Cameron University Department of Psychology presents Major of the Year, Legacy Award

The Cameron University Department of Psychology recently honored six students during its departmental Student Recognition Ceremony. Five students received Major of the Year Awards, and another was recognized with a Legacy Award.

Jonathan Vann, Lawton, was named Major of the Year  MSBS: General Psychology Track. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Temple University, Vann joined the U.S. Army, where he has served for almost 13 years. As a member of Cameron’s Army ROTC unit, he is minoring in military science. He will commission as a Second Lieutenant in May with recognition as a Distinguished Military Graduate, awarded to the top 20 percent of cadets nationwide. Vann is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and the Association of the United States Army educational organization (AUSA). He has received numerous awards for academic excellence and leadership from the National Association of the United States Army. In addition, he has served as a staff writer for the Ft. Sill Tribune and the Cameron Collegian. He will graduate with a Master of Science in Behavioral Sciences in Psychology. Vann plans to pursue a doctorate with a focus in behavioral psychology and become a university professor upon retirement from the Army.

Shaylyn Higginbotham, Marlow, was recognized as Major of the Year  MSBS: Counseling Track. Working as a volunteer at a children’s shelter while she was in high school led Higginbotham to realize that her dream was to become a counselor. After starting a bachelor's degree program at UCO, she transferred to Cameron, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology May 2015. In May, she will receive a Master of Science in Behavioral Sciences: Counseling Track.  She plans to work in the Lawton area as a candidate for licensure. She also aspires to continue her training in the areas of trauma treatment and play therapy.

Caitlin Cunningham, Lawton, was honored as Major of the Year:  MSBS: Marriage & Family Track. A native of Lawton, Cunningham graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2015. Toward the end of her undergraduate program, she became interested in behavioral sciences. While learning about theories of marriage and family therapy, systemic thinking, and family functioning in the MSBS program, she realized that she wanted to be an advocate for children and families and pursue a career in marriage and family therapy. She hopes to make a positive difference in people’s lives in her community. After graduating in May, she hopes to secure a job at a local agency.

Alexis Terry, Greenville, N.C., was named Major of the Year: BS Psychology.  A veteran of the U.S. Army, Terry enrolled at Cameron to finish a degree that she had started years earlier. Her love for psychology was reawakened after she took Developmental Psychology. Terry, a student in Cameron’s TRIO program, works to help support other students in that program. She has been recognized for her efforts in TRIO with the LEO Award, which is given to only five students across the state. An active member of Psi Chi, she plans to continue her academic career at CU by pursuing a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Adrian Jenkins, Lawton, was recognized as Major of the Year:  BS Family Child Studies. Jenkins, formerly a teacher’s aide at Lawton Christian School, is now the director of Children’s Programs at First United Methodist Church. In this role, she is evaluating and updating the curriculum that is being used for developmental appropriateness and maintaining the administration of the program. She is also spearheading other programs to serve the immediate community around the church building, including a youth sports program and a program that allows individuals and families without hot, running water to take showers at the church building.

Leanne Perales, Lawton, was honored with the Legacy Award, which recognizes students who are graduating from the MSBS program, completed at least some of their undergraduate course work at Cameron, and have excelled in areas beyond their normal coursework. Perales graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2014 and will earn her MSBS: Marriage and Family degree this May. She is president of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psychology; Vice President of Advertisement for the Psychology Research Club; and served as a student representative for the Oklahoma Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. An active member in two of the department’s research labs, she presented her research at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, Southwestern Psychological Association meeting, the Society for Research on Human Development, and at the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.

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#18-090

May 11, 2018