Tag Archives: we’re psyched

Finding My Passion: To Be Young, Gifted, and Black

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Welcome to our new blogspace, We’re Psyched!the purpose of this space is for undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs to share engaging topics surrounding new research, current social issues and timely thinkpieces related to women of color in the field.

This post falls under the “Finding My Passion” theme of the blog series.

 

By Sarah L. Cooke, MEd (School Psychology Doctoral Student, Howard University)

 

While attending a public-school deemed a “School of Excellence,” I was initially identified as gifted in the third-grade.  After scoring in the 99th percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), which is a national standardized test, I was referred for gifted testing and subsequently placed in the gifted program at my school.  I was the only Black student in the program, and always felt as if I did not quite belong in the program.  Being “smart” came naturally for me, and it was something my parents, teachers, and even I recognized at a young age; however, being in this environment was a bit intimidating and created feelings of competition, a fear of failure, and a desire to be perfect.

 

Although, I questioned my belonging and my social and emotional needs began to change. As a result of participating in the gifted program, I have since realized that my feelings were not unique.  The fact that I was the only Black gifted student in the program speaks to the broader aspect of underrepresentation of certain populations of students.  These special populations of gifted children include, but are not limited to, children who are from cultural, linguistic, low-income and ethnically diverse backgrounds (NAGC, 2011).

 

Research shows that Black and Latino students are far less likely than their White and Asian peers to be assigned to gifted programs.   According to the U.S. Department of Education, the likelihood of getting assigned to such programs is 66% lower for Black students and 47% lower for Latino students (NCES, 2012).  These statistics are alarming and quite frankly disappointing because gifted students benefit from educational programs aimed to meet their needs and develop their talents, and this indicates that there are certain populations of students whose needs are not being met.

 

The socioemotional issues that I experienced in my gifted program was also more common than I realized.  Research shows that these underrepresented populations are at higher risk for socioemotional issues than White and Asian populations (Stormont et al., 2001).  In fact, there is an alarming rate of Black students choosing not to participate in gifted programs because of negative peer pressures and racial identity status (Grantham, 2004). Other socioemotional aspects may include heightened awareness, anxiety, perfectionism, stress, issues with peer relationships, and concerns with identity and fit (NAGC, 2014).

 

Currently, as a PhD student in school psychology, I have found my passion for advocating for diversity in learning as well as promoting relevant and accessible services for all students, particularly gifted students.  Even in research of this population, there seems to be a lack of research surrounding different aspects including definitions of giftedness, identification, and servicing the population.  My personal experiences have helped to develop my passion for determining the services which are most appropriate for this population.  This has proven to be challenging; however, as I pursue a career in psychology, I will continue to support and address the learning needs of all students, including students who are gifted and from underrepresented populations.

 

References:

Grantham, Tarek C. (2004).  Multicultural mentoring to increase Black male          representation in gifted programs.  Gifted Child Quarterly, 48, 232-245.

National Association for Gifted Children. (2014). Definitions of giftedness. Retrieved from http://www.nagc.org/

National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Digest of Education Statistics.  Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012001.pdf

Stormont, M., Stebbins, M. S., & Holliday, G. (2001). Characteristics and educational support needs of underrepresented gifted adolescents. Psychology in the Schools, 38, 413. doi: 10.1002/pits.1030

 

Biography:

Sarah Cooke is a third-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at Howard University. She received a Master of Education from Howard University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Georgia State University. Sarah is currently a member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), American Psychological Association (APA) Division 16 and National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC). Her research interests include culturally responsive gifted assessment and intervention, advocacy for state-mandated gifted programs and underrepresentation of minorities in gifted education programs. A future goal is to practice as a school psychologist assisting in the understanding of students’ unique strengths and needs while providing effective and culturally appropriate prevention and intervention services.

Want to contribute to the We’re Psyched blog space? Send us your blog topic idea here.

Paving the Way: Dr. Regina Kimbrough

Graphic designers at work.

Welcome to our new blogspace, We’re Psyched!the purpose of this space is for undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs to share engaging topics surrounding new research, current social issues and timely thinkpieces related to women of color in the field.

 

By Janicia Dugas (4th Year School Psychology Doctoral Student, Howard University)

I’m psyched to have met an inspirational mentor who has certainly been influential in igniting my passion for the field of psychology. Regina Kimbrough, PhD, has by far kimsurpasses her call of duty and is truly an invaluable asset. Dr. Kimbrough is multifaceted at best, receiving her doctorate in clinical psychology at Howard University and functions as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist within D.C. Public Schools.

Dr. Kimbrough is gifted with the ability to leave a lasting impact with the individuals she serves. Granted with the most rewarding training experience I’ve had to date, it has been most gratifying to witness Dr. Kimbrough’s impact in working with students and families. She has truly mastered the art of meeting students where they are, by building upon their unique strengths to produce positive overall development. She is very intentional and invested in her students’ progression and their ability to thrive!

Much like the true gem that she is; she also has a refined interest in mindfulness, wellbeing, and the energy of positive aura. Dr. Kimbrough is the owner of Empowered to H.O.P.E., where she instills her clients with the capacity to navigate their life’s journey. It is because of Dr. Kimbrough that I have grown vastly interested in linking mental health to school psychology services in the form of wellness interventions tailored to enhance academic achievement. The role of psychology is to build upon the individual client as a whole; and Dr. Kimbrough is subservient in adopting a holistic mindset with each individual she encounters.

I plan to be a change-agent in every sense of the word. I wish to not only be a gatekeeper for services; but to also empower my clients to be self-proclaimed gate keepers of controlling their destiny; by being intentional in their thoughts, reactions, and behaviors. In sum, I want my role as a school psychologist to be instilling purpose in someone else—as Dr. Kimbrough has for me.

 

Biography:

Janicia Dugas is a fourth-year doctoral student at Howard University studying School Psychology. She was born and raised in Patterson, LA, where she developed a love for education and equality. Growing up in a small town, Janicia was exposed to hard work and tradition, which has molded her into the woman she is today. In the fall, Janicia will be a School Psychology Intern for the Anne Arundel Public School System.

Want to contribute to the We’re Psyched blog space? Send us your blog topic idea here.

 

This is What Psychology Looks Like: Dr. Celeste Malone

Welcome to the first post in our new blogspace, We’re Psyched!the purpose of this space is for undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs to share engaging topics surrounding new research, current social issues and timely thinkpieces related to women of color in the field.

By Dwayne M. Bryant (School Psychology Doctoral Student, Howard University)

As a current student in the school psychology program at Howard University. Dr. Malone has served as an instructor and advisor to me over the last three years. She is an assistant professor and coordinator for the school psychology program. In this role she has guided many students in their pursuit of finding their passion in school psychology related research. Since 2014, Dr. Malone has added a spark to the program by engaging with students and building strong relationships with community leaders.

Another important role she serves is the Field Placement Coordinator. In this role she screens and places students in schools and other community support programs to provide practical experience as future psychologists. She works extremely hard to set an example for students to uphold ethical guidelines and to practice with a level of professionalism. Currently, she is the only African American female faculty member within the school psychology program.

In 2012, she earned her Ph.D. from Temple University, in school psychology. Here is where she developed a passion for research and to use research to make informed decisions related to practice. A large portion of her research focuses on multicultural and diversity issues embedded in the training and practice of school psychology. and her dissertation examined the personal and professional characteristics related to the development of multicultural competence in school psychology trainees (Howard University School of Education, 2017).

By having a faculty member that is so involved in the training process, it ensures that our students will be properly prepared as they enter the workforce. In addition to her service she is a very active member in several professional psychology organizations (National Association of School Psychologists, Maryland Association of School Psychology Association & the American Psychological Association). In 2017, she was selected as the strategic liaison for professional information services on the National Association of School Psychologist Board of Directors. It is an honor for me to learn from her and it is equally an honor for me to highlight her as a model for an ideal psychologist.

 

Want to contribute to the We’re Psyched blog space? Send us your blog topic idea here.

 

References

Howard University School of Education . (2017). Retrieved from Howard University : https://education.howard.edu/spotlights/dr-celeste-malone

 

Biography:

Dwayne Bryant is a fourth-year doctoral student at Howard University studying School Psychology. His research interests are social media and digital technology. Most recently he gained experience in providing psychotherapy at a behavioral health clinic in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. This experience provided him with a sense of confidence in his field of study.  Over the last two years he has worked on research projected gear towards the advancement of women in STEM fields. He is currently working as an intern in the APA Public Interest Directorate on the issue of women and STEM. He has a passion for advocacy and fairness for all people. In the future, he plans to open a private practice and a learning and recreation center in his hometown of Oak City, NC.