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CES doctoral intern Mawule Sevon named Devereux’s 2023 Savin Scholar Award winner


Devereux Center for Effective Schools doctoral intern Mawule Sevon, M.A., NCSP, BCBA, was recently selected as Devereux’s 2023 Savin Scholar Award recipient for her research study examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on preschoolers.

Devereux Center for Effective Schools doctoral intern Mawule Sevon, M.A., NCSP, BCBA, was recently selected as Devereux’s 2023 Savin Scholar Award recipient for her research study examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on preschoolers.

Each year, Devereux’s Institute of Clinical and Professional Training and Research (ICPTR) presents the Savin Scholar Award to a health service psychology intern who proposes a research study/program evaluation that is regarded as “exemplary.” Proposals must meet four criteria related to: 1) innovation, 2) quality, 3) feasibility and 4) consistency with Devereux’s Advanced Philosophy of Care.

As the 2023 Savin Scholar, Sevon will receive up to $1,500 to conduct her study and a $500 cash award. She will receive an additional travel stipend if her study is accepted for presentation at a conference within the next year.

“We want to congratulate Mawule on receiving this year’s Savin Scholar Award,” said Devereux Health Service Psychology Director of Internship Training Laura Rutherford, Ph.D., NCSP, BCBA, who oversees the intern research projects. “While there were many exceptional proposals, Mawule’s really stood out. Her study has the potential to provide educators with critical information about the pandemic’s impact on young children, and identify effective ways to support their social and emotional skill development.”

Sevon noted that upon receiving the award, she was filled with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment.

“What an incredible privilege to be recognized for my academic achievements,” she shared. “As someone who is passionate about learning more about early childhood development, and how we can best support the social and emotional health of young children, I am excited about the opportunity to deepen my research and knowledge in these areas.”

Examining the impact of COVID-19

Sevon’s research study, titled “Using the eDECA-P2 to examine the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on preschoolers,” will analyze how the pandemic has affected the social and emotional well-being of young children, using the Devereux Center for Resilient Children’s (DCRC) web-based, Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Preschoolers, Second Edition (e-DECA-P2). The e-DECA-P2 is a strength-based assessment and planning system designed to promote resilience in children.

“Research shows that a child’s social and emotional skill development is closely linked to their educational outcomes later in life. By studying the effects of the pandemic on this critical aspect of early childhood development, our research aims to provide valuable insights for educators,” Sevon explained. “I decided on this topic because COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of people worldwide, particularly on young children who are still in the very early stages of development. As someone who has worked in early childhood education for several years, I recognize the importance of preschool educational experiences for children’s future success in academic and social settings.”

Next steps…

Sevon expects to complete her research study by May and present her findings at Devereux’s annual intern research presentation.

Sevon said, “I hope my research will contribute to building a better understanding of the effects of the pandemic on young children, and inform efforts to support their growth and development.”

Learn more about Devereux’s doctoral internships in health service psychology.


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