Prestigious conference awards TAMIU psychology graduate students

Prestigious conference awards TAMIU psychology graduate students

By Angela K. Carranza
Assistant Editor

Published Monday, Sept. 14, 2020

Five TAMIU students recently earned recognition from one of the highest professional organizations in their chosen career field.

From Aug. 6-9, the American Psychology Association held its yearly conference which included five TAMIU Master of Counseling Psychology graduate students who won poster awards.

Evelyn Campos and Alejandro Flores received Division 49’s Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Poster of the Year Award for promoting diversity and social justice. Their poster was called “Psychoeducational Groups for Latinos: Group Cohesion’s Influence on Fostering Safe Learning Environments.”

Alyssa Vera, Ivette Soto and Rebeca Salazar won Division 27’s Society for Community Research and Action Poster Award for their work titled, “A Stress Management Psychoeducational Group for Latinos: Outcomes and Cultural Factors Contributing to Group Cohesion.”

“Our students worked incredibly hard, [and] doing qualitative research is very taxing and time consuming,” Assistant Professor of psychology Ediza Garcia said. “Our students took data from 2,640 personal responses which were then transcribed and coded into a thematic analysis. So, [these projects took] an [immense] amount of hours [to complete].”

Garcia also serves as MACP program director, where she mentors psychology graduate students like Poster of the Year Award co-recipient Campos.

“We did a lot of research on what works better for Latino college students,” Campos said. “The fact that there is a lack of research [when it comes to Latinos in higher education] is outstanding and very important because I feel that Latinos in higher education is a growing population and there is not a lot of help curated to Latinos in the United States.

“As students of the MACP program, we are all trying to be there and offer support for Latino students in higher education.”

The effects of these projects will be reflected in the coming years and are intended to help other students.

“My most favorite part about this project is just being able to be there for these students and being able to let them know that they can come to a place where they feel safe,” Campos said. “[They] can tell us how they feel, knowing that their sessions are confidential and will be used to help future individuals.”

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