CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT

Ball State University 29

This year, the chapter's principal goal was to increase student involvement, community and ownership beginning with increasing the frequency of events from four meetings a year to monthly meetings

By Elizabeth N. Hooks and Laura E. Peek

The Ball State chapter of SASP was formed in the mid-2000s and became officially recognized as a student organization by Ball State University in 2011. Since 2010, the highlight of the year is the annual spring student school psychology research symposium, awards and banquet. Students prepare a conference-style poster session of original research, and students, alumni, faculty, and emeritus faculty review and discuss the projects with the student authors. Presenting students then feel more confident about submitting presentations to national and regional conferences and beginning students are introduced to the research process.

This year, the chapter's principal goal was to increase student involvement, community and ownership beginning with increasing the frequency of events from four meetings a year to monthly meetings. Involvement was also promoted when chapter members voted to institute the additional roles of secretary, treasurer, event coordinator, and website manager positions. The website manager has started and maintained the chapter website, Facebook page, and BSU SASP university email. Additionally, SASP members voted on the topics for monthly meetings that would most interest them at the beginning of the semester. As a result, meeting attendance has greatly increased. Currently, most meetings and special training events are attended by at least 20 or more students and we are reaching 50-75 percent active involvement of all enrolled students for any given individual event. Six meetings were held this fall. Presentation topics included suicide prevention and QPR training (presented by a member of SASP), private practice (presented by a school psychology professor), a group viewing and discussion of a live webinar on culturally sensitive assessment, and a group viewing of a webinar on bullying interventions. In addition to presentations, the chapter held weeklong events for School Psychology Week in November and an end of the semester holiday event. The newly initiated website and Facebook page help us communicate with current members regarding future meetings and events. Additionally, these tools have been used to stay in contact with students who have graduated and to learn from their experience in the field. The chapter also receives very regular contact and support from our faculty advisor, Dr. Hernández Finch, and the chair of the educational psychology department, Dr. Sharon Paulson.

The Ball State University SASP chapter is extremely excited about the Spring 2013 semester. BSU SASP in conjunction with the Ball State chapter of the Association of Neuropsychology Students in Training (ANST) will participate in the Polar Bear Plunge, a fundraiser for Special Olympics – Indiana. Planned BSU SASP spring meetings include a presentation by a local speechlanguage pathologist, a presentation on a new executive functioning measure, and a crosscultural simulation. Additionally, the chapter will hold its annual end of the year research symposium. With strong leadership and new organization, SASP chapter activities have become significantly more frequent. The chapter will continue to use its members' input to guide activities, including covering topics which its members find relevant in furthering their professional development as scientist practitioners.

About the authors

Elizabeth N. Hooks, MA, is a third year PhD student in the school psychology program at Ball State University and is the BSU SASP chapter president. Elizabeth received her BA in psychology and German from Illinois State University in 2010. She received her MA in school psychology from Ball State University in 2011. Elizabeth has worked as a research graduate assistant for various Ball State professors and is currently working as a school psychology extern at a local school district. In the summer of 2012, she worked at Camp Isanogel, a summer camp for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her current research interests include children with ASDs, as well as school belongingness.

Laura E. Peek, MA, is a third year PhD student in the school psychology program at Ball State University and serves as the BSU SASP chapter vice-president. She received her BA in psychology from the University of North Texas in 2009 and her MA in school psychology from Ball State University in 2011. Laura has worked as a research graduate assistant for Ball State professors, as well as working at the Riley Hospital for Children HANDS in Autism program. She is currently the student associate director at the Ball State University Psychoeducational Diagnostic & Intervention Clinic. Her current research interests include anxiety disorders in early adolescence and in the gifted population.