Newsletter and Announcements

TWU professor honored with knighthood

Ronald S. Palomares-Fernandez, Ph.D., a Texas Woman’s University assistant professor of psychology, has been knighted by the Johanniter Order, a 900-year-old spiritual service organization dedicated to assisting the sick, the poor and the infirmed. Palomares-Fernandez received the honor for his humanitarian work in his church and around the world.

Sally Stabb, Ph.D., and two students from the counseling psychology program at the University of Turabo paint a children's playground.
Sally Stabb, Ph.D., and two students from the counseling psychology program at the University of Turabo paint a children's playground. The project was one of two community action initiatives in which TWU faculty participated during the CCPTP and CMCTP Mid-Winter Director's Meeting in San Juan, PR.

TWU school psychology doctoral student elected to a national leadership position

Third-year school psychology doctoral student Andrea Wierzchowski was recently elected to a national leadership position for American Psychological Association's Division 16 Student Affiliates of School Psychology (SASP). One of the main goals of SASP is to keep graduate students up to date on issues pertaining to school psychology and to encourage participation in activities that will further strengthen this discipline in the future.

Telemundo interviews Dr. Claudia Porras Pyland for 'Threats on Social Media' special

Feb. 27, 2018 - Assistant professor Claudia Porras Pyland, Ph.D., appeared as an expert on Telemundo Dallas’s broadcast in a discussion about high school shootings. She explained the reasons why some adolescents act out on social networks and how parents can detect potential signs with their children. Watch the broadcast >>


TWU Psychology professor featured in DRC 'romance scams' article

"The same kind of cons have been around for a long time," said Dr. Chris Hart, a professor of psychology at Texas Woman's University who teaches forensic psychology and interpersonal deception. "The world changes, and the avenues for social interaction change. But people don’t change. I think the scams are just like life itself. They are adapting to the way the world is now, and some among us are not that great and take advantage."

Juan Rodriguez volunteers to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

Rodriguez removes water-damaged portions of a home affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Rodriguez removes water-damaged portions of a home affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Doctoral school psychology student Juan Rodriguez recently joined the relief effort for victims of Hurricane Harvey, helping teams transport supplies to a shelter in south Louisiana.

"We loaded up over 10,000 lbs of immediately needed supplies from Lone Star College to a supply distribution point in Moss Bluff, La. Needless to say, the trip took much longer to complete because many roadways were still closed due to water on roads and some roads being washed out. I-10 was under about 4 foot of water in some areas... On Thursday, September 7, I volunteered to assist in a 'mucking team'... It was labor intensive work, but very fulfilling knowing we helped this couple save their home from needing to be demolished." Read the full story here >>

Local agencies named 'Best of Denton County'

Two local agencies where TWU Department of Psychology and Philosophy students and alumni are active and engaged — Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF) and Youth and Family Counseling — have been selected as Best of Denton County in the categories of Advocacy Organization and Health Organization, respectively.

Many students from the master’s and doctoral programs in counseling psychology regularly serve as practicum students at DCFOF. Hillarye Hightower, a graduate of the master's program, serves as DCFOF’s Director of the Prevention, Community Education & Awareness Program.

Two MA alumni, Justine Guzman and Stephanie Wright, serve on the staff of Youth and Family Counseling.

Texas Woman’s school psychology doctoral student awarded Melanie Foundation scholarship

Andrea Wierzchowski headshot

Andrea Wierzchowski, a third-year school psychology doctoral student at Texas Woman’s University, has received a 2017 Melanie Foundation scholarship for her work promoting mental health awareness and treatment for underserved children and their families. Her $1,500 award will go toward furthering her educational goals, which includes completing her doctorate and becoming a licensed psychologist.


TWU psychology honor society wins 2017 Building Bonds Collaboration Award

Texas Woman’s University students teamed up with students from University of Central Arkansas and Collin College to win the 2017 Alberta Johnson/Ruth Hubbard Cousins Building Bonds Collaboration Award. Students from the Texas Woman’s and University of Central Arkansas Psi Chi chapters, as well as the Collin College chapter of Psi Beta, were recognized for their collaborative workshop, titled “The Gritty Team: Passion, Purpose and Success,” which was presented at this year’s Southwestern Psychological Association Annual Conference in San Antonio.



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The TWU Department of Psychology & Philosophy newsletter provides interested viewers with the most current information related to the department including exciting activities and new developments. Additionally, the newsletter provides the publications, presentations and honors/awards of our department’s current students, faculty and alumni. For interested alumni, updates, both personal and professional, for your former classmates are included.

For prospective students, the newsletter serves as a great way to get a sense of the department’s culture and to determine whether it is a good fit for your interests and academic/career goals.

Download the 2015-2016 Year in Review newsletter (pdf).

To request a copy of a previous newsletter, or to make a contribution to the department’s newsletter, Facebook or Twitter account, please contact

Student Spotlight

Noelany Pelc is receiving her Ph.D. in counseling psychology this month. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, English is her second language. In addition to serving as an undergraduate instructor at TWU, Noelany also helped author a revision of the APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women, served as a campus student representative for the APA’s Society for the Psychology of Women, and is now an assistant professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Her instructors say that Noelany exemplifies the very best of TWU, and has showed tremendous perseverance during her tenure. Noelany, congratulations on graduating from TWU!

John Maddoux also is receiving his Ph.D. in counseling psychology this December. His research focuses on trauma recovery, particularly Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and has been published in over 25 peer-reviewed articles. In 2015, John won the graduate council award for exceptional and original scholarship. He has completed his pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Western New York VA Healthcare System, where he specialized in the treatment of PTSD, substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors. John currently is completing a postdoctoral residency in substance abuse at the Dallas VA. Congratulations, John, on your graduation!