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2015 VWM Scholarship Winner - Kallie Petitti

You are experiencing a first: this is the first time ever that we have been able to award a second scholarship in one year. So going forward here is our second 2015 recipient.

Another of this year’s recipients is a second year student at Kent State University, who graduated from Olmsted Falls High School in the greater Cleveland area. Following high school graduation she chose Fashion Merchandising at Kent State University as her major, but found it monotonous. She turned her attention to the field of psychology and soon realized that, in her words, “exploring how the diversity of one’s personal experiences affects one’s behavior and developmental growth " held a strong pull for her. She completed her B.A. in psychology.

Following graduation she served one year as the Project Coordinator of Sister United Now (SUN). Her supervisor during this period spoke highly of Kallie’s work, saying that she “gets” the psychological and learning styles of students at a complex level. In this role she was invited to co-author a book chapter on transforming Black girls’ lives, successfully completed interviews with media reporters, clearly demonstrating her knowledge of theory and practice.

While enrolled in her first year of the school psychology program at KSU, Kallie participated in a 5-year grant program funded by the US Department of Education designed to prepare personnel to provide related services to children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities. The collaboration with KSU’s College of Education and the Family Child Learning Center included spending 20 hours per week at FCLC learning how to work with young children with disabilities and their families.

Kallie’s work there has been exemplary both in the academic requirements and the engagements in service (volunteering beyond requirements in a local Head Start/Early Start Program). Her supervisor described Kallie’s leadership style as a “servant leader” due to her focus on the growth and well-being of the people and communities to which she belongs. Also Kallie is described as authentic, competent, genuinely interested in children and their families, and trustworthy – all desired traits for a school psychologist.

Another reference source noted that Kallie has the capability of utilizing feedback to redirect her behavior or performance in a relatively short time framework. Her maturity and demeanor of self-reflection in order to grow her capacity to serve children and families with whom she may interface was cited as a noteworthy quality. Her discerning ability to question, yet remain professional in adverse situations, bodes well for future responsibilities as a school psychologist.

Other experiences in which Kallie has engaged include teaching assistant, research intern, poster presentations at APA convention and Midwestern Psychology Conference, Vice President of the Student Affiliates of School Psychology at KSU, and membership in OSPA and NASP. She is also currently privately tutoring a 4 year old child with Autism in the Akron area.
As another of the selection committee’s unanimous choices it is my distinct pleasure to introduce Kent State University student, Kallie R. Petitti, as the ninth recipient of the Valorie Wolcott Mendelson OSPA Scholarship. We wish Kallie the very best………

Submitted by
Valorie Wolcott Mendelson
Chair, OSPA Scholarship Committee
November 5, 2015