Professional Development

MA Professional Development & Clinical Training 2016 Event Recap

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Irvine Graduate Campus

To kick off the Fall 2016 semester, Kathleen Wenger and team hosted a Professional Development & Clinical Training: Open House, where students were invited to obtain information about the department and all of the events being held for their professional growth.

Our first Clinical Connections event for the semester Following the Fall kickoff, the department partnered with the Latino Student Psychological Association hosting an event that focused on Managing Time as a Student & Working Professional.  Students were provided resources that helped them to find ways to balance school, family, and work.  Dr. Rogelio Serrano was the presenter.

Following the time management workshop, students met with Rachel Coleman, LMFT via Coffee Talk and discussed eating disorders and the career opportunities available within the LMFT field.  Rachel, a Pepperdine alumni, facilitated discussions about treatment options as well.

Another exciting Clinical Connections topic that our department highlighted in the fall was the introduction of Liberation Psychology to Navigate a Client’s Religious & Psychological Journey facilitated by Sister Linda Buck, MA, LMFT.  Sister Linda Buck challenged students to have stronger cultural awareness when treating their clients.  Being that the material presented was somewhat provocative, Linda encouraged attendees to be aware of their reactions.  By the end of the session students were requesting that Linda Buck provide a part two.

In addition to the Clinical Connections our department hosted two private practice visits.  Keri Prathers, a Pepperdine alumni opened the doors of her practice in Orange, CA to an intimate group of students and she introduced the students to the different ways she utilizes her therapy dog, Beckett and the benefits of being on an insurance panel.

Towards the end of the semester students gathered in Laguna Beach, CA to meet at the Private Practice Visit of Dr. Lori Aleknavicius.  Dr. Aleknavicius, a popular adjunct faculty member opened her practice up to an intimate group and shared her experience building practices in Minnesota and California.  Also, she discussed the ways she utilizes telehealth for her client’s convenience.

As we do every semester, we held the Practicum Tips Meeting, Pep Pro Demo and the Intern Registration Meeting to help MACLP students along their practicum journey.

The MFT Consortium of Orange County continues to be held at the Irvine Graduate Campus on the third Wednesday of every other month. The next scheduled meetings are scheduled for March 15 and May 17. For the past 20 years, I have been the host and co-chair of the MFT Consortium. This is a collaborative setting that brings together mental health agencies and universities with MFT graduate programs in an effort to foster community partnerships. The meetings serve as a networking opportunity for agencies to be connected with key personnel to discuss MFT employment and practicum training opportunities, programming and clinical training concerns.

West LA Graduate Campus

The fall semester started with QuickMeets and a New Student Meeting, where new students are introduced to the resources available to them, and gave them a chance to see an overview of the MACLP Program, as well as their future practicum process.  The students seemed appreciative of knowing where to go and who to ask when future questions came up.

The first “Clinical Connections” featuring Natalie Moore, MA, focused on Bringing the Body into the picture: Integrating Somatic Experiences into Therapy. Students learned about Somatic approaches to psychotherapy in order to provide clients with the opportunity to connect with their experience of feelings, sensations and memories that underlie the issues they face.  Some comments from students include: “I learned how to guide my clients through their sensation-healing”, “Natalie was very insightful on her approach to somatic experiences. She followed through with many relevant examples”, “I liked how interactive this workshop was.”

This second Clinical Connections event helped students to learn how to refuel after a burnout: what it means to find compassion in fatigue. The workshop addressed the need for awareness of secondary trauma, like compassion fatigue and burnout and to further address the importance of self-care. Participants identified the signs and triggers and developed self-care skills. There were two speakers at this event: Dain Kloner, PsyD, IMFT, and Irene Yaymadjian, PsyD. One student described Dain Kloner and said “he had great charisma about his speaking style. It was entertaining and absorbing for us”. Another student really enjoyed Irene Yaymadjian’s more factual and historical approach to the causes and effects of burning out.

Our Third Fall Clinical Connections focused on Gottman Method Couples Therapy Basics, presented by Adrienne Clements, MA. Adrienne specializes in women’s issues, trauma and couples. She is trained in Level 3 Gottman Method Couple’s Therapy. This workshop was about the struggles couples face with pain and conflict and the assumption that the clinician will referee fights and fix the partners. However, Adrienne’s approach uses a more holistic and positive approach while utilizing Gottman Therapy techniques. One student was quoted as saying, “this has been a very transformative presentation for me. I was not familiar with Gottman Therapy but I’m glad I learned about it. It is helping me in personal matters as well as professional.”  

   Additional Resources

                    Alice Richardson hosted a Coffee Talk which gave students a chance to come by the GSEP Office and relax with a cup of coffee and cookies while asking questions about the program and LPCC licensure. Sheila Sayana, LMFT and Andrew Benkendorf, LCSW co-hosted a private practice visit to Andrew’s private practice office in WLA. The purpose was to provide students with an informal discussion on how to build and succeed in a private practice Rebecca facilitated a PowerPoint meeting in Pre-Practicum class to go over the “Tips for a Successful Practicum Experience” as well as a “Practicum Sites Powerpoint” showcasing about 15 of our most popular training sites.  In addition, WLA has a powerpoint presentation for the students getting ready to graduate called the Intern Registration Meeting. This meeting gave students step-by-step instructions on how to register for their licensure intern numbers.

Encino Graduate Campus

The fall semester started with QuickMeets and a New Student Meeting, where new students are introduced to the resources available to them, and gave them a chance to see an overview of the MACLP Program, as well as their future practicum process.  The students seemed appreciative of knowing where to go and who to ask when future questions came up.

The first “Clinical Connections” featuring Curt Widhelm, LMFT (Pepperdine Alum) focused on Starting and Maintaining a Successful Private Practice.  Students learned about some of the challenges and benefits of running your own private practice.  Curt spoke about various aspects of the business side of private practice, as well as self-care, professional growth, marketing, networking, fees, and specialties in the field.  Some comments from students include:  “I like how he talked about overcoming his obstacles” “Curt was very realistic, practical and honest about his advice” “Curt was an upbeat person and I appreciate his advice on boundaries and humoring yourself” “He really gave some great insight in building a private practice”

This second Clinical Connections event helped students learn as Sheila Sayani, LMFT, Perpperdine Faculty and Staff, demonstrated how to Incorporate the Science and Theory of Attachment into Individual & Couples Therapy.  Sheila gave an overview and history of Attachment Theory, and talked about how attachment styles define a relationship and often become the focus of therapy.  Student comments were: “Informative and useful information to use with all clients and also helpful for self-understanding.” “Handouts, examples and techniques were very helpful”

Our Third Fall Clinical Connections focused on Divorce Mediation, presented by Howard Leavitt, LMFT and Yardenna Hurvitz, JD.  With over 30 years of experience. This presentation covered a short history of mediation, a description of their style of “Team Divorce Mediation” and the business opportunities available to LMFT’s in the field of mediation. In addition, students left with a general overview of the process of divorce in the State of California. Student comments included “Very informative and professional speakers” “This was the best presentation I have seen in a very long time.  I liked their team approach and learning about all of the laws revolving around divorce in California.”

    Additional Resources

                    Alice Richardson hosted a Coffee Talk which gave students a chance to come by the GSEP Office and relax with a cup of coffee and cookies while asking questions about the program and the MFT profession. Alice also facilitated a PowerPoint meeting in Pre-Practicum class to go over the “Tips for a Successful Practicum Experience” as well as a “Practicum Sites Powerpoint” showcasing about 15 of our most popular training sites.  In addition, Encino has two PowerPoint Presentations for the students getting ready to graduate.  “The MFT Exam Process” and the “Intern Registration” meeting.

“The New Shape of Romantic Love” Webinar Highlights

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On November 20th, I attended a Web-lecture, “The New Science of Romantic Love: What You Understand, You Can Shape” presented by Dr. Sue Johnson at Cal Southern University in Irvine, CA. The lecture was also available to watch live online through Cal Southern’s webpage.

I was excited to learn about one of the most powerful forces on Earth- love. Dr. Sue Johnson is an expert on Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) and utilizes it to help couples repair their relationships. Emotionally Focused Therapy is best used to expand partners’ emotional responses, create new types of interactions between the couple, and foster secure bonding between partners.The basics of EFT Empathic Reflection that Dr. Johnson covered are validations- creates alliance and safety, focus during sessions, and cohesion through organization.

In addition to explaining EFT and how it is used as a “dance” between partners, Dr. Johnson also discussed John Bowlby’s attachment styles and how they influence adult romantic relationships. The ideas that held my interest throughout the lecture include: secure attachment bonds lead to emotional responsiveness while insecure attachment leads to anxious emotional responsiveness. Furthermore, my biggest take-away point was learning how a cue of rejection or criticism from a person you’re connected with is processed the same way as physical pain in the brain.

2016 CPA Convention Call for Poster Proposals — Deadline December 2

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April 2016 may seem like a long time from now, but the deadline for presentation submissions for the 2016 CPA Convention happening that month has already come and gone! Thankfully, there’s still time to get your poster proposal in — the poster deadline is December 2. The convention will be in Irvine on April 14-17.

To help turn the brilliant idea in your mind into a great poster, CPA has the following guidelines:

Things we are particular about:

  • You must be a doctoral student in psychology or hold a doctorate in psychology to submit a proposal.
  • All poster presenters are required to register for the convention at either the student or presenter rate. Students may volunteer in order to be reimbursed for their registration fee.
  • All presenters listed on the poster proposal are expected to be present when the poster is presented. If you do not plan to attend the poster presentation please do not include your name on the proposal (this includes faculty).

What is a poster?

A poster is an excellent way to summarize your research or single case studies, or to present a conceptual model or innovative interventions in therapy. It is expected that posters will represent work, research, or projects that have been fully completed before presentation at the convention. Literature reviews and planned research are not appropriate for posters.

Guidelines for Poster Proposals:

  • All proposals must be submitted online here
  • All presentation submissions MUST be received by midnight, December 2, 2015. This is a firm deadline.
  • Proposals from members of CPA will receive preference.
  • No presenter may submit more than two poster proposals.
  • A poster consists of key information (brief paragraphs, bulleted outlines, diagrams, tables, graphs) presented together. The CPA convention uses 24” x 36” black foam core board set on easels rather than on a bulletin board. The poster needs to fit on this board.
  • Most copy or print stores can usually print posters (from a PowerPoint file) for a reasonable cost. Poster can be in color or black and white.
  • There must be a primary presenter for each poster proposal. This individual will be the person who will be the main contact for CPA. It will be that person’s responsibility to notify the co-presenters of status and details.
  • Those poster presentations selected will be assigned a time either on Friday or Saturday of the convention. Each day there will be a designated time when presenters are expected to be available to discuss their posters.
  • All those proposing a poster will be notified of the Committee’s decision in January.”

2016 CPA Convention Call for Proposals — Deadline August 30

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April 2016 may seem like a long time from now, but the deadline for presentation submissions for the California Psychological Association Convention that month is right around the corner! The convention will be in Irvine on April 14-17, and the presentation proposal deadline is August 30. The poster proposal deadline will be a later date to be announced.

To help guide your thoughts about how to translate the great idea in your mind into an amazing presentation, CPA has the following advice:

“(1)    Be sure that you consider implications for a multicultural patient population, including racial and ethnic or cultural diversity, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, spirituality, developmental life-span and other special population elements, on individuals. We welcome proposals that illustrate the effective integration of research and practice.

(2)    Consider how you will present your information in an interactive format that will engage your audience in a meaningful way.  Our attendees do not appreciate a presentation heavily dependent on lecture and PowerPoint slides, so please keep that in mind. They do appreciate information based on your significant experience and expertise.

(3)    Consider how you will demonstrate the application of your information to work settings of psychologists; think in terms of what the attendees will walk away with that they can use with their patients, students, or in their particular work setting.

We welcome proposals on a wide range of topics related to clinical practice, training and education, public service, the role of psychology in social justice, technology as it relates to psychology, and applications of psychology beyond the clinical setting such as sports, organizations, conflict resolution, and other non-clinical environments.”

Recap of This Year So Far — See You At Our Fall Events!

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by Kathleen Wenger, M.A., LMFT, LPCC, Manager M.A. Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training

Summer is relatively slow in the M.A. Psychology Department of Professional Development and Clinical Training as we plan for an exciting series of fall events. So I wanted to take this opportunity to fill you in about some of the enriching events for students in the MAP and MACLP tracks that we’ve had so far this year and encourage you to attend the events that we host this fall! In addition to these events, there are several resources that help guide you through the practicum experience. You can make an appointment for a Quick Meet to receive a personalized explanation of the events and services offered by the department and to have any questions about practicum answered. If you want more information about an agency, you can stop by the GA’s office to read through students’ practicum site reviews (strengths and challenges). We also encourage you to use the Mentor Program, which puts you in contact with a student who has experience at a site you are interested in.

Irvine Graduate Campus

As we do each semester, we welcomed new students to the Irvine Graduate Campus with Quick Meets, our series of one-on-one meetings with new students. These personalized explanations of our departments’ events and services, as well as an overview of practicum basics for MFT students and other subjects of concern for individuals new to the program help our new students to dive right into their program prepared for success.

In February we hosted a Clinical Connections event with George Nalbach, Ph.D. and Connie Saindon, author of The Murder Survivor’s Handbook. Dr. Nalbach introduced a couple whose son was tragically murdered several years ago to share their experience with the grief and loss process. Connie provided clinical strategies for working with clients who have experienced similar tragedies. Attendees felt honored to hear the couple’s story and to receive valuable tips for working with clients who have experienced the violent loss of loved ones. One individual summed up the evening’s event by stating that “While the content and discussion was heavy, saddening, and emotional, I felt most impacted and moved by the display of human resiliency and growth. It was inspiring to hear this couple’s journey through their grief and loss, what they have learned about the process, and what they have learned about themselves.”

In February we also hosted the annual GSEP Career and Practicum Fair: Career Connections. This event gave our current students and alumni an opportunity to meet with potential practicum and internship employers. We had an outstanding turnout in terms of attendees as well as agencies – approximately 50-60 students and alums met with fifteen of the top mental health agencies in Orange County! We followed this event with the annual Practicum Mentor Fair in March. At the Mentor Fair, students ready to begin practicum had an opportunity to hear about the experiences current practicum students have had at their agencies.

Our popular Private Practice and Agency Visit series continued with two events in Orange County in March. I hosted a visit at my practice in Laguna Beach and Chris Hoff, LMFT, hosted one at his agency in Costa Mesa, the California Family Institute. One attendee at my event commented that he felt “put right at ease to ask many questions about the nuts and bolts of starting, managing, and maintaining a private practice such as this. We were also able to discuss other business aspects such as marketing tools, networking, and even google analytics to ensure that we will have enough clients to keep our businesses afloat, yet not so many that we ourselves start to drown and lose our effectiveness.”

As we do every semester, we held a New Student Meeting, the Practicum Tips Meeting, and the Intern Registration Meeting to help MACLP students along their practicum journey. Students have responded to this semester’s series of meetings by telling us things like “it is so great that the program goes the extra mile for us like this” compared to other similar programs! It’s a great vote of confidence to know the impact that we’re having on our current students.

The MFT Consortium of Orange County continues to be held at the Irvine Graduate Campus on the third Wednesday of every other month. The next scheduled meetings are scheduled for September 16 and November 18. For the past 20 years, I have been the host and co-chair of the MFT Consortium. This is a collaborative setting that brings together mental health agencies and universities with MFT graduate programs in an effort to foster community partnerships. The meetings serve as a networking opportunity for agencies to be connected with key personnel to discuss MFT employment and practicum training opportunities, programming and clinical training concerns.

West Los Angeles Graduate Campus

West LA started its spring semester with a Clinical Connections topic that we all need to visit often. Alumna Juanita Frassini Goode, MA, presented, “Self-Love Your Way through Life: The Clinical Value of Practicing Self-Love for Yourself and Clients.” Juanita’s workshop was very fun and interactive. Attendees engaged in a variety of self-love activities with the multitude of art supplies that Juanita provided. Juanita shared her unique approach to practicing with clients, which included her approach from her license in spiritual psychology.  Participants left feeling excited to try out some of these new ideas and approaches with clients.

Following Juanita’s workshop on self-love, premarital counseling guru, Debbi Molnar, MA, LMFT, LPCC, spoke about, “Premarital Counseling versus Couples Therapy: Understanding the Difference and Making it Work in Your Practice.” With a beautiful manual that Debbi put together, she very clearly explained the differences between the two. Debbi shared with the audience how her sessions with couples therapy look, versus how her sessions with premarital counseling look.  She also spoke about the programs for couples that she has put together, which she often holds as weekend workshops. Debbi’s impressive experience and background was very apparent and attendees walked away with an organized and clear-cut way to practice premarital counseling versus couples therapy.

Jody Echegaray, Psy.D, presented the last of the Clinical Connections workshops. Jody’s workshop, entitled “Mass Media—Its Effects, Motivations for Use, and Media-based Clinical Interventions” proved to be a very important topic amongst clinicians. Jody gave a quick historical timeline on the development of media and how it has come to play a part in the practice of psychotherapy. Jody also provided great examples of interventions he has used with his own clients. The workshop addressed some very poignant issues that media can both harm and help in the practice of psychotherapy. Participants were very impressed by the amount of information and were very intrigued by the topic.

West LA’s other professional development events included a Coffee Talk by Alice Richardson, MA, LMFT, LPCC and a Private Practice Visit to alum Curt Widhalm’s practice. For the Coffee Talk, Alice answered questions about pursuing the LPCC. While the development of the license in California is still new, many students and alums struggle with knowing much about it. Alice, who has pursued the license, shared her impressive knowledge about the license and its benefits. Students who attended felt grateful for the clarifications.  Later in March, students and alums visited Curt’s practice to learn about the development and running of a private practice. The room was full as Curt spoke about his process to private practice and laying it out straight for how it goes. Attendees felt very informed and lucky to have attended this private practice field trip.

Encino Graduate Campus

This spring, the Encino Graduate Campus was pleased to have Kent Toussaint, LMFT, LPCC, speak at a Clinical Connections about “The 1-2-3’s for Treating Resistant Teens.” Kent gave attendees a better understanding of how to build rapport, earn trust, and create alliances with teens.  He also spoke about the developmental needs of teens, and how unconditional positive regard helps with this age group.  At the end of Kent’s presentation, the attendees had a hands-on demonstration of the games and toys Kent uses for ice-breakers and rapport building.

In March, Dr. Dennis Lowe graciously gave a 3-hour presentation about “What’s New in the DSM-5” for Pepperdine Alumni who are studying for the licensing exam.  This presentation was held on a Saturday afternoon, and was well received by all attendees.  Many alumni attended and seemed engaged and interested in this presentation, and some alumni even sent emails and notes of appreciation.

March is National Gambling Awareness Month, and the Encino Graduate Campus was fortunate to have an Alumna who specializes in Gambling Addiction. Audrey Johnson, PsyD, LMFT, spoke about the differences between recreational gambling and gambling addictions.  Between 3% and 6% of the general population is impacted by some degree of problem gambling.  Audrey spoke about helpful tools, assessment inventories and treatment plans she uses with her problem gambling clients.

Also in March, Sheila Sayani and Alice Richardson organized a Practicum Mentor Fair “Mixer” where seasoned students who are near graduating spoke with students taking the Pre-Practicum class.  The students enjoyed this event immensely and we plan to continue doing these mixers in future semesters.

Alice Richardson, Clinical Training & Professional Development Coordinator, spoke about the LPCC License at “Coffee Talks” at both Encino and WLA Campuses.  Encino also presented New Student Meetings, Tips for Practicum Meetings and an Intern Registration Meeting, which all three campuses present every semester to keep students as informed as we can.

2015 LACPA Convention — Network with Pepperdine Presenters and Award Recipients!

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The annual Los Angeles County Psychological Association convention is coming up on October 24 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Culver City. Congratulations to our former Irvine Testing Desk G.A. and Pepperdine Psy.D. student Ahoo Karimian, who will receive the “Distinguished Service to LACPA by a Graduate Student” award! Karimian_Photo_web

The convention will also feature Pepperdine Psy.D. student Lara Tucci, who will co-present “The Epidemic of Obesity: Psychological Sequela.”

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Pepperdine faculty Dr. Carol Falender will co-present “Complexities of Culture: Opportunities and Ethical Challenges.”

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This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. David Barlow, an internationally known expert on anxiety disorders. Go here to check out all of the presentations and to register!

Call for Presentations: Christian Association for Psychological Studies 2016 International Conference

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The 2016 CAPS International Conference will take place in Pasadena on March 10-12 and will feature the theme “CONNECT: The Healing Power of Relationship.” You are invited to submit a proposal for the general program by September 30. A student paper competition is also taking place, with a deadline of October 31. Interested? Go here to learn more about CAPS and read on below for details about how to submit a proposal!

All General Program Submissions
Due September 30, 2015

Student Paper Competition
Due October 31, 2015

You are invited to submit a proposal for a presentation at the CAPS 2016 International Conference.

Our purpose is to bring students, professors, clinicians, researchers and pastors together in order to promote the relationships amongst the behavioral sciences, counseling practices and Christian faith. Preference is given to proposals submitted by CAPS members.

PROCEDURE FOR SUBMITTING A PROGRAM PROPOSAL

Consider the presentation you wish to propose using the Presentation Format options listed below.
Enlist colleagues to present with you if the format requires more than one presenter.
TO SUBMIT YOUR INFORMATION/PAPER return to this page once online acceptance has begun.
At the end of the on-line submission document is a “Participation Agreement”. Be sure the primary presenter reads and discusses the terms of the “Participation Agreement” with all co-presenters; the primary presenter must check a box indicating ALL co-presenters agree to these terms.
Make a copy of this proposal for your own records.

**Incomplete proposals will not be considered for the program until ALL requested information is submitted. Your proposal will be acknowledged within one week after receipt. Proposal acceptance/rejection status will be noted on the www.CAPS.net/callforpresentations website; this information will be posted by December 15, 2015.
PRESENTATION FORMATS

Seminar: Thorough discussion of a topic by an individual or group of up to four persons having essentially the same perspective. Proposals must clearly define the subject to be discussed. Names, qualifications, addresses, and phone numbers of the presenter(s) must be listed. Length of time is one or two hours. NOTE: There are very few 2-hour slots on the program.

Symposium: Thorough discussion or multiple short papers of topic by a panel of two to four persons having different viewpoints, or representing different approaches to a common topic, plus a neutral moderator. Proposals must clearly define the subject to be discussed, and list the titles/ authors of each paper, as well as the overarching theme of the symposium. Names, qualifications, addresses, and phone numbers of the presenter(s) must be listed. Length of time is one to two hours. NOTE: There are very few 2-hour slots on the program.

Clinical Demonstration: Demonstration of a particular therapeutic style or technique providing an opportunity to observe its application through direct observation. Length of time is one to two hours. NOTE: There are very few 2-hour slots on the program.

Paper: Papers may be 30 minutes or 1-hour in length. If you prefer a 30 minute slot, you will share the hour with another presenter whose paper topic is similar to your own. Student papers will be considered; they are encouraged to present with their mentoring professors.

Poster Session: Walk-by display of a paper or research, showcased in a way that encourages interchange between authors and attendees. Summary copies or entire work should be available for distribution. Students may submit presentations in this format with or without faculty co-authors.

STUDENT PAPER COMPETITION

The annual CAPS Student Paper Competition recognizes graduate and undergraduate students for excellence in Christian psychological research and scholarship. Three prizes for student papers are presented at the annual conference. The prizes consist of: graduated cash awards for 1st ($250), 2nd ($150), and 3rd ($100) places. All 3 winners shall receive complimentary one-year student memberships to CAPS and a certificate suitable for framing.

Please note the following guidelines: Submitters shall be matriculated full-time students in either undergraduate or graduate programs at the time of writing the paper. Papers should clearly state on the title page only whether the student is submitting as an undergraduate or graduate student, and only one paper per student may be submitted to a competition.

The typical submission can be theoretical or empirical, and should be conceived and written by one student, or possibly with just one additional student co-author.
Faculty mentors or sponsors may provide guidance and editing input, but guidance should fall short of the threshold of being a co-author.
The full paper should be emailed as an attachment, received by midnight of the published deadline, and be in Microsoft Word format to assist with blind review by a panel of judges.
In cases where co-authors win a prize, the cash prize winnings shall be divided, presumably, between the authors, and, if applicable, non-cash prizes will be awarded to the first author. Certificates, however, are provided to all authors.

You may request a copy of the assessment rubric and submit completed papers by October 31, 2015 at the following address: Dr. Joshua Hook, joshua.hook@unt.edu