vation and inspiration through- about Richmond? out your graduate career? I love walking in the Fan and MuWhen you see patients get better seum District in the fall and and receive incredible thank you spring, especially around the VirMy stress levels in the first two notes, it makes you feel like you nia Museum of Fine Arts. And I years were so much higher, made a difference, which is very really love the pineapple coconut mostly because I was being motivating. Also, having strong cake at Mama J's! pulled in so many directions. My relationships with advisers and adviser was helpful in letting me supervisors is important because Do you have any words of wisdom? know the beginning is the hard- I can see myself doing what they Stick with it! Wanting to quit est part because of the initial do. I really respect their work, graduate school is almost a right stress of adapting. I did adjust, which gives me great perspective of passage. It gets better the furbut it was difficult. on the possibilities of my career ther you go and remember to I dealt with this stress by getting and my future. have a life outside of graduate rid of perfectionism. I have taken What do you do in your spare school. control of my schedule, which time? meant learning to say ‘no’ to I take my dog for walks. I travel meeting times I didn’t want and and even take short weekend respecting the time and type of trips to the mountains and the


Scholarship Winners 2013-14 Elizabeth A. Fries Memorial Scholarship in Psychology Allison Palmberg

former Ph.D. candidate in the Department The Corazzini Award in Group Process Research of Psychology, this scholarship is awarded Therese Cash to a graduate student in clinical psycholo(see profile on pages 12-13) gy with preference given to students who Dr. Elizabeth A. Fries (1963-2005) was a VCU associate professor of psychology, co- pursue research in psychology. The scholarship was established jointly by director of cancer control at the VCU MasThe John P. Hill Award for the Study of the Department of Psychology and Universey Cancer Center and a nationally resity Counseling Services to honor John Adolescent Development spected cancer control researcher. She Sarah Doyle and Tess Drazdowski (Jack) Corazzini, Ph.D., director of counselwas also the director of research for the This scholarship was established in 1989 in ing services and a professor in the DepartVCU Institute for Women's Health, a Nahonor of John P. Hill, Ph.D., former Depart- ment of Psychology. Corazzini was active tional Center of Excellence in Women's ment of Psychology chair and internation- in research on and theorizing about the Health. The focus of her work was on redynamics of therapy groups. He was both ally acclaimed scholar in the field of adoducing cancer-causing behaviors and inlescence. The award is given each year to a a scientist and a practitioner. The purpose creasing adherence to health promoting graduate student in psychology who exhib- of the award is to encourage and facilitate behaviors, such as cancer screening, exer- its high academic standards and evidence the work of graduate students who share cise, abstaining from tobacco and consum- of promise in research in adolescent or the late Dr. Jack Corazzini’s interest in ing a healthy diet. group processes, group dynamics and family development. group counseling therapy. This scholarship is awarded yearly to one The Evelyn E. Gunst Scholarship Fund female VCU graduate student presently The award is given annually to a graduate Megan Sutter enrolled in a doctoral degree program in student who has demonstrated interest in Established by an anonymous donor in psychology or another discipline, and who group processes, group dynamics, and/or 1998 in honor of Evelyn E. Gunst, this is involved in cancer control and prevengroup counseling and therapy (courses, scholarship is awarded to a master’s-level tion research areas. The successful candiexperiences, supervised practice, research graduate student based on need and/or date should be active in the field of cancer or scholarship) and who presents a promerit. control and prevention and have the poposal for a research project on one of tential to serve as a leader and role model these topics. Melvin V. Lubman Scholarship to others working in this area. This scholarLaura Liwen Pierluigi A. Menna Scholarship ship will be awarded to the student to furin Psychology The Melvin V. Lubman Scholarship was ther her professional development. The Alexis S. Briggs established in his memory by his wife, Mrs. successful student must use the scholarGolde Lubman Feldman. Lubman focused This scholarship is awarded to either an ship for cancer control and prevention achis teaching on industrial psychology in his undergraduate or graduate student with a tivities including, but not limited to: (1) career at VCU. He dedicated his profesGPA of 3.0 or higher. traveling to conferences and presenting sional life to improving public safety in Susan E. Kennedy Scholarship cancer control and prevention-related rehighways and transportation, as well as search results; (2) attending specialized Jasmine Abrams accident prevention for public servants training in cancer control; (3) gathering such as firefighters, police and waste col- Named in honor of Dr. Susan E. Kennedy, data to further cancer control research; lection employees. The scholarship honors former chair of the history department and/or (4) developing and implementing a Lubman’s dedication and service as a pro- and dean of the College of Humanities and cancer control and prevention communitySciences, this scholarship is given to a fessor in the Department of Psychology based project. and is available to undergraduates major- graduate student who has advanced the Deborah Braffman Schroeder presence of women in higher education, ing in psychology. Preference is given to Research Scholarship has completed at least one semester of students with meritorious academic perAndrea Garroway and Carrie Tully formance who have financial need, or who graduate work and has attained at least a 3.5 GPA in his/her graduate work. are employed either full- or part-time Established in memoriam in 1990 by the family of Deborah Braffman Schroeder, a throughout their enrollment.


Award Winners 2013-14 Outstanding Psychology Junior Award

Outstanding Counseling Graduate Student Award

Cheonte Harding

Stephen Trapp

Outstanding Psychology Senior Awards

Counseling Psychology Leader/Community Engagement Doctoral Student Award

Rose S. Bono Aaliah Elnasseh Haroon Popal Graduate Psychology Black History in the Making Morgan Maxwell and Krista Mehari Outstanding Behavioral Medicine Track Graduate Student Award

Stephen Trapp Outstanding Developmental Psychology Graduate Student Award Tracey Gendron Outstanding Health Psychology Graduate Student Award Jasmine Abrams

Benjamin Lord and Elizabeth Sadock

Outstanding Social Graduate Student Award

Outstanding Biopsychology Graduate Student Award

Chelsea Reid

Todd Hillhouse

Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award

Outstanding Child Clinical Track Graduate Student Award Krista Mehari and Elizabeth Robinson

Robert Goodman


Leadership in Psychology Wanda Collins (M.S. ‘95, Ph.D. ‘98) counseling centers, and I was thrilled when I was later accepted for internship there. There were many, many challenges that year, but I also realized that if you’re doing work that you love and you’re surrounded by people you respect (and who respect you back), then it’s worth it.

As I write this, I am currently unemployed. I am a leader in transition, having recently left my position as director of the Counseling Center at American University in Washington, D.C. and not yet having begun my new position as director of counseling and psychological services at Duke University in Durham, N.C. As with any significant ending, I’ve had ample opportunity lately for reflection. The past few months have included what’s felt like a million goodbyes to people whom I care deeply about and a place – AU – that I believe in and have loved. As I’m closing one chapter of my professional life and opening up a new one, it seems like a perfect time to reflect on leadership. I’ve been asked to describe the development of my career. I would say that while the foundation for my career was laid in graduate school, the path for my career started with my practicum in the University Counseling Services at VCU. I fell in love with the work, the clients, the staff and the vigorous feel of the place. I enjoyed working with the young adult population, felt enlivened by the energy of a counseling center and was inspired by the training, supervision and mentoring that occurred there. It became clear to me that I wanted to spend my career working in

the demographics are changing. The level of pathology has increased, clients are more racially, ethnically, sociodemographically and internationally diverse and clients in general seem to have greater difficulty with affect regulation. As agencies of the university, we have moved from being direct service “islands” on Following internship, I was hired as a staff campus to working collaboratively and clinician at the American University Counclosely with campus partners (e.g., dean of seling Center (then Center for Psychologistudents, health center, disability/ cal and Learning Services) in 1998. I subseacademic support, housing, public safety, quently held several positions etc.). There is also more attention paid to (coordinator for outreach & consultation, students of concern and violence prevenassistant director for clinical services) betion. Indeed, a counseling center profesfore becoming director in 2005. I believe sional needs to wear many hats. what helped me move into leadership roles was a willingness to say “yes” to As a director, there are so many ways I challenges and opportunities, a lot of hard have spent my time: managing day-to-day work (often behind the scenes), being a functions, strategic planning, improving good team player (e.g., putting the group’s systems, committee work, hiring new needs ahead of my own and being restaff, supervising, consulting, conducting spectful), thinking systemically and a bit of outreach, researching, doing clinical work, luck and good timing. training, teaching, writing reports, advocating for additional resources, fielding When I became director in 2005, it was a complaints, trouble shooting, resolving role I imagined moving into when I had ethical and legal dilemmas, hospitalizing another decade of professional expericlients, case management, making manence. My predecessor was leaving AU for a dated abuse reports, resolving conflicts, great opportunity and I expressed interest working with HR around disciplinary issues in the role - not because I thought I was and lots of paperwork. That’s the job. The ready for it but, honestly, because I didn’t role—the leadership part of it—involves want someone else to come in and screw encouraging staff; mentoring trainees; things up! I was named interim director helping students; being a sounding board; and then permanent director a few maintaining the privacy and confidentiality months later. of many, many people; coaching; holding Counseling centers nationally have and containing, especially in times of changed a lot during the past five to ten stress; being unflappable; setting an emoyears. Utilization has increased and centional tone; motivating people; hiring the ters have needed to be strategic about right people (enough can’t be said about how they use limited resources. Many the importance of this); pitching in whercenters have moved to using time-limited ever needed and continually working to treatment models, there is more crisis build and maintain a high functioning management and case management, and team.


I have learned a lot in the past eight years. For example, I’ve learned that as a director, I really work for my staff. While they technically report to me, most of what I do is in large part for them. My job is to make their jobs easier so that they can do the clinical work of the center. I have learned that the leadership of a counseling center is so important and usually fun, but that management can be hard. And I’ve learned that it’s important to get involved in professional organizations where you can garner support from other directors who understand exactly what you do and how challenging it can be.

embrace of his Irish and Italian roots. What I most appreciated about Jack was his ability to teach in an informal but inspired manner, as well as his style of challenging people to think outside the box. Because of Jack, I fell in love with group therapy and really learned what it means to be a critical thinker.

sertation), which he embodies both personally and professionally. I have learned the importance of tailored mentoring, creativity, kindness, humility and forgiveness from Ev.

When I think about these leaders and others who have inspired me as a director, they look pretty different on the surface. Irv Yalom I met only once at a speaking What they’ve had in common, however, is engagement and book signing, yet I feel involvement in a cause greater than themlike he’s spoken directly to me (and so selves, a commitment to the service of many others) a million times through his others, authenticity, a deep wisdom, a writings: textbooks, fiction and nonfiction. sufficient degree of humility and a sense What I value most about Yalom is the of humor, especially for the absurdities of emotional honesty that comes through in life. These are the characteristics I have It’s difficult to write about leadership with- his work. I’ve been inspired by his ability worked to achieve and aspired to emulate out writing about other leaders who’ve to speak the unspoken and delve deeply as a leader, with varying degrees of sucinspired me. There are many, many people into uncomfortable topics. From Yalom, I cess; my pursuit of them, however, has who’ve influenced me, taught me, super- learned the value of introspection, coun- given me a career bestowed with intimate vised me, challenged me and supported ter-transference, process and being in the connections, meaning and diverse opporme professionally. It’s a long list. But for moment. tunities for which I’m truly grateful. the purpose of this essay (and in conFinally, this may seem like an odd way sideration of you the reader), I’ll mento end an essay on leadership, but last tion only a few: Dr. Viktor Frankl, psynight I watched Jay Leno’s last night as chiatrist and author; the late Dr. Jack host of “The Tonight Show.” Given my Corazzini, former director of University recent departure at AU, the goodbyes, Counseling Services at VCU; Dr. Irvin the parties and accolades, the tears Yalom, renowned author and expert on and sense of loss, I found it particularly group and existential therapies; and Dr. poignant to watch all the people who Ev Worthington, counseling psychology showed up, as well as his gracious exit. faculty member at VCU. I can easily recall Johnny Carson’s departure 22 years ago, which made me Viktor Frankl wrote a fascinating and Collins and then-training director at University Counseling Services, reflect on how quickly time flies, and moving memoir of his experiences in Kathy Scott, in 1997. that while we’re all special, we’re also Nazi concentration camps. I’ve read his replaceable. With that in mind, I believe book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” many Finally, Ev Worthington was my adviser it’s important to always work hard, to do times; it has shaped the way I think about and dissertation chair in graduate school. work you find personally meaningful, to life, the human condition, choice and He graciously offered to work with me practice being grateful every day and to meaning. Because of Frankl, I have learned when my former adviser left and his palearn to let go. When I reflect on my cathe importance of resilience, taking retience and ability to help me construct my reer, the leaders who’ve influenced me sponsibility for one’s life and the power of dissertation in manageable parts was no and what I have learned about leadership, choice in any circumstance. doubt largely responsible for the comple- I recognize that leadership is about trying tion of my degree. Ev was a passionate, to bring out the best in others and that at Jack Corazzini was a charismatic, passionquirky teacher. I remember him describ- the end of the day, what people will reate, unconventional leader. I had the priviing how he engaged students in his Intro member the most about you is how you lege of taking his group therapy class in to Psych class to dramatically act out a made them feel. grad school and later of being supervised synaptic firing. One of Ev’s research areas by him on internship. He was quite a charwas forgiveness (also the topic of my disacter with his ponytail and his thorough


Ask the CPSD

by Laura Caccavale, M.S.

In a recent conference with my daughter’s teacher, I was told that... ...my daughter won't really talk to anyone at school. Sometimes she'll whisper to a couple of other girls, but refuses to say anything when the teacher talks to her or calls on her in class. My daughter is seven and has always been shy around strangers, but is a real "chatterbox" at home. I have no idea what to do and the teacher said that she can't grade certain things, especially reading, and so doesn’t know what level to assign to her for next year. I'm worried that this is going to affect my daughter's friendships, as well as her progress in school. What do you think is going on and what should I do? Since it sounds like your daughter’s behavior is impacting her performance in school, it is a good idea to address your concerns soon. First, you may want to get more information from your daughter’s teacher about how long she has been refusing to speak at school. A better understanding of whom she will talk to and whether or not there are certain times she is more willing to talk than others can be useful information for treatment. Further, you want to find out if she is communicating in any non verbal ways with the teacher, for example pointing or nodding her head. It will also be useful to find out whether or not your daughter is talking to any other teachers (e.g. gym or art teacher) or if she will whisper her answer to a friend. Getting a better picture of her behavior in school is an important first step. If you find out from the teacher that she is unable to talk during the school day, but in other situations, like at home or a friend’s house, she is able to talk, your daughter may have selective mutism. Seeing a psychologist or another mental health provider is important in order to have an evaluation done to make sure there are not any other explanations for her inability to talk in school or if any other comorbid problems exist. Often during an evaluation, a complete background history is gathered in addition to an educational history review, hearing screening, oral-motor examination, parent/caregiver interview and a speech and language evaluation. The evaluations will vary but a thorough assessment is important to accurately diagnose a condition and formulate a treatment plan. Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder characterized by not speaking in select settings, for example school. Symptoms include fear or anxiety around unknown people, shyness, inability to speak in certain situations and ability to speak at home or with family. This pattern of selective speaking must be present for at least one month and is not limited to the first month of school, a

Center for Psychological Services and Development


“Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder characterized by not speaking in select settings, for example school. Symptoms include fear or anxiety around unknown people, shyness, inability to speak in certain situations and ability to speak at home or with family.” time during which many children may be shy and reluctant to speak. Another feature of selective mutism is that it interferes with education or occupational achievement or with social communication. Selective mutism should not be considered if the individual’s failure to speak is due solely to a lack of knowledge with the spoken language required in the social situation. Finally, selective mutism is often accompanied by social anxiety and social avoidance. This disorder is different from shyness, which is a normal personality trait marked by a voluntary tendency to withdraw from people, usually unfamiliar people. Shyness is not a psychiatric disorder like selective mutism or social phobia ; people who are shy are able to function adequately in society. People with selective mutism do not function well in social situations and are unable to communicate effectively with others. This may limit academic and occupational achievement and therefore often requires treatment.

a variety of treatments available, but the type of intervention may differ depending on the needs of your child and family. Treatment for selective mutism can involve psychotherapy and medication to address the anxiety underlying the child’s inability to speak in certain situations. Some children might also need speech-language therapy or occupational therapy. The most widely supported psychological treatments are cognitivebehavioral and behavioral therapies. Using techniques from these treatments, a step-bystep plan is developed where the child gradually does more speaking behaviors with positive reinforcement. Different behavioral strategies are used throughout treatment, including shaping reinforcement, where a child first demonstrates approximations of the target verbal behaviors (e.g. whispering) and then moves towards normal speech. Systematic desensitization is another strategy wherein the child is gradually exposed to more anxietyprovoking situations while using If your daughter is diagnosed with selective mutism there are relaxation skills. In this strategy, the parent, child and thera-

pist often create a hierarchy of feared speaking situations and then gradually use imaginal and in vivo (real words!) exposures to these situations. Cognitive strategies, such as identifying anxious thoughts and then challenging maladaptive beliefs, are other important treatment components for older children when they have developed the ability to be aware of their thoughts. In sum, if you suspect your child may have selective mutism, seeking assessment and treatment soon is recommended, especially if your child is having difficulty adjusting to school or experiencing problems with peer relationships. When meeting with a treatment provider, make sure to ask about what sort of therapy he or she will be using and share your observations and goals for treatment. Read more information about seeking help for selective mutism.

Send us an anonymous question about mental health and treatment issues via our secure messaging system.


The Center for Psychological Services and Development Celebrates Five-Year Partnership with the Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic at the College of William and Mary Law School

Above: Mary Beth Heller, Ph.D., CPSD director, left, Robyn Mehlenbeck, Ph.D., clinic director at George Mason University, and Leticia Flores, Ph.D., clinic director at University of Tennessee and former CPSD director

Since 2008, the Center for Psychological Services and Development (CPSD) has participated in a groundbreaking partnership with the Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic at the College of William and Mary Law School. The CPSD serves as the training clinic for doctoral students in our clinical and counseling psychology programs, operating as a lowcost mental health clinic that provides high-quality therapy and assessment services to the VCU and Central Virginia communities. Likewise, the Puller Clinic is staffed by law students and managing attorneys who assist

veterans with filing claims for disability compensation with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These services are provided at no cost to the veterans, many of whom have struggled for decades to obtain fair compensation for the visible and invisible wounds suffered during military service.

That’s where the CPSD comes in. To date, 34 veterans have been referred to the CPSD from the Puller Clinic. These have included male and female service members from Vietnam through the Persian Gulf War and current conflicts. Following a thorough psychological assessment, psychologists-in-training meet with Frequently, there is a need for a the veteran to explain results and offer recommendations for thorough psychological evaluatreatment, if warranted. Results tion to help clarify questions of diagnosis and/or the connection are also shared with law students between service-connected inju- at the Puller Clinic and may become part of the benefits appliries and the behavioral health cation or appeals process. In 53% issues the veteran is facing. of the cases seen at CPSD, the VA


Courtesy of the College of William and Mary Law School

ultimately awarded compensation to the veteran, overwhelmingly for the first time. In fact, the Puller Clinic has been so successful that in August 2013 they were the first law school in the nation to be appointed to the VA’s Fully Developed Claims Community of Practice, an effort to address the enormous backlog of veterans’ disability compensation claims. In April 2014, William and Mary hosted the National Conference on Law Clinics Serving Veterans in a fitting setting – our nation’s capital. Beth Heller, Ph.D., interim director of the CPSD and a licensed clinical psychologist, was invited to present at the conference along with colleagues, Leticia Flores, Ph.D., (University of Tennessee – Knoxville) and Robyn Mehlenbeck, Ph.D., (George Mason University). More than 100 attorneys interested in learning more about a variety of low - and no-cost service models for veterans were in attendance. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, keynote speaker and staunch supporter of the VCU/William and Mary partnership, described the “win-win-win” situation as good for veterans, law students and the American taxpayer. The conference opened on April 3, the morning after a fatal shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas, punctuating the sense of urgency and importance in meeting the needs of veterans. Read William and Mary’s press release.

“The conference opened the morning after.. a fatal shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas, punctuating the sense of urgency and importance in meeting the needs of veterans.”


Checkmate! Community-engaged research at play Bottom row: Aysha Foster, left, Aditi Gupta, Cortney Anderson, Marleny Gaitan, Alana Parker, Krystal Thomas Top row: Tennisha Riley, left, Mary Elyiace , Zewe Serpell, Teresa Parr, Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, Coach Jack Collings , Jorge Vargas, Parul Chaudhary, Aaron Blount, Amelia Swafford, Joy Jones, Coach Steven Mallis, Spenser Kearns

On May 6, the VCU Psychology hosted a scholastic chess tournament for five Richmond City elementary schools in the grand ballroom at the Larrick Student Center. Close to 100 3rd through 5th grade students played in quadruples and competed in three rounds of games. The tournament was the end-of-the year event for students participating in the Mind MATCH chess program. This program was implemented as a part of a research project funded by the Institute for Education Sci-

To learn more about Serpell’s chess research, watch this video.

ences examining whether or not playing chess can improve cognitive skills. The research project is coordinated by Michelle Ellefson, Ph.D., at The University of Cambridge, Zewelanji Serpell, Ph.D., associate professor of developmental psychology at VCU and Teresa Parr, Ph.D., one of the developers of the chess curriculum.

dress. Brian Dickerson, a volunteer from the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association, served as tournament director with assistance from local high school students and several VCU undergraduates.

Students entered the tournament hall with nervous excitement and several pointed in awe to Grandmaster Ashley and the trophies at the front of the room. International Chess Grandmaster Maurice Grandmaster Ashley opened the event Ashley, the first African-American to using a quiz show format that allowed achieve this title, gave the keynote adstudents to demonstrate their chess


knowledge and get warmed up for the tournament. There were lots of smiling and excited faces, and a few anxious whispers! During each round the room quickly quieted to near silence, with all eyes centered on the chessboards, and the clicking of chess clocks echoing in the tournament hall. Parents hung out in the “parent lounge” and learned about the research project, the benefits of playing chess and how to start/continue a chess club, participate in scholastic tournaments and study chess independently. Parents asked lots of questions, reporting that their children benefitted from the chess program and wished it would continue. Trophies were presented by Serpell and Ashley to the winning schools: in 1st place—Swansboro Elementary School, in

2nd place—Miles Jones Elementary School and in 3rd place—Woodville Elementary School. When the winning school was announced, the students jumped out of their chairs and cheered. Their teacher, who had been pretty quiet all year, grabbed the arms of study staff and jumped up and down. Swansboro’s principal sent a follow up email saying his students returned from the tournament “on cloud nine.”

coaches. Parents were given handouts with information about how to help their children remain engaged in chess, and continue to improve their chess game. VCU students and project staff, particularly Aysha Foster, Krystal Thomas and Tennisha Riley, deserve special mention as they organized an incredible event that exemplifies VCU’s commitment to positive community-engagement.

Quad winners were recognized with minSerpell’s project is funded by the Institute iature trophies, and some even boasted of Education Sciences (R305A110932 PI: they could beat the grandmaster! All stuMichelle Ellefson). dents at the tournament received Ashley’s Pawn Mower puzzle books and a medal. Team pictures were taken, some with favored VCU student chess mentors and


Federal Grant Expands Trainee-Delivered Behavioral Health for Safety Net Primary Care Clinics by Elizabeth Sadock and Andrea Garroway, fifth-year clinical psychology doctoral students Federal grant funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration have enabled Bruce Rybarczyk, Ph.D., to expand trainee-delivered behavioral health services to two additional safety net primary care clinics: Fan Free Clinic and The Daily Planet. Trainees have the opportunity to help underserved patients make changes to their health behaviors while taking into account co-morbid medical and mental health conditions. Both ventures have proved very successful in expanding trainee’s

clinical experiences and providing patients with a valuable service.

are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

In 2013, Kathy Benham, director The Fan Free Clinic, founded in of Fan Free Mental Health Ser1968, was the first free clinic in vices, worked with Rybarczyk and the Commonwealth of Virginia Elizabeth Sadock, fifth-year cliniand has a mission to help the cal psychology doctoral student, underserved by providing case to add fully integrated behavioral management, outreach, mental health to the clinic’s extensive health services and primary care list of services. Similarly, services. The Daily Planet opened Rybarczyk and Andrea Garin 1969 with an initial goal to roway, also a fifth-year clinical help teens dropping out of psychology doctoral student, colschool and society; it currently laborated with David Pullen, beoffers comprehensive, integrated havioral health consultant, and healthcare services to those who Ellen Fleenor, current medical

Nurse Practitioner Mary Simmons reviews a patient's chart with Elizabeth Sadock, a fifth-year clinical psychology doctoral student who completed her practicum in Behavioral Health at Fan Free Clinic. Sadock received the Outstanding Behavioral Medicine Graduate Student Award for 2013-14.


director, to integrate behavioral health services into The Daily Planet’s primary care clinic. At The Daily Planet, the VCU psychology students providing behavioral health services have termed themselves the ‘behavioral medicine team’ to reflect the full integration in the medical clinic and to differentiate themselves for patients and providers from the existing behavioral health clinic, which provides mental health and psychiatric services. Previously, the behavioral health services offered by Fan Free Clinic and The Daily Planet were primarily provided in the mental health clinic. Now, by embedding the services within the primary care clinic and maintaining strict adherence to the primary care mental health care model (PCMH) behavioral health services are fully integrated into primary care. Several additional clinical psychology doctoral students have served as behavioral health clinicians at both clinics over the past year, including Tom Moore, Elizabeth Collison, Amma Agyemang, Bryan Jensen, Renée Grinnell and Cassie Overstreet.

Amma Agyemang, clinical psychology doctoral student, left,; David Pullen, behavioral health consultant; and Susan White, nurse practitioner.

vice by meeting with patients prior to their scheduled medical appointment to introduce themselves, explain the scope of their services and attempt to schedule interested patients. At Fan Free Clinic, behavioral Out of all of the patients aphealth providers generated proached by our trainees, 42% most of the referrals (85%) made an initial behavioral since the launch of the new serhealth appointment, 30% said

they would call in the future if they were interested and their schedules permitted and only 28% were either not interested or not in need of services. Referrals were generated in a similar fashion at The Daily Planet through provider and patient education. (Continued on page 26)


training setting that offers trainees the opportunity to practice Behavioral health providers also pure behavioral medicine treatparticipated in the annual Pro- ments. ject Homeless Connect at the The behavioral health providers Richmond Convention Center, frequently consult with the in which The Daily Planet and medical and mental health staff several other community organ- about mutual patients. Over the izations came together to con- past six months at Fan Free Clinnect chronically homeless ic, they consulted with medical adults to many on-site services and mental health staff 39 times in a single day. for the 48 patients who were (Continued from page 25)

At both clinics, patients identified a range of behavioral health concerns they wanted to address during their appointments. Common referrals included weight management, insomnia, smoking cessation, pain management, managing chronic illness and adjustment to diagnosis, stress and anxiety, depression and referral to specialty mental health. The types of referrals illustrate a strict adherence to the PCMH model, which focuses on helping patients make behavioral health changes. This fidelity to the model is possible because patients whose needs are beyond the scope of the model are easily triaged to on-site counseling and psychiatric services. This is not always feasible at clinics without on-site resources that rely on behavioral health providers to serve as specialty mental health providers, as well. Therefore, this is a unique

receiving behavioral health care, which provided patients with more comprehensive health care overall. For example, a 27-year-old male patient was referred by his medical provider for smoking cessation. The behavioral health provider used cognitive behavioral therapy to help the patient address the thoughts, behaviors and emotions that were maintaining his addiction. The behavioral health provider consulted with the patient’s mental health provider who was addressing the patient’s anxiety, one of the primary reasons the patient reported smoking. The behavioral health provider also consulted with the patient’s medical provider in order to prescribe the patient Chantix. This integrated approach helped the patient decrease his smoking from 1015 cigarettes a day to 3-5 cigarettes a day prior to his beginning Chantix. At the most recent

visit, the patient reported having begun the Chantix regimen and having confidently planned to fully quit smoking by the end of the week. The addition of behavioral health services at both clinics was possible because of the warm support of the medical staff, mental health staff and patients. Cathy Wheeler, R.N., director of clinical operations at Fan Free Clinic described the impact of behavioral health services on patients: Poverty imposes intricate and often misunderstood barriers for individuals to overcome. The addition of behavioral health services has afforded our patients another avenue, another level of care that maximizes their ability to manage their health, their circumstances and boost their resilient nature. Behavioral health speaks to the individual in a way that affirms they have value. Both Fan Free Clinic and The Daily Planet have been invaluable training opportunities for graduate students and will continue to function as training sites. Our hope is to continue to collaborate with the medical and mental health staff to provide underserved patients with the best possible comprehensive care available.


VCU Primary Care Psychology Training

By the Numbers Since 2008 Mission Part I:

Mission Part II:

To address unmet mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety) and behavioral health needs (e.g., weight loss, adherence, smoking cessation) by providing brief, interdisciplinary-focused services in Richmond safety net primary care clinics.

To equip future psychologists to meet the workforce demands of a changing healthcare system— one that is predicated on expansion of patient-centered primary care, including integrated behavioral services.

Since 2008, over 50 students from all class levels of the VCU clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs have participated for at least Most patients have significant difficulty accessing one semester; more than 20 students have been mental health services and many have never fully or partially funded through grant support. seen a mental health clinician previously. About 75% of students who have advanced to Services are provided at four different urban clininternship selected a site where they have conics in Richmond: adult and pediatric primary care tinued/will continue primary care training. at the VCU Medical Center, The Daily Planet ClinSix students have advanced to post-doctoral felic for the Homeless and Fan Free Clinic. lowships that include primary care and three of Funded by over $1 million in grants from the four licensed graduates are now in permanent Health Resources and Services Administration’s staff positions that include primary care work Graduate Psychology Education program, the since the program’s inception. Virginia Health Care Foundation and the VCU Seven licensed clinical faculty members or affiliHealth System. ate faculty members have received funding to Four publications, three master’s theses and provide training and on-site supervision. three dissertations are providing research data Since 2010, we have hosted ten tri-annual, teamaddressing the efficacy of integrated primary based learning workshops to foster interdisciplicare. nary collaboration with about 90 trainees per session from psychology, medicine, and pharmacy. Since 2008, we have provided more than 6,500 sessions of free care to underserved patients.

Left: Elizabeth Collison, fourth-year clinical psychology doctoral student, left; Cathy Wheeler, R.N., director of clinical operations for the medical clinic at Fan Free Clinic; and Kathy Benham, director of client support and mental health services, Fan Free Clinic.


News and updates HOPS has made it overseas! Joshua Langberg, Ph.D., has been contacted by a group who wants to implement his “Homework, Organization, and Planning Skills” program in Hong Kong.

the VCU Office of Research and the VCU Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies, the event featured discussions about funding opportunities for global health research, how to identify and address the challenges of interZewelanji Serpell, Ph.D., worked national health research and with a team of computer scien- VCU’s international research initiatives and resources. He was a tists at University of Californiapanelist for the discussion San Diego and Emotient, a San “Identifying and Addressing the Diego-based provider of facial expression recognition software, Challenges of International Health Research,” which identito release new computer software that can accurately predict fied and explored how to overcome some common challenges student test performance by tracking student engagement in of conducting international real time. Read the UC-San Die- health research—for example, cultural differences in ethical and go news release. human subject protection issues. Rosalie Corona, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical psychology VCU News recently published a and founding director of the VCU three-part series on the work of Latino Mental Health Clinic, and Bruce Rybarczyk, Ph.D., and his cognitive behavioral approach to graduate student Vivian Rodriguez, Ph.D., recent graduate of the treatment of insomnia. the clinical psychology program, Part 1: Sleep Boot Camp: A Wake collaborated on cancer preven- -Up Call for Chronic Insomnia Sufferers (VCU Sleep Medicine tion and control research with Experts Advance Treatment of John Quillin, Ph.D., M.P.H., that Insomnia with a Drug-Free Apfound few women at high-risk for proach) hereditary breast and ovarian Part 2: Research Demonstrates cancer are receiving recomBenefits of CBT-I in Veterans mended genetic counseling. with PTSD and Patients with Depression Read the article.

Victoria Shivy, Ph.D., were used in a regional economic impact study. The data from the service learning course Human Behavior in the Parks included counts of actual foot traffic in the James River Park System. Stakeholders in the Richmond Area are interested in these data as a measure of the origination of visitors to the parks (i.e. home zip codes). Stephanie Hart, service center director of operations, attended the the 2014 Society for Research Administration International Virginia Chapter Meeting. Katharine Vardeman Stoddard, M.Ed., assistant director of advising and online initiatives, received the 2014 Distinguished Advising Award, one of the annual College of Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Awards. The award honors individuals who make significant contributions to student advising, recognizing effective advising qualities and practices that distinguish the recipient as an outstanding advisor.

Amy Jeffers, health psychology doctoral student, won a student abstract award at the Society for Behavioral Medicine conference Part 3: The Science of Sleep: UnTom Eissenberg, Ph.D., particifor “Ecological Momentary Asderstanding How the Sleep Syspated as a panelist in the recent sessment, Positive Mood, tem Works Helps Insomnia International Health Research Sufferers Reconnect with Healthy Healthy Eating and Physical AcWorkshop at VCU. Sponsored by Sleep tivity.” Her abstract was chosen the VCU Global Education Office, Data from a study conducted by as the most compelling, highest


News and updates quality abstract submitted by a student within the area of health decision-making research.

male condoms. The model will analyze “fall off” at various stages – from facility-level availability through sustained product Daniel Snipes, health psycholo- use. gy doctoral student, received There are three complementary the National Science Foundacomponents that will be used: a tion’s Graduate Research Opnational evaluation sample in portunities Worldwide (GROW) South Africa’s nine provinces, a award with the United States cohort of new female condom Agency for International Devel- acceptors and key informant opment, which will allow him to interviews with policy makers travel to South Africa this sum- and program managers involved mer to evaluate data from the in female condoms. national female condom proRead the VCU News press regram. lease.

Quality and Alcohol Use Behaviors in Primary Care Patients: Problems with Sleep are Related to Heavy/Problem Drinking Behaviors Among Women.” The Liz Fries award was created in memory of Elizabeth Fries, Ph.D., a VCU psychology professor who served as director of research for the Institute for Women’s Health. Fries died in 2005. The award is given to a young researcher who shows promise for improving women’s health.

Read about other news from Snipes’ evaluation aims to Our beloved receptionist, Janet the WHRD. strengthen the South African Cousins, was promoted to exec- Samantha Miadich, health psyfemale condom program utive assistant to the dean of chology doctoral student, won a through identification of strate- the College of Humanities and very competitive travel award gies most likely to enhance its Sciences. Though we will miss to the Society of Pediatric Psyacceptability, effectiveness and her daily presence, we are chology’s annual conference for efficiency, enabling evidenceheartened to know we can visit her abstract “Quality of Life in based adaptation for program her just down the block any Children with Asthma: A Develscale-up. The evaluation focuses time. opmental Perspective.” on multiple female condom disAlexandre Werntz, clinical psy- The VCU Clark-Hill Institute for tribution systems, including the chology doctoral stuPositive Youth Development large-scale, government-funded dent, received the Elizabeth partnered with Richmond Public public health sector program, Fries Young Investigator Award Schools recently to host a bullysmaller donor-funded targeted at the VCU Institute for Woming prevention event. Read all distribution programs, the newen’s Health’s 10th Annual Wom- about it! ly re-launched social marketing en’s Health Research Day program, institutions of higher (WHRD), a networking opporlearning and private sector distunity celebrating and protribution. moting excellence in interdisciA cascade model will be applied plinary women’s health reto identify and understand pro- search. She was also given the gram and behavioral challeng- award for “best clinical/ es affecting the uptake of fetranslational poster” for “Sleep


Outstanding faculty mentor awards Jeff Greene, Ph.D., and Scott Vrana, Ph.D. Each year, the VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) accepts nominations from students for the “Outstanding Faculty Mentor” awards. Undergraduate researchers are asked to identify a professor or faculty mentor who regularly goes above and beyond to create and engage students in research opportunities. Students provide a written statement that describes why the chosen nominee deserves an outstanding mentorship award, including specific examples that detail their nominees’ contribution to undergraduate research at VCU. Scott Vrana, Ph.D., is professor of clinical psychology and former UROP summer fellowship mentor. Vrana was nominated by undergraduate researcher and UROP summer research fellow, Rose Bono. Bono attributed much of her development in research to Vrana’s guidance:

Jeffrey Green, Ph.D., is associate professor and program director for the social psychology program. Green was nominated by undergraduate researcher Priya Lall, who had this to say about her mentor’s guidance: He has enhanced the skills related to undergraduate research in the discipline of social psychology by providing opportunities to participate and grow in his lab and by training students in research-related activities like conducting studies and coding, as well as involving them in meetings discussing articles, presentations, etc. I have been able to run experimental sessions for a variety of studies on topics such as forgiveness, rejection and the self. Dr. Green is an outstanding mentor who has provided me with many opportunities and has assisted me in learning about the research process.

At the end of our first meeting, I was hooked on a project that has been a huge part of my life for the past year and a half. Not only was Dr. Vrana able to find me a project that allowed me to explore my interest in psychology and linguistics, but he was willing to take me on as his own student. Because of my thesis work, I am much more confident in my ability to conduct research. It was through his encouragement that I applied for—and won—a UROP summer fellowship in 2013. He also nominated me for Outstanding Junior and Senior in Psychology in consecutive years, both of which I was awarded. These accolades have Scott Vrana, Ph.D. boosted my confidence; the recognition by someone I deeply respect means a lot to me. Dr. Vrana invites me to his lab meetings, which helps me understand parts of my project and allows me to learn from more advanced students. Dr. Vrana pushes me beyond what I think I can do and gives me ample opportunities that help me advance.

Jeffrey Green, Ph.D.


Faculty and Students in the media

Kirk W. Brown, Ph.D. “Mindfulness: Is it a Fad or a Powerful LifeChanging Coping Skill? A Look at the Science” read “Keep your mind for the big things” read Center for the Study of Tobacco Products “Some E-Cigarettes Deliver a Puff of Carcinogens” read Steven Danish, Ph.D. (emeritus faculty) “Failing Those Who Protect Our Freedoms” read Tom Eissenberg, Ph.D. “Assessing the Risks: Researcher Examines Possible Health Effects of ‘Vaping’” read “What is a Hookah?” read “The Dangerous Rise of Electronic Cigarettes” read “Are E-Cigarettes a Game Changer?” read “E-Cigarette Debate Burns as Usage Rises” read “Hookah Use Tied to Exposure to CancerCausing Compounds” read Joshua Langberg, Ph.D. “The Smart Pill Oversell” read Jacqueline Woods, M.S. “VCU Doctoral Student Selected to 'Dash for Cash' in 10K” read Everett Worthington, Ph.D. “Child Sexual Abuse Scandals: Pope Francis Asked Forgiveness In The Catholic Church” read “Forgiveness: The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself” read “Want to Live Longer? Chill Out.” read “Pope Takes Responsibility for Child Abuse Scandal” read “Professor Nominated for Highest Educational Honor” read

Everett Worthington, Ph.D.: “Professor Nominated for Highest Educational Honor,” The Commonwealth Times. Photo by Audry Dubon.


Back row: Al Farrell, professor of clinical psychology and director, VCU Clark-Hill Institute (CHI) for Positive Youth Development, left; Kevin Sutherland, professo of special education and disability policy, VCU School of Education; Christopher Moore, CHI youth development specialist Front Row: Ann Allen, coordinator of research and evaluation, Richmond Public Schools, left; Rebecca Wooden, guidance counselor, Richmond Public Schools; Katherine Moore, teacher, Richmond Public Schools; Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., chair, VCU Department of Psychology; Dana Andrews, CHI assistant director of research operations; Anne Greene, CHI director of operations

VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Developmen Wins Currents of Change award


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As an on-going recognition of collaboration between VCU and its greater community, the Council for Community Engagement is proud to highlight and celebrate partnerships that benefit students, staff, faculty, alumni and our community partners on local, state, regional, national and global levels by honoring four outstanding university-community partnerships. The Council requests nominations of outstanding universitycommunity partnerships in four focus areas: (1) community engaged teaching, (2) community engaged service, (3) community engaged research, and (4) student initiated community engagement. One partnership from each focus area is recognized. From these four projects, an overall Currents of Change Award is presented to the partnership that best demonstrates integration of the four areas. The 2014 winner of both the community engaged research category and the overall Currents of Change Award is the VCU ClarkHill Institute for Positive Youth Development under the direction of Albert Farrell, Ph.D., and his research team.

scholarship activities. These projects address communityidentified needs and are broadly disseminated to peers and the community. The communitybased programs assessment can be provided in the form of program outcome measures as well as formal research-based metrics.

ing evidence-based school and family interventions focused on middle school youth.

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, which includes individual-, classroom- and school-level intervention components and a parenting program are being implemented in CHI’s partner interThe Centers for Disease Control vention schools. The goal of the and Prevention considers youth combined interventions is to reviolence a significant public health duce levels of aggressive behavior problem citing that homicide is and associated risk factors among the second leading cause of death middle school aged students. The for young people between 15- 24 intervention is being evaluated years old. Farrell has a 22-year and a plan to sustain the efforts is history of collaboration with Rich- being developed with Richmond mond Public Schools, initiated by Public Schools. the community out of concern for The current CDC-funded study the high rates of youth violence in involves an innovative application Richmond, with a goal of develop- of a multiple baseline design in ing programs for middle school which schools are randomly asstudents that would promote signed to begin the intervention their positive development and in different years of the project reduce their involvement in vioand ten years of surveillance data lence. on community-level indicators of

The Clark-Hill Institute’s mission is to develop and evaluate evidence -based practices to empower youth, schools, families and other stakeholders to promote the healthy, safe and positive development of youth, with a special emphasis on the middle school Community engaged research years. The Institute is currently refers to community engagement implementing and evaluating a projects involving faculty, stumultifaceted community-level dents and community members in youth violence prevention stratecollaborative, respectful and mu- gy developed in collaboration tually-beneficial research and with our community partners us-

violence against which to evaluate the community-level impact of the intervention on violencerelated indicators. This project has the potential to serve as a model other communities might use to rigorously evaluate community-level intervention strategies in “real-world” settings using methodology that overcomes some of the serious limitations of many previous community-level experimental designs.


New Research funding Topics Traumatic brain Injury

Paul Perrin, Ph.D.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death and disability in Latin America, where patients experience high levels of disability and extremely poor functional outcomes. Informal caregivers play a key role in the rehabilitation and care of individuals with TBI, but Latino caregivers also experience poor outcomes, including high levels of depression, “role engulfment,” burden and poor health, which all influence the quality of informal care they are able to provide. To improve TBI rehabilitation through stronger informal caregiving, the National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Center awarded Paul Perrin, Ph.D., assistant professor of

health psychology, a grant to develop and evaluate an evidence-based and culturallysensitive transition assistance program (TAP). The program is for informal caregivers of patients with TBI in Latin America who assist with patient transition from hospital to home. The TAP was previously developed for Latino stroke caregivers and has been found to decrease caregiver strain and depression. In this study, the TAP will be modified for TBI and implemented at three rehabilitation facilities in Mexico City, Mexico and in Cali and Neiva, Colombia. These three centers have a high volume of TBI treatment and have strong, committed teams to execute the TAP. In the intervention, TBI caregivers will be randomly assigned to either the TAP intervention group or to a control group receiving the standard care provided by the rehabilitation facility. The TAP begins before discharge and extends across six weeks. It includes three components to improve caregiver mental health and informal care: skill development, education and supportive problem solving. Caregivers in the intervention group will receive a culturally tailored, Spanish TBI caregiving guidebook, a one-hour intervention session by a TBI clinician before the patient’s hospital discharge and

four one-hour, in-home visits at one, two, four and six weeks after discharge by the same TBI clinician. Data will be collected from caregivers and TBI patients at baseline in the hospital immediately before discharge and at two and four months after discharge. This study will create, implement and empirically test a TBI caregiver intervention unlike any performed before in Latin America, targeting one of the region’s most common, debilitating and fatal medical conditions. It has the potential to (1) generate findings that can provide empirically supported guidance to clinicians and other researchers regarding the provision of culturally-tailored rehabilitation services for TBI caregivers in Latin America, (2) gain insight that can be used when developing TBI caregiver interventions for Latinos in the U.S. and (3) contribute more broadly to the goal of eliminating inequities in health, in rehabilitation and in the provision of quality care.* *This research was supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under award number R21TW009746. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Genetics, Addiction and Personality

Dace Svikis, Ph.D.

While research has shown that genetic factors play a role in the etiology of alcoholism, we still know very little about particular risk variants that contribute to the development of alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Dace Svikis, Ph.D., professor of psychology, psychiatry and obstetrics/ gynecology and deputy director of the VCU Institute for Women’s Health, and Kenneth Kendler, Ph.D., Rachel Brown Banks distinguished professor of psychiatry and director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, received an endowment grant from the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research to collect pilot data in preparation for an NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism proposal

to conduct a genome-wide association study of AUDs. Such a study would require survey data and DNA samples from at least 30,000 individuals with AUDs. The endowment grant will look at project feasibility using a network of AUD treatment programs and social media links with the recovery community. In the longterm, the identification of such genetic variants for AUDs could open up new possibilities for prevention and treatment of the disorder, thereby reducing the major public health burden of this disease.

Forgiveness in Africa

Everett Worthington, Ph.D.

The Temple World Charity Fund recently awarded Everett Worthington, Ph.D., professor of counseling psychology and director of clinical training, $938,248 in grant monies for the project

"Forgiveness in Africa.� The grant aims to promote publishable research on local forgiveness issues among researchers in six countries in West Africa and South Africa. The three-year grant also seeks to help build capacity of researchers to compete for publication and grants on a world stage while finding out more about forgiveness with regard to particular issues indigenous to Africa. Shawn Utsey, Ph.D., professor of counseling psychology, will serve as a consultant-collaborator in the West African countries and Basil Pillay, Ph.D., research collaborator at the University of KwaZuluNatal, will serve that role in South Africa. Worthington's life mission, he says, is to do all he can to promote forgiveness in every willing heart, home and homeland. Coupled with his direction of A Campaign for Forgiveness Research 1999-2005, which raised $6.4 million to fund forgiveness research primarily in the U.S., but also in Europe and South Africa, this latest grant takes another step in fulfilling his life mission.


undergraduate student spotlight Jacqueline Hoyt, Class of ‘14 We caught up with Richmond native Jacqueline Hoyt recently just ahead of her May graduation. Hoyt has served as president of Psi Chi for the last two years. Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology.

Do you intern in one of our department’s research labs? If so, describe what you are working on.

rience working with children before I pursue my master’s degree in education. After receiving my master’s degree During my sophomore and junior year I I hope to teach elementary school. I interned in Dr. Kirk Brown’s Social and have always loved children and I think Affective Neuroscience Lab. We worked that being able to teach during the on many projects including computer formative years of elementary school response tasks and EEG studies. I was will enable me to positively influence the lead runner of EEG sessions and got and mold the next generation of leadto help assemble the data. I also spear- ers. headed a study with Robert Goodman, Why did you choose psychology as What’s it like serving as president of a graduate student of Dr. Brown’s, in Psi Chi? your major? which we looked at the effect of states I have been president of Psi Chi for two One of the things I have always been of mindfulness on episodic memory. years and it has been a crazy rollerinterested in is the way people develop These experiences helped me undercoaster. We have created a tutoring mentally. The way each individual acts stand everything that goes into a reis a product of hundreds of internal and search study and has allowed me to be program for Psych 101 students, raised money for domestic abuse and helped external “tweaks” that psychologists a more effective research assistant durpsychology students determine what study and interpret. Understanding ing my part time work at VCU’s Departthey can do with their undergraduate these factors can lead to enhanced so- ment of Family Medicine and Populadegrees. These past two years have cial interactions, stronger personal rela- tion Health. In that position I helped been a great learning experience for me tionships and better communication. allocate the incentives being given to in leadership and community. It has Simply put, understanding psychology the physicians and patients for particibeen a great honor to serve as presimakes me a better person. pating in the research. dent in such a highly regarded organizaWhat was your favorite psychology tion. course while at VCU? What do you do in your spare time? My favorite psychology course at VCU was Principles of Learning and Cognition I use my spare time to focus on those with Jennifer Joy-Gaba, Ph.D. It was one things that are important to me outside of my first elective courses in psycholo- of the hectic school environment. These gy and I loved the range of information things include, working towards my fifth degree in karate, hanging out with we got to learn. I have always loved friends and catching up on my favorite cognitive science, so I really enjoyed learning material that was applicable to television shows. But of course, my fareal life. I had such a connection to the vorite activity is rooting for the VCU men’s basketball team! material that during my senior year I became an undergraduate teaching as- Update: Hoyt has taken a position as a recreational counselor at Rainbow Station School in sistant for the course. Richmond working with children ages 5-13.

What are your plans for the future? After graduating I plan to work in the childcare field. I want to get some expe-


Visiting speakers

Nils Olsen, Ph.D., assistant professor and program director of the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication at The George Washington, presented a talk on decision making. Olsen discussed extreme decision making and how much decisions can be influenced by time constraints, stress and cognitive complexity. The topic was addressed from the perspectives of psychology and behavioral-economics and included the impact that biases, emotions, fairness, investment strategies, intuition, motivation, health and other factors can have on daily decisions. Peter Grossenbacher, Ph.D., associate professor of contemplative psychology and contemplative educaOlsen tion at Naropa University, presented the talk “What is contemplative education? Using mindfulness-based pedagogies in the college classroom.” Abstract: Every teacher and student is a whole human being and education often falls short of the full potential of their classroom encounters. In a now growing trend, contemplative education takes a particular approach to holistic education that directly engages mindfulness and awareness. Training of contemplative skills through meditation and mindfulness exercises can imGrossenbacher prove cognitive functions involved in attention, perception, metacognition, learning and communication. Rather than comprising a domain of content to learn, mindfulness-based pedagogy can improve mental skills and thereby influence how learning occurs. This approach historically derives from ancient methods of mind training that are rooted in various world wisdom traditions; in recent years it has been increasingly studied scientifically and producing results that are starting to reveal how such training works. Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences and psychiatry from Penn State University’s College of Medicine and research collaborator with Tom Eissenberg, Ph.D., visited campus recently to present "Reducing the Harm from Tobacco" to the university community. Attendees also discussed one of the projects in the department’s Center for the Study of ToGreen Hulsey underway Van Tongeren bacco Products, “Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) Methods for Modified Risk Tobacco Product Evaluation (Thomas Eissenberg, PD).” The study aims to show how RCT methods can inform product evaluation by examining the influence of real-world product use on biomarkers of toxicant exposure and disease risk, reports of adverse events and concurrent use of traditional tobacco products.

Foulds


MayGraduates Doctor of Philosophy

Niaimani Aduma Mohsin Ali Todd Hillhouse Amanda Allen Paula Ogston Curtis Amico Chelsea Reid Cortney Anderson Jacob Andrews Master of Science Virginia Andrews Nathasha Cole Brianna Antonio Tess Drazdowski Juan Arbelaez Rachel Garthe Danielle Armstrong Brandon Griffin Bruke Assegid Lena Jaggi Hailey Austin Jaclyn Moloney Diana Ayala Christina Nicolais Honey Babecki Abie Bangura Bachelor of Science with Armeisha Banks Honors in Psychology Dana Bannerman Rose Bono Lindsey Barden Aaliah Elnasseh Ben Barnes Mary Friar Stephanie Barrett Sean Tams Tayyaba Bashir Alexandria Taylor Jacqueline Bauer Sylvia Beavers Bachelor of Science Courtney Jane Belmonte Priscilla Berlin Christopher Adams Katie Bernard Rebecca Adesanya Shivangi Bhatt Bethlehem Adimasu

Melissa Blydenburgh Robin Bristow Denzel Brock Alexis Broggins Jamitta Brooks Michelle Brooks Bria Brown Danielle Buck Avigyil Buehler Allison Burlingame Kelly Burnett Carrie Carden Brandie Carlton Natalie Carrico Briseida Castillo Ariel Chambers Ashley Chanthavisouk Parul Chaudhary Amena Chaudhri James Chen Paul Cho Latesha Christian Ian Ciulla Christopher Clark Tonika Clark Kirsten Cohen Sarah Connor

Brittney Cook Caroline Coppa Miranda Cox Allison Cresswell Allison Crowley Nicole Curtis Ruqayyah Daud Laura Davis Daniel Deaton Grace Denio Amanda Denton Nisha Desai Alison Dickerson Kristina Dixon Jacqueline Donaghy Tyerell Dotson Jasmine Douglas Justine Dutton Asha Earle Montre' Engram Brianna Epps Harmony Evans Mastaneh Fakhriyazdi Ericka Fells Lindsay Ferrari Breonca Ferrell Dante Fields

Leona Aiken, Ph.D., served as this year’s diploma ceremony speaker. Aiken received her B.S. in psychology from VCU in 1965, her M.S. in psychology from Purdue in 1968 and her Ph.D. in psychology from Purdue in 1970. She is president’s professor of psychology at Arizona State University where she has worked since 1984. There she developed and currently chairs the quantitative methods research program and also served as the associate dean of research in their College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Before Aiken came to Arizona State, she held several academic and administrative positions at Temple University from 1969-1984—professor of psychology, study director for the Institute for Survey Research, special assistant to the provost and associate provost of academic programs. Her research interests are in both quantitative methods and health psychology. Aiken is interested in adoption of health protective behaviors across the life span, particularly among women, both from the perspectives of psychosocial models of the putative determinants of health protective behavior and from the perspective of interventions to increase health protective behavior. She has studied mammography screening, condom use, sun protection and the adoption of hormone replacement therapy.


Sarah Fitzgerald Meredith Floyd James Flynn Jessica Francis Vanessa Fuentes Jessica Galante Camille Garcia Samantha Gerstbrein Gurleen Gill Shawn Gill Ysabell Govea Ashley Grant Molly Grover Aditi Gupta Jordan Guraya Urai Hall McKenzie Halsey Kristen Hamilton Jenna Hanvey Amber Harper Christian Harris Brandon Hatcher Alexis Hayward Erica Henry Jillian Hermes Ingrid Hernandez Shayla Hicks Katherine Higgins Jenilee Holgado Rebecca Holloway Lauren Holt Alexis Honeycutt Amber Hood Jacqueline Hoyt Christopher Hruneni Dyonna Hydleburg Taylor Ihsane-Thomas Sarah Illidge Jakia Johnson Jessica Julien Ivan Kane Sarah Karnowski Rory Kennedy Amanda Khammang Zena Kirby

Taylor Kiskamp Kaylin Lagana Samantha Lakatos Priya Lall Nicole Lambert Dennis Lazo-Alvarado Joshua Leach Brenden Leavitt Heather LiBrandi Amelia Liadis Cristin Linnartz Kayla Llena Gregory Lothamer Kianna Lumpkins Kayla Lyles Megan Lynch Jessica Maitz Brea Mangrum Emerson Marcella Rose Mariani Gabriella Maye Katherine McClay Katelin McManama Amr Mekki Kristin Melton Rakhi Melvani James Michal James Miller Ife Mills Alexander Morgan Jake Morley Rebecca Morris Diego Mostajo Anthony Muron Sarah Neely

Bao-Anh Nguyen Tien Nguyen Christopher Norris Rebecca Norton Susan O'Kane Lauren Oglesby Ariadna Orsatti Pola Wendy Padilla Sang Woo Park Amanda Pate Drasti Patel Jay Patel Roshani Patel Mary Elizabeth Paul Chelsea Pearson Sejla Petrovic Tynna Pfeiffer Devan Phelps Kimberly Polansky Kelly Poling Haroon Popal Katharine Pornchareon Ashley Powers Annique Pratt Samantha Pritchett Faria Rahman Mia Rosa Heather Rowley Hannah Rumsey Chanelle Saunders Morgan Scheible Alexandra Schmid Jason Schuiteman Kristin Self Shivane Sharma

Kaitlin Staples Sherri Starks Sarah Stinnett Lee Stryker Areej Taha Raymond Tannler Georcol Taylor Tasia Thompson Lauren Tyler Lizzett Uria Ayesha Vaid Stephanie Vess Xuan Vo Jessica Walker Oliver Walker Parker Webster Molly Whittemore Chatise Williams Jaleesa Williams Chanel Willis Aileen Wolf Todd Wolf Courtnie Wolfe Donnell Wright Katelyn Wright Nesanette Yohannes Da Youn Sterling Young Hannah Zagurski Lubna Zia-Uddin

Our stylish graduates are HAPPY to be embarking on new adventures!


Apa leaders give presentation at Vcu

American Psychological Association leadership paid a visit to VCU recently to give a talk about the changing future of psychological practice within the larger healthcare net called “The Changing Healthcare System: Implications for Professional Psychology Education and Practice� to Richmond-area psychologists and campus colleagues. One attendee remarked,

We had a great time meeting the other professionals and your stellar cache of professionals-on-the-rise! The presentations by Dr. Nordal and Dr. Belar were informative both in the concrete sense of providing novel details about the evolution of our practice, but also in really imparting a sense of the enormity of the changes which are afoot. So grateful that we have articulate and powerful advocates at work on our behalf; I love that

they do what they do so well, that for the most part, I can just hunker down and do what I like to do! Cindee Rolston, Ph.D., L.C.P. Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Katherine C. Nordal, Ph. D.

Cynthia D. Belar, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Practice Directorate

Executive Director, Education Directorate

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association


Best wishes for a wonderful summer! Virginia Commonwealth University College of Humanities and Sciences

806 W. Franklin St. P.O. Box 842018 Richmond, VA 23284 Phone: 804.828.1193 Fax: 804.828.2237 Email: jlelswick@vcu.edu Website: psychology.vcu.edu Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

VCU Psychology's Summer 2014 Issue of Zeitgeist  

All the latest news and updates from Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Psychology.

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