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Rizo named Outstanding Doctoral Student

Cynthia Fraga Rizo, Ph.D. ‘13, is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Doctoral Student Award.

Rizo received a B.A. in Psychology in 2005 and an MSW in 2007, both from Florida International University. She entered our doctoral program in 2008, and completed her Ph.D. this year.

Her research interests include violence and trauma related to women, domestic violence issues specific to treatment and Hispanic populations, marital health, and alternative frameworks for understanding and treating mental illness.

“One of Cindy’s most remarkable qualities is the incredible thoroughness of her work,” wrote one of her nominators, a fellow student. “She completes every task to the best of her ability, whether it is a short class assignment, a grant proposal, or a manuscript to be submitted for publication.”

A faculty nominator said, “Cindy is always encouraging other students, and believes in collective success. She is as happy when a peer reaches a goal as when she does. As a teacher, I can see Cindy taking true pride in students’ successes, and taking the time to work with students who are struggling. I believe that her genuine interest in others’ success is one of Cindy’s many attributes that will make her an effective instructor and mentor throughout her career.”

Rizo was presented her award in May at the doctoral program graduation reception, by Dr. Sheryl Zimmerman, associate dean for doctoral education.

In July, she joins the UNC School of Social Work faculty as an assistant professor.