Dr. Powell’s Research Lab at SRCD Conference 2019

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The second part of the blog posts discussing the students and professors who traveled to Baltimore on March 21st through 23rd to present research at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Conference, this post will focus on Dr. Powell’s Research Lab.

Students and professors presented research through six different poster presentations, as well as one essay presentation that was part of a symposium. Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell presented one poster together, titled “Variations on a Lifespan Development Project Intended to Enhance Quality of Student Outcomes and Reflection of Reality.”  Dr. Buchholz’s and Dr. FVN’s labs collaborated to present their work on “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”

The students who traveled include: Taylor Kracht ’18 (alumna; Dr. Powell’s lab), Cody Dillon-Owens ’19 (worked with both Dr. FVN and Dr. Buchholz; officially part of Dr. Buchholz’s lab), Aislinn Foutz ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Kiah Coflin ’19 (Dr. Powell’s lab), Ciprianna Azar ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Rachel Harmon ’20 (Dr. Powell’s lab) , and Alaina Birkel ’21 (Dr. Powell’s lab).

Descriptions of the presentations have been included to learn more about the types of research the two labs are doing.

Left to right: Dr. Powell. Alaina Birkel, and Taylor Kracht

Dr. Powell’s Research Lab


Dr. Powell: 

The first disciplinary conference that I attended was SRCD during my senior year of college. I was not presenting that year, but rather I tagged along with the faculty member and graduate students with whom I was working. I am very appreciative that Roanoke College also supports undergraduates to attend and present at disciplinary conferences! Hearing the students enthusiastically discuss the scholars they heard from and the ideas it provoked related to their research between sessions and over group dinners is exactly why I encourage my research assistants to attend a disciplinary conference.

SRCD’s biennial conference is quite large and so it can be difficult choosing between sessions to attend, as so many overlap at a single time. However, I was able to attend several that are related to my research agenda as well as a few related to topics that I teach in my Life-Span and Child Development courses. Another thing that I make it a point to do at conferences is to reconnect with colleagues. My Alma mater, WVU, hosted a social for current students and alumni of their developmental program, and I was able to grab lunch with a few other colleagues. It was enjoyable catching up with them and updating each other on the status of our careers.

Left to right: Dr. Powell, Rachel Harmon, and Kiah Coflin

Kiah Coflin ’19: 

This year’s biennial SRCD conference was held at the Baltimore convention center and it was huge! I have attended a poster presentation before, but my expectations were exceeded by SRCD, its number of intriguing speakers and talk topics, and its overall expanse across the convention center. It was certainly unique to see so many approaches to childhood and development, and an incredible experience to network with other students, professors, and scholars!

Personally, I presented a poster with my fellow lab mate, Rachel Harmon, on preliminary data exploring the impact of short-term, study-abroad programs on the Intercultural Competencies (ICCs) of Emerging Adults (EAs)… AKA I got to talk about my amazing May Term! We discussed the changes my May Term class perceived in our ICCs from a month before our trip, the middle of our trip, and a week after we returned. Our poster was well received and many were interested in how the data collection will progress when Dr. Powell continues to bring more students on future May Terms to Thailand!

Who says conferences can’t be fun? – Left to right: Kiah Coflin, Rachel Harmon, Alaina Birkel, and Dr. Powell


Overall, there were three posters presented from this lab, though one was presented by Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell.

This particular poster was presented at the “Developmental Teaching Institute pre-conference on possible modifications to the life-span paper project.”

Left to right: Dr. Powell and Dr. FVN

The other two posters were presented by students and Dr. Powell. As mentioned above, Kiah Coflin, Dr. Powell, and Rachel Harmon discussed their findings in conjunction with Dr. Nipat Pichayayothin of Chulalongkorn University “on the development of students’ intercultural competencies” during their May Term course to Thailand in 2017.

The other poster was presented by Taylor Kracht (an alumna, now studying at William & Mary), and Alaina Birkel, who presented a poster based on Kracht’s “Honors in the Major project at the conference on how emerging adults’ implicit theories of relationships can be modified after watching certain types of romantic media.”




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