James Madison University

Joann H. Grayson Outstanding Field Placement Award

This award is given to students who distinguish themselves on the basis of their commitment, use of psychological theory, and professional performance.

2017 Award Recipient


Madeline Palkovitz

PHOTO:Madeline Palkovitz
  • Completed a 150+ hour Field Placement experience as a Victim Advocate at the Victim Witness Program in Harrisonburg, VA, a non-profilt organization that aims to reduce any trauma or confusion that the victim/witness of a crime may experience while involved in criminal justice proceedings.
  • Attended Juvenile and Domestic Relations court and observed first appearances, protective order hearings, and trials.
  • Met with victims to ascertain the details of the situation that occurred to make them seek a protective order before they went in front of the judge. Prepared victims for what to expect in court and accompanied victims to court to help alleviate their anxiety.
  • Completed a research paper on the multi-faceted impact of domestic violence on a victim and provided recommendations for how to raise awareness and provide education to victims and young women to reduce and avoid victimization.
  • Because Young women, such as college students, are frequently targets of intimate partner violence, she raised awareness and aimed to educate members of her sorority through a discussion on Intimate Partner Violence.
  • The goals of the discussion were to: 1) target an at-risk population, 2) encourage individuals to be aware that victim-blaming exists and ensure that they do not contribute to it, 3) challenge members of society to be an empathetic support system to victims, 4) create awareness of additional acts of victimization individuals of intimate partner violence experience, and 5) give members of society knowledge to avoid or escape abusive relationships before they get to a point where additional victimization occurs.

2016 Award Recipient


Rebecca McCallister

PHOTO:Katherine Werner

Rebecca McCallister completed her Field Placement Capstone at The Mercy House, an organization that works to provide services to local families that are homeless, under the supervision of Mr. Jacob Russell. Rebecca served in the role of Volunteer Coordinator and was responsible for recruiting volunteers for The Mercy House’s after school program. This program is intended to offer an opportunity for homeless child residents of The Mercy House to complete homework and also engage in fun activities after school while their parents work.  However, the program had struggled to recruit volunteers who could help consistently each week and to provide structured activities for volunteers to use with the children. Rebecca took it upon herself to recruit reliable volunteers for the afterschool program, and made sure that volunteers were scheduled for every day of the week during the semester. Rebecca then spent the majority of her time creating activities for the program – she ultimately created 144 distinct activities so that volunteers would be able to engage children in a different activity every single day during the academic year. Rebecca then, without being asked to do so, took the initiative to organize a fundraiser to collect craft supplies for the activities that she had created. Unsurprisingly, she earned the highest praise from her supervisor for her work during fall 2015. Rebecca also excelled academically during her Field Placement experience. As part of this this work, Rebecca conducted a literature review examining the ways in which poverty can contribute to instability in children’s lives, and argued for the importance of finding innovative ways to create stability under such circumstances. The paper concluded with ideas for providing structured mentoring programs for children who are homeless, much like the after school program she brought structure and stability to at The Mercy House. Rebecca will be attending the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at James Madison University in fall 2017, and will undoubtedly have much more to contribute to others both during and after pursuit of her graduate degree.