All posts by knhunt

How to Finesse Finals Week


It is that time of the year again: Finals! Albeit much earlier in the year, next week marks the finish line for the fall semester. This is both a very exciting and stressful time because you are so close, but you may have so much more left to do.

A few days ago, we reached out to students on Instagram to ask how they prepared for finals. We received some great advice such as “Prioritizing sleep and eating over late-night study cramming” and “Organizing printed notes and making physical notecards”.

Keep reading for more helpful advice about stress management and how to succeed during finals next week!College-wide events:

Yoga for Stress Relief

There will be an online via zoom and in person yoga session.

When: Monday November 16th, 2020

Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00

Where: Bast 138 and on zoom

To learn more contact Colleen Quigley,

In the Moment: Creative Practices for Medication and Wellness

Amy Herzel, a visual artist whose work is focused on meditative practice is hosting a workshop about using creative practices as a method of meditation.

When: Saturday November 21st, 2020

Time: 2:00 to 3:00 PM

Where: Online via Zoom (will be recorded)

Contact: Lacey Leonard, (540-354-6282) to register, for questions, or if there is difficulty joining. Each registered user will receive a kit.

Roanoke College Wellness

There are still some spots for chair massages for students provided by Health Services. You can find open slots and sign up here .

College Resources

As always our student health and counseling services are still available to all students through telemedicine services.

Students can drop into counseling for a short duration through Let’s Talk on Tuesdays from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Thursdays 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, and Fridays 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

If you’re interested in talking in a group about stress or anxiety, Love Your Selfie is on Mondays via Zoom from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Other Organizations and the college may also have events that pop up this week or the next so watch out for those!

Below are some tips on completing projects and how to study to avoid stress and turn in quality work.

Study Schedules

The best way to make sure you have adequate time to start and complete all of the assignments coming up is to plan.

  1. Marking down all due dates for finals assignments/projects and dates and times of final exams.
  2. Schedule times to study or complete parts of the project and make sure to to the schedule. Getting in the habit makes sure that you’re not waiting until the last minute.
  3. During scheduled times make a plan on what you want to accomplish. Breaking large assignments or studying for finals in smaller sections, not only reduces stress but for studying, it makes it easier to remember.
  4. For studying, always review what you studied the day before. If on day one, you studied chapters 1 and 2, on day two, you would quickly review chapters 1 and 2 but focus on the next chapters.
  5. Make sure that you start early enough so you have ample time.

Take Breaks

            The best rule to follow for work/life balance is 80/20 where 80% is focused on academics and 20% is focused on having fun. Studying for long periods of time can be draining and isn’t efficient in the long run. Breaks can be as simple as meditating or going for a walk. Just remember to come back to studying when you’re mentally prepared.

Group Sessions

            This doesn’t work for everyone but sometimes it can be really helpful to talk with other classmates for clarification. This can also apply to professors. It’s better to ask before to make sure you’re prepared for the test. In addition, being able to explain material to someone else and having them understand it is a good strategy for understanding and remembering the material.

Study Strategies

            Using a variety of different studying strategies such as retrieval, elaboration, organizational, and rehearsal strategies makes it easier to remember and understand the material.

  • Retrieval- Testing yourself is a great way of making sure you understand and remember material. This can be answering questions from textbooks, using flashcards, practicing using formulas and solving problems, or recreating charts/timelines/and diagrams from memory.
  •  Elaboration- Linking new information with information you already know or creating learning mnemonics like acronyms and analogies.
  •   Organizational- Making your own charts and graphs to visualize information.
  • Rehearsal-Repeating information out loud or repeatedly writing information. It works better if paired to strategies listed above rather than if used by itself.

These are just some tips and not all of these work for everyone. This is also by no means a comprehensive list. Starting early will help you figure out which strategies work best for you. Remember the psychology department is cheering you on!

Good luck with finals and be sure to revel in the two-month break that follows!




Get Connected!

Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In:
Instagram: rcpsychology 

Getting the most out of your time in RC Psychology

Even as this semester draws to a close, it’s a great time to start thinking about next semester (and future semester) pursuits. There are a variety of ways students can apply concepts learned in the classroom with real-life examples, as well as hone their skills outside of the classroom and learn new skills. Here are some of the ways you can make the most of your time in the Roanoke College Psychology department.

Research Labs

            Putting time into research can give you a great experience applying the information you learn in the classroom and experiencing the research process firsthand. Students even have published their research and presented at psychology conferences around the country. Research opportunities are strongly encouraged for students planning to continue their education in either graduate or doctoral programs in psychology.

Research experience and research practicum are great for students to get a foot in the door and learn more about research in psychology. Work-study also allows eligible students to assist with faculty research for an hourly wage. Students can talk to a faculty member with who they share research interests with. Looking at the faculty’s past presentations and research papers is another great way to get an idea of who you would most like to work with. You can find information on faculty research interests here and here are recent student conference presentations and publications with faculty.

For less directed student work, Independent Study (Empirical Study) and Honors in the Major allow students to conduct their own empirical study under a faculty member. It is common for students to take research practicum prior to enrolling in an Independent Study as they have already completed a research proposal but it is not required to do it in this way. For Honors in the Major, the results are required to be presented to a committee during a defense. Independent studies can be used to fulfill the Intensive Learning (May Term) requirement.

Students can also conduct research during the summer through the Summer Scholar Program where they can be paid $3000, receive housing, and a summer course credit to conduct research with a faculty member. Projects are presented during Family Weekend. More information can be found here.

For more details about all avenues to become involved in research click here.

Some comments from students currently involved in research  

“Getting involved in research within the psychology department has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my college career – not only do I get to actually use what I have learned throughout my courses, but I get to explore my research interests while working one-on-one with a knowledgeable professor. This experience of conducting and presenting my own independent study will give me a bit of an extra boost as I enter the next stage of grad school.”

“I got into research for the chance to be able to dive into a topic that I was really interested in. I learn skills every day that I am able to take and use in my other classes to improve my academic performance. On top of this, I have gained peers who I can share things with and get helpful feedback from people who I trust.”

“After several assignments in classes where I was required to write a research proposal, I found myself writing a similar proposal every time about a topic I really enjoyed reading about and I wanted to see if I could actually translate my ideas from paper into the real world. With research in the psychology department, I found I could and not only do I feel fulfilled, but research has also provided me with great time management skills.”

Sign up for research studies

Some classes have a research participation requirement in which 5 participation amount credits need to be earned for a percentage of students’ final grade. However, signing up for research studies through SONA is a great way to get firsthand experience of how studies operate and possibly get some ideas for research studies you would like to run in the future. A lot of these studies are student studies that are needed for courses such as independent studies, so it also benefits your fellow classmates. More information about how and where to sign up for these studies can be found here.


Internships take place in a variety of places from community agencies to businesses and students have the chance to see how their knowledge of psychology is applied in work settings. Internships can be used for credit (.5 for 60 hours or 1 unit for 120 hours) and can be used to satisfy the Intensive Learning (May Term) requirement. Reflections will be completed throughout the internship leading up to a reflection paper and poster presentation on the experience. The experience and skills gained from it can be added to resumes or crriculum vitaes (CV). Click here to learn more about internships and how to be contacted about opportunities.

Psychology Student Organizations

            Both the psychology club Roanoke College Psychology Association (RCPA) and the psychology honor society Psi Chi host several social, academic, and philanthropic events throughout the semester. Some examples of these include a Veteran Affairs Medical Center Talk, Pie-a-Prof, and Toy-like-Me. However, while RCPA is open to all students, those eligible to join Psi Chi need at least four units of psychology and at least a 3.0 GPA and be in the upper 35% of their class. Both usually set up tables at the activities fair. To learn more information about each click here.

Student Assistant Job

If you’re interested in helping the department behind the scenes, students with a 2.5 GPA overall and a 2.5 GPA in psychology are selected to be departmental assistants where they work for an average of 5 hours a week. Common jobs include grading multiple-choice tests and running errands. Student assistants are also in charge of posting to the psychology department blog and Instagram page. You can learn more by clicking on this link.

Some comments from recent student assistants

“I became a psychology department student assistant to become more involved in psychology and to build relationships with the faculty in the department. Through this position, I have had the chance to interact with all the professors, learn new skills, keep the community updated on all that is happening in our department, and have had fun decorating the fifth floor as well as being involved with pranks on the professors.”

“Becoming a psychology department student assistant has allowed me to interact with more psychology faculty than I might have interacted with just taking classes. I had never paid much attention to social media but being in charge of the blog and Instagram for the psychology department has provided me with new skills. Being able to help faculty in the department is also satisfying.”

Participating in even just one of these activities can make your time in the RC psychology more meaningful and it may make a difference in you falling in love with the subject even more.




Get Connected!

Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In:
Instagram: rcpsychology

Registration 101

It’s almost that time of year again: registration time! Pre-registration advising will begin next week on Monday, October 26 and registration will begin on Monday, November 9. Students should be notified about their registration time in the next few weeks through email and it should be visible on self-service as well. Thus, this post will provide a simple step-by-step guide on how to register for classes as well as some helpful reminders!

How to Register

Self Service helps to organize and visualize your class schedule. Typing in this link should bring you to the self-service login page. Your username and password is the same for self-service as it is for inquire.

After you log in, you should see the student home page seen below. Click on Student Planning near the bottom left, above Grades.

This should bring you to the student planning page where you can either check your academic progress or register for classes. Click on Plan for your Degree & Register for Classes on the right side of the screen.

Finally, you’ve reached the page where you can schedule your courses. You can use the arrows near the top left to change between terms. To add courses to your schedule, you can search for courses at the top right search bar.

Let’s say you wanted to add psychology 251 to your schedule. You would type it into the search bar and you should be brought the course catalog seen below. Clicking on “Add Course to Plan” and selecting a term won’t put an available class section on your schedule, it will only show the class on the left side bar in the planned classes. You’ll have to manual add a section by clicking view other sections.


If you click on “View Available Sections for PSYC-251” you’ll see all sections available for both the current and next term as shown below. Make sure you scroll down and click on “Add Section to Schedule” on a section under Spring Term, 2021.


You can also follow this post for instructions on how to register on Ellucian Go app.

On the day of your registration time, a button should appear that says “Register Now” near the top right that if pushed should register you for all classes currently on your course schedule. A confirmation email should be sent that notifies you what classes you have registered for.

If you would like to see these steps in action, Roanoke College provides two videos found here and here on using Self-Service to plan schedules.

Other Tips

Advising Meetings

Meet with your advisor. Some advisors should be reaching out to you this week if they haven’t already for a pre-registration advising meeting. If not, it might be a good idea to reach out to them first. It’s always a great idea to meet with your advisor just to check in with them to make sure you’re taking the right classes and that you’re on the right track to graduate on time.

Your advisor can help you indicate what classes are available next semester but you can (and should) look what is being offered through self-service by typing in the class name or number in the search bar in self-service. You can also search courses through the course catalog on self-service or in the directory.

Plan Ahead

Before you meet with your advisor, pick classes that are required and/or that you want to take and make a draft of your schedule using self-service. Class registration goes in order with those who have the most credits prior to the current term picking their classes first so it is possible that you may not get your first choices. That’s okay! Having a plan B and sometimes even a plan C helps reduce disappointment and worry about not taking classes that are interesting to you but also meet requirements. Here you can check the requirements for majors and concentrations in the psychology department.

Be Early

Remember being early is being on time. Opening self-service a few minutes before your designated time and making sure you’re ready to push that register button may be the difference in you getting your first choice or second choices or not.

Registration can be stressful but your advisors are a great resource and are willing to help. In addition, it gets easier the more times you do it and in no time you’ll be a pro. Good luck Maroons!




Get Connected!

Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In:
Instagram: rcpsychology

Welcome Dr. Anthony Cate!: An Interview

Dr. Anthony Cate, Psychology Professor at Roanoke College


The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Anthony Cate to our faculty as our newest professor.  The following is an interview with Dr. Cate where he answers some questions about himself, his interests in psychology, and what he’s looking forward to in terms of teaching at Roanoke College.

Where are you from?

I was born in New Jersey, and I moved a lot when I was young.  I have lived in every state between Washington, D.C. and Boston, except for Delaware.  After I got my Ph.D. I also lived in Canada (Ontario) and northern California.

Where did you receive your undergraduate degree from and what did you study in undergraduate? What was that experience like?

I got my undergraduate degree from Yale University.  I began as a religious studies major, but I thought that those classes involved too much memorization of names and dates, so I switched to psychology.  Actually, I switched to being a triple major, at least on paper: psychology, linguistics, and East Asian studies.  I shed majors when I figured out that psychology interested me the most.

I was lucky that I was able to help out in three research labs that had different missions and lab cultures.  I learned that I was bad at doing brain surgery in a rat lab.  I lost some patients.  Everyone there seemed anxious all the time too, which was poignant because anxiety was part of what they studied.  I conducted my first research project in a lab that studied human fear conditioning.  My advisor was a very kind scientist who helped me feel like an important part of the lab, but I disliked having to give participants electric shocks.  I also frequented the lab of my favorite professor, who had taught my perception course.  That lab was very welcoming.  People could just walk in to say hi and check out the experiments, there was a dog, and the students were very productive.  All of those experiences taught me to consider the social environment when I was choosing a graduate program.

Have you received any other additional degrees? Where did you receive them from?

I went to Carnegie Mellon University to get my Ph.D. in psychology, which was part of a joint neuroscience program with the University of Pittsburgh.

Have you taught anywhere else besides Roanoke College?

I first taught when I was a postdoctoral researcher at Western University in Canada.  My advisor talked me and two other postdocs into teaching one third of a course each, which seemed like a lot at the time.  Later I taught at Virginia Tech, where I worked for nine years before moving here to Roanoke.

What are you most excited about teaching at Roanoke College?

I am very excited to teach at Roanoke for many reasons!  It has been hard for me not to talk a mile a minute while teaching during these first few weeks.  It is exciting when students ask me questions, including when I don’t know the answer, because then I get to track the answers down later.  I was very eager to start teaching smaller class sizes.  I think personal interactions form the most effective ways to learn, and instructors get to learn from their students this way, too.  It is also a privilege to join an excellent psychology department where the faculty and staff are so engaged in their mission.

Dr. Cate in front of MRI machine at Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System in Martinez, CA (2007)

What are your research interests? Why are you interested in this/these field(s)?

My research investigates how visual perception works, and how it influences other cognitive skills like memory and reasoning about numbers.  I am particularly interested in understanding how different parts of the brain work together.  I have studied techniques for visualizing computer models of brains in order to make maps of which cognitive skills are associated with different brain regions.

Can you tell us about any research you have already completed in these areas?

I have published some research about how we perceive the 3D structure of objects, and about how brain damage can alter these perceptions.  I enjoyed learning how to make 3D images using computer graphics, and I especially liked getting to learn what people living with brain damage had to teach me about perception.

What course or courses are you currently teaching?

I am teaching Introduction to Psychology and Cognitive Psychology this semester, which is a great combination.  I have been teaching Cognitive Psychology for over nine years, and it is so familiar to me that I get excited when my favorite topics are about to come up in class.  I have never taught Intro Psych before.  It feels like a big responsibility to introduce the entire field.

Are you interested in taking on students as research assistants?

Yes!  Students make research better.  I realized a few years ago that when undergraduates helped me with a project, we considered the problems less narrowly.  The projects were much more enjoyable because of all the conversations we got to have.

What qualities are you looking for in any students who are interested in joining your lab?

Mainly curiosity, and an appreciation of research for its own sake.  My research questions are usually less about “how can we apply this science?” and more about “how does this work?”  I have had wonderful contributions from students with backgrounds in art and design, but that’s because we had similar interests, and not because students need any particular artistic abilities.  The same has been true for students who are interested in neuroanatomy and computer science.  A passion for those topics makes for a good fit, but students definitely don’t need to have expertise already.

Welcome to Roanoke College Dr. Cate! Thank you again for taking the time to answer our questions. We are excited to have you here and look forward to learning more about you in the semesters to come!




Get Connected!

Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In:
Instagram: rcpsychology



Stress Help GIF by Bare Tree Media - Find & Share on GIPHY


With mid-terms fast approaching (sadly with no relief of a fall break), it can be easy for stress to quickly overcome the life of a college student. Here are some simple reminders and helpful tips on how to reduce stress in your life.

College resources

As always, our student health and counseling services are still available to all students through telemedicine services.

  • Students can drop into counseling for a short duration through Let’s Talk on Tuesdays from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Thursdays 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, and Fridays 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM.
  • If you’re interested in talking in a group about stress or anxiety, Love Your Selfie is on Mondays via Zoom from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Click here for the full counseling services schedule where you can also find meeting information.

Using your school email address, you also have access to Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Self-Help which is a private online library of behavioral health resources. Modules and practice tools can assist in learning how to manage stress and mindfulness skills.

Organizations and the college may also have events that pop up this week or the next so watch out for those!


  • Manage your time – Placing all required assignments and due dates on a calendar is only half the battle. Setting up a schedule and setting time aside to study and complete assignments reduces stress because it makes procrastination way less likely. Breaking large assignments into smaller, more manageable parts also helps.
    •  Learn to say no – This doesn’t just mean to fun things. In fact, having fun during stressful times can be beneficial if you are accounting for work you do have to complete. Sometimes smaller assignments that aren’t worth as much can be put aside.
    • Make Time for Yourself- Make sure when you’re building a schedule, you block in breaks throughout the day. Spending thirty minutes studying and taking a one to two-minute break is great for focusing. Outside of studying, make sure you’re doing things you enjoy as well. Even when socially distancing, you can still have fun on campus. Kaelyn Spickler ’21 has written a great resource about some ideas on the Roanoke College’s website.
  • Get more (and better sleep)- Sleep is a great stress reducer but also helps the brain and body run at full power. It is recommended that we get 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Putting down electronics thirty minutes before bed and allowing the mind to rest from stimulation can help you get a better night’s sleep. If you do use electronics at night, try using a blue light filter as blue light can affect your sleep.
  • Exercise- Exercise is another great stress reducer as it releases endorphins. Don’t think you have to exercise for too long, thirty minutes is enough to reap these benefits. Regular exercise also has cognitive benefits especially related to memory and learning.
  • Mindfulness/Deep Breathing- Even taking two minutes to sit with yourself free of distractions and allowing your mind to drift to more calming things will reduce stress. Mindfulness can also be used in tandem with deep breathing where you only focus on your breath.

Remember midterms are just a reminder that you are halfway through the semester and you have come so far! This list of some potential stress reducers is simply a reminder but there are way more. Feel free to share any other ideas of stress relief during midterms week in the comments below!




Get Connected!

Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In:
Instagram: rcpsychology

RCPA at the Student Activities Fair

Why not check out RCPA at the student activities fair this Friday, September 11 that will be taking place from 5 pm to 8 pm on the back quad?

In the past RCPA has hosted exciting events ranging in activities from tie-dying and pieing professors as well as  Toy-like-me modification day and psychology-related talks.

Live streaming and individual club clips will also be available on Maroon Tube for those who cannot attend in person.

Extra information about the fair can be found on Roanoke College’s website under events.

We look forward to seeing you there!




Get Connected!

Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In:
Instagram: rcpsychology