Request Info | Login | Site Index | Jobs | Search | Help
View site in Spanish using Google Translator

MSPP Abstracts

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

MSPP Goes to Washington

The School Psychology Program from MSPP was well represented at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) convention in Washington D.C. Specifically, approximately 30 students and faculty members spent their "school vacation" at the conference, with more than a dozen students and faculty members serving as presenters at the national convention; a clear indication that the school psychology program at MSPP has achieved national prominence.

Amanda Bradshaw, Jill Santa Maria, and Stephanie Gray (from the MA/CAGS program) presented a paper presentation titled, "Black and Bad: Reconsidering the Discipline of African American Students." Fellow MA/CAGS student Geoffrey Brown presented a poster titled, "Mindfulness Practices in the Classroom: Examining Teacher Perceptions." Having students at the MA/CAGS level contribute to the research in such a meaningful and important manner is a clear reflection of the program's commitment to training elite practitioners who not only value research-based practices, but also contribute to the development of such programs.

Christina Dolce, one of the first graduates from the MSPP School PsyD Program, was also scheduled to present the results of her Doctoral Project, "The Effectiveness of an Adolescent Obesity Training Intervention." In addition, Lisa Leboeuf (third year School PsyD) presented her poster project, "Using '5 Promises' in an Urban School to Improve Student Resources." Lastly, Kate McGravey and Jacklyn Kinsman, both current fourth year PsyD students, were co-presenters for "The Trevor Project: Leading the Way for LGBTQ Suicide Prevention," as well as "Educating and Counseling LGBTQ Youth: A Comprehensive Workshop." These four students embody the mission statement of MSPP, as they are working as leaders in schools, meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, and are clearly making a difference.

Finally, two of the School Psychology Faculty members also presented at the conference. Dr. Craig Murphy presented, "Theory-to-Practice: Implementing Behavioral RTI in Elementary Schools," and co-presented a two hour workshop with Dr. Haskel Cohen titled, "Redefining Behavioral-Emotional Assessment in Schools: A Three-Tiered Model." Finally, Dr. Arlene Silva presented her research as part of a panel titled, "Best Practices in Early Career Transitions." Similar to our students, our faculty is leading by example. Their wealth of experiences as school-based practitioners leads to practical and professional training opportunities for our students across the MA/CAGS and PsyD programs. Eight years young, the MSPP School Psychology Department is thrilled to be represented by such a diverse group of students and faculty members.

Exploring Ways to Integrate Culture in the Psychological Treatment of Latinos

On Friday March 28th MSPP and the Latino Mental Health Program hosted Exploring Ways to Integrate Culture in the Psychological Treatment of Latinos. The keynote speakers were Margarita Alegria, PhD, Director, Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Martin La Roche, PhD, Director, Mental Health Training, Martha Eliot Health Center, Harvard Medical School. The afternoon attendees were given the option to attend 2 of 3 workshops: Underserved Behavioral Health: A Model of Care for Vulnerable Populations with Carlos F. Cappas, PsyD, Clinical work with Latinos: Culture and Context with Esteban Cardemil, PhD and/or Latinos and Forensic Work with MSPP's own Nilda Laboy, PsyD. The turnout was impressive, approximately 75-80 people, representing not only faculty and staff but a wide array of community partners looking to learn more about working with Latinos. We hosted a wide variety of providers such as psychologists, social workers, case workers and educational staff. By the end of the day there was a sense of community was established and providers wanted to create a network in order to keep in touch and work together on furthering ways to integrate treatment of Latinos..

Conference Presenters

Left to right: Margarita Alegria, PhD, Esteban Cardemil, PhD, Nilda Laboy, PsyD, Carlos Cappas, PsyD, Martin LaRoche, PhD, MariCarmen Bennasar, PsyD.

Conference attendees

2014 Massachusetts Gubernatorial Forum on Mental Health

MSPP sponsored the 1st Massachusetts Gubernatorial Forum on Mental Health in June, 2014. The Forum was a historic event for MSPP that convened Democratic candidates Don Berwick, Martha Coakley, and Steve Grossman and Republican candidate Charlie Baker. The moderator for the event was award-winning journalist Tom Ashbrook, who is well known as the host of WBUR's "On Point," a syndicated show carried on 286 stations nationwide. Nearly 500 guests attended the mental health forum, held at the Back Bay Events Center. Click below to watch the complete video of the forum. Visit our Press page to see MSPP's media coverage on the forum.


Joyce Kulhawik, friend of MSPP, shares a thoughtful reflection on Robin Williams and his mental health struggles

Joyce KulhawikIt was August 11–my mother's birthday, and the day we couldn't wait for–the beginning of our yearly retreat to Martha's Vineyard, a longed for respite from what ails us all year, a sunny bright day that promised a happy ending. Somewhere, thousands of miles away, a man beloved by the world, and the cause of so much joy, was in his bedroom tying a belt around his neck to escape the darkness that had been at his heels most of his life. It has been almost a week since Robin Williams took his own life and I cannot get it out of my mind.

> Read the rest of Joyce's reflection here.

News about Faculty, Staff, Students and ALumni


Robert KinscherffFaculty member and Associate Vice President of Community Engagement Robert Kinscherff, PhD, Esq. contributes as an expert on the APA's expert panel report on gun violence prediction, prevention, and policy. The report addresses issues of developmental antecedents, cultural and gender biases, along with potential means of prevention both on individual and community levels. To read the full report, visit the APA's website here.

Kinscherff was also quoted for his work on the APA's expert panel on gun violence prediction, prevention, and policy in USA Today's December article. The article discusses some of the environmental factors that can be predictors of gun violence and how addressing these needs on both individual and community levels are our best options for preventing gun violence. To read the full USA Today article, click here.

Gemima St. Louis, PhD, discusses the development of a comprehensive culturally appropriate mental health capacity building initiative after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Dr. St. Louis is the president of the Boston-based Haitian Mental Health Network. To read Dr. St. Louis's work, click here.

Ethan Pollack, PhDEthan Pollack, PhD, was interviewed for the lead story in February's edition of the New England Psychologist. In the piece, Dr. Pollack discusses the changes in the profession of the psychologist over the last 50 years, from a primarily scientific, didactic-based profession to one that has a huge emphasis on clinical experience and practice. To read the article on the development of the role of the psychologist, visit the New England Psychologist's website here.

Stan Berman, PhDMSPP's Vice President of Academic Affairs, Stan Berman, PhD, was interviewed, along with MSPP student Herlinda Tin about the developing need and opportunities for psychology practitioners trained in a variety of contexts. The piece was the lead story for the Boston Globe's special Education and Careers section in the January 5th Boston Sunday Globe Magazine.

Graphic ImageMichelle Harris, ATR-BC, LMHC, faculty in the Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy Program is being sponsored by her tribe, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, to attend the Breath of Life/Silent No More Language Restoration Workshop for California Indian Languages at the University of California Berkeley.

This program is hosted by The Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (A Native run and led non-profit organization) and The Survey of California and Other Indian Languages.

This is a one-week workshop for California Indians who wish to find and use the materials on their languages that are held in the archives of the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Harris is excited to be able to continue her language reacquisition work which she is pursuing through the use of the arts.

Dr. Kathryn Stanley presents at InsideNGOs Conference in Washington

Kathryn StanleyInsideNGO (a non-profit organization focused on supporting the operation of NGO's) held its annual conference in Washington, DC, from Tuesday, July 29th to Thursday, July 31st. Dr. Kathryn Stanley, Director of MSPP's MA in Organizational Psychology program, presented two workshops at the conference focused on developing relationships in these organizations. One workshop, titled "Managing Difficult Workplace Relationships" focused on strategies to make strained professional relationships more productive. Her second workshop, "Remote Relationships and Effective Communications," focused on developing close, effective relationships and a sense of community among group members who are geographically distant from one another.

Many of the organizations represented at the conference are based in the United States or Europe, but have satellite offices or employees implementing change around the world, often in public or emergency health care situations. As Dr. Stanley points out, "with some of these organizations, poor communication and relationships literally put lives at risk; it is always high stakes for these NGO's." For this reason, effective communication and relationships within these organizations are not just important, but absolutely crucial. Dr. Stanley was invited to present at the conference and did so to support the work NGO's do around the globe. "Everyone there is so passionate about what they do, and this is my way to help support their important causes."

Dr. Michelle Contreras Wins Prestigious Award!

Michelle ContrerasDr. Michelle Contreras, alumna of MSPP's Clinical PsyD program and core faculty in the Counseling Psychology Department, was awarded the Emerging Leader for Women in Psychology Award at this year's American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, DC. Dr. Maureen C. McHugh presented Dr. Contreras with the award, noting that "Her efforts have gone beyond scholarship to the creation of interventions, specifically, creating access to services for women. She is a talented, dedicated leader with an unwavering commitment to underserved communities and an abiding passion to create a better world through psychology. Dr. Contreras is indeed a force we will continue to see and hear from in the future." In addition to her role as core faculty, Dr. Contreras is the Director of the MA in Counseling Psychology in Global Mental Health.

Michelle Contreras

Lynn H. Collins, PhD, 2013-2014 Division 35 President (right), Michelle Contreras, PsyD (center) and Maureen C. McHugh, PhD, Chair, Committee on Women in Psychology(left).



Kristen Dillon, PsyD, currently a VA postdoctoral fellow and MSPP Alumna, presented her Doctoral Project work at the American Society on Aging (ASA) conference in San Diego. Dr. Erlene Rosowsky was her Doctoral Project Chair. Kristen received an honorable mention from the ASA for her graduate student research. The title of her poster was: Relationship between anticipatory grief,depression,burden and predementia closeness in adult child caregivers of a parent with dementia. The pictures include Kristen and Erlene in front of her poster and a picture from the ASA Gala.

Dillon and Rosowsky in front of Poster at ASA Conference Kristin Dillon and Erlen Rosowsky at ASA Gala

MSPP In the News

MSPP Featured on WGBH's Greater Boston with Emily Rooney, entitled "Overcoming Cultural Stigmas About Mental Illness and Barriers to Treatment"


Dr. Bob Dingman, Director of Military and Veterans Psychology, and student Rob Chester, Coordinator of the Train Vets to Treat Vets program were featured May 26th on Fox 25, discussing the commitment to veterans. They also promoted the Mental Health Matters conference, "Leadership in the Wake of Trauma," which will be held on Saturday, May 31, at MSPP.

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.

[ back to top ]

Updated 10/2/14

Follow us on Blogs facebook twitter you tube