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VCU Psychology Department Honors Faculty, Staff and Students for Military Service

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The Virginia Commonwealth University Psychology Department held a reception this week to honor department members for their military service and support of military families.

The reception, held at the Robertson Alumni House, acknowledged two dozen faculty, staff and student members who are either serving in the military now or are veterans, are supporting a close family member with military experience, are planning a military career or are working to improve the lives of servicemen and women and their families.

“What we’re doing here tonight highlights what we’re trying to celebrate – not just today, not just this week but every day,” said Steven Danish, Ph.D., professor of psychology and master of ceremonies.

Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Psychology Department, recognized each of the honorees.

“Over the past several years, the Psychology Department has been increasingly involved in work with veterans, from the assessment and evaluation efforts of our Center for Psychological Services and Development to the graduate course on veterans issues taught by Dr. Steve Danish,” Kliewer said.

Each of the honorees was presented a token as a way to thank them for their service. The tokens were similar to the military practice of offering challenge coins to reward military personnel for excellence.

“Through these activities we have come to realize how many of our students, faculty, and staff are touched by issues that affect veterans,” Kliewer said. “We wanted to honor veterans and family members of veterans on this day of remembrance - to let them know that we appreciate the service they have provided to our country.”

Col. Thomas Morgan III of Chesterfield spoke during the reception. Last spring, members of VCU’s chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology, collected food, toiletries and other supplies for Morgan’s Validation Transition Team, which was serving in Afghanistan at the time. (Additional details of that effort can be found here.)

“The impact of what Psi Chi did on soldiers and their families was considerable,” Morgan said. “But I was not surprised at the effort because VCU supports its veterans.”

Col. Morgan presented Psi Chi members with a U.S. flag which was flown in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Visit http://www.psychology.vcu.edu/about/news/index.shtml#veterans for more information about those who were honored.

From left: Col. Thomas Morgan, III; Virginia Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Paul Galanti; Psychology Professor Steven Danish, Ph.D. and Psychology Professor and Chairman Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., participated in the ceremony. Photos by Mike Porter, VCU Office of Communications and Public Relations.
From left: Col. Thomas Morgan, III; Virginia Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Paul Galanti; Psychology Professor Steven Danish, Ph.D. and Psychology Professor and Chairman Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., participated in the ceremony. Photos by Mike Porter, VCU Office of Communications and Public Relations.
From left, Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Psychology Department, presented Heather Dela Cruz, a senior psychology major, with a token of appreciation. Upon graduation, Cruz will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserves. Her father (right) is in the U.S. Navy as an active duty senior chief with 24 years of service.
From left, Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Psychology Department, presented Heather Dela Cruz, a senior psychology major, with a token of appreciation. Upon graduation, Cruz will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserves. Her father (right) is in the U.S. Navy as an active duty senior chief with 24 years of service.