Three MSE alumni and one student were recognized at the Utah Association of School Psychologists (UASP) conference for their outstanding work in the field of school psychology: Lisa Dickison, Veronica Gorgueiro, Melissa Leininger, and Leah Voorhies. The fact that four of the six award winners come from the McKay School shows that MSE faculty and students are committed to doing great things for children, said school psychology program coordinator Ellie Young. Young, who has worked with all of the award recipients, described the group as “fine scholars as well as wonderful practitioners.”
Lisa Dickison, who graduated with an education specialist degree in 2007, received the School Psychologist of the Year Award. Young acknowledged Dickison’s strengths, saying, “She was always a very thoughtful, reflective student who went about her work in a quiet, effective way.” Dickison’s thesis, School Psychologists’ Job Satisfaction and Reason for Retention, was published in the winter 2009 edition of The School Psychologist.
Veronica Gorgueiro was awarded the Barbara Bennett Excellence in Diversity Award for her leadership and advocacy in treating diverse populations with respect within her field. Young said that Gorgueiro is wise about diversity issues and knows how to get things done. “She has done a lot to respond to the needs of children from diverse backgrounds,” Young explained. Gorgueiro, who graduated from the school psychology education specialist program in 2008, has presented at several national conferences and was previously awarded the National Minority Scholarship.
Graduate student Melissa Leininger received the School Psychology Student of the Year Award. Before beginning the school psychology education specialist program, Leininger was a classroom teacher for two years. Currently she works full time as a school psychology intern in the Davis School District. Young praised Leininger’s ability to use her knowledge of teaching skills to better serve children as a school psychologist. Leininger is currently preparing to present her thesis at the National Association of School Psychologists convention and have it published.
Leah Voorhies received the Distinguished Service Award for her exceptional service to UASP. Young described Voorhies as “a devoted practitioner” who has worked tirelessly for children and for UASP. In UASP, “she provides a calm and reasoned influence,” Young expressed. Voorhies worked at the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind for 14 years and has supervised several school psychology interns from the McKay School. Voorhies, who graduated with a PhD in 2007, recently submitted her dissertation for publication.
All award recipients were nominated by faculty, colleagues, or members of the UASP executive board. Young remarked, “We are really blessed to have people who are making meaningful contributions to the field of school psychology.”
15 February 2010