Alexandra Wiltshire, Winner of the 2009-2010 Dean’s Award
Alexandra Wiltshire (5th year, School) received the 2009-2010 Dean’s Award for her accomplishments and hard work while at GSAPP. Students and faculty at GSAPP nominate candidates and then vote for the award recipient.
Alexandra was born and raised in New Jersey. As an undergraduate, she initially majored in Pharmacy at Rutgers, with an interest to help older adult populations with medication management and compliance. After working in a retail pharmacy for several years, though, she realized that time for counseling clients was minimal; “It was $5 co-pay and sign here.” Alexandra said, “Before I switched, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I just knew it wasn't pharmacy anymore.”
She changed her major to Psychology in her 4th year. She explained, “I always liked psychology and the idea of working with students, so I researched school psychology.” She applied to GSAPP after graduation.
She is currently on an Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) internship at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where she works with children and adolescents as an evaluator, consultant, and therapist. In discussing the transition from student to intern, Alexandra says, “It’s all just clinical work now, and you’re treated like a professional when you still feel like a student.”
As the end of her internship approaches, Alexandra has started the process of applying for jobs in clinical and school psychology. She hopes to complete her dissertation in order to graduate in October 2011. She ultimately plans to become a licensed child/adolescent clinical psychologist in addition to becoming a Certified School Psychologist in New Jersey.
Alexandra credits winning the Dean's Award to sharing her experiences with the APPIC match process with other students in the School Psychology program. Alexandra took an extra year of coursework at GSAPP in order to take more application courses and build client hours. Once she matched, she met with 1st and 2nd year School students in order to discuss her experiences with the process and share her thoughts about seeking licensure in New Jersey. Alexandra states, “I really advocated to School students that you can do it and create opportunities to be competitive enough to do clinical jobs.” She adds, “I didn’t set myself up as a mentor, but I just remained approachable to everyone.”
In addition to her work at GSAPP, Alexandra is a past chair of the New Jersey Psychological Association of Graduate Students (NJPAGS). She will be part of a panel presentation at this year’s NJPAGS internship fair, so she can again share her knowledge and hopefully inspire other School Psychology students to pursue an APPIC internship.
Upon reflecting on the award, Alexandra says, “It’s nice to know I’m being recognized because someone felt like I helped them.”