Category Archives: Awards

Congrats to Cody Dillon-Owens!

Cody Dillon-Owens ’19

A student assistant recently caught up with senior Cody Dillon-Owens, who was selected as one of eight recipients of a 2018-19 Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship worth $3,000!

For Cody,

…Being a part of Psi Chi gave me the opportunity to apply to this scholarship, which I did so at the suggestion of one of my professors. I didn’t know if I would get it because it was a national level scholarship, but I am super grateful that I was one of the few selected to receive it. This scholarship actually allowed me to more or less cover the rest of my costs for senior year, so I’ll be able to focus on saving up for graduate school and getting an apartment next year. That reduced financial burden is a huge stress reliever and I’ll be able to better focus on my studies.

According to Psi Chi’s Scholarship Review Committee and the Board of Directors, Cody’s application “truly stood out to the judges as this year’s Undergraduate Scholarships had just over 165 applications.”

Congratulations Cody from everyone at the psychology department!

More Information:

Cody is the Head Student Assistant in the Psychology Department and works with Dr. Buchholz on Alumni Relations and Career Development. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology, with a concentration in Human Development; Cody was awarded the Fintel Senior Scholarship, among other awards. You can find his LinkedIn page here.


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Kaitlin Busse: Honors in the Major Defense

Kaitlin Busse successfully defended her Honors in the Major/Honors Distinction project entitled “Examining the differences in organizational climate and job dissatisfaction: A comparative study between the United Kingdom and United States” under the supervision of Dr. Darcey Powell. Also pictured above are the other members of her committed: Dr. Sweet, Dr. Anderson, and Dr. Whitson.

Congratulations, Kaitlin!

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Taylor Kracht: Honors in the Major Defense


Taylor Kracht  successfully defended  her Honors in the Major project entitled “Media Consumption: Association with Expectations and Implicit Theories of Romantic Relationships” under the supervision of Dr. Darcey Powell. Congratulations, Taylor!

Abstract: It is proposed, by this study, that romantic media can influence romantic beliefs, expectations, and partner idealizations. Participants were emerging adults from a small liberal arts college, Roanoke College. They first completed a pre-video survey (N = 121) assessing their prior romantic media exposure and their current romantic beliefs, relationship expectations, and partner idealizations. Participants then came into a lab and watched one of three videos; two romantic and one non-romantic. Immediately after the video they filled out a post-video survey (N = 81) assessing their romantic media exposure, romantic beliefs, relationship expectations, and partner idealizations. Overall, it was found that romantic beliefs had an influence on certain relationship expectations. It was also found that the assigned romantic media had a significant influence on the change in romantic beliefs. However, there were no significant results, for either prior media consumption or assigned media, influencing relationship expectations or partner idealizations.

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An Interview with Fulbright Scholar, Kaitlin Busse ’18

Kaitlin Busse ’18 (far left)

Kaitlin Busse, a senior majoring in psychology and a student assistant for the department, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant for Denmark.

In this post, Busse discusses with a student assistant what she will be doing while in Denmark, how she learned about the Fulbright program, and advice she has for students considering applying to Fulbright and any other research/internship opportunity.

Can you tell me a little about yourself and what you will be doing in Denmark?

I am a psychology major, sociology minor, and human resources concentration, and my interests are in organizational psychology. I was awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant to Denmark and I will be in Copenhagen from August 2018 until June 2019. I will take master level classes at Copenhagen Business School, where I plan to take classes about leadership and organizational change, employee identity, and diversity management, and about Danish culture and how it influences their organizations.

While there, I am also planning to assist my affiliate, Dr. Sara Louise Muhr, with a project she is working on about improving organizational cultures for women in academia in the European Union. Part of the Fulbright experience involves a project in which you immerse yourself in the community. I am planning to partner with an organization called, Crossing Borders, where I will help teach professional development skills to refugees in Denmark.

Click on the picture above to learn more about Crossing Borders.

How did you learn about the opportunity?

I actually learned about Fulbright while on my May Term to Sri Lanka. My professor, Dr. Katherine Hoffman, was a Fulbright ETA (she taught English) in Sri Lanka, and we interacted with their Fulbright Commission. I did not actually think about applying for a Fulbright until the second semester of my Junior year. I had just gotten back from studying abroad in the Netherlands and I loved immersing myself in another culture. After I came back, I received an email from Dr. Rosti about a Fulbright Information Session meeting.

What made you choose Denmark?

I wanted to go to Denmark because they are known for the great working environments and are constantly ranked one of the best places to work (and also one of the happiest countries)! My research interests lie in creating better work environments, especially in relation to work-family issues, which is what the Danes are known for! Also, I initially planned to study abroad in Denmark, but the program was cancelled during the semester that I wanted to go abroad.

Can you give any advice for those interested in applying for the Fulbright, or for research/internship experiences in general?

To people who are thinking about applying for Fulbright, I would say DO IT! It is a lot of work and it is extremely competitive to receive an award, but you develop so much personally, academically, and professionally from the application process. Even if you do not receive the Fulbright award, you end up with a great personal statement from the process.

For those thinking about research and internship experiences, I would also say DO IT! It was actually through one of my internships at a counseling agency that I learned I did not want to be a counselor and was instead most concerned with improving the work environment. Internships have also helped me get to know a little bit more about what organizational psychology and the HR field are about.

For those looking for internships, my advice would be to reach out to your networks and Roanoke College alumni (I actually [found] my first internship at a Roanoke College Career Night in NYC). I would also recommend research too because it allowed me to go in deeper to my studies and learn more about a particular area that I am passionate about.

Roanoke has an amazing research focus in the psychology program, which also gives you the opportunity to have a strong network relationship, present at conferences, and learn more about the research process.

Thank you to Kaitlin for taking her time to answer our questions, and congratulations again on receiving the Fulbright grant! Keep in touch and let us know how it goes! We’ll be cheering you on from the fifth floor of Life Science.

Also, for those interested in the Fulbright Program, click on this link to go to their official website. You can also talk to Dr. Jenny Rosti, who is the Director of Major Scholarships and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer. Her email is:

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Brittney Rowe Wins the Freeman Award

The following is a transcription from an in-person interview with Brittney Rowe where a fellow student assistant was able to talk with her about her team winning the Freeman Award, a scholarship that helps fund research in Asian countries.

Click on the above image to go to the official ASIANetwork site with the full description of their project, titled “Strangers in Their Imagined Motherland: North Korean Refugees in South Korea.”

Tell me a little bit about the Freeman Award.

The Freeman Award funds around $40,000 towards conducting research in an Asian country. For our trip, we focused on South Korea, but you can also apply to go to China, which is where Dr. Xu led a team a few years ago, and to Japan as well.  [The program is sponsored] through the government and it’s supposed to help promote awareness of Asian cultures.

What or who made you want to apply?

I went on the May Term to Japan last summer with Drs. Xu and Leeson who are also leading this team. A friend who went on the May Term told me about this project over the summer right before school started. So, I emailed Dr. Xu and asked about what they were planning and if I could join. 

Courtesy of Roanoke College News. To find the original article, click on the image above.

What are your plans to do when you get to South Korea?

There’s going to be multiple components. Our overarching topic is going to be focusing on North Korean refugees in South Korea. There are six students going, including myself. We each have different topics that cover aspects of our main topic. [For instance,] Anna Ford will be focusing on how North Koreans are portrayed in South Korean film and TV shows, and Carolyn Marciniec and Phantesa Ingram will be looking into their experiences relating to education. 

I am going to be focusing on how North Korean women are represented in South Korean media and about their lives in South Korea. I plan to interview around fifteen women, maybe more, we’ll see, about their lives since arriving in the South, how they perceive South Korean media’s portrayal of them, and the opinions on unification as well. I will be presenting on my findings at the ASIANetwork Conference in San Diego next April. 

In order to better inform my topic, there’s a TV show that I’ve been focusing on, Now on My Way to Meet You, where they kind of take the typical South Korean talk show. They have guests dance and show off their skills, but they also have the North Koreans talk about their experiences in North Korea. Something that we’ve noticed is that they never get to talk about their struggles in South Korea. It’s always like, rainbows and sunshine and sparkles – when in reality it’s not; a lot of North Korean refugees have trouble adjusting to the highly competitive, capitalist South.

Another thing that we’ve noticed is that typically, it’s pretty, young women who are chosen [to appear on the show]. It’s like a national thing where you send in your personal statement about your life and what you would talk about on the show. And then the show-runners go through the applications and choose who has the most appealing story to South Koreans. They then bring in the women and they dress them up to look like South Koreans to appeal to that South Korean audience. It’s just really interesting to see how that goes.

Brittney Rowe ’20 during her May Term in Japan. Almost all of the students going to South Korea were also part of the May Term.

How long will you be studying in South Korea?

About 20 days in May.

Outside of research, is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?

Just being in South Korea. Being able to eat South Korean food and experience their culture. We’re also going to be going on little excursions to actually go out an experience the culture. So, it’s a lot like a May Term, but a week longer than my Japan trip.

Do you have any advice to anyone considering applying to the Freeman Award in the future?

Edit, edit, edit. Go to Jennifer Rosti.

Are you excited?

I really, really am. I’m also going to be studying abroad next semester in South Korea, so. And we’re also going to try and see if we can travel after the original period is up, maybe go to Japan.

Congratulations, Brittney! We wish you the best and hope you enjoy your time in South Korea!

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Congratulations to Kaitlin Busse on Her Fulbright Acceptance!

Congratulations from the Department

Kaitlin Busse, a psychology major and student assistant, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant in Denmark!

Psychology faculty congratulated her on receiving the Fulbright grant, saying:

We are very proud of Kaitlin’s achievement; it is truly an honor. Kaitlin is the third Psychology major to receive a Fulbright in the last two years. Congratulations Kaitlin and good luck in Denmark!                                                                – Dr. Buchholz

Dr. Powell added:

Kaitlin is driven by an intrinsic motivation to succeed and to make the most of the educational opportunities available. Here at Roanoke, she has worked with myself and another faculty member in the Business Department to diversify her research experiences, which has led to her presenting projects at several disciplinary conferences. she also studied abroad at an institution well-known for their Industrial Organizational Psychology faculty and courses, and she acquired competitive summer internships to further expand her social capital and see the concepts she’s learned in action. A Fulbright Scholarship is an extraordinary next step for her! As she completes additional coursework and conducts a study under Dr. Muhr’s supervision, I am confident that she will thrive in Denmark. I am incredibly proud of what she has accomplished and look forward to hearing how it goes!

Keep a lookout for a follow-up post wherein Kaitlin will discuss what her project will entail, how she came to know about Fulbright, and advice for students interested in pursuing a Fulbright or any internship/research opportunity.

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Congratulations to Molly Zydel!

Molly Zydel ’19, courtesy of Dr. Powell

Congratulations to Molly Zydel ’19 for being awarded the Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant!

Zydel will use this grant towards funding her Distinction Project, titled “Perceptions of Foster Care Youth’s Academic Identity: Comparing Reports from Foster Parents and Former Foster Care Youth.” Specifically, she will be using the grant in order to offset the costs of compensating participants for their time.

She has been a member of Dr. Powell’s research lab since fall 2016.

Zydel also went to Thailand as part of Dr. Powell’s May Term last summer. You can read about the trip here.

The Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant was founded in honor of Mamie Phipps Clark. Graduating in 1943, Clark was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.

As such, this grant is awarded to Psi Chi students and faculty advisors who are seeking to study diverse populations and issues.

For more information about the research grant, click here.

Congratulations again to Molly Zydel! We’re proud of you and look forward to learning about the results of your Distinction Project!

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A Brief Interview with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand

Dr. Findley Van-Nostrand is pictured above. She is a new Psychology professor here at Roanoke College.

A student assistant was recently able to interview Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand amidst the chaos and confusion that is midterms about herself and her research interests, as well as her recent manuscript acceptance in the journal Psychology of Violence.

So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Florida?

It’s great! Definitely different from Tampa. Smaller city, slower pace, cooler weather…all good things for me.

Can you tell me about your academic background?

I did my undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida. I also remained there, for a variety of reasons, for my Ph.D. (and Masters along the way). Towards the end of my doctorate, I broadened my interests some and was involved in a couple of projects outside of the Psychology department that involved applying psychology to the problem of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) student persistence. These projects ended up leading to an offer to remain as a postdoctoral researcher after wrapping up my dissertation. So, after my postdoc, here I am!

What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?

Right now I am teaching PSCY221- Developmental Psychology, and PSYC321- Child Development. In the near(ish) future I will teach these, as well as Intro to Psychology, Adolescent Development, and a Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology.

What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?

My research interests are related but twofold. In my primary research, I am interested in peer relationships and social behaviors during adolescence and early adulthood. In this line, I have

focused on aggression among peers, underlying motivational factors, and the ways in which aggression is tied to social status among peers. I also have continuing research aimed at understanding the role of the self in aggression and prosociality, and my studies in these area are driven by both developmental and social psychology literatures and studies. In my second line of research, I’m also interested in understanding how social experiences, like felt belonging, as well as self-concepts and motivation may drive interest and persistence in STEM disciplines. Much of the research in this area is also related to academic persistence and achievement more broadly, but has some specific nuances related to the STEM context.

I recently heard that you have been approved to publish an article in a journal, can you tell me more about that?

Sure! The paper will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence, and includes two studies (one in early adolescence, and one in young adulthood) examining two forms of psychopathy, social goals, and forms of aggression. In previous research, we’ve demonstrated that social goals for status predict heightened aggression (especially relational aggression) over time in adolescents, and social goals for closeness and affiliation are related to lower levels of aggression. In a separate line of research, psychopathy and callous-unemotional traits are consistently tied to high aggression. In our study, we demonstrated differences in relationships between psychopathy and social goals based on form of psychopathy (one form entailing interpersonal manipulation was related to social goals, whereas the other form entailing behavioral impulsivity was not), and that social goals mediated the links between psychopathy and aggression in both age groups. So, within the context of psychopathy as a risk factor, targeting social goals may help in aggression-related interventions.

What are some random/cool facts about you?

First, my husband and I have an 1 ½ year old son, who keeps us busy and I’m forever in awe of. Second, I am a huge Formula 1 racing fan! We have a lot of awkward hours in our house where we will wake up to watch the European races live. It’s a much more complex sport than you might think, and the psychology of the drivers, their competitiveness, decision making, team dynamics, etc. is really fascinating.

Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?

Everyone here has been super welcoming. So thanks!

Congratulations Dr. FVN for your recent manuscript acceptance and thank you for taking time to answer our questions!


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Congratulations to the New Members of Phi Beta Kappa!

We are incredibly proud and excited to announce that four psychology students were recently accepted as new members to Phi Beta Kappa, the United State’s most prestigious honor society for the liberal arts and sciences.

When asked how they felt about their acceptance, students replied:

“I’m so honored to be accepted into Phi Beta Kappa and be recognized for my accomplishments at Roanoke!” – Megan Miller ’18

“When I found out I got Phi Beta Kappa I was very excited and proud of myself. I have worked very hard over these past years and it’s an honor to be recognized for it.” – Taylor Kracht ’18

“I am honored to learn my Roanoke Professors nominated me for Phi Beta Kappa. Acceptance into this honor society is especially meaningful because it recognizes the broad array of pursuits that I have had the good fortune to enjoy at RC.” – Laura Sullivan ’18.

Congratulations to Megan Miller ’18, Laura Sullivan ’18, Taylor Kracht ’18, and Sabrina McAllister ’18! We are incredibly proud of you and look forward to seeing what you will accomplish in the future!


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2017 Summer Scholar Sabrina McAllister ’18 Talks About Her Experiences

Pictured above: Sabrina McAllister ’18, Psychology major, 2017 Summer Scholar

In a recent interview with Marcus Stewart for undergraduate research at Roanoke College, Sabrina McAllister ’18 talked about her research project titled “Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure” and gave advice for other prospective Summer Scholars.

For her research as part of the Summer Scholars program, McAllister worked over the summer with her faculty advisor, Dr. David Nichols, a professor of Psychology at Roanoke College whose primary research includes topics in neuroscience, vision perception, and time perception. Together, they examined the structure of the Zimbardo’s Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI), a questionnaire that determines amounts of focus on past, present, and future,  for ways to improve the inventory for more accurate results.

To learn more about what they discovered, as well as the the link for Dr. Nichols’ research lab, follow the links at the bottom of the page.

The Summer Scholar Program awards thirteen applicants from all majors with funding every year for independent study under the supervision of a professor. If all conditions are met, the scholar will receive one unit of credit for independent study, which can be counted towards the Honors project if part of the Honors Program. The program typically coincides with Summer Sessions I and II (June & July), but more time can be given if the student’s project requires it.

The deadline for applying to the Summer Scholar Program is March 15 and decisions are made by April 1st.

For more information regarding McAllister’s project, Dr.  Nichols lab, or the requirements and application for the Summer Scholars Program, please follow the appropriate links.

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Congratulations to Stephanie Gaines – Psi Chi Research Grant Awardee!

Stephanie Gaines with her  advisor, Dr. Powell
Stephanie Gaines with her advisor, Dr. Powell

Ms. Stephanie Gaines, a junior at Roanoke College,
has been named as one of the recipients of the
Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant!

Her independent study project was conducted to gather information on emerging adults’ anticipated self-efficacy regarding future roles. The aims were two-fold. First, to replicate the previous research on transitional roles such as getting married or becoming a parent. Second, to expand the research on gradual roles such as becoming financially independent and managing one’s own healthcare.  She was particularly interested in how emerging adults’ current self-efficacy, mastery and vicarious experiences, as well as subjective norms were associated with their anticipated self-efficacy for adult roles. Participants were recruited from Roanoke College Psychology classes, the larger student body, and from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Analyses are currently underway.

Congratulations, Stephanie!
We look forward to seeing your results. Keep up the great work! 

RC Recognized as a Top Liberal Arts School Based on Professor Rankings

Does the title say it all when it come to Roanoke College?   “Accessible & Approachable Professors” Check out the news article here:

There are 6 psychology professors ( 3 male, 3 female, and one staff member – our miracle working secretary) in the photo below; can you find them? The rest of those lovely faces are our students who could make it to this particular photo shoot! You have to love those GET PSYCHED shirts. They really capture our persona as a community.



The Princeton Review’s Best 380 Colleges

roanokecollegeSalem, Va. – The Princeton Review has named Roanoke College one of the best colleges in the United States for the fifth year in a row. In addition, Roanoke was named a great school for students who major in business/finance, computer science and psychology.

According to the Princeton Review survey, students say Roanoke has great career services, a great library and happy students.

“Princeton Review is a student voice among the rating systems,” Roanoke College President Michael Maxey said.   “We are excited that the voices of students at Roanoke praise our balance of ‘comfort and challenge.’  We help students find what they love to do through equal measures of support and challenge.”

“Every college in our book has outstanding academics,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president-publisher. “Our goal is to help applicants choose and get into their dream college—the college best for them.”

 Follow Roanoke College on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Members of the media, please note the new location of Roanoke College news on the new site:

Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors


Congratulations to Alexandra Grant, Diane Nguyen, Joana Peders, Christy Blevins, & Brandy Plouff. They received the award for Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors. This award is given to the junior student or students deemed by the faculty as having demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and potential for continued success in Psychology.

Congratulations Ladies & Keep up the good work!

Summer Scholars Applications


Would you rather flip hamburgers (or paint houses or mow lawns) or spend a summer on the Roanoke campus using your mind? Would you like to get paid $2,500 (and free housing and independent study credit) for feeding your curiosity?

The Summer Scholar Program at Roanoke College is a grant program that enables thirteen students of any major with a GPA of 3.0 or higher to conduct rigorous, independent research for eight to twelve weeks during the summer. This is a full-time, tuition-free, paid position with free housing provided. In addition to the research project, summer scholars will be trained to give professional presentations. Learn more:

Application materials and guidelines can be found here:

Applications are due March 15th. The above link details where to send the completed application materials. Check it out!

Departmental Kudos – Dr. Friedman



Dr. Friedman pictured with Carolyn Miesen and Jessica Gladfelter, members of her research lab

Students Comments:

“Dr. Friedman has gone above and beyond as my advisor! She inspires me to be the best I can.”

“Dr. Friedman has had a lot to manage this semester and has been great at it. She is an amazing chair.”

“Dr. Friedman and Dr. Buchholz are super supportive and helpful. :)”

Psych students elected to PBK

“Founded in 1776 by students at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is recognized as the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society in the nation. PBK’s main objective is to emphasize the importance of a liberal arts and sciences while also recognizing those who strive for excellence in academics.” This year, the psychology department had several students selected to join the ranks of PBK.

Congratulations to:

Elizabeth Evans

Nikki Hurless

Lauren Kennedy

Tayler Kiser

Dana Averill

We are proud of your accomplishments!

Our New Psi Chi Inductees AY 2013-2014

DSC_4141Congratulations to our new inductees:

Christy Blevins                         

Marie Isoe

Rachel Capps

Shannon O’Neill

Laura Cox

Joanna Peders

Holly Craft

Brandy Plouff

Christina DeRito

Leigha Schimmoeller

Natalie Dixon

Mackenzie Slater

Alexandra Ekirch

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Ellis

Lauren Stone

Mariam Foster

Lauren Thomason

Alexandra Grant

Grace Vandegrift

Leslie Grimes

Laura Wood

Also pictured: Faculty Advisor, Dr. Lindsey Osterman


The Psi Chi Achievement Award Goes To:


Yuki Yamazaki! Yuki was the VP of Psi Chi this year. As such, she organized a number of events, including service activities and induction.

The Roanoke College Chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in psychology, selects from its membership a student who has best exemplified excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. A gift and certificate are given by Psi Chi.

The Karl Beck Memorial Prize Goes To:


Julia Boudrye. Julia is recognized for her scholarship. She has been a member of Dr. Friedman’s lab and the URAP program for four years. She has presented at a number of conferences, regional and national, has completed research practicums, independent studies, and honors in the major. Additionally, she has served as the lab coordinator for the past year.



Chava Urecki. Chava has been a member of Dr. Buchholz’s lab and the URAP program for the last four years. She has been lab manager for the past two years, conducting her own independent research and overseeing underclassmen. She has presented at several conferences and recently defended her honors thesis!

The faculty selects a psychology major to receive the Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize, which is given for excellence in psychology. The recipient is awarded a prize of money, which is made possible by gifts of friends in memory of the late Dr. Karl W. Beck, professor and first chairperson of the Roanoke College Psychology Department. The recipient’s name is engraved on a plaque which is located in the department reception room.