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GSAPP Student Support and Awards

The Robert Weitz Award

This award is presented annually to the graduating student whose energy, spirit, and enthusiasm evidence a dedication and willingness to work in the interest of professional psychology and the people it serves. This award is presented at the Graduation Reception and each awardee receives a framed certificate and a cash award.


List of Robert Weitz Award winners:

2016 - Arielle Verdesco

2015 - Mariana Torres-Viso

Mariana Torres-Viso is the kind of person who is always looking for ways to be of service. She worked as a behavioral consultant for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, especially those living in underserved areas, even in other parts of the world. For example, she volunteered in Peru with the Global Autism Project, a non-profit organization that increases awareness of and treats autism in many locations around the world.

Mariana led sibling groups at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (the DDDC) to help brothers and sisters of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder cope with their siblings. When working at her externship at the Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center, she was able to conduct therapy in Spanish with families who had been waiting some time to get services because they didn't speak any English. She was also involved in The Depression Prevention Initiative (DPI) where she helped translate newsletters and other materials into Spanish, as well as meet with families who spoke only Spanish.

Mariana’s genuine interest in others, her characteristic optimism and cheerfulness and her outlook of gratitude contributed daily to the well-being of all the clients, staff and students at GSAPP and the DDDC. Mariana will now represent not only GSAPP’s high quality education but also the relevance and effectiveness of professional psychology for children and families around the world.

2014 - Gabriela DeCandia

Gabby is a motivated, self-directed student who exemplifies a mastery-oriented learner. She has demonstrated her commitment to serving under-served populations through her work in her practica, as well as through her dissertation on academic achievement in low-income, urban adolescents. Her practicum experiences have included the Edison Public School s, the Shepard Schools, and the Princeton Center for Leadership Training. She has also been continuously involved in student leadership activities at GSAPP through her work on the GSAPP Student Association, the Committee on Diversity, and the Focus on Our Diversity group. In all aspects of her work and interactions with faculty, students, and clients she has been conscientious, dedicated, flexible, and insightful. She exhibits a rare combination of intellectual prowess, strong clinical skills, and effective leadership qualities.

2014 - Kevin Mundt

Kevin has demonstrated dedication in applying evidence-based practices with historically under-served students and their families.

He has followed his passion for improving education for Latino populations through his practicum experiences and his dissertation research on parental engagement in Head Start Centers in New York City. His practicum experiences include work in the Elizabeth Public Schools, the Foster Care Counseling Project, and the Matheny Medical and Education Center. He is diligent, persistent, and committed to his work. He has exhibited professionalism, leadership, and excellent relationships with both faculty and students at GSAPP. Kevin approaches challenges in stressed clinical and educational systems with a positive, problem-solving “can-do” attitude—one that rubs off on people around him. His optimistic, yet grounded, approach will offer hope to the people he serves in years to come.

2013 - Jennifer Jones

Dr. Susan Forman writes that Jennifer “has shown great leadership skills in her interactions with her fellow graduate students and with the faculty. She consistently volunteered to lead, and participate in, program activities that involve students. She has served as our representative to the APA Division 16 Student Association of School Psychologists and was instrumental in starting the Rutgers student chapter of the National Association of School Psychologists.”

Anne Gregory writes: “Jennifer has a striking ability to connect with others, a strong commitment to the wellbeing of historically disenfranchised groups, and the curiosity and critical mindedness essential for practitioner-scientists. Her leadership as an up-and-coming professional in the field has been recognized by recent awards, namely, the New Jersey Psychological Association Community Award and the Executive Women of new Jersey Merit Scholarship. She was recently notified that she was selected for a highly competitive, two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress at Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s - Roosevelt Hospitals in NYC.

2012 - Rebecca Greif

The Robert D. Weitz Award was presented by Dean Stanley Messer to Rebecca Greif (Clinical) for her helpfulness to other students, and for her unending dedication to her research working with the eating disorders prevention program “Reflections”. This award is presented to the graduating student whose energy, spirit, and enthusiasm evidences a dedication and willingness to work in the interests of professional psychology and the people it serves.

2011 - Kelly Moore

Kelly Nicole Moore (Clinical) is being presented with the Robert D. Weitz Award by Dean Stanley Messer . This award is presented to the graduating student whose energy, spirit, and enthusiasm evidences a dedication and willingness to work in the interests of professional psychology and the people it serves.

2010 - Jennifer Foster

Foster Award

This year’s Robert Weitz Award went to Jennifer Foster (3rd year, School) for her excellent work in promoting the mental health of children in the Perth Amboy schools. The Robert Weitz Award is presented to the graduating student whose energy, spirit, and enthusiasm evidence a dedication and willingness to work in the interests of professional psychology and the people it serves.

2009 - Johanna Morrow

Johanna Morrow Johanna has worked tirelessly to assist and improve the GSAPP and School Psychology Program community. She has repeatedly demonstrated leadership skills during her training experiences and in her interactions at GSAPP. Her service to GSAPP as co-chair and treasurer of the Student Alliance exemplifies these efforts. Johanna was awarded a select Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education Preparation of Leadership Personnel Training Grant.  With its support she completed a Concentration in Psychological and Systems Support for Learning. Through this fellowship, she became adept at helping teachers and other staff implement new programs in the schools In her practicum, Johanna has provided services to parents and teachers of individuals with severe developmental disabilities and has worked with children, adolescents, and families involved in foster care.  She has assisted a school district in dealing with the uneven assignment of racial and ethnic groups to special education classes and has become highly knowledgeable about the nature of this problem and strategies to deal with it. 

2008 -Tamara Latawiec
Tamara became well known among GSAPP students because of her inclination to wear leopard skin and very stylish glasses, her special laughter and very caring way of being with her fellow students, how smart she is and how hard working she was at GSAPP and the Psychological Clinic. In her role as Clinic coordinator, she contributed enormously to the Clinic's well-being and to helping students navigate the Clinic's systems. During an unprecedented third year as coordinator, Tamara single handedly assembled a Clinic Handbook that contains the instructions to the entire Clinic operation, as well as a compendium of ALL social service programs in the nearby five counties and beyond. For students working in the Clinic and for coordinators running the Clinic, it has had Biblical import in guiding them on the proper paths of clinical righteousness.