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 Northwestern Psychology Students of the Year Announced 

Hillary Hurst and Rafaela Avila were selected by faculty members of the Psychology Department to receive the Psychology Students of the Year Award.

This award is given to two outstanding students majoring in psychology. The criteria for selection include grade point average, field related activities, classroom participation and potential of continued success.

Hillary Hurst

Hurst currently attends the Alva campus and is a starter on the Lady Ranger Basketball team. She attended Oral Roberts University before transferring to Northwestern.

“Hurst wrote one of the most comprehensive and detailed research studies I have had in my Experimental Psychology course,” said Dr. Stephanie Widick, assistant professor of psychology. “Her research was related to ACL surgery and resilience. Her participation in class is beneficial to the entire class. She can think about the abstract areas and offers a different understanding of the material some may not see.”

Hurst’s instructors believe her potential for further success is high. She is currently preparing for the LSAT and applying to law school.

Rafaela Avila

Avila attended the Enid campus and she graduated in May 2020. She was an active leader and participant in the Enid Leadership Council and Enid Psychology Club. Avila was an excellent representative for Northwestern as the Rotary Student of the Month.

“She consistently displayed exemplary levels of scholarship and service,” said Taylor Randolph, professor of psychology. “While balancing the demands of work, education and family, Rafaela achieved a high grade point average.”

She was accepted into the Master of Counseling Psychology graduate program at Northwestern. She plans to become a licensed professional counselor. Her instructors believe she will fare well in this profession given her academic skill, cultural heritage and passion for helping others. 


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