University of South Florida

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Six school psychology doctoral students selected for nationally-competitive internships through APPIC match program

Six doctoral students from USF’s school psychology program were selected for competitive internships through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), an organization that helps match distinguished applicants with competitive internship programs available across the nation.

Students will begin their one-year-long internships later this year. After successful completion of the program, the students will be strong candidates for pursuing prestigious post-doctoral fellowships or positions as university faculty.

Shannon Suldo, PhD, a school psychology professor and director of clinical training for the program, says students who apply for APPIC internships have a significant amount of experience in providing psychological services. USF’s graduate program in school psychology, she says, helps students complete all required qualifications, such as time spent teaching, completing practica, supervising peers, and conducting research, in addition to their thesis and dissertation work.

“I feel great pride,” Dr. Suldo said. “The fact that six out of six students applied and were selected, I feel, reflects on the high quality of our program on the whole, which is collectively the high quality of all the students and faculty that are in it.”

Learn more about each of the six doctoral students below.

Hannah Gilfix

USF doctoral student Hannah Gilfix

Hannah Gilfix — USF Counseling Center

Gilfix will start her APPIC-approved internship at the University of South Florida’s Counseling Center. This fall, she will provide therapy to patients and work with organizations on campus to support the well-being of students at USF. When speaking on the support she’s received, Gilfix says her major professor and the school psychology program itself has set her up for success.

“Dr. Suldo has been extremely supportive of my career goals,” Gilfix said. “She’s really encouraged me to seek out numerous practicum experiences in my four years so far. All of the coursework and the practicum experiences that the program already offers have set me up to be very competitive for this internship.”

Patricia Gillis

USF doctoral student Patricia Gills

Patricia Gills — Devereux Foundation

Gills was matched with a summer internship at the Devereux Foundation in Pennsylvania. During her program, she will work in the Children’s Behavioral Health Services building.

“I was and still am in shock,” Gills said. “Devereux was my top site when I began the APPIC process, so being matched there was a dream come true.”

Holland Hayford — Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Hayford will complete her internship this summer at an autism services training program at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in Villanova, Pa.

“I am incredibly excited,” Hayford said. “This site was my top choice because of its wonderful training opportunities related to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and its emphasis on enhancing the quality of life for its clients — I hope to improve my skills in conceptualizing and working with more complex cases.”

Jennifer Hodnett — Marcus Autism Center

Hodnett will complete her fall internship at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, where she will serve as a pre-doctoral intern.

“I very much look forward to an arduous yet exciting internship year,” Hodnett said. “Serving as a pre-doctoral intern with the Marcus Autism Center will allow me to gain vital practical experiences, further solidifying the professional training foundation I have encountered through the school psychology program here at USF.”

Faith Reynolds

USF doctoral student Faith Reynolds

Faith Reynolds — Nebraska Internship Consortium

This fall, doctoral student Faith Reynolds will begin her internship at the Nebraska Internship Consortium in the Boys Town Omaha Child/Adolescent Outpatient Track.

“During my time in Nebraska, I aspire to enhance my competencies in providing assessment, intervention, and consultation services for children and adolescents,” Reynolds said. “Following this internship, I plan to become a dual licensed professional as a school psychologist and clinical psychologist.”

Nicholas Scheel

USF doctoral student Nicholas Scheel

Nicholas Scheel — Santa Barbara Psychology Internship Consortium

Scheel, who plans to relocate to California this August, will head to the Santa Barbara Psychology Internship Consortium to work with children in the county’s school district. The support he received from USF faculty members in the program made all the difference in preparing for this opportunity, he said.

“Dr. Suldo and my major professor, Dr. Castillo, assisted me throughout the entire application process by guiding me through the application procedures, providing consultation around what sites were best for my training and career goals, and reviewing all my materials,” Scheel said. “I aspire to engage in the broad activities and responsibilities of a school psychologist in a large, diverse school district and shape the systems within the school I work in to be more preventative, responsive and supportive of all students.”

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About the USF College of Education:

As the home for more than 2,200 students and 130 faculty members across three campuses, the University of South Florida College of Education offers state-of-the-art teacher training and collegial graduate studies designed to empower educational leaders. Our college is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and our educator preparation programs are fully approved by the Florida Department of Education.