Student's Corner

Introducing the 2017 Student Advisory Board

Meet the section's new student representatives and read their recommendations for how other students can maintain good self-care during graduate school.

By Grace Bai and Jonathan Reader

The Student Advisory Board is excited to welcome and introduce its new officers. Over the course of this year the board will be working to provide opportunities and resources for students in the field. It will also work closely with the section to develop projects benefiting students, professionals, and diverse populations affected by child maltreatment. In this article, we hope to not only alert the field to the accomplishments and aspirations of the student officers, but to encourage other students with their self-care tips.

Grace Jhe Bai (student co-representative)

Grace Jhe Bai Grace Jhe Bai is a fifth-year doctoral student in the child clinical psychology program at Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include protective factors that promote resilience and better mental health outcomes among youth in foster care as well as coping behaviors of maltreated children. Grace is currently conducting program evaluation research to improve the well-being outcomes of children and families with child welfare involvement. Grace plans to continue her work with youth and families with a history of maltreatment as she pursues a research and clinical career focused on promoting resilience among youth in foster care.

Self-care tips : Being mindful about all of my work, personal life and my vision has kept me calm, grounded and motivated to keep going. I enjoy cooking, trying out new coffee shops, volunteering for local NGOs, and taking my camera with me to photograph and cherish each meaningful moment.  

Jonathan Reader (student co-representative)

Jonathan Reader Jonathan Reader is a doctoral student in the human development and family studies program at The Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include innovative prevention methods (e.g., human-centered design, multiphase optimization strategy), the prevention of child sexual abuse, and public policy. Jonathan is currently working as part of a team on a statewide prevention project that aims to reduce new cases of child sexual abuse through the dissemination of three prevention programs as part of a collaborative and multipronged approach. He hopes to continue this line of research to better inform public policies surrounding the prevention of child sexual abuse.

Self-care tips : A combination of leisure activities and time management. I try not to work too late so I have time for going to the gym, doing yoga or going for walks when the sun is out. I also like cooking and try to find a new recipe each week to try out. Finally, I've been getting into mindfulness and try to spend some time doing breathing exercises in the morning and at night before I go to sleep. Spending time with supportive friends and not thinking about work is always helpful too.

Ciera Schoonover (communications officer)

Ciera Schoonover Ciera Schoonover is a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Central Michigan University. Her research interests include child maltreatment prevention and treatment, program evaluation, as well as factors associated with mechanisms of change in behavioral parent training interventions. Ciera is currently working on projects evaluating mechanisms of change in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), and dissemination of PCIT services to underserved populations. She hopes to continue her research efforts to make evidence-based interventions accessible to underserved populations, and families at risk for child maltreatment.

Self-care tips : W hen you have very little time engage in it as a busy graduate student (and mom), you have to find creative ways to make it work. I like to make time to go for walks, read for pleasure, and try out new recipes.  However, these days, my biggest source of   self - care   is getting on the floor and playing with my 6-month-old son. Those nights when I can put writing aside and focus all of my attention on him are the most rewarding. When I've spent all week trying to pour from an empty cup, playing with him truly helps to refill it.

Amanda J. Hasselle (diversity officer)

Amanda J. Hasselle Amanda Hasselle is a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Memphis, with a focus in child and family studies. Her research interests include risk and resilience factors in the face of childhood adversity with the goal of understanding the interplay of factors within a social ecological framework that result in pathways to adaptive and maladaptive functioning. Amanda is currently working on projects examining the effects of childhood bereavement and family functioning and developing and evaluating an empowerment intervention for pregnant women who have recently experienced intimate partner violence. Her thesis examines coping profiles among individuals' responses to their self-selected most traumatic lifetime event, linking these coping typologies to post-traumatic stress symptoms and resilience during emerging adulthood. She hopes to continue exploring modifiable factors that enhance children's potential for adaptive functioning and resilience, using this knowledge to inform children, caregivers, clinicians, and policy makers, resulting in improved outcomes for youth affected by adversity. Amanda aspires to develop and evaluate accessible, community-based interventions that serve youth with limited access to essential developmental resources.

Self-care tips : I reserve one weeknight and every Saturday morning for myself and dedicate those times to self-care (e.g., cooking, doing puzzles, journaling, taking pictures, going on walks, etc.). Other self-care tips include exercising (e.g., yoga, Zumba with friends), being involved with church, volunteering with the youth group from church, asking for help/extension when needed, and reminding myself of how much I have accomplished and remind myself that I deserve breaks.

Desiree Walisky ( public policy officer)

Desiree Walisky Desiree Walisky is completing her graduate studies in the educational psychology department — research, evaluation, measurement and statistics (REMS) doctoral program at Texas Tech University.  Her research interests include the social and emotional development of foster youth, foster parent training, as well as evidence-based mental health assessment and treatment implementation. Currently, Desiree is leading a study involving mental health screening in a pediatric specialist setting. Additionally, she is part of a team working to implement evidence-based interventions for the biological parents of children in foster care in Lubbock, Texas. Desiree plans to continue her research as a pathway to increase the communication among mental health professionals, policy makers, and families involved in the child welfare system.

Self-care tips : I wholeheartedly believe in self-care efforts that are varied in time and energy. I use four words to get me there:daily; weekly; monthly; and unplug . For example, on a daily basis I will take a few minutes and either think about something I did well that day, or something that a colleague did well that day and share it with them; learning to be compassionate towards yourself and others in the trenches alongside you is not only uplifting, but it will bring out the best in your team.  

On a weekly basis, I try to build in some form of exercise or outside activity into my schedule 3-4 days per week (sweat, fresh air and sunshine can work miracles). At least once per month I carve out time to enjoy an old hobby or pursue a new one. Finally, I plan for time to completely unplug from electronic communication.