School Psychology Newsletter

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1 School Psychology Newsletter In This Interns: Where are they now? Fall 2011 Issue: JMU Interns: page 1-2 Mindfulness Workshop: page 3 Teambuilding experience: page 3 Ed McKee Retires: page 3 O. Ashton Trice Scholarship awarded: page 4 2 nd years presented at VASP: page 4 Marlana Ashe Awarded: page 5 Terri Dore Sisson Awarded: page 5 Keston Fulcher in new CARS position page 5 Robin Anderson: page 6 School Psychology Awareness Week: page 6 Marissa Madalis, MA: Marissa is completing her internship with Alexandria City Public Schools. She is primarily at two elementary schools and just started going to the middle school one day a week. Alexandria is a very diverse area in many ways, and it's allowing her to gain a wide range of experiences. Along with assessment cases, Marissa does a lot of consulting with teachers, collecting data for behavior plans, and assisting with crisis intervention. The school psychologists in Alexandria are school based so she has a lot of opportunities for counseling (individual and group) as well as doing things like daily check-ins with students. Marissa recently started attending PBIS meetings at one of her elementary schools, and she is learning a lot about the process. Alexandria really has a lot to offer, and Marissa is enjoying her internship there so far! 1 Emily Smithson, MA: Manassas City Public Schools is a small system with an extremely diverse population. Emily primarily works in Baldwin Elementary School, where she is responsible for all of the psychological assessments. In addition to conducting assessments, Emily regularly engages in consultation, individual counseling, and group counseling at the elementary school. She also provides services at Osbourn High School where her supervisor is based. It has been a wonderful experience, and Emily is excited about the opportunities she has ahead of her! Erin Thompson, MA: Erin is currently completing her internship with Loudoun County Public Schools. Her primary placement is at an elementary school that houses self-contained programs for students with Autism, Emotional Disabilities, and those needing intensive behavioral supports. These programs have provided the opportunity for Erin to serve on a clinical team that focuses on mental health and behavioral problems within the special education

2 Interns Continued: programs. Erin has been involved in psychological evaluations, individual and group counseling, academic interventions with progress monitoring, and multiple problem solving teams. Erin has learned a great deal so far this year especially in regards to the use of CHC theory and Cross-Battery Assessments in the school system. She looks forward to the remainder of the year with Loudoun County Public Schools. Francine Torres, MA: Francine is currently completing her internship with Manassas City Public Schools. While her primary school is Haydon Elementary, Francine also spends one day a week at Metz Middle School, and has the opportunity to visit other schools in the system that house specialized programs. Her role as an intern includes: psychological screenings and assessments, behavior screenings and assessments, individual and group counseling, participating in a variety of problem solving teams, consultation with teachers and parents, crisis intervention, and advocacy. Francine s supervisor and colleagues in Manassas City are all welcoming, friendly, and easy to work with making this a wonderful and well- rounded internship experience. Francine highly recommends considering an Internship with Manassas City. Lindsey Visbaras, MA: Lindsey is completing her internship in the Arlington Public Schools and serves students at Barrett Elementary and Wakefield High School. She works with an extremely diverse student population spending much of her time providing counseling and intervention services in addition to completing assessments. Lindsey is looking forward to additional experience working with the preschool population. Randy Forbes, MA: Randy Forbes is currently completing his internship in the Shippensburg Area School District in Shippensburg, PA. His role includes conducting psychological assessments, individual and group counseling, participating in a school wide problem solving team, and the facilitation of the parent outreach program. The school psychologists in his system function as administrators which has given him a great opportunity to be involved with system wide programming including interventions, faculty education, and consultation. 2

3 Mindfulness for the Counseling Professional School Psychology and Counseling programs hosted the Mindfulness Workshop on September 17, 2011 in the Montpelier Room, in the East Campus Dining Hall. The workshop was led by Alan Forest, Ed.D. and Joe Klein, M.S. of Radford University. The presentation focused on both the theory of mindfulness and practical ways in which school practitioners could incorporate mindfulness into their daily work with children. The presenters emphasized that practicing mindfulness is not just an action but a way of living. Through large group and small group activities, participants had the opportunity to practice being mindful. The presenters created an environment which made participants feel safe to fully participate in the mindfulness activities. Several mindfulness techniques and interventions were discussed with the group that can be used with students in either a school or retreat setting. Teambuilding Experience for New School Psychology Students Professors and current students welcomed new first year students into the School Psychology Program with their annual teambuilding experience. This year s teambuilding activities were led by UREC staff members and took place on campus. The first year students were joined by second year students as well as faculty, and everyone participated in several challenging games that built the unity of the group. The morning concluded with lunch at the new East Campus Dining Hall. Department Honors Ed McKee after Retirement On Monday, September 26, the graduate psychology community honored Ed McKee by unveiling his framed portrait in the lobby of Johnston Hall. The event honored Ed s long tenure as a faculty member in the Counseling Program at JMU. He has positively shaped the lives of numerous students, and to this day, he remains an emeritus faculty member, who continues to teach courses for the Counseling Program. Ed McKee is recognized as a compassionate educator, colleague, and mentor and has inspired thousands to reach their full potential. 3

4 The First O. Ashton Trice Scholarship Awarded to Kelsey Cutchins Dr. Trice went though graduate school at a time when most students were fully funded. He always contributed generously to his alma mater, often saying that he had gotten ten years of education and three degrees there for free. The O. Ashton Trice scholarship was established to assist an academically outstanding student in the School Psychology Program at James Madison with his or her second year summer tuition. The inaugural award of the O. Ashton Trice Memorial Scholarship was presented to Kelsey Cutchins on September 28, Additional contributions would allow the endowment to keep up with rising tuition costs and expand the award to more students. Contributions can be made through the JMU Foundation to the O. Ashton Trice Scholarship Endowment. JMU Students Present at this Year s VASP Conference The Fall 2011 VPA Conference was held on October 19 th -21 st at the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Dr. Debi Kipps- Vaughan, and two second year students, Kelsey Cutchins and Liz Vater of the School Psychology Program, presented at the conference. Their presentation, titled, How Can The RTI Framework Support The Social, Emotional, Behavioral, & Cultural Needs of Children involved participants partaking in a guided discussion about the benefits and challenges of providing mental health services to the specific population of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse and those who have social, emotional and behavioral concerns. The school psychologist s role in providing mental health services to these students as well as possible interventions were additional topics of discussion. 4

5 VASP Names Marlana Ashe as Graduate Student of the Year In October 2011, the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists recognized Marlana L. Ashe, a 2011 graduate of the James Madison University School Psychology Graduate Program, with the Co-Graduate Student of the Year Award. The award is intended to honor graduate students across the state who exemplify academic excellence and contribute to the field of school psychology. While a student at JMU, Marlana worked with students from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds with the Centennial Scholars Program and was chosen as a 2010 Minority Scholarship Program recipient by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). After completing her internship with Prince George's County Public Schools, Marlana returned to JMU where she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Combined-Integrated School Psychology and Clinical Psychology Program. A native of Portsmouth, VA, Marlana received her Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary. Congratulations, Marlana! JMU Alum is School Psychologist of the Year JMU program alum, Terri Dore Sisson, was named Virginia School Psychologist of the Year! Terri Dore Sisson serves as the school psychologist for Madison County Schools and is an active leader in the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists. She took charge of gathering emotional and financial support for the Louisa County schools and community following the earthquake. The JMU School Psychology Department is proud of all of Terri s accomplishments and her contributions as a practicum supervisor. Center of Assessment and Research Services (CARS) Gets a New Leader JMU is proud to announce that as of this school year, Dr. Keston Fulcher is the new Associate Director of the Center of Assessment and Research Services (CARS). His new roles and responsibilities at the center include serving as the assessment liaison for twenty-three academic degree programs and the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity. In addition, Keston will be teaching the Measurement Theory class for graduate psychology students in Spring

6 Robin Anderson named new Department Head The School Psychology Department is excited to welcome Robin Anderson as the new head of the Graduate Psychology Department. Robin is no stranger to JMU or Harrisonburg as she obtained both her Master s degree and Doctor of Psychology degree right here at JMU. Robin has served as a professor in the Assessment and Measurement Program and was the Associate Director for the Center for Assessment and Research Studies. She has an extensive research background and has published and presented in many important journals and conferences throughout the nation. Students and Faculty Celebrate School Psychology Awareness Week! Another great year for School Psychology Awareness Week! JMU students and faculty followed this year s theme, Every link matters. Make the connection by baking cookies and delivering them to local school psychologists. Also, second year students spoke to several undergraduate students about the field of school psychology and JMU s School Psychology Program, specifically. The program also designed new t-shirts to wear in support of School Psychology Awareness Week. 6

7 Support Future School Psychologists To support the School Psychology Program and the training of our students, consider making a contribution to the JMU Foundation specifying Account Number We value your continued support in maintaining our educational excellence by providing funds that go towards student professional development and their research. Please mail checks to: Office of Annual Giving James Madison University MSC South Main Street Harrisonburg, VA *See Give on JMU Home Page for online form Contact Us! Patti Warner, Ph.D. Program Coordinator Tammy Gilligan, Ph.D. Debi Kipps-Vaughan, Psy.D. Ashton Trice, Ed.D Check out the JMU School Psychology Website at: Did we miss someone? Please send us e-addresses!! Of colleagues who did not receive our newsletter. 7

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