The Wright Institute News & Events

Past, Present, and Future Counseling Psychology Students Mingle at Alumni Forum

Past, Present, and Future Counseling Psychology Students Mingle at Alumni Forum

On Tuesday, July 7, seven distinguished alumni returned to the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program campus for the Summer 2019 Alumni Forum. Jason Shepherd (Class of 2009), Caiti Crum (2010), Ian Vianu (2014), Beth Greivel (2015), Hazel Zetino (2016), JJ Medina (2017), and Krystal Jacobs (2017) served as panelists, while Field Placement Director Stuart Lee moderated the discussion.

Each of the seven alumni imparted valuable advice for the dozens of current and incoming students in attendance. The graduates discussed the licensure process, their time at practicum, the intricacies of the counseling profession, some of their professional experiences since graduating, and issues of identity in therapy.

Wright Institute Alumni Contribute to New Textbook on Adolescent Health Screening

Wright Institute Alumni Contribute to New Textbook on Adolescent Health Screening

Wright Institute Clinical Psychology program alumni Sarah Spinner, PsyD and Brenda Vaccaro, PsyD have contributed chapters to Adolescent Health Screening: An Update in the Age of Big Data, a new textbook edited by Vincent Morelli, MD. Spinner, who graduated from the program in 2008, co-wrote two chapters, and Vaccaro, a 2012 graduate, co-wrote one.

Alexandra Keller, PsyD Presents on "The Coming Out Experience"

Alexandra Keller, PsyD Presents on "The Coming Out Experience"

Wright Institute Clinical Psychology Program graduate Alexandra Keller, PsyD presented her study, "The Coming Out Experience…" at the annual Western Psychological Association (WPA) Convention in Pasadena, California on April 26th. Alongside four co-presenters - Wright Institute Clinical Psychology faculty member Lynn O'Connor, PhD, Samford University professor Jack Berry, UC Berkeley student Patricia Hidalgo-Gonzalez, and Graduate Theological Union researcher David Stiver - Keller presented the findings of a survey that aimed to determine why members of the LGBT community may avoid disclosing sexual orientation or gender identity. "Is it because of an internal discomfort at their own identity," Keller asks, "or is it because it is not yet safe to come out?"

Ethnoracial Disparities in Traumatic Stress and its Consequences

Ethnoracial Disparities in Traumatic Stress and its Consequences

On Friday, May 24, Nnamdi Pole, PhD delivered "Ethnoracial Disparities in Traumatic Stress and its Consequences," a talk that explored the factors that contribute towards demographic differences in rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In his talk, Pole stressed that the analyses of PTSD diagnoses and symptoms, and of cross-cultural differences, describe trends rather than the experience of any particular member of an ethnic group.

Wright Institute Students of Color "Party in the Margins" Event

Wright Institute Students of Color "Party in the Margins" Event

Photo: Joshua Chow, Leon Wann, Julianna Bianes, Candice Bain, and Chizite Igwe

From Wednesday, May 15, to Friday, May 17, Wright Institute Students of Color (WISOC) hosted the 2019 Wright Institute Multicultural Symposium. Titled "Party in the Margins," the event featured guest speakers and performers, music, food, a student open mic, and collaborative art pieces.

"As organizers, we felt we needed to have a strengths-based approach incorporated into our symposium," says Joshua Chow, a Wright Institute Clinical Psychology Program student and one of the organizers of the event. "That's why we supported the theme name 'Party in the Margins.' We're so often told to be silent with our marginalized identities, but as a form of resistance (and fun) we wanted to celebrate our identities."

Congratulations to 2019 STAY Fellows

Congratulations to 2019 STAY Fellows

Four Wright Institute Counseling Psychology students have been accepted to the Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship. Second-year students Athenia Teng, Christina Yum, and Andre Jackson, alongside first-year student Adriana Delacruz, are 2019 STAY Fellows.

The American Psychological Association (APA) hosts the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) for those who are early in their psychology careers. Historically, the MFP has only been open to those pursuing doctoral degrees, but the STAY Fellowship is open to students in terminal Master's programs. The Fellowship assists students whose "training prepares them to provide mental health services to transition age youth (ages 16 through 25) and their families."

Celebrating 50 years at the Wright Institute

Celebrating 50 years at the Wright Institute

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the Wright Institute held a celebration at the Clinical Psychology Program campus on Saturday, May 11. Over 300 guests including alumni, faculty, and staff came together for food, live music, and historical displays covering different branches of the Wright Institute's history and identity. Guests had the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and colleagues while viewing photos of Wright Institute founders and faculty over the years, reading newsletters from throughout the Wright Institute's history, learning about both programs, and snapping silly pictures with friends in the photo booth.

Faculty Spotlight: Nnamdi Pole, PhD

Faculty Spotlight: Nnamdi Pole, PhD

Nnamdi Pole, PhDNnamdi Pole, PhD, is a visiting scholar with the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program, on sabbatical from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He sat down to discuss his history with the Wright Institute, his teaching experience, and how the higher education field is doing at promoting diversity.

Dalton Green (DG): You've been affiliated with the Wright Institute for about two decades. How did you first become a part of the Wright Institute community?

Student Spotlight: Darcy Dittrich

Student Spotlight: Darcy Dittrich

Darcy Dittrich"Sometimes I see someone in need and ask myself, 'What can I do to change this person's reality?' I always come back to the idea that anything is helpful. Any amount of attention or energy can be healing."

After a decade-long career in sales, Darcy Dittrich is changing her reality in her first year of the daytime format of the Wright Institute Counseling Psychology Program. "The decision for me to pursue this degree was a long time coming," she says, "but it also felt like a fast decision in the moment."

Originally from Connecticut, Dittrich attended Michigan State University and came to the Bay Area by way of Baltimore. "I loved living in Connecticut because my community was diverse, fast-paced, and honest," she says. "But sometimes the interest in emotions and sensitivity that I have is not always valued as much as it is out west. The Bay Area feels like more of a fit for me."

It's Time to Talk (and Listen): How to Have Constructive Conversations About Race, Class, Sexuality, Ability & Gender in a Polarized World

It's Time to Talk (and Listen): How to Have Constructive Conversations About Race, Class, Sexuality, Ability & Gender in a Polarized World

Alicia del Prado, PhD and Anatasia S. Kim, PhD are releasing a book about having conversations about controversial topics.

Kim and del Prado are both faculty members with the Clinical Psychology program at the Wright Institute and have had their fair share of what are often called "difficult conversations." In this groundbreaking and easy-to-read book, the two psychologists draw from their extensive personal and professional experience to provide practical guidance to readers who are interested in engaging in richer, more productive conversations across various dimensions of diversity.

Here's what they have to say about their new book, which will be released on July 1, 2019:

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