Student Scholarship Award Winners 2019/20

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 we are delighted to announce the following recipients. The Cereta Perry Scholarship (CPS) was awarded to Reem Adi (MA) and LaSondra Wayne (PsyD 1). Jared Boot (PsyD 1) was awarded the Jill Benton Humanistic Psychology Scholarship (JBHPS), and Sierra Gillis (PsyD 1), was awarded the Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Award (ARDA). The honorees have written acceptance statements for their scholarship awards.

The Cereta Perry Scholarship (CPS)

The Cereta Perry Scholarship honors the late Cereta Perry, PhD, co-founder of CHS/MSP, and her contributions to diversity in education. Dr. Perry was a lifelong advocate of MSP and its mission. This scholarship was established to recruit and support the academic goals of diverse incoming Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) students.

Reem Adi (MA)

“I have found a motivational and positive beginning in receiving the Cereta Perry Scholarship this year. I am not only thankful, but honored to have been given this opportunity to represent a diverse population at MSP. I am also very proud to be representing the MSP and what it values. There is no greater joy than working hard for what I believe in. Being awarded the Cereta Perry Scholarship, not only is a financial support, but also an acknowledgment of inclusion and validation.

MSP has already become my second home as faculty, staff, and students has been a pleasure to be around and interact with.

The fact that I was awarded this scholarship gives me drive and encouragement to keep working harder on future academic goals involving diversity. I am proud to announce my commitment to advocate for MSP and its mission.”

LaSondra Wayne (PsyD 1)

“I am immensely thankful and honored to be a recipient of the Cereta Perry Scholarship. Receiving this award has been such a blessing as it not only provides monetary relief, but also validation as a black woman pursuing a doctoral degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. I aim to continue the important legacy of Dr. Perry in the areas of research, practice, training, mentorship and advocacy; specifically promoting the strengths and needs of underrepresented communities. I believe they should not only benefit from, but also be acknowledged as offering a rich and valuable contribution to the field.

I understand the significance of becoming a Doctor of Psychology. Earning that distinction will inevitably put me in a position where I have the potential to influence individual lives, various sections of national culture, and even the world.  Therefore, I do not take lightly the faith that has been expressed in my ability to achieve academic excellence, promote the values and objectives of Dr. Perry, and represent MSP.

Additionally, I ascribe to the notion that good leaders reproduce and create paths for their successors. Therefore, I commit to give back in the spirit of Dr. Perry and others who have gone before me to make higher education more accessible for those nurtured in contexts and communities that are underrepresented in both the historical and contemporary narratives of clinical psychology. MSP and the field can count on me to plant and water seeds of hope and change through charitable contributions and continued community service.

Again, I am forever grateful and humbled to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the Cereta Perry Scholarship.”

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.

Photo of Sierra Gillia
Sierra Gillis (PsyD 1)

“I am truly honored to receive the Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Scholarship. As a Hispanic and Lebanese female, my cultural roots stem from two very different races. This award represents so much possibility for me and for that, I am truly thankful.

When I was a middle school teacher in a low socioeconomic status school district, most of my students received free/reduced lunch. My students came from several diverse ethnic backgrounds and it was through my experiences as a teacher that I realized how much psychoeducation still needed to be done. One of my personal goals as a future psychologist is to return to the school districts and educate the children and teachers on mental health awareness.

In my opinion, diversity competency should be an expected skill for therapists. As part of my initiative, I am privileged to co-facilitate the Cultural Competency Conference. This annual conference held at MSP allows mental health providers to continue a dialogue that was started long ago. My hope for the attendees of this conference is to take away something so powerful about diversity and culture that they can’t keep it to themselves. When people start talking, change becomes initiated. Thank you to all involved who gave me the opportunity to be the recipient of the Aombaye Ramsey Diversity Scholarship.”


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.

Headshot of Jared Boot
Jared Boot (PsyD 1)

“I am honored and thrilled to be this year’s recipient of the Jill Benton Humanistic Psychology Scholarship. This award is indicative of my commitment to advancing the science and practice of humanistic psychology. Specifically, “the mission statement of Division 32 [which] stresses that humanistic psychologists are concerned about the quality of human welfare and in addition are focused upon contributing to fostering social responsibility and change” (Lyons, 1996, p. 301). I do this by recognizing humanistic psychology can help solve many of the world’s sociopolitical ailments through its “transformational power of hope, creativity, and intelligence to learn, expand our consciousness, and grow our way out” of the world’s crises (Schneider, Pierson, & Bugental, 2015, p. 578).

As a humanistic psychologist, I seek to help others recognize their ability to discover their own unique needs, which will assist them in alleviating distress. The tenants outlined by Carl Rogers of congruence, empathic understanding, and unconditional positive regard are vital to cultivating this awareness. I look forward to continuing to embody these three significant tenants as an ambassador for the tenants of humanistic psychology to the MSP campus community and beyond. Specifically, I look forward to continuing the work to developing warm relationships that fill the void of unsatisfied needs and developing higher levels of awareness and meaning in the academic, clinical, and personal realms of my life.”