Kudos for exemplary mentorship

Alyson Zalta

Alyson Zalta receives inaugural Social Ecology Honors Program Mentorship Award

Alyson Zalta, assistant professor of psychological science, has been named the first recipient of the School of Social Ecology's Honors Program Faculty Mentorship Award.

In her congratulatory note to Zalta, Amy Dent, director of the school's Honors Program, wrote: "Your invested, responsive, flexible, and skillful mentoring was remarkable to observe as the program's director and I'm sure for Emma Lea Dorn and Kristin Guzman to experience. Both students produced impressive thesis projects, which your guidance and feedback uniquely enabled them to accomplish. ... Your mentoring will undoubtedly have an indelible impact on their 'brilliant futures.' "

Dorn’s project examined clinician’s attitudes toward the use of animal assisted therapies for treating trauma-related distress. Her study showed that clinicians have mixed attitudes toward animal assisted therapies and very few have ever used animal assisted therapies. She also found that female clinicians and clinicians who treat more trauma patients in their practice have more favorable attitudes toward animal assisted therapies. 

Guzman’s project examined individuals who had experienced military sexual assault (MSA) and explored how different aspects of disclosing this experience affected long-term psychological functioning. Specifically, she examined how the timing of the disclosure, the recipient of the disclosure, the degree of the disclosure and the social reactions to the disclosure predicted PTSD and depressive symptoms among survivors of MSA.

"I am truly honored to receive this award," Zalta said. "My senior thesis project was probably the most impactful and transformative experience of my undergraduate career. I am thrilled to be able to support students on this journey and help them achieve their goals."

Mimi Ko Cruz