Health Doctoral Student Spotlights

dent-thumb lambert-thumb Doctoral Students Win Prestigious NSF Fellowships 

The National Science Foundation has selected Randl Dent, left, and Ebony Lambert, doctoral students in the health psychology program, as recipients of two of its prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships for 2017.  

Each fellowship consists of three years of support during a five-year fellowship period. Currently, NSF provides a stipend of $34,000 to each fellow and a cost-of-education allowance of $12,000 to the graduate degree-granting institution for each fellow who uses the fellowship support in a fellowship year.

From the NSF website:

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. 

The title of Dent's study proposal to the NSF was "The Role of Afrocentric Features in the Help-Seeking Behaviors of Black College Students." This study was the basis of her master's thesis for which she has already started collecting data. During the fellowship, she will continue collecting data for her thesis, which examines the impact of feature-based bias and its impact on help-seeking behaviors in black students. 

The title of Lambert's study proposal was "Examination of the Role of Dehumanization as a Potential Mechanism Underlying the Racial Disparities in School Disciplinary Measures." She proposed studies that serve as both the basis of her master’s thesis, and the foundation for a program of research aimed at reducing racial disparities in school disciplinary measures and improving black students’ school lives. During the fellowship, she will collect data for her thesis using both correlational and experimental studies. 

Here is a video from the Richmond Academy of Clinical Psychologists in which Dent and Lambert describe their projects and how they can inform the work of clinical psychologists.

ngjelina-thumb  polak-thumb Clinical and Health Doctoral Students Win Best Poster Award

Enkelejda Ngjelina, left, doctoral student in the health psychology program, and Kathryn Polak, doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, won the Best Community and Public Health Poster Award at the VCU Institute for Women's Health's 13th Annual Women's Health Research Day. Ashely Dibble, Ph.D., alumna of the clinical program, and Dace Svikis, Ph.D., professor of clinical psychology, were co-authors on the poster.  

Women’s Health Research Day is a celebration and promotion of research activities in women's health at VCU. The program includes a plenary symposium, poster awards and reception highlighting women’s health research by VCU faculty and students.

Poster title: Comparing Health Care Needs and Services Utilization Patterns for Males and Females Enrolled in Substance Abuse Treatment

Authors: Enkelejda Ngjelina, Kathryn Polak, Lauretta A. Safford, Ashley Dibble, James C. May, Dawn Farrell-Moore, and Dace S. Svikis