Ferkauf Promotes Collaboration in the Big Apple

On Sept. 25, 2019, the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology hosted the second biannual Big Apple Health Psychology Colloquium in the Weissberg Commons on the Wilf campus. The colloquium is a student-led event that brings together psychology doctoral students in the New York City area who have an interest in health psychology. The main goals of the colloquium are to disseminate students’ research and to foster an environment that encourages collaboration. In a city where so much health psychology research is happening, the students in these programs feel it is important to get to know one another and work together.

This event was six months in the making, with a leadership committee comprised of doctoral student representatives from universities across the metropolitan area, including Shonna Schneider of Yeshiva University;  Irina Mindlis, Sugandha Gupta and Trey Dellucci of The Graduate Center, CUNY; and Claire Dunphy of Fordham University. There was also a local organizing committee from Ferkauf of Amanda Parker and Gabriella Sobol and a social media coordinator, Ashley Araiza from Stonybrook University.

The colloquium advanced students’ awareness of how to run a conference by reviewing abstracts, determining poster and presentation guidelines and organizing event logistics. Big Apple was fortunate to receive funding from the American Psychological Association’s Division of Rehabilitation Psychology and the New York State Psychological Association’s Early Career Division.

(l-r): Amanda Parker, Deepan Guharajan, Jessica Kruse, Allyana Wiviott

The evening had a strong attendance of over three dozen enthusiasts from eight different doctoral programs, with students coming from all across the tri-state area. The students appreciated the opportunity to present their research, connect with other graduate students and hear the “words of wisdom” from a panel that consisted of practicing clinical psychologists with a variety of specialty skillsets.

The program included paper presentations, data blitzes/work in progress presentations, research posters and a panel on “Training Opportunities in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine,” featuring internship and externship supervisors like Dr. Phillip Uy (Rusk Rehabilitation, New York University Health), Dr. Amanda Zayde (Montefiore Medical Center) and Dr. Sabrina Esbitt (Montefiore Medical Center), herself a Ferkauf alumnus (a master’s degree in 2011 and a doctorate in 2015).

There were six presentations (three by Ferkauf students) that covered a range of topics, including “Understanding Optimistic Bias in Hypothetical End-of-Life Medical Decisions” and “Differences in Illness Beliefs and their Impact on Self-Management among Prostate Cancer Survivors with Comorbid Hypertension.”

Presentation by a student standing in front of screen with slide on it: Moderating Role of Dual-Task Walking Performance in Non-Demented Older Adults
Deepan Guharajan

Participants also heard about “works in progress” in the areas of “Moderating Role of Affect in Dual-Task Walking Performance in Non-Demented Older Adults,” “Pain Variability in Community-Dwelling Older Adults,” “Injustice, Quality of Life, and Psychiatric Symptoms in People with Migraine” and “Skin Disease Implications for Self-Image Development in Adolescence and Young Adulthood.” The night concluded with an opportunity to network over dinner and a poster-viewing session, allowing students and professionals to interact and discuss the research in detail.

This colloquium occurs twice a year, with the focus spanning research and practice in health psychology as well as professional development. The next meeting will be in Spring 2020 at Fordham University. To learn about the abstract submission deadline or to join the listserv, visit the colloquium website.