SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Haley Black '20, Psychology

SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Haley Black ‘20, Psychology

Haley Black was a graduate student in Psychology from Greensboro, N.C. 

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient 

Project: “Teaching Psychoeducational Assessment: Putting Evidence-Based Practice to Work”

With SAFE Grant funding, Black was able to travel to Atlanta, G.A. and co-present a research poster at the Trainers of School Psychology (TSP) Conference alongside mentor and professor, Dr. Sandra Gagnon, associate professor and fellow second- year graduate student, Hannah Walker Hall, Psychology major. The poster focused on the psychoeducational assessment class taught by Gagnon to the first year graduate students in the school psychology program, explaining how this two-course sequence is an innovative practice in the field of school psychology through its incorporation of current best practices used to reduce testing errors and promote greater examiner competence. The poster also detailed the procedures, incremental expectations and technology used in the course.

During this experience, Black got the opportunity to speak with other students and trainers to discuss innovative practices they have been engaging with as part of Gagnon's assessment course structure. Black acknowledges that her opportunity to spend quality time outside of class with her mentor made her experience even richer and contributed to her growth as a student. 

“This opportunity definitely enhanced my experience as a student. By being able to travel to a conference and speak to other people within my discipline, it enhanced my ability to articulate myself but also allowed me to feel more confident in my abilities,” said Black.


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
July 7, 2020

SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Haley Black '20, Psychology
Published: Jul 8, 2020 9:45am