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MSPP Abstracts

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

Dr. Alan Beck to be MSPP's First Director of Alumni Relations

After 33 years at MSPP, and Dean of the Department of Clinical Psychology since 2002, Alan Dodge Beck, PhD is assuming a new half time position as MSPP's first Director of Alumni Relations. "There are so many ways our alumni can participate in program development, with admissions, with training, and with our experiential learning sites. They have so much to contribute to MSPP and will continue to be a vital part of MSPP's future."

Alan BeckIt's a desired transition, but that doesn't make it easy for a man who has loved his life's work at this very special school. Clinical psychology is one of the most privileged career choices you can make, according to Beck. He uses the word privileged thoughtfully, referring to the therapist-patient relationships and the trust and respect that allow the clinician to come into a person's inner life.

In his office, surrounded by the many honors, awards and mementos reflecting his more than 3 decades at MPP, Dr. Beck explains being a therapist is only one of the many roles of a clinical psychologist: there's also supervisor, teacher, mentor, administrator, consultant, clinician and scholar. Among the challenging aspects of working with both students and patients, he says, is the ability to help people deal with the absence of certainty and clarity. "Despite the omnipresence of doubt, sometimes," he smiles, "you watch a real internal transformation as a person learns something about herself. You watch real personal and professional growth."

Dr. Beck says, "MSPP does a better job training people to be psychologists than anyplace else. We focus on enabling students of all ages and backgrounds to develop an awareness of self and soul on a foundation of solid knowledge and skill. We ask people to be aware of what they bring to the table. We ask them to look at their humanity."

About his many years at MSPP, Dr. Beck says, "It's been a rich, unique experience to be a practitioner/teacher, to be able to see patients in the morning and go into the classroom in the afternoon. It's a professional gift."

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Spring Events You Shouldn't Miss

Click here for a full listing of our community events

"The Colors of Resilience"

An Art Exhibition featuring Haitian artists of Jacmel and
New England In support of the Jacmel Artists' Network
April 25 - May 24, 2013
at MSPP, One Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02459

Join us also for an exciting Continuing Education event: Weathering the Storm like Bamboo: Rethinking the Concept of "Resilience" in the Haitian Community Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, 2013 (6-12 CE Credits) For more information, or to register, click here.

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MSPP Gala, Mental Health Matters and Commencement
Focus on the needs of veterans

MSPP Gala Honoring Veterans
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 6:00 pm
Seaport Hotel, One Seaport Lane, Boston, MA

In 2012, MSPP students provided 2,345 hours of clinical service to veterans in VA hospitals and other veteran-related settings. MSPP is a national model providing mental health support to our veterans, their families and active duty personnel. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

MSPP Thirty-Third Commencement, 2013

Sunday June 2nd, 2013, 11:00 am
The Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street, Boston, MA

Commencement Address Will be delivered this year by Congresswoman Ladda Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. Click here for more details.

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Mental Health Matters

Meeting the Needs of Veterans and Their Families
Mental Health Matters Conference
Militiary Mental Health: "Serving Those Who Serve Us"

Saturday, June 1, 2013 | 9:00 am –  4:30 pm at MSPP
6 CE Credits | $50 (includes lunch)
Free to the Public | No CE Credits (Pre-Registration Required)

An in-depth policy discussion of some of the psychosocial impact of war upon our military; the challenges facing veterans, their families and the country as they reintegrate into a civilian life; and what we can and should do to help.
Register Online

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News about Faculty, Staff and Students


At the advent of Health Care Reform facing various organizations, leaders in healthcare gathered last week in Wash DC where President Barack Obama addressed Planned Parenthood Federation. Our own, Dr. González-Figueroa (Adjunct Faculty in the MAOP blended program at MSPP) was among participants responding to transformational change strategies for one of our key societal causes: Access to Reproductive Health and Rights. The meeting took place at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park on April 26, 2013.

Dr. Kathryn Stanley, Associate Director of Field Education for the Organizational & Leadership Psychology Department, presented to InsideNGO at OXFAM on April 25th on Organizational Design and Role Clarification to a group of 20 leaders of NGOs. InsideNGO's mission is to support leaders of NGOs that facilitate social justice and the rights of underserved populations around the Globe. Kathryn will be conducting two workshops at their annual conference this summer in Washington DC on organizational design and virtual teaming.


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. Click here for the article.

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MSPP In the News

Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology program, is quoted in this online article by the Desert News, titled Tragedy in the time of Twitter: How social media expedites news during disaster. 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 6/24/13

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