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Students Success @ AU http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com Albizu University Tue, 05 Feb 2019 21:52:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/cropped-AU-Icon-32x32.jpg Students Success @ AU http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com 32 32 Student Success Podcast Episode 1 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2019/02/05/student-success-podcast-episode-1/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2019/02/05/student-success-podcast-episode-1/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 21:52:03 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=852 The Title V Department is excited to share our first episode of the Student Success Podcast! Just like the Student Success Blog, the Podcast will share information and tips for how to be a successful student here at Albizu. In our first episode, we will meet the Title V Peer Mentors, Sean-Michael and Maudy. In this episode’s Student Spotlight, we will talk to Ruba, an education major here at AU. Take a few minutes out of your day to learn more about what Title V offers Albizu students by clicking here and listening. Enjoy!

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Student Spotlight: Ruba Samhan http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2019/02/01/student-spotlight-january-2019/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2019/02/01/student-spotlight-january-2019/#respond Fri, 01 Feb 2019 21:01:53 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=837

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Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas Through the Lens of the Television Show Gypsy – A Summary http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/09/20/analyzing-ethical-dilemmas-through-the-lens-of-the-television-show-gypsy-a-summary/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/09/20/analyzing-ethical-dilemmas-through-the-lens-of-the-television-show-gypsy-a-summary/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 15:41:46 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=792 I previously wrote a piece featured on the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy’s website (Division 29 of the American Psychological Association) titled “Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas Through the Lens of the Television Show Gypsy” (Prieto, 2018). Here is a summary of that piece with a link to the full work included.

It can be an unfortunate and potentially dangerous circumstance when a professional clinical psychologist violates the American Psychological Association’s Code of Ethics (2002b). Often times, certain situations can be difficult to resolve, and more often than not, life is not black and white, yet it is more so grey. However, basic humane ethical statutes and procedures should be considered when working with such a diverse and vulnerable population.

Through the lens of the show Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts, one is exposed to many ethical violations that harm other individuals. Although the appearance of such violations may seem dubious, it should be noted that professionals may at times contravene these ethical codes. Specifically, sexual misconduct with adult clients was the highest ethical complaint (29%) filed with the APA. Importantly, not only do these violations catalyze disciplinary action for the professional, but most importantly, it negatively affects the patient, hence disregarding Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence.

Thus, through the exploration of Gypsy, one can view a plethora of ethical and humane violations, and hopefully learn to not perform Dr. Jean Holloway’s mistakes.


Prieto, H. (2018,  March). Analyzing ethical dilemmas through the lens of the television show Gypsy. [Web article]. Retrieved from http://www.societyforpsychotherapy.org/analyzing-ethical-dilemmas-through-the-lens-of-the-television-show-gypsy

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Insights into Obtaining a Job with the Federal Government: Takeaways from FIU’s 13th Annual Federal Government Statewide Conference http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/08/14/insights-into-obtaining-a-job-with-the-federal-government-takeaways-from-fius-13th-annual-federal-government-statewide-conference/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/08/14/insights-into-obtaining-a-job-with-the-federal-government-takeaways-from-fius-13th-annual-federal-government-statewide-conference/#respond Tue, 14 Aug 2018 16:41:22 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=758 On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Florida International University (FIU) held their 13th Annual Federal Government Statewide Conference. The event focused on exploring the employment opportunities for students and recent graduates within the federal government agencies. Here, I’ll provide a brief overview of the conference proceedings and useful information for those looking for government employment.

Opening remarks from FIU’s 13th Annual Federal Government Statewide Conference

The conference opened with remarks from FIU’s Director of Career and Talent Development, Ivette Duarte, and Assistant Vice President for Academic and Career Success, Dr. Charlie Andrews. The introductions were followed by a presentation from Carmen Pino, Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Pino explained the origins and various responsibilities of the department, including oversight of the illegal activity of human trafficking. Human trafficking can include labor trafficking for tourism, such as in the hotel industry, agriculture, with migrant workers, and sex trafficking. Mr. Pino also discussed the department’s need for employees in the fields of statistics, psychology, criminal justice, and computer science, including positions that work with other countries to help them attain status as a country that has reduced their human trafficking issues.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Carmen Pino

Kimberly Castillo, an FIU alumnus and recruiter for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) then presented on the federal application process through the website usajobs.gov. This site provides employment opportunities with the federal government. Ms. Castillo also highlighted several other job sites and programs focused towards current students, recent graduates, and veterans, including:

FIU alumnus and recruiter for the United States Agency for International Development, Ms. Kimberly Castillo

The takeaway message from the conference is that the federal government is always hiring for talented individuals across a multitude of fields, including all of the degree offerings here at Albizu University. If you are interested in obtaining an internship or job with the federal government, I urge you to check out the links above and reach out to AU’s Academic Success and Career Services Department to make a career services appointment for help with your application materials and process.

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Returning to School as a Veteran http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/08/01/returning-to-school-as-a-veteran/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/08/01/returning-to-school-as-a-veteran/#respond Wed, 01 Aug 2018 15:45:28 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=751 It’s been a long time since I’ve been back at school. Ten years to be exact.

I was afforded the opportunity to go back to school because I qualified for vocational rehabilitation after having my third surgery on my right shoulder. During my time in the U.S. Army, I had injured my shoulder on a mountain climbing training exercise. It took two surgeries, one year apart, and two or so years afterwards before I recovered enough to use my shoulder normally. After many years, my shoulder joint had deteriorated enough to require the third surgery. As a result, I qualified under the Veterans Administration Chapter 31 to go back to school. I decided to take the opportunity. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could do it or knew what to expect.

It had taken me well over ten years to complete my associate’s (AA) degree in music education at Miami Dade College. During that time, I got involved with the computer field and became a Microsoft Certified Professional in addition to obtaining a host of industry standard certifications that secured my future in the information technologies field for many years. I thought I could do well without the AA degree.

Eventually, I decided it was time to obtain my AA degree just to have it under my belt. The one thing that was holding me up was math. I had put my AA degree on the back burner because I was afraid of math, but once I decided to tackle it I found that it wasn’t all that hard. I quickly completed my math courses and graduated with my AA in 2008.

In 2011, the company I had been working at for 12 years was bought out. As a result of the buyout, I was laid off along with many other employees. I spent two years looking for a job in my field but could not find one. I decided to try a different track and became a yoga instructor, since I’d been a practicing yogi since the early 1990s. I found that through yoga, I was helping people improve their lives. I had found a new calling: helping people. I had been doing that in the computer field, but this was more personal and at a deeper level.

When I had my third shoulder surgery and the opportunity to go back to school came up, I thought that an education in psychology would enable me to continue my commitment to helping people find a way out of suffering, and so I dove deep into my schooling. My experience here at Albizu University has been wonderful. I find the teachers to be very helpful. I feel welcomed and enjoy making new friends. I enjoy my studies and completing my assignments as well. I have learned so much since my first class, six semesters ago.

One thing I can say if you’re thinking about going back to school as a veteran is to pace yourself. Choosing whether you’re going to be a part-time or full-time student depends on what’s happening in your life. If you are a very busy person, part-time is the mode for you, and if you have time to spare throughout the day, then you might want to consider full-time. So, what is the difference between a part-time and full-time schedule? A full-time schedule consists of at least four classes or more, whereas a part-time schedule consists of up to three classes. Choose a schedule that allows you to you have enough time to study. Depending on your course load, you may find yourself needing at least 20 hours or more of study time per week.

Be sure to use the tutoring service that the university provides. Get phone numbers from your classmates in case you miss a class and need to find out what happened. Also, get to know your peer mentors. They can point you to the right resources or help you navigate basic problems you may encounter during your semester. They are here to help, so be sure to look them up.

Believing in yourself is the most important quality you can have to get you through. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Use the tutoring services, get peer mentor support, get to know your fellow students, and talk with your teachers. All these things will help you have a better experience going back to school as a veteran. Albizu University is here to help you succeed.

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Performance Evaluations: An Underutilized Tool http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/07/24/performance-evaluations-an-underutilized-tool/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/07/24/performance-evaluations-an-underutilized-tool/#respond Tue, 24 Jul 2018 20:22:36 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=744 As an employee and as a consultant, I’ve had the opportunity to see numerous performance evaluation forms and processes. I’ve unscientifically polled many graduate students about their experiences with their own performance evaluations. Their observations are similar to mine: most performance evaluations are inadequate. They are experienced as perfunctory and meaningless. The content of the evaluation does not tap essential job functions, and most managers give very little thought to their completion of ratings. The conveyed message seems to be, “look, it’s that time of year again, and we have to do this so let’s just get it done.”

That’s such a shame. Performance evaluations have the potential to be a valuable management tool. Employees appreciate accurate, timely feedback. They like to know where they stand, what kind of job they’re doing, and what they need to do to improve their chances of moving up the ladder or earning extra rewards. It feels good to know a manager cares enough to invest time and energy in evaluating your performance. An efficacious performance evaluation helps the employer. Data can be used to identify training needs, assist in succession planning, acknowledge and reward good performance, and eliminate poor performers.

Performance evaluations are not that difficult to develop, although time and energy is necessary. The rewards make the investment worthwhile. Developing performance evaluations begins with a job analysis, a process intended to identify key job tasks and the necessary employee characteristics to successfully perform those tasks. I/O psychologists can conduct these analyses, and many are available on line. Once key tasks are identified, meaningful job descriptions and performance evaluations can be developed. An effective performance evaluation must have a reliable and easy to understand behaviorally anchored rating system. Once in place, you have a valuable communication and data gathering tool which will serve the employee and employer well.

I enjoy teaching and helping graduate students master the skills necessary to develop performance evaluations. I envision these students going out and ‘spreading the word,’ thereby enhancing the work experiences of many employees. Of course, this, in turn, benefits the employer. Improving the workplace is what I/O psychology is all about.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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Insight into College Life: My Experience with the B.A. in Exceptional Student Education Program http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/07/16/insight-into-college-life-my-experience-with-the-b-a-in-exceptional-student-education-program/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/07/16/insight-into-college-life-my-experience-with-the-b-a-in-exceptional-student-education-program/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:38:43 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=734 The Exceptional Student Education program at Albizu University officially started in the fall of 2015 to address the critical shortage of teachers specializing in working with students with disabilities, including those with autism. Graduates typically go on to pursue graduate degrees in exceptional student education, speech/language pathology, occupational therapy, or applied behavior analysis. A standout component of the program is the minor in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This addition prepares future professionals to obtain the Florida Endorsement in Autism Spectrum Disorders, allowing graduates to work with the autism population in the Florida school system.

There are so many benefits to being a student in the program. I was personally very intrigued by the courses in the autism minor. Many of these—like Nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Behavior Management and Support, and Identification of Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder—have prepared me to effectively work in school settings with students with ASD. I’m now not only able to understand the students’ challenges at the social-communication, cognitive, and sensory levels but also have the skills to anticipate possible triggers for their maladaptive behaviors and to plan interventions to effectively decrease the incidence of such behaviors. In addition, the autism minor allowed me to acquire knowledge and strategies to support the learning of students with ASD. I became more sensitive to an individual’s unique characteristics as it relates to his or her learning process, which positively impacted my effectiveness as an elementary education tutor.

In addition to my interest in the autism minor, courses like Diagnosis and Remediation of Language, Communication Disorders, and Reading Disorders introduced me to the techniques for and various approaches to the recognition, assessment, diagnosis, and remediation of language disorders. In these courses I was introduced to some of the speech and language challenges children with autism may face. These classes inspired my curiosity in the field of Speech/Language Pathology and my decision to pursue a master’s degree in the field at Albizu University.

Having completed my B.A. in the Exceptional Student Education program, I feel confident and prepared to move on to my next educational goals. The program allowed me to learn from professors who currently work in the field and who have taught me not only from the instructional material but also from their own personal experiences. I have successfully moved on to being accepted into the Masters of Speech and Language program and will begin in the fall of 2018. My goal is to eventually work with children on the autism spectrum in either a school or clinical setting.

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A Spanish Student’s Experience at Albizu University http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/06/28/a-spanish-students-experience-at-albizu-university/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/06/28/a-spanish-students-experience-at-albizu-university/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 20:08:28 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=719 My name is Belén Aguilera. I am from Seville, a city in the south of Spain. There I obtained my degree in Psychology. I currently live in Córdoba, where I am enrolled in a master’s program in General Health Psychology.

This master’s program has partnerships with different universities and psychology centers in several countries, which allows students to study abroad, enabling them to live a unique experience and to increase their knowledge and practice in psychology. One of those destinations is Albizu University, Miami Campus, where I arrived at the beginning of October 2017, receiving a warm welcome from everyone, both staff and students.

I am very interested in cultural diversity and migration, and I found that Albizu University helps me build upon those interests. Besides, South of Florida and, more specifically, Miami, has a context rich in multiculturalism because of its location and history.

About my experience in Albizu University, I am attending the didactic training that the Psy. D. students receive in the Goodman Center where every week a topic is presented by different professionals. In the Research Center I met Dr. Proctor, who has helped me address any concern I may have about the university or the city. He introduced me to Dr. Ellis, who gave me the opportunity to write an article for The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, where I am currently working. I also attended the Hatian Mental Health Summit, which took place at the beginning of October, and which I found really interesting.

Beyond the university, I am attending the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC), where a number of Psy. D. students from Albizu University intern. CVAC offers a holistic assistance to victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse, having in the same center advocates, lawyers, psychologists, etc. There, I am working with the psychologist and internship students to become familiar with this service and especially with the psychology department.

Although I am here for only two months, I consider myself very lucky to have this opportunity and thankful to all of those who made it possible, especially the Provost, Dr. Etiony Aldarondo, and the director of my master’s program, Juan Antonio Moriana.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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Men and Boys Versus Women and Girls: A Closer Look at Human Trafficking http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/22/men-and-boys-versus-women-and-girls-a-closer-look-at-human-trafficking/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/22/men-and-boys-versus-women-and-girls-a-closer-look-at-human-trafficking/#respond Tue, 22 May 2018 20:25:54 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=690 The spotlight on victims of human trafficking has primarily focused on women and girls. It has been assumed that the majority of victims are females and the perpetrators are males. With new laws, arrests, and victims speaking out, it is now known that we must not forget about men and boys. Males are often discounted as victims and prevented from seeking help due to over generalization and stereotyping. Recent findings have indicated that the number of boys and girls within child sex trafficking is closer to equal, rather than one-sided (Greenbaum, 2014). With males comprising nearly half of the population of this horrendous and growing crime, stereotyping, biases, and over generalizations continue to run rampant, which can affect aspects of both physical and mental health.

Men and boys are often viewed as stronger and possessing the added ability to defend themselves, in contrast to women who are perceived as vulnerable and weak. Feminist philosophy posits our patriarchal society has negative effects for both genders. Feminism egalitarian stance and envisions a society that will one day place equal value on women and men. However, the negative effect is evident in the area of human trafficking where females are rescued more often than males. The fight for mental health is calling for equality, as it would be difficult and naïve to go on and say that the psychological damage is greater for one gender than the other, when in fact, males may be even more at risk because they face the assumption that they “should” be able to defend themselves more so than females.

Although male trafficked victims have much in common with female trafficked victims, age, economic status, sexual preference, and ethnicity holds no boundaries in who may become a victim. They are fearful for coming out with the truth regarding their sexual preference and identity, or may be nervous of what others perceive as their preference (e.g.. being portrayed as gay when they are not). Many boys and men are not only sex trafficked but forced into labor, stemming from survival needs such as shelter and food. Lured with financial promises and then threatened, there is no way out for many victims (Surtees, 2008). With financial hardship comes the will to do anything to live, and under false pretenses of a legal and legitimate opportunity, they are lured in. Once victimized, threats against life, the use of drugs for sedation, and a lack of resources may make it difficult, if not impossible, to escape. Although statistics differ across countries, this is a problem both at the domestic and foreign forefront. One assumption, wrongly so, is that these victims come from uneducated and low-income backgrounds, and have no family or support system. This incorrect assumption holds true for both the male and female victims.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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The Importance of Mental Health Hygiene: Learn to Live Not Just Survive http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/17/the-importance-of-mental-health-hygiene-learn-to-live-not-just-survive/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/17/the-importance-of-mental-health-hygiene-learn-to-live-not-just-survive/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 15:51:23 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=684 In most cases, when people reflect on the meaning of health, they recognize nutrition and exercise as fundamental components associated with wellness. And while nutrition and exercise are recognized as two essential elements necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mental health is often overlooked. In today’s fast paced world of gadgets, projects, and work commitments, the importance of mental health ranks low, if it at all, on the daily “To Do List.” Despite the growing body of empirical evidence that confirms numerous health-related ailments attributed to prolonged stress such as high blood pressure, fatigue, gastro-intestinal problems, sleep disturbances, irritability, depression, and headaches, mental health is often overlooked. Perhaps mental health hygiene is easily dismissed because its symptom manifestation fails to surface in palpable ways unlike medical conditions that are assessed with instruments leading to tangible outcomes. Outcomes that are intangible and unexplained are often discredited, shunned, or dismissed because they fail to produce quantifiable measures with consistent results.

The propensity for society to address stress-related symptoms with pharmaceutical treatment is on the rise. The fast acting remedies allow people to continue to push themselves further without becoming aware of the underlying causal factors that tend to implicate both the body and mind. Failure to address the causal agents that lurk beneath the daily activities of life may cause simple to treat conditions to graduate into needless chronic diseases. As such, learning to listen to your body and what it’s attempting to tell you should take priority. Understand that your body holds an innate wisdom that will send you alerts indicating it is time to slow down, recharge, and replenish. As such, honor your body and treat it with respect. Learn to listen to its needs and what it is trying to communicate to you. To help create a balanced lifestyle, find an activity that regenerates you such as taking up a hobby, schedule a walk in nature, register for that salsa class you have always put off, take to the mat with yoga, learn to meditate, attend a workshop on health and wellness, or simply use heart-centered breathing to help you center yourself daily. Whatever you choose, learn to invite new experiences into your life that allow you to balance your personal and professional paths. My humble philosophy is that you can only give to others that which you have to give. Hence, as a parent, spouse, student, or employee, take care of yourself emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically for they are all intertwined in the beautiful tapestry called life.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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