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Titan Wins Association Graduate Award

University Well-Represented at Western Psychological Association Conference

May 1, 2014

Alumna and psychology graduate student Skye N. Parral of Gardenia was among the many Cal State Fullerton scholars in the spotlight at the recent Western Psychological Association national conference in Portland.

Parral is this year's recipient of the Dr. Steven Ungerleider Graduate Award, an honor named after the sports psychologist and author from the University of Texas, Austin. The award recognizes Parral for having authored "one of the most outstanding papers received this year."

Parral presented "Parameter Linking of Longitudinal Data Under the Nominal Response Model" and "The Differences of Theta and Sum Scores for Diagnostic Purposes," co-authored with Kathleen S.J. Preston, assistant professor of psychology, who recommended her for the Ungerleider award.

"I have known Skye for the past three years, and she is truly one of the most exceptional students I have had the honor of working with," said Preston, who is Parral's thesis adviser. Preston noted that during Parral's years as an undergraduate, she was a McNair Scholar, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Psychology, was consistently on the Dean's List and won the department's best poster awards.

"Skye serves as my teaching assistant for an introductory psychological statics course, where she presents the weekly lab lectures, grades assignments and holds weekly office hours ... and has been recruited by Fullerton College to assist visually impaired students to understand introductory statistics."

Parral will participate in this month's commencement ceremonies and is expected to complete her degree in the summer.

During the conference, Cal State Fullerton was cited almost 100 times in the conference program for talks, statistics workshops, symposium presentations or chairmanships, as well as 57 poster presentations and three award recipients.

Preston presented a statistics workshop titled "Advanced Topics in IRT: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Each Response Option With the Nominal Response Model," served as chair for a statistics workshop titled "Introduction to Item Response Theory or Don't Be Afraid of IRT!" and delivered "Coping Strategies Utilized by Adolescents with Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors" with Pamella H. Oliver , professor of child and adolescent studies, and senior psychology major Sirena M. Ibrahim of Riverside. Oliver and Diana Guerin , professor of child and adolescent studies, were honored at the conference as among those named Western Psychological Association Fellows.

Melinda Blackman , professor of psychology, was chair for the WPA distinguished speaker presentation, "Exploring Human Nature." Allen W. Gottfried , professor emeritus of psychology, chaired the WPA Teaching Award presentation, "Creating a Dynamic, Diverse and Diligent Classroom Environment," presented by Blackman.

Serving on the national conference Program Review Committee: alumna Marciela Aceves '11 (M.S. psychology); psychology professors Melinda A. Blackman and John D. Mearns; Allen Gottfried and David Perkins, professors emeritus of psychology; and Russell K. E. Espinoza, David Gerkens and Christine Scher, associate professors of psychology; Angela-Mir Tu Nguyen, assistant professor of psychology; and Mitchell Okada, lecturer in psychology. Serving on the WPA Council of Representatives: Blackman and Oliver.

Tags:  Academics & ResearchTitan Pride