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February 2010 issue | Volume 3, Issue 4 Latest Information | Issue Archives | Unsubscribe
Out Of Darkness Walk Raises $40,000

The third annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk took place on February 6 at Baldwin park. Jim Payne was Master of Ceremonies, pictured at left with Vick Long, administrative assistant of the Psychology Department, who once again served on the Walk Committee and served as the Walk Coordinator. This year's event was even more successful than last year's well-attended walk, with over 700 walkers raising just short of $40,000. The money goes to the American Society for Suicide Prevention. The annual walk and The Truth About Suicide symposium that took place at Rollins College in January help to raise awareness about suicide. The walk was attended by "teams" from several local businesses and the Rollins College Chapter of Psi Chi, the Psychology Honor Society. Thanks to all of the students, faculty, and staff of Rollins College who attended or contributed to this great cause!

Rollins Psychologists Receive Grant To Study Development of Obesity
In February, Alice Davidson and Steven St. John of the Rollins Psychology Department, and Kurt Thaw from the Psychology Department at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, were awarded a $7,480 grant from the Associated Colleges of the South to study environmental factors that contribute to the development of poor eating habits. The researchers will use eating attitudes surveys, observational measures, and physiological measures to track the development of eating habits in elementary school and high school students in both Jackson, Mississippi and Orlando, Florida. The researchers hypothesize that certain aspects of the regimented eating periods in school contribute to suboptimal eating strategies, such as lack of caloric monitoring and priority of eating high-calorie, low-nutrition foods. Since most kids eat 33-67% of their weekday meals at school, the extent to which these eating strategies learned in school contribute to life-long learning habits may represent an important opportunity for manipulations designed to minimize obesity. Dr. Davidson and Dr. St. John both anticipate that the project will require several student researchers over the course of the summer and the next academic year.
Psychology Maymester Offerings
Rollins College is offering a Maymester term in Arts & Sciences for the second year in a row. The Maymester term will run from May 10-May 29; registration will take place during a special registration period in early March (March 1-7). (Fall registration starts on March 22.) This year, Dr. Martin Farkash will offer Stress Management: Hanging Loose In An Uptight World and Dr. Paul Harris will offer Social Psychology during Maymester. Dr. Harris' course carries with it the S Gen Ed designation (and may also be used to satisfy a major requirement). As with all Maymester offerings, these courses will be held depending on enrollment. For more information about Maymester, contact your academic advisor.
Academic Calendar (pdf)
The r-net story on Maymester, 2009
Psychology Senior Earns CDC Internship
Katie Profaca, a senior Psychology major, is doing an internship at the Rollins College Child Development & Student Research Center (CDC) this semester. Katie is documenting the CDCís transition to a new approach to early childhood education called Reggio Emilia, an approach that focuses on childrenís persistence at tasks, ability to develop and follow through with plans, problem solving, and emotional control. The staff at the CDC is interested in observing whether or not the Reggio Emilia approach is facilitating the development of these social-emotional and cognitive skills, as well as other essential skills for Kindergarten-readiness. Katie is conducting parent interviews, as well as observing the childrenís behavior and work at the CDC: through collecting and analyzing these data, Katieís work will be beneficial in deciding whether or not the CDC decides to continue with the Reggio Emilia approach in the future.
Curricular Changes
Several changes are coming to the Psychology schedule beginning in Fall, 2010. Personality will become a 300-level course, a long overdue change that recognizes this courses as upper-level, intensive course similar to other major requirements. Personality will still "count" towards the major in the same way that it always has (and is still an either/or option with Social Psychology). Meanwhile, Statistics and Research Methods II will be re-numbered at the 200-level; students are encouraged to take this course early in their college careers. Neuropsychology, which has been taught as a 4-credit course, will become a laboratory course beginning in Spring, 2011. The laboratory will focus on brain anatomy, neuropsychological testing, and hypothesis driven student projects. This overdue change brings the course in line with Physiological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology, two laboratory courses that are options within the major alongside Neuro. The department is also planning to initiate a wider range of 400-level options. In order to better serve our students in laboratory and capstone courses, enrollments for courses will be capped (at 18 for laboratory and 12 for 400-level). Finally, you will notice brand new courses, PSY 150 and PSY 155 which are "Perspectives In Psychology". For current majors, you can ignore these courses, but for incoming freshmen, the "Perspectives Series" will replace Intro within the major. You may also notice that some courses will have slightly different titles, tagged with prefixes (like BEH, DEV, etc.) which relate to proposed changes to the major. These changes will only effect students enrolling in the College in Fall, 2010, or those that declare a Psychology major in or after Fall, 2010. For those of you already in the major, you can ignore the prefixes and schedule these classes in the way that you always have.
Rollins Alumna Appointed To Prestigious Board
Kimberly Nix Berens, a 1997 gradutate of Rollins College, was appointed in 2009 to the State of Nevada Board of Psychological Examiners by Governor Jim Gibbon. The state of Nevada had recently passed a bill mandating insurance coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services in the treatment of autism. One of the requirements of the bill was the inclusion of a behavior analyst on the Board. Dr. Behrens has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 1997 and is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nevada-Reno.
DID YOU KNOW?
Tactile-visual sensory substitution is an emerging technology that may permit some blind individuals to substitute touch for sight. The technology, developed in part by University of Wisconsin researcher Paul Bach y Rita, takes an image from a video camera and translates it into vibrations on the abdomen or tingles on the surface of the tongue. People wearing the device quickly learn to avoid obstacles, catch things thrown at them, and identify people and objects, as if by sight.
FACULTY FACT
Dr. Regis Magyar, a frequent contributor to the Rollins College Hamilton Holt Psychology and Organizational Behavior programs, earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at the University of Florida. He applied his psychology training to the then emerging science of human factors and ergonomics, consulting and researching for large businesses such as AT&T, Fujitsu Networking, and International Business Machines (IBM). Much of his early work contributed to the design of the standard computer keyboard, and later to the design of efficient user interfaces for cellular telephones.
•3/1-7 Maymester enrollment
•3/6-14 Spring Break
•3/22-26 Fall, 2010 pre-registration
•3/26 WF Deadline (drop w/o penalty)
•3/29-4/2 Advising week
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE
Shrink Rap is an email publication of the Rollins College Department of Psychology. This issue can also be found online. The newsletter is sent monthly during the academic year to Psychology majors and minors in A&S and Holt, students in A&S psychology classes, psychology faculty and staff, and friends of the department.