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Cherish Heard

Cherish Heard

Cherish Heard, from Morgantown, will graduate Summa Cum Laude with a degree in psychology and minors in Spanish and sociology. She serves as a member of the Gerontological Society of America and Society of Pediatric Psychology, and a student affiliate with the American Psychological Association and Gerontological Society of America.

As a first-generation student, she has also served as a student worker in the WVU Campus and Community Life and helps students overcome challenges in research through tutoring them in psychology, sociology, biology, and Spanish as a peer mentor in the Student Support Services Trio Program.

Heard describes her time as a teaching assistant in the Psychology Department as one of her most rewarding experiences of her undergraduate career. Here she developed better teaching strategies to promote deeper learning and help students develop the skills necessary to succeed.

After volunteering with the Appalachian Prison Book Project, she enrolled in the WVU Department of Sociology and Anthropology Inside-Out Prison Exchange, a program that brings college students together with incarcerated men and women to study as peers—humanizing the incarcerated and their issues. She describes the completion of this program as a positive, illuminating experience that she will never forget.

As a research assistant in the pediatric psychology lab, she has helped organize data collection and recruited family members of pediatric patients from the WVU Medicine Children’s Infusion Center to participate in a study examining the efficacy of brief educational intervention targeting caregiver views and knowledge of pediatric palliative care.

She is also currently involved in a study evaluating factors contributing to gut-specific anxiety in pediatric patients with Celiac disease.

After graduation, Heard plans to pursue her doctorate degree in clinical psychology with a specialization in child health/pediatrics and ultimately work with marginalized populations who experience mental health concerns and barriers to healthcare.