Counseling Psychology Students Win Award for Casa De Los Soles Program

By Purnell T. Cropper | May 14, 2010

Students in Arcadia’s master’s program in Counseling Psychology were selected as this year’s recipient of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association Community Service Project award for a program developed with Casa De Los Soles and the Mexican Consulate.

The graduate students who participated, along with faculty adviser Dr. Sharon Flicker and student team leader Oscar Escobar, are: Brittany Baker, Cristen Fitzgerald, Rachel Shor, and Jennifer Wiggins.

In 2009, Spanish-speaking representatives from the team began working with Cristina Perez, the Latino Community Outreach Manager at Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), coordinating a program between Casa De Los Soles, a community base organization, and the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia.

The program that emerged consisted of an optional psycho-educational program for patrons of the Mexican Consulate waiting for their documentation. The psycho-educational group sessions are conducted by Latino volunteers from Casa De Los Soles under the guidance of Cristina Perez, crossing language barriers with the collaboration of co-facilitators and team members. Their brochure, “Understanding Sexual Harassment in the Work Place” provides an overview of the session objectives. It addresses types of sexual harassment, common reactions, and ways to aid a victim as well as an individual’s lawful rights and resources.

Arcadia’s Counseling Psychology department will have lasting positive impact as the program continues. Since the program began in November 2009, volunteers from Casa De Los Soles are noticing the benefits of the program. It seems to be facilitating a greater understanding of sexual harassment and fostering trust among the Latino community and the help services organizations.