University of Houston-Victoria school psychology graduate students made presentations for the first time ever last week at the Texas Association of School Psychologists Convention in Irving.
Eight UHV students made three presentations at the event, an annual meeting of professional school psychologists. The students were Thelissa Edwards, Jenae Walker, Laura Murphy, Jennifer Escobedo, Rachel Ntege, Courtney Suarez, Aimee Arnold and Stacey Presley.
Anitra Shelton-Quinn, a UHV assistant professor and school psychology program director, said she wanted to get her students involved with the convention so they could learn about the latest developments in the field and network with colleagues from other institutions.
“We want them to be an asset to school psychology by working to advance it as both a science and a profession,” Shelton-Quinn said. “They got to look at the types of intervention and issues that are relevant to school children, such as emotional and social development, and mental health.”
Shelton-Quinn said the students also learned about program development, as well as assessment, prevention and intervention strategies.
The trio of groups gave presentations about assessment issues of ethnic minorities and the effects of various styles of preschool education.
Graduate student Thelissa Edwards said the convention helped her learn more about her passion.
“My undergraduate degree is in finance, but I recently began working with children in juvenile centers,” Edwards said. “It gave me a spark because I can see how these children’s lives could have been different if they would have had an advocate.”
Edwards, who is working with the Katy Independent School District as part of her master’s degree, said everything she learned at the convention would have a direct application to her involvement with youth.
“I wanted to have a greater impact on people in a more tangible way,” she said. “I’m interested in doing research and serving at-risk and culturally diverse students, and advocating for that population.”
Edwards also is president of the UHV chapter of Psi Chi, a national psychology honor society.
Shelton-Quinn; Trina Gordon, training director of the UHV counseling psychology program; and Jennifer Byrne, who works for Pasadena Independent School District, also gave a presentation about writing school-based psychological reports.