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MSPP Abstracts

Abstracts: A digest of monthly news and events from the MSPP community

Tammy Duckworth
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth delivers keynote address at MSPP's Commencement on June 2, 2013.
Tony Jimenez
Tony Jimenez, president and CEO of MicroTech and honorary doctorate recipient at Commencement 2013. The day before Jimenez spoke at MSPP's Mental Health Matters symposium.

A Busy Spring for MSPP
Commencement Weekend 2013

MSPP's Commencement weekend focused on the importance of creating a workforce to address the mental health needs of military personnel and their families.

In her remarks at MSPP's Commencement on Sunday, June 2 at the Park Plaza, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), the Iraq War hero who lost her legs when the helicopter she piloted was struck by an RPG, thanked the graduates for dedicating their careers to serving those who need mental health care, because "their wounds are not readily seen or easily treated."

Duckworth went on to caution MSPP graduates that whatever aspect of mental health they specialize in, their careers will likely involve treating those whose lives have been affected by military service--from the child of an active duty service person to a veteran from the Vietnam era, or before, who may eventually be in hospice.

"Please don't forget," Duckworth added, "40 years on, the trauma felt by veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will still need to be addressed."

Duckworth was introduced at the event by Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley.

The day before, Saturday, June 1, Duckworth made a major presentation at the MSPP-sponsored Mental Health Matters symposium on Military Mental Health attended by more than 150 veterans, mental health professionals and MSPP faculty and students.

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Haitian resilience is focus of MSPP Conference and Art Exhibit!

"The Colors of Resilience" at MSPP

On April 25, 2013, MSPP hosted its second annual Haitian art exhibit, "The Colors of Resilience," featuring 30 pieces by 23 artists from the Haitian Art Assembly of Massachusetts (HAAM) and Jacmel, Haiti. The opening reception was attended by members of HAAM, the Haitian Mental Health Network and MSPP students, administrators, and staff.

Also in attendance were six student artists from Haiti on a cultural exchange, sponsored by the Association for the Promotion of Integrated Family Health (APROSIFA) and hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). These students, ages 14-21, and their chaperones and interpreter, added a warmth and poignancy to the event as they shyly unrolled their own paintings, representative of their personal experiences in Haiti, for all to see. Their talent and depth was obvious and inspired many of the attendees to the point that some of their paintings were purchased on the spot, according to Gretchen Nash, director, Multicultural Affairs at MSPP, who helped to coordinate the event.

"One of the greatest satisfactions felt that night by members of the Haitian Artists Assembly, aside from the commitment on display by MSPP and the Haitian Mental Health Network, was the spontaneous, generous purchase of some of the paintings of these youth by guests attending the opening. The young artists left with a sense of pride and validation," said Charlot Lucien, founder, HAAM.

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from this exhibit went to HAAM and the artists of Jacmel, Haiti, and the remainder is used to purchase art supplies for youth from Jacmel who are being mentored by advanced artists. The exhibit was on display through mid-June. For additional information, call 617-564-9418.

Joseph Chery & Student

Joseph Chery, an artist who coordinates visual arts for the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts, displays a painting by one of the students (right) from Haiti who is here on a cultural visa, at "The Colors of Resilience" art exhibit.

Haitian Artist's Association

Members of the Haitian Artist's Association of Massachusetts, art students from Haiti with their chaperones, hosts and translators and MSPP staff at the exhibit opening.

Haitian Conference a Success

Ohe Second Annual Conference on Haitian Mental Health was held at MSPP on May 3-4, 2013. The conference drew about 150 attendees from Haiti, Canada, Miami, New York, California and other cities throughout the US. The conference began with welcoming remarks from the President of the Haitian Mental Health (HMH) Network and Core Faculty, Dr. Gemima St. Louis; the President of MSPP, Dr. Nicholas Covino; and Core Faculty, Dr. Jill Bloom. Welcoming remarks were also given by Consul Weslyne Nicolas, of the Haitian Consulate in Boston; Former State Representative Marie St. Fleur, chief of Advocacy and Strategist Investment at City of Boston; and Charlot Lucien of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Haitian Conference

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MFA/MSPP Movie Series Attracts Crowds!

MSPP's Third Annual Hollywood Scriptures Film Series, presented in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts at its Boston location, was a great success. Nearly 200 people attended four screenings, each followed by a lively and thought-provoking discussion session. The majority of participants were mental health professionals who received Continuing Education credits from MSPP. A special round of applause goes to Drs. Nicholas Covino, Jill Bloom, Erik Gregory and Steven Nisenbaum, along with the MFA's Carter Long, for "directing and producing" this outstanding program.

See you at the movies - for MSPP's Fourth Annual Series - in Spring 2014!

MFA Film Series Jill Bloom at MFA Film Series

Left: Dr. Nick Covino leads a post-screening discussion at the MFA. Right: Dr, Jill Bloom introduces a film at the MFA - MSPP Film Series.

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Gala Showcases MSPP's Military Veterans Psychology Program

On Wednesday, May 15, 360 friends of MSPP celebrated the school's ninth annual gala. The event's theme this year was "Honoring Veterans: Serving Those Who Serve Us." Kicking off the Gala at the Seaport Boston Hotel was the Minuteman Brass, a New Orleans-style brass band from the 215th Army Band of the Massachusetts National Guard. During the cocktail hour, guests were able to peruse the wide variety of items up for grabs in the silent auction. The evening's program opened with a welcome from MSPP President Dr. Nicholas Covino and some brief remarks by Lt. Governor Tim Murray. Dr. Covino then returned to the stage to introduce General George W. Casey, Jr. (US Army, Ret.) who in turn introduced Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, MD, PhD, recipient of MSPP's Mental Health Humanitarian Award. Dr. Shellee Robbins took the stage next to introduce Dr. Jaine Darwin, the Dr. Florence H. Lerman Mintz Alumni Award recipient. Dr. Darwin graduated from MSPP in 1980. The final award of the night was given to Dr. Alan Beck, the soon to be retired Dean of MSPP's Clinical Psychology Department. Dr. Beck's daughters, Emily and Julie, took the stage to share a heartfelt message for their dad. They were followed by Dr. Ethan Pollack who gave the official introduction, where pictures of him throughout his career at MSPP played on a slideshow in the background. Dr. Beck is the first ever recipient of the MSPP Founders Award. He has assumed a new role as Director of Alumni Relations and Dean Emeritus. Click here to read more.

Casey, Cornum and Covino

President Covino shares a moment with (from left to right) General George W. Casey Jr., Commander of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq, the 36th US Army Chief of Staff and Scituate resident, and Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, MD, PhD. Cornum, who wrote the book "She Went to War," was US Army Brigadier General in charge of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program, which researches the physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual dimensions of soldiers and their families. That evening, both Casey and Covino presented her with the MSPP Mental Health Humanitarian Award.

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News about Faculty, Staff and Students


Susan PowellSusan Powell, PhD, was awarded the 2013 MSPP Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Powell is a core faculty member in the Counseling Psychology Department and has taught courses in the Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department as well. She is a great role model as an educator, counselor and psychologist for her colleagues and her students. Her intelligence, wisdom, warmth and her passion for diversity issues and social justice come across in all her classes. She is also an amazing advisor and mentor. We are extremely fortunate to have Susan call MSPP her home and look forward to many more years of learning from her and with her. Congratulations, Susan, on a well-deserved award!

Robin Deutsch, PhD was invited to speak at the winter meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers at the El Conquistador, Puerto Rico on March 19 about Legal and Physical Custody on the Frontier: new research on Shared Parenting. Deutsch, who is director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law. Deutsch also presented on Systematic Intervention Planning at the 40th anniversary conference, of which she was a conference co-chair, of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. AFCC is an interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict. Dr. Deutsch, a former President of AFCC, served the last year of her 8-year term on the Board of Directors.

Robert KinscherffDr. Robert Kinscherff, PhD, Esq. has had an active spring. In March, he joined 10 national experts invited by the American Psychological Association to write a research-based public policy monograph that will be titled: Gun Violence: Prediction and Prevention (the APA Panel of Experts Report). In April, he presented an invited workshop at APA in Washington, D.C. called Ethics and Law: Body, Mind and the Resolution of Values in Professional Practice that was followed by a webinar in May. He is also a planning committee member for the joint American Psychological Association/American Bar Association conference on violence scheduled for October.

For the National Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, Kinscherff presented in February in Washington, D.C. at the national Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program conference funded by the federal Department of Justice. He returned to D.C., in March for the Advisory Board meeting for the Juvenile Mental Health Courts research project of Policy Research Associates. In April, he traveled to North Carolina to provide a two-day training for juvenile justice professionals on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. He returned to D.C. later in April for the final project meetings for the MacArthur Foundation/SAMHSA projects on Improving Diversion Policies and Programs for Justice Involved Youth with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders. There, he reported on a monograph co-authored with Dr. Thomas Grisso on use of screening in juvenile diversion programs.

Prior to coming to the Clinical Psychology Department at MSPP, Dr. Gerald Sweet, PhD, core faculty, worked for the Los Angeles Police Department. During that time he conducted research into the factors that are associated with police officer survival in life-threatening situations. He presented this work at the 2012 annual convention of the American Psychological Association in Orlando. The presentation, "Surviving the threat: The psychology of survival in life-threatening encounters," was part of the Division 19 (Military Psychology) program. He also presented this work at the 2012 annual conference of the Massachusetts Psychological Association. The title of this presentation was, "Lessons from law enforcement and the military about surviving life-threatening illness."

On June 4, Dr. Lionel Joseph, PhD, PsyD, and Dr. Bruce Ecker, PhD, director of Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience Program, presented to Massachusetts Advocates for Children (Boston) on "Probable Implications of DSM-5 for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs." There were about 35 attendees, including child advocates and attorneys.

Dr. Wynn Schwartz, core faculty in the Clinical PsyD program, will be Associate Editor of The Advances in Descriptive Psychology, Volume 10. This spring three of his essays on empathy, resilience and improvisation were published by Social Justice Solutions. On May 4, he led a post theater discussion for The Psych Drama Company's production of Sartre's "No Exit" on "Empathy, Through Lines and the Dramaturgical Pattern." The Helix Center in New York Citywhose mission is "to draw together leaders from distinct spheres of knowledge in the arts and sciences for interdisciplinary roundtables" also invited Dr. Schwartz to be part of its roundtable discussion on Altruism and Empathy broadcast on June 7, 2013.

Kimberly LarsonKimberly Larson, JD, PhD, core faculty of MA in Forensic and Counseling Psychology, was invited to participate in this Spotlight on Youth at the recommendation of the National Conference for State Legislatures (NCSL), who identified her as a national expert on the topic of juvenile competence to stand trial. (Larson has worked with a number of states on juvenile competence related issues through her position funded through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.) The show will take place on July 12, at 3 pm eastern time. Her role will be to discuss the issue of competency more generally and trends across the country in particular. She will also be identifying the issues that are most controversial with regard to juvenile competence in many states right now. There will be two other participants on the show, including Anne Teigen of the National Conference of State Legislators and Douglas Althauser, who is now in private practice in Ohio, but was formerly in a government position (and with whom she has worked in the past on Ohio's juvenile competence legislation--that legislation has now passed).

Spotlight on Youth is an online radio show, hosted by Lauren Litton for Children's Law Center, Inc. It is a national show that covers a lot of different topics, but all related to juvenile justice. It is now averaging 4,000 listeners. Guests call in from a landline and the show runs 60 minutes. Listeners tune in via the web and can pose questions through a moderated chat room or call in live on air. You can check it out on

Larson was recently appointed to the Governor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC). She is thrilled to accept the nomination and participate in the committee over the next year. Here is a description of the JJAC.

The JJAC serves as Massachusetts' State Advisory Group (SAG) as mandated under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA). In collaboration with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the responsibilities of the JJAC include maintaining compliance with the core requirements of the JJDPA, allocating funds from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJPD) to improve the Commonwealth's juvenile justice system and serve its at-risk and system-involved youth and advising the Governor and state legislature on issues pertaining to juvenile justice policies and practices. The JJAC and its subcommittees meet regularly during the course of the year to identify juvenile justice-related priorities and focus activities on addressing such priorities.


Doctoral student Juliana Tseng, MA, recently published an article in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications titled "Perceptions and Management of Psychosocial Factors Affecting Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Chinese Americans." This article is about the factors that affect a Chinese or Chinese American individual's ability to manage diabetes, including cultural beliefs, immigration experience, language abilities/health literacy, educational background, employment, and accessibility of healthcare services. In treating Chinese American patients, these factors must be considered to determine appropriate treatment. Eastern cultural and individual beliefs differ greatly from Western beliefs and, therefore, may affect the presentation of the patients. If left unacknowledged, these differences might be misinterpreted by healthcare providers as merely treatment non-adherence or unwillingness to change. Suggestions for providing culturally competent healthcare are discussed. This article also provided practical action steps for healthcare providers to work more effectively with Chinese and Chinese American patients with diabetes. Read the article here for the article

Twenty-Five MSPP students placed in APA-accredited internships.

As a result of a very competitive process, we are pleased to report that 24 MSPP students will be attending APA-accredited internships during the 2013-2014 academic year. Congratulations to the following PsyD clinical interns:

Jeana-Marie Allan, The Help Group, CA
Andrea Buonaugurio, UMDNJ/UBHC/NJ Medical School, Newark, NJ
Jillian Burley, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, Hoffman Estates, IL
Patrick Downes, UCSF/SFGH Child & Adolescent Services, San Francisco, CA
Lisa Giordano, California Dept State Hospital, Vacaville, CA
Tessa Kramer, Greater Hartford Clinic/VA Newington, CT
Jaclyn Miller, Community Reach Center, Commerce City, CO
Laura A. Polhamus, MA, Ohio Psychology Internship at Heartland Behavioral Health
Kristin Rajala
, Nebraska Internship Consortium, Lincoln, NE
Wendy Ramirez, Children's Institute, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Nicholas Rotolo, University of Utah Neuropsychiatric, Salt Lake City, UT
Laura Rubinstein, Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake School, Irma, WI
Emily Salema, Federal Medical Center- Devens, Ayer, MA
Candace Schmidt, Federal Medical Center- Devens, Ayer, MA
Matthew Schmitt, Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Clinic, MD
Alaleh Selkirk, Portsmouth Naval Medical Hospital, VA
Melissa Stone, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VAMC, Bedford, MA
Heather Terkla, Wyoming State Hospital, Evanston, WY
Alyson Theeman, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, Morris Plains, NJ
Norman Tippens, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
Vitaliy Troyakov, River Valley Services, CT Valley Psychiatric Hospital, Middletown, CT
Lauren Utter, Yale University Psychiatry Dept, New Haven, CT
Catherine Webb, Naval Medical Center- San Diego, CA
Valerie Weed, LA Rabida Children's Hospital, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Yalof, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Kristin Raiala, MA, Clinical PsyD student, was nominated by members of the Massachusetts Psychological Association to receive The Karl F. Heiser Award for her involvement with advocacy for the Sequence of Training for Psychologists Bill H. 1003 that became law in 2012. The bill allows for graduate programs to transition their practicum sites to new and developing standards, thereby allowing many psychology graduates to be eligible for licensure upon completion of their doctoral degree. It also allows for post-doctoral training in specialties to stand as equivalent to medical specialty board training in that clinicians could become licensed at the completion of their doctoral degree, and their services would then become reimbursable as they train for practice in their specialty.

The Karl F. Heiser Award honors those psychologists who have given voluntarily of their time to define the discipline of psychology statutorily by state and federal laws and regulations through advocacy. Such laws and regulations include, but are not limited to, licensure, freedom of choice, Medicare, Medicaid, Workers Compensation, disability determination, mandatory mental health/substance abuse coverage, civil commitment, hospital practice, prescriptive authority, child protection and elder protection, etc.

Gureen Singh, who received her MA in Counseling Psychology on June 2, was notified that her capstone project proposal called "Understanding Racism as a Form of Complex Trauma" was accepted for a 60-minute Interactive Session at the 2013 Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) Convention scheduled for July 30th in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Singh said of this opportunity that "I will be more than happy to speak to my own experience of being a student in the Counseling Psychology program, more specifically to the tremendous support, encouragement and direction that I received from the faculty and professors here. Not to mention the breadth of personal and professional growth that I have undergone in the last two years, thanks to the challenging, yet inviting environment here at MSPP. I owe my academic success and my professional competence to the professors, mentors and faculty at MSPP and would love to have a chance to share my positive experience at a convention."

Sasheen Hazel, MA, third-year PsyD Forensic Psychology Concentration student, is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious "A. Toy Caldwell-Colbert Distinguished Student Service Award," given by APA Division 45– The Society for the Psychology Study of Ethnic Minority Issues -- the major representative body for psychologists who conduct research on ethnic minority concerns or who apply psychological knowledge and techniques to ethnic minority issues. The purpose of the A. Toy Caldwell-Colbert Distinguished Student Service Award is "to honor a graduate student who has made outstanding service or clinical contributions targeted at psychological issues of importance among ethnic minorities."

Karim Nashef, MA, fourth-year PsyD Forensic Concentration, is presenting a paper later this month stemming from his doctoral project work at the 74th Canadian Psychological Association Annual Meeting in Quebec City. Karim will also be presenting a paper this November at the 141st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association to be held in Boston. APHA – with its 25,000+ membership - is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. Linda and Karim will be presenting the paper during a session about "Transition and Support: Addressing Trauma and Mental Health Needs of Youth."

Sasheen and Karim join a number of past Forensic Concentrators who have received awards, recognitions and invitations to present results of their academic work at MSPP.

Dr. Lisa Bibuld and Dr. Nyssa Green present at same conference

Dr. Lisa Bibuld (MSPP PsyD, 2012), did an outstanding job of co-leading a 40-person cross-racial conversation on issues of racial domination and privilege along with Dr. Paulette Moore Hines and Dr. Marsha Mirkin, at the American Family Therapy Academy in Chicago. Dr. Nyssa Greeen (MSPP PsyD, 2013) presented her Doctoral Project research on the practices of hope and resilience among Eritrean refugee community leaders and helpers at the same conference.

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MSPP In the News

Dr. Erik Gregory was interviewed for CommonHealth and Radio Boston on WBUR concerning the psychological impact of being laid off. Here is the written piece and the on-air piece for CommonHealth. Read it here, and listen here. And, here is his live on Radio Boston.

Two articles on talked about MSPP Commencement, focused specifically on commencement speaker, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. One was posted the day before, and the other was several days after the event. Read it here.

Boston Business Journal's "On The Move" did a posting on Dr. Stanley Berman's promotion. published this article on Tony Jimenez, president and CEO of MicroTech, when he received an honorary doctorate at the MSPP Commencement. Read about him here.

The Cape Cod Times published a front-page story on Janice Furtado, an MSPP student who received a posthumous Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from MSPP this year. Read her story here.

Dr. Wynn Schwartz, core faculty in the PsyD program, commented on coping with the trauma of the Boston Marathon tragedy for the Huffington Post here. His thoughts and comments were also picked up bythe Boston Globe, and the United Press International: Psychologist: Coping after the Boston marathon bombings and read it here.

Guidelines for Submission to Abstracts

  1. Items for the Abstracts should be sent by the last day of the month to Patti Jacobs at
  2. Submissions should be print-ready articles or short-write ups rather than brochures or other documents and they should be no more than 100 words, preferably shorter.
  3. To make them print-ready, please proof all submissions and make sure you include names, titles and degrees of the people mentioned in the articles.
  4. Also, please submit the entire link information. Embedded links do not transfer to the newsletter format.
  5. Finally, if you submit a photo, please include one-line captions identifying people in the photo and the event with them.
  6. The articles will be slightly edited, but will not go back to you for review.
  7. If you do not make the deadline, it is possible that your article will be bumped to the next month.

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Updated 9/2/14

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