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School Psychology Students Win Awards at TASP Conference

Two awards were given to students from the School Psychology program during the Fall Tennessee Association of School Psychologists Conference in Murfreesboro in November 2015.

Megan Blonder was selected by a committee to receive the William Ballard Award. This award is given to an exemplary student in recognition of outstanding achievement and commitment to the field of school psychology.

Blonder“I feel very honored and humbled to be this year’s recipient. I am passionate about being an effective school psychologist, and it is affirming to hear that others see that in my work.”

Blonder received a plaque, free registration to the TASP Fall Conference, and a $100 cash award. To learn more about her accomplishments, please see her curriculum vita.

TASP also awarded second place to Leslie Hart, during the poster presentation competition. She was the leader of a research group conducting a study to see how goal-setting and performance feedback can shape student writing.

“My research group is an incredible source of support. Every member was available and excited to help with data collection, analysis, and presentation. I’m glad that our excitement over the project resulted in something that was so well-received!”


In the study, participating elementary students responded to prompts and worked towards goals within the MyAccess program, where a computer is programmed to read and provide feedback on writing. We found that students were able to meet individual goals using the computerized feedback, with some going on to meet more challenging goals. Across students, the intervention phase had an immediate improvement in the initial draft of the submitted story.  Both number and quality of the submitted stories varied across individuals.  Several students showed improvement in the quality of their initial drafts.