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Two Forensic Psychology Students Awarded Grants from American Psychology-Law Society

February 13, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – Two Western Illinois University forensic psychology students have received competitive national scholarships from the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS), Division 41, of the American Psychological Association, for travel, conference and research support.

Deisy Vizcarra, a junior forensic psychology major from Schiller Park, IL, was accepted into the Access Path to Psychology and Law Experience (APPLE) program. The purpose of the APPLE program is to increase diversity within psychology and law by providing $3,000 in financial support to underrepresented group members in the field of forensic psychology. The award requires the student to conduct "meaningful, relevant research" for one-year under the supervision of a faculty mentor, attend a conference of the AP-LS and participate in Graduate Record Examination (GRE) classes and other developmental opportunities.

Vizcarra's faculty mentor is WIU Professor Kimberley McClure.

"I met her this fall semester and she impressed me with her ideas related to cultural competency, a need for cultural understanding and her excitement about exploring cultural intelligence in relation to police officers' perceptions of their own identity as community guardians or warriors," said McClure. "Ms. Vizcarra is a student who is seriously dedicated to her studies. She is a first-generation college student with aspirations for graduate work that will nurture her interests in psychology and law."

Josie Hasselbring, a junior forensic psychology major from Watseka, IL, has been awarded a $60 scholarship through AP-LS to attend an Introduction to Trial Consulting workshop at the annual conference of the AP-LS in March. The workshop is designed for newcomers to the field of trial consulting, offering information about practices, methodology and professional codes.

"Ms. Hasselbring demonstrates a level of initiative that is impressive for one starting her career," said McClure. "She has been a member of our laboratory for the Investigation of Psychology and Law since the first semester of her freshman year, and has developed projects related to police training, as well as exploring her interests in trial consulting."

According to McClure, these monetary awards represent yet another building block in the growing forensic psychology major option at WIU. Forensic psychology is the scientific study of human behavior in every level of the criminal justice and judicial systems. In existence for four years, the forensic psychology major option at Western is the only such program available at a comprehensive state university in the region.

For more information about WIU's Forensic Psychology major option, visit

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