SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Abigayle Feather ‘19, Psychology

SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Abigayle Feather ‘19, Psychology 

Abigayle Feather was an undergraduate student from Charlotte, N.C. 

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient 

Project: “The Therapeutic Alliance in the Context of a Brief Motivational Intervention for College Student Alcohol Use”

Funding through a SAFE grant aided Feather in her travels to Jacksonville, Florida to present the findings from her senior honors thesis at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) annual convention. Alongside faculty mentor, Dr. Lisa Curtin, professor, Department of Psychology and Clinical Psychology Program Director, Feather additionally used the funds to help in the printing of her poster presentation, transportation, registration fees and a place to stay. 

Feather’s studies examined therapeutic alliance for adults, that has been linked to better engagement and retention of recovery, in substance abuse treatments in the context of a brief computer-aided motivational intervention for college student alcohol use. She hypothesized that perceptions of the alliance would increase across time, and that participant alliance ratings would negatively relate with alcohol consumption at follow up. 

“The SAFE fund allowed me to have a unique experience of scholarship during my undergraduate career. When I attended the convention, I was able to sit in on lectures and discussions from leaders in the field of Psychology and was excited at the prospect of future scholarship opportunities,” said Feather. 

Through this experience, Feather acknowledges how welcomed she felt into the academic world, exciting her about the future of psychology and the ways she can contribute to the field. 


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 80 graduate students in three master’s programs (experimental psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management) and the clinical psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program. Learn more at

Compiled and written by Barclay Ann Blankenship and Ellen Gwin Burnette
March 10, 2021

Titlemark for the Student and Faculty Excellence Fund (SAFE)
Published: Mar 10, 2021 12:42pm