Prem Sebastian Prem was previously studying counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) before being attracted to ACU for its recognition in the health industry. Being granted credits for previous studies was also a bonus to embarking into psychology at ACU. When asked about his future career aspirations, Prem says he would like "to stay at ACU for a few more years and complete a doctorate in education psychology."
Winning the 2012 Peter W. Sheehan Award is an achievement. "It adds some motivation to keep up my efforts. The prize will let me cut back on hours at my job leading up to exams, without stressing about finances," he says. He encourages eligible students to apply for the award, even if they don't have high expectations about being successful, as they have nothing to lose.
CarlyJade Rovers "I chose to study psychology at ACU because having studied nursing here previously, I knew the small campus size and committed staff was a perfect combination to help me achieve my goal of becoming a psychologist. The university's concern for justice, equity and dignity for all people and commitment to provide quality education made ACU my first preference for tertiary education.
My most challenging experience while studying at ACU continues to be the constant juggling act between my studies, raising my three year old daughter and renovating our home, whilst maintaining a healthy family, social and spiritual life. With a very understanding husband and supportive family, I have been given a wonderful opportunity in returning to study with the hope of making a significant contribution to society.
My future career aspirations involve working in community mental health to gain a broad range of experience in the field of psychology and provide the best assistance I can to those in need. I am particularly interested in the area of adolescent mental health and I would love to one day have the expertise to devise and introduce a state-wide program for secondary school students. The program would be aimed at self-awareness, communication and dispute resolution skills to help students gain some insight and perspective in the tumultuous period of adolescence and to decrease rates of bullying, early school leaving, family breakdown and subsequent mental health problems.
For me, the Peter W. Sheehan Award means an opportunity to gain as much as I can from my studies at ACU. I was able to use the award to complete a unit of psychological services experience at the Catholic, not-for-profit welfare organisation, Centacare Gippsland. I am very grateful that I was given that opportunity. I gained so much from it both personally and professionally and hope to use my experience in the future to contribute to the education and psychological health of adolescents.
My advice to prospective students wishing to apply for the Award would be to stay committed to your values, no matter how hard it might be at times. Opportunities come and go, and life will throw its inevitable curve balls, but if you stay true to what you believe in and work towards what is truly important to you, the rewards will speak for themselves."
Rachael Wynne "I chose to study psychology because I am interested in how the brain functions, how we think, feel and behave; and the implications of trauma on those functions. I chose ACU for my psychology degree because, in contrast to large, impersonal universities, ACU offers me the opportunity to engage closely with the teaching staff who have always offered me their support throughout my degree.
My most challenging experience while studying at ACU was writing my first psychology lab report.
My future career aspirations are to complete by Honours degree and start my research in Cognitive Psychology to gain a PhD.
For me, the Peter W. Sheehan Award means recognition of the hard work I have invested in my studies over the last three years. It also inspires me to continue with this level of commitment into my Honours and then PhD programs.
My advice to prospective students wishing to apply for the Award is to persist in your studies to obtain the highest level possible and to take advantage of the support and guidance offered by the wonderful staff here at ACU
My heartfelt thanks go to all of my lecturers and tutors here at ACU for encouraging me and inspiring me to continue in the field of psychology. I would also like to thank Peter W. Sheehan for his ongoing support of the ACU School of Psychology and its students."
Note: From 2013 the Peter W. Sheehan Award is known as the Peter W. Sheehan Scholarship