Listed is a sampling of research done by faculty and students. Each semester the department hosts a Graduate Brown Bag Lunch Discussion for students. This is an opportunity for students to gather and discuss dissertation topics, research, and current issues around psychology.
“Get Grit at the Warrior Factory: An Innovative Program for Youth” Alayna Davison, Psy.D.
“My life’s been good. It changed, it’s been good.” The Use of Sandtray Therapy with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Comorbid Mental Illness." Vanessa Komarek, Psy.D.
"The Effectiveness and Comparison of Tier 2 Interventions on Improving Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes in Elementary School" Rebecca Draper, Psy.D.
"A Paradigm Shift toward Trauma-Informed Practices in Education: A Program Evaluation" Alysa MacMillen, Psy.D.
“The Implementation of Psychosocial Interventions to Child Survivors of Online Sexual Exploitation in the Philippines” Dr. Rebecca Draper and Dr. Keri Bassett
"Program Evaluation of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Western New York School District" Joseph Constanza, Psy.D.
"Contextualizing the Concept of Refugee Mental Health in Education: A Phenomenological Study of Educators' Perceptions on Refugee Mental Health Needs" Brianna Diaz, Psy.D.
For a complete listing of published dissertations click here.
Spring 2022 Lunch Discussion Schedule
March 4—Dissertation Title: Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) Survivors’ Functioning After Reintegration in the Philippines
Megan Scroger, Psy.D. Candidate
March 11—One size Doesn’t Fit All: Religious Worldview Sensitivity in Psychological Assessment
Professor Nicholas DiFonzo
Abstract: Central questions in psychology include: “What is a person?” “What is “the good life” (i.e., a life worth living)?” and “What constitutes optimal human functioning?”
These sorts of questions cannot be answered with data; rather, they are philosophical/religious assumptions that one commits to. Answers to central questions vary according to worldview, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Humanism, and Naturalism. Hence, psychology is pluralistic: There are a variety of worldview-based psychologies rather than one monolithic psychology. Psychological measurements are implicitly shaped by worldview assumptions, and thus unwittingly influence our understanding of persons and appropriate therapeutic goals. In this presentation I define and describe the concept of worldview bias as the implicit effects on psychological measurement that accrue from non-empirical assumptions. I examine particular ways in which worldview is reflected in standard psychological assessments. I especially focus on the assessment of self-esteem and happiness. I explore how psychologists may benefit from an awareness of worldview bias and psychological pluralism. Finally, I discuss how clinicians may appropriately account for worldview bias in measurement
March 18—Counseling African American Women
Dr. Kimber Shelton
March 25—Responding to Bias Concerns Using Restorative Practices
Adele Bovard has served in education for over thirty years as a classroom teacher, principal of elementary and secondary buildings, Deputy Superintendent and Superintendent of Schools. In each role, she has used restorative practices to connect to students and the school community in rural, suburban, and urban districts. In retirement, Adele works with schools across the country in her role as lead facilitator of the Eastern Region for Restorative Justice Education ( RJEd).
Adele served on the NY State Bar Association Task Force on the School to Prison Pipeline. Recommendations included using restorative practices in the guiding philosophy of discipline in schools and aligning Code of Conduct language. Adele facilitated this work with administrators, teachers, students, and parents creating the framework for integrating a Culture of Care with existing MTSS initiatives.
Adele believes in mentoring the next generation of leaders and serves on the Board of Directors of New York State Association for Women in Administration( NYSAWA) as well as the New York State School Music Association ( NYSSMA) and chairs the Diversity Committee.
April 1—Dissertation Proposal entitled "Psychosocial Factors of Recovery in Child Survivors of Trafficking in Persons”
Julia Palozzi, Psy.D. Candidate
April 15—Dissertation Proposal entitled “Investigating the Champions of Antiracism and Social Justice Training Program Experience for Female Teacher Leaders of Color: A Phenomenological Approach”
Zeina Naoum, PsyD. Candidate
April 22—Socialization of Masculinity: Normative Male Alexithymia
Dr. John Lynch
John brings more than 30 years of personal and professional growth and experience. Dr Lynch has published books on men’s issues and conflict management and has developed a series of audio files to assist people with surgery recovery.
Dr. Lynch received an MS from Madison College in 1975 and spent many year working in the Stafford, Fredericksburg and Henrico school systems as both a school psychologist and director of pupil personnel. He received an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1989 and has worked in community mental health, psychiatric hospitals, and the Veterans Administration in addition to maintaining a private practice since 1991.
In addition to anxiety and depression, his specialty areas include couples therapy/relationship issues, men’s issues, stress and conflict management, and trauma recovery. His goal is to help individuals reconnect with their original desires and live more meaningful and productive lives