Counseling and School Psychology Students Present Faculty-Mentored Research at Annual Innovative Research Symposium

Counseling and School Psychology Students Present Faculty-Mentored Research at Annual Innovative Research Symposium

Image of students and dean

Pictures (l-r): Rhiannya Byrne and Isabella DelVecchio with their faculty mentor SEHD Interim Dean Evelyn Bilias Lolis, PhD.

Six groups of SEHD students shared their research projects with the University community during the annual poster presentation session; two of the students received honorable mention for the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Research Prize.

SEHD students and faculty once again showcased their collaborative research at the annual Innovative Research Symposium in April. The Symposium marks a celebration of scholarly excellence at Fairfield, and is an opportunity for the campus community to come together to learn about the fascinating and timely research conducted by Fairfield students as they explore topics that extend beyond the classroom. 

Students demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence and innovation at the annual Symposium as members of the University community spoke with them about their findings. The day-long celebration marked an occasion for students to highlight their expertise and dedication to topics in their fields, and is an example of SEHD’s commitment to fostering collaboration and driving positive change.

Among the SEHD students who presented, two individuals were recognized with honorable mention by the DiMenna-Nyselius Library as part of the Library’s annual Research Prize Award. These outstanding students, Rhiannya Byrne and Isabella DelVecchio, were recognized for their use of Library resources to conduct their research project, titled, “Specific Learning Disability in Written Language: Characteristics and Implications for Educators.”

The following summarizes Byrne and DelVecchio’s research and the research of their SEHD peers who presented at the Symposium. The full project abstracts can be read online and enjoy watching clips of the students at the Symposium shared on SEHD’s Instagram page.

“Ecological Grief: A Rising Trend and its Implications on Mental Health”
Michael Izdebski and Stephen Osika, with their mentor Dilani Perera, PhD, LPC-S, LDCD, chair and professor of counselor education, studied ecological grief, also known as climate grief, which is the psychological response to environmental changes and the anticipated impact on one's life and the world.

“Social Anxiety in College Students: Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment Considerations”
Paul Sundman and Brendan Osler, with their mentor Dr. Perera, discussed unique challenges for college students, including increased responsibilities, independent studying, and social adjustments.

“Bi/Multilingual Learners: Identifying Trauma, Support Strategies, and Mental Health Literacy”
Janae Staltaro, with their mentor Dr. Perera, studied trauma in Hispanic bi/multilingual learners, and offered strategies to support this population and to enhance mental health literacy.

“Specific Learning Disability in Written Language: Characteristics and Implications for Educators”
Rhiannya Byrne and Isabella DelVecchio, with their mentor Dr. Bilias Lolis, explored the impact of invisible disabilities in written language, offering insights into the characteristics, brain-based aspects, and accommodations needed to enhance educator understanding and assistance.

“Intuitive Eating Intervention on BIPOC Adults with Mild to Moderate Disordered Eating”
Tasha Mehne and Brian Dolan, with their mentor Jocelyn Novella, Jovelyn Novella, PhD, LICSW, assistant professor of counselor education, explored the evidence-based model of intuitive eating (IE) as a potential treatment for disordered eating and eating disorders.

“Ensuring the Safety and Well-being of Minors: Ethical Considerations When Breaking Confidentiality”
Eric Zeitler, with their mentor Dr. Novella, examined client confidentiality with minors, including the historical development of minors' rights as outlined in the 2014 American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics.

Tags:  SEHD


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