2016 News Releases

White House recognizes faculty Ronald Palomares for his work with military children

Photo of Dr. Jill Biden and Ronald Palomares, Ph.D. at the White House

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden and TWU Assistant Professor of Psychology Ronald Palomares, Ph.D., pose at the White House April 13, 2016.

Texas Woman’s University assistant professor of psychology former Capt. Ronald Palomares, Ph.D., was recognized at the White House April 13 for his work with First Lady Michelle Obama’s and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s Operation Educate the Educators — an initiative to better support members of the U.S. military and their families.

Dr. Biden invited Palomares, a former U.S. Air Force Captain, to participate in Operation Educate the Educators: Sharing Successes and Setting Sights for the Future, a discussion with fellow experts from across the U.S. on the educational needs of military families.

“As the son of a veteran, a veteran myself and a parent of two grown children, I understand first hand the unique struggles, and also the indomitable strength and resilience of children who have parents in the military,” Palomares said.

During the event, co-sponsored by the Military Child Education Coalition, Palomares participated in discussions and panels on the educational needs of military families, as much of his career’s research has been centered around this issue.

“These children are constantly moving and are often separated from parents who have a job that puts their lives on the line on a daily basis, which can increase the level and amplitude of stress on the children,” Palomares said. “My research indicates that these students will thrive and succeed in a school system where teachers and administrators understand and support the distinctive needs of military-connected children.”

For Palomares, being part of this event at the White House was an unexpected recognition of his professional and academic scholarship.

“I was in awe to meet Dr. Biden and know that she and the vice president recently lost a son who was a veteran,” Palomares said. “It was an inspiring experience and seeing the Bidens’ commitment to the military and military families was a tremendous honor.”

As a result of attending the event, Palomares says that he has a stronger desire to implement some of the Operation Educate the Educators initiatives at TWU. 

“Here I am at a designated Military-Friendly® School that is known for embracing military-connected college students and is one of the largest educators of female veterans in Texas,” he said. “Also, being a university that prepares so many of Texas’ teachers, we have an incredible opportunity to educate future teachers on how to best serve military children in the educational system.”

According to Palomares, some of the next steps under consideration for TWU are:

• Coordinating military-focused coursework pieces to build on each other so student-teachers are optimally prepared to positively impact student learning for military-connected students.

• Implementing continuing education related to Operation Educate the Educator for faculty.

• Enhancing the military-family specific issues component within TWU graduate psychology courses.

Prior to joining TWU in 2013, Palomares served as the assistant executive director for the American Psychological Association for 13 years. He earned his bachelor’s in psychology from Texas A&M University, received his master’s in counseling psychology from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and earned his doctorate in school psychology from Texas A&M University. Palomares was actively involved in the development of the American Psychological Association’s Resilience-Building campaign and participated in three Military Family Life Consultant assignments at Fort Hood, Texas, and at Grafenwoeher and Heidelberg/Bamberg in Germany.

Currently, Palomares serves on the Science Advisory Board for the Military Child Education Coalition, on the Board of Trustees for the Texas Psychological Association, on the the Executive Board of the Trainers of School Psychologists and on the American Psychological Association’s Commission of Specialties & Proficiencies in Psychology. He often speaks to local, state, regional and national audiences about mental health and psychology issues relating to military children and their families. In 2015, Palomares received the Texas Psychological Association’s Outstanding Contribution to Public Service Award. In 2014, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Texas A&M University’s College of Education and Human Development.

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Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is the largest public university in the nation primarily for women and has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students on campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. The university has more than 86,000 alumni in fields vital to the growth and quality of life in Texas and the nation, including nursing, health care, education and business.  

 

 

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