The Marcus Alert Program: Providing Roanoke Valley Officers with More Resources in Handling Mental Health Crises

Mental health crises have always been a difficult issue for law enforcement to address. However, with the recent introduction of the Marcus Alert Program in the Roanoke Valley, police officers now have additional tools to help them better assess and respond to calls related to mental health crises.

The Marcus Alert Program is a statewide system designed to improve responses to mental and behavioral health crises using therapists to assist police. It was named after Marcus-David Peters, a young Black man who was shot and killed by police amid a mental health crisis in 2018. The implementation of the program began in 2020, and the Roanoke region launched the program on July 1 of this year.

The Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare CSB oversees the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt and Craig, the cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the town of Vinton, and their Marcus Alert team has already responded to 160 scenes since the program’s launch. The team consists of five clinicians, or co-response therapists, who are trained to respond to mental health crises if requested by a police officer. Clinicians can provide an in-person response, a telephone consult, or resources for follow-up within 72 hours of the initial call.

While the program has been met with an “overwhelmingly positive” response from Roanoke Valley residents, it is only the beginning. The New River Valley CSB is also planning to launch the Marcus Alert Program by July 1, 2024, and the General Assembly has plans to implement the program across the entire state by 2028.

Mental health crises are a difficult issue to address, and the implementation of the Marcus Alert Program is a big step in the right direction towards providing better resources and assistance to those in need. For more information, read the article posted here.

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Explore & Grow at Camp Easterseals! 🌟

Looking for a transformative experience in the realm of psychology and human development? Welcome to Camp Easterseals, located in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke, Virginia. It’s more than just a camp; it’s a hub for personal and professional growth, catering to children and adults with diverse disabilities.

 Camp Easterseals Staff Brochur1.pdf

A Unique Learning Opportunity 📘

Camp Easterseals is a sanctuary of learning, fun, and connections, where students interested in psychology can gain invaluable hands-on experience by serving people with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, enriching their understanding of human spirit and behavior.

Upcoming Event: Halloween-Themed Weekend 🎃

Join us from October 27th to 29th, 2023, for a Halloween-themed weekend filled with activities like horseback riding, archery, arts and crafts, and dancing! We’re inviting volunteers and staff to be a part of this joyful journey and help us create unforgettable experiences for our campers.

Why Join Us? 🌿

– Experience life-changing insights and personal growth.

– Gain practical exposure and embellish your resume.

– Forge lasting bonds and create cherished memories.

– Receive comprehensive training and earn letters of recommendation.

Camp Easterseals is not just about learning; it’s about experiencing the joy of making a difference and embarking on a journey of self-discovery and professional development. Join us and be a part of a world where compassion meets fun, and learning meets fulfillment.

Here is the link to the weekend staff application (it pays!) if anyone is interested. 
^link in case the hyperlink doesn’t work: https://recruiting.ultipro.com/EAS1015EUCP/JobBoard/0f0249a6-0416-453f-b54d-24dda355daf1/OpportunityDetail?opportunityId=832ded22-cf3f-4ab7-9cda-a275f6d04165&sourceId=cc194bec-a059-4034-bc14-2ec5a81d18b9 

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Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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Unveiling the Journey of a Roanoke College Psychology Student: Navigating Research, Success, and the Pursuit of Knowledge

Roanoke College is a hub of academic excellence, nurturing young minds to realize their full potential. Among its many accomplished students, one stands out: a psychology major with a passion for understanding human development. Meet Raegan Middlethon, whose journey at Roanoke College is an inspiring testament to the pursuit of knowledge, research excellence, and the desire to make a difference.

A Passion for Psychology

Raegan, a psychology major with a concentration in human development, has always been drawn to the complexities of the human mind. She eloquently describes her fascination with psychology, stating, “When it comes to psychology, I like learning a little bit of everything.” This curiosity has driven her to explore diverse topics within the field, from social relationships and development to the effects of drugs on the brain and psychophysiology.

Research Endeavors

A defining aspect of Raegan’s Roanoke College experience has been her involvement in research. She has worked closely with Dr. Buchholz since her junior year, embarking on a journey to study parasocial relationships (PSRs). These one-sided bonds that humans form with celebrities, athletes, or fictional characters intrigued her. Her dedication led to the presentation of their findings at a conference in Washington, D.C.

Following this success, Raegan and Dr. Buchholz turned their attention to the ever-evolving influence of TikTok, exploring its impact on society and individual well-being. Her commitment to research extends to her membership in Dr. Powell’s lab, where she investigates how watching videos of children playing on YouTube influences creativity, imagination, and parent-child relationships.

Summer Scholars Program

Raegan reflects on her participation in the Summer Scholars program as a pivotal experience. She relished the opportunity to delve deeply into her research without the distraction of regular coursework. “I really enjoyed being able to focus on my research without thinking about a bunch of other things, like my class assignments,” she says. This immersive experience offered valuable insights into her own work habits and academic strategies.

A Morehead Winner

Her journey at Roanoke College took an unexpected turn when Raegan became a Morehead winner. She modestly recalls, “I actually didn’t think I was a Morehead winner for a few months, so it was a big surprise when I got the email!” Her recognition as a Morehead winner is a testament to her dedication and echoes the legacy of President John Morehead, who did so much for the college.

Convocation Speaker

Raegan’s journey also led her to the prestigious role of being a convocation speaker, an experience she describes as a “great honor.” She recognizes that her story may have seemed cheesy to her freshman self, but she hopes it inspired others to explore their potential. “Any psychology major will tell you that humans have the tendency to underestimate a lot of things, including ourselves,” she wisely observes.

Future Aspirations

As Raegan approaches her graduation date in May 2024, she has big dreams for the future. She is currently in the process of applying to several PhD programs, a testament to her unwavering commitment to research and making a difference in the world of psychology. Her vision is clear: “I’d like to produce research dealing with children and adolescents that helps inform clinicians, schools, parents, and policy makers.” Furthermore, she aspires to become a professor one day, potentially even returning to Roanoke College to inspire future generations of students.

In conclusion, Raegan’s journey as a psychology student at Roanoke College is a remarkable story of dedication, curiosity, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge. Her research endeavors, accolades, and future aspirations reflect the caliber of students Roanoke College fosters. As she continues to make strides in the field of psychology, we can only anticipate the positive impact she will have on the world.

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Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Twitter: @RC_Psychology

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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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Attention Juniors & Seniors in Psychology: Check Out These Resources!

Stay informed and be on the look out for resources and opportunities! The following newsletters have information regarding research, internships, conferences, and graduate school. Joining newsletters and remaining informed is one of the best tools that you can arm yourself with as an undergraduate students. Make the most of your time and attention!

Psychology Student Network (PSN) newsletter – Free online newsletter with articles and announcements for psychology students. Recent articles have focused on undergraduate researchinternships, and applying to graduate school.

Psychology Student Network (PSN) listserv – A listserv for sharing more time-sensitive announcements about opportunities for internships, undergraduate research opportunities, and undergraduate conferences.  Interested students may join through this link.

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Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, Associate Professor in Psychology Department, Has Been Published!

Dr. FVN has now been published for her collaborative work entitled “Is Bullying Always about Status? Status Goals, Forms of Bullying, Popularity and Peer Rejection during Adolescence”. Congratulations Dr. FVN, we are so proud to say you are a Roanoke College professor! Please read the abstract of her work below, or visit the article here.

Abstract: Bullying has been associated with status goals among peers, but this research has not distinguished among forms of bullying, nor included actual status or popularity among peers in an integrated analysis. To this aim, in concurrent correlational data, we examined adolescent status goals as predictors of peer-reported physical, verbal, exclusionary and electronic bullying, and these further as predictors of popularity and peer rejection (N = 256; 67.2% girls; M age = 12.2 years). We also explored potential indirect associations of status goals with popularity and peer rejection via forms of bullying. The findings indicated that verbal bullying was the most common form of bullying. Status goals were positively related to all but physical bullying, yet only verbal bullying partially mediated this association with popularity. Electronic bullying was unrelated to popularity and peer rejection, when controlling for other bullying forms (but was positively related to rejection at the bi-variate level). The findings underscore the importance of assessing bullying as a heterogeneous construct, as related goals and adjustment among peers may depend on its specific form.

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Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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Introducing Dr. Michael Love, Psy.D. Enriching Roanoke College’s Psychology Department!

Roanoke College is thrilled to welcome a new addition to its esteemed Psychology Department, Dr. Michael Love Psy.D. With an impressive academic background, a passion for teaching, and a unique blend of research interests, Dr. Love promises to be a valuable asset to both the faculty and students at Roanoke College.

Educational Journey

Dr. Love’s journey in the field of psychology began with his undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2002. He later pursued his Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) in counseling psychology at Radford University, successfully completing his degree in 2015.

One of the highlights of his academic journey was his dissertation, a longitudinal study on opioid injection rates among rural and urban adolescents and adults. Under the guidance of his advisor, Dr. Tracy Cohn, Dr. Love’s research yielded intriguing results which can be found at http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/229

Professional Experience

Dr. Love completed his residency at Virginia Tech’s counseling center from 2015 to 2016, then became a staff psychologist, developing a passion for working with students. During this time, he led Interpersonal Processing-Based Group Therapy and played a pivotal role in establishing a unique therapeutic gaming group. In this innovative program, individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder learned valuable social skills through the popular game, Dungeons and Dragons, focusing on perspective-taking and frustration management.

His teaching experience, acquired during his time in graduate school at Radford University and later at Boston University, paved the way for his decision to join the Roanoke College faculty. Dr. Love was deeply impressed by the level of student engagement and passion for interactive learning that he encountered on campus, making Roanoke College his preferred choice for nurturing the next generation of psychologists.

Courses at Roanoke College

Dr. Love is currently teaching multiple of courses at Roanoke College, including PSYC101 – Introduction to Psychology, PSYC384 – Abnormal Psychology, and INQ120 – Social Media: Influence and Health. His interactive teaching style and commitment to engaging with students promise an enriching educational experience for all who have the privilege of attending his classes.

Beyond the Classroom

Outside of his academic pursuits, Dr. Love has a diverse set of interests that reflect his multifaceted personality. He is an avid gardener, an enthusiastic chef, and a talented audio engineer. These passions not only enrich his personal life but also contribute to his holistic approach to psychology and learning.

While he is not currently accepting research assistants this semester, Dr. Love looks forward to involving students in his research endeavors in 2024. His wide range of research interests holds the promise of exciting opportunities for students eager to explore the world of psychology through hands-on experiences.

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PRINCETON REVIEW NAMES ROANOKE COLLEGE A “GREAT SCHOOL FOR PSYCH MAJORS”!

Continuing a streak, Roanoke College has been featured as a Great School For Psych Majors by the Princeton Review! The psychology department has been recognized by the best colleges guide every year since the book’s 2015 edition.

The full story can be found here: https://www.roanoke.edu/news/princeton_review_2023

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Virtual APA Psychology Graduate School Fair

The APA Education Directorate is pleased to announce that the first Virtual APA Psychology Graduate School Fair is happening on Thursday, November 2nd from noon-6pm (Eastern)! Registration for all prospective psychology graduate students is FREE, and psychology graduate programs that wish to recruit at this event can register for a modest fee.

The goal of the APA Psychology Graduate School Fair is to virtually connect graduate psychology programs with a diverse group of students, including current undergraduates, graduate students seeking to further their education beyond their current degree, and individuals returning for their graduate education. The APA Psychology Graduate School Fair is open to all graduate psychology degree (MA/MS/PsyD/PhD/EdD/Other) granting institutions in the U.S. and Canada, and all areas of psychology are encouraged to participate, including health service psychology, scientific and applied psychology, and general psychology programs.

Students who register will have the opportunity to meet virtually with recruiters from any of the participating programs. Individuals can come for a short time and meet with a select few recruiters or stay for the whole event and meet with everyone, depending on their schedule and interest. To learn more and to register for the event, visit https://www.careereco.com/events/APA.

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Introducing Dr. Wen Bu: A New Addition to Our Psychology Faculty

Dr. Wen Bu

Roanoke College is proud to welcome Dr. Wen Bu as a new addition to our esteemed psychology faculty! Dr. Bu brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our academic community, making her a valuable asset to both students and colleagues.

Educational Journey

Dr. Bu’s academic journey is an impressive one, demonstrating her dedication to knowledge and her commitment to personal growth. She began her undergraduate studies at Furman University in South Carolina, where she pursued a double major in Political Science and Chemistry. This diverse academic background laid the foundation for her multidisciplinary approach to psychology.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Dr. Bu earned her Law Degree from Harvard in 2008. She gained valuable experience working as a clerk for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and later the O’Melveney & Myers Law Firm. However, she soon realized that her true passion lie elsewhere.

Driven by her deep interest in psychology, Dr. Bu decided to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, which she successfully completed in 2021. Her dissertation, guided by dual advisors Dr. Gene Borgida and Dr. Chris Federico, explored the intricate dynamics of racial and person of color identity and solidarity.

Postdoctoral Research

Following the completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Bu continued her academic journey with a postdoctoral position at Indiana University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Murphy, she delved into the study of college students’ sense of belonging and the critical role that faculty and institutional mindset play in shaping the student experience.

Passion for Teaching

One of the compelling reasons Dr. Bu chose to join the Roanoke College community is her deep passion for teaching. She discovered her love for the classroom during her graduate studies and recognized that Roanoke’s small class sizes would provide her with the opportunity to truly engage with and support her students. Moreover, the proximity of Roanoke College to her hometown in Atlanta, Georgia, made this a perfect fit for her academic journey.

Diverse Interests

Beyond her academic pursuits, Dr. Bu is a multifaceted individual with a wide array of hobbies. She enjoys immersing herself in theater, singing in the choir, exploring the world of dungeons and dragons, mastering the art of knitting, and gliding gracefully in the ice skating rink.

Current Roles and Future Prospects

Currently, Dr. Bu is sharing her expertise with Roanoke College students by teaching PSYC 251 – Social Psychology and PSYC 204 – Quantitative Methods in Psychology. Her research interests span a wide spectrum, including intergroup relations, social identity, identity threat, stereotypes and prejudice, political psychology, and psychology in law.

While she is not currently accepting student research assistants, Dr. Bu has plans to engage students in her research endeavors starting in the spring of 2024, providing a valuable opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in the field.

Roanoke College is privileged to have Dr. Wen Bu as a valuable member of our psychology faculty. Her diverse academic background, dedication to teaching, and passion for research make her a remarkable addition to our community. We look forward to the contributions she will make to the field of psychology and the positive impact she will have on our students’ academic journeys. Welcome, Dr. Bu!

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