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Student Scholarship Award Winners 2017/18

MSP is committed to contributing annually to assist in student scholarships and aid. Scholarship and financial assistance funding is supported by gifts from alumni, family, and friends. Generally, funds are disbursed in the form of tuition credit.

This academic year Jared Smendik (PsyD 2), was awarded the Jill Benton Humanistic Psychology Scholarship (JBHPS), and Juanita Houston (PsyD 3), was awarded the Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Award (ARDA). The honorees have written acceptance statements for their scholarship awards.

Jill Benton Humanistic Psychology Scholarship (JBHPS)

This scholarship honors Jill Benton, former MSP librarian and alum, and her commitment to humanistic psychology. The JBHPS supports a PsyD student who is committed to advancing the science and practice of humanistic psychology as demonstrated by excellence in scholarship.

Jared Smendik (PsyD 2)

“Being the recipient of the Jill Benton scholarship is truly an honor, it has given me the ability to continue pursuing my academic interests. I am thankful to the Michigan School of Professional Psychology for supporting me in my growth.

MSP’s application of the practitioner-scholar model has led to many students becoming advocates of change through the pursuit and application of their scholarly passions. MSP has also provided me with the resources and professional development opportunities I need in order to succeed within this doctorate program.

With their support, I have become an active member of the MSP community and have taken on several roles including that of student ambassador, graduate assistant, and Psi Chi treasurer. Without the help of the MSP staff and faculty I would not be where I am today. Going forward, I plan on continuing to support student research endeavors and taking strides to further my own clinical competencies. I hope to continue working hard to serve at my practicum as I set my eyes towards the Dissertation and APPIC process.”

Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Award (ARDA)

The Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Award (ARDA) was created in 2004 to honor Dr. Aombaye Ramsey’s lifelong commitment to social justice. This award supports a PsyD student who shares that same commitment to advocate on behalf of diversity issues. Priority will be given to applicants who belong to an ethnic, racial, or cultural group traditionally underrepresented in the field of psychology.

Juanita Houston headshot
Juanita Houston (PsyD 3)

“It is an honor to humbly accept such an esteemed scholarship, especially since Dr. Aombaye Ramsey’s vision and intent inspires students such as myself. This award has allowed me to continue my educational goals as well as persevere in my work towards the goal of diversity and social justice. The Aombaye Ramsey scholarship supports my educational pursuit as well and allows me to be a testament to the continued commitment to myself, the institution, and the importance of diversity concerns.

Psychology has historically been a hostile environment for people of color and women, but this has not dissuaded my appreciation for and extensive involvement in the field. Due to a historical absence of diversity in Psychology, I feel a responsibility to future generations to represent marginalized groups when possible.

Over time my desires and goals within psychology have evolved, but my desire to be a knowledgeable, multi-culturally competent psychologist with an emphasis on demystifying socially unjust practices, has not. It is my desire to work towards healing emotional and generational wounds that have so often been misdiagnosed, mislabeled, or blatantly ignored by those who do not have an interest in comprehension of the Black psyche. I want to be a light in a dark place for my community. My research and advocacy for multi-cultural psychology are avenues by which I continue to pay homage to my roots and ancestors.

Thank you Dr. Aombaye Ramsey, I follow in your footsteps, I accept the charge and I will continue to move forward unapologetically Black in Psychology.”