Psychology graduate students impress at regional research conference

Alyson Faires (left) and Sarah Falkowitz

Two students from Radford University masters in counseling psychology program met with success when they brought their research to the Carolinas Psychology Conference (CPC) on April 16.

Alyson Faires and Sarah Falkowitz have just completed their first year in the program, during which they each pursued research goals. The students were invited to share their results in oral presentations and hopefully be of service to others.

"We tried to take what we could from our research and find out what we could use to help people learn," Falkowitz said. "We can then incorporate our conversations and experiences into future research."

Falkowitz's research, conducted with Assistant Professor David Townsend, centered on the differences in early educational intervention for children with autism. Faires, with Professor Ann Elliott, studied victimization and the differences in trauma between college-aged women and men.

According to Faires, one of the benefits of attending events like CPC is connecting with other scholars and professionals.

"I had someone in my audience come talk to me after and he was in criminal justice," Faires said. "It was nice to network and see what other people are doing – even in other fields - and find out I'm on the right track."

The conference wasn't purely about presenting research. The pair got to show their stuff in a "Jeopardy"-style competition with representatives from two other colleges. Although they had to reach as far back as freshman psychology courses, Faires and Falkowitz – assisted by Townsend – emerged victorious in the game.

"Jeopardy was just a little bonus, a way to have a little fun at the conference," Falkowitz said. "And it let us reach back to remember some things we might have forgotten."

CPC is one of the longest running undergraduate psychology conferences in the nation. Its purpose is to provide students in psychology the opportunity to present their research in front of their peers and faculty in a professional, but friendly, setting.

Radford's M.S. or M.A. in Clinical-Counseling Psychology program prepares professionals by giving them a strong theoretical and applied foundation for working in the field of mental health counseling or for pursuing additional graduate or professional training in counseling or in clinical psychology. Students spend the first year conducting research in an area of their interest and the second participating in clinical practicums to develop real-world counseling skills.

Graduates from the program are prepared to work in a variety of settings such as psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse facilities, women's resource centers/domestic violence shelters, correctional facilities, university counseling settings, crisis stabilization facilities and more.

May 10, 2016