Loyola University Maryland


2018 Psychology Department Awards

At the conclusion of yet another academic year at Loyola, the Psychology Department had the pleasure of recognizing several of our students across programs for their outstanding contributions.


We are delighted to award Faith Shank the Psychology Department’s 2018 Magis Award in Service. Faith was nominated by Dr. Theresa DiDonato for her exceptional commitment and consistent dedication to the field of Psychology and Loyola’s Psychology Department. During her undergraduate career, Faith has assumed multiple leadership roles in our Department, including serving as a Student Representative for the Undergraduate Program Committee. In addition, Faith has assumed leadership positions in both Psychology Club and Psi Chi.  For Psychology Club, she was the Public Relations leader as a sophomore, Co-President as a junior, and currently serves as Psychology Club President.  In addition, Faith was the treasurer of Psi Chi her junior year and is currently the President. That’s right – Faith is the President of two major student organizations within our department. This award recognizes Faith for her outstanding contributions to the vibrancy of our undergraduate program and for her efforts to support and enhance the experiences of our Psychology majors.

Casie Morgan was nominated not once, but twice for the Psychology Department’s 2018 Magis Award in Research. Of Casie, Dr. Carlucci notes an exceptional research acumen, that appeared in numerous ways when Casie took Research Methods II with Dr. Carlucci. Casie took a clear leadership role in each phase of the project, took a lead at presenting the work at the USRSC (and winning the poster competition that year) and is now restricting the paper into a publishable manuscript.  Casie assisted Dr Barry in a Spring 2016 volunteer experience and then a 1-credit Research practicum in Fall 2016.  She describes Casie as instrumental in the work conducted, and stated “in my 16 years as a faculty member, Casie is by far the top undergraduate student with whom I’ve worked with at Loyola. She is extremely engaged in learning, cognitively flexible, possesses strong analytical thinking skills, and shows tremendous initiative, but also openness to feedback in a non-defensive manner. She’s simply been a dream to work with.” For these reasons and for all her potential to contribute to our field as a researcher, we are delighted to give this award to Casie.

We congratulate Dana Sauro for receiving the Psychology Department’s 2018 Magis Award in Service. Dana was nominated by Dr. Beth Kotchick for her outstanding contributions to the department and Loyola first as vice-president and then as a two-term president of Loyola’s chapter of Active Minds. Dana’s dedication to the mission of the national organization is evident in all that she does. She has attended and presented at multiple Active Minds conferences, was named to the Student Advisory Committee of Active Minds last year, and was selected in a highly competitive process to be a student intern at the national headquarters for Active Minds in Washington, DC, for the current semester. As a leader, Dana gets things done in a way that is inclusive, collaborative, and always serves the best interests of the organization and the people it supports. Says Dr. Aaron Barnes, a co-moderator of Active Minds, “Dana’s passion has helped inspire countless Loyola students to participate in the important work of mental health education and stigma reduction. I consider Dana’s efforts in these areas paramount to the health and well-being of our students and I look forward to the day when Dana will be a colleague in our field.”  For these reasons and her tireless commitment to promoting inclusivity, open-mindedness, and justice, we proudly recognize Dana with this award. 

The Psychology Department recognized Michael Di Bianca with the Senior Achievement Award in Psychology during the 2018 Achievement Weekend awards ceremony. He is featured in this photo along with the Magis Award winners (from left to right): Faith Shank, Casie Morgan, Michael Di Bianca, and Dana Sauro (use picture IMG_3317).


Jacob Schmitz is the 2018 recipient of the Doctoral Medal for Excellence in Psychology. He successfully served as a graduate clinician at the Loyola Clinical Centers, and then as externs at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, as well as the Woodburne Center. While at Loyola he became a registered psychological associate, and has completed additional training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. He has also worked at Trellis Services providing in home-services to a client and their family. He is currently completing his predoctoral internship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Childhood providing both therapy and assessments for a diverse range of clients. For scholarship, he played major role in conducting a research project that evaluated a mindfulness-based intervention in Baltimore city high school students. He also served as a coauthor in another manuscript from this project, which is currently under review. In terms of excellence in service, Jacob served as the student representative to the Doctoral Program Committee, a teaching assistant for an undergraduate research methods class, and was the Membership Co-Chair for the Maryland Psychological Association for Graduate Students where he helped to increase the focus on service and diversity events. Lastly, he has been engaged in the larger Baltimore community, serving as a member of the Charles North Cooperative Garden, where he designed and led a mindfulness in the garden activity for a local youth summer camp. He also conducted a walking meditation workshop at the Safe House of Hope, a non-profit organization that provides services to survivors of domestic human trafficking. Jacob has been a tremendous asset to our program, the field of psychology, and the larger Baltimore community, and is, therefore, most deserving of this medal.

Tori Kovelman

Tori Kovelman

Tori credits Loyola for developing her as a leader, advocate, and change agent for her students, school, and the system