Bookmark and Share

KU Graduate Student Given Highmark Award

August 26, 2014


KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Reading-native Tara Elliot, a third-year mental health counseling master's degree candidate at KU, is the winner of the 2014 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's (PASSHE) Highmark Graduate Award. The $725 award, which is presented to one graduate student at each PASSHE university, recognizes achievement in a health-related field.


"The quality of Tara's work has always gone above and beyond what is required," said Dr. Joanne Cohen Hamilton, associate professor of counseling at KU. "She takes assignments to the next level. From the very beginning of her studies here, she has achieved outstanding performance. Tara has a very well-rounded orientation in terms of research, theory and practice, as exemplified by her class contributions, research assignments, involvement in extracurricular activities and participation in professional development opportunities. The counseling faculty has unanimously viewed her work as exceptional."


In 2013, Elliot presented her research on yoga as an evidence-based technique at the PASSHE Graduate Research Conference, and in 2014 presented a meta-analysis of yoga as a therapeutic technique for survivors of domestic violence at the Eastern Psychological Association conference. In spring 2014, Elliot participated in the Berks Women in Crisis (BWIC) 63-hour domestic violence and sexual assault advocate training. This summer, she served as a volunteer for BWIC's main office and as a victim advocate at the Children's Alliance Center of Berks County.


On campus, Elliot has been actively involved with the Graduate Reading Department, as their graduate assistant, and as a test administrator for the Stratton Computer Testing Center.


In the future, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and counsel survivors of trauma.