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School Psychology Faculty and Alumni Earn Recognition for Excellence

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Over the past three years, faculty and alumni of the St. John’s University School Psychology program have earned repeated recognition of their accomplishments.

John Kelly, Ph.D., who supervises SJU school psychology externships and internships in the Commack Public School District and teaches externship and internship seminars, is President-Elect for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) for the 2017-2018 year. Said Kelly: “It is an honor serving as a leader for NASP. I believe that I have been provided a tremendous opportunity to help guide the profession of school psychology and continue the Vincentian tradition of leadership through service to others.”

Some program alumni have not only distinguished themselves in their own careers, but have returned to SJU to help train future school psychologists as adjunct faculty. Robyn Kurasaki ‘09PsyD received the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) Frank Plumeau School Practitioner of the Year award for Nassau County in 2013, and was also named a Model School Psychology Intern Supervisor by NASP’s Graduate Education Committee in 2015. “My education at St. John’s has been the foundation for my professional practice. Becoming a trainer of school psychologists has enabled me to continue to learn and remain up to date in the field as well as give back to a new generation of school psychologists,” said Kurasaki.

Other alumni who have won the NYASP School Practitioner of the Year award include: Agnieszka Dynda ‘08PsyD (Nassau County, 2015); Dana Santomenna ‘10PsyD (Suffolk County, 2015); Carolyn Waldecker ‘09PsyD (Nassau County, 2014); Kimberly Behanna ‘11PsyD (Suffolk County, 2014); and Emma Hettrich ‘08PsyD (Suffolk County, 2013). Erica Chandler (née Dorfmeister) ‘06G is the Maryland School Psychologists’ Association (MSPA) School Psychologist of the Year for 2016.

Mark Terjesen, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate director for school psychology, said, “We are proud, but not surprised, to learn of the recognition bestowed upon our alumni and faculty. We regularly hear very positive comments about their professional skills and inspiring leadership, and we are pleased that they continue to represent the St. John’s school psychology program so well.”