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CSE Psy.D. Students Awarded Grand Prize for Research

Morristown, N.J. (April 10, 2015) – CSE Psy.D. students garnered the grand prize in their category at the Seventh Annual Tri-Collegiate Psychology Student Research Symposium on April 9. Students and faculty from three schools gathered in Annunciation Center to display research projects done by both undergraduate and doctorate degree candidates.

The College of Saint Elizabeth hosted its neighbors Fairleigh Dickinson University and Drew University in a two-hour event that included poster presentations, judging of the research, and a keynote address by Dr. Daniel N. Watter, a private clinician in individual and couples' therapy who has served as an adjunct professor of psychology in several institutions. His keynote addressed the topic, "Current Controversies in Sex Therapy: Does Sex Research Inform Clinical Practice."

The grand prize winners among all the entries in the graduate area are members of CSE's first cohort of the Psy.D. program in counseling, Jill Caruso, Siobhan Berger, Dale Singh, Ellen St. Pierre, and Nicole Lacherza. Their research, titled "Mindfulness as a Variable Impacting Adaptability," looked at mindfulness to determine if it would lead to increased adaptability, using a college sample. "We hope that by using this type of research, we can help college students, especially freshmen and international students, learn to easily adapt and succeed using mindfulness strategies," says Jill Caruso.

The cohort system in the Psy.D. program is very popular among its participants. "We are all very close and supportive of one another," says Amy Mueller. Amy earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers and her master's degree at CSE.

The focus of the cohort delivery system brings together students studying for the same degree for the duration of the program requirements. This cohort is the first and will graduate in 2017. It has 13 students who have become good friends as well as colleagues.

According to Dr. Michelle Barrett, psychology program chair, the Tri-Collegiate symposium brings together both faculty and students to share ideas and best practices. "Students are particularly interested in what their counterparts are doing at other colleges," Dr. Barrett explains. "It gives them a broader perspective in the field."

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