Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Psychology conference brings profession to life for students

Zoila Tovar-Blank with the four students attending the
Arizona Psychologial Association conference in Tucson.
Four Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) students attended the Arizona Psychological Association convention in Tucson in October. Katharin Kubista, James Reagan, Patrick Sanborn and Jessica Von Hoff attended the conference after winning an essay contest asking interested students why they wanted to attend. Though, initially only two students were selected to attend, club fundraising and generous donations from psychology faculty Belinda Ramos and Scott Silberman and CGCC President Linda Lujan enabled the contest runners up to attend as well. CGCC was the only community college with students attending the conference.

“Attending the conference has a number of benefits for the students,” said Zoila Tovar-Blank, psychology club advisor and psychology faculty. “It exposes them to the field and to the ‘real-world’ of psychology. They also see that psychologists are people like themselves interested in helping others, which dispels the idea that they have to be brilliant or accomplished in some way to contribute to the profession. Finally, they get exposure to current research and its application.”

CGCC Psychology Club President Patrick Sanborn agrees.

“Attending the conference brought the profession of psychology to life,” said Sanborn. “The sessions introduced me to topics I might come across as a counselor and, as I met practicing psychologists, I realized they are down-to-earth and have troubles just like others. Eleven years of schooling to become a psychologist seems daunting, but I was able to see how others did it and it gave me confidence. I’m so grateful for the donations that allowed me and my fellow students to go. It was incredibly beneficial and I encourage any interested student to apply next year.”

The students also make some great connections and plan to invite many of them to present for the Psychology Club’s Brown Bag Lecture Series next semester and the coming year.

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