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Darwin wins state psych award

December 2, 2003


Austin Peay graduate student Caryn Darwin has won the Tennessee Association of School Psychologists Ballard Award.

The annual award honors the states most outstanding school psychology graduate student. Nominees are judged on their level of commitment; level of responsibility, professional attitude, social skills and ethicality; grade point average; and their levels of involvement in the school psychology program, as well as professional development activities.
December 2, 2003


Austin Peay graduate student Caryn Darwin has won the Tennessee Association of School Psychologists' Ballard Award.

The annual award honors the state's most outstanding school psychology graduate student. Nominees are judged on their level of commitment; level of responsibility, professional attitude, social skills and ethicality; grade point average; and their levels of involvement in the school psychology program, as well as professional development activities.

Darwin competed against nominees from every Tennessee Board of Regents institution.

Dr. Patti Wilson, associate professor of psychology, is Darwin's adviser. She says, “Caryn is a tremendously talented and dedicated student. Her level of motivation to not only complete tasks, but to complete them well, is unsurpassed. Within her cohort of peers, it is clear that she is a leader who is respected, admired and liked. Extremely intelligent, Caryn will be an asset to any school system as a school psychologist.”

Darwin earned a B.S. in psychology from APSU in 2000. She says, “I chose APSU, because it was far enough away from home [Chattanooga] to be an adventure, yet close enough to my family.”

She served several community agencies before realizing she wanted to work with children in an academic setting. “That's one reason I chose the field of school psychology,” she says. “I also like the idea of variety and structure with just a little chaos. It's a field on the cutting edge, and there are lots of opportunities.

I also really appreciate how I have been embraced by lots of the faculty and staff while attending APSU, especially Dr. [Patti] Wilson and Dr. [LuAnnette] Butler in the psych department.”

Darwin is completing a school psychology internship in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. She plans to graduate with an Ed.S. in May 2004.

She is a student member of the Tennessee Association of School Psychologists (TASP) and a lifetime member in Psi Chi national psychological honor society. She also has been a student member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

“I feel really honored to be the recipient of the Ballard Award,” Darwin says. “It has given me the opportunity to represent APSU positively, as well as show that the field of school psychology is expanding for minorities. It has been a real honor, and my plaque is hanging on the wall as we speak!”
—Rebecca Mackey