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College of Science & Mathematics

37th Annual Psychology Research Conference celebrates excellence

Date: May 4, 2011


The psychology department and psychology alliance held its 37th annual psychology research conference on April 20th. The conference recognized students' academic accomplishments and research.

Both graduate and undergraduate students presented their research through paper and poster presentations. Under the guidance of faculty, students researched topics including depressive illnesses, behavioral interventions, how people think about the future, behavior-environment relations and mental and physical health consequences of traumatic stress.

Juniors Sarah Heber and James Castorina along with professor Thomas Dinzeo researched schizotypy, which is associated with less severe symptoms and deficits than schizophrenia. They found that students who report high symptoms of schizotypy have higher GPAs and are less socially engaged than students who report low symptoms.

Graduate student Ashley Williams investigated whether or not caregivers reading bedtime stories to children affects the children's reading ability in later years. While she did not find a significant difference at this time, Williams hopes to continue studying this topic by testing more students and considering other factors such as environment and socio-economic status.  

This year, the department honored Giovanni Huaccamayta with the Medallion Award in Psychology. Huaccamayta also won the James M. Lynch, Jr. Courage in Adversity Award for earning high academic achievements while overcoming hardships. Laura Grossi was given the Dean's Senior Recognition Award for the psychology department for her contributions in the classroom, laboratory and the Rowan community.

The department also recognized the psychology alliance and applied behavior analysis club executive boards. Forty-six students were inducted into Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.