New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation Flash:  2nd Quarter 2018

In This Issue...

  1. The Heart of NJPA
  2. Foundation Funding
  3. Grants & Awards
  4. Meet the Trustees!
  5. Organization Structure

Meet the Trustees!

Matt Hagovsky, PhD (President);
Toby Kaufman, PhD (Secretary);
Abby Rosen
Richard Klein, EdD (Trustee);
Ann Stainton, PhD (Trustee); 
E. Belvin Williams, PhD (Trustee);
Regina Budesa, PsyD (Trustee);
Alyssa Austern, PsyD (Trustee);
Morgan Murphy, PhD (NJPA President-Elect and Foundation Board Liaison);                          Alexandra Gil        (NJPAGS Representative) 
Keira Boertzel-Smith (Executive Director);    Ana DeMeo (Central Office Staff Liaison)

Organization Structure

The New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation was established in 1993 as a charitable, tax-exempt organization. The NJPA Foundation is an IRC 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation and all donations, less any goods and services received, are tax deductible. The mission of the NJPA Foundation, in addition to supporting NJPA's mission, is promoting the psychological health of the diverse people of New Jersey.

Get Involved!

Become a Board Trustee
The NJPA Foundation is governed by the NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees.  The board has four officers: president, secretary, treasurer, and the NJPA president-elect. All trustees are voting members except for the NJPA president-elect who is an ex-officio non-voting officer. The trustee's term may be as long as he/she is qualified and eligible.  

Become a Friend of the Foundation

The NJPA Foundation includes non-voting Friends of the Foundation members. These individuals must be NJPA members and may assist with projects on behalf of the NJPA Foundation such as volunteering at fundraising events, writing NJPA Foundation articles, reviewing and voting on student grant papers, attending site visits, or planning NJPA Foundation continuing education programs. The projects are monitored and managed by the NJPA Foundation Board of Trustees. Friends of the Foundation are welcome to attend and participate at the NJPA Foundation meetings.  There is no term limit for Friends of the Foundation. The NJPA Foundation president, in consultation with the NJPA executive director, reserves the right to terminate a Friend of the Foundation membership if the member is deemed to not be acting in the best interest of NJPA Foundation. 

If interested contact      Ana DeMeo at [email protected] or 972-243-9800



The Foundation is the Heart of NJPA

Welcome to the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) Foundation Flash! The Foundation Flash highlights our grantmaking efforts in support of programs that train graduate psychology students who are dedicated to working with underserved populations in New Jersey.

The NJPA Foundation administers and raises money to deliver psychological services to underserved populations, trains psychology graduate students as clinicians and researchers with an emphasis on treating underserved populations, supports the mission of NJPA especially in its commitment to diversity, public health, underserved populations and the training of graduate students in psychology.  The Foundation Flash is distributed quarterly to inform NJPA members and the public about our grantmaking efforts and the great work of our supported graduate psychology students.

Foundation Funding

The majority of current funding comes from the NJPA membership, with some funding coming from outside groups. Funding comes in the form of NJPA Foundation solicitation letters to the NJPA membership, NJPAF hosted events such as the 2017 Somerset Patriots baseball game, hosted dinners/cocktail gatherings, tributes, and bequests.  The NJPA Foundation is open to exploring new manners of fundraising such as corporate sponsorship and grant writing. Click here to read more about how you can participate in, and contribute to, our fundraising efforts.

Take this opportunity to make your 2018 charitable donation!  The New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations (less any goods/services received) are tax-deductible and go directly to supporting a psychologically health community.

Grantmaking Efforts – Three Distinct        Grants and Awards

Community Service Project Grants
The NJPA Foundation identifies exemplary programs that provide psychological services to those who cannot afford it and trains doctoral students to work with these underserved populations. We invite applications from programs across the state of New Jersey, with the goal of identifying and supporting model programs from each county.  For the 2017-2018 academic year, we are sponsoring five amazing programs - Newark Beth Israel Game-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program, Newark Beth Israel General Track, Rutgers Foster Care program, Rutgers Center for Psychological Studies, and the Trinitas Regional Medical Center

Spring 2018 NJPAF Site Visits                             

The Board has conducted site visits that provide an in-depth view of the work conducted by students and the populations they serve. The visits gives the Board and opportunity to speak with the principal staff members, project supervisors and grant recipients.  Please take a moment to learn about two of these vistis conducted in April. 

Trinitas Regional Medical Center - Child and Adolescent Outpatient Unit (COPU) Site Visit                by Dr. Matt Hagovsky, NJPAF President, and Keira Boertzel-Smith, NJPA Executive Director

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, we made a trip to Elizabeth, New Jersey to conduct the Trinitas Regional Medical Center - Child and Adolescent Outpatient Unit (COPU) site visit. This Center was awarded a NJPA Foundation (NJPAF) Community Service grant, which identifies exemplary programs that provide psychological services to those who cannot afford it and trains doctoral students to work with these underserved populations. Ms. Brenda Osorio, MA was awarded the NJPAF grant for her work at this facility. The Center offers a full array of psychiatric and behavioral health services for children and adolescents (ages 3.5-18 years old) and their family members. We were met by Dr. Atara Hiller, Coordinator of the Adolescent Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program, Brenda Osorio, MA, third year psychology doctoral student, and Adaria Facchinei, LCSW. We were escorted through colorful muraled hallways to the spacious office spaces. We were able to spend about an hour with these three individuals to discuss Ms. Osorio’s experience as a funded NJPAF grant recipient.
Ms. Osorio has been participating in a range of clinical experiences at the COPU, including conducting intake evaluations; providing individual cognitive-behavioral and family therapy to children, adolescents, and families; and engaging in case management with schools, psychiatric providers, and outside case managers. She has been trained in providing DBT to adolescents and their families of Hispanic backgrounds, who exhibit symptoms of borderline personality disorder and comorbid conditions. Ms. Osorio stated that “Partaking in the DBT multifamily skills groups in Spanish has also expanded my desire to continue working with Spanish speaking populations and be able to assist them with psychological treatment. My two current DBT cases have really made me grow as a therapist and learn more about my skills and myself.“ When further asked about her experiences with working with underserved populations she noted that she was able to learn about the barriers some of the families encounter which makes it that much difficult for them to attend treatment. She stated “Many of the barriers are related to financial and transportation variables. This has led me to learn about some of the resources available for these families in order to better assist them.” We asked Ms. Osorio how the NJPAF grant has impacted her experience. She noted that the NJPAF grant was helpful in paying for her transportation to the Center. She was also able to purchase educational materials on DBT and other psychological and behavioral treatment related to this work opportunity. They thanked the NJPAF for the funding, which is in essence is thanking our NJPA members for contributing to this worthwhile program.


The Metropolitan Regional Child Abuse Diagnostic and Treatment Center located at Wynonas’ House Child Advocy Center and Newark Berth Israel Medical Center Site Visit by Dr. Morgan Murray, NJPA President Elect, Alexandra Gil, NJPAGS Chair, and Ana DeMeo, NJPA Central Office

On April 12th, we visited Wynonas’ House Child Advocy Center in Newark where we met with Drs. Christine Baker,Clinical Director, Barbara Prempeh, Program Director, Jaqueline Cunningham and Community Service Grant 2017-2018 recipients, Caroline Kazlow, 3rd year Psy.D. student in the Clinical Psychology Program at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University, Erica Dashow, 5th year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Rutgers University, Kelly Daly, 6th year Ph.D. student in the Child Clinical Psychology Program at Pennsylvania State University and Jackaira Espinal, 4th year Psy.D. student in the Combined and Integrated program in School-Clinical Psychology at Kean University. The Center serves children and families in Essex County and surrounding areas with an array of specialized medical, mental health, educational, and support programs to help heal the aftermath of child abuse or neglect. Dr. Prampeh, Program Director, led us in an informative tour of the facility, a caring and inviting environment, whose main focus is the safety and care of a child. From muraled walls to cozy seats, and toys galore, this center provides a nurturing environment where children and familes are treated with care and respect and where the NJPAF funded grant recipients, find the perfect setting to receive extensive training in chidhood trauma and treatment. 

The students work as a team in the Game-Based CBT track. Game Based Therapy is a unique and integrative approach which fuses CBT with structured play therapy, granting children the ability to receive treatment utilizing the language of play. We asked the students how the NJPAF grant has impacted their experience. They all expressed gratitude and noted that the NJPAF grant has helped to alleviate the financial costs of parking, transportation to the Center, purchasing educational materials and supplies, and defraying the cost of internship applications. Ms. Espinal, values the opportunity to provide services to Spanish-speaking clients and families, a service she says is “greatly needed in the area RDTC serves”. She has used part of her grant to purchase bilingual educational materials.

For an hour we had the pleasure of speaking with these outstanding young externs and learning about their experiences. They all agreed that working with underserved populations, teaches them resilience to adversity, sensitivity and compassion, gives them strength to handle challenges, and it allows them to celebrate the progress that families have made through the program – a job and an outcome most rewarding – “Thank you NJPA Foundation”.

More site visit updates to come in the next issue of the Foundatin Flash! 

Graduate Student Initiated Research Awards                A fundamental component of the New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation’s mission is to support the training of graduate students. One way they meet this goal is by providing funding for student-initiated research and projects addressing psychological issues that have significant impact on community health. Through the generosity of individual contributions, we are able to offer four awards and scholarships for innovative family, school, and community projects. 

An applicant must be a NJPAGS student member and meet at least one of the following criteria:

1). Enrolled in a New Jersey university or college master’s        or doctoral level psychology program OR

2). Psychology Intern at a New Jersey facility

In 2017, we had two award winners. Nicole L. Eskenasi, PsyM and Laura Grossi, MA. Applications for 2018-2019 are due July 17, 2018. Apply here

Student Conference Participation Grant                    This grant promotes supplemental training and education experiences in professional practice and research, with an emphasis on treating underserved populations. Attending conferences, workshops, seminars, and other scientific sessions are an essential part of the learning experience for psychology graduate students. Sessions provide an educational experience that allows students to observe and/or practice how didactic lessons can be applied to real-world treatment.

The NJPA Foundation Student Conference Participation Grant helps offset some of the costs associated with attending conferences, workshops, and other psychological sessions (including webinars) emphasizing the treatment of underserved populations. 2018 recipients include Alexandra Gils,MA, Kean University and Karly E. Siffin, MA, Widener University. Alexandra attended the National Association of School Psychology Conference, February 14-17th in Chicago, IL. Karly Siffin attended the American Psychology-Law Society Annual Conference in Memphis, TN in March. For complete requirements, criteria, and application forms, visit the Foundation at

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