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2013 Early Career Award - Kate Lavik


 2013 Early Career Award - Kate Lavik

Remarks from OSPA Awards Committee Member Rob Kubick

Good afternoon. I’m Rob Kubick, a member of the OSPA Awards Committee. It is my distinct pleasure to make this presentation of the OSPA Early Career Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize the accomplishments of a school psychologist during the first five years of his or her career. Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to the practice and promotion of school psychology, research, and advocacy. Membership in local, state, and national organizations, presentations of research at professional conferences, and participation in volunteer and advocacy events are considered.

Today, I am honored to present this award to my colleague in the Akron Public Schools, Mrs. Kate Lavik. Kate completed her graduate work at Kent State University and interned in the Akron Public Schools during the 2012-13 school year. She began working for us on a full-time basis earlier this year.

Kate’s daily work over the past year has taken place in the context of highly challenging educational environments. This has included comprehensive service delivery to students in a middle school in which one-third of all students have been identified with disabilities, are recent immigrants to our country, or both. Kate also provided services to an alternative high school specializing in dropout recovery and an alternative middle school for students with severe behavioral concerns. From providing services to children from families who are refuges and new arrivals to our country, to conducting written language interventions for groups for high school students at risk of dropping out, to implementing RtI models in well over a dozen different buildings across our district, Kate has deployed her wealth of knowledge and experience to positively impact our students in countless ways.

Among the many notable accomplishments in Kate’s early career have been her special projects undertaken for the Ohio School Psychologists Association. For several years, our Executive Board has sought to compile and profession-ally archive a rich collection of historical documents and items that stretch all the way back to the founding of OSPA. Within just a few months of volunteering to coordinate this initiative, Kate had developed key partnerships between our association, the Archives of American Psychology at The University of Akron, and the American Psychological Association. She managed these partnerships with such competence that OSPA now enjoys a historical archive and repository that is the envy of other state associations across the nation. For her considerable efforts in leading this initiative, Kate was appointed to the position of Historian and has served with distinction ever since.

Kate is a member of both OSPA and NASP. She has presented at NASP’s annual conferences and conventions in Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago. Along with her numerous presentations across the state of Ohio, Kate has even presented in Rome, Italy on the topic of differentiating between bipolar disorder and conduct disorder. She has several teaching experiences to her credit and even has bilingual (Spanish) skills that she has brought to bear in her work. Kate has been a principal investigator on more than half a dozen research projects, the most recent being a chapter that she co-authored for Best Practices in School Psychology VI.

As one colleague put it, “I have had the pleasure of working closely with dozens of early career professionals throughout the State of Ohio for nearly two decades. In terms of skills, abilities, and relentless commitment to scholarly activity, Kate is right at the top of my list. She is an outstanding talent who will do great credit to our shared profession for many years to come. I am going to enjoy working for her someday.”

 It is for these reasons, and many more, that the OSPA Awards Committee, on behalf of the Executive Board hereby recognizes Mrs. Kate Lavik to be this year’s recipient of the Ohio School Psychologists Association Early Career Award.

Remarks from Kate Lavik

Thank you very much to the Awards Committee and to those who nominated me for this award. I’d like to thank Kent State and OSPA for helping to start me on a path towards greater involvement in state and regional associations. I would like to thank the entire core faculty at KSU, who have at various points in my time there served as my academic advisor, re-search advisor, or dissertation committee member. The presentations and trainings I’ve conducted at the local, state, and national levels would not have happened without the support of Drs. Karla Anhalt, Richard Cowan, Caven Mcloughlin, and Frank Sansosti at KSU.

In addition, I’d like to thank Dr. Caven Mcloughlin at Kent State for presenting me with an opportunity to “see the inner workings” of OSPA by assisting with an archival project to digitize and collect old journals and test kits for the Archives of the History of American Psychology. Through that project four years ago, I met Drs. Rob Kubick and Erich Merkle. I would like to thank Caven, Rob, and Erich for the starting on the path towards greater involvement in OSPA.

Little did I know that three years later I would be completing my internship in Akron Public Schools and four years later I would be working full-time in Akron, with Rob and Erich as my colleagues. I would like to thank my supervisors from my internship who helped to prepare me well for my full-time employment as a school psychologist: Dr. Bradd Falkenberg, Mrs. Aimee Kirsch, Mr. Jeff York, Dr. Rob Kubick, and Dr. Perry Clark. In addition, I’d also like to thank my practicum supervisors that helped prepare me for internship, Mrs. Isabel Martinez and Mrs. Kathy Soudry. Before starting intern-ship, I worked at PSI as an assistant and would like to thank my supervisors there, Mr. Bob Murray, Mrs. Karen Heichel, Ms. Julie Goldyn, and Dr. Colleen Lorber for preparing me to work in diverse learning environments with diverse roles.

I would like to thank the entire Child Study Department in Akron, along with our new boss, Mr. John Biltz, and echo the words of Mrs. Kelly Kreitz, who put it best: You all are inspiring school psychologists who push each other to constantly stay on top of best practices and are remarkable role models. Finally, I would like to thank my family. My parents, for instilling in me an insatiable need to achieve and bring creativity into everything I do. My brothers and sister, for supporting me and being my friends even though I was—and maybe still am—the bossy older sister. My in-laws, for also be-ing a great support and my father-in-law, Dr. Paul Lavik, specifically, for introducing me to school psychology. And, of course, a sincere thank you to my husband, Andrew, who encourages me in my pursuits and who doesn’t ask too many questions when our apartment starts being overrun by old test kits waiting to be processed before going to the Archives.

Thank you again for this award. There are so many wonderful school psychologists in this room who have done so many amazing things throughout their careers that I can only dream of trying to match their accomplishments and successes in mine. Thanks again.

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