Thursday, January 21, 2021

Borine Award Fall 2020

Each year, graduating psychology undergraduates are tasked with completing a capstone project to explore an area of interest. The Sharon Borine Capstone Award was created to acknowledge students whose capstone projects were of the highest quality. The award process consists of nomination by section leaders followed by review and selection by an ad hoc panel of faculty members.

Congratulations to the Fall 2020 recipients: Allison Loder, Grace Lindahl, and Amy Schreifels!

Headshot of Amy Schreifels
Amy Schreifels
was awarded 1st place for the paper titled “Behavioral Activation as a Treatment for Late-Life Depression: Current Status and Future Directions.” Schreifels receives a $250 cash award.

After completing my psychology degree this spring, I intend to pursue graduate study to become a psychotherapist specializing in treating anxiety disorders and phobias, though I am still exploring which type of graduate program will best help me accomplish this. I am fascinated by the behavioral/contextual approach to understanding and treating anxiety and depression, especially how rational short-term strategies for avoiding pain and discomfort can lead to the entrenchment of mental health difficulties in the long term. My capstone project was an opportunity to explore a specific example of how this theoretical approach is translated into practice in the treatment of depression. 

For the past year, I also have volunteered as a clinic host at Walk-In Counseling Center, which has been a valuable opportunity to observe firsthand how counselors conceptualize and treat mental health issues with a diverse group of clients. My education and volunteer experiences have affirmed my commitment to the field of mental health and I am deeply grateful for the encouragement and support I have received as I work toward my goals. 

Headshot of Allison Loder

Allison Loder
received a cash award of $150 and 2nd place for the paper titled “A Review on the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Criminal Offending in Juveniles.”

I graduated this Fall (2020), and am currently looking for full-time employment opportunities that align with my long-term goals of using evidence-based cognitive and behavioral therapeutic practices to help prevent/alleviate negative outcomes associated with trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as mental health disorders, substance abuse/addiction, and criminal behavior. I intend to pursue future studies and will likely be applying to a masters/PhD program in counseling psychology within the next few years.

My literature review reveals the need for trauma-informed care within juvenile justice facilities to reduce the effect of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on health risk behaviors/outcomes, subsequently increasing offenders' chances of success post-incarceration and thereby decreasing nation-wide recidivism rates. Additionally, children and adolescents should continually be screened for ACEs by school counselors or as part of regular medical check-ups to identify who should receive trauma-informed care and potentially prevent the occurrence of negative outcomes in the first place.

Headshot of Grace Lindahl

Grace Lindahl for the paper titled “A Developmental Perspective of Psychopathic Traits in Children: Risks, Causes, and Implications,” received 3rd place and a $75 cash award.

Grace is a senior Psychology student with a minor in Developmental Psychology at the University of Minnesota. After graduating in Spring 2021, Grace plans to attend Northwestern University as a graduate student pursuing a Master's of Arts in Counseling.

After watching the Netflix show, Mindhunter, several years ago, I became interested in the origins of psychopathy. After listening to hours of true crime podcasts and reading several books on serial killing and psychopathy, it felt natural that I should write my undergraduate thesis paper on the subject. As I am planning on going into the counseling profession and working with children, I wanted to research how psychopathic features manifest in children and the ways that this can be ameliorated before adulthood. My paper reflects these ideas and I hope to use what I learned in my future career as a children's mental health professional.

Throughout my undergraduate career, my freshman seminar professor, Gabriela Currie, has been my mentor both academically and personally. She helped me decide that graduate school was the path for me and has given me many wonderful music recommendations.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.