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Eye on Psi Chi: Spring 2019

Eye on Psi Chi

Spring 2019 | Volume 23 | Issue 3


Introducing Psi Chi's Fourth Annual Scholarship Recipients!

PSI CHI Awards and Grants

View this issue in Digital and PDF formats.

For the past four summers, Psi Chi student members from around the globe have taken a deep breath and leapt headlong into the crisp, deep blue. Their goal?—to earn a $3,000 Psi Chi Scholarship, and with it, a chance to pursue their dreams of a degree in psychology!

Psi Chi Scholarships has quickly become one of our most coveted and inspirational programs. This year, 176 eligible students completed an application to receive one of 16 scholarships. Eight of these scholarships are designated for undergraduates; the other eight are for graduate students. Specifically, Psi Chi Scholarships help students pay for school tuition, institutional fees, required textbooks, and other educational expenses vital to their futures.

We owe a great deal of appreciation to those who have made Psi Chi Scholarships a reality, in addition to our other pre-existing $400,000 in annual Psi Chi Awards and Grants. Thank you, donors to the Give Back to Psi Chi campaign (, Psi Chi’s Board of Directors, and GEICO. This year alone, we provided $48,000 in scholarships. And over the past four years combined, a total of $120,000 in scholarships have been awarded to deserving students! We could not have done this without you!

Students of all types and backgrounds have applied for these scholarships: first-generation college students, international students, and even survivors of natural disasters. All of them have impressive school grades and a clear passion to help others by shaping the future of psychology. Below, we are proud to introduce the 16 recipients* of the 2018 Psi Chi Scholarships program!


“This scholarship plays a direct role in my success as an undergraduate student and also as a future psychological scientist. As a first-generation college student, I make it my priority to take advantage of academic opportunities that will help me build financial resilience.”

KELLY BIELONKO is an incoming senior student at Eastern Connecticut State University pursuing a BS in industrial-organizational psychological science. Her concentrations and passions are occupational health and leadership focusing on organizational culture, diversity, and work-life balance. Her goal is to build healthy and effective workplaces.

“Before being awarded this scholarship, I was worried about being able to afford my tuition, graduate school applications, the GRE, and textbooks. With the help of this scholarship, I don't have to worry as much, and I'm able to focus on my future.”

TAYLOR GARDNER is a senior at Ohio University majoring in psychology and minoring in biological sciences. She is the Ohio University Psi Chi Chapter President, Editor-in-Chief of The Athena Yearbook, and a mentor to first-year psychology students.

“This scholarship would allow some weight off my shoulders financially in pursuing my undergraduate degree.”

SANDY GONZALEZ attends California Lutheran University. Once undocumented, she is now a first-generation student pursuing a degree in higher education.

“This scholarship will help to alleviate some financial burden, so that I can better focus on my education rather than how much debt I am accumulating.

ESMERALDA MARISCAL, is a first-generation college student from Cicero, IL. She is currently attending Dominican University (IL), majoring in psychology, and minoring in Spanish studies. Her dream career would be working with a nonprofit organization that helps to empower women, especially women of color.

“This scholarship will allow me to arrange my finances, fulfill my academic dreams, and apply to graduate school. It will play a role in changing my life, and rerouting my career path. The scholarship will enable me to focus on my academic future, and provide for myself and my mother.”

JOSEPH MCBRIDE was raised by a first-generation family in rural Missouri and attends the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Throughout life he stumbled, but maintained an ability to help others, and found a way to apply this passion to academia. Through diligence, he maintains a 4.0 GPA, and will be applying to clinical psychology PhD programs.

“The Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship will enable me to finish my undergraduate education and encourage me to pursue graduate school in social psychology. Having a part of my tuition taken care of will definitely help me to concentrate more on studying as well as to strive for more career advancements.”

THAO PHAM is an undergraduate student at Augustana College (IL) majoring in psychology and communication studies with a minor in sociology. Soon a graduate with honors in psychology, Thao is planning to pursue a PhD in social psychology. She wants to study family dynamics and child development.

“This scholarship impacts my career in psychology because it allows me to focus on my education 100% rather than stressing about working more hours and worrying about how to pay for school, graduate school applications, and textbooks.”

HELENA SWANSON is a senior at Central Connecticut State University majoring in psychology and minoring in gerontology. She is the CCSU Psi Chi Chapter President. She hopes to pursue a PhD in social, health, or community psychology after graduating with her BA in May 2019.


“This scholarship will enable me to attend a master's program in psychological counseling at Columbia University (NY) in the fall, and continue supporting my community by volunteering at Mountainside Hospital's behavioral health unit and at the Rutgers University– Newark (NJ) Psi Chi Chapter, which I helped revitalize last year.”

MARIAN CALLE graduated from Rutgers University–Newark in 2016 with a BA in English, and again in 2018 with a BA in psychology. This fall, she will embark on a master's program in psychological counseling at Columbia University Teachers College, with a concentration in bilingual Latina/o mental health counseling.

“In supporting me through the final stretch of my degree in science writing, this scholarship is helping me perfect my ability to convey exciting, but difficult, scientific concepts to broad audiences. I'm deeply passionate about psychology and grateful to continue learning how to share it with others through writing.”

MAGDALYN "MAGGIE" FIORE earned her BS in psychology from Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD, where she served as vice-president of her campus Psi Chi chapter. Maggie is now pursuing her MA in science writing from Johns Hopkins University (MD).

“The Psi Chi Graduate Scholarship will alleviate financial stress and allow me to meet the funding requirements for the master's program that I am attending in the fall. I will be able to devote more energy toward working on my thesis and internship.”

GABRIELA HEERMANS received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Vermont. She pursued research on cultural perspectives of posttraumatic stress disorder within Bhutanese refugee populations in Burlington, VT. She currently works with refugee populations and will pursue research to help refugees in the future.

“Scholarships are the reason I've come this far. A scholarship from Psi Chi will alleviate financial concerns, which will allow me to focus on my studies more, so I can complete my master's degree successfully and increase my chance of getting admitted to a doctoral program in clinical psychology.”

IRENE HERNANDEZ DE LA CRUZ is a graduate student studying psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. Her research focuses primarily on personality, sexual risk behaviors, and health disparities among HIV+ individuals. Irene plans to obtain a PhD in clinical psychology and build a career as a clinician, researcher, and professor.

“This award will allow me to continue to satiate my intellectual curiosity abroad. It will enable me to establish mindfulness as a reputable field of study, and incorporating my passion for Spain and cross-cultural contexts, I will prepare my field and community for an internationalized future through theory and practice.”

ROWAN MULLIGAN graduated with a BA in psychology and leadership studies sequence from Claremont McKenna College (CA). As an aspiring industrial-organizational psychologist at the University of Valencia (Spain), she envisions a career based on the fusion of theory and praxis. She plans to develop the field of mindfulness and facilitate its application into real-world settings.

“This scholarship will impact my life immensely. from Hurricane María to today, I have loss so many things; receiving this award will be such an honor. I know that I will use it very wisely to pay for my degree.”

VANESSA ORTIZ ROSADO is a Puerto Rican young woman studying a PhD in clinical psychology in Ponce Health Sciences University (Puerto Rico). She loves to learn and promote knowledge to others, but her main goal is to help everyone to live with healthy minds, bodies, and souls.

“Receiving this Psi Chi Graduate Scholarship allows me to devote greater attention and resources to my academics and research. I am able to purchase textbooks and technologies foundational to my career as a clinical psychologist (e.g., the DSM-5, statistical software packages) and present my work at national conventions.”

JORDAN THOMAS is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. A graduate of Connecticut College, she previously served as a research associate at Yale University's School of Public Health (CT). Her research interests include topics in women's health psychology, particularly sexual health.

“This scholarship will allow me to better focus on my research and coursework in an intensive master's program. It will also enable me to devote more time to give back to the psychological community at San Diego State University (CA) and beyond.”

JULIE TON-VUONG is a first-year student to San Diego State University's master's of science program in industrial and organizational psychology. As her career goal, she would like to work toward improving organizational environments and employee satisfaction through internal consulting.

Copyright 2019 (Vol. 23, Iss. 3) Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology

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