As the spring semester comes to an end, Seton Hall University's students are planning for a summer of internships and interesting projects. Two such individuals, Atithan Kingsawat and Nicole Oppenheimer, students in the psychology program, will spend the summer months in impressive summer programs in Florida and New York City, respectively.
Kingsawat, a senior psychology major and criminal justice minor, will be at Florida International University as a counselor at its Summer Treatment Program (STP). The STP is a comprehensive program composed of evidence-based intensive treatments incorporated into an eight-week therapeutic summer camp setting for children with ADHD, ODD, CD and other related behavioral, emotional and learning challenges. "As someone who was extremely confused about everything during the elementary school days, which included how to make friends, how to behave appropriately in classrooms, etc., I would like to provide a sense of security, comfort, support and guidance for these children that may be hindered by their disorders," says Kingsawat.
Before Kingsawat's summer program officially starts, she will go through two weeks of intensive training in the beginning of June. She will be working with a group of 12-15 elementary school children, requiring her to have a solid understanding of the duties and responsibilities of her position as a counselor.
"I anticipate working with children after getting my master's in school psychology. This program is going to give me the opportunity to get first-hand experience working with and helping children with special needs," says Kingsawat, who learned about this opportunity through Seton Hall's Psychology Blackboard announcement and was immediately drawn to it. She continues, "I believe that this program will open many doors for me and allow me to get closer to my professional goals."
Oppenheimer, a junior psychology major and philosophy minor, will be attending the New York University Quality Undergraduate Education and Scholarly Training (QUEST) program. It is an eight-week program running from the beginning of June until the end of July that focuses on increasing opportunities for underrepresented minorities. What initially drew Oppenheimer to this program was the opportunity to work with an NYU faculty member on one of their own research projects in labs that focus on children's cognition, emotions, and behavior in early educational settings; work on the development of accessible prevention and intervention models for youth at risk; and explore how the Latino culture shapes Latino preschoolers' development of school readiness skills as well as the relationship between Latino family engagement in children's development.
A Latina woman herself, Oppenheimer says, "The focus of these labs hits pretty close to home. I am interested in dedicating my life to providing therapy to low income Latino children from immigrant parents, and also working with parents to lessen the negative stigma associated with mental illnesses in the Latino culture."
"After completing these programs, our students will have an advantage in the job market and in graduate school admissions," says Professor Marianne Lloyd of the Psychology Department. "These experiences highlight the quality of the Psychology Department's coursework and leadership opportunities that make our students competitive for such programs. I am especially happy that these opportunities allow our students to live out our Catholic mission by serving others including those who are often misunderstood."