University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Inducted into Prestigious Honor Society

Marissa Alert, a graduate student at the University of Miami (UM) College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology, was inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Alert is one of 86 graduates from 12 academic institutions that were inducted into the society. The induction was announced during the 13th Annual Bouchet Conference on Diversity at Yale University.
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“It’s been a great opportunity to network and meet other students who are going through the same process,” said Alert, who is a native from Guyana. Her family moved to New York when she was nine years old, and Alert grew up in Boston.


A fifth-year clinical health psychology student, Alert will graduate next year with her doctorate in psychology. Her dissertation focuses on sedentary behavior in young people, from adolescents to adulthood; she wishes to see whether sedentary behavior is increasing or decreasing.

Alert has been a member of the Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART) since 2012. For a week, Alert and other SART members are on call for any student who may wish to report a sexual assault, or seek more information and support about these issues.  

“Marissa possesses a firm commitment to academic excellence and serving others,” said Professor Patrice Saab of the Health Division in the Psychology Department. “Her unwavering desire to make significant contributions to the field of psychology and her continued involvement in her community are a testament to the promise she shows as a leader and catalyst for change.”

In July, Alert will participate in a clinical internship at Brown University for one year. She will be working at the Alpert Medical School working with patients diagnosed with various health conditions and providing psychological support to patients.

“I see myself seeing patients and also continuing research,” said Alert. “I like focusing a lot more on developing interventions that can be sustainable in the community.”

The Bouchet Graduate Honor Society accepts only a special group of doctoral students and post-doctoral individuals who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and advocacy in their communities. UM President Julio Frenk delivered the keynote address at the conference, where he later presented the Bouchet Leadership Medal for his leadership, service and advocacy during his career in global health.

The honor society and the conference are named after Edward Alexander Bouchet, a man who broke many barriers in the world of academia. He was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from an American university in physics in 1876.


May 10, 2016