School psychology graduate walks away with top award at conference

University of Houston-Victoria Psychology Student Conference
University of Houston-Victoria psychology faculty member Libby Rhoades speaks about adolescent drug abuse at the university’s first Psychology Student Conference earlier this month.

University of Houston-Victoria graduate Brandon McElveen recently received the top award at the university’s first Psychology Student Conference in part for his work to create the UHV School Psychology Association and serve as its first president.

Brandon McElveen
Brandon McElveen

“It’s a wonderful feeling when faculty and staff recognize you for your work,” said McElveen, who graduated earlier this month with a Master of Arts in school psychology.

The Houston resident was awarded the School Psychology Distinguished Student Award on behalf of UHV’s School Psychology Department. In addition, he received the UHV School Psychology Association Award of Excellence for Service & Leadership and a Poster Competition Participation Award. The awards were handed out at the May conference, “Psychology: Making a Difference in Practice,” presented by the UHV Psychology Colloquium Series.

McElveen, who is in the process of moving to Victoria, served as the university’s student representative to the National Association of School Psychology this past school year and worked with faculty member Anitra Shelton-Quinn to start the UHV School Psychology Association. He is in the process of completing a school psychology internship in the Spring Branch Independent School District and then will work at Devereux Texas Treatment Network in Victoria this summer. In the fall, he will begin a job as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in Brazosport Independent School District.

The Psychology Student Conference gave more than 50 graduate and undergraduate students across psychology disciplines the opportunity to come together to foster student involvement in research, meet peers and gain experience in a research conference setting, Shelton-Quinn said.

The conference featured a student poster competition and awards, psychology program student awards, informational brochures from area mental health providers, and a keynote speech by psychology faculty member Libby Rhoades, who talked about adolescent drug abuse. Faculty members in UHV’s School Psychology Department plan on making the conference an annual event, Shelton-Quinn said.

Other student awards presented were:

  • Student Choice Award for Poster – Thelissa Edwards, Janae Walker and Laura Murphy
  • Best in Poster Competition – Thelissa Edwards, Janae Walker and Laura Murphy
  • Best Oral Presentation for Poster – Monica Mclain and Nicole Webb (collaborative), Jennifer Perez and Stacie Presley (three-way tie)
  • School Psychology Student Excellence Awards – Jennifer Perez and Shannon Fuechec
  • Counseling Student Excellence Awards – Crystal Eubanks, Tony Bell,Sherry Herring and Linda Wagner
  • Psi-Chi Award of Excellence – Thelissa Edwards, Psi Chi president; and Whitney Damborsky and Anne Tenorio, Psi Chi officers
  • Poster Competition Participation Awards – Aimee Arnold, Stacie Preslie, Thelissa Edwards, Janae Walker, Laura Murphy, Jennifer Perez, Monica Mclain and Nicole Webb

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler