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MSPP Abstracts

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

Financial Aid Update: Cohort Default Rate

MSPP is pleased to report that our FY 2011 3-Year Cohort Default Rate is 0%. Out of 92 borrowers that entered repayment, 0 are in default. The national average is 13.7%. Thank you to Elaine Toomey, Hilary Baxter and Phyllis Leibman for their work in the Financial Aid Office.

News about Faculty, Staff, Students and ALumni

MSPP at NASP Convention

MSPP was well represented at the National Association of School Psychologists 2015 Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida in February. Bob Lichtenstein, PhD, NCSP and Bruce Ecker, PhD presented How and Why to write Consumer-Responsive Reports. Arlene Silva, PhD, NCSP and colleagues presented Ready or Not: Supervision of Early Career School Psychologists. Barbara Miller, PhD, and Gayle Macklem, NCSP, LEP, led a practitioner conversation entitled School Psychologists Can Influence How Their Effectiveness is Measured, and a second practitioner conversation called Late Career Transitions: Opportunities and Choices. Gayle Macklem, NCSP, LEP, Joan Struzziero, PhD, NCSP and second year student Felix Pagan, MA, along with a Northeastern intern, presented a mini-skills presentation entitled Cyberbullying: A Pragmatic Approach to Dealing with Relational Cyberaggression. Christine Anderson, MA, a school psychology intern in the Boston Public Schools, and Amanda Bradshaw, MA/CAGS, NCSP, a recent MSPP graduate, presented a poster on African American Stereotype Threat: Strategies to Improve Learning and Achievement. Matt Sur, MA, a second year school psychology student, also presented a poster: Everyday Mathematics: An analysis of effectiveness and teacher attitudes. MSPP alumna Liz Niemic, MA/CAGS participated on a panel called Navigating and Thriving in Your First Job as a School Psychologist and doctoral student Jaclyn Kinsman, MA/CAGS, NCSP and alumna Kate McGravey, PsyD presented a mini-skills entitled Educating and Counseling LGBTQ Youth: A Comprehensive Workshop.

Symposium on America's Perennial Debate on Guns

Dr. Robert Kinscherff presented on November 6, 2015 at the prestigious Wiley A. Branton Symposium of Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC. Wiley A. Branton is recognized as having been an ardent civil and voting rights advocate and Dean of the Law School (1978-1983). This year's eleventh Symposium was on Rights vs. Control: America's Perennial Debate on Guns. In his role as recent Chair of the APA Gun Violence Policy Review Task Force, Kinscherff joined plenary and panel presenters with varying perspectives on gun rights and gun control. Kinscherff presented the APA's call for a comprehensive public health approach to addressing gun violence during a session on Firearms, Freedoms, and the Controversies of Modern Day Violence. He was also privileged to lunch with Mrs. Thurgood Marshall, whose husband was a history-making civil rights attorney and then Justice of the United State Supreme Court.

Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology

MSPP Core Faculty member Dr. Gemima St. Louis was selected as a member of the 2014 APA's Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology group. The highly selective group's mission is to prepare, support and empower women psychologists as leaders to promote positive changes in institutional, organizational and practice settings as well as APA governance, and increase the diversity, number and effectiveness of women psychologists as leaders. Dr. St. Louis says, "I am honored to represent MSPP and be a part of such an esteemed group of women psychologists in the country. I am looking forward to the mentorship, networking, and future leadership opportunities."

PATHWAYS & AmeriCorps/VISTA Partnership

MSPP's PATHWAYS Program, directed by Dr. Gemima St. Louis, recently applied for and was awarded a grant through AmeriCorps/VISTA. The grant will enable the PATHWAYS Program to secure two full-time Volunteer Youth Coordinators who will engage in a number of capacity-building activities in support of the growing program. PATHWAYS (a collaboration among MSPP, West Roxbury Education Complex, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) is a school-based initiative that provides comprehensive, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed mental health services to urban youth and their families. AmeriCorps/VISTA is a national service program whose primary aim is to fight poverty in America. Its volunteers work in a variety of roles in communities throughout the U.S. On August 25th of this year, the PATHWAYS Program welcomed its first Volunteer Youth Coordinator, Allison Panetta.

Alison Panetta

Volunteer Youth Coordinator, Allison Panetta, from AmeriCorps/VISTA at MSPP's PATHWAYS this year.

MSPP's Haiti Summer Immersion Program

In July 2014, ten MSPP students participated in a summer immersion experience in Haiti, along with faculty members Dr. Gemima St. Louis, Dr. Jill Bloom, and Dr. Bruce Ecker. The Haiti Service Learning and Summer Immersion Program is a course offered through MSPP, in partnership with the Haitian Mental Health Network. The course provides students with increased knowledge, skills, and experience in working with Haitian and Haitian-American individuals and families, and in becoming more skilled as practitioners to serve Haitian communities in the U.S. and Haiti. Students learn about the rich history of Haiti, its cultural belief systems and practices, and their impact on help-seeking behaviors among Haitian immigrants. Additionally, students travel for a week-long service learning and summer immersion experience in Haiti where they gain a deeper appreciation of the language, customs, and cultural practices of Haitian society. This summer, the group traveled to the Arcahaie region of Haiti where they volunteered and worked with youth at Hope on a String and Lycee Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable. They also conducted training on the impact of trauma on child and adolescent development at Child Flower Haiti and Centre de Formation Technique et Professionnelle.

Haitian Summer Immersion

Haitian Summer Immersion

MSPP students and faculty on thier Haitina Immersion trip.

36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Descriptive Psychology

At this years's, The 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Descriptive Psychology, eight current or former MSPP students will be presenting their work. In addition, Eben Lasker will serve on the Society's Board of Directors as a Student/Young Professional Representative.

Alum: Anna Berin, Eben Lasker and Aimee Yermish

Current students: Al Ossorio, Bryan Harnsberger, Jason Backstrom, Matthew Kobs and Zack Delcambre.

For the last six years, with the generous support of The Society of Descriptive Psychology and MSPP, many of our students have presented works in progress or completed work, usually their Doctoral Projects, at the Annual Conference in Golden, Colorado. Members of the Society have also served as consultants in the participant's ongoing work.

Click here for information on the current program.

Bruce Ecker Receives Norbett L. Mintz Chair in Professional Psychology Award

Every two years since September 2002, MSPP has honored an outstanding faculty member with a two year award of the Norbett L. Mintz Chair in Professional Psychology. This significant award is described in the original gift from the Mintz Family as for a "gifted practitioner-teacher of psychology." The gift was made by the parents of Norbett Mintz. Dr. Norby Mintz was a highly respected Core Faculty member in the Department of Clinical Psychology for many years.

Bruce EckerThis year the award goes to Dr. Bruce Ecker. Bruce has played a very important role at MSPP. He is an outstanding and gifted teacher and mentor. He has been a pivotal figure in forwarding and leading the development of MSPP's Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience. He has appointments in both the Department of School Psychology and the Department of Clinical Psychology. He is the leader and coordinator of the Faculty Advisory Committee and he facilitates the smooth functioning of faculty governance. Bruce is highly esteemed by students, faculty and staff. This is a well- deserved recognition of Bruce's multiple and on-going contributions to MSPP and to the greater community. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Ecker.

The Irish International Immigration Center (IIIC)

The Irish International Immigration Center (IIIC) in Boston is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. As part of the celebration Michelle Harris, MA, faculty in the Expressive Arts Therapy program, began collaborating with their community with a Collaborative Quilt. At the latest Cross-Cultural Event to celebrate National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that highlights the contributions of immigrants to American communities, participants from Haiti, Iraq, Venezuela, Ireland, and Israel, all contributed artwork. In the pictures, one can see the quilt with some of the community members in action!

Irish International Immigration Center Quilt
Irish International Immigration Center

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 3/12/15

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