Student Highlights from APA Convention 2023

SPP sponsored three Student APA Scholars for the 2023 Convention: Jack Vagadori (Children’s National Medical Center; mentor Dr. Terry Stancin), Gabriella George (Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology; mentor Dr.  Laura Simons), and Serena Wasilewski (University of South Florida; mentor Dr. Idia Thurston). Scholars not only received funding for the conference, but were also paired with SPP Board Members as mentors for the APA Convention. Each scholar presented a poster under Division 54 APA Programming.






Pictured (from left to right): Jack Vagadori with mentor Terry Stancin, PhD; Gabriella George; Serena Wasilewski with mentor Idia Thurston, PhD

 “As a first-time attendee (and someone very new to the field of psychology), this year’s conference was a wonderful introduction to this innovative world of clinical practice and research. I especially want to spotlight the thoughtful and inspiring mentorship of Dr. Terry Stancin who was paired with me as part of this award and who helped guide me through three full days of programming. Being able to network with some of the most seminal figures in pediatric psychology and hear about their experiences pioneering novel areas of research strengthened my interest in and deepened my commitment to this field of study. I left the conference this year with many things: my first poster presentation under my belt, invaluable feedback on my research and future directions as a post-bac trainee, insight into some of the groundbreaking work being done by other colleagues in behavioral diabetes research, and a profound sense of belonging to a welcoming community of clinicians and researchers helmed by the ever-inspiring Dr. Bryant. I look forward to integrating my experiences and newfound knowledge into my research in the coming year!” – Jack Vagadori


SPP was also excited to highlight the work of students in our Diversity and Student Poster and Paper Awards!

Diversity Poster/Paper Winners

Hannah Smith and Jessica Shankman
     Mentor: Ayelet Talmi, PhD
Institution: Children's Hospital of Colorado
Title: Under the Rainbow: Characterizing Integrated Behavioral Health Services with Gender Diverse Youth

Caitlyn Maye
     Mentor: Idia Thurston, PhD
Institution: Texas A&M University
Title: Multilevel Risk and Protective Factors associated with Anxious-Depressive Symptoms among Adolescents

Student Poster/Paper Winners

Joey Tsz Ying Lam
Mentor: Jodi Mindell, PhD
Institution: Lehigh University
Title: Reading as part of a bedtime routine and toddlers’ developmental outcomes

Samuel Lai
     Institution: Boston University
Mentor: Kathryn Davis, MA
Title: Family Decision Making Processes Regarding Sibling Involvement in Cancer Treatment

Katherine Weaver
     Institution: Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Mentor: Laura Mackner, PhD
Title: Depression screening in Pediatric Chronic illness: Is there a role for primary care?

Lauren Hayes
     Institution: Norton Children’s Cancer Center
Mentor: Sunnye Mayes, PhD, and Kayla LaRosa, PhD
Title: Biofeedback-Assisted Relaxation Training for Pain Associated with Sickle Cell Disease

Brooke Greenberg
     Institution: Nova Southeastern University
Mentor: Jessica Valenzuela, PhD
Title: United States Clinic Screening Practices in Pediatric Diabetes Clinics