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October 2016

University of South Floridas


Whats Inside
Presidential Update

p. 2
Preparing for FASP

p. 3 - 7
Research Groups

p. 8 - 10
SPSA Events

p. 11 - 13
NASP Update

p. 14

p. 15

Visit Our Website:

Presidential Update
By Casie Peet
Greetings SPSA!
I hope everyone is having a fabulous semester and is getting out a
little bit to enjoy that fall breeze! I know this is often the time in
the semester when assignments and responsibilities start
intensifying but I hope you are all persisting and taking care of
SPSA has been busy this year with multiple events already! On
October 1st we continued in the annual tradition of participating in
the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in St. Petersburg. Our
team won two awards: Top Team Fundraiser School Category
and Largest Team School Category. Go team! We also had a fall
pumpkin carving event that included pumpkin flavored snacks and
drink! At the end of September we said a heartfelt goodbye to our
dear Sandy Turner who held an important place in our office and
our hearts! SPSA raised money for a beautiful retirement gift to
send her off!
SPSA has been busy so far this year and we will continue to have
social events and hopefully organize some service events as well.
We will begin to plan for School Psychology Awareness Week
and we are anticipating a week full of events to spread awareness
about our awesome field!
Finally, our Webmaster, Sheena has updated our website so check
it out:!

Preparing for FASP 2016

Tips from Dr. Shannon Suldo and Dr. Raffaele-Mendez

Review the schedule!

Check out
schedule on



Think Ahead!
What presentations do I
Pick a topic that broadens
your skillset
Find presenters who are
the best in the field

Some questions to ask yourself while

planning for the conference:
What topics do I hope to learn more about?
What connections do I hope to make? How will I
facilitate them?
What social activity will I attend to network?
What are my must attend presentations?

Preparing for FASP 2016


How do I Make
Venture out on your own at
some point (dont forget to
take notes for your USF
friends at other presentations)
Introduce yourself to
presenters whose work is of
interest to you, even though it
may seem intimidating
Hang out with your professors
who may make some key
introductions for you

Attend Social Activities

Wed. Nov. 2, 2016
Internship and Job Fair
Welcome and General Session
Social Hour
Awards Celebration
Welcome Reception

Other conference tips

Dress professionally and in layers
Visit the concessions area to find new books and resources
and get some freebies!
Bring your own lunch to save money on food

Preparing for FASP 2016


If youre presenting
Make sure your technology needs are met & bring
handouts if applicable
Dont spend all your time rehearsing. Take advantage
of nearby opportunities to grow professionally.

Preparing for FASP 2016


Post-conference follow-up tips:

Email people who you connected with well at the
Locate research studies or order interventions that are
exciting to you and your future work
Create a timeline for potential opportunities to collaborate

Other opportunities:
Visit and help the FASP Childrens Services Fund, Inc!
The CSFI was founded in 1999 to provide direct and
indirect services that promote the educational and
psychological well being of Floridas children and families
with needs. CSFI collects money for grants and various
types of goods and services to help meet the needs of the
children they serve.

Good Luck FASP Presenters!

Opening Doors for Impoverished
and Homeless Youth: TraumaInformed Approaches
S. Dickinson, E. Esposito, & L.
Raffaele Mendez

Teacher Child Interaction Therapy:

An Ecological Approach to Disruptive
K. Knap, N. Hofmann, C. Smith, S.
Hinojosa, & J. Ogg

Child Abuse and Neglect:

Implications for School
S. Dickinson, O. Hernandez
Gonzalez, N. Kauk, & K. LaRosa

An App for That: Using Technology

in Psychotherapy for Youth
N. Hofmann & C. Lynn

Early Elementary Teacher Ratings

of Classroom Behavior and
A. Mattison, L. Raffaele Mendez, C.
Hanks, E. Wingate, & S. Dickinson

Effective Vocabulary Interventions

for English Language Learners
O. Hernandez Gonzalez & T.
The Impact of Child and Maternal
Factors on Young Latino Students
O. Hernandez Gonzalez, L. Lopez,
K. Bradley-Klug, & J. Ferron

Enhancing Student Engagement of

High Schoolers in Accelerated
L. OBrennan, J. Parker, A. Collier,
C. Hanks, K. Shum, & E.
School Psychologists and
School Nurses: Promoting
Integrated Health Care
K. LaRosa, N. Smith, K. BradleyKlug, C. Lynn, M. Cambric, & K.
Effectiveness of Parent-Child
Interaction Therapy for Children
with ASD
Presenters: K. Knap, J. Ogg,

Combating Childhood Obesity

Using Mindful Eating Practices
K. LaRosa, N.Hofmann, & M.
How Parent Practices Foster
Adolescents Motivation, Engagement,
and Belonging
D. Rubio, Jr.
Using Socratic Dialogue to Promote
Cognitive Change
L. Raffaele Mendez, C. Peet, S. Hera,
& R. Gormley
Integrating Mindfulness Strategies into
a High School Coping Skills
L. OBrennan, J. Parker, E. Storey, R.
Gormley, J. Wang, & S. Suldo
Promoting Childrens Happiness
Through a Classwide Positive
Psychology Curriculum
S. Suldo, M. McCullough, E. Storey,
K. Shum, E. Wingate, N. Smith, & D.
Rubio (2 CEs)
Counseling Students with Executive
Functioning Disorders in a Secondary
J. Daye

Across-Time Links Between

Teenagers Academic Outcomes
and Life Satisfaction
Presenters: E. Esposito, S. Suldo, &
J. Ferron

Behavior Interventions at Early Steps:

Implications for School Psychologists
S. Dickinson, L. Raffaele Mendez,
& E. Shaffer-Hudkins
Credentialing in Florida: What
School Psychologists Need to Know
L. Raffaele Mendez
Youth Suicide: Trends in Prevention
and Intervention Strategies
E. Storey, M. Cambric, & C. Schick
Interventions for ASD and OCD in
the Classroom
K. Shum & A. Collier

Promoting Hope in Students:

Assessment, Interventions
Methods, and Implications
E. Storey, A. Collier, C. Hanks,
C. Peet, K. Shum, & S. Suldo
Teachers Characteristics
Affecting Accuracy in Identifying
Internalizing Students
E. Storey, S. Suldo, J. Ferron,
& N. Romer
Strengths-Based Intervention
for Teachers: Impact on Student
Mental Health
M. McCullough, S. Suldo,
& J. Ferron
Professional Development and
RtI: Does PD Improve
J. Castillo, J. Daye, K. Shum,
& J. Wang
Improved Care for Youth with
Asthma The Role of the School
K. LaRosa & T. Schneider

Its time for

Research Groups Updates!

This semester in VARSITY, we have been diligently working on numerous
FASP and NASP presentations. Specific presentation titles include CBT for
externalizing behavior: A multi-tiered approach, Early elementary teacher
ratings of classroom behavior and disproportionality, Opening doors for
impoverished and homeless youth: Trauma informed approaches, and Using
socratic dialogues to promote cognitive change. In addition, we have been
preparing a number of manuscripts for publication. This has allowed
research group members to gain valuable experience developing and
submitting a paper for publication. Team members have continued to
facilitate the SRN Longitudinal study, which will report the impact of
wraparound care (provided through Starting Right, Now) on homeless
students' long-term outcomes. Many students in the group are also working
on their theses and dissertations and have received a great deal of help and
support from other team members. If any of these topics interest you, we
meet every Thursday in the measurement conference room from 12:30-2:00.
Hope to see you there! Sarah Dickinson

The Pediatric School Psychology Research group, under the direction of Dr. Kathy
Bradley-Klug, has continued to focus their research on issues related to health and
children in educational settings. Since this summer began the group has been hard a
work developing a survey to assess the communication and collaborative practices
between school nurses and school psychologist. Communication is a unilateral
relationship while collaboration is bilateral. The group is in the final stages of developing
the survey and looks forward to pilot testing the measure soon. This topic is the focus of
both a FASP and NASP presentation so if you have an interest in this research or can
contribute any additional expertise, please attend either of the presentations or join us
every other Friday at 3:00 PM in the main conference room. - Nicholas Smith


Its time for

Research Groups Updates!

This semester, members of the Positive Psychology research team have
focused their efforts on supporting the undergraduate service learning
class, Positive Psychology in the Schools; reviewing manuscripts related to
hope and measures of subjective well-being; and preparing presentations for
FASP and NASP. Presentations from this group will provide practitioners
with strategies for promoting hope in students as well as for promoting
students happiness through the application of a positive psychology
curriculum. Future group endeavors include analyzing data from our recent
collaboration with a local elementary school to explore topics such as social
support, hope, student use of personal strengths, and mental health. Anyone
interested in positive psychology is encouraged to attend research group
meetings on alternating Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. - Emily Wingate

Positive Psychology
The AP/IB research group has been very busy this semester piloting the
universal student curriculum we created last year (called ACE- Advancing
Coping and Engagement for APIB Student Success) in two local Tampa high
schools. Every week our team implements our universal curricula for almost
450 9th grade students! Besides delivering our student modules classwide, at
our lab meetings we conduct training and feedback sessions on our modules
and collect student acceptability data weekly. We also have been refining the
next piece of our student intervention program, our selective student
intervention which we will implement next semester for students who are at
academic and/or emotional risk. Back in September, our team went through
a 2.5 day long training in Motivational Interviewing that we will use with atrisk AP/IB students in the spring! If you want to learn more about our work,
we will be giving 2 presentations at FASP: one focused on how to promote
student engagement, and one focused on promoting mindfulness skills for
students. - Elizabeth Storey



Its time for

Research Groups Updates!

The Bilingual School Readiness Lab is under the direction of Dr. Lisa
Lopez and focuses on fostering an understanding of the normative
development of dual language learners (DLLs) within the area of school
readiness. The lab has established relationships with local Head Start
agencies. For instance, one of the current projects, the Head Start Quality
Study, is looking at the differences between high and low-quality Head Start
centers. Lab members collected data on children, teacher, and classroom
level variables to provide recommendations to the Hillsborough County
Head Start/EHS School Readiness Committee. We will present the Head
Start Quality Study results at the Society for Research in Child Development
(SRCD) conference next year in Austin, Texas. Lab members are also writing
two manuscripts in the areas of socio-emotional development and math skills
in bilingual children. The lab meets once a month on selected Mondays
from 1:00 pm 2:30 pm in EDU 356 (measurement and research
conference room). Future meetings are on October 24, November 14, and
November 14. - Olivia Hernandez Gonzalez

Bilingual School Readiness Lab

Dr. Jose Castillo and students in the MTSS research group are collaborating
with program alumna Dr. Amanda March to evaluate the validity of the
Systems Coaching Survey. Systems coaches are individuals who apply skills to
increase capacity of educational leadership teams to implement MTSS with
fidelity. The survey is intended to evaluate the coaching skills of educators
whose responsibility is to implement MTSS in their schools and districts. The
Systems Coaching Survey also evaluates these individuals' capacity to teach
coaching skills to others. We plan to use a national sample of educators who
are implementing MTSS in their schools or districts. We are currently writing
an IRB protocol to gain approval for the study and we hope to disseminate
the survey in the spring of 2017. - Sarah Thoman




SPSA at Race for the Cure

School Psychology students participated in the annual
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, October
1, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
SPSA first participated in the Race for the Cure when Judi
Hyde was diagnosed with cancer. This annual tradition
began with program alumna Dr. Amanda Marchs cohort
and SPSA has won different sections of the race
throughout the years.
This year, Drew Jenkins, David Rubio, Emily Wingate,
and Sarah Thoman represented SPSA in the 5K run to
support breast cancer research. Elizabeth Storey and
Kristin Edwards served as virtual team members and
Courtney Williams cheered on runners at the finish line.
David placed 1st in his age group and Emily came in 3rd
place in the female overall category. Team SPSA also took
home the Top Team Fundraiser and Largest Team
awards in the school category. Great work, SPSA!



Its all about the Pumpkin

On October 15, SPSA hosted a Pumpkin Day event at the White

House*. The event was BYOP (bring your own pumpkin). Pumpkin
beer, pumpkin bread, and other fall-oriented items were included! The
event was themed "pretend-it's-actually-fall-in-Florida" and included
pumpkin carving, Halloween movie watching, and crunchy leaves. We
had lots of fun and will certainly showcase our carved pumpkins at our
*The White House is our beloved presidents home, and here we feature
her magnificent pumpkin carving skills.



We also said goodbye to our beloved


On September 29th, our beloved Sandy retired. When

we heard that Sandy is retiring, SPSA members who
are on or off campus (e.g., on internship or graduated)
wrote her a happy retirement card. We also gave her
gifts that shout Go Bulls!. Sandy has always been a
ray of sunshine in our program. We appreciate her
kindness and warmth. Almost all of us had received
help from her one way or another. We are grateful for
having her support throughout all these years and it
pains us to say goodbye. Nonetheless, we wish her the
very best in her future adventure!



NASP Student Leader Update

By Elizabeth Storey
I am excited to continue serving as one of your NASP Student Leaders, and now as our
program's FASP Student Leaders this year as well! I would also love to congratulate Casie
Peet who will be serving as our program's other NASP Student Leader this year.

NASP October News:

School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) is November 14th 18th, 2016! This
years theme is Small Steps Change Lives. Please let me know if you would like to join me
in organizing activities on campus that week. Typical activities SPSA has participated in
during SPAW is expressing gratitude for fellow students and professors and speaking to
undergrad classes at USF about school psychology!
Registration for the 2017 NASP Annual Convention is now open. Join 5,000 of your
fellow students and practicing school psychology professionals February 21-24, 2017 in
San Antonio, Texas. Register before November 9th and take advantage of the student
registration discount AND early bird discount.
Are you a graduate student from a diverse background who is interested in holding
leadership positions in the field of school psychology? Consider participating in the
Diversity and Leadership Mentorship Program. Through this program you will be paired
with a mentor of similar background to act as your mentor. If interested, please contact
Agustina Bertone ( by November 14, 2016.
Have you had an experience or an idea you feel other NASP graduate students would
benefit from hearing? Try your hand at writing in the Student Connections Column of
the Communiqu! The editors will work with you draft after draft and provide supportive
feedback to help you turn your idea into a reality! Contact the Communiqu student
editor Micah Tilley ( if you are interested in publishing.
The Minority Scholarship Program will again award $5,000 scholarships to select minority
graduate students. Announcement of the awards will be made at the NASP 2017 Annual
Convention in San Antonio, TX. The application overview is now available online and the
deadline to apply is November 7th, 2016. Please visit the Minority Scholarship Program
website (from the NASP website) for more information


Congratulations to those students who recently
proposed or defended a thesis or dissertation!

Thesis &

Thesis &

Courtney Lynn

Renee Corbett

Michael Frank

Emily Esposito


Save the Date!




School Psychology Awareness Week


Special Thanks
to all those who helped create this newsletter
Sarah Thoman
Sarah Dickinson
Casie Peet
Elizabeth Storey
Emily Wingate
Nicholas Smith

Olivia Hernandez-Gonzalez
Dr. Jose Castillo
Dr. Shannon Suldo

Dr. Raffaele-Mendez
Todd Williams