Valerie Sherman, a first-year graduate student in the Specialist in School Psychology program, has been awarded the Audrey J. Grupe Fellowship in School Psychology.

Originally from Lincolnwood, Illinois, Sherman completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois in 2019, where she majored in clinical psychology and minored in Spanish. During her time at U of I, she worked at Crisis Nursery, serving children up to 7 years old.

Sherman chose Illinois State University because she felt the School Psychology program put a strong emphasis on multicultural competence and the faculty had very diverse research interests, allowing for exposure to differing perspectives and expertise.

In the future, she hopes to work as a school psychologist with at-risk populations, serving as an agent of change in the lives of students. Sherman is also interested in providing services in the community for children and families, such as academic assessment and learning interventions. “I love children and hope to one day be able to positively contribute to their academic, social/emotional, and behavioral development,” said Sherman.

The Audrey J. Grupe Fellowship in School Psychology was established and funded by gifts from Audrey J. Grupe and Mary Jane McCarthy, to recognize the financial aid they received while pursuing their degrees and to commemorate their professional careers. They wish to help fellowship recipients, from their home states, earn graduate degrees in school psychology so that the recipients might provide services to children and their families in a school setting. Applicants who accept admission to the specialist program in School Psychology and hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in Illinois or Indiana are automatically considered eligible for the Grupe Fellowship.