Fall 2017University Updates

College of Applied Behavioral Sciences

Human trafficking research

A research project conducted by Lisa Elwood-Kirkpatrick, assistant professor in the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences, and doctoral student Samantha Goodin, received national recognition early in 2017 when Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) highlighted their research efforts in collaboration with the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans (IPATH) initiative. Elwood-Kirkpatrick is a clinical psychologist who has served on IPATH’s outreach and victim services committees as well as on the board of Restored, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that works toward long-term services for victims of human trafficking. She and Goodin worked with IPATH to survey service providers, including therapists and caseworkers who work with high-risk youth. The goal was to estimate the rate of trafficking experiences in provider caseloads.

Collaborative study compares state gun laws and fatal police shootings

aaron_kivistoAaron Kivisto, assistant professor of psychological sciences, published a study in the American Journal of Public Health, which found that citizens living in states with the weakest gun laws are more than twice as likely to be fatally shot by law enforcement. Kivisto conducted the research along with doctoral student Peter Phalen, and in collaboration with Brad Ray, assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. The study subsequently was highlighted by national media including Reuters, Huffington Post and NPR.

New Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling

A new master’s program in Mental Health Counseling with an art therapy concentration is designed to allow students to pursue licensure as a mental health counselor and certification as an art therapist. The intention is to help artists and students with pre-art therapy credentials transition into the exciting field of art therapy and mental health counseling. Upon completion, students will earn a license in mental health counseling and a certificate in art therapy.

National Institute of Health grant supports teen drug study

katiekivistoKatherine Kivisto, assistant professor of psychological sciences, received a National Institute of Health/National Institute of Drug Abuse grant to examine the epidemic of teenage substance abuse. The $300,000 grant will fund The Teen Resilience Project, which focuses on understanding the obstacles of addiction and long-term recovery for 13- to 18-year-olds.

New advanced degree offerings in social work

The University began a new two-year Master of Social Work program in Fall 2016 and a one-year advanced standing MSW program was launched in May 2017. The MSW program builds on the University’s highly regarded undergraduate program and features small classes, engaged faculty and significant opportunity for community outreach and interdisciplinary collaboration with UIndy’s health sciences and psychology programs — an innovative approach in the state of Indiana. The programs offer two concentrations: behavioral health and families/children.