By Nikhil Jain, Summer 2012
Would you ever seek treatment from a physician who is not licensed by the Medical Board of California? How about seeking services from a psychologist who is not licensed by California's Board of Psychology (BOP)? Whether or not to keep the Board of Psychology in existence, and whether or not to implement mental health parity that would enhance the lives of thousands of Californians with mental health diagnoses not covered under current law, are exactly the issues being discussed in the chambers of the State Capitol today. Simply put: The impact of the decisions made by politicians simply cannot be overstated, and our involvement in lobbying and advocacy is not optional.
I had the opportunity to get some first hand "rubber hits the road" advocacy experience recently at CPA's Leadership and Advocacy Day (LAD) in Sacramento on March 27th.
By Tarek Kronfli, Summer 2012
When Dr. Miles first asked me if I was interested in being a teaching assistant for one of his yearlong statistics classes, my initial reaction was a mixture of pride and genuine disbelief. Who? Me? Be a T.A.? Seriously? Being a T.A. was not something that had ever crossed my mind. I had always felt I was too busy, too impatient, and too inexperienced to be effective. Moreover, I was not someone that knew how to fail and the prospect of failing my peers was intimidating! So when this teaching opportunity came out of the blue, I was forced to swallow my doubts, take a leap of faith (something one does frequently throughout their graduate career) and I reluctantly accepted Dr. Miles' offer. Two years later, I have been a teaching assistant for statistics and cognitive assessment, and these experiences have proven to be invaluable.
After completing my first year as a teaching assistant, I was shocked by the overwhelmingly positive feedback I received from my peers and professors. Regardless of whether the students loved or hated statistics (and I have found statistics often evokes extreme emotions!), these students left my teaching sessions feeling more at ease and with a better grasp of the concepts and class materials. I was truly touched by the response and realized that I actually had the power to impact the school, and my peers, in a positive, effective manner.
By Rexford Bloxsom-Carter, Summer 2012
The month of February introduced something new at Alliant San Francisco. With the help of Dr. Connor and Mia Lowe from the PsyD Clinical Psychology program, the campus welcomed a series of talks, performances, and delicious lunches celebrating Black History Month. From hip-hop spoken word performances to the director of Alameda County Public Health demonstrating the pervasive nature of racism, the five events critically questioned our role in the status quo, and offered perspectives on changing the virulent racial disparities affecting Black communities across the country.
The series started off with Mr. Green and Mr. Pressley discussing their poignant personal narratives of health challenges, and how their new outlooks on living life in recovery have helped them work with poor and minority youth in Oakland. The next presentation was a performance by Bay Area youth from the All Stars Project. Their spoken word performances conveyed powerful messages about class and racial inequality and one student who attended mentioned that it was very refreshing to have a creative performance with such meaningful messages within the walls of an academic institution. You can find more information at www.allstars.org.
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It's hard to believe, but another semester of our graduate careers is barreling toward a close. As we scramble to complete assignments, study for exams, and pretend there's a vacation to look forward to, the last thing on many of our minds is reflecting upon where the last four months have gone. Let this issue serve as a bit of a recap: The semester began with applications, continued with interviews, and culminated in either relief or frustration for many of us; February brought an insightful and lively celebration in honor of Black History Month; March concluded with the future of mental health in the hands of our state legislators; and here we find ourselves in May, which happens to be Mental Health Awareness Month. Although self-care is a term usually bandied about more often than it is implemented, the editors urge you to take some time this month to be good to yourself. Once you have a moment to realize all you've accomplished, you'll agree that you deserve to invest in your own mental health as well. Bring on the summer!
The end of the semester also brings the end of our reign as editors; we will be hanging up our eye glasses and turning off our Track Changes once this issue goes to press. We would like to thank you sincerely for your readership over this past year and encourage you to consider helping to keep The Voice heard. Please email the editors, flag down a member of the Student Government Association, or keep your eyes peeled for information on how to join SGA in the fall if you are interested in helming The Voice.
And with that, one final "Cheers!" to you all,
-- Kristen Giamona and Julia Rosholt
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