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May 5, 2020

Student Spotlight: First Graduates of the PsyD Program

It is with great joy that Roberts Wesleyan College announces the graduation of its first doctoral students. Six students have earned the Psy.D. in Clinical/School Psychology and will receive their diplomas. Dr. Deana Porterfield, Roberts Wesleyan College President, said "We are celebrating a historic moment for Roberts Wesleyan College. Since our founding over 154 years ago, we have issued high school diplomas, Certificates, Associates Degrees, Bachelor's Degrees and Master's Degrees to graduates who have made an impact on their world. The year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons, but today I am grateful that for us it will now be marked as the year we awarded our first Doctoral degrees. I am so proud of our Psy.D. graduates and their families, and the Roberts Department of Psychology faculty and staff who have worked so hard to make a long dream into a reality."

Dr. Cheryl Repass, Chair of the Psychology Department noted: “We couldn't be more proud of our first group of graduating doctoral candidates. They truly represent the great level of diverse training our program has to offer. These six graduates have pursued varied interests within the field with the training they have received. We are excited to see where they will travel and the lives that they will touch as they make contributions within our community“ Indeed, based on the graduates’ current plans, represented in this inaugural cohort of graduates are a clinical psychiatric psychologist, a college professor, a licensed school psychologist, a therapeutic counseling psychologist, child therapeutic psychologist, and forensic/school psychologist, pending licensure.

Graduates and their Dissertations:

Alayna Davison
Get Grit at the Warrior Factory: An Overcoming Obstacles Program for Youth
Rebecca Draper
The Effectiveness and Comparison of Tier 2 Interventions on Improving Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes in Elementary School
Kristi Kohl
Examining Teacher Expectations of Special Education and General Education Students in Intermediate Integrated Co-Taught Classrooms
Vanessa Komarek
The Use of Sand Tray Therapy with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Comorbid Mental Illness
Alysa MacMillen
A Paradigm Shift Toward Trauma-Informed Practices in Education: A Program Evaluation
Julia Vitale
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Children with Externalizing Behaviors

Roberts Wesleyan College is grateful to its field education partners in the greater Rochester area and surrounding communities who have provided invaluably in the training of these young professionals.

The Roberts Wesleyan College Psy.D. program launched in the fall of 2016 and utilizes an integrated training model that blends the professional areas of clinical and school psychology, providing students with a broad foundation for clinical practice. The program prepares students for practice across a wide range of settings, populations, and clinical and educational issues, with a special focus on preparing graduates to work with children, adolescents, young adults, and families. More than 45 students are currently enrolled in the program.

The Program earned APA accreditation “on contingency” in October of 2018. The Psy.D. program faculty plans to pursue an “Accredited” status as early as November 1, 2021 after obtaining graduate outcome data from this first class. The “Accreditation on contingency” status will remain in effect until October 28, 2023 and all students who complete the program during this time will have recognition for completing an APA accredited program.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 | Email: | Web:

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