Two students from Cal State San Bernardino’s Department of Psychology have been named the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ top graduates for 2020.

D’Andra Johnson, clinical/counseling psychology, is the college’s Outstanding Graduate Student, and Ginny Park, psychology, is the Outstanding Undergraduate Student. The psychology department is housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Johnson and Park would have been honored at the college’s June Commencement ceremony, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, large gatherings such as CSUSB’s five Commencement ceremonies have been postponed. A new date for the commencements will be announced when it is determined that the ceremonies can be held safely.

Johnson received her master of science in clinical/counseling psychology this spring. Under the supervision of David Chavez, professor of psychology, Johnson is conducting research with the Community and Relationship Enhancement (CARE) Lab. She is also a graduate research assistant for Maria Santos, assistant professor of psychology.

Her thesis focused on self-stigma in first-generation college students and their mental health help-seeking behavior. In 2021-22, Johnson plans to apply to Ph.D. programs. Her goal is to provide mental health services, teach, and conduct research with underrepresented and underserved communities.

In addition to the college’s top honor, she is also the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar and the recipient of Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award, the Albro Scholarship, the Aubrey Bonnett Scholarship, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Program Grant, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Scholarship.

Outside of the classroom, Johnson has held several volunteer positions, working with underrepresented communities and providing needed resources including the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Student Services Counseling Center, the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ Homeless Education Program, and the Boys and Girls Club of Waterman Gardens. She is currently a clinical intern at the University of Redlands where she provides therapeutic services to students. Johnson also is a student worker for the San Bernardino County of Superintendent of Schools alternative education program as well as a teaching associate at CSUSB.

Park, who completed her bachelor of arts in psychology, has gained invaluable research experience through her participation in, and being the student leader for, many research projects related to biopsychology/neuroscience. In addition to her seven poster/paper presentations at the Society of Neuroscience and other national conferences, Park has co-authored and published with psychology professors Sanders McDougall and Cynthia Crawford four behavioral neuroscience research articles in prestigious journals such as Behavioral Brain Research and Eur Neuropsychopharmacol.

Recently, she was accepted as a graduate student to several prestigious Ph.D. programs, including the Psychological and Brain Science Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience Department at Washington State University. Park has accepted the offer from Washington State University.

In addition to the college’s top undergraduate honor, Park has also been recognized as the Stanford Summer Research Program – Amgen Foundation Scholar, a National Institutes of Health-funded Minority Access to Research Careers program recipient, PsiChi International Honors Society member, Psychology Honors program recipient, and president of the Coyote Scholars Club.

Park was selected to be a part of the first cohort of the Coyote Research Ambassadors with the university’s Office of Student Research. She was a peer leader and a student instructor for PSYC 311 (Introduction to Experimental Psychology) for five quarters. She has been an assistant to the associate chair of psychology.