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LSUS School Psychology Student Wins State Award

December 05, 2016

Daina Lewis, a third year student in the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) Program at LSU Shreveport, was presented the 2016 Will Bergeron Memorial Award by the Louisiana School Psychological Association at its recent annual conference in Lafayette. The award is given each year to the most accomplished school psychology graduate student in Louisiana. Daina was recognized for her contributions to the executive council of the state organization, as well as her work as the state representative for school psychology graduate students for LSUS, Nicholls State, Tulane, and LSU Baton Rouge.

Daina graduated from the University of Louisiana in Monroe with a bachelor's degree in psychology and knew she always wanted to work with children. A turning point for her was shadowing a practicing school psychologist in northeast Louisiana to find out more about the field. Daina chose LSUS's School Psychology Program because of its national accreditation as well as the proximity to her family in Monroe. Daina is currently completing an internship in Ouachita Parish Schools, under the direct supervision of Flint Smith (Pupil Appraisal Facilitator).

Daina said that she was honored that the director of the LSUS SSP Program, Dr. Kevin Jones, and Flint Smith nominated her for the Will Bergeron award. "Dr. Jones and Flint have been excellent mentors for me during my schooling and internship and I know this will continue for the rest of my professional career," Daina said. "It is a good feeling to know that the members of LSPA and the Executive Council care so much about their students and the hard work that we all accomplish. There are so many students that deserved this award, so I felt really honored to receive it."

Dr. Jones described Daina as a modest person who leads by example and optimism. "Daina is not the type to render opinions and demand attention; rather, she gathers opinions and attracts attention. She demonstrates such positive energy and enthusiasm for school psychology." Daina's incredible personality and commitment to school psychology have also characterized her internship, as indicated by the unequivocal support provided by her supervisor. Flint remarked, "I would say the most notable qualities Daina possesses that make her a natural fit for school psychology are her willingness to be a self-starter - to address problems immediately, as well as her ability to quickly adapt and find her role in the professional education setting." As part of her graduate training in the LSUS SSP Program, Daina is completing her 1200-clock hour internship in the Ouachita Parish School System. One of many ways Daina has set herself apart from other students is that she agreed to take less money in turn for a more diverse, system-wide traineeship position.

This, according to Flint, immediately impressed the LSUS faculty as well as the staff in Ouachita Parish. "The SSP program at LSUS will always hold a special place in my heart," said Daina. "Not only did I meet lifelong friends, but I also met lifelong mentors along the way. The LSUS SSP program is highly regarded...the professors push the students to their maximum potential (and then some after that!)." Daina noted that the SSP faculty "focus on the important and expanded roles school psychologists take on." Upon graduation in May 2017 with her Specialist in School Psychology degree, Daina will obtain state and national certification in school psychology. She hopes to remain working in the Ouachita Parish School System. As declared by the LSUS SSP faculty, Daina is a great ambassador for school psychology and there is no better match for this award. Daina received the award on November 3 at the Louisiana State Psychological Association (LSPA) annual conference in Lafayette.

To learn more about the School Psychology Program at LSUS, visit:

PHOTO: Daina Lewis (LSUS), recipient of the 2016 Will Bergeron Memorial Award, along with her supervising school psychologist, Mr. Flint Smith, who earned LSPA Member of the Year Award.

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