CIU Psychology Department Receives AwardPosted on May 6, 2012
On April 12th the CIU Psychology Department was presented an award for Community Partner Appreciation from Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM). The award honors the dedication and hard work that past and present psychology students have given to the organization.
Dr. Stephen Farra accepted the award on behalf of the students who volunteer with STSM. The award reads as follows: “Columbia International University Psychology Program: For your outstanding partnership with the Volunteer Program at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and commitment to providing services to sexual assault and abuse survivors. Community Partner Appreciation Award, 2012.”
This semester alone, CIU psych students have contributed over three hundred volunteer hours for their practicums. STSM provides 25 hours of training for students to become patient advocates. The patient advocate stays in the room of a sexual assault survivor while the medical staff at the emergency room treats them and does a forensic interview. The advocate informs the survivor of the procedures that are going to take place and assists the survivor in finding clothing, shelter or other needs they may have during their time of crisis.
Being a patient advocate benefits both CIU psych students and STSM. The students get a glimpse into the real world of sexual assault and trauma and STSM is able to have their paid staff handle counseling in-office instead of at the hospital.
CIU students currently volunteering are Alex Dugas, Sara Collins and Baron O’Neal. Past and present students who have volunteered with STSM credit the tutelage of Dr. Caudill and Dr. Farra for giving them the ground work in preparation for handling the difficult and daunting challenge of working with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands.
– By Baron O’Neal