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Georgia Southern University

School psychology students take home awards at state conference

School psychology graduate students (l-r) Courtney Smith, Jessica Miller and Brittney Summerville took home awards at the Georgia Association of School Psychologists conference in October.

Three psychology graduate students in Georgia Southern University’s College of Education (COE) claimed all four student awards given during the 47th annual Georgia Association of School Psychologists (GASP) fall conference in Jekyll Island, Georgia, held Oct.16-18.

Candidates in the Ed.S. School Psychology program, Courtney Smith, Brittney Summerville and Jessica Miller, all received recognition for their strong academic performance as well as dedicated service in the School Psychology Student Association (SPSA).

Smith and Summerville both received the GASP’s Christine Daley School Psychologist Student Scholarship. Given to students majoring in school psychology in a Georgia program, this $1,000 scholarship is awarded during the internship year of a program. Recipients of the award were selected based on academic success in their graduate program, leadership experience, strong recommendations from professors and a desire to contribute to the school psychology field in the state of Georgia.

Smith earned a bachelor’s in early childhood education from Georgia Southern and taught kindergarten for three years in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System before returning to the University to enroll in the school psychology program. She currently serves as a student representative for Georgia Southern on the executive board of GASP, as well as a representative of the COE on the University’s Graduate Student Organization Council, and a committee member on the Picturebook Selection Committee for the Georgia Children’s Book Awards.

“These funds will allow me to continue my pursuit of a career as a school psychologist supporting my ultimate goal of tailoring education for diverse learners,” Smith said. “As a former public school teacher, I am incredibly proud of our state organization for taking the initiative to support efforts such as this scholarship that aim to retain the best talent in our field for service to the children of Georgia. I cannot wait to continue serving the children of our state and advocating for them in this new role upon graduation.”

Summerville is completing a yearlong internship with Hall County School System in Gainesville, Georgia. A former executive board member of the SPSA, she is also a member of the GASP and National Association of School Psychology (NASP). Summerville is expected to graduate in spring 2018.

“As a recipient of the scholarship it is an honor to be recognized as an outstanding student and professional among my peers,” said Summerville. “I am passionate about assisting students with academic, emotional and behavior needs, and I am dedicated to serving as an advocate for these students.”

Miller was named the GASP’s School Psychology Student of the Year. Currently interning in Douglas County School System (DCSS), Miller is in her final semester of the school psychology program at Georgia Southern.

“It was such an honor to be nominated by one of my professors, Dr. Terry Diamanduros, and to also receive a letter of support from my internship supervisor, Nancy Schusterman,” said Miller. “I am humbled to be recognized by such wonderful individuals and to accept this honor from the Georgia Association of School Psychologists. Receiving this accolade was the perfect culmination to my graduate career at Georgia Southern University.”

Miller has served as a graduate assistant for the school psychology program and was one of the co-founders of the University’s SPSA. She is also a member of both the GASP and NASP. In February, Miller was a co-author with COE’s school psychology faculty on a presentation at the NASP conference in San Antonio.  

GASP strives to provide school psychologist in the state of Georgia with the highest level of support and professional training to enable them to remain effective in a dynamic educational environment. GASP is the only state professional organization representing the field of school psychology and provides valuable resources to their members including research opportunities, PLU hours, NCSP credits, regional and local workshops, and conferences.

To learn more about a career in school psychology and the Ed.S. in School Psychology degree program, visit http://coe.georgiasouthern.edu/espy.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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