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March 2009 issue | Volume 2, Issue 6 Latest Information | Issue Archives | Unsubscribe
Suzanne Woodward Joins The Department

The Deparment of Psychology is pleased to announce that Dr. Suzanne Woodward will be joining the department for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years. Dr. Woodward earned her PhD at City College, New York in the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, and was, for many years, Director of Clinical Sleep Rearch in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University in Detroit. Since 2002, Dr. Woodward has enjoyed a "second career" as a generalist pscyhology professor, having taught in several Psychology departments in the southeast, including Rollins College 2002-2004. Dr. Woodward will cover Cognitive Psychology and Introduction To Psychology during Dr. Queen's sabbatical. Dr. Woodward will also offer her "Sleep, Dreams, and Behavior" course next year. Dr. Woodward is currently teaching and doing research with students at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and looks forward to continuing research with students at Rollins College. Dr. Woodward may even rival Dr. St. John in Gator fandom - she's an avid sports fan and grew up near the Swamp in Gainesville.
Dr. Ray Returns From Brazil
Dr. Roger Ray spent 11 days during the 2009 Spring Break visiting universities and colleagues in Brazil. He presented three-hour workshops at five Brazilian Universities in four cities, including the Universidade de Brasília, Universidade Federal de São João Del Rei, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Pontifícia Universidade Católica-PUC/SP-Campus, Perdizes in São Paulo, and Universidade Mackenzie in São Paulo. Dr. Ray, his wife, and Dr. David Eckerman, a colleague from UNC-Chapel Hill, drove 1200 miles during their professional visit. His workshops focused on artificially intelligent virtual teaching and laboratory systems for internet-delivered education. In addition, Dr. Ray met in Brasilia with the Assistant Minister of Science and Technology and Universidade de Brasília faculty concerning Brazilian plans for publishing a book they are editing at Universidade de Brasília entitled Virtual Experimentation in Psychology: Using CyberRat to Teach Research Skills. Dr. Ray has been invited to contribute a chapter for the book detailing the theoretical foundations of his development of CyberRat, an internet-enabled virtual animal laboratory simulation system.
Psychology Debuts New Website
The Psychology Deparment's website recently got a facelift. While the look of the website will likely change again in conjunction with the new look of the Rollins College website's front page, we wanted to alert you to some new content which is now available. The front page contains the Department's new mission statement, which was adopted in the Spring, 2008. The menu contains quick links to our major and minor maps, as well as to the archives of Shrink Rap. The Student Resources page, which formerly contained some outdated links, has recently been updated. This is the place to find helpful information about careers in psychology, graduate school applications (including Dr. Richard's legendary Clinical Psychology Survival Guide), and opportunities for research and internships (including information on becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst). In the future, we hope to include up to date information on activities within the department. The website is yours as much as ours; Dr. St. John is happy to accept suggestions - if you've found helpful websites, we may be able to link to them from the Student Resources page.
Course Offering: Advanced Developmental
Why do children experience conflict in their peer relationships? Why are some children accepted and some rejected by peers? How do children select friends? In what ways are children’s friendships and peer relationships associated with their psychological adjustment in elementary school? How do these peers experiences differ for girls and boys? For the past several decades, psychologists have studied the ways in which children develop relationships among their peers and the effects of these interpersonal experiences on social and academic adjustment. This vibrant area of psychology has revealed numerous interesting findings about the importance of peer experiences to children’s development. We will address these and related questions in PSY 474: Advanced Developmental Psychology taught by Dr. Davidson in Fall 2009. In this course, students will also become familiar with relevant research methodology in the study of peer relations. In addition, students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to collect and code narrative data from children in an elementary school in Orlando. Prerequisite: PSY 328. Course offered TR 9:30 - 10:45 / TR 11:00 - 12:15.
Course Offering: Environmental Psychology
Environmental psychologists study the relationship between people and the physical environment (i.e., both built and natural settings). For example, did you know that:
• being in nature, or even viewing nature, can reduce stress and have a positive impact on your health?
• you are likely to judge a route as longer if it contains more turns, regardless of actual distance?
• children who live in noisy home settings tend to perform more poorly at school and are more likely to give up when trying to solve difficult problems?
• moderate levels of heat increase aggression while high levels of heat decrease aggression?
• a disproportionate number of minorities and disadvantaged groups are exposed to environmental hazards (e.g., pollution creating industry), a phenomenon labeled "environmental racism"?
• freshman dormitory decorations can help predict who will drop out of college by the end of the first year?
• homes with greater amounts of exterior decoration are less likely to be burglarized?
• students living in crowded dormitories express less liking for others, are less helpful, and have more difficulty performing complex and cooperative tasks?
• urban environments, compared to smaller towns, are associated with higher levels of stress, lower levels of prosocial behavior, and higher per-capita crime rates?
• if your house is messy, guests may view you as less agreeable, intelligent, conscientious, and emotionally stable?
• environmental psychologists have spent over 40 years applying psychological principles in an effort to increase pro-environmental behaviors?
If you find this kind of stuff interesting, consider registering for PSY 315K-1 Topic: Environmental Psychology, TR 9:30-10:45, Fall Semester 2009.
Research Poster Session Upcoming
Join us on Friday, April 24 at 2pm in the Johnson Center lounge for the Annual Research Poster Session. Students engaged in independent study and senior thesis research will be describing their work in a conference-style poster session. Not only is this a great way to support your fellow pscyhology peers, it is also a great way to learn about the kinds of research projects being carried out in the department. Refreshments will be provided. Email Dr. St. John if you would like to participate in the session.
Despite the impressions of many people, death by suicide is considerably more common than death by homicide in the United States. According to the Centers For Disease control, the sucidide rate among adults in the U.S. during 2002-2004 was 14.2 per 100,000; for homicide, 7.2 per 100,000. The homicide rate is slightly higher than the suicide rate for the age group 18-24, but the suicide rate is considerably higher than the homicide rate for adults 45 and older.
Dr. John Houston has recently developed a passion for the hobby of craft brewing. He often bottles his home brews under the "Ivanhoe" label, in honor of a nearby lake. His brews have spanned the gamut from ales to lagers to stouts, and the word on the street is that he's a regular Sam Adams.
•3/23 - 3/27 Registration
•3/30 - 4/3 Academic advising
•4/24 Poster session
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.