Program Awards & News

Dr. Katharine Thakkar received the Rising Star Award from the Schizophrenia International Research Society. 

"When writing these introductions I thought I would run out of hyperbole, but Katy has raised the bar. Her research trajectory is indeed stellar, befitting a Rising Star. Not only is she intellectually rigorous, insightful, innovative, resourceful and a creative scientist but is willing to share these skills with others. Her support of the Michigan State University Mental Health Research Connect is helping to bridge the divide between mental health researchers and individuals in the community whose lives are affected by mental illness. Community members will not only serve as a research registry but will also have an input into research priorities and particularly to support research on underrepresented communities." - Dame Til Wykes, SIRS President

"Dr. Katharine (Katy) Thakkar embodies the essence of an ideal clinical scientist whose vast interdisciplinary expertise and deep commitment to improving the lives of those with severe mental illness. Dr. Thakkar’s transformative research program in cognitive neuroscience of psychosis is anchored by a powerful framework that seamlessly integrates conceptual and methodological approaches from animal neurophysiology and visual psychophysics to computational theories of cognition." - Sohee Park, Ph.D.

Read more here


ISTSS Distinguished Mentorship Award

Dr. Alytia Levendosky received the 2020 Distinguished Mentorship Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies for her accomplishments, passion, and commitment to the field of traumatic stress. Congratulations!

SSCP Varda Shoham Clinical Scientist Training Initiative Grant

Drs. Jae Puckett and Natalie Moser were recently awarded this grant for their submission "Implementation of the Sexual and Gender Minority Clinic at the MSU Psychological Clinic: Applying Clinical Science Values to Train Students and Provide Best Practices to the Sexual and Gender Minority Community". Congratulations!

Graduate Student Awards 

The graduate students in our clinical psychology doctoral program are the backbone of the program. The program has 25-30 active graduate students at any one time, and all students are actively involved in running the research labs, staffing the training clinic, and assisting in course instruction. The quality of our students is evidenced by their high-level of research productivity and their success on the internship and job market, including a 100% match rate to American Psychological Association (APA) accredited APPIC internships for more than 10 years.

The John Hurley Endowed Fellowship Award

This award, in honor of the late Professor John Hurley, is given to the best dissertation in the Clinical Psychology Program each year. John Hurley was Professor of Psychology at MSU for 45 years. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa in 1953 and later earned a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Hurley was a nationally known scholar in group psychotherapy who studied T-groups, group therapy processes, interpersonal theory, leadership in groups, and interpersonal perceptions. He served as the President of the Michigan Group Psychotherapy Society.

The 2019/2020 Hurley Award was given to Jade Kobayashi. Congratulations Jade! 

Past Hurley Award Winners

2008/2009 - Kristen Culbert 

2009/2010 - Cecilia Martinez-Torteya

2010/2011 - Alexia Spanos

2011/2012 - Sarah Racine

2012/2013 - Brittany Lannert

2013/2014 - Kate Thomas

2014/2015 - Matt Yalch

2015/2016 - Britny Hildebrant and Sharon Lo

2016/2017 - Shannon O'Connor

2017/2018 - Xiaochen Luo

2018/2019 - Brooke Slawinski

Jaqueline J. Oatman Graduate Fellowship in Clinical Psychology

This fellowship is given to a fifth year graduate student who has most clearly demonstrated excellence in their clinical work during graduate school.

Congratulations to the 2020/2021 award winner, Evan Good! 


Past Fellowship Winners

2017/2018 - Nicola Bernard
2018/2019 - Allison Gornik

2019/2020 - Karís Casagrande

Master's Thesis Presentation Award

Each year, the second year Clinical Psychology graduate students present their master's research to the entire Clinical Psychology Program. The Master's Thesis Presentation Award is selected by the program faculty and given to the student with the best presentation that year.

Congratulations to Dominic Roberts, the 2020/2021 recipient of the Master's Thesis Presentation Award!


Past Award Winners

2011/2012 - Katey Smagur
2012/2013 - Natalie Berger
2013/2014 - Katherine Pickard
2014/2015 - Jeff Lin
2015/2016 - Brooke Slawinski
2016/2017 - Jade Kobayashi
2017/2018 - Kyle Frost
2018/2019 - Lili Gloe

2019/2020 - Lauren Wiklund

Research Excellence Award

This award is given to a fourth year student for excellence in research during graduate school.

Congratulations to the 2020/2021 winner, Diondra Straiton


Past Award Winners

2017/2018 - Brooke Slawinski
2018/2019 - Karís Casagrande

2019/2020 - Kyle Frost 

The Norman Abeles Award for Outstanding Clinical Service 

This award is given to a second year student who has most clearly demonstrated clinical skill and growth as a clinician over the course of their first year of practicum. The benefactors of the award are former graduate students of the MSU Clinical Psychology Program who contributed to the fund in honor of Dr. Norman Abeles' retirement in 2010. Dr. Abeles is an Emeritus Professor who served as the clinic director for 26 years and significantly contributed to the clinical and research training of our graduate students. 

Congratulations to the 2020/2021 award winner, Dominic Roberts!


Past Award Winners

2013/2014 - Matt Yalch 
2014/2015 - Katherine Pickard 
2015/2016 - Katey Smagur
2016/2017 - Xiaochen Luo
2017/2018 - Beier Yao
2018/2019 - Courtney Louis

2019/2020 - Megan Mikhail

The John and Margo Reisman Award

This award helps recruit exceptional students of unusual promise, who in turn have the potential to elevate the MSU Clinical Psychology Program to new levels of excellence. The annual scholarship provides additional funding, over and above what could otherwise be offered, to one top applicant in each admissions class.

The scholarship is endowed by Dr. John M. Reisman and his late wife, Margo Reisman.  Dr. Reisman is an alumnus of the MSU Clinical Psychology doctoral program and an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. Mrs. Reisman was also a proud MSU graduate in Elementary Education.

Congratulations to the 2019 award winner, Ana Pomales Ramos!


Past Award Winners

2008 - Sarah Racine
2009 - Zori Kalibetseva
2010 - Tim Moran
2011 - Natalie Berger
2012 - Katherine Pickard
2013 - Jeff Lin
2014 - Karis Casagrande
2015 - Evan Good
2016 - Beier Yao
2018- Alexandra Vazquez

Bob and Bets Caldwell Land-Grant Values Award

This award recognizes a psychology graduate student who exemplifies public-spirited attitudes and actions that encourage each of us to bridge divides, to discover unity in common purpose, and to be a positive force for hope and possibilities.  

Congratulations to the 2020 award winner, Karís Casagrande

"Of all the excellent nominees, Karís stood out for her inspiring volunteer work that has helped to create more inclusive and accessible services and community activities for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities." - Dr. Emily Durbin 

Clinical Psychology Training Fellowship

This highly competitive fellowship is awarded in recognition of demonstrated academic and professional excellence. The express goal is to facilitate the recruitment and retention of particularly promising graduate students from historically underrepresented groups.

Congratulations to the 2020 award winner, Carolina Anaya Maldonado!

Past Fellowship Winners

2017 - Courtney Louis and Diondra Straiton

2018 - Christopher Webster and Lauren Wiklund

2019- Ana Pomales Ramos 


Clinical Program Celebrations

Fall Welcome Party

Each fall, our program hosts a party to welcome all incoming and returning students and faculty. Our party looked a little different this year, but we nevertheless are excited to reconnect and welcome four new graduate students. Welcome Jessica Tschida, Carolina Anaya, Devon Kimball, and Kalei Glozier.





Graduation Celebrations 

In the spring of 2020, two of our sixth year students successfully earned their doctoral degrees! Congratulations to Allison Gornik and Jeff Lin! Allison will soon start her post-doc at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Jeff will soon start his post-doc at Washington University.


In the spring of 2019, five of our second year students successfully defended their master’s theses! Congratulations to Courtney LouisLilianne GloeMikayla KimKara Cochran, and Diondra Straiton!