Two Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Department of Psychology members have been recognised nationally for excellence in their work at the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) Member Awards.
The Psychology Society of Ireland (PSI) Member Awards are designed to recognise excellence in research, practice and education in psychology by members under three categories: Award for Contribution to Research in Psychology; Early Career Psychologist; Award for Contribution to Professional Practice Psychology. The PSI is this year celebrating their 50th anniversary and their now annual awards were held online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, on Friday 20 November 2020.
Dr Suzanne Parkinson, Lecturer in Developmental & Educational Psychology at MIC, is the recipient of the 2020 Award in the Contribution to Professional Practice Psychology category for her work in the development of the ‘My Learner ID’ series. A unique and original concept, ‘My Learner ID’ is for use in primary schools that offer a practical and tangible developmental framework and record system to track and support children becoming and being learners. The initiative is a trailblazing contribution to assessment in education, advances new understandings about the functions of assessment and emphasises process in learning over product.
In accepting her award, Dr Parkinson said: “I am very honoured and humbled to be the recipient of the 2020 Psychological Society Award for Contribution to Professional Practice Psychology. The award is particularly significant in this, the Society's 50th anniversary. It also offers wonderful recognition to the growing importance of educational psychology within the discipline of psychology. The award is in recognition of the development of the My Learner ID series which was deemed by the Society to represent a distinguished and significant contribution to professional practice psychology. My Learner ID places learner voice, learner ownership and learning to be a learner centre stage In education. Peer recognition for My Learner ID is invaluable and most appreciated. I am most indebted to the children, teachers and school leaders who embraced My Learner ID and made the development of the series possible. I am also most grateful for the funding offered by COGG and for the support from colleagues and friends in MIC.”
Aoife Cassidy, a third-year researcher on the Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology programme at MIC was presented with the Early Career Psychologist award at the awards in recognition of her contributions to research and professional practice in psychology, along with her academic achievements to date. A graduate of MIC’s B.Ed in Education & Psychology with first class honours in 2015, Aoife is completing her doctoral thesis under Dr Stella Long and Dr Paul Mulcahy where she is investigating relationships between individual achievement and class-average achievement on pupils’ subject interests.
In choosing Aoife, the PSI noted the work she has done to date, including investigating teacher wellbeing during COVID-19 during her time on placement with the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS). Aoife was also commended for her contributions to professional practice including developing and facilitating high quality bespoke intervention and training programmes which have been valuable to both service users and colleagues. It was appraised that overall her contributions to the psychological profession have been far-reaching and have benefitted service users, colleagues and the wider community.
Speaking after the awards, Aoife said: “I am delighted to have been involved in and to have contributed to the PSI conference again this year, and I am truly honoured to have received the ‘Award for Early Career Psychologist’. I would like to sincerely thank everyone in the PSI for their support, and for making the PSI annual conference event possible this year, despite current restrictions. I am also truly grateful to everyone in MIC who has supported and encouraged me throughout both my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and to everyone else who has supported and encouraged me throughout this journey to date, including, but not limited to family, friends, and both present and previous work colleagues”.
Welcoming the good news, Dr John Perry, Head of the Department Psychology at MIC said: “It is fantastic to see the tremendous work of Suzanne and Aoife rewarded at the PSI 2020 conference. Both deserving awardees represent a commitment towards using research in a genuinely impactful way for the benefit of many. It is a wonderful reflection on the work carried out by staff and students of psychology at MIC. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by such people who recognise the necessity to combine research and professional practice in order to maximise the impact of psychology. Indeed, this is core to our research and provision. Our undergraduate degrees, including the upcoming BSc Psychology, include a blend of research and professional placement. The Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology, which Suzanne lectures on, and Aoife is near to completing, is a great example of developing the psychologists that the country really needs. We are very proud to be able to call the team that deliver the programme, and the students on the programme our colleagues.”
Applications for the Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology are open for 2021. Further details can be found here.