This March, the Training Advisory Committee of the American Psychological Association (APA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) met to review applications from those seeking fellowship support. McKay School student Marcie Calder received the Minority Fellowship Program Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) fellowship.
This prestigious fellowship comes by way of a federal grant to APA. Along with a generous stipend of ten thousand dollars, Calder will attend the APA Convention held in San Francisco and the MFP Psychology Summer Institute in Washington, DC.
"This is a prestigious award and we are honored to have Marcie in our School Psychology Program," said Melissa A. Heath, PhD, who oversees the conferral of the award. "The Minority Fellowship Program Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) is designed for students in terminal master’s programs in psychology whose training prepares them to provide mental health services to transition age youth (ages 16 through 25) and their families. This fellowship was announced through APA (American Psychological Association). This is unusual because APA typically caters mostly to doctoral level professionals. The grant was a good match to Marcie’s skills because she plans to work with adolescents with disabilities, helping prepare them for community life after school. This is a prestigious award and we are honored to have Marcie in our School Psychology Program!"
“I feel really motivated and excited,” said Calder. “Obviously the money is huge—I’m way excited about that. I’m almost more excited for these trainings. I’m excited to just learn more and be better qualified and better educated to help reach a wider range of students and have the skills to know how to do that.”
Calder is currently pursuing an educational specialist degree with a specialization in school psychology, and she plans to work at the high school level as a school psychologist. Her focus on high school students is part of what secured her this fellowship.
“The fellowship is targeted for individuals who will be working with transition age youth [ages 16–25] focused on mental health needs,” explained Calder. “It’s specifically for master’s-level students who will be working directly with transition age students—the people who will be out in the field getting their boots dirty, helping these kids. It’s focused on helping all transition age youth, but specifically minority youth. That is a population I feel really committed to serving and helping.”
Her passion for helping transition age youth stemmed from her teaching experience. “As part of my TESOL minor, I worked with an English-as-a-second-language class made of refugees and kids from other countries,” Calder said. “It was a small class, so I got to connect with them individually and know them.”
While working with this class Calder quickly realized that she wanted to “work more individually with these students and focus on mental health and intervention, but also still be in the school setting.”
School psychology emerged as a clear career path for her after that experience. Now, armed with the STAY fellowship, Calder can continue her education with a wealth of resources at her fingertips.
“I’m joining a community,” said Calder of the fellowship. At the various trainings she will attend, Calder will be growing her network of individuals in the field and fellowship. One of the most valuable elements of this fellowship is the human capital of mentors.
Looking to the future, Calder is motivated by the fellowship and the opportunity to further her education. “I want to work with teenagers. I’m really passionate about mental health needs and prevention,” said Calder. Recognizing that most teenagers seek out their peers rather than adults in times of need, Calder added, “I want to do a lot of work arming youth to better be able to support one another.”
Calder attributed much of her achievement to the support of the counseling psychology faculty at the McKay School. “They’re so supportive of student opportunities and they've really facilitated a culture of learning and support,” commented Calder. “The culture and community of support I think is notable.”
Click here to learn more about the STAY fellowship.
Writer: Jake Gulisane
Contact: Cindy Glad (801) 422-1922