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April 2008 issue | Volume 1, Issue 2 Latest Information | Issue Archives | Unsubscribe
Psychology Research Poster Session

On Friday, April 25, the Psychology Deparment hosted its annual Research Poster Session during which psychology students showcased their research. Nine posters decorated the Johnson Center Lobby, and included research from seniors and juniors. Topics ranged from the taste perceptions of transgenic mice to the development of artistic abilities of pre-school children to the effectiveness of computerized instuction. The festivities also included presentation of the senior awards: four designations given annually to acknowledge psychology majors whose academic, lab, community, and clinical work demanded special recognition. More information on the awards and award winners are included in this newsletter. Approximately 60 students, faculty, and other college citizens attended the session.
Who's speaking? You, or your slide?
by Dr. St. John
In: Writing and Presentation Tips
Senior Awards Announced
Awards to seniors in psychology were announced at the Research Poster Session. The Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in Psychology was awarded to Lauren Starcher. Lauren had the highest GPA of seniors in Psychology and demonstrated strong academic performance in a wide range of pscyhology classes. Lauren's academic accomplishments are complementary to her athletic ones: this season Lauren started 49 games for the Rollins softball team (batting .275 and anchoring the middle infield). The Outstanding Research Award in Psychology went to Erin Krauskopf who received honors in the major for her senior thesis on the taste perception of transgenic mice. In addition to this work, Erin participated in the research of Dr. Ray, Dr. St. John, and Dr. Richard, and co-authored a chapter with Dr. Houston and Rollins student Julia Humphrey. The Outstanding Service Award in Psychology was awarded to Dani Picard, for her dedicated work as a psychology tutor (for multiple classes), contributions to the Psychology Club, and her service as an officer of Psi Chi. Her dedication to the Psychology Department is particularly impressive given that Dani double-majored in Psychology and History, with strong academic, research, and service records in each department. Finally, Anya Marshall (pictured, left) was presented the James D. Upson Award in Psychology for her work with autistic children at Quest, Inc. In addition to making herself indispensible to that organization, Anya is a campus leader and a recipient of honors in the major. A first-hand description of her community work is included in this newsletter.
Quest Kids by Anya Marsall
I began my relationship with a very special child at the Child Development Center, here on the Rollins College campus. I took the Learning class with Dr. Maria Ruiz during my sophomore year and immediately was drawn into everything we learned about. My favorite part of the class was the section on autism. Following my completion of learning, I enrolled in Dr.Ruiz's Applied Behavior Analysis class. The class taught us the basics of the childhood disorder autism as well as the field of Behavior Analysis. Last semester, when I enrolled in Developmental Psychology, Dr. Sharon Carnahan asked me if I would work with an autistic child at the Child Development Center during our lab portion of the class. I was introduced to Brandon at the beginning of the semester. Brandon is non-vocal but at that point in time had approximately 70 signs that he used for communication with adults. It became quickly apparent that I would be unable to work with him unless I myself could communicate with him. Over the course of a few weeks, I taught myself his signs. Along with the help of Dr.Carnahan and an applied behavior analyst, we set up a one-on-one working program for Brandon at the CDC. After working with him for the semester, I was attached. Brandon's mother asked me to join them as an intern at Quest Kids, where Brandon would be attending a new pre-school program for autistic children. Currently, I am serving as an intern in the classroom. I work with our two full time students daily in a one-on-one therapy setting. Seeing Brandon grow and learn is a blessing each day and I feel very priveledged to be a part of that. This experience that unfolded through Rollins has been enlightening and rewarding. Upon graduation, I plan to become a Physician's Assistant with a focus in pediatrics and autism. Rollins and Brandon have shaped a large part of what I want to become professionally.
Psychology With Honors
One of the most rewarding experiences one can have at college is to conduct senior research. Students get a chance to work closely with a faculty mentor and take the reigns of a research project. Modeled after master's projects in graduate school, seniors persuing Honors in the Major design, execute, analyze, and communicate results of an original research project. Over the final two weeks of the semester, the students complete a thesis and defend their work in front of a faculty committee. The process can be intimidating, but students who complete the process look back on it - justifiably so - with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. We are pleased to announce the following honors recipients:
•Amanda Frank
•Jennifer Gasparri
•Erin Kraukopf
•Ana Maia
•Anya Marshall
•Laura Milovsky (pictured, left)
•Michelle Poitras
•Elizabeth Sharp
The fine work of these students is described on the Senior Honors Research In Psychology bulletin board in the Johnson Center Lobby. We invite you to take a look! Some of this work will likely appear in the first edition of the forthcoming Rollins Journal of Undergraduate Research in Psychology: stay tuned.
Student-Faculty Summer Research Program
The Rollins College Student-Faculty Summer Research Program is a campus-wide opporunity for students to engage in summer research with a faculty mentor. Students are provided housing and a stipend. Awards are competitive; research proposals are evaluated by a faculty committee and only those judged to have potential for publication are awarded. This summer, two Psychology proposals were funded - Danielle Martin's "Salt taste in P2Y4 transgenic knockout mice" (with Dr. St. John) and Bailey MacLeod's "Parent-teen discrepencies in reports of teen posttraumatic stress symptoms" (with Dr. Richard). Students will not only conduct research, but attend weekly meetings to present their work and listen to the presentations of other summer students throughout the college. Students will also present their work in a poster session in October. In addition, several students will be conducting research with Rollins faculty members outside of the summer scholarship program. If you are interested in summer opportunities, begin talking with your professors in early spring.
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. The department would like to thank Dr. Charlie Rock and Rollins student Anya Marshall for contributions to this issue.
The father of American Psychology, William James, was the brother of famed author Henry James who wrote Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove among other well-known works. The brothers were interesting counterparts to one another. William was busy giving the European science of Psychology an American beginning, whereas Henry might have been one of America's earliest great novelist but he became a British citizen. Henry's prose focused on character study but was dense and filled with meandering sentences; William was one of psychology's greatest writers who favored a clear, lively writing style. William has been called a psychologist who wrote like a novelist, and Henry a novelist who wrote like a psychologist.
Dr. Roger Ray is an alumnus of Rollins College ('62). He is a member of the Rollins Athletic Hall of Fame for his performance on the water skiing team. Prior to enrolling, he was already a national champion with distance and points world records to his credit.
•4/29 Last day of classes (A&S)
•5/5 Last day of classes (Holt)
•5/1 - 5/6 Final exams (A&S)
•5/10 Holt commencement
•5/11 A&S commencement
•5/12 Vacate residence halls