Dr. Dalia Ruiz Receives the 2016 Distinguished Graduate Award

Dr. Dalia Ruiz has been awarded Antioch University Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Graduate Award for 2016.

Dr. Ruiz graduated from the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) at AUSB in 2015. Since then, Dr. Ruiz has been finishing her post-doctoral internship, worked in the Latino Outreach Program of San Luis Obispo County, and provides education on mental health issues to Latinos in her hometown of Santa Maria. She recently has secured a contract starting in the fall with a local high school district to implement her treatment and program throughout the schools.

“Attending Antioch laid the foundation for lifelong learning, nurtured my passion for research and education, and developed my confidence as an effective speaker,” Dr. Ruiz said. “The skills I learned at Antioch have served to help me speak with power, passion and purpose.”

As this year’s honoree, Dr. Ruiz will be making remarks at a reception for AUSB scholarship and grant recipients on Monday, May 9 as well as a speech at the 2016 Commencement on Monday, June 20.

As for what she refers to as “spare time,” Dr. Ruiz is also developing an impressive reputation as a scholar. Since her graduation in 2015, she has presented papers at three different conferences in Thailand, Egypt, and Peru. Her research includes the teen birth crisis in Guatemala; torture, trauma, and mental health treatment trends; and trauma treatment among Latino children. Dr. Ruiz has also developed a treatment manual aimed at culturally competent practice with Latino children and their caregivers, which is presented in both English and Spanish and is currently under review for publication.

Her development as a Practitioner and Scholar is no doubt the reason she received nomination by the PsyD faculty. In honoring Dr. Ruiz, AUSB also honors her faculty for their excellence as practitioners and scholars, and as the educators who have guided and mentored her.

“As AUSB’s president, I had the pleasure of calling Dr. Ruiz to tell her that she was our 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award,” said Dr. Nancy Leffert. “She told me how surprised she was because she is ‘just starting out.’ Starting out she might be, but I expect we will be hearing a lot about her in the future.”

Posted on May 4, 2016

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