School of Professional Psychology's Robin Shallcross Receives Fulbright Specialist Award

Pacific University associate professor Robin Shallcross, PhD, ABPP, has received a Fulbright Specialist Award in conjunction with the Center for International Exchange of Scholars.

Shallcross is a faculty member within the University's School of Professional Psychology, as well as a board-certified psychologist.

Next month, she will travel to Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico to teach a three-week intensive course on the psychological effects of transnational (circular) migration.

Shallcross will instruct the students in Spanish at her host institution, la Universidad Latina de América (UNLA).

According to the latest census data, 15 percent the population in Washington County are of Latino ethnicity. The majority are natives of Mexico, emigrating to the U.S. from the southern states of Michoacán, Guerrero and Jalisco.

"These individuals and families live part of the year in the U.S. and part of the year in Mexico, straddling two very different cultures," Shallcross said.

In 2007, Shallcross founded a Latino Bilingual track within the School of Professional Psychology's doctoral program (Psy.D.), as well as a bilingual mental health clinic at the University's Health Professions Campus in downtown Hillsboro.

The clinic is administered by faculty and doctoral students in to prepare students to work with native Latinos and Spanish-speaking populations.

The program and clinic's mission is to train fluent Spanish speaking psychologists in culturally relevant, evidence-based practices.

While there are a variety of Latino subcultures in the greater Hillsboro community, the majority of Latino patients seeking mental health services in the area are originally from Michoacán, Guerrero or Jalisco, Shallcross said.

Shallcross’ project is designed to create an interchange with Mexican psychologists, informing them of circumstances and treatments for this population, and inviting them to visit the Pacific University campuses to share their perspectives on this growing transnational trend.

In preparation for her experience, Shallcross and some of the School's bilingual track students have recorded interviews with both Washington County and Yakima, Wash.-area migrants to share with the UNLA class.

Interviews with transnational immigrants and their families will also be conducted in Morelia by Shallcross and UNLA students. Shallcross said capstone project of the UNLA class will be to create jobs for Mexican psychologists to serve this population. 

Shallcross is one of just 400 U.S. faculty and professionals selected to travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program, which provides short-term academic opportunities (two to six weeks) to support curricular and faculty development.

She will share her experience with Pacific and other community members upon her return.

"Without the support of my Pacific University colleagues, the administration, and the others throughout the region, this opportunity would not be possible," she said. 

Friday, Sept. 7, 2012