Three graduating seniors from different backgrounds have been honored by external groups for their work in the study of social work and psychology. The fields have much in common, and degrees in the disciplines can be applied in a broad number of work settings.

Saint Leo offers the Bachelor of Social Work and the Master of Social Work through the School of Education and Social Services. Psychology is a popular undergraduate major in the School of Arts and Sciences, which also offers a Master of Science in psychology.

David Shaw, an adult learner enrolled at the Tampa Education Center, was named the 2018 BSW Student of the Year Award for the National Association of Social Workers–Tampa Bay (FL) Unit. Shaw is receiving his degree summa cum laude. He completed the required field placement for his degree at Volunteers of America, and is interested in working eventually for the Veterans Administration with clients who have post-traumatic stress disorder. Shaw served four years of active duty in the U.S. Army, and served three years with the National Guard.

As Shaw was studying at the Tampa Education Center over the Spring Semester, a number of undergraduates from other centers and from University Campus were working on research projects in psychology to present in poster form at the annual meeting of Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA). The organization is the regional affiliate of the respected American Psychological Association. Each year Saint Leo professors attend and a number of students enter their work for review. This year the meeting was in Charleston, SC.

Two seniors studying at University Campus with Dr. Tammy Zacchilli were awarded certificates of recognition for their individual projects from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. Vilde Eriksen completed a survey to see how prominent personality traits might correlate to coping skills and depression. She is a traditional-age undergraduate still exploring career options in the field, and will return to her native Norway after commencement. While studying at Saint Leo, she also played golf for the Saint Leo Lions.

An adult student who transferred to Saint Leo and commuted to University Campus, Amanda Twigg, was also recognized by SEPA. She surveyed parents (mostly women) who had endured pregnancies ending in miscarriage or fetal death (perinatal bereavement) and who sought help in support groups. Twigg also gave an oral presentation about her work during Academic Excellence Day on April 12 at University Campus. One of her findings was that bereaved parents want society to allow permission for them to speak about their losses. Twigg originally thought she would pursue a major in social work but switched to psychology and is graduating cum laude. Next, she will enter a graduate program in the Tampa area to learn more about psychological measurement and evaluation of data.

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