One of University of Houston-Victoria graduate student Brandon McElveen's goals as the university's student representative to the National Association of School Psychology is to promote UHV's school psychology programs. It's a role he takes seriously.
In November, McElveen, along with faculty member Anitra Shelton-Quinn, helped create the UHV School Psychology Association and became the organization's first president.
“We hope to organize fundraising activities that will allow members of our SPA to attend NASP conventions,” said McElveen, who lives in Houston. “The goal is to get more students involved in the local program, and that will improve the program as a whole.”
Along with fundraising, McElveen has other ideas for students in the new organization. He said because the school psychology program is primarily online, students often miss out on interacting face to face with their professors. The SPA hopes to increase collaboration between faculty and students in the program by creating a committee that will conduct research with UHV faculty members.
“The School Psychology Association is open to anyone interested in the field,” McElveen said. “Alumni, undergraduate students or even people who might be just thinking about it as a potential career path are welcome to join.”
An internship with the Spring Branch Independent School District proved instrumental in helping McElveen start this fledgling organization. He said in the past, he had always worked full time while taking a full course load, leaving little time for anything else.
“The biggest challenge has been balancing everything,” McElveen said. “So this year, I'm focusing on my internship at Spring Branch ISD as both school and work, and that's given me time to take on more roles like being president of the SPA.”
As an intern, McElveen provides services to help students succeed academically, socially and emotionally.
“Your internship is that year where you take all the classroom knowledge you've learned and you get to actually apply it,” he said. “It's much more hands-on. You get to really make a difference in students' lives, and it's been amazing.”
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler or call 361-570-4350.