Applied Educational Psychology, School Psychology Students Present at ISPA in Amsterdam
Oct. 4, 2016
Students and faculty in Webster University's Applied Educational Psychology and School Psychology programs presented five poster presentations at the 38th annual meeting of the International School Psychology Association (ISPA) in Amsterdam July 20-23.
The participating students were particularly grateful for support they received from Webster faculty and administration, including Brenda Fyfe, dean of the School of Education, and Julian Schuster, Webster's provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer, who helped encourage them to attend and present at the conference, where they made professional connections with peers from around the world.
This year’s topic at ISPA was "School Psychology 3.0-A World of Connections: School Psychologists as Communicators, Collaborators, Organizers and Mental Health Advocates." Webster’s Applied Educational Psychology and School Psychology programs chose to focus on school psychologists as mental health advocates.
In the fall of 2015, they began researching the mental health of children and youth in Missouri, a state with a child well-being ranking in the bottom half of the 50 United States. They obtained Webster IRB approval and continued the research for several months. Under the guidance of Debbie Stiles, professor and coordinator of the Applied Educational Pyschology program, and with the collaboration of 25 fellow students, they presented five posters advocating for school psychology and the mental health of preschool, school-aged, and young adolescents in Missouri.
With Mary Chittooran and Mathew Traughber, Stiles presented, "Advocating for Children’s Rights and Mental Health in Missouri in the United States."
The titles of the five student posters presented at ISPA are:
- "Advocating for school psychology and the mental health of pre-school children in Missouri"
- "Advocating for school psychology and the mental health of school-aged children in Missouri"
- "Advocating for school psychology and the mental health of young adolescents in Missouri"
- "Advocating for school psychology, school 'drop out' prevention, and the mental health of adolescents with disabilities"
- "Advocating for school psychology and the mental health of gifted and talented children and youth in Missouri"
The group's arrival in the Netherlands after a full night of trans-Atlantic travel began at Leiden, where the students raved about the "amazing, accommodating staff who received us with open arms."
Professional Growth Opportunities
In addition to presenting at ISPA, the students had several opportunities to meet with international leaders in the field of school psychology, including a “Futures” meeting with Shane Jimerson, ISPA president.
In that meeting, Laura Grizzle, Centron Felder, and Benjamin Koenig represented Webster University among 12 students who discussed the future of ISPA with Jimerson.
After their presentations, the students also connected with university students from South Africa, Cypress and Spain, with whom they found some projects are in parallel and invite a cooperative effort.
They also made outstanding organizational connections. Samra Sabegovic visited the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, PAX (international Peace Program), the International Criminal Court, and the International Court of Justice. Several visited the International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI) and the Child Rights Home in Leiden, where Webster representatives appeared on the Facebook page of ICDI as a result of the visit.
Applying Research to Educate Others
The following three-minute videos were also presented at ISPA. They were directed by graduate student Christopher Campbell, produced by Stiles, and narrated by graduate student Jennifer Pierce:
- Webster University and Child Rights: Guiding Principles
- Webster University and Child Rights: Provision Rights
- Webster University and Child Rights: Protection